Arts and Culture
More from Google
Add by RSS Feed
Get the Android app
Get the iOS app
Overdrive magazine presents trucking interviews, music, speakers and other information and entertainment.
5 days ago
Owner-ops are not company drivers for a reason -- ABC test in practice, more data from ATBS
Today’s special edition of the podcast is a re-air of ATBS President Todd Amen’s semi-annual conference call with clients of the business services firm and other owner-operators that offers the opportunity for listeners to benchmark their own income performance against the averages of their peers that ATBS computes. Near the call’s beginning, though, Amen detailed the pressures that the Biden administration and Congress have renewed against the independent contractor model writ large. Fleets of all sizes are worrying more about it, as he shows, and some owner-operators are, too. At once, the majority of ATBS’ owner-op clientele aren’t aware even of California’s A.B. 5 law, for instance, in place now for a year and a half and currently not applying to trucking, though that could change depending on pending court cases. The so-called ‘ABC test’ in that law in essence prevents an independent contractor relationship between a worker and a business if both parties are essentially in the same line of work, making current and traditional owner-operator lease arrangements with other motor carriers problematic in various ways. What’s abundantly clear from other surveys ATBS has conducted, though? When asked if leasing suddenly were not an option any longer, just what would ATBS client leased owner-ops do? Not even two in 10 would become company drivers, Amen noted results of his company's surveying. There’s a lot more where that came from in this episode, and a wealth of data on the topsy-turvy 2020 year’s income performance for average owner-operators among dry, reefer, flatbed and independent segments ATBS tracks. Read more about Amen's presentation: http://overdriveonline.com/15064950 Subscribe to Overdrive's daily newsletter for updates, news, views and analysis via http://overdriveonline.com
Apr 2, 2021
Flailing toward an 'automated future'? Over the Road reality, more in final episode
The Over the Road podcast, a co-production of Overdrive and PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network, finished its run of eight main episodes last year with this final episode, titled “The Road Ahead,” in which Overdrive contributing writer and Moeller Trucking driver Paul Marhoefer documented a yogurt haul outbound from the Midwest to Texas and then to the 2019 Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas. There, the OTR crew explored the implications for drivers of new technology in trucking — specifically, the march toward vehicles capable of more autonomous operation. Automation has become a fundamental piece of the way so many think about the future of trucks and trucking, including regulators who seem bent on preparing the way in the name of safety. regular listeners may recall news that aired just a couple weeks ago here in which the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator expressed her view that, though the timeline is ultimately unknown, that “automated future,” as some say, is coming. It's unclear, though, given the structure of our highway system, that the American public will ever feel fully comfortable with the notion of sharing the road with 80,000-lb. robots, without an operator therein as capable "overseer," one might say, of the machine. But as more folks are eventually ferried around by wheeled robots themselves, that could be a likely prospect, not to mention the impulses the old dollar-signs-in-the-eye can infect even the most staid among us with. The future looks pretty fuzzy, as it were. Don’t forget to pack your reading glasses. Find all eight of Overdrive Radio's re-air of the Over the Road podcast via http://overdriveonline.com/tag/over-the-road-podcast Subscribe to Overdrive's daily for news updates, views and analysis via http://overdriveonline.com
Mar 29, 2021
Songs of the Highway, No. 3: 'I've Been Everywhere'
Johnny Cash isn’t the only singer who’s taken on the challenge of sprinting through the long, rhyming lists of cities in “I’ve Been Everywhere.” As some older readers might recall, the song was a big hit in 1962 for Hank Snow. Its success helped vault trucking songs further into the mainstream of an expanding country music radio scene, says Todd Uhlman, an assistant professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio who’s specialized in socio-cultural history, in this special edition of Overdrive Radio attendant to Overdrive's ongoing celebration of it's 60th anniversary year in 2021. Country music and trucking songs were firmly established by 1966, when Johnny Cash did a version that’s perhaps the best-known, at least in the U.S. There were other covers, too, including one by Lynn Anderson in 1970. Yet "I've Been Everywhere" has roots farther back, and way farther afield, that trace all the way to the Land Down Under. Hear its history here in this latest "Songs of the Highway" exploration of trucking music classics. Read more in Overdrive's weekly 60th-annversary series of lookbacks on trucking history, and that of the magazine itself, via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/trucking-history Find more editions of "Songs of the Highway" via http://overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio
Mar 26, 2021
Roadcheck preps, with the state where inspections were up in 2020, not down like everywhere else
In the COVID-19 pandemic year of 2020, there were but two states in the entire nation where truck inspections numbers in the aggregate rose from 2019 levels. Every other state saw fall-offs ranging from just a few percentage points to more than a third in some places. Alabama's mostly mobile enforcement crew posted higher number, in part a result the state's investment in an expansion of the department. In this episode of Overdrive Radio, Captain Brent McElvaine of Alabama explains further reasons -- a continued emphasis on inspection screening via "virtual weigh stations" with weigh-in-motion or other technologies to better prioritize inspections of trucks and carriers troopers believe probably need it, for instance. There's more where that came from, however, in this episode, including a bevy of tips for owner-ops looking ahead to the May 4-6 Roadcheck event -- in one of Roadcheck's prinicipal areas of emphasis this year, lighting equipment, Alabama ranks very high. Nearly 1 in 4 of its violations written in recent years has been for a light out or other related infraction. Mentioned in the episode, Overdrive Radio's prior podcast with Minnesota State Patrol Captain Jon Olsen about the DataQs process: https://www.overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio/podcast/15063931/dataqs-crash-and-violation-appeals-process-in-minnesota The live webcast of a panel discussion with CVSA and Payne Trucking about DataQs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHRlGZp-VFk Subscribe to Overdrive's daily newsletter for owner-operator and small fleet news, views and analysis: http://overdriveonline.com
Mar 19, 2021
Indelible trucking portrait -- Long Haul Paul's 'Long Haul of Fame' through highs, lows of history
Another edition here drops in Overdrive Radio's re-air of the Over the Road podcast series, coproduced by Overdrive and PRX's Radiotopia podcast network and hosted by 'Long Haul Paul' Marhoefer. Here, the host's "Long Haul of Fame” tells the stories of five of Marhoefer’s personal heroes -- longtime professional driver Idella Marie Hansen; owner-operator Big Jim Selkirk; trucker Ken “Shoestring” Waugh; overnight radio D.J. Marcia Campbell; and, finally, a tribute to one of those heroes who’s passed on, New York-based Fast Freddie Lieb, the “Pope of Pompano” running out of the Florida Pompano Beach market and up and down the East Coast, where Marhoefer knew him best. What emerges over the course of the episode is an indelible take on recent trucking history through these individual stories, including that of Marhoefer himself. Also in the podcast: Highlights from the week's news, which you can keep tabs on daily via Overdrive's daily newsletter. Subscribe via http://overdriveonline.com Find all editions of Over the Road via this playlist collecting our re-airs: https://soundcloud.com/overdriveradio/sets/the-over-the-road-podcast-on Hear more from the Radiotopia network via http://radiotopia.fm
1 hr 3 min
Mar 12, 2021
Trucking team turns to rocking country with new record, 'If Wishes Were Horses'
In today's edition of Overdrive Radio, we hear selections from the new 'If Wishes Were Horses' long player out from Rylan Brooks, the songwriting duo of Chris Brooks (Philadelphia) and Nate Rylan (Nashville). Brooks is a former independent owner-operator trucking with authority and now one half of this songwriting duo truly doing great work here with their second record, a follow-up to 2018's 'Half Wild.' Rylan and Brooks’ history as a band -- with a particularly hard-driving brand of what you might call 'outlaw country' (or would in another time) ... the collaboration blossomed on the road when Rylan came aboard with Brooks’ business as a codriver on longer, time-sensitive runs. Here, along with updates for the week in the trucking news, follow along through the pair's narration of how the record came to be and the influence of the road in their writing through and through. Find more about the band at its website: https://rylanbrooks.com/ Subscribe to Overdrive's newsletter for daily updates five days a week: http://overdriveonline.com
Mar 5, 2021
'Our Punjabi brothers' -- portrait of a protest, a trucking community, and changed hearts and minds
In this week's Overdrive Radio podcast episode, we drop into October of 2017, a key moment in trucking regulatory history over the last several years, given demonstrations on both coasts and some points in between against the electronic logging device mandate. Generally, out east, those demonstrations were comparatively small, but you can tie a direct line between them and the next year’s pursuit by FMCSA of hours of service changes designed to enhance drivers’ scheduling options around the clarion call for rest-period flexibility that emerged in the aftermath. Where those 2017 demonstrations were in fact not small, however, was out west, led by a coalition of Punjabi-American owner-operators, drivers and advocates. We told that story in brief in Overdrive at the time, and then again via the person of one Binda Atwal this past year in Episode 6 of the Over the Road podcast, produced in collaboration with PRX's Radiotopia. This edition of Overdrive Radio looks back at the tale, which ends up being a portrait not only of a demonstration, but of a close-knit community of U.S. truckers that, with visibility, changed more than a few minds and hearts around the industry. Read Overdrive's contemporaneous account of the demonstration via this portrait of the Punjabi community out West and elsewhere: https://www.overdriveonline.com/business/article/14893823/into-the-limelight-sikh-truckers-in-america Find more from PRX's Radiotopia network: http://radiotopia.fm Also in the podcast: An intro to host and longtime over the road operator "Big Al" Weekley and the new "Overdrive's Music to Truck By" music show streaming live every Friday and in the wee hours Wednesday mornings via http://thebluegrassjamboree.com -- read more about it via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio/article/15063917/bluegrass-jamboree-streaming-overdrives-music-to-truck-by
Mar 1, 2021
Songs of the Highway, No. 2: 'Truck Driver's Blues,' by the Texas Wanderers
Chart-topping songs about trucking have been around for decades. But what was the first one to become a big hit? It was “Truck Driver’s Blues,” performed by the Texas Wanderers and sung by piano player Moon Mullican and at other times by Cliff Bruner, said Todd Uhlman. Uhlman's an assistant professor who’s specialized in U.S. socio-cultural history and has published a lengthy article about trucking music’s place in that history. The song was written by Louisianan Ted Daffan after he visited honky-tonks frequented by truckers. “Truck Driver’s Blues” was one of 1939’s biggest hits, Uhlman says in this special edition of Overdrive Radio attendant to Overdrive's coverage of trucking history in this its 60th-anniversary year. Find more history coverage, including part 1 in the "Songs of the Highway" special series, via http://overdriveonline.com/trucking-history Subscribe to Overdrive's newsletter for daily updates five days a week: http://overdriveonline.com
Feb 26, 2021
The long tail of the CB's social utility, or: How the Lucky Turkey became the Maverick became ...
Owner-operator Mike Crawford in this week's Overdrive Radio expands on some of the themes showcased earlier this week in our special-edition podcast in part about the ongoing safety utility, and the decreased cultural importance, of the CB in trucking. If you missed that 60th-anniversary podcast earlier this week and attendant coverage, visit http://OverdriveOnline.com/trucking-history access it. We wanted to bring Crawford back in here because what you heard for him via that special edition was just a very sliver of our longer conversation – the talk was centered on the CB and his history, how he went from being the Lucky Turkey to the Maverick for a time to what he's known pretty much universally as today. Listen on ... Crawford's an independent with his authority now for many years but running mostly with a single broker – Prime’s logistics group, after having leased there for many years. He was Trucker of the Year back in 2010 in the Overdrive program of that time. Read more about Crawford via this link to past coverage: https://www.overdriveonline.com/t/4381542 Subscribe to Overdrive's newsletter for daily updates five days a week: http://overdriveonline.com
Feb 22, 2021
60th-anniversary special: CB radio's safety, cultural importance, past to present
This special edition Overdrive Radio is part of our celebration 60 years since the magazine's founding in 1961 -- as such, every Monday we’re looking back on various elements of the trucking business and culture as they’ve existed in the past and evolved on up through today via http://overdriveonline.com/trucking-history For this episode, we’re looking at the CB radio, both in the context of safety and trucking culture. First, we run back through the first in my Channel One Nine series of mini-episodes produced in collaboration with PRX’s Radiotopia last year – that episode was devoted to CB handles and the history of the CB in trucking in brief. Following that is a variety of reader views from 2017, after a disastrous late-night winter pileup on I-80 in Pennsylvania, around the importance of using the CB in dangerous conditions to avoid such events -– this time of year, as is particularly in evidence this year, such sentiment is, as they say, timeless. Hear more from the Radiotopia podcast network, including Over the Road, via http://radiotopia.fm Subscribe to Overdrive's newsletter for daily updates five days a week: http://overdriveonline.com
Feb 19, 2021
DataQs for violations, crashes: Minn.'s appeals process, reform efforts, and how to work the system
In today's edition of Overdrive Radio, we’ll hear from Captain Jon Olsen of Minnesota State Patrol's truck enforcement unit, one of many sources for Overdrive's reporting about the federal DataQs system that went live earlier this week: https://www.overdriveonline.com/regulations/article/15063803/criticism-of-dataqs-review-system-continues-to-rise Overdrive Editorial Director Max Heine and Senior Editor Todd Dills dug into the FMCSA's data around the DataQs system, doing scads of interviews over the last several months as well, and Olsen's state of Minnesota was one of two states that emerged as a model for a potential national reform effort in early stages as we speak. When a DataQs challenge cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the carrier, Minnesota offers the chance for an appeal to a review panel that includes not only supervisory staff from the State Patrol itself but also outside representatives from industry, introducing a measure of fairness that has been uncommon fo…
Feb 12, 2021
COVID hours exemption not valid 'just because you're hauling food'; OTR's 'Back home'
In today's edition of Overdrive Radio, another in the run through our eight-episode Over the Road podcast series, coproduced for 2020 with PRX's Radiotopia podcast network. "Back home" featured our own Long Haul Paul Marhoefer, host of the show, and Over the Road contributing producer Lacy Roberts on a haul back through Lacy’s childhood as a daughter of a trucking family growing up in Montana. The tale, among the most-listened-to within the trucking community (the podcast was broadcast out to a general listening audience as well), offered a moving portrait of the sacrifices over-the-road drivers make balancing work and family life -- and the sacrifices, too, those back home endure. Before we get there, though, Captain Jon Olsen of the Minnesota State Patrol offers some food for thought on the COVID-19 emergency declaration's exemption to the hours of service, still in place at least through the end of the month. He and colleagues note there seems to be a disconnect between those alo…
Feb 5, 2021
The best nanner pudding on I-75 -- and the custom restoration of this 1980 Kenworth W900A
In this edition of Overdrive Radio, take a tour down I-75 in Kentucky in search of an answer to the age-old question: Who has the best nanner pudding among the truck stops along that route, and which one of them was the first to advertise it on the CB? This week, we run back through some trucking micro-history with our own "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer via another edition in the Over the Road podcast series, originally produced by PRX’s Radiotopia in collaboration with us here at Overdrive. It’s a veritable caper of a episode, so hang on tight. Also in the podcast: A fairly moderate amount of snow in and around Evanston, Wyoming, this season has put a bit of a damper on business for the Dustbusters provider of road de-icers and stabilizers for dusty gravel roads. It hasn't, however, stopped work in the shop on a beauty of a daycab 1980 Kenworth W900A owner-operator Martin Herman has put in with this crew -- Dustbusters owner Craig Prete, shop foreman Cole Potter, mechanic Kipp Knigh…
Jan 29, 2021
Fuel's up, rates down, and this owner-op's growth determination in authority's 'honeymoon'
In April 2019. Kenyette Godhigh-Bell was a company driver at Grand Island Express. Our own "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer met her for the first time at the company headquarters in Nebraska when researching and recording for what would become the Over the Road podcast. If you’re a regular Overdrive Radio listener, you heard that episode and met Godhigh-Bell from that time. Part of the episodes featured the sound of a class intended for drivers at the company who were considering the decision to buy a truck themselves. It was no accident that Kenyette was in that class. About a year to the day later, she took the keys to a 2017 Freightliner Cascadia and leased on with small fleet B-F Trucking out of Plainfield, Ill.. Today, she's in what she calls a bit of a “honeymoon period” with her authority active since the beginning of the year, running short-haul loads from Amazon facility to Amazon facility in and around Atlanta, where she lived as a young woman and attended school -- though h…
Jan 22, 2021
The OTR 'Brief history of trucking in America' -- and this preserved 1978 Pete 352
For today’s episode of the Overdrive Radio podcast, brace for a long run through the history of trucking with former household-goods-hauling owner-operator Finn Murphy, also a well-versed student of that history. Murphy is interviewed and much of the story is narrated by Overdrive contributing writer and reefer hauler "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer. This brief history of trucking in America tracks the rise of the business from the 1920s up through today -– and the owner-operator's central role in it all. It was originally part of the Over the Road podcast series, Overdrive's 2020 coproduction with PRX's Radiotopia We’ll hear form a past wildcatter about, among other thing, the Allis Chalmers "Purple People Eater" engine in one of his trucks; from Murphy about his post-deregulation career, made possible in part by the 1980 Motor Carrier Act’s removal of barriers to entry that kept many new ventures out of non-agricultural freight markets; and about the rise of the Teamsters in regu…
Jan 18, 2021
Songs Of The Highway, No. 1: 'Wreck on the Mountain Road,' by the Red Fox Chasers
What was the first recorded trucking song? According to Todd Uhlman, an assistant professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio, “Wreck on the Mountain Road,” recorded by the Red Fox Chasers in 1928, may well have set the stage for many such songs to come. Such trivia is only a small part of what Uhlman academic specialty has uncovered -- he places trucking songs in the context of U.S. socio-cultural history, explaining how each song reflects something of the trucking industry and culture at the time of its release. This year, as Overdrive shares pieces of trucking history in weekly installments attendant to our 60th anniversary celebration, we’ll hear more from Uhlman in this new "Songs of the Highway" podcast series of shorts from Overdrive Radio, about a variety of important trucking songs -- some familiar, some not. The Chasers’ song “tells the real-life story of a trucker named Lonnie Brown who died in an accident on Bent Mountain in Southwest Virginia,” Uhlman wrote…
Jan 15, 2021
Inside an uptick in human smuggling via truck: Avoid unwitting participation, keep attention high
In this week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Chief Patrol Agent for the Laredo, Texas, sector Matthew Hudak has a message for the trucking community about what he’s seeing in the numbers since October 2020 when it comes to busted human smuggling operations. There's been a dramatic uptick in instances of drivers moving strange cargo in their dry van or reefer trailers -- actual human beings. In some cases, the drivers involved may have been initially hookwinked into participation in the schemes, though the red flags are what they are, and should be easy to spot for anyone recruited by a smuggling ring for the purpose. For the entirety of fiscal year 2020, ending September 30, Chief Hudak said 1,400 people were caught being smuggled in tractor-trailers. Since October, in just a short three and a half months, 51 separate busts involved more than 1,600 people, a sizable increase in real numbers, in just a fourth of the time. The image asso…
Jan 7, 2021
Trucking with authority and other reasons 'Why we drive' -- OTR rewind No. 2
A note for Overdrive Radio subscribers using some podcasting apps: We’ve got a new, redesigned website coming at http://OverdriveOnline.com – if you regularly listen via a podcasting app other than those offered by Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or Apple or Google podcasts, we’re transitioning to a different principle RSS feed for Overdrive Radio. If you need to in your app, you can update the settings with this feed URL and be certain to get all of the episodes going forward: https://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:63998864/sounds.rss In today's edition, we’re taking a run back through another episode of the Over the Road podcast series -- hopefully engrossing listening to take you through a long run and perhaps a little diversion from the political rancor of our chaotic time. This is episode 2 in the OTR series -- originally titled “Why We Drive.” Regular readers will know we produced Over the Road in collaboration with PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network, and…
Dec 31, 2020
Brass tacks, bad brokers, big loads to count down the hours with a long run into 2021
Happy New Year! For this final 2020 edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, Daniel and Phyllis Snow are here, as is Rico Muhammad and Joe DeLorenzo and Jim Mullen and all the owner-ops and government administrators and brokers and drivers and others we talked to this year. We’re going to hear from a lot of them as we tour back through this oh-so-chaotic and pivotal of years trucking in America. We’ll be counting down the top 10 podcasts of the year along the way, and hearing from some other editions besides, from chaos of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to the hours of service changes, the Biden election and more. Find a playlist of 14 shows, including that top 10 and a four-way tie for the 11th spot, in the Channel 19 blog post that houses this podcast: http://overdriveonline.com/channel19 There, you can hear in full any of the editions. Subscribe to Overdrive's newsletter for daily updates five days a week: http://overdriveonline.com/newsletter-signup
1 hr 7 min
Dec 23, 2020
Back to the 'Biggest Tailgate in Trucking' -- and Germann Soeth's 1976 KW K100
With this edition of the podcast, just two days out from Christmas, we’re starting a run back through a little high-quality road listening with Overdrive's podcast coproduction with PRX’s Radiotopia network. The Over the Road podcast ran originally between February and June 2020, and the principal eight-episode series was hosted by our own "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer. Therein, we hoped to give mainstream, general-public listeners an intimate portrait of the wide array of voices and issues emanating out of and hotly debated within the owner-operator community, also with clear portraits of the men and women doing the work of trucking. And while Over the Road was broadcast for a general listening audience, we did the best we could to accommodate the perspectives and needs of those who, like you, are on the inside of trucking. What emerged was an uncommon sort of end result -– less an explainer of trucking to the outsider than an exploration of the present through stories of the past…
Dec 18, 2020
Log annotations to avoid hours of service violations, new split sleeper, and more from FMCSA Q&A
Today's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast runs through the variety of hours of service issues addressed yesterday in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's third Q&A relative to the changes put in place as of Sept. 29. One particular question addressed a subject we've taken up before -- namely what happens if you need the 14-hour-clock pause value of a berth period to avoid a violation and you're inspected before you can pair that period with another berth period to complete the split. FMCSA Enforcement Director Joe DeLorenzo noted, and he has also said in the past, that officers are trained to the assumption that a second split will be completed, yet are assumptions enough to go on? You can always verbally make clear to an inspector your intentions to split, yet a contemporaneous annotation of any off-duty period you intend to begin a split pair could further underly those intentions, in my view. If you’re inspected prior to the next qualifying pair, it would give t…
Dec 11, 2020
OTR soundtrack custom-built for 2020: Paul Marhoefer's 'Songs from a truck'
The 11 tracks on Long Haul Paul Marhoefer's new "Songs from a Truck" album -- available now via the streaming platforms and on a CD you can order via http://longhaulpaulmusic.com/merch -- cap what’s been quite a year for Marhoefer, as most of you will know pretty well. He was the voice of the Overdrive/Radiotopia coproduction of the Over the Road podcast earlier this year, which reached millions of listeners both inside and out of trucking. His stories of hauling in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, too, turned no small number of your ears early on in the national panic that ensued -- and lately, too -- via his contributions to the Overdrive Extra blog, and Overdrive Radio. For me, though, this record, released with little promotional fanfare a couple months back, might be the crowning achievement. It follows the stellar “You Were a Good Hand” from a year ago, and comes at a time where its explorations of personal history and emotion will strike a chord for anyone struggling w…
Dec 4, 2020
Is it time to account for independent dispatch services in regulation?
The Transportation Intermediaries Association's August-filed petition is well-known for its request to FMCSA to essentially throw out the transparency reg in place since the early 1980s, and in other forms earlier than that. What's been discussed far less, however, is the second part of the broker group TIA's petition, that having to do with independent dispatchers. TIA asks the agency to provide formal guidance officially limiting dispatchers to working with just a single carrier and, in cases where they work with multiple carriers, require a broker authority and bond. For today's edition of Overdrive Radio, hear the voice one such independent dispatch service, the one-woman shop of Brittany Hamstreet's Brittany Dispatch business, headquartered in California, likewise the Brittany Dispatch customer owner-operator Brian Bent, who weighs in on just what it would mean to his business if additional regulatory requirements eventuated in Hamstreet no longer being available to negotiat…
Nov 27, 2020
Music, tales for the big road: John Malayter, Long Haul Paul, and bluegrass pro Tina Adair
In this week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, a little music and storytelling to take you through the weekend and into next, whether you're still off for Thanksgiving or on the road: **A tour through the Nashville session at Jay Vernali's Jay's Place studio on music row with our 2020 Trucker Talent Search winner, John Malayter. Hear the results of that session, as Malayter tells the stories behind four tracks any fan of folk-blues and bluegrass is likely to enjoy. The Jordan Carriers hauler, who lives in Rogersville, Tenn., picked up the guitar at a young age and learned to finger- and flat-pick, bluegrass-style, mostly self-taught, and has made music an integral part of his life for decades since. **Bluegrass pro Tina Adair talks through the June session that delivered the first single from a forthcoming, as yet untitled record, along with her performing and songwriting history in part with the Grammy-nominated and otherwise award-winning all-female bluegrass group Sister S…
Nov 20, 2020
What can owner-operators expect from a Biden administration?
