We Can Do Something!

Someone left a copy of the May issue of Truckers News on the table in our dispatch office the other night. After viewing the front page and subsequent story, I have found that I can no longer remain silent on this issue. Of course, I’m referring to the [anti-idling] article titled “The Big Turnoff.”

I’ve been a driver for 30 years. All I’ve heard from the legislative sector every time the subject of trucking came up, is “truckers need more time to rest; truckers need more quality sleep.”

Answer this question: Why is it perfectly OK for a diesel engine to run full bore 24 hours a day to keep the dead meat in the back of the wagon nice and cold, while the poor slob up there in the bunk isn’t allowed to sleep in comfort while it’s 105 degrees outside?

This actually happened. It was the onset of the winter season, somewhere in Pennsylvania when yours truly decided to do his part and save his boss a few bucks by shutting down the engine and crawling under an insane amount of covers for a night’s sleep. The only part of me exposed to the cold was the side of my face sticking out from the blankets so I could breath. The temperature was in the 40s that night. Twenty-four hours later, the entire right side of my face was paralyzed. The affliction is known as Bell’s Palsy. The doctor said it was caused by the exposure to the cold.

If you are a driver, and you are getting sick and tired of your government dictating harsher and more and more unrealistic demands, then do something. Let your elected officials know this is wrong. If you’re not exactly sure who your elected officials are, find out from your computer or city hall or your state government offices. The phone books are full of those numbers. If you have to, rip this page out of the magazine and mail it to your congressman, but do something.
Jeff J. Kangiser
Conyers, Ga.

HOS Means More Money
Since I started driving rigs in 1964 through today, I have heard every complaint that this industry has to offer, from both sides. Drivers have a tendency to blow things way out of proportion, just because they don’t like change or other personal reasons. Somewhere along the line, somebody told these guys that trucking is glamorous and fun – where else can you have fun and get paid for it? Well, reality check! This business is just like any other business; it has its ups and downs. So stop doing the math to suit yourself and come back down to earth.

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The way I figure it is that over a one-year period [the hours-of-service rules] give you 48 more working days, which means more money. One other thing: you guys that have not been on the road for 20 years or better have to understand that the increase of population in this country and on the highways is astronomical, and every year the roads and bridges are getting worse, as well as the drivers. So with a combination of bad roads and bad drivers, the DOT is trying to make it safe out there for the motoring public, which includes my family.
Norman Taylor
Checotah, Okla.

HOS Driving Me Out
I wanted to comment on “Did the DOT Do the Math?” [a letter to the editor in the June 2004 issue of Truckers News]. I say he is right. I feel my income has been greatly reduced. Then I have to pay more for fuel. Where is the balance? I am forced to spend more time away from home because of the new rules. I am all the time having to sit for 34 hours to regain some time to run. If I don’t do it that way, then I can only log nine and three-fourths hours of driving and on duty every day just to keep from running out of hours by the end of five days. By doing that I can’t seem to make any time anywhere. It just is really hard to comply. I believe that it won’t be much longer before I hang up my logbook. I too have been driving for many years and have learned everything the hard way.
Dawn Graham
Atoka, Okla.

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