Letters to the editor

Regarding the change to the hours of service rule effective Oct. 1 [“Berth Order,” September]: No doubt about it, the lives of more drivers and the public will be put at risk. By restricting the option of splitting sleeper berth time, the government has forced the truck driver to operate his equipment when he really shouldn’t. If a situation arises such as bad weather or illness, he no longer has the option to stop and take a nap and stop the 14-hour clock.

The only way this new rule would possibly work is if truckers are allowed to log up to two to four hours off duty and not have it count against their 14 hours.

I thought the whole idea behind the new hours of service was to relieve driver fatigue, but so far it has managed only to add to driver stress.

Why not allow a few drivers into the meetings when regulators are trying to come up with new rules, instead of all politicians? It’s like assembling a group of lawyers to determine a new medical procedure for doctors.
Rockford, Ala.

I began driving in 1968. I am unable to believe that supposedly intelligent truck drivers still commit their unwavering devotion to a trucking company that not only does not care for the driver as a person, but also preys upon the driver.

By preying, I mean coercing a driver into operating illegally, outside the safety regulations. Most companies will push a driver into burning himself out, ruining his CDL, losing his driving privileges or causing a death.

Most companies regard drivers as a dime a dozen. Most drivers know that should they get caught operating illegally, the company will disavow any knowledge of the drivers’ activities.

Company personnel hold drivers’ jobs over their heads, and the drivers fall for it. Let’s see those trucks operate themselves, or watch that freight move itself.

Then again, trucking company personnel are not intelligent enough to realize that if a driver obeys the regulations, he is protecting not only himself but also the company from criminal prosecution and litigation.

If you have to operate illegally, then you do not need to work for that company.
I make as much or more money now than I made running outlaw, and with less stress and aggravation. It works for me, and it has worked for years.
Cleburne, Texas

Help us with fuel prices. I write this because I am losing my business.

As you walk into the truck stops and restaurants, you see worried people, as well as those who are just plain mad.

We work long hours away from our loved ones for weeks on end. Our children are bigger, different individuals when we get home.

In order to maintain our vehicles we have a maintenance account. Those funds are gone or nearly depleted because of fuel expenses.

Did you think the problem was going to somehow fix itself? It’s clearly not going to happen.

A strike is coming. Trust me. It’s all over the CB. You can be a hero and do something, President Bush.
Edgerton, Wis.

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

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