July 2009 Letters

The roads can’t take it 
I am a truck driver in all 48 states. I am from Michigan and have pulled eight-axle, 160,000-pound loads for more than 10 years in Michigan. The roads cannot take it. Just look at the highways in Michigan and the damage from the heavy trucks.

Remember the bridge in Minneapolis on Aug. 1, 2007? More and more of our bridges are old and cannot take that type of weight.

The average four-wheeler does not see the difference between an 80,000- and a 160,000-pound truck and will not give more room. They are not the safest trucks on the road. In addition, most truck companies do not take the time to actually train the drivers in heavy hauling.

This is all about shipping more paper, steel, etc. on a truck so they do not have to pay for more trucks. They can take three truckloads and put it on two trucks, saving them dollars and not worrying about the safety of the motoring public, and what it will cost the taxpayers to keep up the roads.

As it is, the Highway Trust Fund can scarcely pay for the roadwork that is needed right now.

Daniel D. Bidwell
Flint, MI

Mexican drivers should comply, too 
I am a proud Canadian OOIDA member, and I am glad to be a part of this organization.

I have to agree with the issues and concerns regarding the Mexican trucker situation. As Canadians, we have been involved in the cross-border trucking trade even long before NAFTA. We have abided and respected each other’s rules, laws, expectations and requirements for years.

I have experienced trucking in the U.S, and it was and still is a good experience for me. It’s very simple. Do the job that is expected of you, do it as well as you can, be a professional, be courteous, be respectful and comply.

We Canadians have expectations of our operators as you do of yours. Works pretty damn good in my opinion.

I feel that if Mexico can’t get with the program (if ever), then they should just stay there until they do. They want NAFTA to include them, just at their convenience. I know it works for the rest of us when we comply in unity. Why should they be special?

Bruce Fowler
Wainwright, Alberta

East Coast parking 
I read the letter that Matt Maier of Richmond, VA, wrote and also the article on “Get a room” (in the March/April issue of Land Line). I’ll say the same thing to Miss Corinne Geller that I told a highway patrol in Ohio. I didn’t pay $70,000 for a truck with a sleeper to spend extra money on a room.

When in the Virginia area, I do try to plan my trip so I can get in and out quickly. Most people may notice that a lot of their rest areas don’t even allow trucks.

If the East Coast keeps up, most drivers will start delivering in nearby states and let their own drivers come to them for their freight.

George W. Rineman Sr.
Willow Springs, MO

Demand your rights
Thanks for the heads-up on the “Fatigue Checklist” created by the Minnesota State Patrol (in the June issue ofLand Line). Minnesota is not unique in its efforts to establish new income streams via “creative safety regs” and to weasel their way into your private domain with deceptions like “driver surveys.”

As a 32-year veteran of transportation in driving and management, I can only say this:

Don’t give any law enforcement official access to your life without probable cause or a warrant.

Know the federal regulations you are required to operate under and don’t let anyone get “creative” with them.

If your rights are challenged at a safety check or traffic stop, demand to speak to an attorney or a judge.

OOIDA can do only so much for us in the courts. It’s up to each of us to know our rights and demand them at every turn. Those who are willing to give up freedom for security deserve neither.

Jim Getten
Ontario, OR

Land Line: Pass it along 
Usually after reading my Land Line Magazine, I throw it away. Today I was thinking what a waste it is to throw something away that has so much information. Also, I am always trying to come up with a way to get the general public involved in what the truckers and their families have to deal with every day.

Why not have everyone start leaving the magazines in doctors’ offices or laundromats when they are done reading them. If you have to take your car to the shop, leave a magazine there. Dentist appointment? Leave aLand Line Magazine when you’re done.

Maybe someone will pick it up and start reading about how a state wants to double the cost of tags, or why a truck driver has to pay to enter a port to pick up a load. Or how a truck driver can’t find a place to park when his 10 hours are up.

It may not make a huge difference, but I would like to believe that if even one person picks it up, it just might make a little difference.

Teresa Thurman
Murfreesboro, TN

Thanks for care packages 
I would like to thank you for the time and effort that you all put into making the care packages for our unit. The soldiers really enjoyed the items.

Having people back in the states that take the time to send soldiers things while they are here is outstanding and lets the soldiers know that people care.

Thank you for all you have done.

First Sgt. Thomas N. Sprague
HHC 287th SB