500 episodes

The Overdrive Radio podcast is produced by Overdrive magazine, the Voice of the American Trucker for 60-plus years. Host Todd Dills -- with a supporting cast among Overdrive editors, contributors and others -- presents owner-operator business leading lights, interviews with extraordinary independent truckers and small fleet owners, and plenty in the way of trucking business and regulatory news and views. Access an archive of all episodes of Overdrive Radio going back more than a decade via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio

Overdrive Radio Overdrive

    • Business
    • 3.8 • 26 Ratings

The Overdrive Radio podcast is produced by Overdrive magazine, the Voice of the American Trucker for 60-plus years. Host Todd Dills -- with a supporting cast among Overdrive editors, contributors and others -- presents owner-operator business leading lights, interviews with extraordinary independent truckers and small fleet owners, and plenty in the way of trucking business and regulatory news and views. Access an archive of all episodes of Overdrive Radio going back more than a decade via this link: http://overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio

    Staying choosy about brokers -- 'too many scammers out there': Trucker of the Month Candace Marley

    Staying choosy about brokers -- 'too many scammers out there': Trucker of the Month Candace Marley

    In today’s world, the kind of choosiness with brokers owner-operator Candace Marley practices is an absolute must for many independents. "I don't jump in with just any broker out there," she said. "There's too many scammers out there, too many double brokers, too many frauds."

    In this edition of Overdrive Radio, Marley detail the relationship-building strategy for freight in her Iowa-based one-truck business -- Calliope, LLC. The independent business takes its name from a muse in Greek Mythology and a species of hummingbird well-known for its nimble nature in flight, a quality that owner-operator Marley herself has shown in spades over the course of her time with authority, even just a few years in after being leased to Don Hummer Trucking.

    Today we’re running through Marley’s conversation with Overdrive News Editor Matt Cole, whose feature about the owner-operator also detailed her tenacity to thrive under the most challenging of circumstances: https://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-of-the-year/article/15667438/independent-owneroperator-candace-marley-thrives-on-challenge

    Overdrive’s Trucker of the Month for March, owner-operator Marley’s in the running for the 2024 Trucker of the Year honor, this year sponsored by Bostrom Seating with a new seat the ultimate prize for whoever comes out on top among 10 semi-finalists we’ll profile this year. Put your own business in the running via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/page/toptrucker

    For Candace Marley, it all comes after a year that's been a tough one, it's sure. As did so many owner-operator, lower rates and high fuel, with generally soft freight markets, had her trucking along fairly flat compared to the previous year. Then, six months out from finishing the note on her 2017 Kenworth T680, a major mechanical failure took the truck out from under her, necessitating a two-month transition to a 2020 Peterbilt 579 late in the year.

    She’s inherently optimistic, though, and it was just the kind of challenge maybe she even needed, as you’ll hear, to keep her on her toes and motivated to sharpen all aspects of the business. Just about six months after that big mechanical failure, she’s working her way back with a 2020 Peterbilt 579 that’s delivering better fuel mileage than her previous unit. She’s closely monitoring costs and what she needs to meet profitability targets, and looking ahead to better freight markets where she’ll really make hay.

    The owner’s journey through trucking behind the wheel starts in 2009, when her then-husband had to come off the road due to an illness, and it’s a story she tells in full in the podcast.

    Nominate an owner-operator for Overdrive Trucker of the Year award: https://overdriveonline.com/toptrucker

    As mentioned in the podcast, 2023 Trucker of the Year Jay Hosty's acceptance of prizes at MATS with the award, a custom model replica of his 2006 Western Star 4900EX: https://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-of-the-year/article/15666987/new-seat-custom-replica-trucker-of-the-year-jay-hosty-recognized

    • 24 min
    'You're the business owner, so be the boss': Engage your own trucking numbers to take control

    'You're the business owner, so be the boss': Engage your own trucking numbers to take control

    Here find 2024's second mid-week special edition in Overdrive Radio's series of Partners in Business shorts culled from a long owner-operator business-focused talk at the Mid-America Trucking Show last month with Eric Harley of Red Eye Radio.

    This one digs into more of the routine business analysis practice participants in the discussion began to touch on in the last edition, about the importance of stocking the pantry when markets are hot to weather inevitable soft-freight downturns like what we’ve been experiencing nigh on, if not more than, a year now: https://www.overdriveonline.com/partners-in-business/video/15667833/stock-your-trucking-pantry-against-famine-before-any-feast-ends

    Eric Harley teeing the topics up with a question about profit and loss statements and any owner-operator's necessary routine engagement with their own numbers. For ATBS clients, that's aided by the online hub where those owners can access monthly P&Ls with the simple push of a button.

