Truckers News Staff | August 01, 2010

Show Some Common Courtesy

How often when you are driving these days do you hear a bear report without having to call out to the opposite traffic for a half hour? Or better yet, at free will? Or how about getting the “blink blink” when you pass someone or the reverse for a thank you?

Today it seems all you hear on the CB are ignorant steering-wheel holders talking about how big their **** is or showing how badass of a CB Rambo they can be. Seriously, y’all sound like a bunch of second-graders out here and act like kindergarteners. We are supposed to be professionals — start acting like one. I was trying to get some local information the other day, and do you know what I was told after about a half hour or so? “Shut up, stupid, and buy a map.” Oh, I’m sorry if my question interrupted you from getting that lot lizard over to your truck.

Now don’t get me wrong. I like to have fun out here, too. I’ve been doing this almost 20 years. When I’m behind the wheel going down the road I take pride in what I am doing. Always have and always will. Now I run [oversize], so 90 percent of the time I cannot see behind me. I admit I drive an older truck, but c’mon, people. Have a little common courtesy and sense. Flash your lights, let us or any truck that passes you know it’s OK to come over. I don’t think the truck manufacturers put the headlight switch someplace you can’t reach it anymore. Or for that matter, your four-way or clearance-light switch to say thanks.

I could go on for days about how the quality of the driver has deteriorated, but I will just say a few more things. Every Sunday I try to find a place to watch NASCAR on TV or maybe even get to the track. I won’t bother anymore. I’ve been sitting here for a few days at a Love’s, and I have a NASCAR race right in front of me.

What is wrong with you people? You are in a truckstop, not a racetrack. You are in a congested area with limited visibility and people walking around. What on God’s green earth do you need to be grabbing gears and doing 40 mph in the lot for? Seriously, I saw a driver actually smoke his trailer tires yesterday, he was going so fast.

I was taught, as a rule of thumb, not to go any faster than a person walks. OK, maybe that’s a little slow, but I understand what I was being told. Ten mph is plenty fast. That parking spot won’t go anywhere, and if it does, there are plenty more — trust me. So have a little common sense and slow down before you kill somebody.

I’m not meaning any disrespect to any of us. I’m just a driver who is concerned about our future. Be safe.

Steve Sawicki Lake Placid, Fla.

Driver shortage is lie

Please stop spreading this fallacy and fairy tale about a driver shortage! There is no such thing! What there is is a shortage of good companies willing to pay a fair and decent wage for the hours and days spent doing the OTR sector of this career field. There is a shortage of companies that will treat you like a human being and not like a piece of equipment.

You need decent home time so you can actually have a life outside of trucking and to maintain your family life. This shortage fallacy is all drummed up by major companies who would like nothing more than to have cheap foreign labor imported to fill the trucks that they have sitting around. (Just because you bought 15,000 trucks and cannot fill them doesn’t mean there is a shortage.) They would love to have labor that doesn’t care about their standard of living. What you have is a churning problem in this industry.

James Maxwell, Kansas City, Mo.

Industry not the same

After 22 years in an 18-wheeler and six more in straight trucks and concrete mixers, I was laid off April 1, 2007. In the time since then I have been told I have been out of a truck too long and don’t have enough OTR experience in recent years to qualify for a driving job. Even with the local job I had I ran 80,000-90,000 miles a year for the last 8-10 years.

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