For this edition of Overdrive Radio, we sat down with Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer and Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh in an attempt to forecast some answers to the question in the title. The conversation touched on potential Congressional and/or administrative initiatives around infrastructure (parking infrastructure being a principal component), interest (or not) things few in trucking want to see like insurance hikes and speed-limiter mandates, the recent and potentially further hours of service changes, the profile of the brokered freight transparency issue, and much more. Find further editions of Overdrive Radio via our Trucking Business playlist here on SoundCloud or via http://OverdriveOnline.com/OverdriveRadio Subscribe to Overdrive's newsletter for daily updates five days a week: overdriveonline.com/newsletter-signup
Nov 13, 2020
Double-brokered freight fraud: How to prevent, with a U.S. postal inspector who cracked case
Regular Overdrive readers may well recall the case of a William Hickey of Maryland last year -- Hickey was convicted of operating as a U.S. runner for a mostly overseas ring of identity thieves targeting both brokers and carriers in a double-brokering scheme that's sucking hundreds of thousands in freight payments out of trucking. In today's edition of Overdrive Radio, U.S. postal inspector Steve Cohen of the federal U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers clarity on how the scheme operates, and just what brokers and carriers can do to put a stop to it. As he well knows, Hickey's capture and conviction was just a blip -- as the scheme is still well in operation as thieves adapt. Given limitations on extradition in the countries where these rings operate, Cohen and his team, including local and state partners around the nation, are mostly limited themselves to targeting the money launderers operating here. Over the phone lines where the ID thieves ply their trade, though, it's you that c…
Nov 6, 2020
Where's the size 'sweet spot' for small fleets? And other insights into owner-op growth
Is there an ideal size for an owner-operator as he/she adds trucks, drivers and freight? The answer to that question is probably, well, "it depends." It's certain, though, that whether leased or independent with carrier authority, any owner is bound to reach a point where administrative and/or sales/operational demands outstrip his/her ability to handle everything -- and still haul. Cadle Trucking owner Ben Cadle is just about at that breaking point, and feels he may have reached his "sweet spot" of sorts at 11 full-time drivers and trucks in operation (12 if you count him and his "Joy Ride 3" cabover, too, though his hauling frequency seems less and less as time goes on). His fleet's size has doubled over the course of the last five years, and "I don't want any more trucks at this point, he said, “It gets to a certain point it’s like, 'Yeah, I’m good.'” As have so many small fleet operators I’ve talked to through the years, Cadle credits his drivers as the bedrock of his…
Oct 30, 2020
Listen back: FMCSA's brokered freight transaction transparency session
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s listening session on brokered freight transactions this past Wednesday, October 28, shone light from multiple viewpoints on regulation that today exists and that some feel is being circumvented by brokers to owner-operators', shippers' and the public's detriment. Others -- brokers, principally -- voice the view that the reg has outlived its usefulness and applicability in today's freight market. In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, track back through the entire session, with quite a lot of commentary from the broker side of the equation at the top, but with truckers further weighing in in roughly equivalent numbers as the session wears on. At issue specifically: three petitions, two to beef up the regulation requiring disclosure of all freight charges on both sides of a brokered transaction, another to remove the reg entirely. 49 Code of Federal Regulations 371.3(c) is the part of the broker regulations at principal issue…
1 hr 16 min
Oct 23, 2020
Sell service, haul value -- word to the wise of the next generation, from longtime independent
An owner-operator's over-reliance on the path of least resistance to freight will like as not get him/her in trouble in a down market, notes longtime independent Artie Daniel, out of McKinney, Virginia. Not that he doesn't understand the attraction of today's online marketplaces and the speed and convenience they offer for freight. But he's built his business over time and through the years with a mind on serving a customer (whether broker or shipper) toward building a solid connection, with close communication and more. "You've got to build relationships with people who you can trust, to make it work," he said. If you don't have that, "you're at their mercy." Plenty more from Daniel's history and about his 1982 Kenworth W900A, bought a few years ago from an original owner who'd put only scant miles on the unit over decades as his personal truck.
Oct 16, 2020
The day an ELD mandate protestor and ELD provider visited the White House to talk brokers
The title of this Overdrive Radio podcast sounds a little like the set-up for an inside-baseball joke of sorts, but for owner-operator Mike Landis and Ezlogz head and former owner-op C.J. Karman, that day was a serious one indeed. Directly and indirectly in a variety of ways, its culimination of the three-week Mayday-begun protest vigil outside the White House has had material effects in terms of getting the conversation going around enforcement and potential enhancement of the 49 CFR 371.3 transparency requirement for brokers when other parties in a freight transaction request it. Here, Landis and Karman nonetheless narrate the story of how the two came to be on the same page in talks over the issue with the White House chief of staff in May 2020. FMCSA recently extended the comment period on three petitions and the transparency regulation in general through November 18. Find a link to where you can comment at Regulations.gov directly in this recent coverage of the extension: https:…
Oct 7, 2020
ELDs giving wrong impression to operators about short-split pause value
Answers to several hours of service questions in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, including: 1. Can I use a three-hour nap and not get penalized on it in the 14-hour rule? 2. How do you log a 20-load back and forth load/unload trip where there's scantly a mile between load/unload sites? 3. To use split sleeper, does it matter if the shorter period is longer than three hours? Is the pause value for the duty clock still there? Also: a peculiarity of some ELDs that makes it seem as if the shorter of the sleeper/off-duty periods hasn't changed much at all when it comes to the ability to pause the 14-hour clock, and one provider's efforts to improve the split experience in their app. Bonus: Several voices -- and plenty horns -- from 'That's a Big 10-4 on D.C.' on the National Mall October 2 in D.C.
Sep 25, 2020
Final review: Hours of service changes recap, detailed explanation with FMCSA
Are you ready for September 29? In this edition of Overdrive Radio, we’re diving into the specifics of the hours of service changes going into effect on that date with FMCSA's Joe DeLorenzo, something of a recap from our GATS Week session in late August a month ago, for the podcast audience. The talk centers on the new flexibilities, the particulars of just what constitutes off-duty time for an owner-operator, a variety of scenarios posed by those who were participating live in the discussion, and much more about the rule. Will roadside inspectors be ready? Will ELD providers? Are you? The original presentation DeLorenzo gave was broadcast with a few slides that it’s pretty easy to follow along with if you have them. You can download them here: https://www.overdriveonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2020/09/FMCSA-HOS-Outreach-Slides-Final-2020-09-25-11-43.pdf
Sep 22, 2020
Custom cabover emerges as tribute to a driver's pride, from former Viking hauler
Owner-operators across the country probably remember the LTL doubles and triples hauler Viking Freight, before a buyout by FedEx folded the company under the FedEx Freight umbrella with another, American Freightways, in the early part of this century. A special treat for you today in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast with Steve Sprenger, a commercial real estate broker for the last couple of decades following work in trucking with about a decade hauling for Viking from the mid-1980s. Sprenger's finally concluded what’s been a decade-and-then-some-long project in a full custom restoration of a 1983 single-drive-axle Kenworth cabover, a former Viking Freight truck he found in a yard in Northern California. Enlisting the initial help of NorCal Kenworth to make sure the rig was roadworthy for a trip back to his home area in Southern California those years ago, detail work commenced and took on a life of its own over time. The end result is a fitting tribute, he believes, to a c…
Sep 11, 2020
Hear the 2020 Trucker Talent Search -- and intro'ing Jason Keeler's custom shop
You can catch the performances also in video via OverdriveOnline.com or at http://youtube.com/overdrivemag -- herein find audio of the entire show, building to Tennessee-based John Malayter performing his own "Take Me Back to Tennessee" for the win. Before we take a run through all the performances, including fellow talent search finalists Freddy French and Paul Cullers, "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer returns to the podcast mic, as it were, via a 2019 interview with Keeler Custom Truck Restoration owner-operator Jason Keeler of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, detailing his history and one spectacular 1950 Kenworth W923. At podcast's end: A couple minutes’ worth of KTA600 Cummins-powered 1950 Kenworth action. Enjoy it, and thanks to Paul Marhoefer and Jason Keeler for the audio.
Sep 4, 2020
How to manage for downside risk in turbulent trucking times
This year has no doubt been a wild ride in any number of different ways for every one of you, I’m guessing. Whether you’re leased to a carrier and newly dealing with regular customers’ facility restrictions and the necessity of new personal protective equipment on-site or at once routinely familiar and now sometimes ever-stranger-seeming truck stops along regular routes. Maybe you’re an independent who’s experienced the topsy-turvy rate situation along with that, from the highest of highs of late and those lowest of lows in April and May. Whatever your individual case, there's something for you in this talk with our own contributing writer Gary Buchs and well-known satellite radio host and fellow owner-operator coach Kevin Rutherford in large part on best practices in a time like the present. How can an owner-operator effectively manage the business when future market prospects are basically a crapshoot? Plenty of answers, here. Many of them re-emphasize tried-and-true busin…
Aug 26, 2020
Trucker Talent Search preview -- the performers, their hauling histories and songs
So much can come from a song, and its connection to the work that its writer or performer does otherwise. The culture forged and re-forged by the connections between the individual performers who've taken part in Overdrive's Trucker Talent Search over the years, and hopefully those among you who have the opportunity to really make a similar connection with them through their work, well … for this podcaster's money, this effort since its very first year has always felt in a way perhaps the most meaningful work I’ve been involved in at Overdrive. We all hope it thrives for the foreseeable future, and that you’re a part of it. Tune in on Overdrive's Facebook page -- http:;//facebook.com/OverdriveTrucking -- Friday, August 28, at 7 p.m. Central for the final performance from Talent finalists Freddy French, Paul Cullers and John Malayter, bookended by some extra entertainment from these trucking-music leading lights, both past Talent Search participants in a variety of ways themselve…
Aug 21, 2020
One Big Cam-powered 1970 KW's long transformation -- and the value of inspections
With the Brake Safety Week upcoming August 23-29, tank doubles-pulling independent Martin Herman, based in Wyoming, is sure to be ready. In this edition of Overdrive Radio, we talk inspections, for sure, but more so his half-century-old 1970 Kenworth needlenose W925, quite an exceptional rig. Herman regular Overdrive readers may well recall as the owner-op who engineered replacement parts and even used a turbo from a Cummins N14 to retrofit to the Big Cam 3 that powered the KW. Since we last checked in with Herman, that motor is no more, as you’ll hear. ... Hear more in the podcast, and find pictures of the unit via http://overdriveonline.com/channel19
Aug 6, 2020
Hauling smart -- and high, wide and ugly -- with Owner-Operator of the Year Kevin Kocmich
The complications that can be brought on by any overdimensional load’s permitted complexity are many, and extend to the routes those permits send you on, of course. The bigger or heavier the load gets, the more circuitous and lengthy the route, often enough. It can make for a cumbersome process when it comes to weighing whether the price of any load is worth the effort and cost put in. Owner-Operator of the Year Kevin Kocmich has mastered such deliberations over his decades in business. For more on his operation, listen to this podcast or find our May cover story on heavy specialized hauling via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/big-equipment-loads-pay-specialized-heavy-hauling/
Jul 13, 2020
'We're supposed to be in this thing together': Level 3 inspection advice with Kansas trooper
You read a little about this week's podcast subject last week, likely, with reporting around the Operation Safe Driver Week traffic-enforcement event (focused on motorists as well as professional operators) ongoing as we speak. Namely -- the Level 3 inspection and Kansas Highway Patrol trooper and Public Information Officer Nick Wright, whose advice related to how to prep for an inspection was delivered in this conversation from early March. He and I were talking in the context of the three-day Roadcheck inspection event, then scheduled for early May, where the full Level 1 driver and vehicle inspection is what often enough is the focus of the event. Before it was postponed, though, CVSA had named the theme of the annual event as driver-related violations, from medical certification status to ELDs and hours of service – the things hit on by those Level 3 inspections. That just so happens to also be the inspection level most likely to accompany any roadside stop, which the Operation…
Jul 2, 2020
'Twice as good': Rico Muhammad on race-related opportunity barriers, trucking and otherwise
In the first part of this two-part podcast, owner-operator and Rates & Lanes Podcast cohost Rico Muhammad detailed his views on policing issues and his personal experiences with unjustified actions throughout his life. In part 2, a discussion of opportunity barriers that exist for many in African-American communities where, as Muhammad says, kids are often counseled they must be "twice as good" as white counterparts to achieve the same level of success. Cynical though the adage may be, the truth of the matter is closer to the notion that there's work left to be done by all of us in living up to the everyone's-created-equal ideal enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, when it comes to opportunity. Find Part 1 of this series via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/difficult-conversations-race-in-trucking-u-s-culture-owner-op-rico-muhammad/
Jun 25, 2020
Having the 'difficult conversations': Race in trucking, wider U.S. culture with Rico Muhammad
Atlanta-based Rico Muhammad regulat listeners may well recall from past Overdrive Radio editions covering a variety of issues, from electronic logging device choices ahead of the mandate back in 2017 to a variety of other business topics. Muhammad's also the host of a weekly audio program in the Rate & Lanes podcast available via http://BlogTalkRadio.com/rates. In this week's Overdrive Radio, Muhammad speaks to the movement that's gathered steam nationally in response to killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, in addition to a rash of deaths of African-American citizens in the hands of police around the nation, among other atrocities. He details some of his own experiences as an African-American when it comes to police interactions -- from the first but not only time he had a gun pulled on him by an officer, when he was just a boy in his early teens, to today's much more smooth though not always pleasant routine interactions at scale houses that all operators deal with in varying de…
Jun 3, 2020
Transparency in high demand, though seldom formally sought: Part 2 with broker Paul Berman
What does East Coast Transport Vice President of Logistics Paul Berman think about all the talk around potentially new requirements for freight-transaction transparency, and the existing regs? That was, after all, partly the question Berman joined me for this two-part edition of Overdrive Radio to answer to begin with. The answer is complicated, and involves honest questioning of the utility of after-the-load rate transparency for any owner-operator and more. What's not so complicated is Berman's answer to the question of just how his own company handles right-to-review requests under 49 CFR 371.3, the current reg that requires brokers to make records, including the brokerage fees assessed to the shipper, available to carriers upon request. That regulation, and the potential for its enforcement outside of carrier, broker and shipper contracts, played a big part in May’s protest actions by truckers in D.C., of course. And the existence of contract language in some instances requiri…
May 29, 2020
Part 1: Transparency, history, strategy from the other side of the fence with a food-industry broker
View from the broker, Part 1. East Coast Transport's logistics VP Paul Berman has been around trucking, and particularly the food-freight side of things, since the 1970s and also happens to be a former owner-operator himself. He sat down with Overdrive Radio for an expansive talk on the history of brokerage in trucking and the evolution of the spot market into a sort of market-within-a-market, with plenty of downsides when pursued to the exclusion of tried-and-true strategies toward business relationships built on mutual trust, fairness and need. As the current crisis has done so much to expose bad actors among brokerages and spur a push for greater fairness, Berman emphasizes that there are plenty good guys out there among brokers, and owner-operators would do well to spend personal capital on setting up for the long haul. It's the regular partners who will sustain you through the next downturn, no doubt. In Part 2 next week, we'll talk with Berman about how current transparency regs…
May 26, 2020
Sleeper splits toward 'Knights of the Highway' Revival? Trucker and author Ed Miller's new memoir
A longer talk here with Maryland-headquartered Ed Miller, now retired from trucking and the author of a memoir called “A Trucker’s Tale: Wit, Wisdom and True Stories from 60 Years on the Road.” It’s an intimate portrait of a life lived in trucking, from a kid in Western North Carolina changing tires for his father and grandfather’s trucking company, to the driver’s seat himself stateside and in Vietnam as a Navy Seabee, to managing shipper relationships and/or operation back in this or that trucking-company office or terminal. First, though, at the top, a few more readers’ responses to the hours of service final rule that FMCSA announced not quite two weeks ago. Caller look on changes to the split sleeper rules as advantageous to safety, given the ability now of the shorter period in the split to stop the 14-hour clock as long as it’s at least two hours long, according to the text of the rule itself. Miller, ultimately, hopes new changes might bring about more ability t…
May 15, 2020
D.C., transparency, hours changes and more with independent Bryan Hutchens
This edition features a talk with Generations Express independent owner-operator Bryan Hutchens, and we’ll get to how he feels about the hours of service changes released just yesterday and set to go into effect es early as September. Regular listeners and Overdrive readers may well remember Hutchens from an organizing role he assumed with others around last year’s That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C. outreach effort on the National Mall in October. The last couple of months, he’s seen business slow down a good bit, as have so many, and sold the business’s second truck, a 2007 model, early in the pandemic period, reducing costs. His insurance renewal came up, too, and his agent was able to shop coverage around and found insurers rather aggressively competing with each other – he got a substantial reduction, so maybe, just maybe there’s a bright spot in all this. The owner-operator spent parts of Tuesday and Wednesday this week in D.C. with his 1996 Peterbilt 379 and 53-foot step dec…
May 1, 2020
Words to truck by: 'You will never, ever come out ahead running at a loss’
Owner-operators Daniel and Phyllis Snow have been off the road refusing to run at a loss for going on a month now as rates and available freight volumes have fallen. The crisis spurred by the COVID-19 coronavirus' spread, though, comes after a rough year of its own. To put everything in context, Daniel says, on the same miles run in 2019, the Snows were able to gross only around 60 percent of revenue they brought in 2013. Market deterioration has been the rule the past year, and they're not the only independent owner-op carriers who feel like the spot market is just broken. The pair have been in spend-reduction mode as they try to hold on for some return.
Apr 24, 2020
Questionable offer of easy money 'without asking for any business equity'
Questionable offer of easy money 'without asking for any business equity' by Overdrive
Apr 17, 2020
A tough week's diversion with music, trucking in pursuit of truth
In what has been perhaps the toughest week for trucking as an owner-operator in the last decade, this edition of Overdrive Radio offers some diversion via an interview with Haley Fohr of Chicago-based "Jackie Lynn," whose new record proceeds from a conception of the character for whom the band is named as a long-hauler with a particularly spectacular rig -- a mirrored vessel that carries the weight of the world it inhabits. The record, called "Jacqueline," is the group's second, among Fohr's other songwriting/performing projects. Also: Our own "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer offers two of his pensive, funny, and sometimes moving dispatches from the COVID-19 road, happy for the grocery, food and beverage loads but facing near impossible decisions in other ways ...
Apr 10, 2020
Do the hard work now: COVID-19 business, health support insights
Nearing the end of the first week of the SBA disaster-assistance loan programs available to owner-operators, insight in this Overdrive Radio edition from longtime owner-operator and now trucking-business coach Gary Buchs. In a time like this, look ahead to the relationships that you need to establish -- whether with a health-care provider, a broker or shipper customer, and indeed as Buchs suggests, a bank … those relationships you’ll need to be able to leverage when times get tough again. If you don’t have those relationships now, there’s no time like the present to establish them. You may not be able to meet face to face with your banker in the right here, right now, but pick up the phone and get things start. More detail here on both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Disaster Injury loans, variously forgiveable, now standing up and available.
Apr 1, 2020
Follow the orange ribbon to Logan's lunch for truckers, at I-79 W.Va. rest area -- and more support
Special thanks to 13-year-old Logan Miller in this April Fool's Day edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, no kidding. Miller is the young man I wrote a little about on Friday, who's been serving sack lunches in appreciation of professional drivers at the I-79 rest area in West Virginia, southbound side just inside the Pennsylvania state line. Logan Miller has partnered on an "Orange Ribbon Campaign" with the folks at Trucks With Room to Spare, and attempt to promote the use of orange ribbons by businesses and individuals offering various measures of direct support to owner-operators and other drivers out there who need it in these times out on the road. Logan is the son of West Virginia-based owner-operator Jason Miller, who's been trucking through the COVID-19 crisis leased to Mercer Transportation with his International. Hear more about the Orange Ribbon Campaign, and when you can expect Logan lunch to be back available on I-79 in the near future, in this week's podcast.
Mar 25, 2020
'This thing is on': Methods amid the mess, madness around COVID-19
Three examples of a new intensity of appreciation not only of professional drivers amid the COVID-19 crisis, but also from the professionals for those out there on the road with them in support, from fuel desk personnel to sanitary workers and so many more. Interviews: Ingrid Brown on hauling produce in and out of Hunt's Pont. Paul Marhoefer narrates the first two weeks' worth of the virus spread and the hoarding that's come with it.
Mar 13, 2020
Professional appreciation, and more on an owner-op-designed solar aux power system
Owner-operator Chad Fowler's "Solar Peterbilt" 1996 379 springs from a motivation more owner-operators are acting on with the increasing availability of relatively affordable solar panels, whether like Fowler's of the type built for stationary use or the more flexible variety built for mobile application. A look on his mostly maintenance-free power system (a big step forward from diesel APU-type power, Fowler believes, in that respect) and a message of appreciation from a purchasing and receiving staffer out in Spokane, Wash., a result of the Overdrive collaboration with PRX's Radiotopia podcast network on Over the Road. Hear those episodes via http://overtheroad.fm or at Overdrive's website starting with Episode 1: https://www.overdriveonline.com/over-the-road-episode-1-biggest-tailgate-trucking/
Feb 25, 2020
In defense of truckers? FMCSA Chief Jim Mullen on hours, nuclear verdicts, more in Charlotte talk
Speaking to a gathering of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association last week in Charlotte, N.C., while digging in on a view that the ELD mandate is a safety-positive rule, FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen made it clear he believed the flawed rigidity of the hours rules needed significant modification for drivers, and trumpeted the agency's efforts to promote the true safety-plus image of trucking as we know it. Such efforts could help stem the tide of so-called "nuclear verdicts" sought by ambulance-chasing lawyers from carriers large and small unlucky enough to be involved in most any crash, whether at fault or not. Along the way, Mullen revealed viewpoints on other trucking subjects, including the CSA program, that some owner-operators will at the least find familiar, if not exactly laudatory. His talk, annotated by Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills, here.
Feb 12, 2020
For the love of ... Patty the traveling road dog, with owner-op Rob Goodwin
Let’s hear it for the self-described "door-swinger," everybody. That’d be current reefer hauler and former and still sometime step-decker and flatbedder Rob Goodwin, based up in the Texas panhandle and today running leased to a very small carrier. We'll hear how he got there, following some years running a small fleet with his authority, a run-in with a bad broker that cost him well north of 10 grand, and plenty business recalibration back to a one-truck affair. The last two years, too, he's found what might be the greatest ride-along companion a dog lover could ask for in his Patty the Traveling Road Dog. Also in the podcast: Introducing Overdrive's collaboration with PRX's Radiotopia podcast network -- "Over the Road," debuting Feb. 20. Catch the audio trailer with Long Haul Paul Marhoefer here. Visit http://overtheroad.fm to subscribe.
Jan 31, 2020
$50 and a little install work could save your life: Trucker Scott Carlson's close call
The voice of trucker Scott Carlson dominates this week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, detailing a little piece of equipment he’s got in his truck, as do the rest of the trucks in the fleet he's driven for for 17 years out of New York state. This little device, he knows, likely saved his life last week. The equipment? A simple carbon monoxide detector. An exhaust leak from his diesel-powered APU happened to have broken in the exact wrong spot, just below a vent for fresh cab air. Fortunately for him, the fleet’s trucks had been outfitted years earlier with detectors (Safe-T-Alert by RV-centric manufacturer MTI Industries) hardwired for power from the trucks' batteries and mounted low on the sleeper wall down near where Carlson lays his head when asleep -- recommended for these kinds of applications. The company's fleetwide investment in the units followed a leased owner-operator]s similar situation, though caused by a leak in the truck's primary exhaust system, that sen…
Jan 24, 2020
How former heavy-haul owner-op and current fuel hauler Lonnie Laurie became the 'one-armed bandit'
It wasn't a result of the kind of accident we most think about when it comes to hauling freight on the highways -- rather, it involved a set of monster trucks then-owner-operator Lonnie Laurie ran in rallies, the "Michigan Ice Monster" and "Neighborhood Nightmare," as they were known. Airing up a flat on one of them after an event Memorial Day weekend in 1994, the worst happened, as you'll hear him tell the story in this week's edition of Overdrive Radio. Periodically now, he says, "some people call me the 'one-armed bandit.'" Undeterred by now being without his right arm, Laurie, in his 20s at the time of the accident, went on to haul as an owner-operator out of his native Quincy, Michigan, for some time serving the auto industry with a Landoll tilt trailer, then with a move to Minnesota eventually launching a lawn care and landscaping business that morphed into an excavating and heavy-haul fleet of 12 trucks. Today, he says, he's found a long-term work home hauling fuel from an Arizo…
Jan 15, 2020
Truckers together in pursuit of victories over child abuse
The notion in the title of this podcast is, at least, the goal of Western Flyer Express founder Rodney Timms, based in Oklahoma and also the founder of the All Truckers Together Against Child Abuse org. In this week's edition of Overdrive Radio, find Timms' impassioned plea to the trucking community to join his effort in pursuit of victories large and small in a fight against child abuse, which is ultimately quite personal for him. As Christenson-leased owner-operator and regular Overdrive Extra Clifford Petersen memorably told his own and part of Timms' story some months back, Rodney Timms has written about his experience growing up in an abusive situation in a book call "My Three Angles." He details part of that, including an incident when he was 15 and his own father beat him within an inch of his life on the roadside of an Oklahoma highway, in this week's podcast, with further detail of how he came to start the organization two years back.
