August 2001

Guardian angel trucker

Recently my best friend, 75, was driving his sister and mother, who were 74 and 99, from San Carlos, Calif., to Lake Tahoe for a brief holiday.

Just outside Sacramento, a rear tire blew on their van. Like a guardian angel, a trucker behind them moved his truck into the right lane and slowed down to allow my friends to move out of traffic.

Sandy Carrillo
Victorville, Calif.

Flaws in teen driver proposal

I have driven trucks for 42 years, and I have no qualms about 18-year-olds driving 80,000-pound vehicles. Concerning the Truckload Carrier Association’s 18-year-old truck driver project, I want to know where they are going to find the drivers and who is going to certify their trainers.

Will they tell these kids about all the off-duty unpaid hours they will be working on top of their 70 hours on duty? If the young drivers don’t know the whole truth, we will have even worse driver turnover and a mass exodus from the industry.

The TCA plan calls for extensive screening, but to what extent can you screen an 18-year-old just out of high school? If this project is approved, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should also lawfully require extensive screening of all trainers.

I believe this TCA project would end up being another multitude of lies and schemes, and it would not be the fault of those 18-year-olds. I also believe what Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Jim Johnston said: “This is simply an effort by motor carriers to find a new source of people willing to work cheap.”

When Jim and I started driving trucks 40 years ago, there were no truck driving schools, CDLs or driver shortages. On the other hand there were things that are absent today, such as driver respect, safety, unity and good wages. Taking everything into consideration, I’m opposed to the TCA project.

David Gaibis
New Castle, Pa.

Reader enjoys truck show

I had the time of my life at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.
What friendly people, what great trucks and what an opportunity to meet people who enjoy trucking as much as I do! Give these truck shows as much publicity as possible. They do so much to increase the knowledge and respect of truckers.

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Adam Beyer
Burbank, Ill.

RV fire

We are RVers whose motor home caught fire on I-78 in Jonestown, Pa., on May 22. Our fire extinguisher was old and did not have much juice in it. My husband signaled to the passing trucks that we needed help, and many of them stopped.

Thanks to them, the fire did not spread past the engine, and we will have our motor home back from the garage in a few weeks. We live in it full time, so you can understand what that means to us. If not for the helpful truckers, we would have lost the whole thing.

We have both driven trucks in the past and are very proud to say that we were at one time part of a great occupation.

To all those who helped, thank you. We love you!

Stan and Betsy Davenport
Moore Haven, Fla.

Have something to say? Send letters to Write On, Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, fax to (205) 750-8070, or e-mail [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for length and content.

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