July 2006 Letters

Hazmat venting
I just wonder why anyone wanting to use hazmats for nefarious purposes would bother to get credentials. I just went through a background check for the second time; first for TSA flight security, now for hazmat renewal.

I had to travel an hour to get fingerprints, as the local machine didn’t work. I’m afraid the operation so far isn’t particularly impressive, but I’ve got clearance for another license cycle – and 94 fewer dollars.

John C. Moore
Gibbstown, NJ

Trucker opposes warrentless searches
The article in the May 2006 issue, “You don’t mind if I look inside your truck, do you?” was informative, but I think you dodged the issue in the presentation of a “balanced view.”

I personally take the Constitution and the Bill of Rights very seriously. The founders of our republic had uncommon good sense and vision in limiting the Bill of Rights to issues that really mattered in the lives of all citizens of the United States.

With regard to DOT inspections, I have no problem with them – I’m happy to hand over my logbook and welcome whatever level of inspection of my truck. I work very hard to keep my tractor in top shape – as much for my own peace of mind as for the safety of other motorists. I am also passionate about running compliant.

But, I draw the line at having my truck searched. I have nothing to hide, but would rather sit on the side of the road rather than consent to a “warrantless” search. I will stand on principle every time.

The article said “you have to figure into your own personal calculations how much of a rush you’re in.” And, “If you feel you’ve got nothing to hide, McConnell suggested consenting to a search as a way of demonstrating your innocence to the officer.”

Both of these statements allude to a “warrantless” search as an inconvenience and trash the fundamental concept of innocent until proven guilty. Come on, guys. I think we deserve better advice than this. Suggestions such as Belinda Harrison’s are far more on point and helpful. I would have liked to have seen more of them.

Our rights are insulted every day, and if we do not stand up for them, they will soon disappear. And that would be the ultimate tragedy.

Anderson E. Smith
Westerlo, NY

Editor’s note: Mr. Smith, I could not agree more – Todd Spencer

Privatization of U.S. roads is not a good idea
In regard to the sale of roads to private companies with the companies being able to charge tolls for the use of these roads, I worry that there is no guarantee that the condition of these roads would improve.

A private company’s goal is to make a profit, whereas the government is supposed to maintain the roads for the public good.

So, unless the government plans to create another bureaucracy to watch over these private companies, all I see is tolls going higher with no guarantee of improvement for road conditions. Productivity will be reduced with the traffic backups that will surely come with having to stop to pay a toll.

Bob Guevara
San Bernadino, CA

TCC is bad idea for Texas
Thank you for joining the fight. I first wrote to Land Line in Aug. of 2005 about Gov. Rick Perry’s Trans-Texas Corridor. He initiated this project without holding public hearings and kept knowledge of it from this state’s voters. This is very much against the principles of democracy.

It appears to me that OOIDA has taken a strong stand against the privatization of toll roads, and I applaud you. The TTC will be privatized if it is ever constructed. We need your strong voice in Texas. Please prioritize this issue and help stop this political greed. We already pay more than enough in highway revenue and the TTC is simply a political money-maker.

William Whitaker
Lorena, TX

Editor’s note: As you know, your governor is a big supporter of the Trans-Texas Corridor, and he’s not the only one. Lawmakers gave it overwhelming approval in 2003. So who voted against it? Actually, nobody in the Texas House or Senate voted no. The Speaker of the House Tom Craddick, R-Midland, did not vote at all. Neither did Timoteo Garza, D-Eagle Pass, who is no longer in office and was absent and excused from voting. Also not voting were Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, and Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who were absent for the 2003 vote, but are still in the House and are running for re-election. All other members of the Texas House in 2003 voted in favor of the TTC, and many of them are also running for re-election.You can voice your opinion, too, in November’s state elections.

Sleeper berth regs totally impossible
When it comes to staying in the bunk eight hours at a time, it is totally impossible. At least once, or maybe twice, you have to walk to the rest room, or at a minimum, get out of the truck. Sometimes it’s more often that that when it’s a team operation.

Those doofuses in Washington knew exactly what their agenda was. It had nothing to do with drivers’ health and well being. It’s about the money that flowed under the table. Accidents are up since the new regulations went into effect. The feds did not come out and say accidents were down. Instead, they said that they have not changed appreciably. Now how is that for beating around the bush? 
Almost every day in the news you can see stories about truck crashes; low pay and no experience. I have more than 3 million miles and my wife will tell you, you can’t learn to drive a truck in two weeks. I taught her to fly and I taught her how to drive a semi. She turned out to be the one I could depend on while sleeping.

