Speak Out

Letters to the Editor
Texas annual inspections unfair

Until I leased to Admiral Merchants in January, I had a Texas inspection sticker that would have been current through April. But when I started with Admiral, I was required to replace the state inspection with a federal one costing me $140 to haul in 48 states with my tractor-trailer.

On Aug. 19, during a DOT inspection on Highway 281, I was issued a citation for an expired Texas DOT inspection sticker and was told that my federal sticker was irrelevant. The San Antonio Regional DOT office informed me that Texas had changed its policy and I now must have a Texas sticker because I am registered in Texas and that other states would honor the Texas inspection sticker.

Louisiana and Arizona do not honor the Texas inspection sticker. I was forced by Louisiana to obtain another federal inspection sticker, which cost $280. I was forced to pay simply because Texas wants more money. It is silly and makes no sense.

For years I have been registered in Texas and running under a federal inspection sticker. The new policy discriminates against drivers registered in Texas. It would not be bad if the state sticker was honored by other states, but it’s not. I cannot afford $280 per year on inspection stickers in an attempt to be compliant.
Floresville, Texas

Veterans, rookies should respect one another
Soon I will leave my little oasis of home and join my fellow drivers as we deliver goods across this beautiful country. After 39 years, I still love the throb of that Pete as I ease onto the slab under a full load.

Years ago, we gathered around truck stop coffee tables, exchanged large doses of blather and doled out advice to younger guys about an occasional route around a scale or other helpful tips. Years ago, someone grabbed a pair of gloves if another driver needed help.

Now, truckers sit alone, playing on computers or eating truck stops’ idea of food. Now, over the CB, truckers make fun of inexperienced newbies.

Some changes in the profession have been positive, but shows of disrespect between veterans and rookies need to stop. If a rookie driver asks a question on the CB, he shouldn’t be put down as stupid.

Maybe we should recognize one another for who we are: drivers, pure and simple. None of us were born with a CDL in our diapers. We have earned that distinction solely by climbing behind the steering wheel and driving.

All of us fight battles of fatigue, long hours, storms, traffic and other situations that do not distinguish between those of us who have been on the highways forever or for a day. We should make those challenges easier by acknowledging our common ground instead of belittling one another.
Rolfe, Iowa

Plan well to survive
For an independent trucker such as myself, only one economic law applies: supply and demand. Right now there’s plenty of trucks in supply and not much demand for them. The result is many trucking companies will be forced out of business. No shipper cares how much fuel costs a trucker or what his other costs are. The shipper cares only about how much he can get a truck for. And you can be sure the federal government or the states won’t do anything to help. As Linda Longton correctly points out in her column “Be a survivor” [Viewpoint, June], owner-operators better figure out a way to survive.

” There should be some kind of regulation where it’s available at affordable prices. It’s destroyed my American dream. ”
– Lyle Schiele, 53, (pictured with children) tells the Dallas Morning News that he became a company driver because he could not afford health insurance as an owner-operator.

How has the credit crisis affected your business?
“Before, we had 80 percent automotive freight. Now we’re hauling different types of freight just to keep the trucks rolling.”
Cleveland, Ohio
AD Transport

“I’m in need of new equipment, and I can’t get loans now. I’m having to lease back to companies to survive this crunch and it’s more time away from home.”
Sanford, Fla.
Jamesway Transport

“It’s raised interest rates and tied things up. I called my small-town bank to see about buying a second truck and they said, ‘Sure, if you can put 50 percent down.'”
Wynnewood, Okla.

“Financially it’s cut me down a little bit. But overall I fared pretty well, and now the price of fuel is going down.”
Oakdale, La.
Doug Young Nurseries

“My cousin owns the company I drive for. I was going to buy a truck from him, but the banks are shying away from first-time buyers.”
Beattyville, Ky.
Gilbert Trucking

“I feel very fortunate. I drive for a food products company, and this is our busiest time of year.”
Madison, Ga.
Fil-More Express

What is your idea of the perfect truck?
“Something like a Peterbilt, with 10-gear transmission. Something that doesn’t smoke too much. . . . A white truck.”
Hopewell, Va.

“One with a bathroom. Nothing fancy. Just nice on the inside. Comfortable seats, comfortable bed. You can’t drive well without a good night’s sleep.”
Memphis, Tenn.
Southern Refrigerated

“I’d like to have a decked-out Peterbilt 369. There’s nothing prettier than a black truck when it’s clean with lots of chrome.”
Jacksonville, Ala.
Sunbelt Transport

“A mattress, a good, working sleeper, a comfortable seat. I’d be partial to white myself.”
Pearl, Miss.
Atlantic Industrial Services

“I’m not too big on the fancy things. . . . So my idea of a perfect truck is no chrome, no payments, plenty of room inside.”
Noble, Okla.
J.B. Hunt

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2022 edition of Partners in Business.
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