July 2002


Skip Michael’s letter appears to miss something very basic. He assumes that traditional and classically styled equipment is impractical and characteristic of inadequate business sense. Is every decision in life measured by the almighty dollar?

I would like to see what his personal vehicle looks like. If it isn’t an Escort, Cavalier or Kia, he’s contradicting himself. If two people working the same job make the same income, does the one who drives a Cadillac CTS have less business sense than the other who drives a plain Chevy or Ford? No.

We select where we live, our homes, our personal vehicles, our conveniences, our occupations, our hobbies, and – yes – our equipment based on our preferences, along with what we can afford. If someone decides to acquire and drive a 600-hp Pete with chrome stacks and a custom paint job, great. If they couldn’t afford it, they wouldn’t be driving it. To say that inadequacies are being compensated for by this style of truck is outright ignorance. Pride in your rig is one of the reasons to be an owner-operator!

In a world where too much looks the same and is very mundane, it’s good to see that the classic style is still available. In fact, if the classic style is so obsolete, why is it still selling? I pity the day when all we will be able to purchase is what Michael thinks makes good business sense.

The customer has spoken. The traditional style has maintained a classic look through all these years, and pride still exists in an occupation so critical to this country’s commerce.

Tim Palmer
Lansing, Mich.


I am writing in response to Rita Pacheco’s January letter. Her 19-year-old son, still considered a teenager by many people, was upset because he was unable to be insured as a truck driver because of his age.

I spent 10 years in the U.S. Army, starting when I was 17. The Army taught me many skills, including the maturity to know how to do things on my own without depending on my parents to fix my problems. If the young man passes all the requirements, he can be a truck driver in the Army until he is old enough to be insured. The pay is decent, benefits are great, and he wouldn’t be “sitting around at home becoming very discouraged.”

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I understand that being in the service to defend this great country is not everyone’s dream job, but how many of us get everything we want in life, especially at 19? I have been driving trucks since I got out of the Army in 1993, and I would be happy to help him with any information that he or his mom would like about Army life.

Sgt. David T. Beals
U.S. Army Reserves


I was saddened by Skip Michael’s letter in the May 2002 issue. He labels owners of classic style trucks as lowbrows, Bigfoot, rude and bad businesspeople. I wish I knew where he lived so I could drive by his house to see what kind of car he drives. I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that his garage houses a big shiny SUV with all the bells and whistles. Perhaps he should trade it in for a stripped-down Geo Metro. I think his attitude is positively un-American. This is the

United States of America – the land of freedom and opportunity. The reason most people live here is so they can drive what they want to drive.

Vince Meinecke
Trenton, Mo.


I wanted to say kudos for your hazmat article in the April issue. Henry Shriver is correct in saying, “The bottom line is, if you have that endorsement, you’re going to have more money in your pocket.” I can vouch for this. I have hauled fuel for nearly 10 years, and the pay is excellent. Right now I’m like everyone else – taking a long, hard look at the new emissions standards and wondering how much more trucking companies and owner-operators can stand.

Charles E. Jackson
Clifton, Tenn.