Truckers Show True Character at “18 Wheels for Bubba” Event

dakota bubba cadd party
16-year-old Dakota “Bubba” Cadd has always had an interest in trucks. (source)

If there was ever a question about the integrity or spirit of truck drivers, this recent story sets the record straight.

On August 18th, more than 180 trucks and around 1,200 people attended a surprise birthday party for Dakota “Bubba” Cadd. Bubba is a trucking enthusiast who suffers from Dandy-Walker Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and seizures. This affects his brain development and movement, requiring him to be in a wheelchair.

“It was a pretty amazing event,” said Peggy Cadd, mother of 16-year-old. “Everything about it was awesome.


How it all started

Bubba can often be found sitting right outside his home, along Highway 26 in Milton, Wisconsin. He likes watching trucks drive by and trying to get them to blow their thunderous horns. His mother says he’s been fascinated by trucks ever since she can remember.

Because of his dedication and love for watching trucks, he has become well-known to those who regularly pass by.

Mark King, a truck driver for CH Hall Trucking in Stillman Valley, Illinois, doesn’t have a horn to honk, so after seeing Bubba nearly every time he passed by, he decided to brighten his day in a different way.

In July, King decided to leave a CH Hall Trucking shirt and toy semi-truck on the lawn for Bubba. Peggy shared the story of King’s generosity on social media, which then inspired local retired driver, Jeremy Wallenkamp, to throw a party for Bubba.

18 wheels for bubba post
Peggy Cadd posted a picture of Bubba with his presents from CH Hall Trucking. (source)














18 Wheel for Bubba

Wallenkamp created a Facebook page, called “18 Wheels for Bubba,” and asked local trucking companies to donate shirts and hats for Bubba’s party. To his shock, the event went viral and garnered support from truckers as far as Australia and New Zealand.

On the big day, Bubba arrived at a local park, still unaware of the massive party awaiting him.

“When we pulled in, he looked at me and said ‘me’ as in ‘is this all for me,'” Peggy said. “We said, ‘yeah, this is your birthday party, and the truckers came for you.'”

bubba's party in milton
Over 180 trucks showed up at Schilberg Park in Milton for Bubba’s birthday party. (source)


At the event, Bubba rode in trucks and even became an honorary member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. He was also given a CB radio, so now he can talk to the truckers that pass by.

“I just want to show him the support from our industry that he deserves,” said Wallenkamp. “He loves trucks. There’s a lot of great people in the trucking industry, and we just want to be there and support him and stand next to him.”


So, next time you find yourself on Highway 26 in southern Wisconsin, keep an eye out for Bubba. And don’t forget to give him a honk.

18 wheels for bubba
Dakota “Bubba” Cadd’s hometown of Milton, Wisconsin is about 10 miles north of Janesville.


4 Simple Ways to Get the Best Fuel Mileage for Your Semi-Truck

increase semi truck MPGWhen you think of semi-trucks, fuel efficiency probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, on average, semi-trucks get only 6.5 miles per gallon according to this Wired article. And while they comprise just 4.3 percent of vehicles in the US, they consume more than 25 percent of all fuel burned annually.


Whether you’re an owner-operator or you manage an entire fleet, you understand that high fuel costs result in decreased profits. But, with a little effort and initial investment, reducing fuel consumption might be simpler than you think.


1. Stay on top of truck maintenance.

This is one of the most important and simplest things you can do to maximize fuel efficiency in just about any vehicle. It’s basic mechanics and the benefits go far beyond better gas mileage. Regular maintenance such as on-time oil changes, filter changes, and regular fluid level inspections will keep everything operating at its best for longer. Also, remember to periodically check your tire pressure and add air if necessary.  Not only does this prolong the life of your tires, it also adds quite a bit to your fuel efficiency.


2. Drive with efficiency in mind.

Changing the way you drive costs you nothing, yet it’s often the hardest change to make. One of the biggest culprits of high fuel consumption is frequent accelerating and braking. Minimize braking to a full stop as much as you can, and accelerate more slowly. Also, staying in a higher gear helps save fuel. On the other hand, letting your truck idle for long periods of time can quickly cost you at the pump. This Arrow Truck article suggests turning your truck off if it’s going to be sitting for more than five minutes. Just one hour of idling will burn a full gallon of gas.

stay in a high gear for best semi truck gas mileage
Staying in a higher gear increases fuel efficiency.


3.  Equip your rig with fuel-efficient products.

This is the one that requires a bit of an initial investment, but the long-term payoff can really be worth it. There are a variety of aerodynamic additions you can make to both your tractor and your trailer that will result in higher MPGs. Everything from your mudflaps, bumpers, mirrors, hood, roof, and even headlights can become more aerodynamic. You may also consider automated manual transmissions. They replace your manual shifter and clutch with a computer that shifts the manual transmission at the optimal time. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency claims that automatic manual transmissions can improve average fuel efficiency by 1-3 percent.


4. Secure cargo low and even.

Each time a load goes on your truck, think of it as a part of your truck. Just like mudflaps and mirrors, your cargo can cause you to be more or less aerodynamic depending on how it’s loaded. When cargo is loaded unevenly, it can increase the fuel needed to get your truck moving. Also, it’s best to keep your cargo load height as low as possible on flatbeds to reduce wind resistance.

how to get best fuel economy in semi truck
Load cargo evenly to maximize fuel economy.








Using the proper cargo securement equipment will ensure all your cargo stays put and remains intact. Visit for all your cargo equipment needs. 


