August/September 2008 Letters

You tell them, Paul Looman
Wow! Tell it like it is, Mr. “Naked and Hungry” Paul Looman. Yeah, what he said! Just when it seems no one is listening, let alone cares, here comes a knight from the road who knows how to make a difference by knowing when, where and to whom to speak his mind. Thank you, Mr. Looman, from your fellow truckers.

Bill Boyd
Mount Pleasant, SC

Vote out the fossils and drill for fossil fuel
The letter from James Goodwin of Vancouver, WA, in the June issue of Land Line was right on the money. We need to go after the politicians and environmentalists. These jerks are strangling our country by not allowing refineries to be built and not pumping our own oil. We will not solve anything protesting in Washington, DC.

We need to vote out the rich fossils that run this country and get a younger generation in there. These old millionaires don’t have a clue how the average person struggles.

I’ve been in this business 32 years and have seen a lot of changes for the worse.

Bruce Terry
Molalla, OR

Where was CARB? 
I attended the Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas – lots of beautiful equipment on display.

The most interesting booth, however, was the “California Air Resources Board” display. Conspicuous in that no one was there. Because the company that I work for is based in California and the clean air rules are changing, I was looking forward to speaking with a CARB representative. Other attendees were interested in speaking with CARB reps to get some clarification on the new rules.

Apparently, CARB paid for a booth and then decided not to attend. Sure would like to know their reasoning.

Mark Duffel
Bakersfield, CA

Firefighters can’t do jobs if engines are shut off 
I’m replying to Dennis Johnson’s letter in the June issue of Land Line: 

The emergency lights of rescue vehicles and fire trucks place a huge load on the electrical system. The engine must run to recharge the batteries. Those lights serve as a warning to oncoming traffic.

Our rescue truck has a hydraulic generator that supplies power to scene lights and to the hydraulic pump that powers the extrication equipment. The engine also has to be running for the fire pump to work.

I’ve lived in Pennsylvania all my life and have been a trucker for almost 33 years. I’m a life member of OOIDA. I’m damn proud of being a volunteer firefighter for almost 39 years.

Charlie Wall
Curwensville, PA

A detector in every truck 
Every driver should have a carbon monoxide/smoke detector. Lowe’s and Home Depot sell good combo units for about $35. Mount it with Velcro and change the batteries at clock turn-back time, just like in your house. First time a weed burner car hauler with bad injectors parks next to you, you will get a wakeup call and not from the coroner.

David Sweetman
Tallahassee, FL

Arizona cites laptops to generate bucks 
I agree about police and DOT having open laptops in their cars. I have noticed more states pulling up old laws to suck more money from the trucking industry. I am beginning to feel as if the trucking industry is the redheaded stepchild.

Carol Edwards
Siloam Springs, AR

Laptops strictly for business 
What about all these four-wheelers? I use my laptop to try to stay in business, fuel price updates, weather conditions, load alerts. I do not use it to watch a movie while I’m talking on my cell phone and driving.

Gary Wiggins
Cleveland, TX

No need to look at laptop with good preplan 
Drivers need to get back to basics by doing a good preplan and not looking at a laptop when they should be paying attention to the road and those around them.

Michael Schneider
Kingston, OK

San Simon Station in Arizona 
(Regarding the laptop citation) at the San Simon check station, the people who work there have been writing their own rules for years.

Debbie Taylor
Collinsville, AL

Radar detectors could save lives 
I just read about the driver who was sentenced for the deaths he caused when he rear-ended a car stopped behind a school bus in Florida.

There are radar detectors available that will warn of a school bus, construction work, mail carriers, sanitation trucks, police, ambulance, fire trucks and about 100 more examples. The detector picks up transmitters used in work zones and on these vehicles and tells the driver what is ahead. This technology could alert a sleepy or inattentive driver.

Beltronics, Cobra, Uniden and other manufacturers have had little success getting the Department of Transportation and states to adopt the use of these devices. Speeding tickets seem to be more needful.

Rather than outlaw radar detectors maybe we should update the technology. Commercial vehicles should be equipped with these life-saving devices. Maybe OOIDA and safety directors of trucking firms could bring this to the forefront of NHTSA’s attention.

Dan Foshee
Grant, AL

Remote vehicle shutoffs: avoiding pileups 
I read “A screeching halt” by Charlie Morasch in the May issue of Land Line. I do see the safety concerns in using a remote vehicle shutoff, but I might know of a remedy for pileups.

For a pursuit on a highway with three lanes of traffic going one way for instance, six squad cars are needed. Position two squad cars in each lane behind the fleeing suspect. The front line stays with the suspect while the second line slows down, as does all traffic behind them. Then the first row can flip the switch on the remote shutoff.

Joseph “Batman” Hodges
England, AR

Law enforcement idlers waste fuel, too 
I’d like to know why states that pass anti-idling laws for trucks in the name of clean air let the state and local police idle their cars for hours at a time. The police should have to shut the cars off after five minutes. They are polluting the air and costing taxpayers money in fuel cost. Isn’t a law a law?

Jim Kirkum
Veguita, NM

John and Jane Q. Public owe thanks to truckers 
I read Land Line because my husband is a trucker, and I enjoy the magazine. I wish John and Jane Q. Public could read what truckers have to say.

When I talk to non-trucking friends about fuel and America rolling on 18 wheels, I’m amazed. They think about how much gas it took to go somewhere, but they are not thinking about how the stuff they buy gets to them. Everything comes by truck. Why can’t they see that?

Cara Giaquinto
Prescott Valley, AZ

Knights of the road no more 
I read with great interest Dave Sweetman’s column in the June issue of Land Line about truckers from the old school. 

Back in the day, as my young son says, truckers respected and watched out for each other. We were thought of as the knights of the road. 

Today, it’s rare to see a set of lights flashed back as thanks if you click on your lights to help someone pass.

Seems as if after 9/11 everybody is looking to protect themselves, not to do anything for our nation – much less our industry.

OOIDA does a great job working to improve typical image problems, legislative matters and so on. We should get respect from the public – which includes those we vote for.

Patrick Montgomery
Pocatello, ID

Biodiesel no solution to rising fuel prices 
I understood that biodiesel was developed and produced to help with the crunch at the diesel pumps.

I began using biodiesel when diesel prices began to skyrocket a few months ago. To my surprise biodiesel producers are just as bad as diesel producers. Biodiesel prices continue to climb as diesel prices go up. How can we stop the nonsense of today’s fuel cost when biodiesel producers are not willing to level their prices to force diesel producers to stop their abusive tactics of supply and demand.

I believe that truck drivers are not motivated to use biodiesel because the price continues to climb parallel to diesel.

Orestes Guas
Miami, FL

More thanks from the troops 
Thank you so much for the letter and the package that I received from your organization. It is so kind of your Association to show your support for the troops over here.

I have shared the items with my whole team, and they all say thank you as well. Please pass around to your members that the troops are all behind them and wish them the best.

SSG James Baldwin

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