November 2012 Letters

Write on, Phil
My name is Phil Duncan, son of longtime OOIDA Member Pat Duncan. In 2002, I was honored with a scholarship from your organization. My father suggested that I write you again to let your publication know that I have just published my first novel, “Wax.” More information about this book can be found on my website

Phil Duncan
Portland, OR

Editor’s note: From Phil’s website, we see he is a graduate of Goddard College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and the University of Washington’s English program. He is a former Jacob K. Javits Fellow and in April 2012 served as a Creator-in-Residence at the Tokyo Wonder Site – Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan. 

Data and low-clearance bridges
I found Dave Tanner’s online article about truckers, bridges, and GPS very interesting. One point that wasn’t mentioned is the fact that state and federal agencies do not make valid bridge-clearance data publicly available, and they often do not even have such data on-hand. Anyone who specializes in oversize loads or running escorts will have plenty of stories of incorrectly marked bridges (sometimes due to several inches of new pavement) and the fact that you just have to drive the route each and every time.

I’d have preferred to see the government first require their own agencies to collect and maintain accurate clearance data. Then it would be relatively trivial for these GPS providers to collect and use that data correctly. As it stands, all they’re doing now is proposing to add massive new costs to devices that have already fallen into the low-margin commodity-pricing territory. This is par for the course for the likes of Schumer.

It would be interesting to see Land Line write a little more about the data – or lack thereof – that state and federal agencies have on the roads they maintain.

Jon McGuire
Jacksonville, FL

‘What’s your clearance, Clarence?’
This article online “What’s your clearance, Clarence? Truckers navigate tricky New York bridges” by David Tanner is long overdue. I was an owner-operator leased to a major company and made one trip into New York City in 2004. I stopped short of a low clearance in the Bronx near 13th and Jerome, L train station. The local police helped block traffic and route me around the low clearance to my destination. I got unloaded and dispatched to Brooklyn for a back haul. En route I see another “low clearance” sign, and I’m on the brakes only to see the truck alongside – also 13’ 6” – drive under without slowing. There is no way to know when it is 13’6”. Last trip into the city I told the company I would never go back and I didn’t.

Edd Proft
Elephant Butte, NM

Learn how to slow down, tie it right
The guy trying to sue Dole (Sept. 21 needs to go back to “truck driver” school and learn how to “tie” a load. Let’s see: He put the tire on the trailer. He put the bungee cord on. Just how does he figure that it is Dole’s or Chevron’s fault?

As a driver it is your responsibility to do a pre-trip inspection before you move the trailer or load. I haven’t driven truck since 2007 and I know that.

Bungee cords, when applied properly, and in good condition, do not just “slip off.” I think the cord was either, one, too short for the job, or two, the “hook” had been spread. He would have noticed that had he inspected it.

Truckers need to learn that time is money. True, but when you get in such a hurry as to neglect safety, is the “time saved” really worth it?

I read your articles every day online and will continue to do so. Once a trucker, always a trucker.

Kent Wilson
Salem, OR

Final report on last leg of Route 66 convoy
The American Truck Historical Society cannot begin to thank Land Line and OOIDA for the great support that you have shown towards the Route 66 convoy.

Thirty-five trucks started the last leg of the Route 66 journey on Sept. 15, 2012, from Barstow, CA. The convoy said goodbye to the Barstow Truck Stops of America site and began the 42-mile trip southwest to San Bernardino, CA, at 8:30 a.m. sharp.

This was the first time the convoy was truly able to travel together nose-to-tail over the past nine days. At San Bernardino we were greeted by an official from the Route 66 Rendezvous Committee. All the trucks were led to the designated parking area, which consisted of a complete city block. It was quite the sight to see all the trucks parked side by side, taking up the whole street.

It was really thrilling to be surrounded by thousands of classic cars at the Route 66 Rendezvous.

Following the overall success of the event, the ATHS has received many inquiries regarding future convoys. The ATHS is excited that so many people have expressed an interest in making this an annual event and is considering another convoy trip for next year.

Tom Mullen, OOIDA member
ATHS Corporate Relations Representative
Linesville, PA

I won a TV
Thank you for the 19-inch Jensen television. It really came as a surprise that I won something. I like reading Land Line and I’m very grateful to you for sending me this television.

Tom L. Simmons
Centralia, WA

Editor’s note:  The Jensen LED 12-volt television from ASA Electronics was featured in the June issue’s Product Showcase. Tom turned in a “reader response card” for more info on the TV and ended up winning one in our LL drawing. Congratulations, Tom.