How E-Track Provides Safer & Smarter Cargo Control Solutions

Whether you’re a professional truck driver delivering goods or just a person who hauls a lot of tools and equipment, the focus is always on preventing damage during transit. Not only does this keep customers (and owners) happy, it also saves you from having to pull out your pocketbook after a haul.

And while ratchet straps and other common tie-down equipment are certainly effective cargo control solutions, there are certain situations when E-track is the most secure and versatile solution in the long-run.


what is e track?What is E Track?

E-Track is essentially long rails of high-strength 12-gauge steel with multiple anchor points that support various tie-down equipment. People commonly install E-track inside enclosed trailers, cargo vans, or dry van semi trailers.  It’s customizable and extremely versatile because it can be screwed to the floors and interior walls of trailers and vans (using E-Track screws) exactly where it is needed.

Specialized E-Track fittings allow you to quickly snap a variety of cargo control equipment in place to align with what you’re hauling and how big it is.


Types of E Track

E-track comes in both horizontal and vertical styles. Vertical E-track has attachment points that run parallel with the E-track rail. It has a more narrow profile compared to horizontal track. This allows you to mount D-rings perpendicular to the floor. On the other hand, horizontal E-track has slots that run perpendicular to the track rail. This provides more anchor points per foot. When you mount horizontal E-track to a wall it allows you to secure equipment such as spare tires against the wall.


E-Track comes in a variety of lengths to fit your specific application. US Cargo Control offers E-track in 2’, 5’, 8’, and 10’ lengths. You can also purchase E-track singles, which are great if you will only be using a single piece of equipment such as a tow dolly strap.

E-track is available with a hot dip galvanized finish to help withstand corrosion or with a cleaner powder-coated finish.

E Track System Accessories

E-tracks ability to work with a variety of tie-down accessories is what makes it so special. Choose from more common E-track ratchet straps and E-track cam straps to more specialized E-track fittings like J-hook fittings, D-ring fittings, rope tie-offs, and roller idler fittings.


For enclosed vans, shoring beams and wood end sockets are a smart way to keep large amounts of cargo securely in place.


E-Track vs L-Track

E-track is the industry standard for cargo control and known to be more heavy-duty and high strength.  L-track is much more lightweight as it is made of aluminum but also has a lower profile compared to E-track. While L-track will work for just about any vehicle or trailer, it is most ideal for a pick-up truck bed.

Installing E Track

The most important part of installing E-track is to measure correctly and install securely. Your cargo is only as secure as the weakest part of your tie down assembly. Because of this, it’s best to screw E-Track into the wall studs and floors studs of your van or trailer.

We have found that #14 self-tapping screws work great for attaching E-track to studs. If you are needing to drill through a thick plywood floor, 1-1/2” E-track hex bolts work best. For a strong hold, it’s also important to install E-track straight and level.

Take the time to install E-track correctly and it will remain a quick and secure way to secure cargo for years to come. See the video below for more E-track installation tips.



Using Tie Downs to Secure Cargo Loads Safely and Legally

During the 2017 CVSA International Roadcheck, improper cargo securement was the cause for 15.7% of vehicles being placed out of service.

Besides the risk of being placed out of service, there are a number of more serious consequences for improper cargo control securement, including citations and fines, damage to the vehicle, damage to the cargo, loss of the load, or even loss of life.

Taking the time to properly secure cargo loads using tie downs is always worth the time and effort. Read on to understand how tie downs should be used to ensure safe and legal cargo securement.


understand how to use tie downs

What is a tie down?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a tie down is a combination of securing devices (webbing, chain, rope, binders, shackles, D-rings, webbing ratchet, etc.) which forms an assembly that:

  1. Attaches cargo to, or restrains cargo on a vehicle.
  2. Is attached to an anchor point(s).


So, while we generally think of tie downs as just these:

how to safely use tie down straps










The word tie down by itself (without “straps”) can technically mean many things.


Working load limit for tie downs

The working load limit (WLL) for a tie down is the lowest WLL of any of its parts or the WLL of the anchor points it is attached to, whichever is less. Every device contributes to the WLL of the securement system.

using tie downs










Always use tie downs that are rated and clearly marked by their manufacturer. This not only gives you, the driver, peace of mind, it also makes it easy for shippers and inspectors to verify that you are using the proper equipment for the job.


using tie downs built with quality


How tie downs can be used to secure cargo

Tie downs are only safe and effective if they are properly secured to both the cargo and the vehicle. Take the time to ensure logical securement of your cargo to your vehicle.

There are two main ways tie downs can be used:

  1. Attached to the cargo.
    a. Tie downs can be attached to the vehicle and then attached to the cargo.
    b. Or, tie downs can be attached to the vehicle, passed through or around the cargo, and then attached to the vehicle again.

how to use tie downs










  1. Passed over the cargo.
    a. Tie downs may also be attached to the vehicle, passed over the cargo, and then attached to the vehicle again.

how to use tie downs








Inspecting for proper cargo securement

Remember to periodically inspect your cargo during transit. It may seem like something that is always taking up your precious time, but just one loose strap can prove to be costly or even deadly.

Adjust cargo and load securement devices as necessary to ensure that cargo cannot shift or fall from the vehicle.


When is it time to get new tie-downs?

There are a few obvious signs that tell you it’s time to get new tie downs.

If your cargo control equipment shows any of the following, it’s time to invest in new tie downs.

  • knots or obvious damage
  • distress
  • weakened parts
  • weakened sections

time to get new tie downs




Remember, all components of a tie down must be in proper working order. Keep an eye on the condition of your tie downs to avoid inspection penalties or loss of load.


Time for new tie down equipment? Check out US Cargo Control for a huge selection of quality tie down equipment that is clearly rated and built to last.