Jan 7, 2020
Whose 'Autonomy'? The independent owner-operator and tech skeptic featured in new film
As with advancing driver-assist techs in chaotic on-highway situations and wild weather, perhaps, the real world intrudes on podcast recordings, too. While I spoke with Walkabout Transport independent Debbie Desiderato about her brief appearance in a documentary film on, and her skepticism about, the advancements in driver assist technologies, her dog Bubba was startled by a deer or other animal near the Virginia home she keeps today. Hear him bark toward the tail end of the audio, where we also ask: Ever had your business impersonated by a scammer with a broker? Desiderato and a vigilant broker recently had just such an experience. How such a scam runs: An individual misrepresents him- or herself as an independent to a broker in hopes of getting the load and a fuel advance, then disappearing into the ether. If you've ever been involved in an investigation of such a scam, leave a message on our podcast line at 530-408-6423 -- we'd love to hear from you about the experience.
Dec 27, 2019
Countdown through a parking shortage, tech surge, truck boot ... 2019's Top 10 episodes
Let’s get ready to say goodbye to 2019 on the Overdrive Radio podcast. Christmas is in the books and, soon, so will be the year, so we’re taking a trip down memory lane via the top 10 most-listened-to episodes of Overdrive Radio this year, with some honorable mentions, too, covering a boatload of ground all told: From trucking history to shutdowns and slow rolls, parking and booting, the ELD mandate and hours of service, small fleet business, working the spot market and so much more ... Bonus at the end: A special little sing-along with "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer. Run through the full top ten podcasts (in reverse order) via this link to a playlist rounding them up: https://soundcloud.com/overdriveradio/sets/2019-year-in-review-the-top-10
1 hr 6 min
Dec 20, 2019
How to get more time for a malfunctioning ELD, entry level training redux, more
In this edition of Overdrive Radio, listener Regi Rinear wonders at the risk for a company or leased operator of running with paper logs when ELDs are required, with little assurance that support personnel had done what was necessary to, if ultimately needed, extend the eight-day period FMCSA gives any carrier and/or driver experiencing an ELD malfunction. Herein: How to get that grace-period extension. Also: More on the Entry Level Training Rule and its likely delay with operator Scott Hainline, who was trained twice, in entirely different trucking eras, bookended by a career in law enforcement. For our previous talk with Hainline: https://www.overdriveonline.com/with-training-rule-delay-in-the-offing-operator-scott-hainline-compares-own-70s-2010s-training/
Dec 13, 2019
The methodical tour, by 'Choice,' from corporate America to a small flatbed fleet
Fredrick "Choice M.A.S." Claxton of New York caught the trucking bug on a two-wheeled cross-country tour on a Suzuki street bike, no less. His friends told him he was crazy at the time, as he notes some truckers will now for a preference for the challenge, for instance, of crowded I-95 in the Northeast, or the curves and ups and downs of Rocky Mountain roads out West. He set his mind to making a move, after that big cross-country trip, from work with one of most recognizable names in apparel to where he eventually landed today, three years and some months later, with small fleet I-65 Transport, based in Indiana. He runs with a flatbed behind him in a Peterbilt, and has his sights set on a future in trucking, and bringing others along with him in success. Hear more in this Overdrive Radio edition, too, and his and colleagues' Truckers Feeding the Homeless support initiative, with another outreach event planned for July in Baltimore. Read more about the organization's past efforts viahtt…
Dec 6, 2019
Training rule delay in the offing, operator Scott Hainline compares own '70s, 2010s training
Yes, we've heard from the off-the-record sources, too. With the training rule delay set to be made official any day now, operator Scott Hainline of Illinois notes he's just as hopeful as other operators for real safety improvement with training practices standardization –- at least when it comes to raising the bar for minimum standards. His perspective is interesting because he was initially trained back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As with so many owner-operators starting out during that time and even up through the present day in some cases, Hainline learned through an informal apprenticeship with a fuel hauler in his area, which you’ll hear more about in the conversation that follows here. By the early 1990s, though, he’d left trucking behind for a career in law enforcement, retiring just several years ago, whereupon he decided to re-enter trucking. What he found upon retraining for his CDL with a community-college program, though, he felt lacked in several different are…
Nov 28, 2019
Talent Search winner Taylor Barker's new musical bonds; Brumbach Stephens hauls one giant tree
in this edition of Overdrive Radio we’re talking music, and the Capitol Christmas Tree haul, and a recording session that happened November 23 in Nashville. Kingsport, Tenn.-based owner-operator Taylor Barker won this year’s edition of Overdrive’s own Trucker Talent Search, held annually at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Part of the prize for the big win is a recording session at Jay’s Place in Nashville on Music Row, with longtime producer-engineer and session player himself Jay Vernali. “It's Saturday night on Music Row,” as Jay set the scene -- where the magic happens, as it were. A window here into Taylor Barker's history in music and trucking, and the singer-songwriter's plans for the recording. Also: Brumbach Stephens on his experience piloting the final third of the haul of this Capitol Christmas Tree in a specially wrapped KW W990. Brumbach, a former small fleet owner-operator now principally in sales with Wilbanks Trucking, spelled out some of the deta…
Nov 21, 2019
Occupied vehicle booting: No, it does not happen to cars; More 10-4 voices
As Michigan-based small fleet owner Leander Richmond said in the last edition of Overdrive Radio. No, it doesn’t happen to drivers of cars, it does not happen to campers – it does, often enough, happen to truckers. He was talking about the phenomenon of private-lot or other booting of trucks in which drivers are sleeping, most often during federally mandated rest periods, of course. As so many of you likely saw last week with a report from a Dandridge, Tenn., Speedway fuel-stop location, that can include tow trucks hooked up to you while you rest, with a fee required to unhook. Richmond, as he noted in the last podcast, believes there should be a prohibition on booting or hooking to an occupied vehicle in this manner, and it’s a subject we’ll be covering in more depth in a later issue of Overdrive. For now, in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast some sound piece of advice before parking in any spot where you have doubt about the possibility of a tow-hook or boot in your…
Nov 8, 2019
The truck booting trap, and one small fleet owner's crusade for a solution
Small fleet owner Leander Richmond's efforts to fight the egregious practice of booting trucks when drivers are asleep in the bunk have been written about before -- he's been successful when booters violate local ordinances that govern their businesses, or in one recent case he details here didn’t even have a contract with a particular property owner to be doing what he was doing on the property. Local and/or state laws around booting and towing vary considerably, as he’s most certainly found in his efforts to raise awareness among truckers and law enforcement about the more predatory boots in that business. Here, what he sees as a possible solution to a problem exacerbated by the ELD mandate and its parking-related ripple effects along all manner of routes around the nation. Picture of Richmond here by Denise Marhoefer. Also in the podcast: A window into one of the conversations with participants in "That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C.," which happened early last month on the National Ma…
Oct 29, 2019
'Highways and heart attacks' to trucker Will Beeley's place in the American songbook
Thanks to the Tompkins Square record label and the man behind the voice you hear in the song at the top here, Will Beeley. Beeley's new “Highways and Heart Attacks” record is the singer-songwriter and hazmat pressurized tank hauler's third. Today, Beeley lives in New Mexico, with roots in Texas. His story in music reaches back to his youth in the late 1960s, runs through an iconic record label in Jackson, Mississippi and extends on up into the present day, with his new record following 40 years after his last, called “Passing Dream.” Nashville-based music writer Edd Hurt views that 1979 slab as an overlooked classic in the American songbook. On this edition of Overdrive Radio, take a run through parts of Edd Hurt’s and my own interviews with Beeley attendant to a special treat in the day to day of this trucking-business writer back in September. Beeley was in Nashville performing attendant to Americana fest.
Oct 18, 2019
No ‘crystal ball’ for FMCSA’s post-Martinez future; Jason Lee Wilson live in a cave
There's a new record forthcoming for 2016 Trucker Talent Search winning singer-songwriter Jason Lee Wilson, due in the new year. It's dubbed, simply, "Tennessee," and it's title track is an appreciation of home for the East Tennessee resident. He performed it as part of a three-song set at The Caverns venue in Pelham, Tenn., current home of the Bluegrass Underground television program -- you can hear it, and hear more about just where the song and the album are coming from, in today's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast. Also there, a talk with trucker/singer-songwriter Tony Justice about his recent performance in quite a nontraditional venue for many artists -- though not exactly for Justice himself: Bristol Motor Speedway, where he gave a post-race infield show for attendees of the Bandit Series big-rig-racing finale (congrats once again to Ricky "Rude" Proffitt for the season points championship). He also speaks to ongoing advocacy efforts of Trucker Nation, an organization he c…
Oct 10, 2019
VP undercover in a large carrier's training program; Voices From 10-4 D.C.
Pam Wilson hired on with Utah-based large fleet C.R. England about a year ago as vice president of process development. That’s something of a fancy way of saying she was brought in with hopes of improving parts of the company that support those who make the it tick – that’s truck drivers, of course. At the time of Wilson’s hiring, as Aaron Huff wrote in Overdrive sister fleet publication CCJ earlier this year, among the large number of company-employed drivers that make up the over-the-road division (accounting for around 80 percent of the entire company’s drivers), “the large majority of its OTR drivers are in the process of completing the company’s 90-day training program after they have earned a CDL.” That represents a lot of turnover. Figuring out how to better set those new drivers up for success could pay dividends long-term, no doubt, company executives knew. The goal, as Wilson puts it, is to be a better safety net as a company, particularly important for those…
Oct 2, 2019
California independent contractor fallout: 'Two-check' employee/contractor pay system explored
There's been more chatter about the old "two-check" system of pay for owner-operators contracted to carriers in the last year and more as fleets of all shapes and sizes in California or with California-based independent contractor owner-ops ponder what approach to take to preserve relationships with business relationships with owner-ops in the wake of the state's codification of the so-called "ABC" independent contractor classification test. California's newly passed bill establishes that test as the go-to one when determining the appropriateness of the independent contractor classification for workers in all manner of sectors and operations, trucking included. Unless there’s clear action in courts or something else that happens legislatively in the state, that will become the law of the land there the first month of next year. Though the two-check employee/contractor hybrid system for owner-operators is something a "dinosaur" in trucking today, some believe it could hold promise in…
Sep 20, 2019
'Truck parking only': Working together toward a new get-in reality
The need for greater parking capacity, well-managed, throughout the nation is no secret. The need along Texas lanes was the subject of the lively discussion Overdrive held at the Great American Trucking Show last month, devoted to parking. In today’s podcast, you’ll get a full window into that discussion, aimed at engaging with Texas DOT freight planning branch manager Sherry Pifer and others from the agency as they re-evaluate their own approach to marshalling public resources and create partnership with private companies toward parking improvement. The discussion could well provide a model toward engaging with other states, too. Along the way you’ll hear from a multitude of owner-operators, drivers and other drivers in attendance, as well as owner-operator Ingrid Brown, Clark Freight Lines driver Jack Smith and former owner-op Scott Grenerth, who moderated the discussion. Grenerth, as regular listerners will know, is part of the Truck Specialized Parking Service company.
Sep 16, 2019
After the accident: First-responder superheroes, coping resources, first-person perspective
Overdrive Radio's rebroadcast of the Trucking Solutions Group's "accident-awareness" conference call, with interviews about the impetus for the event with owner-ops Vince Crisanti and Shane Rizzuto. Both operators were motivated in part by personal experience with crashes on the roadways, and hopeful that "anyone who touches a seatbelt" could benefit from the input of firefighter, police and water rescue first-responders who presented. Also: Resources for dealing with the personal aftermath of any major accident, with some first-person stories of coping from more than one trucker and family member. One comes from Monica Stevens, widow of Harry Pierce, pictured with his ridealong dog, Blue, who survived Pierce's tragic crash.
Sep 6, 2019
Engineering realities v. hyperactive marketing: The 'driverless' trucking future explored
Something a little different on Overdrive Radio today – the podcast will transport you like so many futuristic teleporting time machines to a Thursday, Aug. 22, panel at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. That panel was all about the notion of a “driverless” truck and where drivers really fit in as such a thing gets closer to real. Find a brief contemporaneous report from the panel, a discussion with Starsky Robotics' Paul Schlegel and Pronto's Ognen Stojanovski, via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/drivers-role-in-driverless-trucks-explored-in-gats-panel/
Aug 29, 2019
Trucker Talent Search: The performances; And more on hours amid comment period
In this Overdrive Radio podcast edition, run through the performances by competing truckers Jason Henley, "Mississippi Ken" Freeman and the ultimate talent search winner, Taylor Barker, live from the Great American Trucking Show a week ago. Also: A warm-up three-song act by Paul Marhoefer and Tony Justice's homespun emcee-ing of the event, an ongoing anchor among the community of musicians who also happened to haul freight on the open road, or vice versa, as it were. Thirdly: Near the top, a brief talk with Pennsylvania-based owner-operator Mike Landis, also of the United States Transportation Alliance, about his view of the FMCSA's hours of service proposal, including a bit of clarification of how the rule views computation of the split-sleeper options it's proposing.
Aug 28, 2019
Special edition: FMCSA's GATS hours of service listening session
If you missed the Great American Trucking Show or the FMCSA's webcast last week, you can sit in on the first hour and more of the hours of service listening session held at GATS in Dallas Aug. 23, 2019, via this special presentation of Overdrive Radio. This was the first listening session held by the FMCSA following its introduction of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that offered some changes to truckers aimed at increasing both safety and some measure of flexibility for drivers. Two significant elements of that were revisions to split-sleeper-berth regs as well as the proposal to allow up to a three-hour pause to the 14-hour duty clock daily with an off-duty mid-period break. Read more about the proposed changes via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/stop-the-clock-proposed-hours-of-service-overhaul-would-allow-drivers-to-pause-14-hour-clock/
1 hr 13 min
Aug 24, 2019
18 years old and hauling in 1917; Leon Everette, Long Haul Paul from GATS
Wednesday night in Dallas, classic country star and gospel singer Leon Everette, with trucker-songwriter Bill Weaver, started us up with a sound-check of sorts that turned into an impromptu extended jam -- you'll hear some of that and more in this week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast. (Paul Marhoefer, too.) And though the news has been dominated this week and the previous one by the hours of service, we sit down at GATS for a chat about history, training and more with Jay Thompson of Transportation Business Associates. He grew up in rural Indiana and starting his working career driving big trucks, a route taken by the generations of men in his family as well, all the way back to his grandfather, Walter Thompson. Walter had a chauffer’s license at age 18, in 1917, and given we’re talking today as an industry about the potential for a pilot program for under-21 CDL drivers, we sat down to ferret out a little bit of the history there. As Thompson says, history often repeats i…
Aug 16, 2019
Mailbag: Worm turns on regs favorability with hours proposal, readers sound off
Readers weigh in largely favorably on FMCSA's this-week-proposed hours of service changes. Any of these changes have quite an interesting road ahead of them in the next year or however long it takes for the agency to push them through. So-called "safety advocates" are already howling to mainstream news outlets -– stories are being spread far and wide with editorialized headlines like “Trump administration moves to relax rules on how long truckers can drive”… You may have seen that one or some variant on it -- the headline the L.A. Times put on the Associated Press story about the rules. It’s not a terrible story, all things considered, despite the headline. At once, it does lead in part with what feels like the nut the way it’s presented: “highway safety groups have warned that putting the revisions into place would dangerously weaken the regulations.” Well … nothing new there. Though as noted the headline itself is just flat wrong, or at the least misleading, as it p…
Aug 7, 2019
What would you do for another 1-2 mpg in fuel mileage?
What would you do for another mile or two per gallon in running fuel mileage? How does a six-year odyssey in modifications to your truck’s engine and related systems, reducing the draw on the engine from the main fan and A/C and more sound? That’s in essence what thinker-tinker, so to speak, inventor, and independent owner-operator Kenny Capell did. Based in East Tennessee, Kenny continues to modify his own Freightliner Columbia and Detroit to get to the point where not only is he achieving about a mile-and-a-half overall running fuel mileage benefit. He's moving toward also eliminating idling entirely with the integrated system, now officially patented by himself and his sister, Patti Lane. Pictured here: The modified engine fan with four electric fans -- one among many aspects of the custom-designed system.
Jul 30, 2019
Longtime TA Nashville employees recount historic 2010 flood, support and recovery
Up from water: This week's Overdrive Radio podcast edition features the voices of six current longtime staff of the Nashville downtown TravelCenters of America location. It’s certainly a unique stop with its proximity to the city center, likewise just a few city blocks' worth of distance from the banks of the mighty Cumberland River. TA Nashville’s continued existence at its now 40-year location is remarkable further for what happened nine years ago this past May, when over the weekend of May 1-2, 2010 the city and surrounding region got almost 20 inches of torrential rain in some areas, flooding the city’s drainage system, area creeks among other tributaries and, ultimately, that nearby mighty river. In this podcast, longtime staff from the stop and the region recount their experiences watching the water come up, and what happened there in the aftermath.
Jul 19, 2019
More flexible sleeper splits: It didn’t take long for this newbie team to see potential value
You’ll be hard-pressed to come across cooler heads than those of the husband-wife team pair of relative trucking newbies I had the pleasure of sitting down with in Hartsville, Tenn., several weeks back. Tommy and Linda Bryant have about a year over the road as a company team with Old Time Express, pulling a dry van and, generally, loving life together after their mid-life switch to the work. For this week's edition of Overdrive Radio, we drop into Hartsville Old Time office, where I met the Bryants. Before trucking, with the kids grown and out of the house, Tommy and Linda were already basically spending the vast majority of their days together running a small Hartsville café, the Early Bird, today owned and operated by a son. A road trip taken in a four-wheeler out west, though, gave them an idea of how they could get even closer, and for longer, maximizing as a unit that precious commodity of time, together, as Tommy puts it. What are you doing with work but selling your time to a…
Jul 11, 2019
A truckstop in the halls of Congress, and a hotshot carrier's data-use-transparency hopes
Dispatch here from the day the truck stop came to the U.S. Congress with Truckstop.com’s Chief Relationship Officer Brent Hutto. Hutto testitifed recently before a subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee about the position of technology providers in the freight ecosystem, the potential for electronic permitting, the importance of funding road maintenance and more. Regarding the latter, his thoughts here include illustration of just how road deterioration makes the No. 1 reason owner-ops go out business much more likely to come to fruition -- that’s a major mechanical failure, of course, hastened by bad roads. Also here: Jon Gavrilyuk of hotshot-focused Safe Way Carrier out of central Missouri on issues of data usage, personal privacy, competition and Safe Way’s operation.
Jun 28, 2019
40 years of trucking — and surviving — with owner-op Ingrid Brown; Plus: Talent finalists’ tunes
Owner-operator Ingrid Brown started trucking as a teenager in 1979, and she's been on the road since. In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast: Her reflections on her 40-year career, many of those spent as a single-truck owner-operator, as well as her recent involvement in FMCSA's Our Roads, Our Safety campaign and her ongoing bout with various forms of skin cancer. Also — a listen to the three songs that earned three truckers finalists spots in this year's Overdrive-Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search.
Jun 13, 2019
Preventing skin cancer: 'The sun will hunt you down' in the truck
So says retired trucker Joe Jolly out of Kansas, who was recently treated for a small spot of aggressive skin cancer on his face. He has a message for young drivers who aren't thinking about their in-cab sun exposure. Put fairly succinctly, you might say the sun is “trying to kill you” from the day you’re born, as Joe puts it. Anything you can do to protect yourself from damaging ultraviolet radiation while trucking over the road today will pay dividends in later years. We talk about that throughout this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast. Also: a quick walk through a bit of our contributing writer, trucker and singer-songwriter Paul Marhoefer’s recording session in Muscle Shoals last week. There, he laid down an original track that will also serve as the theme for a new special-edition podcast we’ve been working on . Hear a little of "Over the Road" here.
May 30, 2019
'Tennessee Alabama Fireworks': The new record from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Boo Ray
Ride along with Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills and Nashville singer-songwriter Boo Ray on a tour through Ray's latest, named after a familiar site on I-24 anyone who's run west from Chattanooga will recognize. The record starts with a trio of road songs in which there's no shortage of mirth, pathos and more.
May 24, 2019
The first Penn. Make-a-Wish convoy, remembered, and: OOIDA highway-bill priorities
In this week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, we get a clear window onto the fist Make-A-Wish convoy from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with former trucker George Ruelens. He was hauling for Ned Bard & Son at the time, with no idea what he and the 41 other truckers were doing that day would go on to become a veritable institution in the region around Lancaster County -- the annual Mother’s Day convoy benefiting the Make-a-Wish foundation. This year, the convoy featured 650 trucks in its 30th year, a huge amount of growth over the course of three decades from the first one. Ruelens narrates his experience of that first one, and looks back fondly on the day and subsequent editions of the convoy, which have created so many memories for children involved -- truckers, too, no doubt, and members of the community in that area. Also in the podcast: With highway-funding measures being introduced in the House, President Trump pledges not to work w/ Dems on it, objecting to ongoing invest…
May 13, 2019
Runaway on I-64 down Sandstone Mountain, and revisiting an accurate rate prediction pre-ELDs
South Carolina-based owner-operator Lee Epling echoes retired veteran hauler Gordon Alkire's perspective in the previous edition of Overdrive Radio, in which Alkire spoke on the tragic Colorado crash several weeks back. Epling, in turn, likewise urged caution pointing the finger before all the facts are known. Along the way, Epling shares his own brake-failure story on Sandstone Mountain in W.Va./Va. on I-64. Further, we talk with OOIDA board member Monte Wiederhold about what turned out to be a quite accurate prediction when it comes to spot market rates and the ELD mandate. While his small fleet's mostly shipper-direct freight benefited directly with gains that he hasn't lost in his contracts, the same cannot be said about the spot market, which adjusting for the rise in fuel in April was give or take some pennies per mile was more or less right back where it was in April of 2017. Wiederhold offers some perspective how to maintain in such an environment.
May 3, 2019
In wake of Colo. crash, reserve judgment: Owner-op recounts '70s no-brakes run off Monteagle
A week ago Thursday began no doubt no shortage of investigation into the fiery Lakewood, Colorado, crash of Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, who lost control of his truck on a downhill grade and, ultimately, crashed, killing multiple people and sending multiple others to the hospital. In the wake of the tragedy for all involved, including the driver, who was charged with vehicular homicide among other counts, there’s been no small amount of finger-pointing to this or that cause. Gordon Alkire, retired owner-operator of Riley, Kan., reached out with a considered piece about such finger-pointing that you can read in full via the Channel 19 blog post for May 3 via http://OverdriveOnline.com/channel19. Alkire has little patience for such finger-pointing, and asks his fellow drivers to check their condemnation and take a close look at themselves. “Ask yourself if that could have been you?” he wrote. “A downgrade, a loaded trailer, no brakes. Confusion, fear, and panic.” He's been th…
Apr 26, 2019
Custom walk-in storage at the front of a dry van; bulk tank niche explored
If regular listeners don’t recognize the first voice you hear in this podcast, that of Daniel Snow, he and his wife and business partner Phyllis' rig you're certain you'll remember. Christened “The Goose,” it’s a 1996 Freightliner Classic with 140 inches’ worth of a custom-redesigned ICT sleeper the Snows located and outfitted themselves for the comforts of home on the road about 7 years ago. Another project undertaken around the same time is a four-foot storage compartment they built into the front of their dry-van trailer, accessible from the tractor’s deck catwalk via a door assembly, to house tools and other supplies. From the first time we saw it last year, it certainly seemed like a modification with scads of potential for emulation by any single-trailer owner out there with mechanical expertise and, like the Snows, plenty of time spent on the road away from the comfort of home and established relationships with diesel shops you know well. Later in the podcast, too, a…
Apr 17, 2019
Learning from the mistakes of others with owner-op Bill Ater
Learn from the mistakes of others, because you can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself. Bill Ater’s words to live by. in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast we drop into the scene at the Junction truckstop in Blunt, S.D., round about mid-week last week, with the Landstar-leased owner-operator and a fellow hauler on a run from Midland, Texas, up to the Williston, N.D., oil fields. The two found themselves just ahead of the early-Spring blizzard that hammered the area and surrounding states last week. They spent a good deal longer at The Junction than they’d initially expected –- nearly three days, all told –- and owner-operator Ater came out of the experience with a new appreciation for the dedication and generosity of Colleen Pool, manager of the Junction stop there. Take a listen.
