Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, "Land Line Now" senior correspondent

ROSES to Love's Travel Stops for stepping up and helping out following the severe flooding in Louisiana earlier this year. Five employees of the company's Port Allen locations lost everything in the devastating storms. So Love's decided to do something to help out.

In addition to helping take care of its own employees, the company donated $25,000 to The Salvation Army to aid in relief efforts. As of August, The Salvation Army had prepared thousands of meals, drinks, food boxes, clean-up kits and comfort kits for those whose lives were displaced by the disaster.

It's good to see companies that know when to step up to the plate and lend a helping hand.

ROSES to Ritchie Bros. auction company for donating some of the profits from a recent auction to the relief efforts for the massive wildfire that burned much of the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, earlier this year.

As part of its Sept. 7 auction, the company held a separate charity auction to help raise money for the cause. At press time we hadn't yet heard how much money they raised, but items auctioned off included a three-day fishing trip to Warm Springs Resort in British Columbia, a trip for four to Las Vegas, and skybox tickets to an Edmonton Oilers game.

We're definitely sold on this auction.

ROSES to OOIDA Life Member Lou Esposito who is currently hauling a very special cargo around the country. Known as "The Wall that Heals," it's a combination replica of the Vietnam Memorial and an education center that travels around the country. It contains names and information about those who were lost in the war in Vietnam.

If that sounds familiar to you, it should. Another OOIDA Life Member and veteran, Steve Davenport, hauled the rolling tribute around earlier this year, even stopping off with it at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

So we send a special thank you to both of these drivers and to veterans everywhere for making the sacrifice for our country.

RAZZBERRIES to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for their latest bit of pointless paperwork. Earlier this year they announced a plan to implement a new medical form that would list all medications and dosages prescribed to a driver, including all of those that the health care professional knows of that are being prescribed by any other health care providers and the medical conditions being treated by those medications.

The idea is that the certified medical examiner who is performing your DOT physical - who may not be your primary care physician and in fact may never even have met you before you walked in the door that day - could use the information to determine whether or not you are medically fit to drive. As though there is some connection between prescribed drugs and crash risk. Guess what? There isn't. There is no significant data that connects those two.

Not only that, but DOT physicals are tough enough on drivers who have to schedule an appointment and find the time to get off the road to get it done - not to mention finding a certified examiner that is in an area they can actually access. Forms like this will just further complicate the process with no benefit whatsoever.

But hey, isn't that pretty much the specialty of the FMCSA?

RAZZBERRIES to a group calling itself the California Future Fund for its pointless efforts to stop a Pilot Flying J from being built near the town of Lathrop, Calif. This group managed to get 1,100 people to sign onto a petition based on ginning up the usual unfounded fears about truck stops - crime, drugs, etc.

As the Manteca Bulletin, a local newspaper, pointed out in an editorial, there is already a truck stop in the town and calls for police assistance there are no higher than at other existing Pilot Flying J locations. And that truck stop is already closer to schools and neighborhoods than the proposed new one would be.

The most ridiculous part is that the petition wouldn't stop the truck stop from being built. It would only stop Lathrop from annexing the land, meaning the county - not the city - would get all of the tax revenue.

We don't think these petitioners thought their cunning plan all the way through. LL