Line One
Roses & Razzberries

RAZZBERRY to an official of the Memphis Terminal of Transport Service Co. of Hindsdale, IL. Land Line was told six drivers who work for Transport were recently ordered at the terminal to remove their OOIDA stickers from their trucks, because “they were forming a union.” The drivers, employees of Transport, didn’t want their names used, and didn’t want us to contact the terminal, for fear of retribution. However, they were miffed enough to get the word out to Land Line. On the positive side — at least one terminal official, a former owner-operator, thought the sticker-removal order was plain silly, one driver said. The former owner-operator knew the difference between a trade association and a union.

OOIDA member and owner-operator William “Bill” Huckelba, Fordland, MO, gives a RAZZBERRY to the Wal-Mart of McAllister, OK. Seems officials there called the local police and instructed them to write a ticket for any rig that uses the store’s large truck parking area, even if the driver wants to shop at the store. “I go to Wal-Mart often and do a lot of shopping at the store. I may spend $200 to $300 dollars. But I won’t go there or to any Wal-Mart store anymore,” Bill said. “The McAllister store has a humongous truck parking area with an additional lot for the four-wheelers. The managers say they don’t want trucks parked there for safety reasons, but if you’re a trucker and walk to the store, there’s more danger from getting hit by the speeding cars.” Bill’s story comes with a bit of delicious irony — after Wal-Mart called the police to ticket trucks, they issued a total of $260 in fines to two Wal-Mart trucks. When the drivers complained, the officer was heard to say, “I was told to ticket ALL the trucks.”

ROSE to Kevin Stocklaufl, who got out of his car near Oak Grove, MO, to help a trucker whose tractor-trailer crashed June 22 on a section of eastbound Interstate 70 when a car reportedly cut the rig off. Kevin stayed with the trucker until rescue workers were able to free him, which took several hours. The trucker lost control after hitting a guardrail and came to rest near Little Horseshoe Creek. That turned out to be good luck for driver Arnold Ryebert, 53. “He didn’t want me to leave him,” Kevin said. “I feel I saved his life.” The accident closed the highway as Missouri Department of Transportation workers cleaned up a bunch of hams that were strewn about the highway. It took emergency workers close to six hours to get the driver out of his cab, and he was flown to a Kansas City, MO, hospital. The driver was listed in serious condition with a broken knee and broken wrist.

OOIDA member Greg Rourke, Batavia, IL, gives a RAZZBERRY to Car-X Muffler shops for running a radio commercial describing a car merging onto an expressway — “… with an 18-wheeler more intent on merging onto you than merging with you.” Say what, Greg asks? “Aren’t vehicles entering an expressway required to yield right of way to vehicles already on the road? I suppose they’re trying to sell you on letting them service your car, but if it isn’t roadworthy, it shouldn’t be getting onto the expressway in the first place,” Greg said.

On the other side of the media coin, OOIDA member Michael Gardner sends ROSES to Channel 12, WDEF, Chattanooga, TN, for airing a series of special announcements about the importance of not cutting trucks off or driving in their blind spots. “It is nice to hear someone on the truckers’ side for a change,” Michael says.

OOIDA member James Schmitt, Bolingbrook, IL, gives a ROSE to the late Daniel P. Bielski, who was killed while crossing lanes to help other good Samaritans rescue a driver from a burning car. Bielski, 43, a dispatcher and night supervisor for Mayfield Transfer Co. in Melrose Park, IL, was due to marry Tracy Gaucher of Will County. She told The Chicago Sun-Times, “He was always stopping to help women with flat tires, anyone who needed help. That was his nature.”

Dick Larsen can be reached at