May 2013 Letters

OOIDA knows how to be heard
As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I know that small companies face challenges in making their concerns heard in Washington. Over its 40-year history, OOIDA has become a tireless and effective advocate for our nation’s independent truck owners and drivers. The majority of trucking firms in operation are small businesses and when it comes to issues facing the commercial truck transportation industry, OOIDA always knows how to make sure that their voice is heard.

Rep. Sam Graves, R-MO
Chairman, House Small Business Committee
U.S. House of Representatives

Congratulations to OOIDA
As a Member of the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, I want to congratulate OOIDA on 40 years of successfully representing America’s dedicated and professional truckers. All of America appreciates that owners and small businesses are a critical component to the movement of goods across this nation.

Thanks for giving a voice to those hardworking men and women behind the wheel who help drive this nation’s economy.

Rep. Ed Pastor, D-AZ
Member of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives

In the keyboarding mood
Just finished the February issue and the article on my life expectancy. Since I turned 61 last fall, I thought I’d let everyone know I’m still trucking and will until I can’t pass the physical. Many of my fellow drivers where I work are well past 61. Some are past 71. As usual, these “statistics” are a lot of BS designed to either sell something or keep another unproductive clown on a payroll.

And while I’m in the keyboarding mood, I’d like to ask everyone in the trucking industry (especially the regulators) why we need expensive electronic stuff to prove to everyone we’re where we are supposed to be at any given moment of our 14-hour day?

All we have to do is use some type of electronic exchange (credit/debit card, fuel card, rewards card) for a purchase at the beginning of our workday, in the middle of our workday, and when our day ends. As long as it matches that paper log, we’re compliant, right?

Let’s see if 2013 will be the year all of us in trucking put our collective feet down and stop the constant flow of hands in our pockets.

James Getten
Payette, ID

Top three rules of the road
The three very important things to be safe on the road are common sense, big picture and judgment. Without those three things safety will not be there. I wish they would reconsider the HOS and just leave it alone. With the 34-hour restart, it’s great because it gives a driver time to recoup, take a good break and just relax.

This deal of putting two trainees together is also hurting our safety on our roads. They do not have the experience.

From a 26-year driver thinking about the HOS and safety, that’s all.

Clarence Sechler
Smyrna, TN

Felt like I was there
As an OOIDA member who couldn’t be at MATS this year (I was hoping!) I really enjoy reading the Pork Chop Diaries 2013. Thanks for doing these.

Lester Graber
Yoakum, TX

Bothered me for years …
As an OOIDA member, I enjoy reading the great articles in Land Line Magazine. Plus there are some great pictures of some really cool trucks. In the past few years we’ve seen more and more regulations, law changes, and standards introduced or changed. As an owner-operator I find it difficult to keep up with everything, but it’s a must. So I do it.

I’ve come to the point where I see what I’m doing to stay compliant with “everybody and their brother” – but I’m wondering when it’s my time. With all of the things that we must do to keep our state and federal government happy, what do they do for us?

For example: Why is there not a minimum per mile rate set by the government? Why do we have to fight with the huge companies, brokers, and each other to earn a dime? A load that pays $1.50 per mile (no, I don’t haul cheap freight, but it’s out there) has little profit in it when fuel is over $4 a gallon. This is just something that has bothered me for years.

Joshua Reis
Reedsville, WI

Editor’s note:  Joshua, we took your questions straight to OOIDA’s Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. His full response was one that we thought others needed to see, too, so we’ve used it as an op-ed on Page 15 of this issue.