Featured Article: Trucker network
“Being in the industry as long as I have,” Long says, “I know that women face some challenges that the guys don’t, and I wanted to assist them with my knowledge and with my experience so that they could have maybe an easier way in than having to fight and struggle like what I had to when I first went over-the-road.”
After nine years’ worth of combined over-the-road, flatbed, tanker, hazmat and piggy-back experience, Jason Cox was something of a trucking veteran. But that didn’t mean he was impervious to the perils of the job.
“I was unloading a set of trucks in a storm with lots of wind, and a 75-pound hood slammed shut on me, striking me across the upper back and neck,” Cox says. “I was off work for two years and could not return to that type of work. I forced myself back to work driving, until I was injured again in April ’09. Due to my injuries to my back and neck, and also I have hearing loss, I am unable to drive anymore.”
Though he can’t be on the road, Cox maintains a tight connection to the trucking industry via the Internet. He started a free blog in 2007 to take a look at trucking industry news, and in January 2009, that site blossomed into Truck Driver News.
“The concept behind Truck Driver News was to have a site that contained all areas of the trucking industry in one place and be able to write about anything I wanted, without having to ask someone if it was OK to write about this subject or not,” Cox says. “I try and put out hopefully useful information. One thing: I will never sugarcoat anything. I always tell it like it is. My blog is not corporately sponsored, so I can write about anyone or anything I wish to.”
“I will never sugarcoat anything. I always tell it like it is. My blog is not corporately sponsored, so I can write about anyone or anything I wish to.”
Cox also uses Twitter to promote the site, which he says is “for truck drivers. I am not in it to make money, as I don’t charge for links from other trucking industry and drivers’ sites. My involvement on Twitter is to just search for the latest trucking-related news and put it out for truck drivers so they don’t have to waste valuable time searching for it.”
Cox’s site also features a section dedicated to Women in Trucking.
Allen and Donna Smith
If you’re looking for the “Truth About Trucking,” Allen and Donna Smith may be a good place to start.
The drivers for Pipeline Transportation started the Truth About Trucking website in 2004, with a purpose of focusing on students and new drivers breaking into the industry, Allen says. “Before our site, there was nothing on the net talking about the major problems within the trucking industry,” he says. “There were a few trucking forums here and there but nothing really going public about some of the overall problems that CDL students and new drivers face and really giving the overall grid of OTR trucking. So we kind of broke ground on that, because, like I said, they didn’t exist.”
Out of the Truth about Trucking site grew Ask the Trucker, a site where Allen Smith and others answer questions received from drivers by e-mail and where Allen blogs about trucking industry topics. Allen also hosts a Blog Talk Radio show called Truth About Trucking Live, which he says was the first trucking show on the site. “It’s done real well, and I just saw that as another way of giving people who were interested in the industry a chance to call in and talk to me,” he says. “Not that I know everything, but you know, some kind of guidance since they didn’t really know where to go [for answers].”
Allen Smith says some of his favorite shows he’s broadcast include one with information about DAC reports, one providing information about Jason’s Law that featured Congressman Paul Tonko and another that featured a representative from Trucking Careers of America discussing how unemployed drivers could go about finding work.
“That’s really what it’s all about for me, is really helping all these people that are having so many problems,” Smith says. “That’s probably one of the best feelings out of this is helping people who needed to find a job. … I’m really glad we could play a small part in it.”