Hi Honey, I’m Home
I, like many other over-the-road truck drivers, will get off the road this year, adding to what some say is a driver shortage. After 12 years of beating myself up and down the highway of this great nation, I have had enough. It has absolutely nothing to with bad equipment, money, routes, DOT or the attitude of 4-wheelers or other truck drivers. It has everything to
do with health and actually having a life with a wife that I actually love.
I have Type 2 diabetes, and getting the proper rest and actually being able to eat properly is a myth among drivers who really know what it’s like trying to stick to a real diet designed for diabetes. It no longer matters to me. Living longer is my goal and truck driving is something I am willing to give up. I am now married to a really happy woman.
For those of you who think you can’t do anything else for a living, give yourself a break, you are more in demand than you think. I made $57,288 last year. Sounds like a lot, but think about what you spend on the road, even as a company driver, in order to live. Start by writing down everything that you spend on yourself. You will be surprised at how much you spend in a year. Enough preaching. I know at times I will miss it, but for now it’s great to be home with my honey. Now, everyday is not a Monday.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Editors Note: Tim Dison was killed when his tanker struck a bridge after a car cut in front of him in Birmingham, Ala. Eyewitnesses said that, before impact, Dison took evasive action that probably saved the lives of other drivers near him.
I was so pleased that you mentioned Tim Dison in your “Power of the Pen” article (“Editor’s Journal,” February 2002.) I am his mother-in-law. You were so right. Tim gave his life to save the lives of even those that caused him to lose his own life. He was a wonderful man. His whole life was my daughter and their two boys.
We were a very close family and miss him dearly. He was the kind of person that would help anyone and never ask for anything in return. My daughter and her sons have lost a wonderful man. I just wish people would have more respect for truckers on the road. I was raised on a trucker’s pay. My dad drove for 30 years, and my husband has been driving for 18 years. Tim’s death has made me realize how dangerous it is to be a truck driver on the road.
Hours of Service
I am a truck driver with over 35 years of driving. I may be starting to act like a writer. I am very upset about the Kansas City Star reporter Judy L. Thomas’ stories of renting a truck for 6,000 miles and writing a story as if she knows everything about trucking (“Former Trucker Writes Series on Driver Fatigue,” February 2002).
The shippers, receivers and the big bad trucking companies are always made out to be the bad guys. Trains do not go where the customers are, so we are asked to haul the goods. As we’ve seen from the past 10 to 15 years, our customers have moved from warehousing the goods to putting them on trucks for next day service.
Some people want to change the way we do log books and hours of service. I say we can’t change it. Trucking terms are put in place to serve customers. Truckstops are there to serve customers. I know in five or 10 hours I can have a place to rest, eat or fuel. I believe most truckstops count on repeat customers. If our hours of service changed to 12 hours, what happens to the truckstops customer base? Do they move 50 or 100 miles down the road?
Drivers Daily Logs
My experience with Drivers Daily Log program (“FMCSA OKs Log Software,” March 2002), created by Fritz Bjorklund, dates back to version 0.97, which was released Feb. 2, 1998. At that time, Drivers Daily Log was “honorware,” a free full function trial download. If you liked the program, you could purchase it for only $10, on your honor.
My girlfriend/business partner and I purchased our own tractor in January of 1997. In February 1998, while searching for trucking-related, record-keeping software, Laurel found the Drivers Daily Log program.
The real test of Drivers Daily Log came at the Dunsmuir scales on I-5 in California. Southbound out of Oregon. I crossed the scale being legal weight. I was surprised to be instructed to park and bring in all my paperwork.
When asked to produce my log book, I showed the program to the DOT officer, who went so far as to call the other officers in from the inspection bays to show them the “log book program on the driver’s laptop.” I showed the astonished officers just about everything the program was capable of doing. They were very impressed. Every time I see another driver with a laptop, or even hear they have a desktop in their truck, I always tell them about Drivers Daily Log program.
Grand Rapids, Mich.