More info for older drivers

| June 01, 2006

First I want to thank you very much for your timely editorial. In your April 2006 “Economic Evolution” column you refer to a story that your “editorial staff did in the past week concerning the American Trucking Associations and Truckload Carriers Association joining the Alliance for an Experienced Workforce, an effort to help employers create workplaces that attract and keep employees age 50 and older.”

Since I am in fact seeking to return to the workplace and am one of those who are 50 and older, I am very interested in this article and any other pieces of wisdom you can direct me toward. Having driven for many years, I am particularly interested in knowing about organizations and companies who are now seeking mature employees, perhaps for driving, training or recruiting or whatever the need may be.

You can be sure that I much appreciated your editorial and will be grateful for any and all information and news which you provide. And I wish you the best in continuing the great work you folks do in your fine publication.
Marty Monkiewicz
Rotonda West, Fla.


Hearing Correction
While I truly do appreciate the article “Can You Hear Me Now?” addressing hearing concerns for truck drivers, I would like to address some inaccuracies in the report. While it is true that Otosclerosis is a gradual hearing loss which increases over time, it does not necessarily have anything to do with aging. It tends to run in families and can be surgically treated in many cases. Also, a one-sided gradual hearing loss does NOT automatically mean a person has an acoustic tumor as the article stated. Many people have unilateral hearing loss from weapons firing, truck driving, genetics, etc.

I do want to reinforce what the author stated about having routine hearing tests. In most industries which are known to have noise exposures above 85 dBA, OSHA requires annual testing along with the use of hearing protection. Unfortunately, this is not a routine part of most trucking companies’ businesses. That does not mean drivers should not follow the same guidelines. I would strongly recommend annual hearing testing for any person who works around noise, feels he or she cannot understand people speaking clearly, or has been diagnosed with a hearing loss in the past.

Thank you for taking the time to address hearing loss!
Cherilyn Larson, M.A., CCC-A
Occupational Audiologist


‘No Parking’ Signs Stink
My husband has been 30 years on the road. He called home a while ago, and his voice was so tired. It had taken all day to load. Of course, this put him late and near dark. Out of hours. Worn out and aggravated because they overloaded him.

He was trying to find a place to park. All the truckstops were full. He headed on down about 20 miles to a rest area, hoping it wouldn’t be full. He couldn’t pull off on a ramp because North and South Carolina and Georgia have “no parking” signs up everywhere.

Makes me so mad I could chew nails. I’d like to put the governor or some head honcho in the truck with Blue just a week. Whoever orders “no parking” signs up stinks. If they took all that money they spent on “no parking” signs, they could fix places to park. I drove for years also, and I’ve seen places in the medians you could park safely if you had a driveway.

And cars really tick me off parking in truck spots. If it’s after midnight and you pull in a rest area, and its full of trucks, you look over to the car side, and there isn’t a car in sight. At some rest areas a truck can pull through to the car side – I’ve done it. Park a while, eat, bathroom, rest. And go. If cars can park in the truckers’ side, I see no reason why you can’t borrow their space if it’s really empty. But some areas have it fixed where you can’t pull through. It stinks, again.

Oh well, this is off my chest. Won’t do any good. He’s out there tired and sleepy and no place to park, and it really gets to me.
Margaret Brandt
Tyler, Texas


Take Charge
In your February 2006 magazine, there was a letter from Debra Wells. It was interesting to read that she has not gotten a raise in 25 years. Why not? Has she ever gone to her carrier and at least asked for a cost-of-living raise? Why would she stick around that long? I wouldn’t, knowing there are other trucking companies who could use my skills (I’ve picked up a few over the last 25 years). I believe we drivers are letting our bosses dictate to us our working conditions way too much.

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