Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton


OOIDA member Jon Miller of Charlotte, NC, would like to send some ROSES to the total stranger who helped him out of a jam earlier this year.

Jon said he was traveling down Interstate 81 in Virginia awhile back, when his truck broke down by the side of the road.

A fellow truck driver stopped to help and not only called a tow truck for Jon, but went with him to get a meal and made sure Jon got to a hotel room all right. The man went out of his way to make sure that Jon was safe before he left him.

Jon never got the man’s name, but he said the man drove a white truck and lives in Virginia. Oh, and he goes by the CB handle “Boogie Man.”

Well, Jon, it sounds like this is one Boogie Man no one needs to be afraid of.

OOIDA Senior Member Terry Button of Rushville, NY, offers up some ROSES for Mike, the manager of the Blue Beacon Truck Wash that Terry likes to frequent.

Terry said that the most recent time he was there, Mike noticed the OOIDA sticker on his truck and asked him about it. When Terry explained, Mike said he has noticed that trucks with those stickers that come through his truck wash tend to be nicer and better maintained than most of the others.

Terry said that Mike, along with Dave and Sam, the two employees who washed his truck, were especially nice to him and took good care of him and his truck. Sometimes membership does have its privileges.

OOIDA member Paul Sasso of Moody, TX, would like to send out a bunch of ROSES to the folks involved in the St. Christopher Fund.

For those of you who don’t know, the St. Christopher Fund was established to help truckers in dire need of assistance because of mounting medical bills. It’s for drivers who otherwise would have no place else to turn to for help.

There are some familiar names in the trucking industry behind this fund, including Dr. John McElligott of Professional Drivers Medical Depots and XM Radio Show host Dave Nemo.

But Paul also wanted to make sure thanks went out to Mike Burns and everyone else on the board of directors for their work as part of this very noble cause. Consider them thanked, Paul.

ROSES go out to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for all the attention it paid to the trucking industry this year.

The committee, chaired by Rep. James Oberstar, D-MN, took on a variety of transportation issues this year in 180 hearings. And you can bet that included a number of trucking issues.

This year the committee saw the House and Senate restore $8 billion to the Highway Trust Fund, which had been previously diverted.

It also oversaw the House passage of HR6630, the legislation aimed at stopping the Department of Transportation from moving ahead with the Mexican truck pilot program.

And while things moved as slow as usual in Washington and a lot is still left to be done, it’s good to know that at least some folks on Capitol Hill are genuinely interested in what the trucking industry has to say.

Thankfully, hurricane season is over with, but let’s take an end-of-the-year look back and give some long overdue RAZZBERRIES to all of those fuel stations that jacked up their prices in the wake of hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

Neither hurricane caused what could be termed as a major supply disruption. Refineries in Houston were offline for a couple of weeks, but damage was minimal. Yet retailers across the South acted like it was 2005 and Hurricane Katrina all over again.

We had reports of prices jumping nearly a dollar and a half in less than two or three days following Ike. Although some supply concerns were genuine and a few stations had to ration fuel for a while, nothing at all justified that kind of price spike.

It seems these price spikes happen so quickly nowadays it’s like the retailers can’t wait until the hurricane is over before just assuming the worst and raising their prices. What’s next? Will they start raising them ahead of the storm – you know, just in case? LL


Terry Scruton may be reached at