Just want to say your last article (Barb Kampbell’s Dec. 15, 2009, Lighter Load column) really made me think. And you know what? You are right. I really liked that article. After reading it. I started to look back. And you know even though it has been a tough year, it has still been a great year, because for me everything really started in July of 2006. I had just met my now wife five months prior to July. But I am a driver and I wasn't feeling well while on the road. So luckily I was delivering close to home. My doctor wanted me to go to the nearest emergency room. Well after I delivered my load I went. Turned out I wasn't sick but extremely sick. I was dying from leukemia and needed emergency surgery. My wife was out of town on business. At 2 a.m. she got the call from my family that I was going under the knife. She caught the next flight home and by time I came to she was by my side. Now mind you we were only dating then.
I didn't know what the future held for me, then. I started chemotherapy while in the hospital. She never left my side but one day. She even worked from my hospital room. But three months of being out of work after that and because she pushed me and never let me give up I found another job that would give me a chance. Giving what I was going through they gave me a break. Back in a truck I was. I have to take a chemo pill for the rest of my life. But in 08 we were married. Couldn't let her go after she didn't run when most people would have. But just before our wedding she got laid off and we had just bought a house. Which brings me to 09. She has been laid off for over a year and even though it has been a tough year financially we are still doing ok. I had to go to the doctor every 3 months for a check up and a pile of blood work. Well in 09 I was told by the good doctor that I was healthy enough to only have to visit once every 6 months now. And on top of that we found out that my wife is pregnant. Which we didn't know if it would happen with the chemo. But looking back now. I realize after reading your article that even though '09 was tough year. I am still working and was still one fantastic year for me and my family. It is not always about the money. It helps but it is not everything. Just wanted to share that with you and say thank you for helping me look back and see what a great year it truly has been. Your words have some very big meanings to them!
— Glenn Kennedy
Driving public should be educated about big rigs, trucker says
In the article about ATA and monitoring rigs for driving behavior, we already have so many regulations to follow and company policy to adhere to it amazes me that we have time to drive! The bigger issue here is that with all of the do's and don'ts imposed on big rigs, you would be educating the public more on how they affect us.
It should be taught in driver’s education what a big truck is capable of doing. It should be taught to cars that we can't just jump out of the way when they feel the itch to jump lanes.... we have to be in the right lane in most situations so cars need to be taught to merge better around us and cars need to know that we can't stop on a dime when they do! Our size alone makes us dangerous, so educate the small cars as to how we truly won't see them in some areas of our truck! It would be a great time to drown the public in big truck education during driver appreciation week so we can know that we truly are being acknowledged for what we do!
— Cynthia Maurer
Trucker asks: why are so many wanting to put independents out of business?
Here’s something I cannot figure out: Obama’s healthcare is opposed by 65 percent more of Americans. The Yankee liberals are pushing for it the most, and yet they are pushing for electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs), which is an invasion of privacy.
You’d think they would figure it out. The American Trucking Associations is pushing it because it helps the bigger trucking companies root out the independents who are way more dependable.
Why are there so many people trying to put the independents out of business?
— Mike Kahie,
Walk a mile in a trucker’s shoes before messing with HOS, driver says
I have never written to something like this before but I have been wanting to express my opinion on several issues for a while so here goes.
Let's start with the HOS there have been so many re-writes of this law that it isn't funny, these groups keep saying that they are doing this for the publics good and for our own good. Number one when did I, as a driver, not know when I was tired and need to sleep, and two when have they ever spent more then a few hours behind the wheel driving some where and decide that they are tired. The people that are making these regulations can get off of work and drive to where ever it is that they are going and not be stopped and told that they need to rest, as drivers we can not do this. Before anyone can tell a driver what they should or should not do they should spend at least three weeks on the road doing what they do, eating when they eat and showering when they shower.
When they have walked a mile in my shoes then they can dictate what needs to be done with the HOS. I firmly believe that anyone that has anything to do with writing these laws needs to know a little bit more about the industry that they are trying to regulate. I understand that there does need to be regulations and rules for this industry but everyone needs to have a clear understanding of what they are regulating before they go to far.
On to another subject, training. I know that we all understand that training is an important aspect of life, I mean we wouldn't want a pilot flying a plane that hadn't had the required training, and it stands to reason that truck drivers should have the training that is required to do their jobs in a professional manner as well. If you were to look up truck driving schools on the inter net you would find so many schools that it is mind boggling. Yet these schools have no standard teaching practices and they are turning out drivers that barely know how to get the truck down the road. I'm not saying that is the case with all of the schools but there are a lot of them out there that are doing just that. I personally went to a school that was out of the norm 20 years ago that was 42 weeks long. I'm not saying that the schools need to be that long but at least they should have to know what they are doing before they leave the institution that they choose. The best way to do that is to make what is being learned in the schools standardized, that way we know that what is learned is at least the minimum of what is needed out here.
There are so many drivers out here that only look at driving as a paycheck and in a lot of ways that is what we are all out here for, when it becomes a problem is when they stop caring about what they are doing. I have been driving for almost 20 years and my husband has been driving for almost 7 years but he has worked in the industry for 20 plus years. We both love what we do and have