Overdrive Magazine

Overdrive February 2019

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10 | Overdrive | February 2019 A few years ago, Philadelphia, Ten- nessee-based owner-operator Kenny Capell sat for 11 days in Alabama awaiting work on a warrantied repair to his 2003 Freightliner Columbia's modified air-conditioning system. He'd just had it fixed ahead of a hol- iday weekend, only to find it needed fixing a second time. Aer that experience, he decided he'd never be stuck like that again with no personal mobility. He devised a way to mount a relatively lightweight on-/off-road motorcycle to the front of his van trailer on a platform. His bike: a 2009 Honda CRF250M. It's less than 300 pounds, but big enough for his wife to ride with him. At Harbor Freight, he picked up a 500-pound-capacity pedestal-mount crane intended for use with a pickup. "en I went to OTR Truck and Trailer Repair that does my fabri- cation work and explained to them what I wanted to do," he says: Use the crane, mounted to the sleeper, in tandem with an electric winch to load and unload the bike from a platform on the front of the trailer. It required some modification, in- cluding adding 18 inches to the crane itself, "welded to the muffler bracket for the exhaust," he says, with "little feet that sit on top of the frame." Aer also welding the winch to the top of the crane, he ran wires to power it into a pigtail receiver, and another wire "down to the frame for the ground." Loading and unloading is more or less painless. It's a careful dance with the winch and crane that's gotten plenty of accolades from fellow haulers and inspectors. "Dude, that's the coolest thing I've ever seen," an agriculture inspector told him once, noticing only the mounted bike. "How do you get it down?" "Have you ever seen those ice skaters when the man will swing around and hold that girl up in the air?" Capell quipped. "It's all about technique." "My wife got more interested in riding with me, too," aer the project, he says. is past fall, the pair hauled a load putting them near Austin, Tex- as, with intentions to attend the Tiny House Jamboree there. "We found a place to park three miles away" and used the motorcycle to get back and forth, Capell says. To say nothing of money saved on parts. "I had an air bag recently go out on the sleeper," he said in Novem- ber. "e place where I was wanted $95 for the air bag." He ended up searching the area and found a set of two for $84 he picked up on the bike. — Todd Dills Owner-operator Kenny Capell carries his motorbike on a platform mounted to the front of his van. Using a modified crane and winch, Capell can load and unload it quickly. Mounted mobility pays off on the road Courtesy of Kenny Capell WHEN PARKING APPS BACKFIRE Owner-operator Debbie Desiderato (shown with her dog, Bubba) believes extensive use of crowd-sourced parking apps has driven more traffic to certain places, such as Walmart lots, too often resulting in lockdowns. She had a developer design a smartphone app, Trucker Notes, that allows for custom pins to be saved, with notes, on the map according to category — information that can be retrieved by you and you alone. The app is free and available for iOS and Android devices. HIGHWAY HACKS

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