Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

OOIDA Member Bill Dove of Princeton, WV, sends out some ROSES to Bill Archer, a senior editor for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

Archer is a former truck driver and often shares his experiences in his columns. He writes about his time on the road and what it was like being behind the wheel of a truck, bringing that experience to a more mainstream audience who might otherwise never hear about it.

In the column sent to us by Bill Dove, Archer writes about how tough the roads used to be back when he was driving in the '70s: "I traveled sections of interstate highway where 25 miles or more were filled with bone-jarring pavement cracks that left a trail of tools, chain binders and four-by-four scotches in my wake."

We're sure many truckers can identify and – thanks to Archer and maybe other drivers, too – will start to understand the life of a trucker.

OOIDA Member Adrian McClellan of Minneola, FL, would like to offer up some RAZZBERRIES to WalMart on behalf of two of his drivers.

The husband and wife team were on a run a while back and decided to bobtail to a nearby WalMart for some groceries and other items. When they came out of the store, their truck was gone. Turns out, it had been towed to an impound yard 36 miles away. One $88 cab ride and a $1,000 fine later, they had their truck back.

In defense of WalMart, there was a sign posted, but the drivers didn't see it. And while that is certainly no excuse, $1,088 seems a pretty steep price to pay when a warning probably would have been just as effective.

Here's a batch of ROSES for two Oklahoma transportation officials who have agreed to pay the tolls for a funeral procession for a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press reported that the soldier – U.S. Army Pfc. Cody Board of McKinney, TX, was killed Oct. 4.

His funeral procession of about 300 vehicles was set to take Interstate 44 to Fort Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma when they found out that tolls would not be waived.

A huge public outcry followed and Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley and

Turnpike Authority Chairman Doug Riebel agreed to personally pay the toll for all of the vehicles in the procession.

That comes to about $420 total, a small price to pay compared to the one paid by Pfc. Board.

OOIDA Members Juan and Camille Reyes of Seymour, MO, would like to send out a dozen ROSES to, would you believe it? A towing company.

These go out to Midwest Towing of Springfield, MO. A while back, Juan called for a quote to get a tow from Strafford, MO, to the Freightliner dealership in Springfield.

The girl at the office made a mistake on the quote – making it less than what it should have been. Juan says they went ahead and decided to honor it, even though they would lose money on the cost of the tow.

Not only that, but Juan said when the tow truck driver showed up, he was courteous and helpful to him.

Undercharging? Admitting a mistake but honoring it anyway? A polite and courteous driver? Sounds like this towing company comes from the Bizarro World or something.

OOIDA Life Member Pete Wylie of Vancouver, WA, would like to send out some RAZZBERRIES to the state of Washington and, more specifically, the Washington Department of Transportation, for its failure to provide adequate restroom facilities at some weigh stations.

Pete stopped at one recently to use the restroom and was told by the officer there that they didn't have facilities for drivers. He asked the officer about drivers who were put out of service and forced to stay at the weigh station and was told "that's not my problem." Pete, who was hauling a hazmat load and was limited as to where he could go, took care of his business in a ditch near the weigh station and was subsequently given a ticket by the aforementioned officer.

Not one to take it lying down, Pete went to court and got it dismissed after the judge agreed that there should have been facilities for drivers. It's good to see that common sense in Washington state hasn't been completely flushed away.LL