Apr 12, 2019
Even in a roaring market, think twice before joining the stampede
An unfortunate reality in the 2018 year-end income averages from ATBS showed independent owner-operators with their authority earning on average less than some leased owner-op segments. In Kevin Rutherford's view, that just shouldn’t be the case for any full-time independent given the old greater risk equals greater reward truism. If you’re not beating the leased averages and are working full-time or more, something is terribly wrong. Find more on the numbers that explains those averages via OverdriveOnline.com, search ATBS.
Apr 5, 2019
Lights-out at MATS, and: You're the parking expert 'where you live and where you truck to'
Today on Overdrive Radio, much of a conversation I had with former owner-operator Scott Grenerth, with whom regular listeners will be familiar from his moderation of our parking-issues-related panel at the Great American Trucking Show in August 2018. Grenerth’s currently with the Truck Specialized Parking Services company and is a former regulatory affairs director with OOIDA. At Mid-America last week, his company introduced a new parking-related resource in RigRest.com, a mobile-optimized search tool -- and more – for parking around the country. Most importantly, perhaps, Grenerth and company are working in a variety of ways to optimize and in some cases make newly available excess parking capacity for truckers of all stripes in partnership with fleet operators with available space, dedicated sites around warehouses under development, and others. Now to a certain extent, and hopefully more in future, Grenerth says RigRest.com will be an info and parking-reservation hub for trucke…
Mar 29, 2019
Why pick a fight with the air? And: downtime for the spot market 3 o'clock hustle
This edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast comes as the Mid-America Trucking Show continues in Louisville, Ky. In this edition, a couple of my conversations with two owner-ops with some commonality between them in a willingness to be the contrarian in this loud age, on a variety of things. That’d be Lexington, Kentucky-based owner-op Chad Boblett, running with one truck and using brokers. Likewise the operator you'll hear at the podcast's top, Henry Albert, who moves truck parts between Laredo and points in the Southeast when he’s hauling and not working with dealer reps or other operators to train them on new technology as part of Freightliner’s longstanding Team Run Smart initiative. Albert’s been demonstrating lately in his own operation the effect of speed increases on fuel mileage, an attempt to investigate the benefits of time saved versus the sacrifices made in increased fuel costs. In the podcas, he describes the 70-75 mph speeds he’s been pushing along his lanes, an…
Mar 22, 2019
In love with trucking: Mandi Jo Pinheiro in-studio in Nashville
Mandi Jo Pinheiro, the winner of the 2018 Trucker Talent Search, and her father and fellow guitarist, Urban Roger Brown, were kind enough to sit down with Overdrive in Nashville earlier this week. They'd come all the way from Idaho Tuesday for an all-day Wednesday recording session at Jay’s Place, a studio long operated by Jay Vernali on Music Row. Conveniently, Vernali also offers up the apartment above the studio to travelers, and it was there that Pinheiro and Brown ran through a couple of the tracks the pair planned to put to tape, so to speak. the next day, and independent owner-operator Pinheiro (in a team with her husband, William) also offered up a tour through her history in trucking. That follows time in a cargo van working for a medical courier company in the Pacific Northwest, and a long-held dream of over-the-road work realized after she met and married William. Today, the pair run out of a home base of Twin Falls, Idaho, hauling step deck freight behind a 2005 Peterbilt…
Mar 14, 2019
90-plus-inch double-bunk sleeper in a cargo van? You bet
In this week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, following last week's talk with Load One's John Elliott about significant challenges in the cargo-van-powered segment of the expedited trucking niche, owner-operator Darren Ayres details his own place within it hauling in a Mercedes Sprinter Van. He and his co-owner-op wife, Trish, run leased to Landstar and with (as suggested by the podcast's title) a sizable sleeper area as an on-the-road living quarters in the mostly military-freight-specific operation. Working with Fastlane Products of Oak Ridge, Tenn., after they took delivery of the base van, the pair planned the sleeper with double bunks along the driver side, leaving extra space for more amenities, including a sink and storage spaces, that Darren details in the podcast. The sleeper addition and overall upfit with auxiliary roof air, an inverter and more in 2017 came at an additional roughly $20K investment over the sticker (around $45K) on the diesel-powered Sprinter. The…
Mar 8, 2019
1970s, 2010s trucking parallels, and: Hauling away (or into) the headaches with a cargo van
In this edition of Overdrive Radio find Max Heine's talk with owner-operator John Strong, recently off the road, about his involvement in the 1970s and beyond in advocacy efforts with Overdrive founder Mike Parkhurst, memories of the Mass 10 truck stop, and much more. Todd Dills' talk with Load One head John Elliott continues here, too, about the cargo van niche, which would seem to check the boxes as a solution to a lot of the headaches -- hours of service, scales, parking -- Class 8 tractor-trailer owner-ops deal with, as long as they’re not hauling a placardable hazmat load, in which case cargo vans are regulated more or less just like bigger trucks. And that’s not to mention lower cost barriers to entry into the market as well, with much lower new-vehicle purchase prices. At once, though, challenges abound, and Elliott describes the multitude of those in detail from his perspective. Find a previous podcast with Elliott via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/a-closer-loo…
Mar 1, 2019
More slow-rollin' supporting shutdown call: A talk with owner-op Brian Bucenell
Owner-operator Brian Bucenell's 2002 Peterbilt 379 was among the 100 or so trucks that participated in the "slow roll" event in Indianapolis last week. Bucenell's also helping put on a Virginia "slow roll" event tomorrow, March 2, with a gathering point in Doswell, Va. (The group plans to roll out from the Doswell truck stop on I-95 at 11 a.m.) Slow roll events follow in Ohio on March 8 and in the Carolinas around Charlotte on March 9. Bucenell -- pictured with his daughter, Savannah, and wife, Casey -- is spurred to be involved in protest and advocacy events in part by a desire to leave trucking better than he found it, thinking principally of his nine-year-old son. He speaks to the issues most participants are advocating for -- hours flexibility, parking investment, training for new drivers, and safety broadly speaking -- from his own point of view in this edition of Overdrive Radio.
Feb 21, 2019
Raise scam awareness -- How to combat expensive online fakery; More from Long Haul Paul
And, as the picture shows, more from Long Haul Paul Marhoefer from the stage at the Key Palace Theater in Redkey, Ind., this past Feb. 2. Otherwise, this edition of Overdrive Radio takes aim at combating increasingly proliferating online scams. High degrees of situational awareness are your best tools, says Safr.me consultant and author Robert Siciliano, who speaks here. Some such cases have seen the light of day at OverdriveOnline.com, including the recent dramatic and expensive tale of a Georgia trucker catfished by a fake online romantic relationship and tricked into wiring more than $25 grand to the other party. Fall for such a scam once, too, and you're now on a "sucker list" maintained by what's increasingly resembling something of an online-scam industrial complex. "They will work you to the end of your days," says Siciliano, who has a particular expertise in the online scam arena. He’s the CEO of the non-profit personal security education site, and also a private investigator…
Feb 15, 2019
A close look into the freight-demand and planning app for owner-ops with Load One
There are a multiplicity of smartphone apps out there for leased owner-ops from their leasing carriers, but we hadn’t seen anything quite like the "Ultimate Advantage" app from expediter Load One before we first wrote about it this time last year. In the sort of emergency-freight service that is the expedited trucking business, having information about where to be to best set yourself up for the next load is, to say the least, a difficult proposition. Long waits between loads have been common there for years for many owner-ops. The app, as Load One head John Elliott here explains, helps enable decision-making with a few swipes and taps, giving owner-ops clarity into the overall demand picture in any area they’re in – and not just when it comes to Load One freight but competitors’ capacity there as well. The app was named 2018's Innovation of the Year by Overdrive sister magazine CCJ, geared to fleet owners and managers, recently, and it's quickly drawn the accolades of the owne…
Feb 8, 2019
Dissecting new study on post-ELD mandate crash rates, and the blues of Watermelon Slim
This edition of Overdrive Radio features Overdrive Senior Editor James Jaillet's conversation with Northeastern University academic Alex Scott, who with colleagues at Michigan State and the University of Arkansas completed a recent study around potential safety-sensitive impacts of the electronic-logging-device mandate. The upshot, which you know if you saw the headlines, is that a comparative analysis of various carrier size groups, average weekly crash volumes, and hours of service violations, among others, showed that, while hours violations were down quite a lot for small carriers, there was little change in crash volumes before and after the mandate was being fully enforced in any size grouping. If anything, average weekly crash volume ticked up a bit for those most directly affected by the mandate – the smallest of fleets. It all seemed to lend at least a little further credence to the notion that the mandate, ultimately, might not be about safety at all, also the widely held c…
Feb 1, 2019
Local/regional fuel hauling's winter boost: Seasonal cost tradeoffs and more with Dave Marti
This week's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast features a talk with small fleet owner Dave Marti of Forrest, Ill. He's got six power units, including his own, leased to Transport Services of Sullivan, Ill., hauling fuel in the region around his home base, delivering in liquid-bulk hazmat tanks to fueling stations that see an uptick in volume this time of year. His is one of not many trucking niches that actually see a boost in business this time of year, though as you’ll hear, costs are higher for his business just as they are for many in this frigid season. Balancing the tradeoffs is one of the many calculations the owner’s learned to make over his years in business. His move toward trucking following 20 years off and on driving and in maintenance, as you’ll hear him describe shortly, and growth in the business has come with the dependable partner in Transport Services he made about five years after he got his start as an owner-operator with that a 2007 Pete leased to anoth…
Jan 25, 2019
Preparing for the impossible, shutdown pessimism, and the divisions in trucking history
Today's edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast features a long talk on subject matter in the headline, and more, with owner-operator Steve Bixler of Valley View, Pa., the relatively recently former OOIDA board member and hauler of sand to natural gas drilling and fracking operations in his region. He resigned from OOIDA board in 2017 amid business issues at that time, and today, he’s working with an intrastate log and wood-chips hauling operation that uses its company trucks in Pennnsylvania. Independent owner-operator Bixler’s interstate authority, then, affords him plenty opportunity contracting with the operation for runs to a facility in New York State. Bixler has long been a strong advocate for the notion of a panel of experienced drivers to serve as a regulations-review board of sorts, his thoughts about which lead the podcast. One principal subjects of the podcast: preparation for the worst – whatever series of events you can imagine that threaten your continued operation.…
Jan 18, 2019
The growing pains of small trucking: Midnight Xpress on blown motors, hiring mistakes and more
This edition of Overdrive Radio follows up with Andre Jackson, owner-operator with a business partner of the one-year-old Midnight Xpress small fleet, based down in Mississippi (partner in the business, owner-op Donte Ogletree, is based in Atlanta). Regular listeners will remember late last summer when Jackson was the principal guest on the podcast telling the story of his comeback from multiple heart attacks to where he is today, on his own with his authority and a small trucking company that, as he alludes to at the top, was started with a plan for somewhat aggressive, hopefully sustainable growth in the near-term future. In the short time since we talked, a breakdown of the first truck the pair of owner-ops added to the two-truck fleet, a 2007 Volvo 780 with an '06 engine, set them back a good bit. The driver they hired for that truck then, well, Jackson gets to that in the talk that follows, one that lays out plenty of considerations any owner-operator considering expansion beyond…
Jan 11, 2019
'Dynamex' ABC test 'an unfair hammer to legitimate contractors' -- view from a small fleet
A talk here with the owner of and a contractor to Southern California-based Angus Transportation, a now three-truck business owned and operated by Jimmy Nevarez. Leased owner-operator Darril Lightburn is in a percentage-type comensation arrangement there as an independent contractor, and Overdrive spoke with he and Nevarez both given latter’s past experience hauling rail intermodal containers in the region where they're based, attendant to a feature you’ll see in the February issue of Overdrive about the independent contractor classification, challenges to it via West Coast courts and other areas, and its abuse by too many companies around trucking with, often, lease-purchase arrangements that make it impossible to succeed, much less be afforded any truly independent status with negotiating power. Union organizing and attendant litigation in the ports, and some high-profile examples of muckraking-type journalism over the past years, have exposed some of the most egregious examples.…
Dec 27, 2018
2018 'coulda planned better': Counting down the top 10 Overdrive Radio podcasts of the year
Take a look back on 2018 and, viewed through the lenses of time and the myriad of conversations and voices heard on the Overdrive Radio podcast, 2018 might well be dubbed the year of ticky-tack and more serious issues related to the implementation of, what else, the electronic logging device mandate. Owner-operators’ adjustments in light of that rule, which started being enforced in a significant way on April 1 of 2018, ride over almost the entirety of the top 10 most-listened to episodes here, including some mailbag rounds of callers’ messages on related issues that very nearly made the top 10 themselves. Excerpts here from all 10, in bottom to top order. Also a repeated theme: Focus shifting to or continuing on for many independents in the audience to the occasionally fraught, and often challenging, relationship with freight partner brokers. A big part of that is contractual games brokers have played for years, occupying No. 3 and No. 2 slots.
Dec 14, 2018
Weighing ECM retune options, or full-on emissions defeats, in light of enforcement risk
This edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast features Overdrive Senior Editor James Jaillet, who penned the piece we suspect many of you noticed in the last couple weeks at OverdriveOnline.com, or in the December print magazine, about new enforcement heat on emissions regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency when it comes to post-2006 heavy duty diesel engines. The story was spurred on by a particular case that caught everybody’s attention way back in June, when a shop in Pennsylvania was hit with fines for performing essentially emissions-defeating work for a two-truck fleet. It’s not the only action EPA, in this case in concert with DOT, has taken against shops doing this kind of work, but what was remarkable about this one was it also hit the owner-operator getting the work done, to a certain degree. From that point up until we put the December issue to bed last month, Jaillet’s been working the area toward the "Engine tinkerers, beware” feature recently released,…
Dec 7, 2018
On the 'flower gravy train': Greenhouse freight, 10-4 D.C. convoy and more with Scott Hampton
Owner-operator Scott Hampton pulled hoppers before transitioning to the operation he's in today, which he describes as his "flower gravy train" doing multi-drop distribution runs for shipper Dallas Johnson Greenhouse in Council Bluffs, Iowa, south to a variety of stores this time of year. When we talked for what is the latest edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast a couple weeks back, he'd hopped around the Oklahoma City area making deliveries with poinsettias in a reefer, a typical run for this time of year, often loading empty carts back to their origin. If he was correct in his assessment then, this week might see the last of such seasonal loads, but not the end of the line for Hampton's relationship with the shipper, to which he's been more or less dedicated going on a couple years. Also in the podcast, hear more from Hampton about his remarkable 2000 Peterbilt 379, which I wrote a good bit about early last week, and his participation in "That's a Big 10-4 on D.C." in October, wher…
Dec 3, 2018
Beware what you sign with brokers: Freight-charge offsetting of cargo claims a 'sucker's game'
Beware what you sign, owner-operators, when getting set up with a broker. So notes Transportation attorney Hank Seaton, in conversation about the curious case of a Florida-based three-truck fleet who reached out about what it saw as the strange treatment of two loads her company hauled earlier this year for Bennett International Group, both as yet unpaid. Seaton describes brokers' "right to offset" clauses in contract that should be avoided -- they give the broker the right to hold payments to offset cost of any claim, and such clauses he believes are intolerable given appropriate cargo insurance, and should be avoided like the plague. Also: Plenty more on Seaton's view of safety ratings and how they could be prioritized over the data-based scoring approach en vogue at present.
Nov 19, 2018
The truckers helping foster 12-year-old Robbie Welsh' creative journey
In this edition Overdrive Radio, St. Louis mother Sarah Welsh details how the trucking community, particularly a variety of owner-operators among it, has helped foster her 12-year-old son Robbie's passion for so many things trucking -- and particularly: "meeting drivers to talk about their trucks." A young man of my own heart, as it were. Also in the podcast, we’ll hear from a man I bet young Robbie Welsh would love to meet himself. We’ll make it a tale of two Robbies, as it were, in this edition with more from owner-operator Robbie Harris, who hauls heavy in the 2004 Kenworth W9 that is an homage to the 1970s-era KW in the famous "Movin' On" TV series. I posted a video detailing the rig last week at the blog. What you don’t hear in that video, though, is Harris’s detail of a recent haul with a 17-foot-high, more than 130,000-lb. generator between Wisconsin and Washington State, with insights on costs when it comes to hiring pilot cars and obtaining, state by individual state o…
Nov 9, 2018
How a '99 Classic came to be 'the Goose,' and: Hope for small-biz primacy with FMCSA?
So just how did Daniel and Phyllis Snow's 1996 Freightliner Classic XL get to be called 'The Goose'? Here in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, the independent owner-operators tell that story, which involves their son's 1999 Classic 'The Duck', too. Also: A bit of stumping for the importance of small business in trucking from Ray Martinez, part of his address at the annual meeting of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies in Nashville November 1.
Nov 2, 2018
'Winds of change' at FMCSA: Ray Martinez addresses 2018 NASTC event
"The winds of change" are afoot at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said FMCSA chief Ray Martinez in his opening keynote at the annual conference of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies November 1. The three-day event is ongoing in Nashville, Tenn. Leadership at the Department of Transportation on up to the President of the United States, he added, "wants us to work with the regulated community," he added, going on to emphatically validate an oft-repeated statistic among the small-fleet and owner-operator community. "I recognize and respect the fact -- and this is a fact," Martinez emphasized -- "that 90 percent of the trucking industry is represented by carriers with 10 or fewer power units. ... It may not have been recognized in the past, but I can tell you it is loud and clear in our offices today."
Nov 1, 2018
Hurricane relief hauling with Fla. owner-op Tim Philmon; and a look at ATA's fed/state agenda
In this week’s edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, we take a run through Hurricane Michael’s devastating effects on the Florida panhandle north through clear to Albany, Ga., where 100-mile-per-hour-plus winds persisted in the fast-moving storm well after landfall. With all the devastation, for some owner-operators new opportunities arise, as regular listeners and readers of Overdrive well know. In this edition we talk more about front-line FEMA/state shuttle relief operations like the one Florida-based independent Tim Philmon contracted to in the wake of the most recent hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland, via a brokerage with a FEMA contract. The bulk of the podcast is devoted to Philmon’s operation, but before we get there, I checked in with fellow Overdrive Senior Editor James Jaillet, who splits some of his time with our sister fleet-news publication CCJ, for a close look into the American Trucking Associations regulatory and legislative agenda. Jaillet’s just off a rep…
Oct 26, 2018
Living legacy of the 'BlackOut' veterans-tribute truck; small fleet expansion with Rob Hallahan
Just a couple weeks out from Veteran’s Day November 11, we walked through recent additions to BlackOut Freightliner veterans-tribute and memorial truck and owner Chuck Timbrook’s formalizing of the operation as a nonprofit organization, some new involvement in NASCAR and other racing events for Timbrook, and more relating to the rig two years after Timbrook's heart surgery sidelined him from commercial hauling. Toward the end, too, a little audio from a talk with Wisconsin-based small fleet owner-operator Rob Hallahan at “That’s a Big Ten-Four on D.C.” a couple weeks back –- about how, in the last year, he’s brought in other owner-operators leasing to his Hallahan Transport business and has gone from 1 truck to 5 over that time period.
Oct 19, 2018
The truck parking problem: Tools in the toolbox, modest capacity proposals and more
In this Overdrive Radio edition we’re talking truck parking with some of the insights on parking advocacy and brass-tacks on-highway planning delivered as part of the parking panel we hosted at the Great American Trucking Show in August. You probably saw Overdrive’s James Jaillet’s report on the panel in September, but this bit of audio gives you a window into the discussion, valuable for anyone I’d imagine who has to think hard about parking along their lanes. Most of you in this current post-ELD mandate environment, I’d wager. Voices include those of owner-ops Gary Buchs and Desiree Wood, moderator Scott Grenerth and Mike Johnson of the North Central Texas Council of Regional Governments. Also: what would you think about parking for a 10-hour break at a truck-dedicated, secure facility on the site of a NASCAR track? After the selected panel excerpts, you’ll hear part of a conversation I had with a member of the audience at that panel, Houston-based Schneider National leas…
Oct 9, 2018
Voices from 10-4 D.C.: Doug Hasner, Todd Campbell -- and more from the hours mailbag
A few voices from participants in "That's a big 10-4 on D.C." last week from the National Mall. Owner-op Doug Hasner explains the rationale behind his own involvement, and updates the status of the charges filed against him after he was tased by police in April during a Constitution Ave. demonstration (all charges dropped). Todd Campbell of Ohio argues that a qualified positive for truckers in the market rates effects of the mandate is a negative for consumers, and in a mailbag round readers posit a variety of ideas for hours of service change. FMCSA ANPRM asking for hours of service fixes from the industry closes October 10.
Sep 26, 2018
The long bounce back from a widow maker with two-truck independent Andre Jackson
Since being featured on the cover of Overdrive in February of 2013, Bolton, Mississippi-based owner-operator Andre Jackson in the last year has completed a more than five-year journey through adversity to success in business ownership with a business partner, Donte Ogletree of Atlanta, the two operating under their own authority with two power units as Midnight Express. In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, Jackson tells what happened to him following his appearance on the magazine's cover when, five years ago the Friday prior to the Great American Trucking Show, he arrived that fateful day to load in and stage the truck for participation there. He had a massive heart attack, and nearly was lost. He’s clawed back after two years of essentially losing most of his mobility and the very ability to take care of himself. Now, nearly 200 pounds lighter but no less driven, Jackson has a truly remarkable story to tell. Few stood by him in the years that followed but for his wife, N…
Sep 21, 2018
Owner-operator income benchmarking, freight relationships and best practices
This edition of Overdrive Radio rounds up three distinct parts of the Partners in Business seminars held last month at the Great American Trucking Show, with presentations by ATBS President Todd Amen, radio host and former small fleet owner-operator Kevin Rutherford, and Richard DeForest, also with ATBS and a longtime PIB presenter. 1) Amen begins with a quick take on current conditions in trucking relative to the wider economy and continues into the weeds with some valuable data against which you can compare your own for major tracked segments. 2) DeForest offers what amounts to an owner-operator version of business best practices for a solid foundation to prepare for what inevitably will come -- another economic downturn, often tough to weather for owner-operators in trucking -- to set up for success for the long-term and a comfortable retirement, pull out of a credit hole and other situations. 3) Rutherford runs through his philosophy on dealing with customer relationships --…
Sep 14, 2018
Cooking in-cab, St. Christopher Fund update, and the big 10-4 to D.C.
This Overdrive Radio edition is a triptych of sorts: this edition is threefold – 1. Owner-operator Allen Kelly of Pennsylvania runs through some of the particulars on the “That’s a Big 10-4 on D.C.” event coming up, when else, on October 4 in Fredericksburg, Va., and Washington, D.C. 2: Stevens Transport driver and RoadTestedLiving.com proprietor Tom Kyrk run through his in-cab cooking demos and a recipe that’s part of a sweepstakes you can get involved in with a chance to win $2,000 through Monday, Sept. 17. 3) Shannon Currier of the St. Christopher Truckers Fund joined Kyrk at GATS to run us through the longtime charity’s fund-raising efforts, including a heartfelt thank-you to its no. 1 well of support: truckers themselves.
Sep 7, 2018
'Burnin' the Old School Down' with trucker/singer-songwriter Bill Weaver
A run through Bill Weaver’s new all-truckin' 'Burnin’ the Old School Down' record, recorded in part with members of a band called the Stone Creek Four out of Kingsport, Tennessee, with whom Weaver performed three nights running at the Great American Trucking Show a couple weeks back now in Dallas. That's where we talked with him for this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, burning through a few of the tracks on the new record, complete with Weaver’s own commentary on the genesis of many of the songs, and his hopes for the record. Find a 2016 talk with Weaver on the occasion of his first, 'Every Mile I Drive' record via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/podcast-take-a-run-through-the-stories-behind-bill-weavers-every-mile-i-drive/
Sep 2, 2018
Owner-operators relay their hours suggestions, concerns to FMCSA
From FMCSA's Aug. 25-held public listening session on hours of service reforms: Owner-operators take to the mic to make their recommendations and anecdotes pertaining to the agency's review of hours of service regs.
Aug 30, 2018
Listen in on the Trucker Talent Search, 2018 edition
As it happened on Friday, Aug. 24, of the 2018 Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, this week's Overdrive Radio podcast takes you through the music and people who were a part of the fifth annual Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search: emcee Tony Justice, opener and past talent search competitor Paul Marhoefer, and this year's entrants Benford "B.J." Williams, James Nelson, and winner Mandi Jo Pinheiro.
