Thanks For a Job Well Done
I would like to thank Carolyn Magner for her excellent and unbiased article “Risky Business” in the April Truckers News. Very often articles about the topic of self-defense with a gun are done without facts and are very distasteful. Her article was done in a truthful, factual manner, and she deserves a pat on the back. Thank you. If I may respectfully make one correction: with regard to military bases I have been on — Ft. Polk in Louisiana, the SAC Air Force base outside Omaha, Neb., and an army base in Wisconsin as well as Fort Smith, Ark., I have carried my firearms in all. You have to declare them before you enter, because if they find them during a search and you told them you didn’t have one, you’re in big trouble. Usually what I get is “leave the ammo in the cab and put the empty gun in the sleeper,” or vice versa. Only one time have I had to report to the Armorer and have my guns locked up while I took care of unloading at the base.
LEAVE THE COWBOYS ALONE
I think that EOBRs onboard for all interstate trucks is not only an infringement on my rights as an American citizen by birth — my roots for more than 200 years are traced here in this country, as are those of many others — but requiring EOBRs will make us nothing less than a communist country. It is bad enough we tolerate the Mexican border BS, but now our own elected officials are basically trying to screw the American truck driver. I believe if your license is good, meaning over a period of years you have had no problems such as accidents and insurance claims … Well, I believe the legislators should leave the true cowboys alone. 10-4.
INDUSTRY NEEDS MORE MONEY, LESS WORK
I have been reading in all the trucking magazines about the Federal DOT and FMCSA wanting to require EOBRs. Some motor carriers are considering requiring all their drivers to have Qualcomms, electronic logs and PrePass. All these devices will be used to monitor a truck driver’s every move. All this is being done under the pretense of safety, but those of us in the business know this is more about the motor carrier’s bottom line and more hours for us to work. Of course all this comes as an added cost to drivers, like myself, who are already suffering from the high cost of fuel and other sky-rocketing expenses. In 2010 we were saddled with the Federal CSA scorecard — more rules and regulations!
All motor carriers have a “cosmetic” safety department. The safety supervisor says, “I didn’t know drivers were spending many hours loading and unloading at docks and other places and only logging half an hour on-duty. This has to stop — I want you to log legal!” Everyone knows these hours spent waiting are non-paid hours to the trucker!
According to all the latest surveys, truck drivers are working “required, on-call, non-paid” hours way over the 70 hours in 8 days with the 34-hour restart rule now. Truck drivers used to be paid professionals, now we are just underpaid, overworked, and under-appreciated manual labor.
If shippers and receivers can hold drivers for many non-paid hours waiting to load or unload, evidently they need to hire more employees and add shifts! We truckers don’t need more high-tech gadgets, rules or regulations, another re-write of the hours of service, or more weight or longer or wider trailers. What we need is more money and less work! And a safe working environment for all!
Is anyone listening?
New Castle, Pa.
How strict should the DOT be on driver medical requirements for certification?
If they took all of us off the road who are not “healthy,” who would drive the trucks? It depends on the definition of healthy. Because I’m overweight, should I not be able to drive? Let’s take the unhealthy car drivers off the road, too, and see what people have to say then.
— Thomas Ward, Witte Bros. driver, Troy, Mo.
I am not only a trucker’s wife but I do DOT physicals as part of my job. They’re strict in some areas but lack in others. I just wish the drivers wouldn’t get so mad when I tell them that something is wrong and they need further testing and clearance. It’s for your own safety — don’t kill the messenger.
— Krystal H.
Very. If you’re not healthy, you could put the public at risk.
— Scott H.
I think as long as you’re able to do the job — like do a proper pretrip if you need to get under the truck, or be able to get in and out of a trailer — then as long as your blood pressure and most things are in line you should be able to drive. On a lighter note, just think if you had to be medically qualified to drive a car. Whoo…
— Mike S.
Pretty strict! Especially because truck drivers haul 80,000 lbs. or more, at 65 mph or better, in some states with a 75mph speed limit!
— Robin D.
Doctors don’t know what we do or even how healthy we should be for the days that we put in. I had a coworker who started losing feeling in his right hand and it started crippling him. He even lost a $50 bill because of it. The DOT Doctor still passed him. Lucky for everyone else, my ex-coworker retired six months later. If the doc likes you, he’s gonna pass you anyway.
— Amanda G.
Who defines healthy? Those big drug company doctors who get the backroom handouts from other people besides the ones they are supposed to care for? We are supposed to be the same size and shape? Yeah, right.
— Shaun C.
I’m OK with setting standards, but DOT officers are not doctors. Also, have you ever been told by your overweight doctor that you need to lose weight?
— Franklin B.
Strict enough to keep unsafe drivers off the road.
— Steven J.
Blood Pressure should not be a serious issue. Just being around four-wheelers raises your BP anyhow. Let us drive! Drivers with minor health issues are still better than the newbies they keep pushing out on the roads.
— Leonard G
Drivers handle an 80,000-lb. missle every day. They either need to be fit to do the job or get out of the profession.
As long as the driver is being treated for a condition by his/her doctor, then I think the DOT needs to back off!
What impact will the death of Osama bin Laden have on the safety of Americans and on trucking?
“It’s a definite possibility they will retaliate, and it could be through trucking. I feel like trucking is vulnerable — we all know we’re a bunch of moving bombs.”
— Raphael Gordon, Meridian, Miss.,
driver for D.T. Freight
“From what I hear, it’s not going to change at all, because the guy who’s taking his place hates us just as bad.”
— Dan Fries,
Michigan City, Ind., owner-operator leased to Liquid Transport
“I don’t see it being any different than it already is. There could be a threat of some folks trying to do harm for Osama’s death, but I don’t see anything changing in trucking.”
— Dexter Harns,
Brookhaven, Miss., driver for A&R Transport
“I don’t think there will be much of an impact on trucking, but as far as safety, I think we’ve opened the door for someone to hit us.”
— Mark Wiedmeyer,
Fon du Lac, Wis., independent owner-operator
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