June 2010 Letters

Thanks, OOIDA and ‘Heaven Eleven’ 
Thanks for your prayers and support, OOIDA. I received the box of snacks and toiletries today. It is so wonderful and helpful for the soldiers.

We have a “Heaven Eleven” store for the soldiers to pick out free hygiene items and snacks, etc. You do a great thing for the troops.

It is hot weather here, 100 degrees. It is OK, though; I used to live here. My unit will be back home this summer. May God bless you and your work.

Chaplain Paul Hur (Iraq)

Party string a lifesaver, literally for troops 
Thank you for the Truckers for Troops care package that arrived for my paratroopers today. I have fought in many places, but your parcel is about the best thought-out one of all time.

I am the Sergeant Major for an 82nd Airborne advising team that is partnered with an Afghan police SWAT team.

We have not had much in the way of comfort to offer our paratroopers, so your parcel’s arrival here was perfect timing.

We will train our Afghan police to use the party string to check for trip wires, and the chalk to mark cleared rooms and vehicles. Your thoughtful items may very well save U.S. and Afghan lives during the clearing operation of this area, which was heavily mined and booby-trapped by the Taliban.

Thank you from all the paratroopers for your patriotism, kindness and generosity. May God bless all the truckers of OOIDA.

Sergeant Major Mack McDowell

Uninsured Mexican driver 
I have read your article on Congress and NAFTA (online Land Line Special Report in mid-April). That is good news.

I am a safety director at a small trucking company in Indiana. I have had a problem with an insurance company that insures Mexican drivers.

I had a driver parked at a truck stop in Laredo, TX, and a Mexican driver pulled in and tore the bumper and fender up on one of my trucks. My driver stopped him and received his insurance information. At the time his insurance policy was valid.

My driver called me and gave me the information. I called the insurance company and was told at that time they could not find a policy on that driver. After about a week of me sending information to this insurance company, they informed me that their Mexican driver canceled his policy the same day he bought it.

Why is a driver from Mexico able to do this in the U.S.? Carriers from the U.S. would be shut down. This is a big problem in the South with Mexican drivers. I know that driver is probably still coming across the border.

Jeff Wade
Muncie, IN

Hours of slavery indeed 
I read your magazine from cover to cover, but I had to write and tell you one article really was outstanding. That was “Hours of Slavery” by Dave Sweetman (in the March/April issue of Land Line). After I read it, all I could say is Amen!

Domenick Vitti
North Branford, CT

Talk about ‘minimum’ wage – $2.38 an hour? 
One week, my partner and I kept track of all of our hours, including driving, waiting to load and unload. We figured it twice because we thought we had made a mistake. And we only figured the time spent waiting for one of us, because the other was in the bunk.

Bottom line: We made way less than half the current minimum wage per hour, $2.38 per hour. If we were paid minimum wage for all of our waiting time alone, our paycheck would double.

Doug Geeting
Cleveland, ND

Editor’s note: The current federal minimum wage rate is $7.25.

OOIDA the best on national level 
I would like to express my appreciation for OOIDA’s continuous efforts to stand up and lobby for truckers’ rights.

I’m not an owner-operator or an independent contractor. I drive a company truck and am happy with my employer.

I stay informed about issues relating to the trucking industry such as HOS, EOBRs, idling laws, “green” technology, tolls, taxes, parking bans, Minnesota’s “fatigue checks,” etc.

I have also noticed that wherever there is an injustice, OOIDA is quick to defend the interests of the drivers. Regardless of whether or not we own the truck we’re driving, your efforts are helpful to us all.

I don’t pay much attention to state trucking associations, but it is my opinion that on the national level OOIDA is by far the best organization we drivers have out here. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the American Trucking Associations or the Teamsters.

I’ve read scores of articles about lawsuits filed by OOIDA, and I have to admit there hasn’t been a single case I disagreed with OOIDA on. Keep up the good work.

Brian Becraft
Sheldon, IA

Super Trucker … fact or fiction? 
Able to drive from coast to coast in a single sitting, able to strap, chain and tarp in a single swipe and able to polish all 10 wheels and two tanks in one go around and still have time for a shower and dinner. I used to believe I could do all that and more until this past January, when I realized that it’s not Kryptonite that saps that superpower.

What I thought was the flu quickly turned into congestive heart failure. After six hours of surgery, the quadruple bypass went as planned. Super trucker mentality once again, I figured that I would be up and working in a month or so. 

Getting recertified should not be a problem although the card will be good for one year. But finding someone to hire a broken super trucker may be another story.

Experience, millions of miles and a good safety record do not amount to a hill of beans anymore – kinda like trying to get a ’78 KW cabover leased on somewhere.

Well, no more changing clothes in a phone booth.

Paul Sasso
Moody, TX