October 2010 Letters

No way on 97K
I have been a trucker for most of my 69 years. I was against raising the weight limit from 73,280, but I had to accept 80,000 pounds.

If this is passed, truckers will be hauling the extra weight for no more money, but the main thing is – highways and bridges are already in bad order. I can tell you from personal experience that a truck loaded to 80K is hard enough to stop in a panic stop, so I can just imagine stopping 97K, even though there would be another axle under the trailer.

Northwest Arkansas counties are now dealing with oil-field trucks that are extra heavy, and they are destroying the local roads. The county commissioners are trying to deal with the drilling companies as to how to repair those roads. 97K is a very bad idea.

Herb C. Hampton, life member
Muldrow, OK

Changes to 1099 reporting needs stopped 
A new IRS Form 1099 reporting requirement will bury small-business truckers under a mountain of paperwork.

For small-business truckers, it could amount to hundreds of 1099 forms every year – forms for every fuel stop, repair service, parts provider or restaurant, just to name a few – where a trucker spends more than $600 annually. We travel all over the country buying parts and services, fuel groceries, etc. My wife would have to spend hours keeping track of this for our accountant, who in turn is going to charge us more.

Small-business owners have enough paperwork burdens to fight through, and adding more doesn’t make sense with the economy like it is. This is also saying the IRS doesn’t trust the system that has worked for years.

I hope this buried bill gets stopped before it’s too late.

Ed Hauser
Hesperia, CA

Editor’s note: Read more on the Form 1099 issue on page 24.

Where’s the training?
An accident closed I-81 northbound early this morning. These closures happen several times a week on I-81, which – from the New York line to the New Jersey line – is one of the most dangerous pieces of interstate in the northeast since its terrain is mostly up and down with many curves.

This accident happened just north of the Lenoxville (PA) exit where the road makes a 30-degree curve to the left and over a bridge a quarter-mile long on the curve. The driver claims he was cut off, which is impossible judging how the accident happened.

With the implementation of the speed limiters, drivers will override them on a down grade. This curve is at the bottom of a mile and half grade. His load more than likely shifted as he tried to negotiate this (65 mph maximum speed) curve, and fortunately for him he made it over the bridge before upsetting.

Many of us veteran drivers predicted this would happen as so many of the new breed of drivers are not trained long enough or do not take the profession seriously.

The end result is in the court of public opinion. These bad nonprofessionals give a black eye to the majority of pros who take pride in their work and who are doing a great job.

Bob Coe, life member
Harford, PA

Idea: Postcards from truckers?
RFD TV featured a wonderful story on “Postcards from Nebraska” about “Heavy Duty,” a trucker who had gone to a nursing home to visit a friend.

An elderly gentleman asked if he could listen to a couple of his stories. “It wouldn’t take too long,” he said, as his son was coming to see him. The son never came.

The staff informed “Heavy Duty” that the son rarely came to visit, giving the trucker the idea to start sending postcards to several nursing homes.

The reading of those postcards and the smiles on their faces gave us a good idea. If only a few truckers would look at a phone book at home or even in some town they stop in while having lunch. Get an address to a nursing home, or even two, and send them postcards. You’d be giving our sometimes-forgotten senior citizens something to look forward to.

Just send a note of your travels about your truck, even the weather. I know you all have good stories. Holy cow, I shared truck stops with you for 37 years. My husband and I are retired Navajo Express drivers. We drove Navajo show trucks (all three of them.)

God bless our drivers out there. Just like our military, thanks for what you do.

Karen, Don and Heidi Bartley
Arlington, WA