More August 2004 Letters

Jakes aren’t any louder than planes and trains
I would like to see Land Line sponsor a contest to find the dumbest Jake brake bans in the world.

For instance, in Fairview, OR, which sits directly under the approach and departure path for the Portland airport. All aircraft must pass over it as both of Portland's runways travel east and west – the only change in direction is whether or not the wind is blowing from the east or the west. Constant air traffic and they have a ban on Jakes.

And all of the little towns along U.S. Highways 54 and 56 prominently feature signs banning Jakes. The fact that the main line of the Burlington Northern – Santa Fe Railroad runs through them and that a freight train with its horn sounding passes through at least once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year apparently does not interfere with their ability to be disturbed by Jake brakes.

I'd love to see some of the other examples of the lunacy that is out there.

Douglas M. "Lumpy" Fabish
Eugene, Oregon

Another case of ‘truckism’
This month the state of Florida has enacted a gas tax cut of 8 cents per gallon. The intention was to get visitors and residents to do more driving during the month of August. The tax break also includes the maritime industry as well. The Sunshine State opted to exclude diesel from the tax cut. Why? I have attempted to have the “logic” behind this explained, but have been unsuccessful thus far. No reasonable explanation has been found.

It is yet another form of “truckism.” This country and those elected to run it have found yet another way to penalize those that keep every other industry up and running. At what point will people realize that this country and everything about it runs on 18 wheels?

I'll tell you when, when we as trucking professionals put the brakes on and bring it all to a screeching, grinding halt.

Robyn Scott
Orlando, FL

File of Life could save your life
I have just completed reading your article “How well are you prepared for an accident?” in the July issue of Land Line. It’s well over due. However, I feel you left out an important tip. I carry a “File of Life” in and old pill bottle in my glove compartment. On my side windows I have a notices that say: Glove Compartment File Of Life.

Emergency workers need help when they arrive at an accident scene and they know what the File of Life means and will search for it when there is a notice. The information in it is important and must be keep up dated.

The information should include your name and address, emergency contacts, medical problems, allergies, medications and dosage, insurance information, copies of living wills and any other information that doctors and hospitals need to safely treat you.

Little things are so important. The File of Life program has been used for a long time in homes. A File of Life decal near the main entryway alerts EMS workers to look for the information on your refrigerator.

How well are you preparer for an accident? I pray I am, but I do believe that the File of Life information is and important part of it.

Allen M. Clifford
Fort Walton Beach, FL

Favorite DC sidetrips 
I've been enjoying the “Layovers and Sidetrips” articles in Land Line. The installment in the July issue included the Washington Monument. I have several sidetrip favorites in Washington, DC, and thought other drivers might be interested.

I've been doing the "Snapple Shuffle" between Baltimore and NYC for most of the last two months, and, with the weekends off, I made the most of the opportunity to explore DC. Land Line mentioned the TA truck stop off I-75 at Exit 57 in Baltimore as a possible drop spot for trailers. There is a closer TA at Exit 41A off I-95 at Jessup, MD. I would recommend using the Metro train station at Exit 24, Greenbelt, MD, as Land Line suggested. It's a huge lot, mostly empty and parking is free on weekends. It's only $4.70 roundtrip to the L'Enfant Station for the National Mall and Smithsonian. Getting around DC, even in a bobtail is hard work and parking is tough to find, even on the weekends. In addition we are not allowed on I-66 inside the I-495 Beltway or on parkways.

I visited the new World War II Memorial with my dad (a veteran of the North Africa, Italy and the European theaters) shortly after it opened and it was a wonderful experience. It was like Woodstock for all those old vets, no one was a stranger and they were all smiling and talking to one another.

The Smithsonian Institution's collection of museums is stellar. There is a new National Air and Space facility in Chantilly, VA, that is spectacular. It's at least three football fields long and 10 stories tall. It has the completely restored Enola Gay, the shuttle Enterprise, a Concorde, and hundreds of other planes and artifacts. The 1 1/2 hour tour is free and an excellent way to start the visit. Shuttle buses run between there and the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall. A National Museum of the American Indian is scheduled to open around the end of September on the Mall.

