Readers Speak Out

What’s Really the Top Priority?
In response to Tim Barton’s assertion that profits are a motor carrier’s No. 1 priority (“Loyalty and Business,” October 2001, p. 64), one must consider how many loads have to be hauled for free in order to pay for an accident. At one time the loss of affordable insurance meant bankruptcy, but now the DOT will shut down an unsafe motor carrier. Profits may be the No. 1 concern before an accident, but after an accident it is too late.
Thomas W. Young
French Creek, W.V.

Stepping on the Wrong Toes
I just finished reading your article titled “Truckerphobia?” (October 2001, p. 47) I was really appalled by the two women, Teresa Mello and Angela Hayden. Their statements are so far off that it’s ludicrous. They evidently have read maybe one article where some truck driver kidnapped a child. I’ve been out here on the road a long time, longer than their combined IQ. For the majority of drivers, if we even heard of anyone getting out of line with children or women, we normally handle it ourselves. Punishment is swift and brutal and then the law can have them. These two women are promoting racism and prejudice. I really feel sorry for their children.

These two don’t even comprehend that virtually every product out there, a truck driver brought it. I hope these women will wake up and realize that no, we are not perfect, but who do you read about most in child molesting cases? Teachers, clergymen, and most of the time someone close to you and the child. Sorry to get boiling mad, but they stepped on the wrong toes. But as the Bible says, “Ye who is without sin cast the first stone.” I guess these two put themselves above the Almighty. I myself really feel pity for these two unfortunate and incompetent women for coming up with these ideas and statements.
Ben Caulder

Unfit for the Road
My husband and I, both professional over-the-road truckers, own two tractor-trailers and have logged close to 1 million accident-free miles, so we feel we are in a position to judge whether a student has received enough training in order to hold a commercial driver’s license.

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A truck driving school in Florida had the audacity to train and certify that our future son-in-law was qualified to drive on our roads. What a joke.

The school is certified to test onsite, which means they can pass who they train. Our future son-in-law failed his driving test twice with a 24-hour period and by some miracle passed on the third test, which was the next day. The school declared him eligible to hold a CDL, so the Department of Motor Vehicles issued him a CDL.

From the moment he got behind the wheel of our truck, it was obvious he couldn’t drive. The boy couldn’t upshift or downshift. He merged directly into traffic from an onramp doing 20 mph, jerking the truck in front of oncoming traffic then jerking it back without ever looking back. He didn’t use turn signals, nor could he look down the side of the 53-foot trailer while driving or making turns. He stalled on a ramp, never shifting down from 13th gear as he saw the posted 20-mph speed limit and froze. All he could do was hold the wheel with a death grip while the truck came to a choking halt. He was oblivious to all the rules and regulations and was a definite safety hazard.

My husband worked with him around the clock, trying to teach the boy the basics he should have learned in school. This fiasco cost us $4,000 for the school, plus a hotel room and downtime in Lakeland, Fla., for him to finish orientation at the company where we are leased and he was a prehire to drive one of our trucks. After three days our son-in-law quit. He said he was afraid he was going to hurt someone, and the school did not prepare him for any of this.

The truck driving school failed our son-in-law. We have called the Commission for Independent Education and other government agencies. The commission has agreed to test our son-in-law to prove that he should have never been issued a CDL. The truck driving school refuses to give our money back.

We constantly see stories about CDL scams, and I am now a witness that this problem does exist. It’s imperative that truck driving schools like this one be investigated. This issue has become a vendetta for me. Not just because of the money, but because I’m responsible for all drivers on the road. My son-in-law would have most likely caused an accident, but we will never know. Thank God.
Terri Grebs
Cape Coral, Fla.