Letters to the editor

In “Add-Ons That Pay Off” [July], you mention on-board load scales as one accessory that offers a great return on investment. You featured a digital system that costs $1,000 to $1,600 per truck (with a return on investment of eight to 12 months). I thought your readers would like to know that there is a complete analog system available for much less.

I bought my tractor and trailer system from Right Weigh Load Scales, one of the scale providers you listed, for under $300, giving me an ROI of several weeks, not eight to 12 months.

I installed it on my 2002 Peterbilt with a 53-foot dry van in 2004, and I’ve experienced all the benefits you described. I have saved hundreds of hours and out-of-route miles and thousands of dollars in scale fees, overweight fines and fuel costs.

I also have maximized my less-than-truckload hauls without using commercial scales, increasing my revenue by $600 to $2,000 per cross-country trip. I don’t see why anyone would want to spend hundreds or thousands more for a scale system that ultimately does the same thing as mine.
Beverly Hills, Calif.

I was shocked to read that someone in our industry supports the American Trucking Associations’ effort to govern all new Class 7 and 8 trucks at 68 mph [“Speed Governors a Good Idea,” Write On, July]. Allowing this kind of mandate is shameful and dangerous. No one would allow their private cars to be governed, so why should truck owners?

Most companies already self-govern their trucks at or below 68, and penalizing the few of us who take a stake in the industry and actually own a truck is ridiculous. I want less government intrusion, not more. Herb Dunn mentioned work zones, school zones and towns as reasons why we need to govern truck speeds. When was the last time it was acceptable to go 68 mph, much less over 68, in any of those areas?

He also mentioned having 19 years’ experience and having watched our industry “go downhill the last eight to 10 years.” I am sick of this doom-and-gloom, everything-was-better-in-the-past attitude that has taken over truck-stop, CB and dock conversations. What is it about the more years’ experience you get, the more depressed you become? I’m not saying that things have not changed, that things could not be better, but the industry has always faced challenges.

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We need drivers who love what they do and want to teach the newbies by being role models. That kind of negativity does nothing but bring others down.
Keysville, Va.

Herb Dunn’s letter about speed governors [WriteOn, July] does not make sense. He wrote, “I see it every day with trucks blowing through work zones, school zones and towns just like they were not there.” First, a 68 mph governor will not help in a work or school zone because you cannot drive 68 legally or safely. Secondly, there are interstate highways that permit travel up to 75 mph. As an owner-operator, I like to drive the legal limit.

This is just another case of someone’s bright idea for another way to idiot-proof this world. What we need are stiffer penalties for people who drive too fast through work and school zones – such as one strike and you’re out, no commercial driver’s license for you.
Tioga, N.D.

I can’t believe the letter by Donald Moss [“Let All Voices Be Heard,” Write On, July]. With all that’s going on in the trucking industry, let alone the world, he’s upset about the lack of black drivers in your magazine?

The June Trucker of the Month is a black driver. I enjoy that part of Overdrive the most because it shows how owner-operators of all backgrounds and races made it to where they are now.

I like all types of music, except classical, and if Skoal pays for advertising in Overdrive, then good for them.
New York

I would like to tell you what the Illinois State Police did to me on Aug. 19. I was driving south on I-55 when I started feeling bad chest pains, shortness of breath and light-headedness.

I pulled onto an exit ramp and called an ambulance. After I was taken to the hospital, a trooper inspected my truck and gave me a warning ticket for a clearance light out and a ticket for my log book.

Where is the compassion for a sick driver? I could have kept on driving, passed out and possibly hurt or killed someone, but I chose to pull over and call for help. This is not a fair thing for the state police to do.
North Judson, Ind.

Regarding the letter “Nebraska, Treat Truckers Better” [WriteOn, August], the steel posts have been installed at rest areas because one or two truck drivers were killed when they got hit by an entering truck. They were parked where the steel posts are now – where you wanted to park. There isn’t another state that I know of that has more truck stops than Nebraska.
Seward, Neb.

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