In addition, most of the monuments can be viewed in the evenings and at night, when it's not as crowded and cooler. The new FDR Memorial is excellent and I've always thought that the Lincoln Memorial was more dramatic at night. Just don't miss the last train, it's a long cab ride back to the parking lot.

Paul Todorovich
Myrtle Beach, SC

Dear Gov. Blagojevich, please say no to veto
In view of the fact that the majority of accidents nationwide between Class 8 truck/trailer combinations and passenger vehicles involve the passenger vehicle striking the trailer from the rear, a law which increases the speed differential between these types of vehicle has a negative effect on safety.

As a truck driver placed at risk by the imposition of split speed limits in your state, I strongly urge you not to veto SB2374 which would eliminate this unsafe law.

Raphael Warshaw
Claremont, CA

Vote out self-serving government
Election season is around the corner. High up in the mountainous political landscape we can find a very serious deliverance problem. Self-serving government is ignorant and shameful, as are those political parties that front for the financial banking cartels that lord it over us thru bankruptcy and emergency rules.

Gerald Lee Stull
Huntingdon, PA

Gov. Blagojevich, please say no to split speeds
In view of the fact that approximately 70-percent of accidents nation-wide between Class 8 trucks and passenger vehicles involve the passenger vehicle striking the semi from the rear, a law which increases the speed differential between these types of vehicles will have a negative effect on safety.

As a truck driver placed at risk by the imposition of split speed limits in your state, I strongly urge you not to veto SB2374, which would eliminate this unsafe law

Raphael Warshaw
Claremont, CA

Don’t just complain about it – say no to cheap freight
I am an owner-operator and I have my own authority. I’ve been trucking for 45 years. There is a lot of talk about high fuel prices, but what about everything else? Everything in trucking is high priced. Let’s step up and do something about this. Say no to cheap freight and say no to lumpers.

Jackie M. Nance
Chadbourn, NC

For some, selling the truck is not an option
This letter is in response to the story on page 27 in the June issue, “Big ‘mo’ gathering as truckers protest nationally.” I thought it was a laugh when Sandy Tyson said she would sell her truck. At least she has that option.

I own a ’93 Pete. It’s paid for and I’ve kept it in perfect running condition. Having done so I have amassed quite a collection of credit debt. I too was to the point of selling my truck. Too frustrated to try and stay afloat any more, I had sold it for $22,000 a fair price I thought in this used truck market. Then I talked to my tax lady and she told me I’d have to give the IRS $10,000 well, $12,000 won’t pay off my debt. Looks like I’m still going to have to struggle blood, sweat and tears.

Juli Swingen
Washington state

President shouldn’t allow illegals in
I enjoy reading Land Line. My husband and I are both truckers. I was mad as hell when I read about the Mexicans being allowed to drive over here in our country. I personally think all of us truckers should get together and fight this, as they will take that loads, as they will do it a lot cheaper.

The president of our United States us the one allowing the illegals to come into our country. That is the person we need to remove. I live in Texas and all this state is getting to be is part of Mexico. Our schools suffer because they have to teach them English. What is the United States coming to? They need to stay in their country. I know this is not the only state that has the problems. I hope we can all get together and fight this.

Betty Underwood
Kermit, TX

DAC attack – how can I defend myself?
I've read and studied your May ’04 article regarding the fiasco surrounding USIS / DAC reports. I began with driver training school in January this year and went to work for one of the largest carriers in February.

I have an advanced education and have been involved mostly in education. I came to driving as a second “career” – primarily because the industry seemed to be open to training and hiring without invoking the pervasive age discrimination thing. My experience with company training was sub-standard by any education norms. In-cab driver trainers could drive well enough, but had no concept of adequate communication – much less effective training technique and demeanor.

I underwent a terribly abusive and harassing training period at the hands of not one but three trainers. These were men who knew their trucking, but were ignorant at best about training. I also experienced physical assault at a company terminal. During all this I had three accidents all classified as minor. That took care of company policy and I was terminated.

