Regular commenter and reader Billy Fannin, who with his brother runs the 41-truck Fannin Trucking fleet out of Eastern Kentucky, sent in a note along with a copy of a speech his 12-year-old son, Coalton, recently gave to his class at Lewis County Middle School in Vanceburg, Ky. The “very proud” dad had this to say: “It started out explaining the evolution of chauffeur’s licence to a CDL but ended up educating everyone on the daily life and obstacles a trucker faces, and how everyone should be thankful for us all.”
Proud, indeed. Thanks, Coalton.
Changes in the Trucking Industry in the Last 20 Years
by Coalton Fannin
It used to be if someone decided to enter the trucking industry, they simply went to their local courthouse and applied for a chauffeur’s license, however now you must get a Commercial Driver’s License, aka CDL.
First, you take a written test — about 90 questions, depending on the type of CDL you apply for. A Class B CDL covers straight vehicles, and a Class A CDL is for combination vehicles, such as tractor-trailers. Endorsements can be added to cover a range of things, from hauling passengers, such as schoolchildren, to hazardous materials.
A trucker delivers freight from point A to point B without knowing the things that might cause an unexpected delay. Also, many times a driver will arrive at a shipper and will be delayed because the load is not ready yet. This causes a driver to lose time that they need to be driving to make the delivery on time.
The hours a driver can drive in one day, according to the law, is 11 hours, and a driver can only work 14 hours a day.
All drivers are required to keep a log of all duties and record them and days off in a logbook for law enforcement.
Laws for truckers are more strict than laws for cars — radar detectors are illegal in semi trucks, and a driver getting caught talking on a handheld cellphone can be fined up to $11,000.
People don’t realize truckers work odd hours to deliver the things people can’t live without — like groceries, gas, medicine, building materials, military supplies and mail. There is nothing you can name that you can buy that wasn’t on a truck at one point.
Truck drivers live a rough life out on the road, sleeping in a truck and using the rest areas and showering at truck stops. In closing, truckers are the backbone of this country, sacrificing time from their families, sleeping in a truck, working all hours of the night to get the products to the shelves that Americans can’t live without. I know because my dad has been a trucker for 27 years and I grew up in a trucking family.