Aug 29, 2018
"In My Final Mile," by Paul Marhoefer
Paul Marhoefer performed this original track at the 2018 edition of Overdrive/Red Eye Radio's Trucker Talent Search at the Dallas Great American Trucking Show. His performance opened the 2018 edition of the competition, eventually won by Mandi Jo Pinheiro.
Aug 29, 2018
"That's Why I Drink," by Paul Marhoefer
Paul Marhoefer performs the track that got him into the 2015 final round of Overdrive/Red Eye Radio's Trucker Talent Search. His performance opened the 2018 edition of the competition, eventually won by Mandi Jo Pinheiro.
Aug 27, 2018
"Heartbeat," by Mandi Jo Pinheiro
Owner-operator Mandi Jo Pinheiro -- in a team with her husband, William -- won the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search 2018 competition with this performance of an original tune crafted after a solicitation of the community of drivers asking about their favorite route to truck — and why. Read more about the track via this link:https://www.overdriveonline.com/idaho-independent-wins-trucker-talent-search-with-heartbeat-original/
Aug 26, 2018
"What I'd Do to Ride With You," by James Nelson
Accelerated, Inc., driver James Nelson live from the Trucker Talent Search at 2018's Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
Aug 26, 2018
"Tennessee Bluesman," by BJ Williams
LaVergne, Tenn.-based Ryder Integrated Logistics driver B.J. Williams live from the Trucker Talent Search, which happened August 24 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
Aug 26, 2018
"Live, Love, Laugh and Dance," by Tony Justice
Tony Justice emcee'd the 2018 Trucker Talent Search, which happened August 24 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. He also performed this track from his "Brothers of the Highway" record, written with his wife, Misty.
Aug 26, 2018
"The Big Road," by Tony Justice
This track, from Tony Justice's "Apple Pie Moonshine" record, was one of two Tony Justice performed while emcee'ing the 2018 Trucker Talent Search at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas while the judges worked.
Aug 24, 2018
Mailbag: Operators want hours options for safety, more
This run through recent messages on Overdrive Radio's podcast message line reveals what many drivers want out of any hours of service revision -- options to stop the 14-hour clock without additional complication, though ideas for how to get there show some variation.
Aug 22, 2018
Hours of service, truck automation, ELDs, crash stats and more with FMCSA boss Martinez
In a wide-ranging but broad interview, FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez spoke with Overdrive in an exclusive interview about trucking industry pain points, the ongoing transition to electronic logging devices, evaluating hours of service reforms, implementation of automated vehicle tech and what he hopes to accomplish as FMCSA's administrator.
Aug 20, 2018
2018 Trucker Talent Search preview: Interviews, music with the finalists
In this Overdrive Radio special editor, you'll hear a little more directly from each of this year's Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search finalists – Mandi Jo Pinheiro, James Nelson and B.J. Williams, all of whom were interviewed by Red Eye Radio’s Eric Harley in advance of the final competition. That will take place Friday, Aug. 24, at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. For those attending the show, don’t miss it –- it’s scheduled for a 3 p.m. start on the America Strong Stage in Hall A at the Dallas Convention Center. For general information on attending GATS, including how to get registered and full schedules and the like, visit truckshow.com.
Aug 14, 2018
When a failing starter is really a bad cable
If you’ve ever had the experience of a starter going bad at ever-decreasing intervals — the first one on the truck from the factory lasted 500,000 miles, the next one 200,000, etc. — you could be experiencing a phenomenon noted by Danial Mustafa, TA Truck Centers’ Director of Technical Services. Absent the right diagnostic equipment to troubleshoot conditions all along the loaded-up electrical and electronic systems of modern diesels, too many technicians, he says, essentially throw parts and components at any given problem, particularly in the starting and charging system. This special edition of Overdrive Radio is Mustafa's presentation at the Expedite Expo conference in July, where he detailed the increasing electrical demands in modern diesels and offered ways to troubleshoot them, and troubleshoot technicians' recommendations for maintenance, as it were. Find a related video in the August 14, 2018, post on the Channel 19 blog -- OverdriveOnline.com/Channel19.
Aug 10, 2018
Expedited conversations before the storm: Operator Nancy Hudson, Eric Escobar's small fleet
In the relative calm before a storm that walloped Lexington, Ky., as the first day of the Expedite Expo let out last month, Overdrive Radio sat down with the two finalists and ultimately runners-up for the Expediter of the Year award: AD Transportation driver Nancy Hudson and cargo van small fleet owner and Class 8 straight truck owner-operator Eric Escobar. The two shared insights from decades in business between them, Escobar after a prior career in the Army and Hudson following long work in a hospital as a patient care technician.
Aug 6, 2018
The push for camaraderie, community, from Overdrive Extra contributing owner-op Clifford Petersen
This Overdrive Radio edition checks in with a more complete introduction to Clifford Petersen’s leased operation with Christenson transportation, headquartered near Springfield, Mo., with more than 100 power units hauling mostly dry freight, Petersen notes. For regular Overdrive readers, Petersen probably needs no introduction, as he’s written several blog posts in recent times in which he draws on his experience over a few decades now in and out of trucking. His last time away, from 2005-15, though, gave him a new purpose in his approach to the industry and, as he notes, a desire to leave it better than he found it initially growing up in the 1970s.
Jul 27, 2018
Tim Paxton, the 2018 owner-operator Expediter of the Year, eyes his business' future
Cargo van owner-operator Tim Paxton, leased to Arkansas-based Barrett Directline, is the 2018 Expediter of the Year, and in this edition of Overdrive Radio, recorded prior to the announcement of his award July 21 at Expedite Expo, Paxton lays out a variety challenges faced by his and others' small-vehicle trucking operations. He's got an eye on the successes, too, though, from a healthy income for his family to a growing community he's helped spearhead via Youtube channel and, more recently, the "Transportation Life: Wheels, Wings and Rudders" Facebook group.
Jul 19, 2018
The demise of One20 Trucking, and its owner-op's efforts to get paid
As of press time, more than a month after the One20 company ceased operations entirely, and nearly three months after the owner of an affiliated business, the single-truck One20 Trucking, resigned his position as head of One20 Inc., owner-operators Lee and Lisa Schmitt, contracted to One20 Trucking, were still owed money for loads booked and hauled for the company, they say. The former One20 Trucking owner, Christian Schenk, says he's working on settling their accounts soon. In telling their story, though, the Schmitts reveal a key element as yet unreported in the One20 company's demise, the financial support from PeopleNet owner the Trimble Companies, whose decision to withdraw investment support in One20 essentially precipitated its fall. Take a listen.
Jul 12, 2018
Owner-operator Jon Hose and a malfunction junction where ELDs meet hours enforcement
Hose was put out of service with a false-log violation in Missouri early in June, as his One20 ELD was giving him problems en route a couple weeks prior to the company stopping support for the device on June 18. For Hose, his run with that particular ELD is one marred by inexplicable automatic duty-status changes and other malfunctions he can’t explain to this day, His story is one of difficulty, generally, as a direct result of selection of an ELD provider. This talk with him reveals how inspectors and state-patrol personnel are handling en-route malfunctions, and how you can be prepared for one should it happen to you.
Jun 29, 2018
Another way to do reefer washouts: Produce broker Pam Young's new 'Healthy Trailer' machine
Pam Young's thoughts on produce rates post-ELD mandate and how the Food Safety Modernization Act's new sanitary transportation requirements led her to develop a new automated reefer washout effort lead this podcast discussion with the produce broker, following up on parts of the discussion in last week's Overdrive Radio edition.
Jun 22, 2018
Old-school ways in new-school days: Freight partnerships with produce broker Pam Young
A brief run through the mailbag with disheartened haulers affected by the shuttering of the One20 F-ELD just a couple months beyond the April 1 out-of-service enforcement date for the ELD mandate. And a more extensive talk with produce broker Pam Young, well-learned in old-school ways, preferring the personal touch to digital standoffishness when it comes to building relationships with carriers. Among subjects of discussion: Adjustment (or lack thereof) to mandated ELDs, honesty in transactions, what happens when a load of cherries goes awry, communication and bedrock trust in business relationships.
Jun 15, 2018
Australian trucking troubadour 'Calamity' Jayne Denham on a run through America
Ahead of her Rotella SuperRigs performance in Raphine, Va., June 16, Australia singer-songwriter Jayne Denham sat down with us in Nashville to talk in-roads with the U.S. trucking community, her new "Calamity" record, the "Lights on the Hill" memorial for fallen haulers taken before their time in Australia and more. Also: Bonus update from the scene with the custom rigs on offer at White's Travel Center with Overdrive's own Matt Cole. Rotella SuperRigs continues through Saturday, June 16.
Jun 8, 2018
ELD impacts, take 3,456: Reserved parking, hurry-up dynamics and more with owner-op Carolyn Carroll
This edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast picks up in part from where we left off in the intro last week with a note from Carolyn Carroll on the utility she finds in paid parking reservations. You can find our report, “ELDs up the ante on parking”, on the growth in those (reviled by many but appreciated by many as well) and much more besides at OverdriveOnline.com. In our talk Carroll lays out her now seven-year tour in trucking both in team and solo operations, as a company driver for a time and now leased –- she’s recently refinanced a lease-ending balloon payment on her 2015 Freightliner Cascadia she’ll be entirely finished paying off over the next couple years. The 5-foot-4 owner-op cuts a unique figure among most highway haulers, and she addresses the dynamics of being a woman among a largely male-dominated profession, hauling, as well, though one among a clearly growing cohort out there no doubt.
Jun 1, 2018
How long will the good times last? And: Mailbag from the no-parking trail
More tales of private parking enforcement via booting and towing result in what James Smith of Jackson, Ga., calls a "very expensive Kentucky Fried Chicken meal." Further perspective on the utility of paid-reserved parking, the demise of truck-dedicated parking at the Walmart in Aurora, Colo., and some predictions from panelists at last week's Truckstop.com's user conference in Dallas on just how long good economic conditions will last in the wider economy -- and in trucking.
May 25, 2018
The 'Amazon effect' and rate opportunities for small fleets, owner-ops
The first in what will ultimately be two podcasts sharing portions of a trucking-insights panel held at Truckstop.com’s third Connected user conference, held earlier this week in Dallas. Insights on rates growth post-ELD mandate, economic conditions and just when we might look out for a downturn, automation in trucking and brokerage and much more were on offer from Tucker Company Worldwide broker Jeff Tucker, Truckstop.com Chief Economist Noel Perry, and Stifel’s John Larkin. This edition features some occasionally diverging thoughts on opportunities and dilemmas for brokers and small carriers when it comes to the “Amazon effect” we’ve written about from time to time, in food and retail in particular, with tightened delivery windows and lead times on loads offering opportunities to truly differentiate onself from a service perspective.
May 18, 2018
ELD-exempt trucking with W. Joel Baker: Inspections, adjustments and bedrock profitability
Independent owner-operator W. Joel Baker's W. recent blog post about business opportunity, rate improvement and other conditions since the ELD mandate was the jumping-off point for this edition of Overdrive Radio. Baker trucks in an ELD-exempt 1999 International, and he’s had difficulty keeping up with is customers’ demand for RV delivery lately, given the double whammy of an improved economy and the availability constraints around trucking that have resulted from the mandate. He was writing on his own LearntoTruck.com website about it all, and here added thoughts on operational adjustments those who actually have to utilize ELDs might be able to make to enhance profitability as best they can, his own incidence of inspection in the run-up to the mandate (given the target his older truck has newly put on his back, as he sees it), and much more.
May 11, 2018
Trucking needs the 'brotherhood virus' to come alive: Owner-op Jim Bardsley on its long dormancy
Owner-op Jim Bardsley believes about the best thing that could happen to trucking, from perspectives of safety and so much more, is the spread of the brotherhood virus, a return of some semblance of honor to the hiring practices, follow-on training protocols and more in place today at carriers large and small. Bardsley, in this edition of Overdrive Radio, reflects on his three-decade-plus career and the years-long dormancy of the brotherhood virus, among other subjects covered, from ELDs, a 1980s Ford LTL9000 he's looking to restore and put into operation, and the beginning of the long wind-down into retirement.
May 4, 2018
Parking problems nothing new, though most truckers feel ELDs have exacerbated issues
A run through the mailbag with contrarians and true believers around the question of whether the ELD mandate has exacerbated parking issues around the nation. And: A little detail on an hours-enforcement-with-ELD situation that begged for officer leniency when none was to be had.
Apr 26, 2018
Will FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez thread the industry needle toward hours change?
No sooner did we receive word of an amendment proposed to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that seemed to be designed to grease the skids for some sort of regulatory hours of service action by the FMCSA than we heard the opposite, at least according to an aide to the amendment's sponsor, Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford. Overdrive News Editor James Jaillet, TruckersNews.com Editor David Hollis and Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills talked about the amendment yesterday for the Overdrive Radio podcast on tap here today, ahead of the full audio of Hollis and Jaillet's interview with Administrator Ray Martinez at the Mid-America Trucking Show last month. When we queried Crawford's office to ask whether, as suspected, Crawford worked directly with FMCSA in crafting the amendment -- which would have removed a regulatory step for FMCSA in any hours of service proposed rulemaking -- his office noted the amendment would not ultimately be taken up and was slated for withdrawal…
Apr 20, 2018
Don't be a 'one-and-done': Survive your first year trucking with authority by knowing your customer
The last of three separate seminars at the Mid-America Trucking Show conducted by Sirius XM radio host and owner-op coach/consultant Kevin Rutherford was billed to focus on surviving the first year under your own authority as an owner-op. Rutherford in recent years has pushed the idea that owner-operators with authority pursuing relationships with brokers to move freight could make for the most efficient models in trucking, as long as all parties are honest with each other. As any regular reader will know, that's not always the case when we're talking about brokerages -- and the same can be said about some trucking companies large and small, for that matter, as plenty decent brokers emphasize in conversation. Too many, Rutherford emphasizes, shoot themselves in the foot with a view of a freight broker they're working with as at best a necessary evil, as something less than their central customer. For an owner-operator in business as a motor carrier with authority and working primarily…
Apr 12, 2018
800-pound gorilla needs a few good lumpers: Team owner-ops' weeklong trailer dilemma at Amazon
When they booked a load going from one Amazon warehouse in Las Vegas to another in Edwardsville, Ill., Gary and Ondena Caraway had some indications all would not be well for the couple's van trailer on the other end. Problem is, they missed the fine-print indication on the load listing that 12-48 hours would be required for unload. When that 48 hours turned into a week.... Well, let's just say they were not happy. The Caraways' story is this week's Overdrive Radio edition.
Mar 29, 2018
Motor carrier self-insurance 'privilege': Removal might, dare one say, 'level the playing field'
This talk with owner-operator and OOIDA board member Tilden Curl of Washington State touches on the option available to (mostly large) motor carriers to self-insure, whose implications "run deep," Curl says, from issues of training and substandard pay to safety and more. Curl also weighs on the central theme in this week following all the hours of service/ELD angst percolating among haulers of all stripes -- "It seems like the small working man doesn’t get heard anymore, even if they get the chance to speak. It’s all about the constituency of the dollar. … I don’t know how we will get hold of our rules in our industry until we can depend on our government representing the people instead of the dollar." Also: Parking on I-5 corridor, where Curl specializes.
Mar 27, 2018
Jason Lee Wilson live at MATS 2018
It was a knock-out performance by 2016 Trucker Talent Search winning trucker-singer-songwriter Jason Lee Wilson of Maryville, Tenn., including his infamous “Truck Stop Betty” in homage to a waitress at the old Monteagle Truck Stop, and a track those of you who’ve been dealing with those persnickety ELDs might relate to. This performance occurred at the Progressive Commercial booth in the North Wing at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., March 23. Opening on the harmonica: Joe Harewicz of Long Haul Trucking.
Mar 21, 2018
Live from Nashville to start MATS week: 'Long Haul Paul' Marhoefer with Donnie and Jan Gullett
With a new record out from Laughing Hyena records and available at many truck stops around the nation, Paul Marhoefer started the week of the 2018 Mid-America Trucking Show in Nashville, Tenn., where Overdrive Radio caught up with him for an impromptu run through several of his tracks at the Fiddler's Inn. "Long Haul Paul" also talks a bit here through his approach to a new irregular series he's penning on the Overdrive Extra blog, "Faces of the Road."
Mar 20, 2018
Lay of the land for owner-operators: By the numbers, redux, with ATBS' Todd Amen
Todd Amen of ATBS is increasingly bullish on the prospects of income improvements for owner-operators in 2018 as capacity pressures mount and rates rise for independents and leased reefer, dry and flatbed haulers paid on a percentage of the load. Expect, he says, many of those paid per-mile to see pay-rate hikes this year, too. These are just a couple 2018 and forward predictions he makes in this special-edition Overdrive Radio podcast -- audio from the owner-operator business services firm's President's annual income and other metrics benchmarking conference call, with data based on full-year 2017 numbers and more.
Mar 16, 2018
Double-brokering, ELDs, pausing that 14-hour clock: Round-up from the mailbag, more
The second half of Overdrive Radio's Todd Dills' talk with Leander Richmond, Eagle Express small fleet owner, about brokers' and truckers' often conflicting expectations, his own thoughts on the hours of service regulations now that ELDs are here, business conditions, an experience with double brokering and more. That follows a bit of a further mailbag round of voices on the potential for change in the hours of service.
Mar 7, 2018
Managing ridiculous expectations in the broker-communication game for owner-ops and small fleets
Communication is important, for sure, but Leander Richmond of eight-truck small fleet Eagle Express, headquartered in Michigan, has uncovered no small amount of frustration in the very fiber of his being with increasingly pushy freight middlemen when it comes to proof of delivery. As you’ll hear here at the beginning of our talk, some go so far as to make it a contract stipulation that the carrier will be required to send proof of delivery within an hour of offload – or lose all claim to payment for that load. Sound outrageous? There's more ...
Feb 16, 2018
Mailbag: Split sleeper-berth hours option high on haulers' hours wish list
Herein a bevy of reader responses to OOIDA’s petition to FMCSA to add a three-hour pause button option to the 14-hour on-duty clock in the hours of service rule. Several readers viewed it as the kind of common-sense option that could add some flexibility to the rule to alleviate new stresses incurred as a result of the mandate to utilize electronic logging devices. The large majority of reader respondents you’ll hear here, however, took the notion of a pause button farther. It’s split-rest, or split sleeper berth period flexibility, that most want, a return of a fashion to options that were available prior to the 14-hour on duty period coming into play more than a decade ago now.
Feb 9, 2018
A site with community at its heart: BigRigTravels turns 10 under trucker Stephen Michaels' tutelage
In this edition of Overdrive Radio, a talk with trucker Stephen Michaels, who for 10 years this week has been proprietor of a website, BigRigTravels.com, through which people around the world have been able to ride along with Michaels through his windshield-cam live feeds. Among the more well-known among truckers who engage the public this way, Michaels reflects here on friendships made with his many "Road Crew" followers and collaborators as well as impact, from individual shifts in the perception of trucking to education on just how to drive safely around big trucks. Bonus: BigRigTravels fan Dave Isett weighs in on what the site has meant to him.
Jan 25, 2018
Profit -- what this trucking thing is all about: A talk with Scott Jordan
The ICG ProfitCalc app for Android and iOS devices is a bidding app that allows owner-operator users to input their annual cost projections as a benchmark for load-by-load rate calculations to ensure a chosen profit margin. In this Overdrive Radio podcast, creator and small fleet owner Scott Jordan runs through some of the app's history with use in his own business. Also: Did you hear the one about the farmer, the fox and the butcher? ...
Jan 22, 2018
Despite state-level momentum, truckers 'prohibited from using marijuana -- period'
Though there's an ever-expanding rift between state law and federal law regarding marijuana use, the issue is clear for carriers and drivers, say Joe Rajkovacz, of the Western States Trucking Association, and Tim Doyle, VP of the Maine Motor Transport Association, both of whom reside in states where aggressive action is being taken to upend drug testing practices regarding marijuana use. Hear them discuss the latest on driver drug testing through the lens of state-level action on legalizing marijuana.
Jan 17, 2018
New tax law enacts major changes for owner-operators
Listen to owner-operator tax experts Kevin Rutherford and consultants at ATBS discuss how 2017's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impacts owner-operator businesses. Read more at OverdriveOnline.com.
Jan 16, 2018
When 'planning better' is not an option: Owner-operator Mark Kirbyson on the move to ELDs
"Planning better" will only get you so far when it comes to a 14-hour rule with rigid ends, says owner-operator Mark Kirbyson in this latest edition of Overdrive Radio. Kirbyson, and many other operators, find themselves this new year dealing with a variety of headaches with their last-minute switch to ELDs as mandate went into effect on December 18 -- issues discussed here range from the problematic nature of the hours of service to overwhelmed ELD vendors and more. The bonus -- quickly improving spot rates translating themselves more slowly to the contract market -- Kirbyson believes, can only go so far.
Jan 11, 2018
Driver monitoring and scoring: A brief overview of fleets' initiatives
CCJ Tech Editor Aaron Huff provides a high-level overview of how fleets are using the influx of data from in-cab systems to monitor, coach and score drivers.
Jan 5, 2018
The Odious Death of the Cracker King, by Paul Marhoefer
Paul Marhoefer's "Odious Death of the Cracker King," from "Raw Cuts" record of acoustic folks, tells the story of a fictional character in the title, which Marhoefer describes as something of a composite of two men he'd known long ago, the "sons of outlaw bull haulers" both, plus a little of that mythic dirge treatment Marhoefer's a master of.
Dec 19, 2017
Emotions are high, but trucking didn't die Dec. 18: A talk with Gary Buchs
A wide-ranging talk with owner-operator Gary Buchs on emotion around the ELD mandate and need for greater calculation in future business decisions, among a variety of others subjects related to freight, pricing and cost reduction. “We want to get emotional and say, you know, truck driving died on Dec. 18," he says, "but you know what, it didn’t die, it just changed, and with every change there’s opportunity. We in this industry that do this job –- we’ve tended to pride ourselves on working more for less, but we need to not work more for less.”
Dec 12, 2017
Less than a week to go before ELD mandate enforcement: Truckers voices raised against it
Voices from the December 4 anti-ELD mandate rallies held across the country as well as from the Overdrive Radio podcast message line as the temperature continues to be raised by many in the trucking community against the electronic logging device mandate. If nothing changes, enforcement of the requirement for most interstate truckers to use ELDs will begin Dec. 18.
Dec 6, 2017
Can electric-drive upend diesel's long reign?
Overdrive Equipment Editor Jason Cannon, speaking with KC Phillips on the “Road Dog Live” program, discussed the Tesla Semi electric truck recently, including responding to numerous owner-operators' call-in questions about the big recent Semi reveal in California, which Cannnon attended.
Nov 27, 2017
Everybody's favorite subject, ELD implementation, with 9-truck fleet owner Bill Frerichs
This talk with Bill Frerichs of Frerichs Freight Lines touches on issues that will no doubt arise with wide use of ELDs industrywide, likewise Frerichs own beginning implementation of the Telogis ELD platform in his nine-truck dry van operation. Bonus: A key difference between AOBRDs, ELDs' regulatory predecessors, and the new devices -- administrator/back-office edits of drivers' logs are not required to display at roadside with AOBRDs, though such devices still must preserve the original log, available to auditors.
Nov 14, 2017
Carriers' 'magic eraser' role in compounding detention issues: Rico Muhammad on the e-log shift
As a trade-off for the ultimate hassle of mandated e-logs, owner-operator and Rates & Lanes podcast host Rico Muhammad's hopeful owner-operators can both individually and collectively use the change as a cudgel to their advantage when dealing with brokers, shippers, receivers ... anyone in the supply chain who would insist on wasting drivers' time. He doesn't have his head in the sand to the challenge of that actually happening, however, nor in the clouds with predictions on where rates might go in the coming year, provided the mandate stays on its schedule. On both, "the jury is still out," he says. Hear nuts-and-bolts thoughts on his own e-log implementation as well as plenty discussion of broader issues in this edition of Overdrive Radio.
Oct 27, 2017
'Bringing the cultural diversity of trucking together': Scott Reed, Mike Landis on the ELD protests
Among perhaps the biggest ripple effects from the ELD mandate protests could be, some truckers believe, a new appreciation for the cultural diversity within the owner-operator community. That's something that both Scott Reed, part organizer among the different groups that came together in D.C., and owner-operator Mike Landis, who participated, certainly agree on. In this Overdrive Radio podcast, you'll hear Reed's reflection on outcomes and next steps, and Landis offers his narration of what it was like to have been a part of.