    The P&L itself, though it can be voluminous in its detail, Harley noted, is “less intimidating” as a document “when you develop those good habits [and] those routines” and you’re “watching it at every step.”

    The best owner-operators take it farther, noted ATBS Vice President Mike Hosted. “At least a few times a year, they look at their budget next to their P&L and say, ‘I’ve a roadmap in this budget. Now I’ve got a scorecard’” with real results in a P&L. The best assess performance in relation to achievement of profit goals that way.

    “Are my costs per mile changing?” Hosted asked. “Are my fixed costs changing? Are my home costs changing, and what do I need to do to make adjustments” in service of meeting/exceeding the goals and enabling the ability to save in the war chest for the next down cycle.

    Overdrive contributor Gary Buchs invoked the "Crucial Conversations" book and its subtitle: “Tools for Talking when Stakes are High” Take control of what you can control and "decide to decide" to get better at touching your own numbers regularly, Buchs paraphrased a central message of the book.

    It can be primary in wresting control of the business from market whims.

    Need help in that regard? Track back through our series of Partners in Business shorts form the Red Eye Radio roundtables this year and last at MATS: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc1lg9rs1dUBRbJKjvc7UUcJRRd4iI2v3

    Keep tuned, too, for the next one wherever you’re listening: https://overdriveonline.com/overdrive-radio

    This special edition in the long-running Partners in Business program is sponsored by Rush Truck Centers, the 140-plus dealer network for sales, service and so much more. Find them at https://rushtrkctr.com/4bLxbR4

    Visit https://OverdriveOnline.com/pib to download the 2024 updated Partners in Business book and learn plenty more from our online series there, too, about so many topics germane to trucking as an owner-operator.

    • 8 min
    How to leave trucking better than you found it, with Small Fleet Champ Jason Cowan

    How to leave trucking better than you found it, with Small Fleet Champ Jason Cowan

    “Like a lot of young boys, I grew up in a farming and trucking environment, and as I stood on the stage a couple of years ago as our company accepted the 2021 Small Fleet Champion of the year award, it hit me that I had hit a pinnacle in my career. Because all I had ever wanted as a young boy was to get my own truck into Overdrive magazine.” --Silver Creek Transportation owner Jason Cowan

    Yet Silver Creek Transportation owner and Overdrive 2021 Small Fleet Champ Jason Cowan’s story doesn’t end there, of course.

    Flanked by images of two 1970s Overdrive covers on the Mid-America Trucking Show's East Hall stage March 22 this year, Cowan invoked a new appreciation for all that had come before, which he grabbed hold of that night in Nashville as he and his tight-knit Silver Creek office staff accepted the National Association of Small Trucking Companies-sponsored Small Fleet Champ award.

    “What I began to learn that night was that wasn’t just the end,” he said. “That was the beginning.”

    What followed was a rousing talk we're sharing in full here in today's edition of Overdrive Radio. It's guaranteed to make you think, part tale of his early-years fascination with all things trucks and trucking as a young boy, part homily on how to approach life and business to leave those around you, and the trucking business itself, better than you found them.

    "I'm going to ask you, 'Who are you bringing along behind you?'', Cowan said to the assembled, "so that when they get to be in their career they can say, 'That person invested time in me.'"

    Cowan shared pictures of two idols from his boyhood on the MATS stage. Owner-operator John Baker, who ran to "California and back" from Kentucky, "every week," he said. Likewise Donald Stone, another owner Cowan who gave his time to the young man.

    Cowan probably no substantive introduction here. His Henderson, Kentucky, Silver Creek Transportation serves as a bulwark to many an aspiring small fleet owner and is a pillar of his community. Take a long listen to Cowan’s veritable sermon on the importance of relationships. With customers, sure.

    But also, and most importantly, the biggest relationship you have -- the one with that person you see looking back at you in the mirror every morning.

    Here's hoping it takes you off to a great weekend. For the rest of you this coming Monday, here’s hoping the solar eclipse traffic doesn’t waylay you on the road to deliver. As noted in the podcast, here's Overdrive’s News Editor Matt Cole’s report on the eclipse’s path from Texas to Maine: https://www.overdriveonline.com/life/article/15667515/total-solar-eclipse-safety-travel-advisories-in-the-path-more

    More from Silver Creek owner Jason Cowan: https://www.overdriveonline.com/small-fleet-champ/article/15291067/a-vision-for-growth-jason-cowan-silver-creek-transportation

    • 30 min
    Trucking's feast-or-famine cycles: Stock the pantry against 'panic mode' as an owner-operator

    Trucking's feast-or-famine cycles: Stock the pantry against 'panic mode' as an owner-operator

    In this special-edition Overdrive Radio short, Red Eye Radio host Eric Harley relays an anecdote from a family relation, an owner-operator who lamented the difficulty coping with the hunger-sticken parts of the feast-or-famine business cycles in trucking. That's most certainly where the business has been for at least the last year -- some would say close to two years at this point in the game -- after post-pandemic highs.

