Data isn’t real, even on Star Trek

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The only Data I trust

Well heavens to Murgatroyd, the Calvary has ridden in to save the day. Thank goodness even more people who don’t drive trucks have arrived to publicly bicker with the other blockhead who doesn’t drive a truck so everyone in the gubmint can tell truck drivers, who actually do drive trucks, what’s safe. Lord only knows where we’d be without all this “help” — the industry may be a mess and there may have been rules put in place in the name of safety that are absolutely not safe in practice. We really dodged the bullet with that one. The ATA saved us again. Whew.

I’m going to cease with the smug sarcasm for a minute and get real. Barring “seasonal” work with UPS, none of the people running that joint have ever been inside a truck in what could be considered a professional capacity. They appear to be brilliant business people, upstanding members of their communities, and by all outward appearances, fantastic assets to humanity in general, but they do not drive trucks for a living.

I have personal testimony that you can be “involved” in the trucking industry for hell and twenty years, but until you put your posterior in the seat and ride those highways, you are absolutely clueless to about 90 percent of the actual events in a daily workplace experience for a professional driver. Data does not represent real life, even on Star Trek. And all the money or lobbying in the world doesn’t make something that is intrinsically unsafe any safer when it’s put to practical use.

Until the industry is represented by people who have practical driving experience, these problems will continue to exist. A plumber can’t tell a lawyer how to do his job any better than that same lawyer can tell a trucker how to do theirs. I’ll refer once again to Pete, from the “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” movie with, “That don’t make no sense.”

I’m going to let Howard and the ATA duke it out while I go enjoy myself at GATS, and be around some beautiful trucks and real truckers in the Big D, but when I get back, I’m hitting the letter writing hard, because I believe this is a crucial time to appeal to our lawmakers with requests for major change within the FMCSA, and I believe it’s our responsibility as individuals within an industry to call for it.

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The Nazca Lines were formed with rocks and pebbles, laid one by one, by people who though it was important to make their message heard, and that seems like a good way to approach this. Pick up a rock (or compose an email), lay it down (send it to a representative) and go get another one (continue down the list). Soon enough people can see your path, and future generations think you were either brilliant, crazy, or aliens. (This might not be the best analogy I’ve ever made, but I have a flight to catch in three hours, so give me a break and write a dang letter, OK?)

See you at GATS!

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