Oct 16, 2017
'It's time somebody starts looking out for the little guy': Voices from the ELD mandate protests
As ripple effects continue to emanate from some sense of camaraderie among many anti-ELD-mandate partisans -- a result of protest efforts around the country a week or two back -- this Overdrive Radio podcast runs through some of the various conversations had during Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills' few days in D.C. as the efforts there got under way. The podcast rounds out with more messages on the podcast line taken over the course of the protest week as many shut down.
Oct 5, 2017
From the scene in D.C. and around the country as grassroots groups press against the ELD mandate
Rounding up sounds and some news from the grassroots influence campaign on lawmakers/protest against the ELD mandate in Washington, D.C. An interview after Day One with Tony Justice, and a bevy of responses on Overdrive Radio's podcast call-in line from around the country, among other news. A small group of demonstrators, meanwhile, as the podcast was wrapping up, were meeting with FMCSA officials at DOT headquarters.
Sep 29, 2017
Mailbag: ELD mandate, 14-hour reform should be top priorities for next FMCSA administrator
It’s been quite a while since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had an administrator appointed to head it up, but this week, the news was that Ray Martinez had been tapped for the role. Career bureaucrat Martinez, currently serving at the head of New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission, should focus, say Overdrive readers, on a bevy of hours of service-related issues, in addition to other concerns voiced in this mailbag edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, compiled from responses prompted via OverdriveOnline.com. What's your view on where FMCSA's eventual new administrator should put his focus?
Sep 22, 2017
Mailbag: Views on ELD protest actions promoted for Oct. 3 and following days
in this week’s edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, we’re taking a run through the mailbag following last week’s conversations with organizers of two ELD mandate protest actions set to take place in Washington, D.C., beginning Oct. 3.
Sep 16, 2017
Protest efforts around the ELD mandate set to stage October 3
Two unaffiliated groups -- Tony Justice and company's ELD or Me, and the Texas-headquartered Operation Black and Blue -- share details for ELD mandate protests coalescing around a beginning date of October 3. Owner-operator Erick Engbarth, not involved in either effort, distills his anti-ELD rationale. Will you participate in protest efforts 10/3 through the rest of that week? Tell Overdrive why or why not via: 530-408-6423. With any message, let us know your name and base location.
Sep 4, 2017
Overdrive Radio special edition: Trucker Talent Search 2017
In this special edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills walks you back to the 2017 Trucker Talent Search event at the Great American Trucking Show, for a run through the series of performances, from Bill Weaver introductory tune through competitors Michael Lochmiller, Terrance "Jake Brake Junkie" Mathis, and Richard Woods. Finally, host Tony Justice played two tracks from his "Stars, Stripes and White Lines" record, out earlier this summer.
Sep 1, 2017
"Mr. D-O-T," by Bill Weaver
Flippin, Ark.-based Bill Weaver opened the 2017 Trucker Talent Search with this classic from his "Every Mile I Drive" record.
Sep 1, 2017
"Hitch Your Wagon," by Michael Lochmiller
Las Vegas-based Michael Lochmiller's Trucker Talent Search competition performance at the Great American Trucking Show. "Hitch your wagon" is a Lochmiller original.
Sep 1, 2017
"She got the goldmine" parody -- Terrance Mathis
Jake Brake Junkie Terrance Mathis performs a parody of Jerry Reed's "She got the goldmine" as part of the Trucker Talent Search competition at the Great American Trucking Show.
Sep 1, 2017
"Gran" by Richard Woods
Owner-operator Richard Woods' winning original, a tune written for his grandfather, in the 2017 Trucker Talent Search at the Great American Trucking Show.
Sep 1, 2017
Tony Justice live at the 2017 Trucker Talent Search
Trucker singer-songwriter Tony Justice, host of the 2017 Trucker Talent Search competition at GAT, did a pro turn as judges tabulated the results and delivered beautiful renditions of two songs from his "Stars, Stripes and White Lines" record, including the title track and "Live, Laugh, Love and Dance," written with his wife, Misty.
Aug 31, 2017
On a Hurricane Harvey relief mission with owner-operator Bill Ater
Owner-operator Bill Ater, based in Fort Worth, had his "feet in the starting blocks, hands on the floor" and was "waiting on the starting shot" when Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills talked with him August 29, staged in South Texas for relief shuttles associated with Hurricane Harvey. "Welcome to my world when I’m working FEMA," he said. Ater's worked 14 or 15 hurricane relief efforts over the years, he says, all of which offer a chance he says he appreciates as much or more for the human connections than income opportunity, in the end.
Aug 26, 2017
'Benefit of the doubt' to the driver on the ELD mandate in inspections
After an introduction by trucker/singer-songwriter Michael Lochmiller, listen in on Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills' discussion of roadside enforcement of the ELD mandate set to go into effect in December -- with Sergeant Dana Moore of the Texas DPS, who urged officers to 'punt' to administrative review in questionable situations and get the driver on his way. Todd Amen of ATBS, further, delivers news about economic conditions broadly for trucking, a bit of good news in recent months as load-to-truck ratios on the spot market have spiked.
Aug 24, 2017
'Honky Tonk Nighttime Man': Talent search finalist Michael Lochmiller
Finally in our Overdrive Radio podcast round featuring interviews with this year’s Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search contestants, this one features Michael Lochmiller, with a rendition of a classic from Merle Haggard in "Honky Tonk Nighttime Man." Lochmiller hauls for System Transport out of a home base in Las Vegas, and following (or above) hear Red Eye Radio’s Eric Harley talk music, trucking and life with the driver.
Aug 23, 2017
'Country road': Trucking, music, life with Trucker Talent Search finalist Richard Woods
Owner-operator Richard Woods earned his spot in this year's Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search with a cover of the famous John Denver tune, "Country Road." He's one of three finalists in the talent search, coming to a close with a final winner Friday, August 25, at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Woods is an owner-operator hauling rail containers, largely, and lives in Hickory Flat, Mississippi. Following (and above), hear a little from his music, and Red Eye Radio’s Eric Harley talks with Woods about his musical history, trucking and more.
Aug 23, 2017
'Take this e-log and shove it': Talking with Trucker Talent Search finalist Terrance Mathis
This edition of Overdrive Radio spotlights one of our three Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search finalists, set battle it out Friday, August 25, at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Red Eye Radio's Eric Harley talks here with Rockford, Illinois, resident and Kloeckner metals driver Terrance Mathis. Mathis is the man responsible for the great Johnny Paycheck parody you'll hear a little of here, which earned his spot in the talent search.
Aug 18, 2017
Rebuilding: From bulk dedicated to a solid core of direct customers with independent Tim Klaus
Independent owner-operator and longtime flatbedder Tim Klaus re-entered trucking early in the last decade and soon enough found himself at the center of the natural gas drilling boom, hauling frac sand. It dried up earlier for him than many owner-ops, but since then he's made several moves in his pick of freight, trailer spec and more to build a core of direct customers that keeps his brokered loads down to just several annually. The Missouri-based owner-op runs through those details, and some of his family's long trucking history, in this Overdrive Radio edition.
Aug 10, 2017
A strong base: The mechanical prowess -- and ELD trials and tribulations -- of Randy Carlson
Owner-operator Randy Carlson, with a 2001 Freightliner Classic powered by an older B model Caterpillar, got his start in trucking when his dad trucked, then mechanicking after attending trade school, providing a solid base from which to forget an owner-operator business. He's been at it since at least 1993, first with a mid-1980s KW T600 he came to own in quite an interesting way. In this edition of Overdrive Radio, hear more about his calculations around the ELD mandate, and plenty of insights around the value to any owner-operator of a strong base of mechanical prowess.
Aug 4, 2017
Out of the unknown: Step deck owner's strategies around mobile information tech, freight, ELDs
Blue Ridge Transport step deck hauler Joey Slaughter presented at Expedite Expo about the bevy of smartphone apps he uses in his business, antidote to the situation suggested by his presentation's lead image -- a lone rig on a highway sits under an illuminated road sign alerting icy winter conditions ahead.without much more than that a driver is flying blind into the unknown. Today, though, you’ve got access to real-time radar, to real-time traffic, to information on dock locations and procedures, loads of course through broker apps and boards and so very much more. In this Overdrive Radio episode, we also talked to Slaughter about his broker/agent relationship-building strategies, his approach to ELDs (he's still on paper) and more.
Jul 20, 2017
Freight niche transition -- HHG to expedited -- with Landstar-leased owner-operator Greg Huggins
Expediter Greg Huggins three years ago made the transition to the need-it-now/high-touch freight niche after two decades and more hauling as an owner-operator with a moving van, also in a straight truck. The transition entailed more than you might think, somewhat akin to a driver who’s relied on a dispatcher for his entire career going out and getting his own authority and navigating the fragmented world of freight brokers and shippers on his own. Also in this podcast, a brief talk with expedited small fleet owner Steve McNeal about his custom six-skid-box/sleeper-outfitted 2017 Ford Transit van, unique in its configuration.
Jul 13, 2017
'Make mad money. Be a freight broker': Independent on a culture of dishonesty among middlemen
A culture of maximum profit, whatever the cost in toil or honesty be damned, clearly infects some corners of the trucking industry, to the detriment, too often, of those doing the work of hauling the freight. That's the message of independent owner-operator James Woods, who spoke for this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast on subjects of transactional transparency, fair dealing and more that are sorely needed in some quarters. A culture of dishonesty is alive and well, Woods says, and needs to be fought. Also: What it feels like to take home a $150K piece of equipment free of charge -- owner-operator Dickie Penrod wins big in Landstar's most recent truck giveaway.
Jul 7, 2017
Making the e-log switch: The evolution of small fleet Old Time Express
This talk with Mark and Mitch White of 25-truck fleet Old Time Express ranges over the company's transition to electronic logs a few years back now, made in part to help get it out of a Conditional rating purgatory. It hasn’t all been without its bumps in the road, as you’ll hear in the conversation. But with focus on improving rates with customers, expanding the use of pre-loaded trailers on either end of drivers’ round trips where possible, and the close attention to collecting detention and adjusting hourly rates and policies with shipper customers and brokers, Mark White believes Old Time has at this point worked out the ELD kinks. More on the subject of where rates may go after the ELD mandate here, too.
Jun 29, 2017
A tour through Tony Justice's new 'Stars, Stripes and White Lines' album
In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, take an audio tour with Everhart Transportation driver and songwriter Tony Justice and his wife, Misty (cowriter on one track), through his new Stars, Stripes and White Lines record, out June 30 officially. Here the two talk with Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills about several of the stories behind the tracks on the record, likewise the “ELD or me” Facebook group the driver-songwriter started a month or two back to coalesce driver opposition to the ELD mandate toward an October demonstration in Washington, D.C. Sample several of the tracks from the record along the way ... Elvis was a truck driver, too, you know...
Jun 22, 2017
No more chasing rates: How dedicated freight can deliver on a chief concern, income stability
For Keith and Vickie Sampson, leased to Landstar for most of the last decade, that dedicated run has delivered healthy profits, too -- the best of both worlds for their team operation. In this podcast, Keith tells his trucking story and offers perspective on what he's learned over the years when it comes to maintaining his business' health. Sampson's take-closest-care-of-what-you-can-control message has served him well over his most recent years trucking as an owner-operator. Also a songwriter, Sampson's most recent record was profiled in a prior Overdrive Radio podcast you can find at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/podcast-owner-operator-keith-sampson-and-his-new-its-made-me-who-i-am-record/
Jun 15, 2017
Don't get 'beat up' on rates: Talking direct-ship freight with Monte Wiederhold
Shipper-direct freight and managing customer relationships are the bread and butter for all-owner-operator (including himself) 9-truck B.L. Reever Transport owner Monte Wiederhold's business. Wiederhold’s based in Southwest Ohio, hauling out of a variety of manufacturers in the area, utilizing brokers on occasion. Here he stresses the value of communication throughout all participants in the fleet to customers as a core service to avoid getting "beat up" on freight by those who would undercut you. Hear a past podcast with Wiederhold on the subject of ELDs and a potential rates effect via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/podcast-cold-water-on-the-eld-mandates-potential-rates-impacts/
Jun 13, 2017
'Not adding up': Skepticism of income equation with ELDs, hours regs, rates and detention issues
Following Clifford "Chappy" Petersen's letter to the President of the United States -- http://www.overdriveonline.com/letter-to-trump-parking-14-hour-rule-congestion-ever-more-urgent-issues-with-elds/ -- stressing the need for hours of service change in light of the mandate for most truckers to use electronic logging devices, owner-operators looked out at the revenue equation with ELD and hours of service regs, detention and truckload rates and determined 'it's not adding up,' in the words of one. Find here a bevy of views on ELDs and hours, published following the Supreme Court declining to hear OOIDA's last-ditch appeal to the court to overturn the mandate.
Jun 2, 2017
Identity theft: Owner-operator Scott Reed's ongoing clawback from a dramatic credit hit
It's an increasingly common scenario: identity theft, which can be a huge negative to your credit rating. It happened to owner-operator Scott Reed a few years back. His identity was stolen by a still-undetermined individual far west of his Ohio home, and after being surprisingly denied on a simple credit application, he was pulled over in the normal run of trucking and notified that there were several warrants out for his arrest. That’s when the reality of just what had happened to his credit truly sank in. Along the way, he had to let go of a prized power unit, claw his way back into profitability after a health issue, and more. He tells the rest of the story in this podcast.
May 26, 2017
Owner-op Dean Carnahan: Bad health is a 'preventable accident'
There is no more prescient business topic than personal health, as CargoMax-leased owner-operator Dean Carnahan would have it. Without your life, your business can't even be an afterthought. Trouble is, as Carnahan well knows, taking control of diet isn’t always a simple thing to do out on the road. Truck stop options are too often limited to high-calorie, high-sugar junk or fast food these days. He’s hopeful getting more drivers taking a proactive role in healthy eating can spur a movement to change the status quo in that regard.
May 19, 2017
'It's made me who I am': Owner-operator Keith Sampson's new record
Take a run through Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills' conversation with Keith Sampson about a variety of tracks on his "It's Made Me Who I Am" record of rockin' country and trucking music. The record follows Sampson's 2014 win in Overdrive's inaugural Trucker Talent Search, which spurred Sampson on to produce the album, lately inking a deal with Laughing Hyena Records to distribute to truck stops and other locales around the nation. For now, those interested can find it via CDBaby.com, search "Keith Sampson."
May 12, 2017
ELDs, rates: Small fleet owner throws cold water on the notion that a big change is in the offing
Following a variety of reports -- and somewhat widespread hope -- that an ELD mandate in place for a significant amount of time might result in a sizable rate gain for small business and other truckers around the nation, small fleet owner Monte Wiederhold throws a little cold water on the notion by appealing to history, in part. Also: Wiederhold discusses nascent efforts in his home state of Ohio to subsidize CDL training and give tax breaks to companies hiring recent graduates.
Apr 28, 2017
When a straight 14 isn't the ideal, or most safe, option: A run with Scott Reed
In this Overdrive Radio podcast what you'll hear is part of Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills' many conversations with Buckland, Ohio-based owner-operator Scott Reed over two days on the road in mid-April 2017. It tells the story of what Reed sees as a certainly less-than-ideal hours rule when it comes to his operation. He's leased to Ohio Transport out of Middletown, Ohio, and works with agent Greg Simpson to stick within about a 200-mile radius of his home.
Apr 25, 2017
2016 Trucker Talent Search winner Jason Lee Wilson interviewed by Eric Harley on Red Eye Radio
In this April 2017 interview conducted by Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio, trucker/singer-songwriter Jason Lee Wilson details the recording session that was the result of his winning the Overdrive 2016 Trucker Talent Search competition. For the session, recording his "Roads I've taken" original track, he invited his fellow finalists Will Perry and Keith Snyder to do backing vocals and bass, respectively, at January Sound in Dallas.
Apr 13, 2017
Looking into the crystal ball on ELDs/rates with ATBS' Todd Amen
Audio here from ATBS' annual conference call with owner-operators detailing year-end income averages and other data from 2016 among the business services firm's owner-operator clients. Amen outlines what many know about 2016 -- it was a lackluster year for many, with income stagnant to down a bit -- and makes bold predictions about what's going to happen to rates over the next several years as ELDs come into full implementation. Amen will be the first to tell you the crystal ball is what it is, and things change. But if he's reading the landscape right, he says, good things for rates are coming, particularly for those who already have a handle on the electronic hours environment, whether with large or the smallest of fleets. It's not all good news, of course, and he offers a word of advice to independents: Start looking for ways to maximize income by cost-cutting or other measures now -- if you can hang on well into next year and beyond, there could be a payoff on the other side of the…
Apr 5, 2017
Cutting through the 'autonomous' hype with Bendix' Fred Andersky
Listen in on Bendix' Fred Andersky's presentation at the Mid-America Trucking Show, part of the company's series of brief "tech talks" at its show booth, on the realistic outlook for truly "autonomous" trucks -- they're a long, long way off, to say the least, he notes.
Mar 29, 2017
Separate regs wheat from the chaff, say OOIDA's Todd Spencer, small fleet owner Monte Wiederhold
OOIDA's "Knock Out Bad Regs" effort to hold the Trump administration accountable for its pledge to ease regulatory burdens, as they relate in this case to small business trucking, spurred this conversation at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March 2017. Overdrive's Todd Dills spoke with OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer and OOIDA board member and small fleet owner Monte Wiederhold (with a brief appearance near the end by owner-operator Marion Spray) about just where the association's case against the ELD mandate is (pending to the Supreme Court) and what's happening all around the nation as truckers take matters into their own hands delivering the message to lawmakers.
Mar 27, 2017
Chad Boblett of Rate Per Mile Masters: More on building relationships with brokers
In the crowded West Wing at the Louisville convention center during MATS this Friday (apologies for the background noise), Overdrive's Todd Dills talked through load-negotiation and broker-relationship strategy with Chad Boblett, administrator of the Rate Per Mile Masters Facebook group, 10,000 members (and growing) strong. Boblett was on hand at the DAT Load Boards booth to talk load-board use and business strategy with convention attendees.
Mar 25, 2017
Navigating trucking's 'tech bubble': FMCSA outlines ELD mandate implementation for drivers
It was a packed house in the South Wing seminar room Friday, March 24, for FMCSA's electronic-logging-device-implementation seminar for owner-operator and driver attendees at the Mid-America Trucking Show. FMCSA representatives LaTonya Mimms and Danielle Smith here walked attendees through the basics of ELD use and adoption, where the rule hits the road.
Feb 27, 2017
America's Road Team captains to carriers' recruiters: 'Respect your drivers'
Moderated by mostly-owner-operator truckload carrier Jet Express President Kevin Burch, this panel featured four multi-million-miler captains for the America's Road Team, speaking to recruiters and other carrier reps at Conversion Interactive Agency's 2017 Recruiting and Retention conference. Featured were Walmart drivers Allen Boyd and Kenny Lowry, FedEx Freight hauler Don Logan and Steve Fields of YRC out of Kansas City.
Jan 31, 2017
If it means parking options remain, readers say, rest-area commercialization A-OK
A bevy of readers responded to the National Association of Truck Stop Operators' reported opposition to an idea floated by the Federal Highway Administration to relax rules against states adding greater food options to rest areas as a way to help fund the rest areas to keep them open -- thus providing ensuring they remain viable parking options at the same time. There was near unanimity from truckers that the idea was a good one, despite any added competition to truck stops.
Jan 24, 2017
'Common sense, you've got it for a reason' -- Use your CB already, readers say
In Overdrive Radio mailbag podcast airing readers' view, the subject of declining CB usage is roundly decried. Once and still a valuable tool for sharing and receiving reports about unsafe situations up ahead on the highways and bi-ways of America, the CB is only as good a tool as the number of highway users is large. Readers urged drivers to better employ it day to day for the benefit of all highway users' safety.
Nov 22, 2016
Will the speed-limiter mandate 'die an ignominious death'?: Joe Rajkovacz on incoming administration
Former owner-operator Joe Rajkovacz, now representing the Western States Trucking Association, addressed attendees of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies' annual meeting here in Nashville last week. As usual, his talk contained more than a few items of note for owner-operators and small fleets, not least among them his good news view on where the speed-limiter mandate is going (see above) and less-sunny thoughts about a somewhat recent California Air Resources Board meeting mulling possibilities of a new Ultra-Low NOx emissions standard -- that one holds the possibility of further pushing up the cost of new diesels. $200,000 trucks would not be far off under such a scenario, he said. More from his regulatory update presentation here at the National Association of Small Trucking Companies' annual meeting. More via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/regs-outlook-change-is-in-the-air
Nov 22, 2016
Partners in Business, part 3: Managing fuel costs
This podcast installment of Overdrive’s Partners in Business, condensed from Overdrive's business manual of the same name, covers how to control fuel costs. Topics include how to minimize fuel consumption, getting a fair fuel surcharge and choosing where to buy fuel.
Nov 17, 2016
Partners in Business, part 2: Managing money and time
One of the biggest hurdles in being a successful owner-operator has little to do with what goes on inside the cab or under the hood. Instead, it’s the challenge you face as an independent who has to run a small business, managing thousands of dollars in revenue and costs. This podcast installment in the Overdrive’s Partners in Business series, excerpting portions of the Partners in Business manual, covers how to develop and use profit and loss statements, and how to understand your revenue, earnings and costs.
Nov 14, 2016
Truckers to Trump on regs: Hours, speed limiters, ELDs should be on tap for revision, withdrawal
Overdrive readers react to Donald Trump's election victory with a call for increased attention to and revision or repeal of, variously, the FMCSA's ELD mandate, NHTSA/FMCSA's proposed speed limiter mandate, the inflexibility of the 14-hour rule and 30-minute break in the hours of service and more.
Nov 2, 2016
A case for stronger owner-operator freight partnerships: Kevin Rutherford to a roomful of brokers
How former owner-operator/fleet owner and current educator and radio host Rutherford broke the ice with the mostly-broker audience at Truckstop.com's Connected 2016 user conference: "Many of my listeners think the majority of this room are lying, cheating scumbag parasites sitting in a room with a phone and an internet connection sucking all the profit out of the load." Truth is, brokers serve a purpose in the industry as the outside sales force for many an independent owner-operator, a model for freight movement that Rutherford views as the most efficient in trucking all around. In this talk, he spelled out for the brokerage audience why he's on a mission to help strengthen the relationships between brokers and independents toward better profitability for owner-operators and a more healthy industry.
Nov 1, 2016
Mailbag: ELD mandate upheld in 7th circuit court, readers react
Following Halloween news that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected OOIDA's arguments against the FMCSA's electronic logging device mandate, readers weighed in on their views relative to the court decision, ELDs in practice broadly, and the hours of service, which several noted were the bedrock problem. To access the full test of the court's decision, visit this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/eld-mandate-survives-court-challenge/
Oct 26, 2016
Partners in Business, part 1: Getting started as an owner-operator
Overdrive’s Partners in Business manual combines the best material from Overdrive magazine with the expertise of the consultants at ATBS, the nation’s largest owner-operator financial services provider. This first installment of a new series condenses parts of the manual to cover making the transition to self-employment and some of the planning basics for running your own business.
Oct 24, 2016
Paul Marhoefer's "Old Black Epiphone" record: Trucking, music, life
Trucker and singer-songwriter Paul Marhoefer's new "Old Black Epiphone" record follows his participation in the 2015 Trucker Talent Search and his previous record, "Raw Cuts." Recorded in part near his Muncie, Ind., home base -- the other half at Muscle Shoals Music in Tuscumbia, Ala. -- the record tracks in themes of redemption for and reckoning with mistakes of the past. In Marhoefer's case, a lot of that past is trucking, of course. The interview here, intercut with tracks from the record, was recorded in October 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. Hear more about the Muscle Shoals sessions here: https://soundcloud.com/overdriveradio/live-from-muscle-shoals-truckersinger-songwriter-paul-marhoefer-cuts-old-black-epiphone-record
Oct 21, 2016
Cost, safety, undue government intrusion on business: More reader voices on mandated ELDs
From a contention that OOIDA is making the wrong case in its lawsuit to block FMCSA's electronic-logging-device mandate to more bedrock concerns about mandated use of the devices' safety impacts, readers weighed in following oral arguments in the case delivered in the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in September. Hear those via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/audio-ooida-v-u-s-dot-arguments-delivered-in-court-tuesday/
Sep 26, 2016
Brice Martin presents the Larry H. Martin award to Tony Justice
The annual Larry H. Martin Award is meant to honor the memory of Larry Martin, who opened 4 State Trucks, and is delivered to a trucker who goes above and beyond duty. In this audio, hear Martin's son and current co-owner Brice Martin, and near the end his brother Bryan, narrate the attributes of the trucker and singer-songwriter they delivered the annual recognition to this year -- East Tennessee-based Tony Justice.
