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Truckers News Staff | November 01, 2011

Save drafting for the racetrack

I have no idea what some trucking companies are thinking these days, having their drivers tailgate other trucks to save fuel expenses! I’ve been driving 17 years, and it seems to have gotten worse since the price of fuel has gotten past $2 a gallon.

You can’t go five miles from a truckstop after fueling without someone putting the nose of their truck up to the back of your trailer and staying there as long as you allow it. Don’t they realize how dumb that is? That they could get hurt or killed or do the same to the other driver.

I for one am glad I’m getting out of this before I get killed. On May 24 this year I jackknifed our truck on a rain slick road (I-94W) due to, I think, a scared new driver. He had been driving erratic speeds for 100 miles. I was taking my time because of the rain, but he was in front of me, and when I moved over in the center lane to get away from him a four-wheeler quickly moved to the lane I was in and stepped on the brakes.

That’s another good reason to get out all the games.

Let people know how dangerous this is, please.

M. Fons

Mosinee, Wis.


Cell phones allow drivers to keep in touch

How did we talk to our loved ones before the cell phone? I will tell you.

We, the family, would wait up till all hours of the night, waiting for our drivers to stop driving. Then we would sit on the house phone for an hour, talking when the driver should be sleeping and the kids should be asleep, too.

Next morning, both sides, house and truck, would wake and think of the fact that it would be midnight before we could talk again, then get into the vehicle and drive distracted because we missed our loved ones, those same people that we only get to see three days out of every 90 to 120 days!?

Then comes the phone bills we would have, $500 to $1,000 a month, so our drivers would drive even harder and longer hours to pay that bill, just so they could talk a little each night. Still disconnected from the family, they would wonder what was happening at home.

Now, at least we get to talk some throughout the day, the kids know what their dad sounds like, and he gets to be a small part of the family. The bill is manageable, the people are less distracted, and families are staying together. And all this is managed hands-free with a Bluetooth-type headset that is designed especially for truckers.

Kendra Elrod Marquis

Charlotte, Tenn.


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What electronic device would you like to have in your truck?

I’d like to have a GPS or a computer to show where I’m at and all that.

— Jaime Betancourt,

El Paso, Texas,

company driver for J. Ramirez Trucking



On-board computer to find places and browse the Internet, things like that.

— Karl Walker,

Dayton, Ohio,

company driver for Springfield Cartage



Probably a GPS. The one that’s designed for trucks. The one that costs like $500. The one I can’t afford.

— Victor Ramirez,

El Paso, Texas,

owner-operator with United Van Lines



GPS. Makes life easier.

— Xavier Wright,

Lincolnton, Ga.,

company driver for Con-way Truckload


How do you feel about the NTSB recommendation to ban all cell phone use while driving?

VIA FACEBOOK

I am opposed to the ban. It is an overreaction. All the evidence and studies show that they are safe. Just more big brother telling us what we can do.

— Jeff C.

So even with hands-free we can’t use them … What’s next? Taking CB radios and AM/FM out of trucks, too? Oh I know, why don’t we take the heat and AC out too, God forbid we should be distracted by warmth or chilled air. And why don’t they make a rule about the lack of clothes people wear in their autos? Distracted driving, ya know … comes in all forms.

— Charles N.

Truckers are already taken away from their families and loved ones, now this ban will make them choose between sleep and talking to the people they care about … Next they will ban passengers in cars because they may just speak to you. I know for me, my kids are more distracting than talking to my trucker husband on the Bluetooth. Should my kids be banned from my car?

— Amberlamps L.

This is outrageous and we all should protest it or go on strike. There are already too many regulations on truckers; it’s just another way to make and use us as examples for the rest of the world. This needs to stop

— Janet F.

Next will come a ban on chewing gum or eating or singing along with the radio while driving.

— Bill R.

It is illegal in most states to use a cell phone while driving unless you have a hands-free device. What they are talking about here is no cell phone at all, hands-free or otherwise. If you use a Bluetooth there should not be a problem.

— Dennis S.

It’s just another way for the government to control us. No way that I’m going all day without talking to my family, and I’m not doing it at the end of the day and then sacrificing my sleep time. I’ll be one less driver on the road if that passes.

— Dave E.

I am opposed! If they’re going to ban them, do it for everyone. Cars, trains, bicyclists, pedestrians etc.

— David L.

Next it will be “no smoking” while you are driving a commercial vehicle. Fellow truckers, we better stick together and fight all these regulations.

— Richard M.

Ban them for one, ban them for all, including law enforcement. If it’s OK for them, it’s OK for all. Especially professional drivers.

— Phillip P.

I find it degrading that the NTSB finds time to worry about banning cell phone use when there are important issues that need to be addressed such as the CSA 2010, bad roads, road construction, recorders in trucks as you see this ban would just be another way to come down on the American trucker just trying to do their job.

— Renee R.

They need to ban four-wheelers from using cell phones before they ban us. Four-wheelers are the worst drivers while on the phone or texting

— Elizebethe E.

Hows about if the NTSB bans all cell phone use while driving for everybody. Honestly, I’d say that easily 50 percent of the vehicles that pass me have drivers either texting or talking on the phone. It is out of hand. Some days I feel like somebody painted a bull’s-eye on my unit with “hit me” painted in the center ring.

— Kev H.

Hands-free should be permitted. We’re away from family too long as it is, let alone contact with centers, etc. NTSB needs to stop playing big brother … we need less government in our lives, not more.

— Joseph M.

If they are going to ban us from using cell phones, they need to do the same for the rest of the motoring public. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

— Scott D.

It’s discrimination and unconstitutional. I see people in cars every day talking on their phones without the hands-free device or texting. Hell, I’ve even seen people drinking a beer while driving their car.

— Ryan H.

Honestly, if you can’t maintain your lane and speed and talk on a phone you shouldn’t be behind the wheel anyway. How the heck do you check your gauges or mirrors? Or do you? All it takes is a little common sense: construction, no phone; rush hour, no phone; heavy traffic, bad weather, no phone. Ninety percent of the time I let it go to voicemail then return the calls as I see fit. Hell, most of them I didn’t want to talk to anyway. As far as texting I don’t text period. And it takes a real idiot to try and drive and text.

— John B.




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