Channel 19

Todd Dills

More O/O challenges: Image, health, parking…

| August 16, 2012

Allen Smith
I find that there hasn’t been an all-out attempt to solve this 20-year-old problem pretty amazing. When safety and “truck driver fatigue” is such a major focus with FMCSA, ensuring a driver’s proper rest should be their No. 1 priority in order to secure safety for the public as well as the driver. Years of research has confirmed that there is a shortage of truck parking, and yet the emphasis to resolve this issue is still not receiving the immediate attention that it deserves. Highway safety is not secured when trucks are parked on shoulders and on- and off-ramps because parking is full. This problem will be increased if EOBRs are mandated. If this problem is not immediately addressed in a timely manner, then I’m afraid we’re going to see some dangerous situations evolve.

Since my interview with Smith, an effort has been made to boost driver participation in identifying places where the parking need is greatest on the roadways. Here’s a link to a piece about Jason’s Law’s inclusion in the recent highway bill, and more about OOIDA’s own efforts.

Owner-operator Jeff Clark

Clark included me on a letter to Wisconsin officials, FMCSA reps and others regarding the blocking off of the northbound U.S. 151 weigh station near Madison, Wis. His outreach is emblematic of the kind of efforts individuals can take to improve quality of life on the roadways. No word yet on the end of this story, as the letter was sent only yesterday, but it read like this:

My name is Jeff Clark. I am a Wisconsin truck driver/owner-operator. I am also an avid runner and bicyclist. For years, I had been taking breaks in the northbound weigh station on U.S. 151 just south of Madison. It lies at the north edge of the Military Ridge state trail. The location is also at the south edge of the Madison trail system.

Now, it is blocked off, and I don’t understand why. Closing the weigh station off creates a 60-mile gap between truck parking on U.S. 151. The trail used to run along the outer edge or the parking area, which worked great. For the mountain bike enthusiast there is a single track trail about 0.5 miles from the parking area. 

This would make an excellent trailhead with truck parking. It could be a sign of what could be done when the Rails to Trails Commision (I am a member), OOIDA (also a member) and government (I am a tax payer) work together.

Join us tonight on the Truth About Trucking Live show via this link, 7 p.m. Eastern, sharp. 

  • Linda Caffee

    Todd great show tonight with lots of good info! I really enjoyed listening to Tom Blake

  • Todd Dills

    Yes, Linda, Tom’s a good guy and knows his business — the key to success, don’t you think? strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.