Arkansas matters, and so do the truckers

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Updated Nov 30, 2015

I have a theory about the news agencies who run disparaging stories about truckers. It’s generally some raggedy little local outlet that put out crap like the recent article titled, “Truckers Use Walmart Parking Lot as a Truck Stop; Customers Feel Unsafe.” The article doesn’t have a byline, so I have no idea who wrote it, and after reading it, I understand why no one would claim it. It was possibly one of the most ridiculous, biased, asinine pieces of trash I’ve ever read. And I have a distinct feeling it was written specifically for click bait. Apparently, Arkansasmatters.com needs numbers, so they’ve resorted to stopping the most uninformed person they can find in the parking lot of Walmart and doing “news” features about how awful the truckers are.

No truck parkingI was expecting the usual – truckers are dirty, they leave pee bottles, they take up our space, they breathe our air, blah blah blah, but this one didn’t even bother to cite any of the usual. The article states that customers (actually just one customer) feel unsafe because they’re in danger of being hit by the big trucks in the parking lot.

Let’s examine this statement a little further. Just how in tarnation is a parked truck going to hit you? Being afraid of a parked truck is like being afraid of a stuffed bear. I might not be the smartest person in the world, but if you’re concerned about being hit by a truck, a parked one is probably your best option for feeling all safe and secure. The “customer” goes on to say, “I don’t know if I’m going to get in my car, if that’s going to be the last time I start it and see my family again I mean I don’t know anymore.”

Really?

I’m a trained medical professional and I think a statement like this, when applied to parked trucks, would warrant a psych evaluation of the person who made it. Also, you can insert the word “truck” where the word “car” is and you have the sentiment of almost every single trucker on the road.

We all know I’m no fan of Walmart. I also don’t believe Walmart parking lots should be a destination for truckers to plan overnight stops. I do believe that people need to make up their damn minds and decide if they want tired truckers on the road or not. All this business about mandating hours of service and implementing e-logs have repercussions, and the repercussions are that in order to remain lawful, truckers need places to park and sleep. When it comes to this matter, the general public absolutely cannot have their cake and eat it too. It’s one or the other, choose one, stick with it, suck it up and shut up.

No matter how much planning is involved, there are times when drivers find themselves out of hours with no place to park, especially if they’re on e-logs. The unaffiliated public wants laws and mandates, and they need to understand the implications of them.

I’m absolutely certain there will be at least one comment from someone who has been driving for 50,000 years and has never once run out of hours with nowhere to park. Good for you. That’s awesome. It does not, however, address the problem of those who have.

This “customer” is just one of the millions out there who apparently believe little elves make all the products sold in Walmart in a magic tree behind the building. People can’t seem to put it together – they need the very trucks they’re complaining about to have the things they go to Walmart (in their pajamas) to buy. It’s aggravating, and it’s scary to me that so few people really understand.

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