November 2009 Letters

Taking off on Blue Highways 
I read Dave Sweetman’s column (“Returning to Blue Highways”) in the October issue of Land Line, and it hit home.

My wife and I are leased to Mercer Transportation. Last year, we bought a new Goldwing trike. I outfitted our 53-foot stepdeck with some ramps and a sidekit for the upper deck, and off we went on the summer of a lifetime.

Between loads, we unload the Wing and take off on those blue highways. And, boy, are you so right about the people and places we have visited. This summer, we have traveled the mountains from southern Utah north into Idaho, to Sturgis and the Black Hills, and the entire coast of Oregon and Washington.

We are currently looking for a load that will take us into New England for the fall color season. We folks down here in southeast Texas don’t have those bright-colored leaves.

We have found those blue highways, and we urge our fellow members to stop and experience what our great country has to offer. It is really awesome! Thanks and keep giving us those great ideas.

Paul Berryman
Woodville, TX

Take care of yourself
My husband, Life Member Ron Jenkins, passed away on Aug. 23.

I just wish that the general public could understand just how hard drivers all work and how little respect they receive. Just like my husband, there are thousands of drivers out there who cannot afford medical insurance. Because of this, they put off going to the doctor or to the hospital when they should. This causes their health to fail rapidly just like my husband’s did.

Drivers, I know how hard it is to go out there every day, leave your families, and pray that you make it home. Please know that there is someone always saying a little prayer for you every day. I ask one thing in return, please. When you are driving in God’s beautiful country, look up to the sky and say, Hi, Ron Jenkins, this ride is for you and the rest of the “brothers in the wind.”

Maria Jenkins
Philadelphia, PA

Four-wheelers get too many free passes 
We are bombarded with many rules and laws that are nothing more than discriminatory.

Safety inspections are a daily routine for trucks, in many cases several times per day. Even while traveling, trucks are subject to inspections at any given time.

So why are four-wheelers only required to be inspected once a year in some states – and in other states not at all? I agree safety inspections are needed, but they’re needed for every vehicle, not just a select few.

Every day, I see small vehicles in very poor repair traveling our highways. I see small pickups pulling utility trailers, which are obviously overloaded beyond their design, almost to the point of collapse. I see others pulling utility trailers at night with absolutely no lights. And it’s safe to say if they have no lights, you can bet there are no brakes either.

Yet it seems the law just looks the other way.

William Leffingwell
Burleson, TX

Media misuse of statistics 
In the Sept. 20 edition of the Portland Press Herald, staff reporter Beth Quimby wrote a biased article, citing some new built-into-pavement weigh scales that will be used to catch overweight trucks that have dodged the southbound Kittery scales at the southern end of the Maine Turnpike.

In two paragraphs, reporter Quimby cites statistics trying to show how large trucks are involved in lots of truck-car crashes and related fatalities.

Quimby fails to say that most truck-car crashes and related fatalities are usually the fault of the car drivers.

Daniel G. Cohen 
Burlington, VT

Right to be paid fairly 
Thank you for publishing my letter (“Charlotte sweatshop” in the August/September issue of Land Line). I hope we can get a reaction.

In the meantime, we are contacting every Hispanic trucker, trying to empower them not to get cheap loads. Also, we want to teach them to speak and ask for their right to be paid fairly.

C. Tabora
Charlotte, NC

Two roses 
As a life member of OOIDA, I have become increasingly aware of the number of accident chasers that are unfairly using the trucking industry to push their services by advertising with scare tactics about the dangers of reckless truck drivers.

In Panama City, FL, I was watching the news on WJHG, Channel 7, a major TV station in northwest Florida. I couldn’t believe my ears. A major local attorney was sticking up for the good professional drivers on our highways and explaining how to recognize and avoid the bad truck drivers in the industry.

If ever a person deserves a rose for defending the good members of our industry and at the same time providing educational information to the general public it is Wes Pittman of Panama City.

Please accept this e-mail as a nomination for a rose. Also, due to the great job you’re doing on this column, give yourself one, too.

Tom Grant 
Lynn Haven, FL

Editor’s note: Thanks for the nomination, Tom; we’ll let you hand this rose out yourself. And, at the risk of inflating Senior Correspondent Terry Scruton’s ego, we’ll let him have a rose for his Roses and Razzberries column. FYI: Terry is a member of the Land Line Now radio staff, and he also does the Roses and Razzberries for OOIDA’s Sirius XM radio news show.