Saturday, March 17, 2018

Let us truckers get our rest and don’t pester us, driver writes

Friday, April 23, 2010

I just read your article on the HOS debate and find that what I and some other drivers find to be a problem isn't addressed at all.

My partner and I have both driven for companies that will not leave you alone during your 10 hours off or the 34-hour reset resulting in no sleep when you are supposed to be getting rest for the next day.

These people seem to think there is no problem calling you either by phone or Qualcomm and expecting immediate answers 24-7 and then wonder why we are tired. Seems to me there should be something in the rules about this so the driver can get the rest he or she needs.

— Walt Sprague  

Woman lauds truckers for helping family moving cross-country

This letter is to thank all the truckers, and truck stop staff that were so helpful while I moved from California to Georgia. The advice I received, and the patience that I was shown by the truckers, and the truck stop personal allowed my family to have a safe journey.

It was the end of September early October 2009 along mostly I-40.  I am a small woman who was driving a 26-foot Penske Moving truck, and towing a car on a carrier.

In my cab I had my 9-year-old son, three cats, four tortoises and a pet rat. I had my son's life in my hands, and sweaty palms, as I started out on this long move. I was appearing confident, but internally I was scared to death.  I had not planned on driving the big truck, but things changed and at the last minute I had no choice; it was up to me to get my family to Georgia.

I climbed in the cab in my purple summer dress and started up the truck. My son cheered; he was having a great time, but for me I knew this was going to be harder then I thought. I could feel the weight of the fully packed Penske, and the pull of the car carrier, and doubts filled my head: could I do this?

The truck was so long with the added car carrier, how was I going to change lanes? The weight really made the truck harder to handle. Where would I park this mammoth?  The first night in the hotel I could not sleep and my mind raced with thoughts of what if I crashed? Every what-if scenario entered my mind.  I wanted to quit, but we were already 100 miles from a home we no longer owned.

I had to hide my fear, so I committed to driving to the next town only, then I would reevaluate. This was my survival technique for the first days.

I needed fuel, but each regular gas station had too-tight turns. Then I saw the sign: "Truck Stop ahead.” Yippee! I was saved!

I knew I was not supposed to fuel up with the big rigs but due to my inexperience, fear, the length of my truck and carrier and the ease of pulling up in the truck lanes my survival skills kicked in and rules did not matter. I became a rebel and headed into those long beautiful gas lanes.

I was expecting to be told immediately that I could not be in the fuel lanes with the professional drivers, but I was not deterred.  I pretended to be tough and confident, as I prepared to pay for my fuel. I was ready for a confrontation. I listened to the truckers ahead of me, and decided to act just as they did. (When in Rome act as a Roman; no one would know I was not a trucker.)

With fake confidence I said, "$100.00 on pump No. 7, please."

The clerk then asked me "is that the reefer tank?”  I had heard of reefer but what did that have to do with fuel?  I could walk the walk, but not talk the talk; I was busted, and my cover blown.

Just as I started to panic, the kindest trucker behind me in line saved me. The trucker left his spot in line and walked me to my Penske and explained to me what the heck a "reefer" tank was, and helped me get my fuel, and he let me pick his brain about truck driving.

I did not know it at the time, but this man was my first "Trucker Angel"; this wonderful man was the first in a long line of professional drivers who took time out of their lives to help me along my travels.

Neither anyone from the truck stop nor the truckers yelled at me for being in "their fuel lines" and the delays I caused. Instead, they were always friendly and helpful.

I had a trucker outside Flagstaff next to the Motel 6 answer so many of my questions especially about handling the grades, and changing lanes.

Each driver I encountered showed me kindness and respect; they were willing to advise me on road conditions, driving technique, and lodging that had easy truck parking.

The truck stop personnel were also wonderful; they aided me in directions, the bathrooms were clean, and my family was welcome No one made us feel like we were intruding.

Each trucker was my mentor. They eased my fears and aided in building up my confidence.  I was able to enjoy driving, and we had a fun and safe trip due to my Trucker Angels.

I have a new respect and love for all the truckers on the road: you are a special breed of brave and kind professionals.

Truckers have to share the roads with inexperienced drivers like myself, weather issues, constant road construction, and the dangers of maneuvering a very long and heavy truck in a world made for small cars.

I know that it is due to the courtesy, kindness and aid of the truckers that I was able to drive my family safely across the country. I thank you all.

I owe all the truckers the lives of myself and my family, and I am forever grateful.

— Thank you,

Dorothy Sullivan

Victim of trailer theft warns other drivers to take care to avoid crooks

I never gave a thought to my tractor-trailer being stolen until back in October of 2009. The theft not only put me out of business it cost me out-of-pocket money I never planned for.

After reading the article about the rise in tractor-trailer theft in this country in an edition of the USA Today I felt my story needed to be told and all truckers should be made aware.

I was lucky and not in my truck at the time.

On Oct. 24 my tractor, trailer and the 44,000 pounds of copper I was hauling was stolen from a major truck stop in Texas. I contacted the local authorities and the motor carrier to which I am leased to file the necessary reports. I gave statements to all, including Homeland Security. I was assured they would contact me as soon as my equipment was recovered. I kept in contact with both agencies by either speaking to the officer in charge or by leaving messages on their phones. I got the feeling they weren’t searching very hard.

On Dec. 18 the Texas authorities called to inform me that my Western Star tractor was recovered in Louisiana on Nov. 30 and that it had been towed and was in storage. The officer apologized for any inconveni

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