    "Dollars and cents matter right now," said ATBS Vice President Mike Hosted, underscoring the point. "Decisions matter." It's been a year where fixed costs are up 8%, variable costs are down 10%, and freight rates have continued their fall in the broader markets. Without clear insight to truly understand your costs, "you're running in the dark" on what you need to be profitable, Hosted said.

    And while a seasoned owner-operator may have a gut feeling about their business performance -- and they may be right 8 to 9 times out of 10 -- prevention practices with finances (not just mechanical prevention) will pay off when the famine is on, noted Gary Buchs, Overdrive contributor and longtime owner-operator business coach. With a good backstop of money in a reserve account, or a line of credit opened during one of the feast cycles, you can avoid falling into "panic mode" when cycles turn, Buchs said -- a recipe for "unwise decisions" you can't take back like one too many unprofitable loads.

    "In a time like we're dealing with now, if you run into the necessity of a large repair bill, and if you don't have the cash on hand to pay that, it can be a killer," said Overdrive Editor Todd Dills, rounding out the four-person panel discussion featured here.

    It's the first in a special midweek series of short excerpts from a special talk Overdrive and ATBS had with Harley at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The talk was attendant to the March 22 release of the 2024-updated edition of our Partners in Business handbook for owner-operator business, start to finish, with our seminar at the big show: https://www.overdriveonline.com/partners-in-business/article/15667166/poor-ratesdemand-outweigh-lower-trucking-costs-this-cycle

    This year sponsored by the Rush Truck Centers national dealer network, the new PIB book is available for download via this link: https://register.overdriveonline.com/pib-manual/

    This short introduces the PIB program and digs further into perspective on building your owner-operator business pantry to insure against those feast-or-famine dynamics and the whims of the business cycles.

    The talk is aired in full also via Red Eye Radio's Extra Mile podcast at this link: https://www.redeyeradioshow.com/the-extra-mile-podcast/

    Visit Partners in Business sponsor Rush Truck Centers, the premier solutions provider to the commercial vehicle industry with 150-plus full-service dealership locations in the United States and Canada, via https://rushtrkctr.com/4bLxbR4

    • 11 min
    FMCSA moves on carrier/broker-registration overhaul to tamp down fraud: Detail, potential problems

    FMCSA moves on carrier/broker-registration overhaul to tamp down fraud: Detail, potential problems

    "We're going to clean up the bad actors that are in our system now." FMCSA registration office director Ken Riddle.

    Ken Riddle's office handles applications for authority, updates to carrier and other entity data, third-party access to the system, BOC3 filers’ access, and more. In this podcast for April Fool’s Day, we’re not fooling around -- big changes to how carriers interact with the FMCSA’s registration system are on the way, aimed at rooting out bad actors FMCSA now at the least fully acknowledges are registered in the system today: https://www.overdriveonline.com/regulations/article/15666936/fmcsa-to-overhaul-registration-system-to-stamp-out-fraud

    We’re talking all those organized double brokers and affiliated carrier entities, identity fraudsters and others. Today hear Riddle’s full talk from the Mid-America Trucking Show with an eye to give you at least some clarity on what to expect, particularly when identity and business verification tools come into play for what Rddle described as a clean-up of the entire population of currently registered carriers, brokers, forwarders and others. Part of what he had to say at MATS caught the ear of more than one Overdrive reader, too, with potential problems for sole-proprietor owner-operators. To wit, as Alex Lockie's report on the session summed up what Riddle had to say:

    "FMCSA plans, in short order, to implement identification and business verification tools into the registration system, not allowing registrants to proceed until they've proven their identity and that their business exists and is registered with the IRS or the state."

    It's not 100% the case that every state requires sole proprietors in self-employed situations (such as many owners) to formally register, as noted W. Joel Baker, longtime owner-operator and insurance agent and a regular contributor to our Overdrive Extra series. As sole proprietors, formal registrations outside the payment of self-employment taxes and/or other business taxes, whether with the state or IRS, aren’t always in play, Baker pointed. “We 'sole proprietors,'" he said, often “do not have, nor are we required to have, a business that is 'registered' with the IRS" for an EIN or with the state in some cases.

    If business verification procedures within FMCSA’s registrations aren't implemented with a consideration made for such businesses, Baker added, “it will have a massive negative impact on the industry,” not to mention for any individual owner “cleaned up” through the process with authority revocation or other outcome.

