Doing a tough job
In the last few months I’ve been yelled at for using the bathroom at two companies I delivered to. My fuel surcharge was cut by 75 percent for short hauls. For the first time in 35 years, a receiver complained to my dispatcher about my actions, which were completely justified.
Most owner-operators are one breakdown away from going out of business. What other job requires a $125,000 piece of equipment to run all day and have nothing to show for it? The large carriers have us in their grip as they try to exploit us by keeping us barely above the poverty level.
Being an owner-operator is not only one of the most dangerous jobs, it is the hardest and most stressful job in America, with the least amount of respect and pay. To anyone getting into this industry, good luck – you’ll need it. I’m glad I am now retired.
STEVEN ADAMS | Leominster, Mass.
“I’ll go along with it because there are too many of them out there that aren’t reliable to be on the road.”
— Trucker Benny Michael commenting to WLFI-TV in West Lafayette, Ind., on the need for increased spot inspections after more than half of trucks stopped were found unsafe.
Intermodal equipment providers should be responsible
In my 40-year trucking career, I learned that reform comes slowly. The letter “Better intermodal chassis inspections, equipment needed” in the September issue speaks to that segment’s much-needed reform.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation is holding shipping companies responsible for the chassis, but DOT will not conduct onsite inspections in a timely manner. Drivers and owner-operators want shippers to pay for and maintain their equipment. A lot of it is old, and shippers need to decommission and replace it. That, too, is unlikely.
It’s business as usual and, most likely, a tragedy will be the only instrument of change. Even then, change won’t come overnight.
Retired owner-operator | Elkins, W.Va.
Should truck stops be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages?
Greatwide Logistics Services, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Leased to Colonial Freight Systems, San Antonio, Texas
Lone Star Transportation, Channel View, Texas
KLLM Transport | Slidell, La.
Leased to Land Carriers, San Antonio, Texas
Leased to Marion Transport, Prospect, Ohio
Share with Overdrive
E-mail your letter to the editor to Lucinda Coulter at LCoulter@rrpub.com or mail it to Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403.
Find us at Overdrive Magazine twitter.com/overdriveupdate
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.
The new “health-based requirements” will need to be met before a driver is allowed to register his or her truck through the Department of Motor Vehicles, CARB says. For older vehicles, CARB says they must be either replaced with a 2011 or newer vehicle or repowered with a 2010 or newer engine.