Speakout – June 2009
Send a letter to the editor of Overdrive: E-mail Overdrive editor
The choices between job and family are tough
When I read Randy Munson’s letter, “The Road Not Taken” (SpeakOut, April), I recalled all drivers I know who had the same conflicts between career and family choices. I was that way to a degree, but when I became an independent owner-operator after eight years of demanding work for a feedyard, I decided that work would not take the place of any aspect of my first responsibility, my family.
Being independent allowed me to adjust my work load for my family events. I coached my kids in Little League and managed to see all of their school events. I make time for church and my sixth grade Sunday school class. My wife and I have been married for 32 years and have a nice home.
The many guys I know who let trucking ruin their lives have told me that they don’t know what happened to their lives and their families. Some of their kids have gotten into trouble. Others lost their spouses. One of the worst consequences of the trucking lifestyle is poor health: Some of the guys who were about my age died because of infirmities developed while trucking. Others still living have lost most of their teeth.
It seems that Randy’s varying levels of job and family commitment throughout his career have worked out for him. I know that this is not the outcome for many who have let trucking destroy their lives.
Z.B. & Sons Transportation Devine, Texas
“I understand they wanna clear the air, but they’re a little too strict. They’ve almost overburdened us with all the rules.”
- Trucking company
manager Dino Guadagni speaking to the Contra Costa Times on California’s emissions laws
Plan well to survive
For an independent trucker such as myself, only one economic law applies: supply and demand.
Right now there’s plenty of trucks in supply and not much demand for them. The result is many trucking companies will be forced out of business. No shipper cares how much fuel costs a trucker or what his other costs are. The shipper cares only about how much he can get a truck for. And you can be sure the federal government or the states won’t do anything to help. As Linda Longton correctly points out in her column “Be a survivor” [Viewpoint, June], owner-operators better figure out a way to survive.
TOM KOLLER | Denver
Do you use a headset or hand-held device with your cell phone?
“I have both. I use the hand-held more often because some people say they can’t hear me on the Bluetooth.”
San Antonio, Texas
Tennessee Steel Haulers
“I still use hand-held. I’m going to be getting some sort of headset the next time I get a good paycheck. Freight’s been slow.”
Monett, Mo. | Crete Carrier
“I’m already using a hands-free set because it’s safer and you hear better with a headset than a hand-held.”
Pensacola, Fla. | Coastal Bedding