Roadside Attractions


Here comes the judge

Not only will the Speed Channel show be on hand at the Great American Trucking Show filming an “American Trucker” episode, but host Robb Mariani will be one of the judges in the Custom Rigs Pride & Polish competition. Coming from an art and design background, he says he’s excited about the prospects: “The trucks I consider to be large artworks.” Check out a profile of Mariani in Overdrive sister magazine Truckers News’ July edition via

Drivers, start your legs

There’s plenty of activity at the Great American Trucking Show, but nothing quite as active as the 5K Big Rig Run. Show attendees will have plenty of time to make the 7 a.m. run, Friday, Aug. 26, at Katy Trail, and still put in a full day at the show. Read more at

Free Concert

Jamey Johnson will bring his brand of modern Outlaw Country style to the Friday night concert at GATS, sponsored by Mobil Delvac. Tickets will be available at the show that morning on a first come, first served basis.

Owner-operator seminar

Get a free copy of the 2011-12 Partners in Business manual, produced by Overdrive editors and ATBS consultants, at the free PIB seminar 2-4 p.m., Aug. 26, at GATS. It’s presented by Dollars & Sense columnist Kevin Rutherford. Visit for further info on the owner-operator training program.

Making exercise your new normal

• Make it a priority. Take a look at your daily schedule and decide if you need to cut out something else to give exercise its proper place.

• Plan your downtime. You have to sleep, but what are you doing with your other off-duty hours? If you are stuck at a dock, get out of the cab and walk around.

• Quit making excuses. Rather than invent 30 reasons not to exercise, list five reasons you should. Once you recognize excuses for what they are, you’ll overcome them.

• Start out small. Don’t overwhelm yourself by overdoing it. Even a small amount of exercise makes a big difference in how you feel, and you can build on that.

• Get support. Whether it’s from your spouse or a group on Facebook, find someone who can cheer you on as you progress. Support from other truckers who exercise can be especially helpful because they understand the challenges.

Soggy haul

Flooding across the nation’s midsection created all manner of hassles for drivers this year. One hauler in April documented his traverse of shallow waters on I-29 in North Dakota. The resulting video, posted to YouTube, has a soundtrack that includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Can’t Stop” as the driver and others slosh through high water. Shoot the QR code on your phone for the vid or visit the June 27 entry on the Channel 19 blog.

The National Weather Service wants you

In April 2006, Sean Kiaer was a long-haul driver and witnessed the EF3 tornado that went on to devastate Newbern, Tenn. Kiaer then made it his mission to better equip himself to be able to report severe weather from the road, and launched Trucker Weather Watch. Today, the growing group comprises drivers who’ve gone through National Weather Service SkyWarn training as severe weather spotters. Kiaer has spearheaded development of online training to make it more accessible to truckers. To apply for the courses, contact Kiaer at [email protected]. And for more on TWW, see the May 18 entry on the blog.

Can you drive 69?

Would a sign like this get your attention – and your foot off the accelerator? The Kansas Olathe News wrote in June about a public art project/series undertaken in Roeland Park, Kan., by architect Joel Marquardt, including a 34-mph sign posted on Roe Boulevard between W. 48th Street and I-35. Definitely novel on a public roadway, we imagine it’s turned a few heads, if not slowed drivers down. Shopping malls have been doing this sort of thing for years, with signage for limits as low as 3 miles per hour to get drivers’ attention. For pictures of the actual sign and a link to the Olathe News story, see the June 24 entry on the blog.

Tribute to a pioneer driver

Minnie Spotted Wolf never encountered combat in World War II, yet she blazed trails as the first Native American woman to serve in the Marines — as a truck driver, nonetheless. She joined the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in 1943 and served four years. The trucks she drove, based in Hawaii and California, most likely included International M-5H-6s and Chevrolet WAs, says Kater Miller, of the Marine Corps National Museum. After military service, Minnie Spotted Wolf got a college degree in education, married, had four children and taught school in Montana for 29 years before her death in 1988 at age 65.

“She wasn’t in the military just for herself but for the Indian people,” her daughter told the Great Falls Tribune in a tribute published in 2009. She was a proud patriot, often wearing her Browning American Legion Post 127 uniform and carrying a flag for annual Indian Days celebrations, according to the Tribune. 

— Lucinda Coulter

Devising a PM plan

About 60 percent of owner-operators and company drivers say they develop maintenance plans based on their own experience, Overdrive’s 2011 market research shows. Nearly 16 percent say they form a plan based on their truck manual’s recommendations.

Reefer rates rise

Reefer rates jumped 15 cents a mile from May to June. Dry van and flatbed rates also rose, by 9 cents and 5 cents, respectively, during the same period. Analysts attribute the reefer uptick to demand for produce.