Sep 20, 2016
'I am a speed limiter': More voices against -- and one in favor of -- the DOT's speed proposal
In the wake of DOT's late-August proposed rulemaking to mandate speed limiters for much of the industry, while many questions remains as to what might finally emerge from the proposal, readers are virtually unequivocal is opposition to it. That's in part for its discounting of the driver's role in highway safety, as is evidenced in this latest mailbag podcast rounding up a bevy of Overdrive reader views. Find more in this related podcast: http://www.overdriveonline.com/mailbag-one-operators-hairy-trip-speed-limited-at-65-more-views-on-limiter-mandate-proposal/
Sep 14, 2016
OOIDA v. U.S. DOT's ELD mandate: Oral arguments in the 7th Circuit
Oral arguments in the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association's lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's December 2015-released electronic logging device mandate proceeded September 13, 2016. Arguing for the association, Paul D. Cullen Sr. in this audio released by the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals lays out the basics of OOIDA's case, and Department of Justice attorney Joshua Waldman defends the U.S. Department of Transportation. Read more about the sundry issues discussed via this page containing Overdrive's complete coverage of the ELD mandate and related issues: http://overdriveonline.com/tag/electronic-logs
Sep 13, 2016
Mailbag: 'It was hairy' --reader on cross-country trip speed-limited at 65, more views
Asked just what, if any, speed they would choose if a speed-limiter mandate became law and specified a speed setting, nearly half of Overdrive's owner-operator readers indicated none, objecting entirely to the mandate. A slightly larger share chose speeds higher than those analyzed by the Department of Transportation in the recently released proposed rulemaking, for reasons of safety and more. A Maine-based trucker recounted the experience of running across the Western U.S. limited to 65 mph as "hairy" in high-speed environments for four-wheelers.
Sep 2, 2016
Truck Stop Betty, by Jason Lee Wilson
Jason Lee Wilson's winning performance of "Truck Stop Betty," dedicated to Betty Thomas, former proprietor of the Monteagle Truck Plaza at the top of the rock in Monteagle, Tenn. Wilson, resident of Knoxville, came out on top in the 2016 edition of the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search.
Sep 2, 2016
Walkin' the Alligators, by Keith Snyder
Snyder's performance in the Aug. 26, 2016, Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search finals in Dallas, Texas.
Sep 2, 2016
Yesterday is History, by Will Perry
Minnesota-based trucker and songwriter Will Perry's performance of this song at the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio 2016 Trucker Talent Search. Perry was one of three finalists in the annual competition.
Sep 2, 2016
ATBS' Richard Deforest on the 'driver shortage': Turnover/retention and income is the real problem
Owner-operators have a distinct advantage over company drivers in manipulating conditions toward better income, and that's cost management, says ATBS' Richard DeForest in this presentation, delivered at the Aug. 26, 2016 Overdrive/ATBS Partners in Seminar at the Great American Trucking Show. DeForest also laid out his case that the much-talked-about "driver shortage" issue is not a shortage at all, a subject also covered in-depth in Overdrive earlier this year: http://www.overdriveonline.com/the-driver-shortage-alarm/
Aug 30, 2016
Trucker and songwriter Jason Lee Wilson's 'From Lynchburg to Nashville' and more
Knoxville-area-based Jason Lee Wilson delivered this performance on the final day on the 2016 Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. It followed his live rendition of his own "Truck Stop Betty" the prior day during the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search competition, which he won. Also played here is his "From Lynchburg to Nashville" original song, including on his "Big Gun" 2010 record, available via this link: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Gun-Jason-Lee-Wilson/dp/B005UGX8US
Aug 30, 2016
'Why he trucks' and more: Trucker-songwriter Bill Weaver live at GATS 2016
Bill Weaver's "Every Mile I Drive" record turned heads in early 2016 for its strong Southern-rock flavor backing an honest approach to songwriting that tracks heavily in themes of the hazmat-hauling driver's day-to-day life on the road. Here, Weaver delivers renditions of some of those songs and dedicates the Leon Everette-recorded "Hurricane" to flood-stricken residents of Louisiana. Hear more from "Every Mile I Drive" via this Overdrive Radio podcast: http://www.overdriveonline.com/podcast-take-a-run-through-the-stories-behind-bill-weavers-every-mile-i-drive/
Aug 30, 2016
'Walking the alligators' with Minn.-based independent trucker/songwriter Keith Snyder
At the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas Saturday, Aug. 27, Keith Snyder's performance built on his prior-day run through his original "Walking the Alligators" in the Trucker Talent Search competition. Read more about the Minn.-based reefer-hauling independent owner-operator and songwriter via this link to the Eric Harley's Red Eye Radio interview with him: http://www.overdriveonline.com/walkin-with-grace-the-red-eye-radio-interview-with-trucker-talent-search-finalist-keith-snyder/
Aug 30, 2016
'27,000 lbs. over gross': Trucker-songwriter Paul Marhoefer at GATS 2016
Paul Marhoefer's performance at the Great American Trucking Show in 2016 followed on the heels of two night rounds of shows with Bill Weaver at Fair Park in the hospitality area of the truck-parking lot for the event -- likewise release of Marhoefer's "Old Black Epiphone" record. Read more about the album and part of its recording at Muscle Shoals Music with Alabama session players via this report from Spring 2016: http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-paul-marhoefer-live-from-muscle-shoals-music-studio/
Aug 30, 2016
'Coast to coast' and more: Will Perry live at GATS 2016
Will Perry's "Coast to Coast" was the first trucking-related song the Wayne Transportation driver ever wrote, and here he well delivers it to the crowd out at the Trucker Talent Search all-stars performance Aug. 27 at the 2016 Great American Trucking Show. Blessed with a dynamic tenor voice honed over many years, Perry's got a record under his belt and, as of this performance, was at work on another. Find more about him via his website: http://willperryband.com/
Aug 30, 2016
'You don't need to outrun the bear': NASTC head Dave Owen's case to small fleets for e-logs
NASTC's Dave Owen urges small fleets to use computer-assisted logs, "before they make you turn it into an ELD" by syncing with the engine, to do what they're designed to do as a "spellcheck for logs": solve the problem of form-and-manner mistakes represented in safety scores and stats. Read more via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/dave-owens-case-for-electronic-hours-of-service-compliance
Aug 27, 2016
Lay of the land for owner-operators: By the numbers with ATBS Todd Amen
In spite of the softness of the freight market at the midpoint of 2016, owner-operators' income has actually tracked upward on average, says Todd Amen, ATBS President, in this podcast from the Overdrive/ATBS Partners in Business seminars at the Great American Trucking Show. More insights from ATBS' analysis of its 10s of thousands of owner-operator client business performance in this podcast.
Aug 27, 2016
'Stars, stripes and white lines': Tony Justice live at GATS 2016
Live from the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, trucker and singer-songwriter Tony Justice delivered this performance Aug. 26, 2016, to an appreciative crowd made up primarily of truckers attending the Great American Trucking Show. It included the live debut of his "Stars, Stripes and White Lines" patriotic anthem, planned for release with his next record. To hear samples from his last, the 2016-released "Brothers of the Highway," check out this Overdrive Radio interview with him: http://www.overdriveonline.com/podcast-tony-justices-brothers-of-the-highway-the-trucking-brotherhood-reinforced/
Aug 26, 2016
'Renegade' Australian singer-songwriter Jayne Denham live at GATS
Australian singer-songwriter Jayne Denham in her first trip to the U.S. performed live for attendees of the Great American Trucking Show August 26, 2016. Red Eye Radio's Eric Harley introduced her at the online station's booth here following Overdrive's brief interview about just what's she's seen so far (and hasn't -- the Pride & Polish floor, coming soon) at GATS. Hear more from the performance here and search her name at http://overdriveonline.com for further coverage.
Aug 25, 2016
Starting GATS off right -- a front-porch singalong with Tony Justice, Bill Weaver
The Great American Trucking is under way today, and we can't remember a better beginning to it for me than this treat, served up to several of us, including my friends the Parkers and an untold number of hangers-on, those who just so happened to walk outside the Omni hotel here in Dallas to catch the spectacle you'll hear in this podcast, trucker/singer-songwriters Tony Justice and Bill Weaver running through originals and several crowd-pleasers in an impromptu, unplugged front-porch sound session.
Aug 22, 2016
Coast to Coast: Trucker Talent Search finalist Will Perry
"Coast to coast," the song that got Will Perry to the finalist round of the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search, was the first one he'd ever written directly involving trucking, Perry tells Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio in this podcast interview. What it's about: The industry he's spent the past quarter century in as a driver, with no small measure of pride evoked, he says -- in "the whole atmosphere of over-the-road driving and the trucks." Read more about him via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-talent-search-finalist-will-perry/
Aug 22, 2016
'Came out singing': Trucker/singer-songwriter Jason Lee Wilson
"If I write a song, it ends up setting the stage for the path I take later on" often enough, says Jason Lee Wilson in this interview with Red Eye Radio's Eric Harley in advance of the RER/Overdrive Trucker Talent Search, happening later this week at the Great American Trucking Show. Having grown up around trucks and truckers in Monteagle, Tenn., Wilson wrote the "Lynchburg to Nashville" song that was the track in the talent search that got him to this point, in part about a friend's regular run with whisky barrels for export on the route in the title. Read more about Wilson via http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-talent-search-finalist-jason-lee-wilson-trapped-in-the-gears/
Aug 19, 2016
Walkin' with grace: Interview with 2016 Trucker Talent Search finalist Keith Snyder
Red Eye Radio's Eric Harley here interviews 2016 Trucker Talent Search finalist Keith Snyder. At the Great American Trucking Show Aug. 25-57, Snyder squares off with fellow finalist singer-songwriters to compete for this year's grand prize. Snyder, an independent owner-operator, based in Minnesota, walks Harley through his past in music on the bar circuit to his current approach with Christian themes. Read more about Snyder via this link to Overdrive's profile of the owner-operator: http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-talent-search-finalist-keith-snyder-grew-up-playing-music-with-family/
Aug 11, 2016
The trucking brotherhood reinforced -- Tony Justice's "Brothers of the Highway" record
In this edition of Overdrive Radio, singer-songwriter and ETI driver Tony Justice walks us through several tracks on his new album, "Brothers of the Highway," from the title track duet with country legend Aaron Tippin to the anthem "We Drive Trucks." Find out here, too, just what's in store for the next one. Read more about just what went into making the album via links to past coverage at this story: http://www.overdriveonline.com/tony-justice-aaron-tippin-brothers-of-the-highway-music-video-released/
Aug 4, 2016
From 'tourist truck' to consummate professional: The evolution of owner-operator Gary Buchs
Hitting the road with Landstar-leased owner-operator Gary Buchs, of Bloomington, Ill., Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills' conversation with Buchs just prior to the July 4 holiday ranged across Buchs' own evolution from a Roadway driver in the 1990s to an owner-operator throughout much of the last decade and a half -- firmly in control of his own destiny -- to broader issues throughout the industry, from company driver pay to views on the federal pursuit of the speed-limiter mandate. Buchs views the last as unsafe, period, like so many Overdrive readers. Read more about the run via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/owner-operator-evolution-through-education
Jul 29, 2016
One driver's bounce-back after two years lost to 'suicide by truck'
Around a decade ago, Brian Rudisell experienced something that is tragically common among truckers, as reporting by Carolyn Magner last year made abundantly clear. In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, Rudisell details a "suicide by truck" event that derailed his dump bucket hauling for two years, which included reconstructive surgery on his ankle and, essentially, "learning to walk" again. But the physical aspects of recovery from the head-on crash weren't what was the most difficult to overcome. "The more you talk about the problem, the faster you heal," he says.
Jul 27, 2016
Expansion limits: Brita Nowak's BratCat Express odyssey from one to five trucks and back
Overdrive's 2015 Most Beautiful champ Brita Nowak, independent owner-operator of BratCat Express, here talks with Red Eye Radio host Eric Harley about her 14-year trucking career, following a decade of work in Hollywood as a body double and with the Star Trek Voyager Series. As she makes clear in the interview, she's returned to just a single 2005 Kenworth in her independent business after owning as many as five trucks, learning something many an owner-operator has found out during expansion. Earning potential is often greatest when you're fully in control of the business, from the finances to the steering wheel. Read more about her in this feature: http://www.overdriveonline.com/reinvented-overdrives-most-beautiful-winner-goes-from-the-big-screen-to-the-big-rig-excels-as-independent-owner-operator
Jul 22, 2016
A 'major issue': Problems with uncompensated detention impact income, safety, health
In this "mailbag" edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, readers weigh in on the perennial issue of detention, or excess waiting time at shipper and receiver docks, following release of a new study by DAT that showed a majority of brokers didn't hold the issue in such high import as the carriers they deal with. Read more about that study via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/serious-excess-detention-issue-lost-on-many-brokers-survey-says/
Jul 20, 2016
Your best post-crash resource to avoid litigation: Attention to 'every little thing'
Wayne VanHooser recounts an accident on I-70 and the subsequent litigation threat, defused working with his insurance company to counter misinformation with his close attention to detail at the scene.
Jul 2, 2016
"I Became An American," by Jennie Simpson
Owner-operator Jennie Simpson, originally from Australia, penned and recorded this song about getting her U.S. citizenship after "wanting to do something like this for quite a while," she says. After working on the words for "quite a long time" she turned to fellow owner-operator and 2014 Trucker Talent Search participant Keith Sampson for assist with the melody. The song is available for download via iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and other retailers. Find a music video via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhCFI55q1XU
Jul 1, 2016
Carl Lambert reads the ESGR pledge of commitment at U.S. Express military program event
Carl Lambert, a Tennessee-based rep of the DOD's Employer Support of the Guard unit, reads the ESGR pledge at a July 1 U.S. Xpress event. Company president Eric Fuller signed the document, committing the company more effort spent in supporting military veterans' transition to civilian life. Read more about six specially dedicated and designed patriotic tractors and the military-veteran drivers handed the keys at the event: http://www.overdriveonline.com/u-s-xpress-launches-military-hiring-initiative/
May 27, 2016
"War Within," by Howard Salmon
Independent owner-operator Howard Salmon is back this year ahead of the Mid-America Trucking Show with another recorded song -- a moving account of a soldier's struggle relationships, memory and more after combat. He's utilizing the song to donate proceeds to outreach efforts to U.S. troops. "War Within" was originally written by Dublin, Ireland-based songwriter Tom Byrne.
May 27, 2016
Live from Muscle Shoals: Trucker/singer-songwriter Paul Marhoefer cuts 'Old Black Epiphone' record
Indiana-based Paul Marhoefer "Old Black Epiphone" sessions in mid-May at the Muscle Shoals Music studio of Donnie Gullett in Tuscumbia, Ala., move the 2015 Trucker Talent Search finalist closer to a record. Here the roots songwriter talks about his inspiration for the choice of the studio and where he takes cues for his songwriting, in some cases his fellow drivers. Catch video and more from the session via http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-paul-marhoefer-live-from-muscle-shoals-music-studio/
May 23, 2016
Mandating speed limiters is 'unsafe, period,' readers say
Requiring speed limiters for nearly all on-highway trucks would be a detriment to highway safety, readers say near universally in this mailbag podcast. And, as one reader noted, regulators "will never find out" unless "they get out on the road with us" to see for themselves. The most recent news saw the Senate appropriations committee sending something of a message to the DOT that they wanted the long-in-process expected rule proposal to mandate speed limiters now: http://www.overdriveonline.com/whats-up-with-speed-limiter-rule-dot-wants-it-delayed-congress-wants-it-hurried/
Apr 29, 2016
34-hour restart: Readers weigh in on hours as they are and could be
Following news that the U.S. Senate included a measure that could hold import for change in cumulative on-duty limits with restart use, readers sounded off again on just where they feel the hours of service should be. Responses ranged from "leave well enough alone already" to an oft-repeated desire for a return to pre-14-hour-rule regs, when it was possible to split sleeper periods in any way desired. For more on the potential rule change, read this story: http://www.overdriveonline.com/senate-bill-clears-up-34-hour-restart-confusion-could-extend-hours-limits/
Apr 26, 2016
Trucker Bob Stanton's proposals for FMCSA's Beyond Compliance program
Truck driver Bob Stanton, well-known for his work with his self-styled Truckers for a Cause driver/patient support and advocacy group, brought these three distinct proposals to FMCSA's Beyond Compliance listening session in Chicago attendant to the CVSA Workshop event. Read/hear more about the session via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/beyond-compliance-to-be-csas-8th-basic/
Apr 25, 2016
Bill Quade explains FMCSA's Beyond Compliance program proposal
Bill Quade explains FMCSA's Beyond Compliance program proposal by Overdrive
Apr 25, 2016
Panther Expedited's Irwin Shires speaks at Beyond Compliance listening session
Panther Expedited's Irwin Shires speaks at Beyond Compliance listening session by Overdrive
Apr 25, 2016
Joe Rajkovacz, FMCSA's Jack Van Steenburg back and forth on Beyond Compliance
Joe Rajkovacz, FMCSA's Jack Van Steenburg back and forth on Beyond Compliance by Overdrive
Apr 13, 2016
Mailbag: More voices on pay, ELDs and proposed safety rating tied to roadside inspections
Following Overdrive Radio's prior podcast in this series -- "Mailbag from the 'driver wage shortage'" -- more voices here on a growing sense that regulated transparency in freight transactions with brokers could go a long way to improving the income situation for owner-operators. Two more views, too, on prospects for new programs, from mandated ELDs to FMCSA's proposed new safety rating system, to have a beneficial effect on highway safety, imposing only unnecessary constraints or more complexity ripe for problems.
Apr 7, 2016
The 'daily fitness for duty'? Talking fatigue measurement, monitoring and the pace of technology
Former Schneider VP and current SmartDrive advisory board member Don Osterberg believes a stepped-up fitness-for-duty assessment is in drivers' future -- to be conducted via biometric fatigue measurement/monitoring technology. This talk, part of Overdrive's reporting in the "Tomorrow's Trucker" series, ranges over that notion as well as the profusion of other technologies -- such as inward-facing video cameras -- with potential to assess fatigue in real-time. Read more via http://overdriveonline.com.
Apr 6, 2016
Vigillo CEO Steve Bryan: How data will be used to predict accidents and what that means for drivers
In this 5-minute collection of excerpts from a 2015 interview with Overdrive Editorial Director Max Heine, Bryan discusses the increasing use of data – “drivers’ behavior, vehicle performance, weather, routes, lanes, congestion, other drivers” – to find patterns that can lead to crashes. Also, his thoughts on whether the attention on performance data will force more drivers out of the industry.
Mar 17, 2016
Mailbag from the driver wage shortage: More views on the long fall in pay, rates, income and more
This podcast rounds up several views following the report on what is a fall in the purchasing power of truckers' wages over 35 years. Adjusted for inflation, had driver pay kept up with the Consumer Price Index's inflation since 1980, the average trucker today would make more than $100,000 annually. As one caller put it, there's absolutely not a "driver shortage" but rather it's the "wage shortage" that is the problem. In addition, toward the end of the podcast, find a few views on the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking proposal that FMCSA floated to much controversy earlier this year. Read more via http://www.overdriveonline.com/no-surprise-voices-following-report-on-driver-pays-historic-fall/ and http://www.overdriveonline.com/so-does-fmcsas-safety-rating-rule-in-fact-violate-congressional-directive/
Mar 15, 2016
Back from the brink: On the road with Ted Bowers Trucking
Kingston, Tenn.-based Ted Bowers, in business as an owner-operator for decades, took Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills along for part of a run of 3,300 lbs. of stainless tubing from Knoxville, Tenn., bound for Iowa. Along the way, as Dills explains, Bowers told a story of adversity overcome that holds lessons in the importance of close freight, accounting, driver and other partnerships in any successful owner-operator or small fleet business. Recorded along the way in Bowers' own custom stretched 2005 Peterbilt 379, the talk here runs through an array of topics toward an expansive profile of a man at home in his business. "I've never worked a day in my life," Bowers says. Read more about Bowers via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/one-independents-comeback-from-the-brink-a-run-with-ted-bowers/
Mar 7, 2016
Nails in the coffin or change for the better? Talking trucking's future with Gary Carlisle
Attendant to the March 2016 issue of Overdrive and its Part 1 coverage of the future of the owner-operator business model, this talk between Agri-Empresa oil field service fleet manager and one-truck owner Gary Carlisle ranges over a myriad of issues on which Carlisle bucks many a forward-looking trend in his focus on bedrock issues of generational shifts, economic cycles and regulation. Tip of the hat to trucker/singer-songwriter Bill Weaver for a bit of his "I'm Rollin'" single from the "Every Mile I Drive" record as the intro music here.
Feb 23, 2016
"I'm rollin'": Behind 'Every Mile I Drive' with trucker/singer-songwriter Bill Weaver
In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, run through the brand-new record from trucker Bill Weaver, who with regulator collaborators in his band has honed the Southern Rock style you'll hear here over many years. The Flippin, Ark., native is a hazmat hauler by trade, and no slouch of a songwriter, the new "Every Mile I Drive" record makes abundantly clear. Read more about him via http://overdriveonline.com/podcast-take-a-run-through-the-stories-behind-bill-weavers-every-mile-i-drive
Feb 19, 2016
"I Likes Me a Big Girl," by Paul Marhoefer
Trucker/singer-songwriter Paul Marhoefer continues his recent spate of recording activity with this romp of a track, a sneak peek of sorts at results from a recent session with the studio pros at the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. Read more about him and his music via http://www.overdriveonline.com/god-and-god-alone-driver-songwriter-paul-marhoefers-latest/
Jan 14, 2016
I'm Rollin', by Bill Weaver
This advance track from trucker/singer-songwriter Bill Weaver is part of his long-in-the-making "Every Mile I Drive" album of original trucking songs. The latest on the record is it's due sometime during or shortly following February of 2016. Visit http://billweavermusic.com for more.
Jan 8, 2016
'Brothers of the highway': Aaron Tippin, Tony Justice in the studio in Nashville
Trucker-singer-songwriter Tony Justice's upcoming "Brothers of the Highway" record reached an important stop on its route toward the destination of its 2016 release. This week in Nashville, country legend and former trucker Aaron Tippin joined Justice and his producer, Nashville-based Jeff Silvey, at a modest-looking house on 18th Street in the Music Row section of town to lay down vocals for their collaboration on the record's title track, a song penned in part by Justice cowriter for many tracks on the album, songwriter Kim Williams, who wrote "Brothers" with Doug Johnson and Nicole Witt some time ago. Read more about the session via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/aaron-tippin-and-tony-justice-brothers-of-the-highway-from-nashville
Dec 18, 2015
'God and God Alone,' by Paul Marhoefer
A new track from Indiana-based trucker and singer-songwriter Paul Marhoefer, written following his two daughters graduation from college early in 2015 and also inspired by memories of a catastrophic crash Marhoefer was involved in years ago. Given it crippled him in the short term and ruined his career as an owner-operator, Marhoefer believes it held the potential to have outsize negative effects on the young lives around him but that "God, and God Alone, took us here from there...." against the odds.
Dec 17, 2015
Mailbag: Answering ELD Mandate questions, and more trucking views
In this Overdrive Radio podcast edition, Senior Editor Todd Dills answers a few ELD-mandate-related question and rounds up commentary coming in on the podcast line: 530-408-6423. Commentary has reflected fairly strong opposition to the mandate by and large, with as much as 85 percent of readers -- in a poll still ongoing at OverdriveOnline.com -- noting they’d do what they could to avoid running with an electronic log of any kind. Half said they’d rather retire or look for another line of work if they couldn’t avoid it with the short-haul exception under the hours of service rules or a pre-2000 truck. Such trucks are notably exempt from the requirement. Find Overdrive's complete coverage of the mandate via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/tag/electronic-logs
Dec 15, 2015
A 'piece of freedom' under threat: Owner-operators sound off on ELDs after final rule's release
In this edition of the audio mailbag, owner-operators respond to news of the electronic-logs mandate's final rule release by FMCSA -- if the timetable for implementation in the rule stands, truckers running under the hours of service and with a model year 2000 or newer truck will be required to record hours with an approved device in December 2017. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned in court for a review of the rule on December 15. More detail here: http://www.overdriveonline.com/ooida-petitions-federal-court-to-block-eld-mandate/
Dec 7, 2015
Mailbag: Mixed reactions from owner-operators on CSA's public scores' removal
In this mailbag podcast, drivers offer a decidedly mixed response to Dec. 4 news that the CSA Safety Measurement System, pursuant to requirements in the highway bill signed into law the same day by President Obama, had been pulled from public view. Some called it a win for trucking, while others wondered whether pulling the scores would simply make it easier for less qualified carriers to compete for freight. For more on the news, join the discussion at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/fmcsa-removes-csa-scores-in-wake-of-highway-bill-signing/ (This podcast includes a replay at the end of the previous mailbag relative to the CSA SMS public view.)
