March/April 2010 Letters

HOS: we have to speak up 
Recently, I commented to the FMCSA about the very things that OOIDA is addressing. Waiting time is killing almost everyone. Truck stops are full of trucks waiting for loads or unloading. Most truck stops are full early in the afternoon.

Also I asked to be able to have a break during the day. Eliminate the 14-hour rule. I also asked that the 11-hour driving rule be retained as we have set up most of our hauls on 11-hour driving times.

The problem is we have people making the rules who do not know how to play the game.

Herb C. Hampton
Muldrow, OK

Speaking out against racism 
As an OOIDA life member and white marcher in the civil rights movement in 1966 in Pennsylvania and later in apartheid South Africa, your article “Georgia on My Mind” by Clarissa Kell-Holland (February 2010 issue) moved me deeply at the injustice.

I despise racists of every color and creed and have spent my personal life speaking up when others were quiet whenever racism exists.

Daniel R. Davis
LaJunta, CO

Kids with gas 
Loved [Dave Sweetman’s December/January] column on signs. My favorite was the one at the old Bruce’s truck stop in Tulsa before the tornado hit. There was a huge sign across the gas pumps that read “KIDS WITH GAS EAT FREE.”

I was teaming with a lovely lady named Pauline. And when I saw that sign, I started to laugh so hard that I could not drive. She came out of the bunk to see what was causing my hysterics, and we both roared. She wanted to know if they had hired someone to check.

Lesley Lightner
Hillsboro, OH

More troop thanks 
Thanks for the two big boxes we received today. My soldiers had a great time picking out items.

I’m very impressed by your radio telethon efforts. My father, Jim Ferrario, was a truck driver for Rocha Trucking in Northern California. He loved being a truck driver and was very good at it. I have a lot of respect for truck drivers because of him.

Thanks for all you and the drivers are doing for us.

Chaplain Lisa Northway

Gettin’ real
What’s up with OOIDA? Every day, I go down the road and listen to drivers talk about the new driver qualification. My boss said he found out through your one-sided Web site, that drivers like me, who are overweight, will be disqualified under the new rules in 2010. Well, after wasting my time and talking to our safety director and my personal physician, who has been doing DOT physicals forever, they say they don’t have a clue as to what your organization is spreading propaganda about. Keep up the crappy work … it makes you people $$$. Oh, by the way, I sleep at night, do you?

I’m sure you won’t print this; who would care? Bozo ... get real.

James Chapman 
Vilonia, AR

Editor’s note: Surprise, James, we will print your letter and part of the response we sent you. Our Web site DOES NOT state that overweight drivers will be disqualified under the new rules in 2010.  What we have been reporting, and is in fact true, is that the Medical Review Board has had some discussions about making a recommendation to FMCSA regarding the body mass index of drivers. They have not made a recommendation to FMCSA to disqualify drivers over a certain weight at this point and even if they do, FMCSA is not required to act on the recommendation. But again, they are talking about this issue.

We don’t report on these things to “spread propaganda” like you stated.  We do this so YOU and all other truckers are aware of things that are being considered and discussed – so if a proposal is made sometime down the line you will know about it and you can speak out against it.  It’s our job to keep members informed about any potential legislation or regulation that might impact them or their businesses.

It seems like the unjustified overreaction actually came from your boss, James, not us.

Tax subsidies for APUs 
With the closing of the IdleAire company, it has become even harder for truck drivers to sleep comfortably in states with anti-idle laws, like New York and Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, many companies will not make the investment in APUs, in spite of the advantages to the environment and reduced fuel costs.

The federal government should provide substantial tax subsidies to companies that buy APUs for their fleets. Such tax incentives would help ensure that drivers are well-rested and would also promote the companies that build APUs.

Kevin McKague
Davison, MI

Editor’s note: Certain idling-reduction devices have been exempt from the federal excise tax since 2008.

FYI, many grant programs are offering reimbursements for truck equipment upgrades. Existing state programs have received additional funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other new funding sources, and some new programs have emerged. To keep the variety of federal, state, nonprofit and other grants straight, Land Linehas compiled its own grant opportunity list by working with information from the Department of Energy and the EPA, as well as talking to many state and non-profit agencies directly. The list is available at

Plus, there will soon be a major round of DERA (Diesel Emissions Reduction Act) money going to states, who will be distributing grants to trucks and buses. LL

Earning respect by standing up 
When are we all going to say we have had enough? Tell me who is on our side? Joe Motoring Public, government, local officials, your company? Not likely – but OOIDA is.

I hear folks saying all the time, “Sure you can search my truck or I’ll take a drug test on the side of the road.” Well, not me anymore. The more we agree, the more BS they put on us. I have nothing in my truck or my system to be ashamed of, but this is my body and my truck. They should not have the right to search me or my truck for no reason (or because they don’t like truckers).

Let me go search their house or personal vehicle. Bet you I can find something that I could make look bad. For example, pliers are considered burglary tools.

We are run over every day, and we jump up so they can do it again (guess we’re tough, just not very smart). Let’s change that.

Danny Davis
Delight, AR