July 7, 2011 diesel price averages

FUEL SURCHARGE INDEX prices are collected daily from more than 5,500 truck stops and averaged along specific routes. (


AUG. 11-13: SALT LAKE TRUCK SHOW, Thanksgiving Point, Salt Lake City, Utah, (800) 877-1320.

AUG. 14: ATHS TWIN TIERS CHAPTER TRUCK SHOW, Brockway Truck Museum, Cortland, N.Y., (315) 696-8353.

AUG. 19-21: NAST BIG RIG TRUCK SHOW, Eau Claire, Wis., (715) 832-6666 or (800) 727-4488.

AUG. 19-21: SAM CROUCH MEMORIAL TRUCK & TRACTOR SHOW, Falmouth Fairgrounds, Falmouth, Ky.,

(859) 472-2817.

AUG. 20: WATT’S TRUCK CENTER TRUCK & EQUIPMENT SHOW, New Alexandria, Pa., (888) 304-6225.

AUG. 20-21: GRANITE STATE NATIONALS, Sandwich Fairgrounds, Center Sandwich, N.H., (800) 753-3978.

AUG. 21: ATCA MID HUDSON CHAPTER ANNUAL SHOW, Orange County Farmer’s Museum, Montgomery, N.Y., (845) 888-7613.

AUG. 25-27: GREAT AMERICAN TRUCKING SHOW, Dallas Convention Center, (888) 349-4287, Includes Custom Rigs Pride & Polish National Championship,


AUG. 27: ATHS SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY CHAPTER ANTIQUE TRUCK SHOW, Route 11, 198 Kost Rd., (717) 665-4621.

AUG. 28: ATCA LITTLE RHODY CHAPTER TRUCK SHOW, R.I. Connecticut Historical Air Field, Coventry, R.I., (401) 647-7226.

SEPT. 2-3: ATCA SHORTWAY CHAPTER ANNUAL TRUCK SHOW, Montour-DeLong Fairgrounds, Washingtonville, Pa., (570) 458-6228.

SEPT. 2-3: WHITE TRUCK BASH, Holiday Inn Express, Celina, Ohio, (585) 786-8621.

SEPT. 2-5: ATHS KICKAPOO CHAPTER HISTORIC FARM DAYS, Billie Creek Village, Rockville, Ind., (217) 251-3343.

SEPT. 3: ATHS SIERRA NEVADA FALL TRUCK SHOW, Performance Diesel, Sparks, Nev., (775) 284-4484.

SEPT. 3: LIBERTY FEST ANTIQUE TRUCK SHOW, Rte. 34 & Ellis Road, Harrisburg, Ill., (618) 841-9106.


SEPT. 8-11: WHITE RIVER VALLEY ANTIQUE TRUCK SHOW, Eleanor, Ind., (812) 381-0983.

SEPT. 10: ATHS ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHAPTER ANNUAL SHOW, Art Robinson Transportation Museum, Salina, Utah, (801) 580-7532.

SEPT. 10: ATHS SOUTH JERSEY SHORE CHAPTER TRUCK SHOW, Pardo’s Truck Parts, Deptford, N.J., (609) 970-1737.

SEPT. 25: TRUCKIN’ FOR KIDS, Toyota Speedway, Irwindale, Calif., (888) 349-4287,

OCT. 7-8: CHARLOTTE DIESEL SUPER SHOW, zMax Dragway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.,

Beauty at any scale

Bruce W. Smith, editor of Overdrive sister magazine Custom Rigs, photographed these hot haulers at the Shell SuperRigs event June 2-4 at the Kenly 95 Petro in Kenly, N.C. The flatbed is hauling gallon jugs of Shell Rotella; the big Lonestar is a company display trailer. The mid-size Lonestar lookalike – well, you can check it out at the model truck go-kart races!


Herding sheep with a Cat

Drew Jorgensen and his father haul sheep around Utah, California and Colorado in their 2008 Kenworth W900L. The family has about 3,000 sheep on its Utah ranch. The truck is equipped with a 550-hp Caterpillar and 18-speed transmission and pulls a 1997 48-foot Wilson sheep trailer.

Old iron

Jim Lammon, of Grass Lake, Mich., hauls flatbed freight regionally with this 1985 Peterbilt 359. It’s powered by a 400-hp Caterpillar and 15-speed transmission. “Old iron is getting harder to come by these days, so when I see an old truck like mine, you can bet I will compliment you on it,” Lammon says.


Randy Rollins of Jacksonville, Ill., drives this 2005 Kenworth W900L, owned by Envirovac Waste Transport. Dubbed “Wasted,” the truck is equipped with a 475-hp Cummins and a 13-speed transmission. Rollins hauls hazardous waste throughout the Midwest.

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTO: To display your truck online and have it considered for Overdrive’s Truck Gallery, go to the Reader Truck Gallery at