There is no doubt that I've been DAC’ed. I've tried numerous times to drive again with a wide range and size of outfits and the answer is invariably no – either because I don't have enough road time or, perhaps, because I've been DAC’ed. Companies aren't about to volunteer this information. I've noted your mention of FMCSA rule of April 29 this year and plan to take a couple of outfits to task over revelation of any DAC / USIS record they may have accessed about me. My action road may continue from there.

However, I need a good Web address for the FMCSA. I've tried a few configurations but can't get it to go. I'd like to access the regulation itself to find correct chapter and section, etc.

William McDannold
Chaska, MN

Editor’s note: The FMCSA Web address is www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Be respectful and you will be respected
I believe that us truckers should do more to help our image. People complain all the time about fuel, parking spots, tolls, and government issues. I would like to say to all the drivers who complain and never do anything about it, get off your butts and do something. It’s up to us to turn our image around and gain our respect back.

Everybody should be a member of OOIDA, or a Trucker Buddy, and possibly get involved with the World’s Largest Truck Convoy if you’re able. Contact your companies about what programs they have to offer and how you can get involved. I am a company driver whose company won’t let me join the convoy. Us company drivers and leased drivers who’s company’s won’t let us get involved need to explain to them that these programs are the best way to rebuild our image and our companies’ images.

We also need to drive like professionals not someone who has no clue how to drive. That means use your turn signal when changing lanes even if there is no one around. Too many times you see drivers only using signals when coming over in front of another truck, but when a four-wheeler is around, they drive like idiots. Walk the extra five feet to the garbage can or the extra fifty yards to the restroom, don’t use the parking lot.

I understand that we all make mistakes. But we need to improve everyday on these things. We need to clean up the way we look when we get out of our trucks. Take a shower and wear clean clothes, don’t look like you just climbed out of a pig pin. I’m not saying go out and cut your hair and shave off your beards, but make yourself look presentable. The few bad apples are spoiling and running our image.

If this letter has struck a nerve, then maybe you need to look at yourself in the mirror and see what you can do for your industry. I’m not perfect by any means and I too make mistakes, the key is to learn from mistakes and work on the mistakes. Giving a thumbs up and ’atta boy to someone who does a good job isn’t the answer. We have to change our image in the public’s eyes, not our own. Remember run complaint and call your government officials and let them know where you stand.

Brian Calhoun
Grayslake, IL

Tankersley: A special person who will be missed
I just visited my wife Tonya Hudkins McCartor yesterday at T.P.W. in Nashville. She read in your July issue that Rene Tankersley died June 9. I hadn't seen the issue yet. My wife and I would like to send our sincere condolences to Rene’s family for their loss. It was a great loss to me and my wife as well. Rene took a great interest in my wife's story. She kept in contact through a bible study with my wife, which we are so grateful for. My wife will miss Rene’s support greatly. I will miss a good friend. I only met her once in person, but was touched by her grace and warmth. I to will grieve over her passing.

Daryl McCartor
Columbus, OH

Editor’s note: Land Line readers may recall the story of the McCartors, which Rene Tankersly wrote about in the March/April 2003 issue. Unbeknownst to Daryl, his wife was on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List in relation to a crime spree of a former acquaintance that resulted in murder. The story can be found on the Land Line Web site at www.landlinemag.com/Archives/2003/MarApr03/Features/worst_nightmare.html.

Got a problem? Look in the mirror
We are at times considered or at least called professional drivers. When is the last time one of you contacted a professional doctor or lawyer or plumber or electrician or other contractor and had them compute their cost of business to one-tenth of a dollar – much less to one-tenth of a cent-in – determining the rate to charge?

Are we really professionals or are we just plain stupid? Do they have any more invested in their business than you do in yours?

My truck is currently parked and has been for some time. This is the second time I’ve parked it. I recently had a neighbor ask if I’d be interested in pulling end dump – several companies in need of trucks to haul large amounts of gravel from his pit. I said I’d consider it if the money was right. Apparently they all knew what my comment meant was because I’ve never received a call – not that I expected one.

For those of you who just don’t get it, as long as cheap freight moves, there will be cheap freight.

