August/September 2010 Letters

We’ve got a place at the table
OOIDA Executive VP Todd Spencer’s recent comments to Congress? That’s OOIDA at its best. It makes me proud to be a member of such a great organization.

When the heads of government agencies start listening and asking for input from us, we truly are turning things around. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day and trucking wasn’t turned against drivers overnight, but we are on our way back. We still have many mountains to climb in this industry.

I know with the strong voice of OOIDA and all the determination of my fellow drivers we will have a place at the table. Thank you for all you do.

John W. Clifford
Fort Worth, TX

Specialized high intensity training
I just finished reading the July 2010 issue of Land Line Magazine and was quite surprised by the articles on visual speed determination. In the late summer of 2000, I was attending a CVSA Level VI certification class in Illinois. In attendance were 37 of Illinois’ finest getting their Level VI certifications. 

During a break, we (several drivers) were talking with the bears when it was revealed to us that they could determine a vehicle’s speed by sight, use radar for backup and that it was legal in any court of law in the state of Illinois. 

Immediately lights started blazing and bells ringing on our BS meters because they had pegged out to the max.

I questioned them as to the fact that they could pick out any vehicle in a line and determine its speed just by using sight. They replied “yes.” They stated that they had been given “special” training in the use of this technique. Not sure if Illinois still does this, but sounds like a lot of Specialized High Intensity Training to me ... kind of like Ohio’s police.

Dwain Peevey
San Angelo, TX

Got a call? Let voicemail catch it
One thing that concerns me about cell phone and other distractions while driving: Drivers of cars and trucks are equally distracted. I have seen both trucks and cars slowing down while using a phone, etc., and they also swerve near or into my lane – again both cars and trucks. Driving distractions affect both cars and big trucks equally. I don’t mess with the phone while I drive my truck.

Karl Dufilho
Carriere, MS

Safe driver for 38 years 
Thank you for my 38-year safety award. As a life member, I wear my jacket proudly. I am 66 and retired. Trucking is in my blood and I want to go back, but am giving it a hard look. Is it worth it? I wish I could go back in time when trucking was fun (the old school).

Luis Ramirez
Sylmar, CA

Looking closer at fuel mileage standards 
About this commitment by President Obama and the EPA to increase fuel mileage of large trucks, that in itself is not so bad. However, I see two issues of concern in addition to what OOIDA mentioned. From what point do you start, 6 mpg or say 7.5 mpg? That makes a huge difference!

Second is the cost it adds to new trucks. It is very difficult for a small trucking company or owner-operator to purchase a new truck and keep it loaded at a rate to make the payments and still pay the driver.

Tom Clarke
McKinney, TX

Here’s an idea: sunscreen for troops 
My husband received your package and was very pleased. He is an OOIDA member. He read your personal note to me on the phone, and told me about all of the items. He was overwhelmed and pleased about the variety of items. All items will be utilized. At this time, the end of December or early January is the current schedule for leaving. Thank you, thank you, on behalf of my husband and the troops. Your support is outstanding.

It is currently 119 degrees there and may get up to 140 degrees. Sunscreen lotion (not oil) with a high SPF would be appreciated.

Marge Freeman 
Freeman Transport LLC 
Richland Center, WI

Hello from ‘God’s Grounds’ 
I am a soldier with the 1st 116th Infantry Battalion from the Virginia Army National Guard. I’m on my third deployment overseas in my 17 years of wearing “U.S. Army” on my chest. I’ve previously done route security missions as a driver, alternate gunner, and truck commander. I was also a marksmanship instructor stateside in Virginia for a few years.

Now I find myself helping to run a chaplain-sponsored coffee bar inside the wire called “God’s Grounds.” So much support is given from people like you back home. … On behalf of all the men and women in service to our nation’s armed forces, thank you.

Sgt. William Henderson 
HHC 1-116 IN Camp Adder, Iraq

Your replacement is on our list, Marine 
To everyone at OOIDA, my name is Crosby Houpt and I’m a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. I received several of your boxes while I was in Afghanistan.

I wanted to write and tell you just how much packages from home mean to everyone. They mean A LOT! Thank you so much. The generosity of Americans like you is overwhelming and wonderful.

Thank you again. I can’t say it enough. I have returned from Afghanistan but I wanted to give you the address of my replacement: 1st Lt. Chris Nagel.

Semper Fidelis.

1st Lt. Crosby G. Houpt, USMC 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion