Doctors, guns and money: OOIDA seminars had it all

| October 21, 2013

The sun came out for the second day of the Heart of America Trucking Show and so did the crowd on Saturday. And plenty of attendees took a break from old friends, beautiful trucks and good music to pack the seminar tent for a range presentations designed to make a professional trucker a little more healthy, wealthy and secure.OOIDApic

The show, held at the Kansas Speedway, was part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and OOIDA spokeswoman Norita Taylor says small business truckers want to be well informed.

“We strive to provide timely, relevant information that helps our members with their businesses or jobs on a regular basis and, hopefully, the seminars at the show were helpful as well,” says Taylor, OOIDA director of public relations. “It was certainly a great opportunity to have some important face time and interpersonal feedback in answering their questions.”

And the questions were plentiful in a session devoted to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Rick Welsh of Welsh and Associates, a Kansas City-area health care and insurance consulting business, focused on the facts of the new law, not the politics. And, looked at objectively, he says the health care reform package offers some positives for professional truckers. Notably, the personal plans under ACA are all-inclusive, and individuals can’t be denied coverage nor can the rates be raised. A summary of the act from OOIDA is here.



Similarly, Pam Perry, a nurse consultant at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, explained the upcoming national registry of certified medical examiners and impact on DOT physicals. She also took questions on a range of DOT health-related questions. 



Personal security is just as important as good health, so NRA representative Gary Benefield, a personal protection and firearms instructor, talked OOIDA members through the basics of situational awareness, self-defense laws and Second Amendment rights. Benefield, a retired law enforcement officer, also discussed the state-by-state legal considerations for an interstate truck driver carrying a firearm for protection.



Of course, OOIDA also emphasizes the importance of political protection, from excessive regulations and taxes, for instance. Professional truck drivers can and should be involved in the legislative process, as Ryan Bowley, who handles government affairs for OOIDA, told members. The key is to be consistent and persistent, but not antagonistic.



A driver’s personal comfort was the topic at the introduction of a new package for customers staying at IdleAir during their 34-Hour HOS Resets. The “Reset Special” includes up to 40 hours of IdleAir Premium Service for a flat fee of $50 plus tax. IdleAir Premium Service includes heat, air conditioning, 120V power, DIRECTV, and basic Internet. Here’s IdleAir’s Jeff Maurer:



And the business side of trucking, Bert Goo of DAT demonstrated Member’s Edge, the OOIDA load board. Goo also discussed when and how professional truckers should use load boards to most effective – and most profitable. Essentially, load boards aren’t a replacement for good contacts – and contracts – with shippers, and should be used primarily for backhaul planning.



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  • guest

    Yep we DO need info on bringing firearms…highly recommended today with all the GANGS and Robbers running WILD in our country today…I want to bring a Bazooka..what are the laws on interstate travel???
    Dont be a Victim!! Carry a Firearm…you may never need it but then maybe you WILL! It could be your LAST mistake ..not bringing one for truck protection.

  • guest

    Criminal GANGS up here from El Salvador…cops dont do a damn thing to deport them…they come BACK in 2 weeks!!!
    Its becoming a LAWLESS society…..you SHOULD carry a Firearm….and KNOW the Laws….and how to USE the firearm effectively. I never thought about one in the past but TODAY….things have changed for the WORSE. We are facing Anarchy and Criminal Invasion from the SOUTH…lots of DEADLY criminals are here illegally…Cops cant do a THING about it. They are Desperate and YOU can become a Target as a TRUCKER with something Valueable…even a wallet full of Money, Cargo, Computer, Cell Phone….PLUS you are a Target coz you are Parked and sleeping…easy pickins for an Experienced Criminal..or a GANG of “Good Neighbors From The South Who Just Want a Better Life At YOUR Expense”?? Protect Yourself…any Cop would tell you that.

  • MercenaryMan

    Ive never felt the need to have a firearm, nor have I felt threatened that I would need it. I am a large guy and most times Im very aware of my surroundings, sometimes your forced to park and wait in some pretty unsavory areas, but I try and be sure my radar is on about people around the truck etc. A direct shot of wasp spray will deter most anybody from any other actions…If worse came to worse I have tools such as a claw hammer that cold be used quite effectively against most anyone, Ive never faced a criminal with a gun anywhere..

  • chazzz

    I agree ,but you need to get a carry permit and know which states are reciprocal states. All this info is easy to find. When I drove back in the 90s I. would break down my guns (semi auto pistols) and hide the parts when I would go into a unfriendly state like NY, ILL etc. I have a feeling that some of the parts were found when coming back from Canda through Windsor but the cops (US side) were cool. I was in the guard and had a clean record. I would always have the guns back together after I parked for the night no matter where I was.I never had to use one but there were some close calls. If you do get a gun, do the right thing and take a course on how to use it, clean it etc if you have never used one. Most gun friendly states have several ranges scattered through the larger citys where you can pratice and mabey get a little training. If you don’t feel safe handling one and or your not willing to learn how to use it safely stick to pepper spray,wasp and hornet spray etc. You all stay safe, keep on trucking.