Line One
Roses &samp; Razzberries

OOIDA members George and Kay Evento of Seven Valleys, PA, send out a bunch of ROSES to a state trooper and a state road worker in Rock Springs, WY.

The couple’s truck had some problems 10 miles from Rock Springs in early May and it could only move at about 50 miles per hour. Not only did the trooper give them an escort to the repair shop, but the road worker followed behind with his lights on to warn other motorists of the slow-moving truck.

With good eggs like that still out there, it’s just a shame the bad apples are usually the ones who get all the press.

A ROSE goes to Roberto Gauna, a truck driver who used his rig to block two lanes of traffic on a busy interstate, protecting a man who had crashed his motorcycle.

Motorcyclist Jeff Blessing first struck the car in front of him, then careened into a traffic barrier, rolled back onto the northbound lanes and came to a halt on Interstate 45 in Houston.

Gauna saw what happened, and slammed on his brakes, using his rig to block the traffic and protect Blessing until help could arrive.

Blessing survived, thanks to a blessing of a different kind.

A confirmed ROSE to one of our favorite TV shows: the Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters.” On a recent episode, Jamie, Adam and the gang tested a series of big rig myths, including whether a four-wheeler could increase fuel mileage by “drafting” behind a rig.

Yeah, we were a little worried about this, too, especially when the myth was ultimately confirmed as true. The last thing we need is a TV show encouraging people to go out and start tailgating big trucks.

But the show gets credit for repeatedly pointing out that driving that close to a truck, while it may save fuel, is dangerous and possibly, in the words of MythBuster Kari Byron, “suicidal.”

The show even featured stunt driver Mike Ryan, who pointed out that, in the majority of crashes involving a big rig and a four-wheeler, the four-wheeler is usually at fault. Irresponsible television? Call that myth busted.

This one looked like a RAZZBERRY at first, but it turned out to be a ROSE. An article by Michael Crowley in the July issue of Reader’s Digest featured the headline “License to Kill” along side an image of a big rig with a skull superimposed on top of it.

Not a promising start.

But, the article itself was actually about a very serious issue that has appeared numerous times in the pages of the very magazine you are reading: CDL fraud.

The article profiled cases of drivers who are in the U.S. illegally and obtain their licenses by using false documents, cheating on tests or just flat out bribing officials to pass them.

It’s a growing problem and we’re glad to see it getting some play in the mainstream media, even if the coverage was over the top.

A ROSE to Patricia Poist, a writer for the Lancaster Sunday News of Lancaster, PA. Several Land Line readers sent us a recent column she wrote about truckers.

Poist takes personal offense at the stereotypical images people have of truckers and how truckers are treated – both by the media and by other drivers on the road. Her brother is a lifetime truck driver who once rescued a toddler he found wandering alongside the road.

If only everybody in the media or on the road had a truck driver for a brother – or sister – then maybe truckers would finally get the respect they deserve.

A refined RAZZBERRY goes out to the oil companies. Yeah, we’ve given it to them before, but, really, can they ever have too many?

This time it’s because, in a time of high prices and low tolerance for excuses, several of the biggies, including Valero and ConocoPhillips, have scrapped plans to expand or build new refineries that would put more fuel on the market.

Why? Well, here’s a laundry list of excuses, take your pick: environmental restrictions; poor return on investments; high construction costs; and labor shortages. But the capper is the most recent whopper: they can’t build refineries because Congress and the White House are pushing for an increase in biofuels. Say what?

Of course, we know the real reason they won’t build more refineries is because if they did it would ruin one of their best excuses for another major problem: high fuel prices.

So as long as they keep throwing out excuses, we’ll keep throwing out RAZZBERRIES.

Talk about job security.

“Roses and Razzberries” is written by Terry Scruton, senior correspondent for “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio. He may be reached at