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Overdrive Radio


Overdrive magazine presents trucking interviews, music, speakers and other information and entertainment.

Overdrive magazine presents trucking interviews, music, speakers and other information and entertainment.


Tuscaloosa, AL


Overdrive magazine presents trucking interviews, music, speakers and other information and entertainment.






Diesel emissions maintenance: Getting the right diagnosis, and repair, the first shop visit

There's good likelihood you know how the story goes. Code says a sensor is malfunctioning? Replace the sensor. Two weeks or two days later, same code, same sensor. Previous shop must have passed a bad part or otherwise messed up the install. Replace again, and "hey why don't we try" X or Y until, some weeks later, as happened in the story of owner-operator John Osinga, visual inspection reveals a mechanical issue. Turns out what seemed like a sensor malfunction wasn't really that at all:...


Tales of three runaway trucks: Crises endured and averted, lessons learned

Today, this special edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, part of our 60th-anniversary series, in part transports you back to a moment in time in the late 1970s, when owner-operator Gordon Alkire found himself in an old Astro 95 cabover with no brakes heading Southeast down the backside of Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee. It’s a situation that’s no exactly universal among truckers through the years, but not as uncommon as you might think. The occasion in 2019 when this part of my talk with...


Truck parking, under-21 interstate drivers, more: A window on congressional trucking machinations

In this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, track through Truckload Carriers Association Government Affairs Vice President David Heller’s viewpoints on a variety of aspects of just what’s happening on Capitol Hill around funding infrastructure, including several of those trucking-business-specific initiatives tucked into the House highway bill Overdrive has reported on recently:...


Songs of the Highway, No. 6: 'Convoy,' by C.W. McCall

Trucking’s rise in pop culture was well underway when “Convoy” was released in late 1975, capturing the hearts of not just truckers but many Americans. The song, heavily laden with CB slang and conversation, tells the story of a spontaneous truck convoy that clashes with authorities. It was by C.W. McCall, who was actually a character co-created and voiced by advertising executive Bill Fries. “It hit at a conjuncture of a lot of different things,” said Todd Uhlman, assistant professor of...


Inside the divide between docs and Congress, trucking constituencies over sleep apnea

Also in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast: Intro'ing a new dispatch provider in S2 Logistics, with hotshot hauler S2 Transport co-owner Scott Sabatini at its helm and stressing integrity in operations, a response to his own early difficulties. When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Medical Review Board met May 20 in part to take up a revised sleep-apnea-related section of the FMCSA’s official handbook for the fine folks that perform DOT physicals all around the...


As the pandemic eases, owner-ops take stock of parking, biz pressures, more

... and plenty more. At the East Coast Truckers Jamboree truck show early this month, Overdrive news editor Matt Cole spoke with these six owner-operators about a lot more than just the custom rigs they were showing (speaking of which, keep tuned to http://overdriveonline.com/custom-rigs for views on/videos of all mentioned here through the next weeks). A year following the depths of the early-pandemic downturn, it felt like a fine time to reflect on the experience of the past year. Here...


The trucking spirit within 'Cumberland Bones,' the new record from Stephen Flatt

This week's special edition of Overdrive Radio features the words and music of singer-songwriter Stephen Flatt, native of White County, Tennessee, and current Nashville resident. Flatt's first record as a solo artist, "Cumberland Bones," came out last month and features the "Hold You Tonight" single that in part takes the point of view of a long-distance hauler on his way home to the family. As you might well have guessed, Flatt’s no stranger to trucking, having worked for years in shipping...


Songs of the Highway, No. 5: 'Six Days on the Road,' by Dave Dudley

Where does the loveable-outlaw image of the professional trucker first come into play in a big way in American culture? Perhaps the earliest notable instance came with Dave Dudley’s hit, “Six Days on the Road.” American culture expert Todd Uhlman makes that association in this ongoing "Overdrive’s Songs of the Highway" series, part of Overdrive's ongoing 60th anniversary celebration with coverage of trucking history: http://overdriveonline.com/trucking-history “Six Days” remains in...


'What extortion looks like': Owner-operator Glenn Keller v. Parking Pirates, round 2

In late 2019 going into 2020 the state of Colorado became what's believed to be the first to ban statewide the practice of booting an occupied vehicle, just what you’re about to hear in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, with audio courtesy of the 911 call April 21 from Louisiana-based owner-operator Glenn Keller to dispatch in Gaston County, North Carolina, due west of Charlotte. Regular Overdrive readers may well be familiar with Keller from past coverage of his leased operation,...


Rising oil prices -- for dry bulk hauler Sisu Energy, there's far less fear than opportunity

The fears among many in the diesel-powered owner-operator community of late are real when it comes to rising oil prices with constraints on production and promotion of alternative sources of energy, as we've reported. All of it seems to mean little more than added costs for those fearful, but for the man whose voice is featured in this edition of Overdrive Radio, it all feels less like a problem than an opportunity. That’s Jim Grundy, headquartered in Texas and owner of Sisu Energy LLC, an...


The first Mother's Day Make-a-Wish convoy in Pennsylvania, remembered with George Ruelens

This special edition of Overdrive Radio is part of our weekly 60th-anniversary series of stories with a significant historical aspect, as it's got no doubt in spades. It features the voice of former trucker George Ruelens, telling his tale in a 2019 interview about what’s become a veritable institution out of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania -- the annual Mother’s Day truck convoy benefiting the Make-a-Wish foundation. In 2019, the convoy featured 650 trucks in its 30th year, a huge amount of...


CSA's Achilles' Heel: The pubic nature of carrier data

From the advent of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA Safety Measurement System in 2010, its shortcomings were well-evident to carriers and baked into its structure. At that time, carriers were laser-focused on equities in scoring, particularly when comparing the way a small carrier's scores moved wildly with very little data input versus the slow climbs and falls with more data on the large-carrier side. As the years have gone by there's been refinement of a sense among...


Songs of the Highway, No. 4: 'Woman Behind the Man Behind the Wheel,' by Red Sovine

He’s best-known for his trucking hits “Giddyup Go,” “Teddy Bear” and “Phantom 309.” But another single by Red Sovine, a master of the sentimental trucker song, spoke poignantly to the difficult family dynamic of over-the-road haulers and their kin back home. That’s “Woman Behind the Man Behind the Wheel.” It’s a tribute to truckers’ wives, as the lyrics say, a "special breed of woman" that has to "share a love affair with that long stretch of highway on his mind." The theme, however, is more...


Building a small fleet as destination for the best: Alabama-based Brian Lindley's LB3

You probably think you know Wedowee, Alabama-based Brian Lindley. Not afraid to work, grew up on a farm, grew up 'round trucks – all are familiar aspects of many a story in the trucking business. But as with so many of the millions of stories out there, there’s plenty of twists and turns in the details when it comes to the tale Lindley has for you in today's edition of Overdrive Radio. Having started out hauling chicken litter from poultry operations with this Mack daycab -- which had a...


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...


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 —...


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...


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...


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...


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...