Vincent Loeckle
Osage, IA

How much should we take?
I love to read Land Line Magazine and agree with Tom from Georgia about just letting the late loads fall back on the shipper/receiver. However, if you do that, we all know you won’t have a paycheck or a job for very long.

If a driver can’t run 500 to 700 miles overnight, it’s like a company doesn’t need them. I did not put hazmat back on my CDL and the No. 1 reason I didn’t was because you are more likely to get pulled into a DOT check if you’re hauling hazmat. I don’t know of any company that is paying enough to make me want to put up with the extra BS.

Paul Willard
Belden, MS

Truckers are good people
My granddaughter, LaCie Mullinax, was in a car wreck on June 23 on I-85 at mile marker 95 in Gaffney, SC. There were two other younger children in the car. The driver lost control and they went through a cable barrier and into the northbound two lanes of traffic.

An 18-wheeler stopped just short of hitting them and the driver got out of his truck and made sure they were all OK. LaCie’s dad and granddad are both truck drivers and she really felt safe when this trucker approached her. He was a blessing to all of them.

It was only by the grace of God that they were not seriously injured. LaCie was so shook up that she did not remember the name on the truck. Please, driver, if you read this, accept my most sincere thanks for being there when you were so needed.

Annette Westmoreland
Blacksburg, SC

Trucker sees issue from both sides
I am an agent for a small brokerage based out of south central Iowa. I was an independent trucker, hauling livestock for about 12 years. I understand how hard it is to make it out there, let alone with the rising cost of fuel.

As an agent, I feel it is my duty to pass on all accessorial to the carrier. As brokers, we need to realize that we are on the same team as the carrier, not their enemy. If we must be against someone, let it be the cheap shipper out there, not each other.

Ryon Wood
Winterset, IA

Rude drivers need to grow up
Most of today’s drivers are respectable and considerate. However, some male drivers just can’t seem to grow up. I can’t turn on my CB and have a decent conversation with another trucker while heading down the road because of the trash that I hear the minute I turn my CB on.

Who wants to hear someone burp, fart, yawn, make racial comments or threaten to kill someone?

When a female trucker tries to get information on the CB, we usually get it but not before the old “give me a hooter shot,” “where you at honey, sweetie” or “are you married?” We don’t want to hear this crap. Men, in case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of ladies who drive trucks today, and we want to be treated with respect.

Kelly Wyatt
Charlotte, TN

Let's regulate the politicians
This letter concerns our government appointed and elected officials. I am concerned if these officials who pass laws that affect basically everyone in the country are getting enough rest. Their jobs are important. I think that we need to have a daily and permanent log of their on- and off-duty hours. These hours should be regulated since these officials affect all of our lives and should have enough rest to do their job.

Also, do these officials have a drug problem or perhaps drink too much? We need a mandatory random drug and alcohol testing program for these officials. After all, workers at Wal-Mart are tested and they are not passing laws that affect this country.

We need to check their driving records, too. After all, if they are not responsible behind the wheel how in the world can they responsible passing legislation?

By the way, how can you regulate and pass laws for an industry you have never worked in? Also, we need a 10-year employment record on the politicians. In other words, if they weren't happy in their previous job, their former employer could put on there, "DAC Report not eligible for rehire, with no chance of recourse."

Gary Everhart
Seffner, FL

Abelson deserves accolade
I am very pleased to see Paul Abelson receive the TWNA 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award. I know of nobody more deserving of this recognition than Professor Paul, aka "HotAir" or whatever other titles have been given to him.

To me, he has been a caring and thoughtful friend. He has kept in touch like few others while I have battled heart disease and cancer. We have discussed everything from religion to politics and he has given me insight on many issues, though we don't always agree. I am truly honored to have known his friendship.

Gary D. King
Elkhorn, WI
Founder, Trucker Buddy International

Lifetime achievement?
I work for an organic food distributor and I drive a shuttle between Atlanta and White Springs, FL. I drive through the construction on Interstate 75 a lot and I listen to drivers on the CB getting upset about the bad road conditions and how long this section of road has been torn up.

I think the Governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, should give these hard workers (ha, ha), a lifetime achievement award because they have been working on the same construction zone their whole lives.

Joe Blocker Jr.
Live Oak, FL

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