I drove in Europe for 15 years before coming here in 1995. I came from a region in which the European Union changed from logbooks to tachographs. Now that was a system from hell. Zero flexibility and zero tolerance for being more than three minutes in violation. The fines were 10 times that for a four-wheeler offense.
The “DOT” in Europe uses stereoscopic magnifying glasses to read your “tachos” and make sure all the lines match. If they don’t – which means you may have moved 150 yards – it can result in a trial, not just by mail or three minutes with a judge like it is here. Some minor charges have custodial sentences as optional. Yup. Jail time.
No joking matter
I was recently on a cross-country haul to New York. My wife and I were enjoying the trip when we witnessed an accident involving a big rig. I immediately stopped to see if I could help. I ran to the rig while on the phone with 911 relaying information about the condition of the people involved.
The driver of the truck was unconscious when I got to him. I finally roused him and started asking questions. He was almost completely incoherent. I stayed with him till paramedics and fire arrived. He was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
What I am writing about is the fact that not one other big rig driver on the very busy highway stopped to see if any help was needed. As a matter of fact, my wife told me when I got back to the truck that most of them driving by were making jokes about the situation on the CB.
I am disgusted by that.
What if it were you in that truck? Something to think about.
Tinted windows could be a target
I am a life member of OOIDA. I read with interest the story about Bill McElligott (trucker with skin condition) as I am now a retired trucker with 48.5 years behind the wheel plus 1.5 years as a school bus driver, totaling 50 years. The suggestion about a tinted window sounds great, but would be a target for an overzealous inspection officer. Keep the Land Line reports coming as I like to keep up with the latest.
Editor’s note: George, some window tint is allowed. Check out regulation 393.60. As long as 70 percent of the ambient light can pass through the tint, you’re good.
Carte blanche to harass drivers
(With EOBRs) carriers will have carte blanche to harass drivers the second their off-duty time is up! We all know this is happening whether for training seminars or so a dispatcher can get a bonus because the load is early or on time. So from an office standpoint efficiency is improved while in reality driver rest and safety is compromised.
Government mandates are not the answer to safety! Driver training and experience are the ONLY way to improve.
Quit preaching to the choir
I have retired after more than 40 years as an owner-operator. For years, your OOIDA magazine and others have tried to tell the drivers and owner-operators to band together so their voice can be heard.
Take it from what we all used to call an “Old Hand,” it’s time to get off your dead behinds, out of that rig, off the CB and get together and let your voice be heard. That doesn’t mean sitting in your local truck stop and bitching about what are going on. The only ones that hear that mess are the waitresses and other truckers that either share your point of view or could care less.
With this being an election year, now is the time to get our voice out in front of Congress and let them know if they don’t listen we have the power to vote them out of office.