Fed up with talk of onboard recorders
I am becoming disgusted reading about your encouragement of electronic onboard recorders in trucks. I, like many, have had enough of government intervention that is turning to greed. It will end up costing everyone in increased transport charges. The $10 loaf of bread is coming.
M.J. Meyer | Allendale, S.C.
“I hide if I can, but it’s more important to get my workout in. I get glances, but I mostly keep my head down. It’s like reading the Bible on a bus.”
— 420-pound trucker Kelly Gneiting, a three-time U.S. sumo champion, describing to the Idaho State Journal shadow wrestling (like shadow boxing) at truck stops, his prep for the August World Sport Combat Games in Beijing
Missing the old-timers
As a teenager, I felt a part of a special breed of men. Then, in the mid-1960s, I started trucking in northern Maine and hauled potatoes to the New England region. Geared up with a B-model ’61 Mack twin stick with the motor throwing fire about a foot out of the stack, I wondered how life could be any better.
In those days, it was a one-way trip, coming home empty to pick up the next load. Fighting the snow and ice was a major part of the job. The so-called ice truckers you see on TV had nothing on us. Sometimes several trucks went to the same areas, which was a real challenge as we raced to see who could out-pull the other on the hills. In those days, 220 hp was about average: Seeing who could tune up and throw the most fire out of the stacks was a spectacle.
The industry’s changes have been vast. Log books and safe equipment weren’t always first priorities then, and being empty on the way home gave us time to chase girls. After 40 years on the road, much of them on the West Coast, I just can’t forget the old-timers and their lifestyle.
Retired owner of Ivey’s Transportation | Houlton, Maine
SHARE WITH OVERDRIVE
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.
What is your experience with shortages in overnight truck parking?
“We do a lot of parking on ramps. It’s the only place to park now. The truck stops are full. The rest stops are closing. It’s ridiculous.”
Augusta, Ga. | Leased to Carolina Cargo Express
“A lot of times you’re either forced to find some place to park alongside the road, which isn’t safe, or you’re forced to drive down the road falling asleep.”
Columbia, S.C. | Leased to Erdner Brothers
“Sometimes you just have to go up the road looking for a place to pull off. Sometimes you have to go to Walmart, and they don’t want you to park there.”
Polaski, Tenn. | Leased to Landstar
“In Virginia, if you park at a rest area, a state trooper will come up and start banging on your door and make you move, which is totally wrong. When you run out of hours, what are you supposed to do? It’s a big mess.”
Houston | Leased to Mason-Dixon Lines
“I’ve been trucking for 30 years – it’s never been this bad. Rest areas won’t let you park there, and the truck stops are just full.”
Carrollton, Mo. | Leased to FCC
“It got worse when they started closing rest areas. For us – the drivers who are doing right – we have no choice. We have to park where we can. There’s just not enough spaces for us.”
DILLON RUCKER JR.
Martinsville, Va. | Leased to Xpress