I have been driving trucks since 1967. I’ve seen a lot and watched our country grow in many ways but get stupid in other ways. What is it with these states thinking the answer to getting funds to fix roads is by creating or raising tolls? Ask any driver that has been to Chicago, New Jersey or any big city for that matter what most people do when confronted with a regulatory speed sign. Go faster! They think it’s OK to go nine or ten miles over the limit. They think it’s OK to tailgate.
My answer to the funding problem is right there. Enforce the rules of the road. All of them: speeding, tailgating, illegal lane changes, running lights and stop signs. Nobody cares if they get a little fine. Instead of the sign reading, speed limit 55, have it changed to speed limit 55, conditions permitting. Then if you get caught going 56, the ticket would be for driving too fast for conditions. Make it a really big fine and tack on road repairing community service for a month. Not only would it save lives and cut back on accidents, but look at how the environment would benefit from everyone using less fuel. Oh, and what’s with that speed limiter idea anyway? You mean to tell me that because drivers can’t control or won’t control their speed that we will have to be forced to deal with the use of mandatory speed limiting equipment? If the speed limiting equipment we have (police cars with radar guns) refuses to do the job, I guess it’s time to put in governors on just the trucks. Oh, that’s a bright idea. What about all the four-wheelers who drive like bats out of hell. No! It’s time to wake up, America! Get realistic! Spend the money that would be spent on speed limiters on giving jobs to more cops.
Mount Nebo, W.V.
Help Keep Small Truckstops Alive
For the past year I have been working at a truckstop in Kentucky. As a waitress, I have an opportunity to talk with the drivers who come in to eat or just have a cup of coffee; I have enjoyed learning about the trucking industry. These last several months have been exceptionally interesting, as most conversations have centered on fuel prices and the economy. The differing points of view make for some good debates. The one thing everyone agrees on is that the whole problem stems from power and greed, which pretty much describes our governmental bureaucrats.
The truckstop where I am employed is a family-owned business and has been at the same location for 20 years. However, it is becoming more and more difficult because of many of the larger, corporate-owned truckstops. Someday these family-owned truckstops will become as extinct as dinosaurs and will only be a memory. I am “older” and have seen what has happened to small business over the years. It is now difficult to find family-owned businesses, such as restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, etc. Thanks to the “Big Box Super Stores,” the little man has had to close his business and board up the store where so many good times were had and so many dreams existed.
Many of the drivers are forced by the companies they drive for to fuel at the large truckstops, but they do not like to eat there. The drivers are enticed with food coupons; however, some will fuel there and still stop and eat at small businesses. Thank heaven for these few loyal drivers.
I am writing this in hopes that you will do some stories on these disappearing small, family-owned truckstops. Perhaps it would bring the plight of these small businesses to the attention of the people who can keep them in business. Without the support of the trucking industry, soon there will be no more family-owned truckstops.
Crab Orchard, Ky.
On Oct. 24, while parked at the TA Travel Center East in Ontario, Canada, our company truck caught fire and burned to the ground. My sister and I would like to thank all the drivers for their words of comfort and offers of money and clothing. Your kindness will not be forgotten.
To Ed, a professional driver who stayed with us while we tried to cope and waited till we were picked up: Thank you.
To the TA shop crew who tried to put out the fire before the fire department arrived and tried to keep me straight: Thank you.
To Adam Rodriguez, a company driver who escorted us where we needed to go: Thank you.
To the Southern COL Transport dispatch crew, who pulled together and, within a couple of hours, managed to have us another truck, a load to get us home, a motel for the night and money if we needed it: You’re the best. Thanks.
And to John Q. I am so glad you answered the phone when I called in. Your voice was the light in the fog.
Melody Blankenship & Lisa Ratliff