October 2009 Letters

The story behind this photo  
This is my truck. It was leased to Trailer Transit at the time. Location is Liberty National Monument park, Jersey City, NJ, across the water from Manhattan. We were there on a Sunday and Monday picking up the Cirque du Soleil and moving them to Chicago.

After the events of September 11, I thought I should figure out the date that this was shot. That was easy research. I remembered that the same day I took this photo I listened to coverage that morning of Tim McVeigh’s execution on my radio, which was June 11, 2001. I took the picture in the morning, three months prior almost to the hour.

Bob Martin
Lafayette, IN

Bikers for truckers 
Thanks for the great article on “Run for the Wall.” We bikers love the truckers, and we know where our products come from.

James “Gunny” Gregory
Founder, Run for the Wall
Charleston, SC

Safer speeds in Illinois 
As a new OOIDA member, I am very happy to see that I have received an immediate return on my investment. The uniform speed limit bill signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn was long overdue. Not only will our highways be safer with all traffic traveling at the same safe speeds, but it will also provide immediate savings in travel times needed to transport loads across the vast, flat prairielands of Illinois.

Congratulations, OOIDA. Thanks for your tenacity and for being there for us.

Mike Williams
Rockford, IL

Texting while driving
“Texting while driving” legislation should be done at the state level, not the federal level. States have this right. Federal level is a different ballgame.

Amy Bosworth
Weston, ID

Taylor’s ‘60 years trucking’ 
I enjoyed the “Journeys” story by John Taylor in the August/September issue. Probably because I’m familiar with the region he lives in. It’s roughly 50 miles from my home.

Paul S. Smith
Mercersburg, PA

Editor’s note: And thanks, Paul, for the information on Continental engines. We’re passing it on to John.

Fair hourly return for work 
Hourly detention/loading/unloading/tarp pay should be an industry standard, mandated by federal law. Too many shippers/receivers treat us as an interruption in their day, even though we are moving their product. Many operations of, say, 20 docks have six or seven forklift drivers.

Our industry is regulated by the hour, yet paid by the mile. Loading and unloading should be hourly – minimum rate $70 per hour – based on driver and truck and trailer being tied up. Shippers will cry the blues, but so what? Every business has to pass costs on down the line. Why should the owner-operator be any different?

Load brokers are the parasites of the industry. I know OOIDA is pursuing complete transparency. It is ridiculous the amount of money these brokers are keeping for a couple of phone lines, a fax and an Internet connection. I have $160,000 invested in my tractor and trailer, and the reefer guys have even more money invested, but we aren’t getting a fair return on our work and investment.

Dave Sneddon
Pointe aux Roches, Ontario, Canada

Speed cameras not about safety
I enjoyed Bill Hudgins’ blog about the iPhone app for speed cameras. I got a ticket from one of those. It was only $50, but I was outraged. I posted a question to a forum as to whether DC could block my Virginia vehicle registration renewal if I didn’t pay the ticket.

I stated that this type of surveillance was a violation of my rights and liberty. People immediately blasted me, saying “grow up” and “since when is speeding part of your rights” and “if you don’t like speed cameras, don’t drive.”

Why are people so happy to let privacy and liberty be taken away from them? People are so willing to let government make all their choices for them.

They act as if speed and red-light cameras have always been around. If I were caught in that situation by a cop, I would have admitted my wrongdoing, but the camera just enrages me.

These cameras are not about safety or about dishing out penalties to lawbreakers (the ticket doesn’t affect your license or driving record). They are solely about generating revenue.

As for the police chief (quoted in Bill’s blog), if using this app is “cowardly,” then what would you call sending out tickets in the mail without a police officer ever having to pull someone over? More power to the people!

Matt Maier
Richmond, VA

Editor’s Note: If you missed Bill’s online blog, you can find it at www.landlinemag.com.