Not all of the freight going down the road and thought to be cheap is cheap. In many cases, the money stays with the broker or originating truck firm. But the answer is still the same – as long as it moves, nothing will change.

I’ve had people want me to haul more weight than I legally could, and the load not paying too well to start with. I’d tell them they could either take off enough to make it legal or take it all off. I don’t remember a time I was unloaded and left empty in such a situation.

If you really want to know where the problem is, as long as you haul cheap freight, you only need to look in the mirror.

When the compensation comes back into line with the value of the work I do, including the responsibility and B.S. that goes with the job, I’ll do it again. Until then, I’ll enjoy sleeping in my own bed every night and eating decent food without it costing me a small fortune. I value the service I provide more than to give it away to ingrates.

Joslyn Wurst
Oceola, WI

Disabled driver still has hope
My wife and I were hit by a drunk driver – I have had five back surgeries and now have a spinal cord stimulato. I am waiting to get well and drive again but am told I may never be able to again. My wife had to have a total knee replacement and now has a rod in her arm.

Land Line helps us keep the dream alive and makes us feel we are still out there. We do love your magazine. Anyone have any ideas about what happens to a trucker that has been disabled?

Loyd D. Underwood
Kermit, TX

Editor’s note: Disabled drivers are invited to respond to the Underwoods. Send your letters to Coral Beach at Land Line Magazine, PO Box 1000, Grain Valley, MO 64029, or email us at Coral_Beach@landlinemag.com. We will forward your letters to Loyd.

We just can’t work for free
I just finished reading your story on “I refuse to work for free” and I too have something to say. We feel the same as Mr. Telles. We are the same as him, a one-man, owner-operator, family business.

My husband has been in the trucking industry for more than 30 years. He has driven for several companies hauling household goods, groceries, sand, gravel and Christmas trees. In all the years he has not seen anything like this and he has seen a lot with this industry. The ups and downs, the highs and lows, but nothing like what we have seen since the first of 2004.

We decided to get our own authority several years ago and have held our own, and have enjoyed the trucking business. Now we are at the same place as Mr. Telles. With the rates the way they are going with the brokers keeping the extras for themselves, including the fuel surcharge. The rates are still not enough; the fuel is out of control. We are all going to have no choice but to park our trucks. Then try to work for someone else.

What has that solved? Nothing.

We are trying to hang in there, but we too cannot work for free. We will be doing the same as Mr. Telles – no choice but to pull our truck off the road.

We live in a small trucking community, with lots of drivers that are owner-operators. They are all saying the same thing, what else can we do? Some of these families have several generations of trucking behind them. The ones that are working for cheap rates are very foolish. They are showing a lack of sense. They are driving themselves and others out of a job. They too will have to stop running their trucks as they will go broke.

The only way things will get better is the rates have to come up, and the fuel has to go way down. We cannot work for free. Say no to cheap freight.

J.D. Cushman
Bobl, ID

A little common sense could save us all
I have not been bothered about the Jake brake on my truck yet, but I don't run my brake all the time and I all ways shut it off in any town that I go into. I know that some truckers do not do that and that is why we are having troubles with towns and other places that do not want trucks to use their engine brakes.

I believe that the truckers who are OOIDA members have common sense to shut the engine brake off in a town. It is the other truckers that don't care about trucking and the industry and the ones that don't read any trucking magazines or are not conected with OOIDA that cause the problems.

I think that all of us should report bad drivers and also report trucks without mufflers. That is the problem, those hot shot, know-it-all drivers wreck it for all of us.

Matthew Hoffman
Schnecksville, PA

Proud trucker encourages image building
Every Time I get a Land Line Magazine in the mail, I try to sit down then and there and devour its contents from cover to cover. A lot of good information there – sometimes I learn something and sometimes I find validation in the way I feel about issues that affect my world as an owner-operator. A couple of thoughts:

I recently completed a trip to central Kansas from upstate New York to attend a family reunion. The route was essentially Interstate 70 west. I had looked in my trucker’s road atlas, but couldn’t find Grain Valley, MO. Imagine my delight at approaching Exit 24 and seeing the new building. I had to stop off and take a picture. It made me feel proud to be part of an organization like OOIDA. I also saw quite a few trucks displaying the OOIDA decals.

