I would like to comment on two things I saw from the trucking industry regarding the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and Mississippi: foolish decisions by drivers waiting to buy fuel in Mississippi and an uncaring attitude on the part of companies by allowing drivers to stop in Mississippi.
The whole world knew that the hurricane went through the middle of Mississippi. Why would any driver with half a brain wait till he got there to try to find fuel? It’s only 155 miles across Mississippi, which would only take 31 gallons of fuel if you only got five miles per gallon.
There were long lines in Meridian and Jackson, Miss., and Tallulah, La. Some stops were rationing fuel, and once there were two stops in Jackson out of fuel. Drivers were complaining when they had just come from either Georgia or Texas. I heard the drivers talking on the CB, and most all of them were just passing through. Is this stupid or what?
I saw this scenario each time as I crossed Mississippi twice in four days. I fueled in Georgia and again in Shreveport and didn’t have to wait in line or worry about not finding fuel. It’s really not rocket science to plan ahead.
I am also disgusted with the lack of leadership shown by the management of trucking companies. Every company should have instructed their drivers to fuel before Mississippi and not even stop in the state. Why should trucks and drivers who are just passing through use up the limited resources that were available in the state? Companies should have told their drivers to not even stop to eat in the state.
The next time there is a disaster like this, I hope the management of trucking companies will show a little leadership and instruct their drivers to plan ahead and not even stop in the affected area and dilute limited resources that are badly needed by the local people. I would also hope some drivers have learned their lesson and will use their brain next time.
John L. Holmes
Fountain Inn, S.C.
Here is the complaint: we as truck drivers can deliver products to Walmart distribution centers and put up with them charging us outrageous prices for lumpers to unload us, but we’re not allowed to go shopping at their stores, due to the posted no parking signs.
The DOT can say what they want about enough parking for all the trucks in the United States, but listen to the truck drivers, not the government. We have enough restriction out here without everyone putting restrictions on us. High lumper fees that the drivers fight to get reimbursement for. No parking allowed, meaning we have to get up early to deliver the load on time.
Where is the voice for truck drivers of America? Please help!
Excellent Mark Twain Winner
Just a line to let you know how very much I enjoyed “Drive Safely, Eleazer” [Greg Reinbold’s second-place story in the Mark Twain Essay Contest, July 2005]. It was excellent and spoke tomes of good thinking to those who are on our own journeys, which at 70-plus, I definitely am.
I read and absorbed the warmth and faith of your story three times, and I intend to keep it around for the times my faith just needs a touch of reality. Like your character on the pier, “It’s like sleep. Then you wake up. Don’t know where