    Riddle had more to add about business verification, too, though, noting that the agency is looking for a third-party contractor to help with the verifications and that it’s fairly early days for the process. Overdrive also queried FMCSA directly about the situation Baker brought up. A rep there stressed the agency is still researching what data is available to validate businesses against, and hopes "all business scenarios can be accommodated. ... We believe the data is available, but we are still gathering details.”

    Keep tuned on that front. And mark your calendars for May 29 for the agency’s next public engagement session, too, where you can bring your own ideas for ways to root out double brokers and other fraudsters who’ve been taking advantage of gaps in the system for many years now. Find information about the session via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/regulations/article/15667504/fmcsa-planning-stakeholder-day-on-registration-changes

    Also mentioned in the podcast, Lockie's report from attorney Hank Seaton and Dale Prax's presentation centered around registered-entity fraud: https://www.overdriveonline.com/regulations/article/15667297/fighting-the-trucking-fraud-networks-in-fmcsas-registration-system

    • 35 min
    Long legacy, good humor of LNL Trucking owner Larry Limp: From a '79 White COE to fleet of 12

    Long legacy, good humor of LNL Trucking owner Larry Limp: From a '79 White COE to fleet of 12

    "As I get older, I like electronic logbooks a lot better than I would have in my 20s. Now that I'm 63, I like that 10 hours off. My work ethic really started to wane when I found out that feed mills are open at noon. You didn't have to be there at 7 o'clock in the morning. You can get there at noon and still unload." --LNL Trucking small fleet owner Larry Limp, reflecting on big changes in trucking over his four-plus decades in the business

    Good humor? Yep, LNL Trucking small fleet owner Larry Limp’s got plenty of that. Overdrive’s 2023 Small Fleet Champ in the 11-30-truck division, LNL’s built a solid direct customer business specializing mostly in animal fats pulled in 6,800- and 7,000-gallon stainless tanks to supply businesses in various production chains -- gear lubes, cutting oils, you name it. Based on Bedford, Indiana, Larry Limp’s sense of humor’s probably served him well in decidedly less humorous endeavors than contemplating his own psychology and the shift to electronic logs in 2017, that’s sure.

    He’s served as Chairman of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, participates annually in the IMTA’s trips to Washington to visit with reps and Senators, and generally keeps his nose to the grindstone building business -- "hanging on" to business might be the better phrase in the current environment -- with a strong do-it-yourself ethic borne of 40-some years trucking. Almost all of that has been as an owner-operator and, now, small fleet owner.

    Ahead of the Mid-America Trucking Shown in Louisville, Overdrive ventured about an hour and a half’s drive north and west of the Kentucky town to Bedford, Indiana, to LNL's shop and world headquarters on a beautiful parcel of land on U.S. 50 east of the center of town.

    Limp, who still runs one of the rigs in the fleet of mostly Peterbilt 579s, was headed back from St. Louis after a delivery Tuesday morning pulled behind the longest-serving Pete in the fleet. It’s not a 579, but rather a 2000 Peterbilt 379 Limp’s partial to for a variety of reasons we’ll hear about in this Overdrive Radio edition.

    He’d picked up Monday evening, hauled out to St. Louis the same night to stage for morning unload.

    We sat down for a talk through the history of that 2000 379 – ELD-exempt, it turns out, though he’s running an e-log in it as in the rest of the fleet. Likewise: His history trucking, marking time by major engine work, by truck model years and big moves, and more besides. Keep tuned for more from Limp in future podcasts, and read more about his business via this link: https://www.overdriveonline.com/small-fleet-champ/article/15637786/butterfly-xpress-lnl-trucking-overdrives-2023-small-fleet-champs

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

Interested bystander ,

Interesting content, poor production quality

Buy a good microphone and amp. This is a simple fix to increase followers. Ask Longhaul Paul for help setting up the audio. Ask a successful podcasters for help. Just do it.

seeya bye ,

Great content- horrible sounds levels

As was mentioned else where. Your content is great but the constant changing of sound levels makes it really difficult to listen to. Some times Todd is speaking so softly I can’t hear him and then in the next breath it sounds like he’s screaming. I’m constantly having to adjust the sound levels on my radio which is not a good thing to do while driving. Then at the end of most shows- the music sound level is twice what the show was.

Please,Please for all of us truckers- get someone to do a better job with the sound quality. I only listen when I’m at home and don’t have to worry about driving distracted to adjust the sound levels on these podcasts.

Outside of the sound- the content is great! Just hard to listen to when you have to adjust the sound constantly.

No Names Left Now ,

Good sound engineer needed

Please get the help of a sound engineer. With consistently bad sound quality, you’re doing a great disservice to your wonderful content and interviewees. Most interviewees sound muffled and the choice to have background music makes it even more difficult to hear.

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