You have an excellent, informative newspaper and I like to read it from cover to cover. I was wondering if you could enlarge the driver write-in section. I was hoping you could put your own "Eye on Trucking" section someplace else like page 2 or 3 if you think it's that important.
As a driver I know who the most important people are, it's us drivers — the ones out risking our lives every day [and] the ones who get a little pleasure from sharing our grief in the ‘Letters’ section of The Trucker newspaper.
Management, and all those worthless government agencies don't give a damn about us drivers or our health, safety, home time, equipment, sleep or anything else but only about their own bottom line as they've proved countless times.
If management had their way we'd be trying to haul 75-foot, 150,000-pound trailers around. If the public thinks the roads are bad now, wait till the weight and length limits go up again.
Keep up the good work on the paper, Mr. Finney, and please leave the "Letters" section to the people that actually live this life and read your paper. Remember, management and the federal agencies don't give a damn what the "little people" think.
— Out-of-work trucker,
Steven J. Cantelli
DOT’s LaHood ‘has no grasp’ of economics, reader says
Mr. LaHood has no grasp of what makes an economy work, to label ports "real economic engines." To the extent ports operate efficiently, they reduce shipping costs and make US exports more competitive, absolutely. Ports don't invent or make products that people overseas want, or that stimulate imports to this country. This is not to demean port operations or ancillary businesses in any way.
The real economic engine, about which the Obama administration is in denial, is the private sector economy of the United States. Without those grubby, greedy businesses that make things or harvest things, ports will have nothing to ship overseas and no one but government employees (and even then, only for a while) will have any money to buy anything that is coming in through the ports.
LaHood was wise to run from reporters at the conclusion of his speech, his best move of the day.
Trucker says regulate freight prices, don’t let foreign trucks cross the border
The first thing that needs to be done in trucking is to regulate trucking wages — yes, prevailing wages.
The second thing is to regulate freight prices and the third is to tell Obama that we need jobs in the U.S. and not to let the Mexican trucks or Canadian trucks over across the borders or just on a partnership at export yards at the border. And the fourth thing will be pretty easy now that everyone is happy. You can make all the rules you want.
Keep the trucker in mind [as far as] layover time, waiting time etc., [and with] prevailing wages and freight that pays all the same for the companies.
Also, regulate fuel prices for big rigs; this would be nice so we don’t have to chase a fuel stop to save a few pennies. For our companies this would be a great start.
I also believe that letting Mexican trucks and Canadian trucks in our borders is a disaster waiting to happen. Just remember 911: we still have not learned.
— Todd Delaney,
St. George, Utah
Traffic ‘accommodator’ comments on unsafe, inattentive drivers
This past summer I had the experience of being a traffic accommodator, which is a person who looks after signage, flag persons and traffic control on road construction sites. It was a job that opens your eyes to how inattentive, stupid and just plain don't-give-a-d**n attitudes are out there by not the professional drivers but by joe public.
You have to understand that these flag people are out there working in some pretty brutal weather conditions which includes bugs, rain, heat, wind and cold. All the weather that the ordinary person takes for granted these people are working in to make the work site safe for you, the driving public and for fellow workers because they don't want someone getting in trouble or someone getting hurt or killed because you the driver didn't pay attention to the signage or the flag person.
We has several instances where people are just plain ignorant and I’ll list just a few incidents:
• When we had stop-and-go traffic on a single lane highway we once had a big truck break down in the lineup and seeing as how all stopped traffic was parked on the shoulder this was fine but I had to direct traffic around the unit (he was back about 300 yards from the flagger), and the 60-kph signs were 150 yards ahead of the truck. As I was directing traffic a lady who was late for work sped past me doing likely close to 100 mph before laying on the brakes to get stopped by the flagger. I radioed ahead to inform the flagger about the driver’s actions and the driver’s response was that I took my job too seriously. My response was to ask her if she wanted to put her life on the line because of stupid drivers and the answer was no.
• One day on a beautiful sunny day on a two-lane highway out on the level prairie one of my flag people had a car stopped and called me for assistance to explain something to a driver. This driver was an older gentleman (I'll say about 60) with his grandson of about 12 in the front seat. Upon entering the construction zone this driver was busy texting and not paying attention and as he got closer to the flagger she heard the grandson hollering "stop grandpa stop the car" and as he screeched to a halt he had a real surprised look like what the hell is a construction zone doing out here? I explained the consequences of speeding in a construction zone, the dangers that workers go through and that he could be charged and the one that hit home, what kind of example of a driver have you just showed your grandson? He whole heartedly agreed that it was poor example and that he would not text while driving again because it scared the hell out of him
• This was a professional driver who really should of known better: we were on a busted divided highway where the right hand lane was closed and traffic was being directed onto the left-hand lane with a 60 kph limit. Understand that the signs warning you and telling you what is happening start 750 meters in front of the work site, which is a long distance to get slowed down. Anyway this guy was talking on the cell phone not paying attention and went by our flag person doing close to 90 kph because he finally realized what was happening, he hammered the brakes and in doing so he almost lost contro