In April, the area in which we live was hit by tornadoes. My granddaughter, her little sisters, mother and step dad sought help by making their way to the Petro in Glade Spring, Va., after their home was destroyed. After seeing what was left of their home I am so amazed that they are still alive.
I am writing to share a most heartfelt thank you to the truckers who just happened to choose the Petro that night to stop for their break. When my family made it to the Petro in their nightclothes, cold and wet, scared, bleeding from injuries, the drivers who could get into their trucks brought dry clothes and blankets for the little ones to keep them from going into shock until help arrived and they were taken to the hospital.
I have always thought highly of drivers and felt you could get no better help while in a crisis on the road, but this time their help was at our home. I wish I knew their names so I could thank them personally. I do pray all the drivers who were there during this storm have or will soon make it back to their families safely.
I don’t know if Truckers News will be doing an article on this tragedy, but I wanted to share our family’s story and express our deep gratitude for the help they received from these heroes!
Teresa Stanley Moore
Glade Spring, Va.
Industry leaning too far left
I am sure this letter will upset some people, but there are some things I just need to get off my chest. I hope I am not the only one who can see how far left the trucking industry and those that claim to represent it have gone. If I am, maybe this will cause others to step back and take a bigger look.
I am 50 years old. I’ve been driving trucks since I was 18. I grew up in this industry, and I am the third generation in my family to drive truck. I have to ask one simple question. What happened to all of us? Trucking used to be about independence, freedom of the open road, the “last American cowboy,” etc. Now all you hear about is regulation after regulation after regulation. And each year, there seem to be more coming.
Where are the true supporters of the trucking industry? The ATA and OOIDA don’t support us anymore. They claim to, but it seems that anytime the government wants to throw out some new regulation, they just want to ask how far we should bend over this time. They have become just like any other lobbying group in Washington. They want you to send them money so that they can support the politician of THEIR choice and be invited to the fancy parties. They are just part of the “go along to get along” gang.
And it is not just them. There are some trucking companies out there that seem to be more than willing to jump into bed with the Obama administration. I just read an article that was printed in a trucking publication a few months ago about a trucking company that we all know that was invited to the White house for supporting Obama’s green fuels initiative or whatever they are calling it these days. Now I’m all for protecting the environment as long as it is done in a common-sense way. And I have nothing against developing new fuels for the future. But the key word here is “future.” We have a real energy crisis in this country right now that needs real common-sense solutions before it is too late. But all anybody wants to do is sweep it under the rug in the name of protecting the environment.
Anybody can feel good about themselves for talking about alternative fuels and supporting them. But the truth is they are not going to happen overnight. Building the cars and trucks to run on them will take years and so will the infrastructure to support them. Do you think the modern fuel network we have today just happened? No! It took nearly 100 years to develop.
Everybody knows that the Obama Administration is anti-business, anti-oil and anti-coal. That is three strikes against the trucking industry. Why anybody in this industry would want to get behind his policies is hard for me to understand. He can’t just outlaw trucking (or can he?). So he will just put out more regulations till it gets too expensive to operate and companies just start shutting down. The L.A. ports deal is a good example. Ban owner-operators from the port because they can’t afford to buy a truck that was manufactured in a certain year. Wake up, people. How much more are you going to take? They are going to regulate away your freedoms.
Maybe that is why certain trucking companies and those that claim to represent us are crawling into bed with this administration now. So they will get special privileges later, while the rest of us get the short end of the stick.
If the proposed new hours-of-service rules are passed, how will they impact you?
They will cost me lots of money. I work seven days a week to make enough to support my family, and unless God makes an eighth day I’ve got to find another way to make a living.
— Randall R.
It won’t be worth working for less money than i made 15 years ago. I guess I’ll look for something else.
— Stephen W.
With more need for trucks because productivity will be down I will be asking for money and scheduling later deliveries. Will be sitting in more traffic and watching trains with double stacked trailers fly by. Not much you can really do after the fact.
— Rob T.
I’ll just have to go home and say, “Welcome to Wal-Mart.”
— David P.
I’m gonna team with my son and when he’s adequately trained, get him his own ride and then adapt to the new system. I flat refuse to give in like so many have decided. Face facts, the days of turn and burn are over. Adapt or get out!
— Charlie N.
I think that we will start to see a lot of companies moving most of their freight via team trucks, since HOS doesn’t affect team drivers as much as solo drivers.
— Scott B.
I’ve been flatbedding for 17 years and run how I want to. When I get tired I go to bed. When the alarm goes off I go to work, just like the politicians do. I know when I’m tired and when I’m not. Trucking is not for sissies!
— James J.
The economy has strangled the flow of money to the states, so now the DOT wants to try and make the rules more difficult to follow thereby raising the number of tickets written. Like I said, more bureacratic bull for no good except trying to balance the states’ budgets on the back of the American truck driver.
— Jacques C.
Make whatever changes that are required on paper, and do what I need to do to make a living.
The same as the other changes did. I’ll do what I have to in order to succeed.
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How would you solve the highway congestion problem?
There’s no way. Traffic has been growing heavier in the past 35 years, and the government doesn’t have enough money to fix it.
— Randy Pautler
Adding more lanes would help a lot.
— Bob Timmons
Lexington, Ohio Golden Hawk
More parking spaces and rest stops would help both truck drivers and others. It would prevent drivers from having to park on off ramps at night.
— Kenneth Kuykendall
It’s something that needs to be fixed. They need to make more lanes.
— Edward Franklin
Fort Worth, Texas
Atlas Van Line