Opinions

Help Us Be Healthy
Now more than ever I see the industry placing more focus on the health of the driver. Being one of the unhealthiest professions, we have a long way to go, but then the average driver of today has changed a lot along with the job. We have more efficient equipment to make our job easier, and most companies don’t push the drivers like back in the day, thus leaving us more time and energy to take care of ourselves – not always an easy task. A lot of it comes down to choices.

But for me this leaves only one issue: exercise. This is not always easy with so many things to factor in, most of them safety issues. Being a woman, I’m not going to just go for a walk anywhere. I do recall a test program back in ’97 or ’98 called “Rollin’ Strong Gyms,” a portable, well-equipped trailer located in the parking lots of truckstops. I think these were an excellent idea but just a little ahead of their time. I would like to see something like this again, or truckstops that offer a fitness room. Example: The Petro at I-20/59 exit 181 in Alabama offers a very nice fitness room for $5 a visit, which I had no problem paying and had a wonderful workout! I wish this was something I could do on a daily basis – it’s such a benefit in so many ways.
Wendy Rehdorf
Joplin, MO


Take Care of Yourselves, Truckers
I’ve driven a tractor-trailer cross-country since 1974. Every two years, the Federal DOT requires all drivers to take a new physical. I, for one, think the physical should be a little bit harder to pass. All they do is check your weight, blood pressure and your pulse.

On June 5, 2008, I came down with pneumonia and a collapsed lung. I was taken to the VA hospital, and the doctors operated on me three different times. The doctors and most of the nurses were great and good to me. Also I was in two other hospitals for rehab to learn how to walk all over again. I got out of my last hospital Sept. 18, 2008, and stayed with a friend before moving up to Washington state.

I would advise all of you to get a copy of your driving record and a copy of your DAC report and carry it with you. Also, take care of yourself out on the road. That load of freight and produce isn’t worth losing your life.

I am getting better and walking a lot better at present. I just wanted to let anyone who wondered know what happened to me. Keep up the good work, and remember that without trucks and drivers, America stops moving!
Jack Gilliland Jr.
Longview, Wash.


Keep Getting the Message Out
I’m just reading your January editor comments from Truckers News, and I have to say I very much appreciated your comments. As a benefits manager I try to get wellness messages out so people prevent issues, and it’s nice to know that people who are not employers or benefit managers are sending those messages as well.
Thanks,
Christine Schneider
Benefits Manager
Schneider National, Inc.


California Regs Too Heavy-handed
I would like to say your article on “Reference materials key for proper repairs” is a godsend, and I tucked it away for safe keeping.

Now to the subject: I’m concerned about the heavy-handedness of California’s pollution control board requiring truckers to put $20,000 filters on their trucks to avoid smog out of the stacks. I am all for air-quality control, but with the economy the way it is and the fact that fuel was $5 a gallon or more for truckers when we had the fuel crisis, I think there should be a cheaper filter truckers can put on their trucks. They seem to think owner-operators are all rich.
Gabe Berg
Corning, Calif.


Correction:
In a letter in the February issue titled “Heartfelt Thanks,” by Melody Blankenship and Lisa Ratliff, it should have stated the incident involving a Southern Cal Transport truck fire was at the TravelCenters of American in Ontario, Calif. Also, omitted was a “thank you” to Jeffery from the TA. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.

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