Overdrive Magazine

April 2019

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8 | Overdrive | April 2019 Age: 81 Past Job: Soldier "I was in the Army National Guard for eight years. I was too young for Korea and too old for Vietnam. Never felt like I even served. I never got sent anywhere. "I started hauling produce out of Florida in '57. Back then there were no reefers. We had bunkers and blowers. Twenty-five pounds of ice and a Briggs and Stratton. Two-thirds of the truck stops had ice. They'd either blow the chopped ice on top of the load, like if you had cabbage, or you'd get a block of it through the side door in the nose. "It was the worst thing, getting those Briggs and Strattons started in the winter. ey were pull-start mo- tors. It took $90 to pay for the ice, but the shippers paid that. You got 25 per- cent of the load to go from Evansville to Florida and back. Fuel was just 19 cents a gallon. You could make $100, $150 a week. "I got aggravated when they went to the reefer [motors]. ey would buy the ice, but they wouldn't buy your fuel for the reefer. In '62, I start- ed with R.L. Jeffries — machinery, heavy haul. Had my own truck for a while. "Got married in '64. She had four kids. I raised them as my own. We were married 42 years until she passed. [Now] I'm not looking for a woman, and there's no woman look- ing for me. "I never liked to stay at an outfit too long ... I stayed at Toyota out of Princeton [Indiana] once for 10 years. What was that reefer outfit out of Cape Girardeau that went belly-up?" Sam Tanksley? "Yeah, Sam Tanksley. I was coming down that mountain out there by Portland [Oregon] and could barely hold their truck on the road, the front end was wobbling so bad. I put it in the shop when I got back. Next day, the boss called and said, 'You know you almost killed my mechanic? He was test-driving your truck and wrecked, the front end was so bad.' I got out of there. Not long aer that, they closed." FACES OF THE ROAD: JAMES THARP Trucker James Tharp has six decades of trucking experience. His voice is part of Overdrive Extra contributor "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer's "Faces of the Road" series of interviews and oral histories. Find more via OverdriveOnline.com/tag/ faces-of-the-road. Fuel-hauling small-fleet owner-oper- ator Dave Marti of Forrest, Illinois, picked up this trick from a truck- show participant around the time Marti started showing his Peterbilt equipment more than 10 years ago. Marti says the bushings where the hood rests in Pete model 359s, 379s and 389s tend to squeak with every little bump in the road. Traditionally, greasing is the solution, but a well- worn sock placed over the support does just as well. Once the particular part of the sock you're using wears out, "you can pull it down and use the next part," he says. "About twice a year, I have to get a new sock" for each support as a replacement. Benefits include avoiding the mess of excess greasing and the expense of the grease itself, as well as recycling a commonly cast-off item. "Sometimes the best little tricks in the business don't cost you a lot of money," Marti says. HIGHWAY HACKS Old socks: Alternative to greasing hood supports Dave Marti's solution to the squeak that can emanate from his six Peterbilts' hood supports is an alternative to messy greasing. Search "Dave Marti" at OverdriveO- nline.com to read more about Marti's fleet, leased to Transport Services of Sullivan, Illinois, in the March issue story about small fleet expansion. Todd Dills

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