Mailbag: Tough inspectors a cost of doing business?

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I miss the “mailbag” feature of many a weekly or daily newspaper columnist of the days of yore. That doesn’t mean they don’t still do it so much as it means I, like most everybody else, is sustained in the news and views department on a diet of light and bytes, not paper and ink, and the old “mailbag” has become something more akin to what we do via our Voices round-ups of owner-operator news and views delivered mostly via online comments here at and via our Facebook page or LinkedIn group, with the occasional “letter” delivered to the old email inbox. To my way of thinking, online comments and emails (long as you can get past the ravings in the “guest” posts among them) are today’s equivalents to old-fashioned letters to the editor, and like their paper corollaries the better among them well deserve an airing. 

Problem is, of course, there’s something about paper and ink that makes it more difficult to ignore — or, as is the case for me more often, inadvertently forget about. So here’s a little pledge to revisit the mailbag of nearly or not quite yet forgotten items with more frequency forthwith (Chuck Montgomey: I owe you a call).

Let’s start with a little nugget of a picture that came through with a note to my email earlier this week from Connecticut-based owner-operator Joe Bielucki. The picture captures Bielucki’s time-off spot up New Hampshire’s (not so white this time of year) White Mountains: 

White Mountains

Not bad, I say. Bielucki was featured in my recent reporting on the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicle’s truck-enforcement program, which ranks No. 1 in the nation for the fewest clean inspections issued and the most violations per inspection written. He missed the reports while away from the job for a few weeks, and noted: 

I have my best year going this year and hope it holds for a couple years more this way, so I can have some breathing room. (Yeah, right.) Lesson: If you run Connecticut, and I live here, you better be “tight” and ready! We run legal weights as well as keep our ol’ KW in tip top shape!

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In other words, tough inspections are a cost of doing business, eh?

How’s your year going?

Here’s a shot of the ol’ KW he mentions that you may well remember, a 2004 T800: 

bielucki Kenworth T800To the rest of you: Keep it coming into the mailbag via the comments or direct via email. You can reach me anytime at [email protected]


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