Readers Speak Out

A Great Big Thank You

My husband is a driver for Don Garrett Trucking. On Thursday, July 18, 2002, the fuel pump went out on his truck 50 miles from Flagstaff, Ariz., on I-40. After sitting there for 27 hours, he finally got on the road at 9 p.m. on Friday.

He broke down with no food or drinks. He walked a mile down the road to a small store. Even though the store had just closed, the man would not sell him a soda or even offer a glass of water. Luckily there was a restaurant across the road that was open. He walked back to his truck with a blister the size of a quarter.

I want to say thank you to all the truck drivers who stopped to help my husband during that time! You made a hard time a little more comfortable.

Pamela Compton
Arlington, Texas

Positive Image

I’m a veteran truck driver of 23 years. I learned to drive trucks from my dad and other veteran drivers. The reason I’m writing is because the only news I read about in your magazine is drivers’ complaints. How about a positive story? How about a story about the trucking industry helping rebuild our country after 9-11-01?

Let’s rebuild the image in the eyes of the public. Why don’t you ask the public what they think about or know about the trucking industry? Let’s ask the general public if they know where or how products are transported to their city.

Why not ask people how much they know about truck driving and the drivers? Let’s let people know truck drivers have families, homes, and we are no different then they are. This is our profession just like what they do for a job. This nation was not, and is not, built on only one profession. It takes all of us working together to keep this country going strong. Let’s stop working against each other. Let’s keep building this United States on strength, freedom and the American dream.

Jimmie Kelley Jr.
Gray Summit, Mo.

Hidden Talent

Regarding Tim Barton’s column in July issue of Trucker News titled “The Swan.”

I just wanted to say thanks for publishing it, and thanks to Tim for writing it.

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Excellent!!! I was aware of Tim as a great technical writer, but I see he’s been hiding some other talent up his sleeve. Thanks.

Matt Stiefvater
Milwaukie, Ore.

Westerns, Animals and Us

As I sit and think about it, I came to find that trucking is connected to the Old West and to a lot of wildlife. We deal with the covered wagons and the stagecoaches out here as well as the rooster cruisers and the chicken trucks. We then have chicken lights although I can’t figure why anyone would put lights on their chickens. Maybe to find them in the dark, but who knows what lurks in the minds of others. Also we have the chicken coops, but I’ve never seen any chickens in them just DOT men who must be waiting to count chickens when they come back to the coop. Now we have the driver who is called “hand,” like a ranch hand. The hand’s home is usually referred to as the Ponderosa or the ranch. Then we have the watering holes – rest areas and truckstops. Next we have the highways of our great nation which some have referred to as goat trails. Some aren’t far from being just that.

Now for the wildlife that we deal with, we have bears. Some are full grown while others are just local or county. They like to hide in the woods and under bridges. There are the gators which seem to be all over and they sometimes just lie in the middle of the road and wait around to see all the traffic go by. Now we can’t leave out the lizards. They, too, are all over, but they hang out at the watering holes. Every now and then you will see one of the iron horses is tired and has laid down in the grass or is out in the corn field getting lunch.

We love our dogs that ride with us, although it seems we lose 95 percent ownership of the truck because the truck becomes the dog’s truck. Our dog claims the jump seat as his and fatefully guards it and watches over us as we sleep. He becomes our partner, friend, companion and protector as well as someone to talk to.

We hands are in general a pretty good bunch of people. We are a special breed of people. We still help little old ladies across the street, feed stray animals and help the stranded motorist. Even with all the things that go wrong during any given day, I wouldn’t do any other type of work. I’m proud to be one of the many hands on the ranch of the trucking industry.

Mitch Segler
Chesterton, Ind.

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