Drivers can improve industry’s image


I am a retired owner-operator, having served 42 years on the road, I survived fuel shortages and the CDL’s advent. Even after years of massive change, our industry still needs good public relations in terms of the image drivers project.

When you meet someone, you want to look your very best. Your dress, your speech and your posture are important. If you dress like you just crawled out from under your truck, what do you think that person is going to think of you? A potential customer, shipper, your safety director or your boss can be watching you.

Few people speak up to remind truckers that they are in a business. Whether a company driver or leased owner-operator, you represent a fleet and need to display the best manners possible if you want to keep your job.

Other serious issues affect our work, but if we don’t change our public image, we will never be taken seriously. If you look and talk professionally, you will be treated as a professional.

MIKE McRAE, Elkins, W. Va.

“Once, someone dropped a watermelon off an overpass on me. It hit my front bumper instead of the cab. I was very lucky, but the event really scared me.”

— Former trucker and author Doyle Blackerby recalling trucking adventures from the 1950s through the ’80s in his book, “Thirty-Eight Years of Trucking,” to the Gadsden (Ala.) Times



Trucker’s business skills, benevolence an inspiration

With today’s rising fuel and maintenance costs, it is inspiring to read James Jaillet’s story about Luther Martin, the April Trucker of the Month. I know a few drivers, and it is very hard to break even these days, let alone pay the bills. Truckers like Martin, who own their own business, are the hardest hit by the current economy. Yet he can find the time and funds to help people in trouble. It is comforting to know that drivers willing to help a stranger in need on the open road are still out there.


What do you think of cross-border trucking with Mexico?

Ray“It’s hurt a lot of American truckers. I used to go to Laredo, but I’m afraid I’ll never get freight so I don’t go down there anymore.”

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RAY PACK, Winston Salem, N.C. | Leased to Landstar

Michael“It’s not cool at all.”

MICHAEL CARSON, Ogden, Utah, Leased to Werner Transportation

Bradley“The bigger companies want it so they can make more money.”

BRADLEY LOVELACE, Greenville, N.C., Independent owner-operator

Walter“I’m not totally opposed to it, but there needs to be more guidance and regulation.”

WALTER McNATT, Bradenton, Fla., Leased to Stevens Transport

Anket2“I’m not sure. It should be bad if they allow them to do over the road.”

ANIKET MEHTA, Athens, Ga. | Leased to CR England

Dennie“Mexico doesn’t allow us in, so why should we let them out? They ought to have the same regulations, because it’s made our highways more dangerous.”

DENNIE EDWARDS, Atlanta, Ga. | Leased to the TransVantage Group


E-mail your letter to the editor to Lucinda Coulter at [email protected] or mail it to Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403.