My trip took me through a few states with split speed limit. Most were going 65mph to 75 mph and I knew at once why eliminating split speed limits in these states has been a futile effort. How can we expect other parties, outside trucking, to correct a situation we all know is wrong if we don’t first at least comply with the existing law? Is it really pressure from carriers? And unrealistic schedules from shippers, or do we just want to go fast? That leads me to my second point: We, as individuals, cannot just sit back and expect someone else to correct all our problems if we don’t first put our own house in order. What I am talking about is:

  • Driving the speed limit

  • Actually doing a good pre-trip inspection

  • Logging completely accurate and legal

  • Turning down freight we know won’t make us a profit

There is little doubt doing the above will, in the short term, mean some pain and suffering. But consider the long-term benefit; of a more secure future for all of us and the restoration of the respect due us as professionals.

Thanks for listening and more importantly, for being there for us.

Anderson E. Smith
Westerlo, NY

Hogs and hotrods should have same noise rules as trucks
I am a member of OOIDA and have been following Land Line for the last two years. I have been following all the topics with sincere concern for my livelihood and passion. I love nothing more than driving trucks.

One topic really rubs me the wrong way, widespread engine brake bans and legislating of mufflers. Granted, a good deal of our problems as drivers come from many of our brethren not knowing when to cut off the engine brake and exercise a little courtesy and respect for those around them.

With the over whelming noise ordinances going into action and legislating of mufflers on big trucks, lawmakers are obviously targeting the trucking industry. An equal if not a greater contributor of noise are motorcycles such as Harley Davidsons with their signature sound and trademark and the custom choppers with louder pipes. Many of these owners that are purchasing these loud motorcycles are politicians, businessmen, and upper class folk, the very same people who are pushing these noise ordinances and the following muffler legislation. What kind of hypocrisy are we allowing to happen to ourselves as drivers?

I am not advocating loud straight pipes on big trucks but only equality across the board. I would think in a town with some noise ordinance that you would never see a Harley or similar motorcycle. Or that’s the way it should be. You can’t use your engine brake but I can ride my loud motorcycle through town whenever I choose. Wouldn’t most agree that the noise levels are equal or higher for some of these motorcycles than trucks? Let’s stop this madness; let’s stop allowing the rest of the country to continue to strip away our freedoms. Let’s push for some equality in this matter.

Brian DeLoach
Columbia, SC

Keep focus on truckers, not rich people
You wrote about truckers winning the lotteries and other monies but why would you put Jennifer Lopez’s mother in that column? Number one, she has a rich child already so that lady’s pockets were not hurting, she should never of been put in there. Her two grand kids already had it made. Most trucker’s kids have to work and save to go to school or go into the military for four years and come out and then go to school. Next time you write about truckers keep it on the truckers not other people or rich people, who don’t need the money.

Kelvin Torrence
Hermatiage, PA

Will trucker boycott his home state?
I usually don’t write about articles or letters I have read in magazines, but the letter from Mr. Appleby in the August/September issue of Land Line stuck me as funny. Mr. Appleby says we need to start boycotting states that raise fees or tolls on trucks by not picking up, delivering to, or purchasing any goods or services within that state. Does that mean he is moving out of the state of Pennsylvania? After all, they raised their toll rates on the turnpike 40 percent at the beginning of August and the price of fuel isn’t that cheap in the state either.

William Smith
Clarksville, IN

It is time to quit being stupid
I am tired of hearing drivers cry about the high price of fuel. They also constantly complain about the rates being the same for the last 20 years, and how they need to go up. Well, tell me my friend, what was the price of crude oil in 1984, and what was it in 1998?

Seems the oil industry was in the same boat as the trucking industry. So they finally got the nerve to raise their rates. The same thing you complain about not being able to do. Well get some nerve and raise your rates. If you can’t, then get rid of the truck and go do something different that will be profitable. You claim to be business people. Well, most business people don’t stay with something if it is not profitable.