Nov 10, 2015
Lindsay Lawler's "Highway Angel" live in Nashville
This edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast excerpts Lindsay Lawler's final performance on her Truck Stop Tour in support of the Truckload Carriers Association's Highway Angel program recognizing acts of heroism large and small by truckers on the road. The song here, also titled "Highway Angel," was penned for the program by Lawler and writing partner Chris Roberts. Find more at this link: http://overdriveonline.com/podcast-lindsay-lawlers-highway-angel-live-in-nashville
Oct 29, 2015
Will Congress pass CSA-reforming highway bill?
Greg Cohen, president of the Highway Users Alliance, talks with Overdrive News Editor James Jaillet about the chances that Congress will pass a bill to hide CSA cores and force FMCSA to fix the program. Cohen also talks tolling provisions, size and weight and whether highway monies will go to rail projects.
Oct 19, 2015
Trucking troubadour Tony Justice hard at work on third album in Nashville
Justice recently passed the 50,000-CD unit just a few years into establishing a distribution network with most major truck stop chains. He talks here about what the accomplishment means to him amid work on his third record, due in January.
Oct 16, 2015
What's up with rates?
DAT Solutions' Mark Montague talks with Overdrive News Editor James Jaillet about recent rate trends, where he sees rates headed next year and more.
Oct 8, 2015
What it's like driving an autonomous truck
What's it like behind the wheel of a self-driving truck? And how do you get an autonomous endorsement for your CDL? Overdrive Equipment Editor Jack Roberts and OD News Editor James Jaillet talk details of automated trucking.
Oct 2, 2015
What does the future hold for hours of service?
In this brief interview, Overdrive News Editor James Jaillet talks with the Truckload Carriers Association's David Heller about potential changes to hours of service rules FMCSA and Congress could be working on.
Oct 1, 2015
Hope Rivenburg: General public 'naive' on pressing need for truck parking
For many of you, Rivenburg needs no introduction, but for those who don’t know who she is, the Fultonham, N.Y., resident and postal employee — she mans the small local post office there — and mother of three became well-known among drivers after her husband, Jason Rivenburg, was killed during a robbery while, for want of other better options, he was parked overnight near a closed gas station at I-26 exit 136 in Calhoun County, South Carolina. Here Hope describes how her connection to many in the driver communities on social media solidified as “Jason’s Law” was codified in law in 2012 to make truck parking a national priority. Three years later, the issues have been hitting the mainstream, and Rivenburg here discusses next steps -- for herself and, she hopes, for drivers -- around pressing the issue on states and businesses that provide parking. More via http://www.overdriveonline.com/hope-rivenburg-general-public-naive-on-truck-parking-needs/
Sep 28, 2015
Shippers and brokers, too: Voices on detention and compensation for delays
Calls continue to come in from drivers around the nation in response to the Detention détente series of reports -- in this podcast, drivers weigh in on the regulatory apparatus' potential role. Find further exploration of the issue at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/audio-mailbag-more-voices-in-favor-of-swift-action-on-the-problem-of-uncompensated-detention/
Sep 17, 2015
Mailbag: 'All about the money'? A bevy of reader views on proposal to increase truck weight limits
A sizable majority of Overdrive readers (64 percent) see negative primary consequences of any significant rise in interstate truck weight limits, preferring the current limit to the added burden of purchasing new equipment and the potential to compound safety issues associated with bridge and other infrastructure deterioration and congestion. In this podcast, several readers weigh in on the September 2015 proposal to raise limits from 80,000 lbs. to 91,000 lbs. with the addition of a third trailer axle. Find more reader views via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/mailbag-all-about-the-money-reader-views-on-increasing-truck-weight/
Sep 2, 2015
Brad James does "Detention" live at Trucker Talent Search 2015
2014 Trucker Talent Search competitor Brad James warmed up the 2015 crowd at the Great American Trucking Show with his trucking-themed version of "Dock of the Bay"... "I've been sitting at the dock all day, wasting time..."
Sep 2, 2015
Paul Marhoefer live at Trucker Talent Search 2015 with "Jacksonville"
Paul Marhoefer's "Jacksonville" takes the point of view of a trucker nearing the end of his career and requesting that final dispatch. Marhoefer got the competition heated up as the first performer among the three finalists at the Great American Trucking Show. Based in Indiana, he drives for Moeller Trucking. Read more about him at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/looking-forward-to-a-musical-good-time-trucker-talent-search-finalist-paul-marhoefer/
Sep 2, 2015
Nate Moran live at Trucker Talent Search 2015 with "Middle of the Moonlight"
Nate Moran took first place in the 2015 Trucker Talent Search with his "Middle of the Moonlight" track -- the Bryant Freight owner-operator is based in California and has only begun what will no doubt be a serious foray into country music as a singer-songwriter. Read more about him via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/new-musical-beginnings-trucker-talent-search-finalist-nate-moran/
Sep 2, 2015
Don Whatley live at Trucker Talent Search 2015 with "Honey-Dos"
Three-plus-million-mile driver Don Whatley, based in Oklahoma, competed as one of three finalists in the 2015 Trucker Talent Search competition, a coproduction of Overdrive and Red Eye Radio. His wife, he noted, urged him to perform this original track, part of his self-released "American Trucker" record. Read more about Whatley's long career and his current work with Texas-based Mesquite Transportation, at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/music-over-3-million-miles-trucker-talent-search-finalist-don-whatley/
Sep 2, 2015
Tony Justice live from Trucker Talent Search 2015, where he emcee'd
As part of his role as emcee of the 2015 Trucker Talent Search competition -- featuring drivers Paul Marhoefer, Don Whatley and eventual winner Nate Moran -- trucking troubadour Tony played three tracks from his in-progress "Brothers of the Highway" record: "Broke down in the Hammer Lane," "We Drive Trucks," and "18 Wheels and Jesus." Catch a video production by Chris Fiffie of the last of those via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/music-video-18-wheels-and-jesus-by-tony-justice/
Sep 2, 2015
Keith Sampson live at Trucker Talent Search 2015 with 'Made Me Who I Am,' 'Hard Working Family Man'
2014 Trucker Talent Search champ and Landstar-leased owner-operator Keith Sampson warmed up the crowd at the 2015 event in Dallas with these two original songs. Read more about the first of the tracks and Sampson via this post at OverdriveOnline.com: http://www.overdriveonline.com/axleoutpro-ups-the-ante-for-trucker-talent-search-participants-and-a-new-keith-sampson-vid/
Aug 31, 2015
Kevin Rutherford at PIB reveals owner-operators' most overlooked asset: Time
Speaking in the GATS Theater at the 2015 Great American Trucking Show's Saturday edition of the Overdrive/ATBS Partners in Business seminar, Trucking Business and Beyond host, small fleet owner and longtime owner-operator business consultant Kevin Rutherford took questions and spoke over a few hours, emphasizing the importance of ongoing education to business success. There's a field of veritable diamonds lurking in the cab of most every owner-operator's truck, he noted. Find more about his talk at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/kevin-rutherford-reveals-owner-operators-most-oft-overlooked-and-untapped-resource/
Aug 29, 2015
Tony Justice on the big stage at GATS 2015
It was a big night Friday, Aug. 28, at the Great American Trucking Show for singer-songwriter and Everhart Transportation driver Tony Justice. Following two widely well-received albums of trucking songs (On the Road, Apple Pie Moonshine) and performances over the years at a variety of shows, Justice's first show on the big stage at GATS, opening for one of his musical heroes, John Anderson, was a special occasion indeed. Between his second and third songs, Justice asked all the drivers in the crowded house to stand. They clearly made up a sizable majority of attendees in the hall. "From one trucker to another I want to thank you guys for what you all do," Justice said. "I just want you guys and gals to know one thing. If it wasn't for you men and women who sacrifice your times with your family, your home and your friends to sit behind that wheel to keep this country rolling, none of this would be happening here in Dallas."
Aug 28, 2015
"Made Me Who I Am," by Keith Sampson
2014 Trucker Talent Search winner Keith Sampson's song here tells a true story, Keith says, about Sampson’s parents. It’s a moving story about himself as a young man and those who came before him — a father who left when he was young and a mother who knew how to be the dad when she needed to be. Read more about the track, and see the video, at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/axleoutpro-ups-the-ante-for-trucker-talent-search-participants-and-a-new-keith-sampson-vid/
Aug 12, 2015
New beginnings for Trucker Talent Search finalist Nate Moran
Personal history has driven country singer-songwriter and Smokey Point Distributing driver Nate Moran from the get-go. His father unexpectedly passed when he was a boy, and music became his way of coping. "Nate picked up a guitar 'to keep my mind right,'" he says in a profile on the website of the Daseke company. He talks about this and more with Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio ahead of his performance August 28, 2015 at the Trucker Talent Search competition at the Great American Trucking Show. Find more about him at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/three-singing-truckers-head-to-dallas/
Aug 10, 2015
Music over 3 million+ miles: Don Whatley with Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio
2015 Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search finalist Don Whatley talks at length about his long trucking career and musical pursuits in this interview, conducted by Red Eye's Eric Harley. In the on-site theater at GATS in Dallas August 28, 3:30 p.m., Whatley as well as fellow finalists Nate Moran and Paul Marhoefer will perform before a panel of judges to determine the ultimate winner of the competition. Singer-songwriter and driver Tony Justice will emcee the event and also perform. Find more via http://www.overdriveonline.com/three-singing-truckers-head-to-dallas/
Aug 6, 2015
'A good time': Trucker Talent Search finalist Paul Marhoefer with Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio
Paul Marhoefer, 55, of Indiana, talks at length about his musical influences and his long trucking career in this interview, conducted by Red Eye Radio's Eric Harley you'll find in the podcast below. In the on-site theater at GATS in Dallas August 28, 3:30 p.m., Marhoefer as well as fellow Trucker Talent Search finalists Nate Moran and Don Whatley will perform before a panel of judges to determine the ultimate winner of the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search competition. Singer-songwriter and driver Tony Justice will emcee the event and also perform. Find more via http://www.overdriveonline.com/three-singing-truckers-head-to-dallas/
Jul 6, 2015
The resurrection of Evel Knievel's 1970s cabover Mack haul rig
This talk with Robb Mariani, onetime host and producer of the American Trucker show on the Speed Channel, marks the beginning of the end of the story of the Evel Knievel Mack haul rig Mariani located several years ago in the Finding Evel episode of the show. Overdrive subsequently covered the initial stages of the restoration at small fleet owner-operator Brad Wike's shop in Lincolnton, N.C., among other things paying witness to a little safe-cracking. In the podcast, Mariani details the coming debut of the finished rig from the current owner, actor and past professional skateboarder Lathan McKay. You can read archived interviews with Evel Knievel himself, view videos from past coverage and more via http://www.overdriveonline.com/tag/evel-knievel/
Jun 11, 2015
Owner-operator John Raffone -- for President?
Swift-leased Raffone is running for the Presidency of the United States. With no operating budget for the candidacy outside of the one that keeps his trucking business rolling, he's relying on word of mouth via the road and social media to spread his message. Raffone’s by no means a traditional politician. The 25-year over-the-road operator’s platform, if he could be said to have one beyond a desire to return high-level politics to the average person, however, is heavy on trucking-related issues. He hopes that by staging a run he can at least raise the profiles for what he says are in some senses “old-fashioned” trucking ideas. He’s running, he says, as a Democrat. Read more about him here: http://www.overdriveonline.com/owner-operator-john-raffone-for-president/
May 22, 2015
Mailbag: Hours wish list -- 'We are people, not machines'
Overdrive's truck owner-operator readers sound off with ideas toward a more perfect driver hours of service rule.
May 20, 2015
Mailbag: "Huge Mistake!" Operators sound off on impending speed limiter mandate proposal
In this Overdrive Radio podcast, voices are raised against any mandate for the use of speed limiters/governors in heavy trucks, while some emphasize alternatives to imposing a single speed on on-highway trucks, such as adequate training and rewards for voluntary governing,
May 4, 2015
Clear the cache: Attorney Rob Moseley on ECM data use in crash litigation
South Carolina-based attorney Rob Moseley, speaking at the May 2015 meeting of the Truckload Carriers Association Safety and Security Division meeting, stressed the need for motor carriers of all sizes to keep an handle on data their truck electronic control modules are collecting, outlining when the data needs to be saved. Otherwise, periodic downloads from the ECM are advisable, as Moseley elaborates on in this selection from his talk.
May 3, 2015
'An industry with a force': Dave Heller's regulatory update at TCA Safety and Security meet
In the wake of the record number of comments filed on the hours of service rulemaking several years ago, followed by further legislative advocacy on the part of individual business owners, drivers and so many others, TCA's Dave Heller contends the trucking industry is a force to be reckoned with. Engagement with government on the top issues in the industry is key to changing things for the better. On CSA, the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking upcoming represents a key opportunity to begin to truly fix the system. Heller spoke at the Charlotte, N.C., meeting of the TCA's Safety & Security Division Sunday, May 3.
Apr 30, 2015
Aaron Tippin talks 25 years in music, celebrated with his new record
Our talk with country singer-songwriter Aaron Tippin, ranging over his 25-year career in the music business attendant to release of his new '25' double CD, featuring classic Tippin tracks as well as new material and some special features. (Catch a few samples from new tracks in this podcast.) Tippin also ranges back over his close relationship with trucking -- he worked as a driver before his music success -- and truckers, who've been a core part of his audience over the years.
Apr 28, 2015
TMAF's highway bill push -- 7 million reasons
Trucking Moves America Forward began its "7 Million Reasons" ad campaign in the D.C. area last week, pushing lawmakers and lobbyists to back a long-term highway bill, citing the 7 million workers in the trucking industry as why.
Apr 27, 2015
Mike Morgan on a victory lap after inaugural ChampTruck Class 8 racing event
A talk with '88 Mike' Morgan, who came out on top of the points following the inaugural ChampTruck World Series Class 8 racing event in Millville, N.J., in April 2015. Read more about the event results via http://www.overdriveonline.com/88-mike-gets-win-at-champtruck/
Apr 21, 2015
Mailbag: Drivers react to Kenny Capell's dismissed obstruction case
A few Ovedrive readers had thoughts on camaraderie that’s fallen by the wayside given what many see as an increasingly adversarial relationship between truckers and law enforcement at the scale houses and on the road. In this mailbag podcast, readers react to the story of owner-operator Kenny Capell’s arrest and his case’s subsequent dismissal, which we reported on at the following link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/kenny-capells-obstruction-of-justice-case-at-the-scale-house-in-his-own-words/ Capell’s case followed from his 2014 refusal to comply with a request for ID after being woken from a sleeper period by an inspector.
Mar 23, 2015
Kenny Capell tells the story of his dismissed obstruction charge after scale-house arrest
The charge stemmed from his being awoken twice over the course of two inspections in just a few weeks by the same officer while he was on his 10-hour rest period in the sleeper of the truck, driven at the time by his wife. Ultimately, Capell would like to see it become common practice in law enforcement — whether by new law or by better recognition of existing protocol — to better respect the job trucking professionals do by refraining in cases where there is clearly no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing from waking sleeping codrivers. Read more: http://www.overdriveonline.com/kenny-capells-obstruction-of-justice-case-at-the-scale-house-in-his-own-words/
Mar 20, 2015
Mailbag: Recent owner-operator views on CSA's public scores
Overdrive readers weigh in positively and negatively on the public nature of carrier CSA scores today.
Mar 20, 2015
Watermelon Slim live in Nashville, Tuscaloosa in Spring 2010
Blil "Watermelon Slim" Homans in 2010, upon release of his "Escape from the Chicken Coop" record of trucking blues, plays his solo slide dobro set at Carol Ann's BBQ in Nashville, Tenn., and at Overdrive HQ in Tuscaloosa, Ala. More about the performances via http://www.overdriveonline.com/?s=watermelon+slim
Mar 19, 2015
Rulemaking committee member owner-operator talks driver training
As an independent owner-operator, Bryan Spoon holds the rare distinction of having been selected among many qualified nominees to serve on the Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee. Or, as he puts it in this podcast, one of the only members who doesn't typically "wear a suit and tie to work" every day. More of his throughts on training here as well: http://www.overdriveonline.com/driver-training-introducing-bryan-spoon-owner-operator-on-the-rulemaking-committee/
Mar 18, 2015
Mailbag: 'Don't Help The Lawyers. Help Us.' --Readers on insurance
More costs piled on by regulators in the form of an insurance hike, Overdrive readers argue in this podcast, would only serve to idle more trucks and boost crash settlements unnecessarily, with them attorney’s fees. Find more on the issue via this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/mailbag-dont-help-the-lawyers-help-us-voices-on-insurance/
Mar 12, 2015
Introducing owner-operator Howard Salmon's 'Who Would They Look Up To' track and outreach project
Independent owner-operator Howard Salmon's moving "Who Would They Look Up To" track, originally released on his 2009 record "These Trucks Are Made of Gold," is now the center of an outreach project via the WhoWouldTheyLookUpTo.com site. Salmon's offering the track for a free download and encouraging parents, attendant to the song's message, to support schools and other institutions like the Trucker Buddy program that provide role models to the youth of today.
Mar 11, 2015
2014 Trucker Talent Search Winner Keith Sampson's 2015 TTS Ditty
Sampson penned this little jingle for Overdrive readers, encouraging participation in the 2015 Trucker Talent Search music competition. Visit http://TruckerTalentSearch.com to find out how you can compete.
Mar 9, 2015
Entry Level Driver Training: Conversations following rulemaking committee's first meeting
Will traditional training approaches survive the Entry Level Driver Training rulemaking? If statutory language is any indication, it's likely. Points of view on such approaches to training follow in conversations with owner-operator Cody Blankenship, ELDTAC committee member and owner-operator Bryan Spoon, and (principally) former operator/small fleet owner Richard Wilson of TCRG Consulting.
Mar 6, 2015
Six Days On The Road, Who Needs Heaven: Tony Justice's early-2011 impromptu In-cab performance
Though Justice has come a long way since, with two well-received albums of trucking music released and work on a third, this brief performance in late winter in early 2011, a brief talk with Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills, remains a good look at an artist coming into his own behind the wheel. Recorded in Nashville at the TravelCenters of America downtown. Find more recent Justice music via this podcast: http://www.overdriveonline.com/podcast-behind-the-new-tony-justice-record-more-song-samples-too/
Mar 3, 2015
Audio Mailbag: Readers Sound Off on Minimum Interstate Driver Age, Insurance Costs
Bob Purcell argues that, even today, it makes sense for an 18-year-old driver to have the leeway to operate interstate. At once, the way the insurance market works for owner-operators in their early 20s with their own authority is in many ways a huge barrier to starting out young. Premiums can cost well upward of $10K annually for a one-truck operation. That, another caller argues, needs to change. Find more discussion via http://www.overdriveonline.com/audio-mailbag-minimum-interstate-age-should-be-18-insurance-barriers-to-new-owner-operators/
Feb 28, 2015
Entry Level Driver Training's potential data problem
The Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee spent the last part of day one of its Thursday meeting outlining what facilitator Richard Parker termed “key policy issues” around the negotiated rulemaking on pre-CDL training it’s conducting with FMCSA. Toward the end of the meeting, facilitator Parker added a key item to the list of issues related to data: “the need for data on the connection between training inputs and safety outputs” as he put it. Shortly after, during the public comment period, Joe Rajkovacz pointed out that we’ve been down this same road with a training rule in years past. In his comment, he calls up the memory of something one of the public safety advocates had to say about the data on training and its connection to safety. Read more via http://www.overdriveonline.com/entry-level-driver-training-podcast-the-data-problem/
Feb 19, 2015
ChampTruck update with Mack technician and race team head/driver Mike Morgan
If you've been following OverdriveOnline.com, you know that there's a U.S. Class 8 race series set to hit the road this year in the ChampTruck World Series. You also probably know there's a driver, "88 Mike" Morgan, who's bringing the old driver-owner spirit to his built-from-ground-up Powershift Performance race team, sponsored by Winrock Truck Parts and Equipment but also in search of more sponsors to keep it going well beyond race 1 in New Jersey come April. Morgan's a Mack of Nashville diesel tech by day, as I've written about before, who I got another chance to check in with this past weekend for an update on progress on his Mack racing unit. In this podcast, he talks further vehicle specifications, as well as the truck's special grille -- where it came from, and what it means to him and all those who've got a part in the truck going forward. More via http://www.overdriveonline.com/champtruck-update-with-88-mike/
Feb 13, 2015
NTI's Gordon Klemp discusses owner-operator market trends
Gordon Klemp discusses fuel surcharges, signon bonuses, and pay trends for flatbed and independents. Klemp heads the National Transportation Institute.
Feb 6, 2015
Former Army ranger Keni Thomas performs "Hold the Line"
Thomas spoke, telling the story of his Somalia experience, and performed the "Hold the Line" song Feb. 5 to open the Conversion Interactive / TCA recruiting, retention conference. Read more about Thomas at this link: http://www.overdriveonline.com/hold-the-line-former-black-hawk-down-army-rangers-message-of-endurance-persistence/
Jan 28, 2015
Obamacare, Round Two: Progress Report with Marc Ballard of the Truckers Insurance Exchange
With end of the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act's health-insurance exchanges approaching Feb. 15, and a court decision looming this summer on the legality of much of subsidies that underpin the reduced premiums, Ballard joined us for a wide-ranging talk on what he's seeing in terms of premiums, enrollment and tax implications with respect to the exchanges this year.
Dec 10, 2014
Mailbag: FMCSA 'barked up the wrong tree' with 2013 restart restrictions
In the wake of Congressional efforts to force a stay on the 2013 restart provisions in December 2014, readers weighed in on their view of the so-called Collins amendment just before it was finally included in both House and Senate versions of the bill. Generally, sentiment fired hard against continued hours of service changes in the face of a variety of other more pressing issues for highway haulers. As noted an owner-operator from Double Springs, Ala., the new restart restrictions have had the effect of removing a modicum of flexibility from a rule already hampered by the 14-hour clock, the biggest flexibility reducer. Ultimately, he noted, "If you want to make it right, let us do our job the way we know how to do it." Read more: http://www.overdriveonline.com/audio-mailbag-fmcsa-barked-up-the-wrong-tree-with-2013-implemented-restart-changes/
Nov 18, 2014
NASTC head David Owen's sleep apnea story
National Association of Small Trucking Companies president David Owen is firm in his belief in a professional driver's ability to manage fatigue. Speaking here from the NASTC annual conference in Nashville in November 2014, while he clearly knows the benefit of apnea treatment in those who suffer from it, Owen cites a fundamental disagreement with those who believe untreated apnea is public highway safety danger No. 1.
Nov 17, 2014
Audio Mailbag: CARB's hardship exemption, ELDs and harassment
In this mailbag podcast Overdrive readers weigh in on both the California Air Resources Board's hardship extension (intended for those denied a series of financing opportunities in their attempts to comply with the state's powertrain regs) and FMCSA's recent survey report on electronic logs and whether use of the devices themselves comes with indicators of driver harassment.
Nov 13, 2014
CARB legal situation with Joe Rajkovacz: Court delays as rules go hardfast for most truckers
Speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies in Nashville in November 2014, Joe Rajkovacz detailed the status of legal challenges to the California Air Resources Board's in-use emissions regulations. With his California Construction Trucking Association's own appeal long delayed in the Ninth Circuit, OOIDA's intention to appeal after its lawsuit was dismissed on the same technical "buzzsaw" CCTA ran into and more, Rajkovacz offers tough advice to those who've held out hope the lawsuits would give them a lifeline. With prolonged legal dealys, the rules are going hardfast -- small fleet owners and owner-operators will need to "bring your fleets into conformance."
Nov 1, 2014
Audio Mailbag: Voice on the liability insurance hike effort, split sleeper flexibility
In the first of a new series of "mailbag" podcasts, readers weigh in on deliberations over FMCSA's planned liability insurance minimum hike for motor carriers -- if the current minimum comes into effect, says one Texas-based owner-operator it may be "time for a change" in industries, even after three decades in business. Others sounded off with applause for the FMCSA for seeing the error of their ways with the 2003 reduction in hours flexibility. Not all were sure the issue of sleeper-berth-period flexibility really needed to be studied, however, given it was the rule of the day from the 1930s. Read more on the issues here: http://www.overdriveonline.com/audio-mailbag-liability-insurance-sleeper-berth-flexibility/
Oct 31, 2014
FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling introduces new MCSAC chair at October 2014 meeting
Administrator Darling spoke briefly to open October 27-28 meetings in Alexandria, Va., of the FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and Medical Review Board, revealing new leadership coming at MCSAC with Colonel Scott Hernandez of the Colorado State Patrol. He recommended J