Readers Speak Out

Thanks for the Hospitality
On behalf of the Breeden and Osmon families, I want to thank everyone at Randall Publishing for the Great American Trucking Family Award. We were all impressed by the article in Truckers News. The award we received at the Great American Trucking Show was very nice, and the hospitality in Dallas by everyone at Randall Publishing was second to none. [Executive Editor] John Latta was a great host. He made sure everything was taken care of. Everyone enjoyed the dinners with John, [Editor] Randy [Grider] and the rest of the staff.

The concerts were a lot of fun, and we want to thank all the sponsors who made them possible. This was a weekend we will remember for a long time.

I would encourage other trucking families to enter next year’s contest. The Great American Trucking Family award has been a very positive experience for us and for the trucking industry. The winning family will be treated well – trust me!
Dennis Breeden
Plainville, Ind.

DOT Safety Problem
I was sleeping in the lower bunk of our sleeper this morning when I had the rudest possible wakeup call. I was thrown forward by momentum as my husband was forced to slam on the brakes. Nightmare scenarios rushed through my brain as I waited for the bump of tires on grass, or worse, the sound of crunching, rending metal. Thankfully neither of these things happened. As soon as I was able, I looked out through the sleeper curtain to see the underside of a rolled truck just as we rounded the turn that did him in. The cause of all the commotion? A temporary DOT inspection site set up in an Oklahoma rest area on I-40.

There was no warning; we came around a curve, over a slight rise and there was the sign – “Inspection Station, All trucks next right,” and less than 40 feet later was the sharp right into the rest area. There was nowhere near enough time to slow down to take that turn safely. Each driver that took that exit had to slam hard on their brakes. I’m sure the poor driver whose truck went over will get the blame for not controlling his vehicle, but I thought the DOT was supposed to be insuring truck safety, not setting us up for failure.
Michelle Parker
Elberta, Ala.

Appreciate the Waitresses
I just read [Executive Editor John Latta’s column], “Beacon and Eggs,” in the September issue of Truckers News. Thank you for your suggestion of Truckstop Waitress Appreciation Day along with your great comments about this group of people that really are here for truckers. I have been working as food and beverage manager at Muralt’s Travel Plaza for the last five years, which is my first experience with truckstop waitresses. I could not agree with you more. We here at Muralt’s are as lucky as you are to have this great group of ladies work here. Kim at 14 years, Stacy at 10 Years, Karen at four years, Theresa and Pam at three years and Vicki at two years, after a few years with Jubitz in Portland, and the rest of the newer girls that all fit the role you so accurately describe in your article.

I have seen members of this group help drivers in a lot of ways: draw a map to a local delivery; warn of traffic and weather-related issues; run after someone with their forgotten papers, sunglasses or favorite coffee mug; tell of things to see on the trip through our beautiful state; remind that Mother’s Day is coming; tell where to get those repairs you need. All this while making sure your eggs are just right from the cook that we just promoted out of the dish room.

I have posted a copy of your article and want to thank you again for your great comments.
Randy Walker, food and beverage manager
Muralt’s Travel Plaza
Missoula, Mont.

Take Out the Trash
On Aug. 11, I watched a fellow driver (using that term loosely) come back to his W900 Kenworth from the driver’s store at the Petro in Ruther Glen, Va. He put his groceries away, then took his trash and threw it out his door before he left the parking lot. I’m sure he will read Truckers News, and hopefully he will try to become part of the solution (working with his pride, if he has any) instead of adding to the problem.

Also, for all of you other drivers out there, if you do the same as this driver did, then you are a problem. This industry (the real professionals out there) needs to get rid of you. I hope that I can help in doing that.
C.W. Wills
Tulsa, Okla.

Why Not Ask Us?
Instead of the government making rules and then someone saying the rules don’t have the truck driver’s health in mind, why not ask the truck driver? I prefer the new hours of service. I actually get more sleep. I have only been driving for three years, and to some I’m just a kid (and a woman to boot), but come on, we all had to start somewhere. I love driving and, from the words of my father (heavy equipment mechanic), “The day I stop learning is the day I hang up my keys.”
Janine Godbey
St. Cloud, Fla.

Write us
Send your letters to Randy Grider, Truckers News, 3200 Rice Mine Road N.E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35406, by fax to (205) 750-8070 or by e-mail to [email protected].

Letters must include your name, address and phone number for verification and must be no longer than 500 words. Letters are subject to editing.