Trucking is a job. It is time to remember that. Too many people for too many years have treated this job as a lifestyle. This has allowed a few to take advantage of the many. The days of the cowboy are long gone It is high time we started looking beyond the truck and realize we work to live, we don’t live to work.

Tim Miller
Surprise, AZ

Listen up – if you can
I started driving in 1974. I loved to drive with the windows down listening to the growl of the engine through the straight stacks and the loud bark of the engine brake. Off work I would attend drag racing and the thunder of the top fuel cars made your ears ring for a day or so afterwards.

Several years ago the ringing (medical name tinnitus) started getting louder and was real noticeable at night when it was supposed to be quiet. Then my family started to notice that I had to have the TV blaring to hear it and I was constantly saying “What? Huh? Would you repeat that?” Normal conversations on the phone were beginning to be a real live hell for me, I could hear the words but couldn't understand them.

Now, at 47, I wear hearing aids and still cannot hear conversations in noisy environments. I hope this will change some minds about running trucks with straight stacks, even though I prefer the look I will keep the mufflers on my truck from now on. If you work in a noisy area use earplugs. Trust me, the few funny looks you get for being a sissy are better than the constant ring and hiss, (as I sit here I hear a ring in my left ear a hiss in the right and a stereo ring in both) that I live with 24/7/365.

Pete Lassen
Peoria, AZ

Some drivers are an embarrassment to us all
I am writing in response to a letter written in the May issue of Land Line about trucks parking in mall lots. Well, I travel a lot of back roads going through Ohio into Indiana running west, on Route 20 to be more specific. There was a nice wide spot right on the Ohio/Indiana line under the Indiana toll road overpass.

I used to park there quite often to catch my sleep and one morning when I woke up there, sitting on the ledge of the overpass, was a milk gallon bottle half filled with urine. I looked around there was garbage thrown on the ground. I went through there several weeks later and now they (the state) put gates up so now we can't park there anymore.

Every place we have to park some idiots, or maybe I should use the term that would better describe them lowlifes, ruin it by leaving urine bottles or garbage for some poor worker to clean up. What’s wrong with these people? Do they live this way at home? Do they urinate in bottles at home and throw them on their front lawns for someone to clean up? That’s the reason the malls don't want trucks to park there, and every other place. Just walk through a truck stop parking lot and look at all the garbage and urine bottles thrown in the lot ... It makes me embarrassed to say I'm a truck driver.

Alan Forsyth
Patchogue, NY

He’s a driver, not a dockworker
I have recently expanded my business by adding a reefer trailer. My driver is considerate enough to turn on the unit on hot days for the people unloading the trailer. But, I would like to know how do some dock personnel, we won’t call them workers, get away with telling a driver that he has to pay up to and sometimes over $200 to get unloaded?

Don’t these people get paid by the company whose dock they are on? My driver was at a grocery warehouse in Colorado yesterday. They told him it would take over $200 for them to unload him, plus they had to break the pallets down from 12 to 180. And then to add salt to the wound, it took them eight hours to unload. Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, but isn’t this robbery? Where are the IRS agents? Where are the regulations from the FMCSA or whoever is to monitor this.

You want to talk about driver safety. After $200 and eight hours, I’m sorry, but I think I would be pissed off enough to run over the first person that got in my way leaving that warehouse and others just like it. Is it so hard to just yank those pallets off the trailer and then repalletize them later? Why should the driver pay, money wise and time wise, for these people to do their jobs – the driver did his/hers – and receive what they ordered? My driver isn’t a dockworker, nor is he the dockworkers’ employee. Sorry warehouses, the next time this bull---- happens, your product will be in the nearest mall parking lot being sold. If you don’t want the responsibility to receive product, then don’t order it.

Name withheld

Let’s put the shoe on their foot
In the oilfield, we used “tattle-tails” to justify the time charges for the equipment, and verify HOS, as they were.

Here's a thought, let's put governors on all the cars with a max speed of 80 mph. Sensors would read speed limit signs and cap the vehicle at the prevailing limit. Overriding the system gets the vehicle impounded for six months, a $10,000 fine, 1,000 hours of community service, driver’s license suspended until end of community service.

