December 2009/January 2010 Letters

One trucker makes a difference 
We all know that in this industry we often hear “somebody should do something about ...” Well, I’m not one of them (obviously) as I’m the U.S. organizer for Convoy for a Cure.

What this industry needs to get a grasp on is accountability. We are accountable for our actions. Without taking an active part in the industry that is your career, you become complacent, and complacency leads to the politicians of this country taking advantage of you, the truck driver.

OOIDA also needs your help in educating these same politicians. With your help, OOIDA can gain more credibility with them to listen to what truckers have to say.

If ever there was a time to take a stand for our industry, it’s now. With all the proposed regulations on the agenda, we drivers need to get behind OOIDA and do everything we can to help them set the political world straight.

Cindy Stowe
Wills Point, TX

OOIDA ‘gives a hoot’ 
As I was surfing the October 2009 issue of Land Line, I read the article “Walk this way” by Kerry Evans-Spillman – and did it bring back memories!

I remember the first time I entered the OOIDA headquarters, I was immediately impressed by the family atmosphere. Upon telling the young lady at the front desk that I was a new member and was visiting for the first time, she recruited another young lady to give me the two-dollar tour.

At every desk in every department that we visited, the people treated me like I was their neighbor that they had known for 20-plus years. When we went by Jim’s office, I was informed that Jim was the president. He hung up the phone, walked out into the hallway, introduced himself, shook my hand, and we shot the breeze for 10 minutes.

With every visit in person and with every phone call, the personnel are very friendly and take a keen interest in my problem(s).

Big bunches of roses to everyone at OOIDA. It is very comforting to know that there are people out there who really “give a hoot” about truckers.

Dwain “Qball” Peevey
San Angelo, TX

The little things count 
If anyone at OOIDA ever wonders if they are making a difference or wonders if anyone out here cares about their work, please tell them they can e-mail me anytime and I’ll remind them.

The closer to the edge you get, the more the little things count. We’re really struggling out here, and you folks are making all the difference.

Big thank-yous to everyone at OOIDA for doing their job and doing it well.

Dave Crosby
Santa Fe, NM

Caught in the middle
As an independent trucker, I stopped going to any ports last year. It’s not worth the hassle and expense for generally low-paying loads.

There has always been a tug of war between the maritime union and the port operators on the West Coast, and the trucker is frequently caught right in the middle of it. Now it’s shifting to the shipping companies, Maersk, Hamburg Sud and others who are looking for ways to save costs.

They were shifting cargo to Oakland because the restrictions were not in place there, but I suppose CARB and the like pressured Oakland. Now it will be Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver next and maybe increased fervor to develop that Mexican container port.

Maybe OTR truckers will start unloading in offsite container yards, and then local drayage haulers will go into the actual ports, but that will raise costs again.

Tom Koller
Denver, CO

Detention charges 
You should get the ball rolling on having detention charges begin when the truck backs up to the door to load or unload. I think $100 an hour would make the shippers and receivers get really efficient getting the freight off.

It would also create thousands of good-paying jobs, and it would make complying with the rules so much easier. The benefits would surely offset the cost to the shippers and receivers and would make transportation more efficient.

David Brown
Piqua, OH

CSA 2010 driver dossiers
OK. CSA 2010 coming to town. So now we have dossiers on drivers and their respective companies. I swear we’re all going to be listed as criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Is this what Grace Slick sang about in “White Rabbit”? “The white knight is talking backwards” and “when the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go.”

As this world gets harder and harder to cope with, I question if they will have drivers to recruit.

Larry L. Heller
Evansville, IN

Mulling solutions for truck parking 
In reference to the article about truck parking (Nov. 9 on landlinemag.com), I see parking needs increasing from three different directions: drivers waiting to pick up or deliver loads, drivers en route, and owner-operators needing a place to park their trucks at home.

Presently, I am a one-truck operation and park my truck in an old grocery store parking lot. I can tell that over time, the other truckers who park there and I will get kicked out.

As long as our economy doesn’t slide back into a recession next year, I plan to add some more trucks, creating more of a parking challenge.

I’m thinking of buying property and allowing other trucks to park there as well. Land is expensive where I live. However, if I could charge owner-operators a small monthly fee, I may be able to make it work. Kind of a win-win for everyone.

Tom Clarke
McKinney, TX