Letters From Readers


My wife and I took two of our grandchildren to McDonald’s, where there was a video game called American Pro Trucker, by Sega. It was labeled suitable for all ages. The player picks a big rig to race against another big rig from one city to another. Points are given for running over certain cars. The game rewards reckless driving and is available to any child that has a token.

I thought this was in bad taste for the trucking industry. I never thought I’d see a video game that gave someone the idea that racing down an interstate running over cars was in good taste. I’ve been trucking since 1964. I was an owner-operator until a few years ago, but now I’m a company driver in my hometown trying to find a place where I can take my grandkids. We will go back to McDonald’s, but we won’t be playing any video games.

Dannie Jones
Easley, S.C.


I am so glad you published the article on over-the-counter energy products with ephedrine [“Energy’ alert,” December 2002]. I would like to reinforce the health concerns based on our own family’s experience. Our daughter, a freshman in college, took ephedrine along with triple espressos to pull an all-nighter before a test. She ended up in the student health center the next day with a racing heart; her resting pulse was 146, about twice the normal rate. Fortunately, her pulse returned to normal, but she put herself in significant danger by taking ephedrine together with strong coffee.

She got a D on the test, so her performance certainly was not helped by ephedrine or staying up all night.

A truck driver could be far away from emergency medical assistance if he or she started having a heart problem related to ephedrine.

Elisa R. Braver
Silver Spring, Md.


One of our drivers truly deserves recognition for being a hero. Dean Johnson was traveling on I-81 just outside of Knoxville, Tenn., when a woman and two girls in a car passed him. The car blew a tire, lost control and went over an embankment. Johnson stopped his truck and went down the 10-foot embankment to pull out the children. He carried them up the embankment one at a time and then went back and pulled the woman from the car.

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The younger of the girls was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Johnson began to administer CPR. He gave his cell phone to the mother, and she called for an ambulance. Johnson revived the child, and she was taken to the hospital.

Harold Smith
Deaton Inc., Birmingham, Ala.


In response to Cindy Goalder’s comments [August 2002] on all the manuals she must have, read and use: Who says she has to read them? Not the DOT or any other government agency.

I use some manuals, but I have found that you can just call the DOT for most answers. My company just went through a federal DOT inspection and came out great. Although we were nervous about our first internal inspection as a carrier, at the end of the three days we received one fine, a small list of warnings and a satisfactory rating. We corrected some errors and came out educated on issues that we did not know. The most important thing we learned was to just use common sense. Not once did the inspector ask to see what manuals we used.

All Goalder’s letter did was scare those people who are thinking of getting their own authority. It is hard work, but with a good team, anyone can do it. I am glad, though, that she cares enough to invest the time and money to learn, which is something a lot of people will not do.

Jim Forry Jr.
Morral, Ohio


I’ve been driving for about a year and a half. I read your “Unhappy Trails” story [May 2002 Overdrive] on eTrucker.com, and this article really opened my eyes about running my log book and how truckers leave paper trails and electronic trails.

Why can’t the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and state DOTs come up with standard rules? I think the government and the others who want a black box in all trucks should think about putting them in four-wheelers.

Josh Benson
Liberty Center, Ohio


Not only do most people in our nation place the blame on truck drivers and trucking companies for all car-truck accidents, but what makes it worse are the injury attorneys who back up the four-wheelers.

These law firms are just looking to make a fast buck off of our industry. I saw a commercial for a law firm that said, “We see trucks on a daily basis that have not been maintained properly.” The commercial goes on to say, “I am sure you know that many drivers take unnecessary chances and make careless errors. Others fail to make the proper safety checks and operate under conditions which make it a risk to drive.”

Attorneys all over the country are making accusations against an industry that is so vital for our economy. It just shows the disrespect our nation has for drivers and our industry and the lack of education the general population has regarding the trucking industry.

We should be furious with attorneys pushing their services to trap and accuse truck drivers. Let attorneys who run commercials like this one know how we in the trucking industry feel about being a targeted. Let’s put a stop to the slandering and deprecation of our drivers and our companies.

Debby Richardson
Covington, Ga.

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