Put black boxes in cars and program them to shut down to idle when both hands are off the wheel for over 20 seconds. Retina scanners could check for sleeping/impaired driver and a BAT unit wouldn't start the engine if the test was failed. It could automatically signal local law enforcement. Sound like payback time? Naw, just the same moronic BS they are trying to do to us, only with the shoe on their foot.

You can send this to the petty little jerks at AH&AS. We could stop most car/truck incidents by removing anything under 10,000 pounds from the interstate network. They can use their gas tax to build their system, independent of ours, and maintain it themselves

Just my 2 cents worth.

Chuck Shepard
Clifton, CO

Praise for The Silver Fox
Thanks to Pete Rigney, The Silver Fox, for his history of the California Trucking Association’s International Trucking Show (“The Sherrards: A family of vision,” in the July issue of Land Line).

Pete’s column was a good overview of how this special show has evolved and survived, uninterrupted, over many years and through many changes to arrive at its 43rd year this Sept. 25-27 at the Anaheim convention Center.

Joel D. Anderson
Executive vice President/CEO
California Trucking Association
West Sacramento, CA

Driver sends Roses & Razzberries
I would like to send some Roses & Razzberries. Every driver knows there’s a problem with parking, when there is a place to park, some crack-head comes and screws it up for everybody (i.e. pee bottles, trash, etc.)

If some of the crack-headed trashy truckers would worry more about looking clean cut and have less of the “CB-I’ll-kick-your-a--” mentality of a 6-year-old, then we might be able to show Congress what it’s all about here.

As drivers, how are we to get respect when we ourselves hardly have an eighth-grade education, (judging from the actions of some drivers).

But, there are a lot of drivers out here, like myself, who are decent, hardworking and who have a little bit of self respect, people who are trying to stick together and make a change to an industry that has been falling apart since the 1970s. I always keep the inside of my truck clean and swept out, trash is always thrown away (in proper trash cans) and the truck is washed (when its not raining).

I don’t like idling unless it’s so hot outside you’ll croak or it’s so cold you can’t blink because your eyes are froze open. And yes, I’m a company driver.

So, back to the Roses & Razzberries. I don’t really want to say where I’ve found parking, I never once have ever had a problem with asking the people to let me park here over night.

If I reveal where I’m allowed to park, some crack-headed CB Rambo with the mentality of a 2-year-old will find out, come in and trash the place. My Razzberries are for those kinds of so-called truckers.

My Roses go to the drivers who are doing the deal to change the image of trucking in a world gone mad. Tons of Roses to the people of this fine establishment where I’m parked at now. I appreciate these people who have let me park here numerous times with out ever turning me down. I send a bottom-of-my-heart hats off to you. If every place were like this and more drivers were like some of the upper-breed truckers it would be a lot better.

Todd Epperson
Bassett, VA

MY CONDOLENCES RE: Rene T.
First I feel an apology to be in line to all at Land Line because of my belated condolences pertaining to the tragedy that has befallen you concerning you Feature Editor Rene Tankersley. I did not know she had been taken from us.

Recently, while waiting for my truck to be washed at Barstow, CA, I spoke with Leo who is affiliated with OOIDA. I told him of a book I had written that had been featured in Land Line in the December 2003/January 2204 issue, thanks to Rene Tankersley. He informed me of the catastrophe that was dealt. I must add catastrophe, tragedy, misfortune or calamity are all understatements when attempting to describe the loss of this very wonderful lady.

I never met Rene. I had only visited with her many times via the telephone. She was very helpful and encouraged me being so positive. Meeting her was something I had intended to do one day, and now, because of my procrastination the honor of this acquaintance will not be. A word of advice: Don’t put off until tomorrow that which should be done today.

Rene Tankersley was quite inspirational to me and her positive attitude brought about these words, which I hope will become my unsigned signature: “Success is possible only if there is hope and to have hope you must have a dream, so consequently without a dream failure is inevitable.”

To all at Land Line Magazine, and also Rene’s family, I offer my heartfelt condolences.

John Henry Dam
Sidney, NE

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