February 2011 Letters

Thanking OOIDA, especially for Truckers for Troops 
As a member of OOIDA, I take great pride in the activities of this Association on behalf of truckers and, indirectly, the general motoring public.

As I reflect on this past year, I am aware of your activities with SuperValu, C.R. England, and the state of Minnesota. You also dealt with HOS, EOBRs, CSA 2010, safe truck parking and CARB.

A smile comes to mind when MATS is recalled. The laughter and fun by staff at several OOIDA membership booths is great.

You can also collect news and views from the Land Line blog or off the great radio program. All that is directly related to trucking.

But being a former Marine (sorry, Reed), I cannot express how proud I am of OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops program. I served two tours in Vietnam and clearly remember getting a “care” package.

As staff goes about putting these packages together, I hope they know they are doing more than just getting some stuff together for a GI overseas. Receiving this package means as much as the stuff inside. I wish I had the words to express how it really feels to be on the receiving end.

“Roses” for a job very well done.

Cliff Collins
Riverside, CA 

HOS? Keep the basic needs in mind 
Truck driving has never been like running a machine where you can start and stop at will. You need to be able to drive when you feel rested and sleep when you need to. Many times, I have had to choose between driving safely and legally. I choose to drive safely.

I sometimes think the real answer might be to limit drivers to, say, drive 3,500 miles per week and let them drive it any way they choose.

Lowell E. Holt
Piedmont, SC

Fuel mileage standards need a dose of reality 
About mandatory fuel mileage standards for heavy-duty trucks, once again I think it’s a case of some rulemaking that might look good in a computer-generated model but has no concept on real conditions.

One point is there is not a thing they can do about the weather. I hate to guess how many windstorms I have driven through and had no idea what your fuel mileage would be. Also, hills and grades make a difference in fuel mileage.

We all know if our routes take us over the mountains it is going to take more fuel. Westbound across Kansas and Nebraska pulling into Mile High (Denver) is never as good as going east.

Over the years, I have pulled loads that were not that heavy but were wind draggers.

Companies talk of fuel savings with little motors and slow trucks. I can’t say that I agree. Number one, they are a highway hazard because it causes a differential in traffic flow. Number two, my last truck that I had came from the factory with an E-model Cat set at 430 horsepower.

When I had to do an in-frame, I had it set at 550 hp. An amazing thing happened. Fuel mileage rose by two-thirds of a gallon.

Jim Mathews
Greeley, CO

A year ago: the Arrow Trucking disaster 
It’s been more than a year since Arrow Trucking closed its doors on us, and I want to say thank you for doing the story. It still is hard to believe. I have contacts with some former Arrow drivers, and we talk about the old days of Arrow.

There were so many friendly people, truckers and trucking companies that helped us. There was also the Petro in the Oklahoma City area on Eastern that fed us for free. And thanks to the Bricktown Hotel people who were there for us. I just want to thank all who helped stranded drivers during that time.

Marshall Stapp
Oklahoma City, OK

Another way to stay connected
The Bozo Lounge phone conference room (December/January issue) is a place where you can make new friends, hear industry news, and talk about everything from armadillos to zucchini bread. You can get directions to safe places, learn of great places to eat, get weather reports and traffic reports plus get some plain old ribbing. There are prayers for family members, too.

I’ve met some real neat people through this chat. I’ve known Truckin’ Bozo since 1984 and met some great people through his show. Now I get to know others through the “lounge” named after him.

The Bible Study on the Move is another place I enjoy and have been a part of since July 2009. It’s great fellowship.

Dave Gilland
Nettleton, MS

Christmas cookies
It’s my tradition to pass out Christmas cookies. On Christmas Eve, I drove by the Love’s and saw few trucks are in the parking lot. I drove up to the fuel island, gave some cookies to some very pleased team drivers.

Then I went on to other trucks. At one truck, the door was open. The next thing I saw was three children and a lady look out from the sleeper and another adult in the right front seat. He consented to cookies for the kids.

At another rig, a couple was walking up to a “taco wagon” parked in the street. Their English wasn’t great, but they were happy to get a “Feliz Navidad” and some cookies.

A rather humorous thing happened with the Tulare Police Department. I called the office and asked if someone could meet me in the parking lot, and I would give them a plate of Christmas cookies. The lady said, “I have a better idea. I will send an officer to your house to get the cookies.” A very nice officer came by and left with a smile and cookies.

We have a policeman who is a neighbor. Later, he and I were talking. “What was the PD doing at your house? Are you OK?” I said, “Darn, there are no secrets in Tulare!” He answered, “Not in the PD.”

Darrell Hicks
Tulare, CA

Talking the talk
I find it your magazine informative and to the point. I drove truck for 48 years without a chargeable accident. It was hard to do but with the right attitude every time I got behind the wheel, it was done.

I enjoy the columns by people who “walked the walk and can talk the talk.” If you’ve been there, you can relate. My hat is off to president Jim Johnston for his great job of leading the organization. The rest of the staff also goes beyond the call in getting things done. I’m glad someone is fighting for the little guy.

Earl Cluff  
Chubbuck, ID