In case you’ve missed news of this one, which has made the rounds of various email blasts and blogs, it’s one of the best high-profile salutes to owner-operators and drivers I’ve come across in mainstream media of recent memory. Written by Minnesota-based fleet manager Dan Hanson and published last week in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it seems to stem from a heartfelt appreciation for the difficulties experienced by his drivers in today’s hurry-up climate, particularly as that relates to on-highway interactions with four-wheelers.
It starts this way:
Let me tell you a little about the truck driver you just flipped off because he was passing another truck, and you had to cancel the cruise control and slow down until he completed the pass and moved back over.
His truck is governed to 68 miles an hour, because the company he leases it from believes it keeps him and the public and the equipment safer.
The truck he passed was probably running under 65 mph to conserve fuel. You see, the best these trucks do for fuel economy is about 8 miles per gallon. With fuel at almost $4 per gallon — well, you do the math. And, yes, that driver pays for his own fuel.
He needs to be 1,014 miles from where he loaded in two days. And he can’t fudge his federally mandated driver log, because he no longer does it on paper; he is logged electronically.
And take the time to comment. While many of the comments at the bottom of Hanson’s story appear to be from drivers, the nastiness of many others might well tell a sad tale about the state of the relationship between the trucking world and the general community of motorists. It is the internet, though, where extremity of opinion exists in abundance, of course. All the same, there doesn’t seem to me to be much hope for positive fruit growing from lack of engagement, so keep the lines open.
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