Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Qualified driver training is answer, trucker says

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Send comments to editor@thetrucker.com
Send comments to editor@thetrucker.com

The feds have paid excessive amounts of money to train new drivers.

Unfortunately, the feds never followed up on the type of training these new drivers have received. I have sat in truck stops only to see instructors (with as little as three months over-the-road experience) trying to teach another new driver to back into a parking space. The very next morning the instructor behind the wheel drug his trailer across the hood of a Peterson trying to leave the truck stop. …

Proper qualified training is the answer. I'm tired of the no child left behind act in the driving schools: no one fails the course. A lot of new drivers shouldn't even be out here.

The guy I work for can't afford to pay me with the price of over-size freight now; how low will the wages go if he has to purchase all of this electronic equipment? Or is this a new method of trying to get the Mexican trucker up here? And what the hell does a senator from New Jersey really know about the real life of trucking?

How many miles does he have under his belt?  Old lawyers end up making laws, something they have been doing their whole life. Retired truckers should be in the picture when it comes to transportation laws, not Swift, Warner, Mr. England, Prime or Hunt.

— Tim Z.

Look at the 4-wheelers in texting issue, o-o asserts

Hi, Barb, my name is Mike Belli. I am an owner-operator who transports tanker loads of propane for a living.

First, don't be alarmed I am not driving. I am parked at a truck stop in Disputanta, Va.

I read your article, “People shouldn’t have to be told not to text and drive,” [Lighter Load, Feb. 15-28] regarding texting while driving and I completely agree that texting behind the wheel is not good for anyone. Now I do use my cell phone but it is linked to a headset which I wear. It allows me to stay in touch with my company regarding changes in delivery and so on. I do not have my phone glued to one ear or the other as I see many people do. My headset is not a distraction, it allows my head the ability to rotate and keep an eye on things around me.

You did mention something in your article that caught my eye. Regarding texting you said: "how are you going to see those four-wheelers darting around your truck if you aren't watching closely?” Ms. Kampbell that's the problem. The federal government only wants to focus on truck safety and it should look at safety for everyone not just one group of people. Studies have proven that 80 percent of all car/truck fatalities are caused by the operator of the car/pickup. The focus still remains on truck safety. I will make this pledge to any one of our lawmakers: if they would like strap on a passenger seat I will show them what driving in fear is really like. There is so much more I would like to say but I'm tired of texting. It's not something I like or do well.

— Mike Belli,


Who in ‘right mind’ sleeps 10 hours a day, trucker asks

Today is Feb. 23 I am reading The Trucker newspaper.  I have a few things to say.

First I have been driving for about five years but the only time I find out about some meeting that has to do with the way we truckers make money is through The Trucker and then it is held some place where we truckers can't get to.

What is it — they don't want us to attend or what? Then to have one in Davenport, Iowa, that’s a joke.

Second, the only way we as truckers can make money at this is run like hell.  With high fuel and low rates it is hard to make any profit.  I, myself, I drive eight to nine hours a day and that is by choice and I get my rest on.

Last but not least who in their right mind sleeps 10 hours a day?

If you work a regular job you might get seven to six hours.  

— Christopher Long

Ultimate safety responsibility falls on company, not driver, trucker writes

Hi there. I am a truck driver and have been driving OTR since 1995 and just started to read The Trucker newspaper and hope you can print this in your letters.

On this Hours of Service I keep hearing how it is the driver’s fault that he or she is driving tired but I just want to know why doesn't anyone start to look at the companies out there who only think about the almighty dollar?

I work for a major truck company based out of Phoenix and no it is not Swift. Been working for them since 1996 and have seen how they have changed through the years and the bigger the company is getting, the worse they treat their drivers.

But back to the point I want to make, like I said, everyone blames the driver when it is the company policy that they are following. They keep saying the HOS is not working because the drivers are always driving tired [but] they do not look at the company. With the company that I work for, the policy is that we are not allowed to idle the truck; we are not allowed to have 10 percent idle time on our truck and if we go over the 10 percent the first thing that happens is that they turn the truck down 2 mph and the second thing that happens is that you don't get a raise and the third thing is that you loose your safety bonus.

We are based out of Phoenix and in the summer the temperature gets over 100 degrees and they expect the driver to sleep in that heat and get enough rest to drive the next shift and everyone knows you can't get any rest when it gets that hot. In the winter it gets so cold in the trucks you can't sleep because of the cold [but] the company worries about their trucks more than their drivers. They say if it gets around 20 degrees to go ahead and idle the truck so the fuel don't freeze.

It is not just the trucking companies that force the drivers to sleep in these conditions it is the states as well. For example, Phoenix is in Maricopa County and they will not let you idle your truck for more than five minutes or get a fine of $100 to $300.

Everyone out there keeps saying that big brother is watching but you other drivers must realize they have been watching us ever since they installed the Qualcomm in the trucks. It can tell the company how you drive your truck. They know when you speed; if you slip out of gear and coast down the hill they know everything you do in that truck so why get upset if they put a camera in the truck? If you don't want them to see you just put tape on the lens.

Now that the company I work for is going to electronic logs they even can tell when you stop and where you are all the time. Man, trucking is great, huh?

— Thank you,

Curtis G.