Share Your Experience

Too often CBs are used as a gossip box and to stir up other drivers. I often hear older drivers trashing new and younger drivers for no reason. There is no doubt that a driver who has been trucking for most of his or her life has more experience and knowledge. Remember that we were all new once.

There is no way for you to tell for sure how old I am or how many years I have been driving from this letter. Even still there are drivers out there with a mind of hate who will dislike me because they think I am a young punk.

Don’t be so quick to blame a young driver. Share your knowledge with those who lack in experience.
Jason Shelton
Gatesville, Texas

Run Compliant, Run Safe
Randy Grider’s column [“No Winners,” March 2004] is yet another heart-wrenching story of an errant truck driver who, for whatever reason, determined that to disregard the rules of service and run compliant is the only way to make money.

Even today, after the new hours-of-service rules have gone into effect, I still hear of drivers who refuse to comply. I have been driving for 11 years now and have during all this time run compliant, and I find that I am able to make money. Yes, I have lost some driving positions because of my choice to do so, but I have my honor and self-respect, and am secure in the knowledge that I have an unblemished record.

Besides, the alternative is destroyed lives on both sides if you have an accident. We as drivers have a tremendous responsibility, not only to our own safety, but to that of the public. If you want to regain the once enviable position of being viewed as a respected professional, then you are going to have to act like and become one. Perhaps in time those who don’t care will feel uncomfortable around those of us who do care and leave this profession.
Richard Ingram
Corsicana, Texas

‘Catch Up If You Can’
The December 2003 issue of Truckers News was given to me by a fellow driver in hopes of helping me with the new log book laws. Like most single parents that drive, I don’t have a lot of free time, so until tonight, I had only glanced at the article, hoping that my “creative coloring” skills would suffice until I did have a few minutes.

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Well, today is the day I have been given that time. I’ve been shut down in a rest area due to my own record-keeping negligence. I’m angry at myself and disgusted with the two DOT officers who thought it was cute to hand me back my log book, saying, “Go ahead and catch that up until the time you were pulled in here, if you think you can.” Both of them knew full well I couldn’t legally catch it up.

I find myself wondering if the people who make up these laws have any true idea – not the stereotype – of what it is to be a truck driver.

I absolutely love this job. But I’m wondering if it is worth having to play the log book game with the DOT, having to constantly watch everyone around you in case they screw up, so they don’t involve you in it, only to be left feeling unappreciated for all the pride and effort I put into doing my job to the best of my abilities.
Lynne “Freak” Wilkins
Lexington, Tenn.

Column Shows ‘Fair-mindedness’
[Concerning Editor Randy Grider’s March 2004 column “No Winners”] Sorry to hear about your mom. Your continued fair-mindedness toward truckers is a testament to your maturity and integrity. God bless.

I’ve been a driver since 1996 with a clean driving record.
Tom Drake
Montezuma, Iowa

Not the Whole Picture
The January 2004 issue contained an article about the pollution of the El Paso/Juarez area. As a resident of this area for over 50 years and deeply involved in trucking for 35 of those years I take exception to the direction of thought this article takes.

Knowing the lifestyles of so many of the people across the border, the particulate matter the Mexican trucks emit is just a small picture in the overall scene. When there is a large volume of truck traffic, there usually is a corresponding delay in crossing time. When this happens, particulate levels rise for all motor vehicle traffic. Looking at the home heating standards brings into play another viewpoint. I have witnessed many impoverished homes using old tires to heat and cook with. Even with a 20 mph wind, much of the Juarez area still suffers from particulate matter suspended in the atmosphere, and very seldom do the winds sustain themselves for more than 20 hours at one time.

It is quite apparent that this study is myopic in scope and reporting it is almost as bad.
Bill Roberts
El Paso, Texas

Don’t Tell Us to Move On
President Eisenhower set up the interstate network to move freight faster from destination to destination, but the trucks of today have moved over to share the Interstate with four-wheelers, RVs, etc. to the point that trucks are targeted as “not welcome” in many states.

I know there are U.S. citizens who are concerned about trucks and safety; you proved it by your joint effort to change the hours-of-service rules. I’m asking that all of you just once on any day, set your alarm for midnight and go out to your closest truckstop and closest rest area and see for yourself how many parking spaces are open, how many trucks are parked “illegally” and think of how many drivers moved on down the road in search of a parking spot.

We are not the enemy. Truckers assist disabled vehicles and report drunk drivers and fires while watching for suspicious activities. Truckers are hardworking men and women bringing in everything you buy at any given store in any given state.
Judy Harold
Post Falls, Idaho