November 2013 Letters

Carriers and the misuse of technology
I believe the EOBR controversy is not so much about the EOBR as it’s about the way carriers hide behind technology in order to squeeze every last possible mile out of a driver.

My personal experience with this came in the form of how the Qualcomm would set my projected time of availability automatically (PTA) for me, instead of me telling it what my PTA should be, thus making it impossible for me to control my ability to run when I’m at peak alertness or at least minimal fatigue. Complaints to my driver manager fell on deaf ears with the exception of the safety manager’s explanation of “the computer goes on auto-pilot and does that sometimes.”

After accepting the computer on what my PTA should be for the first time, it became a regular occurrence and was so disruptive to me as an inexperienced driver and to the safe operation of my CMV that I left the company. 

I think that technology can be a positive thing in the right hands, but in the wrong hands can be disastrous unless kept in check. I believe the focus of the issue should be – not anti-EOBR necessarily but what can be done to keep carriers in check from misusing technology to harass drivers.

Matthew Scopelite
Lewiston, Idaho

Before laws even become a thought …
I have a few concerns over this sleep apnea industry that is targeting drivers. I am all for good health and I know it is not in our industry as much as other workplaces, but seeing drug companies/medical device manufacturers targeting us for financial gain is not right.

There needs to be more education to the public and lawmakers before these laws even become a thought. CPAP machines are not without risks. I will continue to stand up for our rights, but we need more exposure of our rights that are being taken. As physicians give DOT physicals to determine our health status, they should be the ones who bring awareness and testing if needed under their care.

Thanks for all that you do.

Pete Zimmer
Zimmer Trucking
Las Vegas, Nev.

Proud to be a member
We would like to thank OOIDA for the friendly support while we are going through this process of being new business owners and operators. It can be very stressful, and everyone has been so helpful.

We are a great team, driving together. We have around 130,000 miles each these past 12 months driving in all weather conditions and our number one goal is safety. I’m sure we will make OOIDA proud to have us as members as we are proud to be a part of an organization that looks out for the small-business owner as OOIDA does.

Tom and Lisa Cependa
TLC Team Transport
Cocoa, Fla.

Fighting to earn what we did 30 years ago
I’ve been driving more than 45 years. Drove before that, but when I started driving you had to be 25 years old to come out on the road. I started with Navajo Freight Lines, the “Blue-eyed Indian.” Jim Johnston ought to remember that, and yes I was involved with the strike.

Today’s drivers complain about low wages, no detention time, on and on. But whose fault is it? It’s the drivers in this country who have passively stood by since the strike and gave back everything Nixon gave us.

We had homes, car and truck payments, kids to raise. But we weren’t afraid to stand up as a solid unit of professionals and give the finger to the very government that was squashing us. We risked everything.

Today’s drivers hold the economic heartbeat of this country in the palm of their hands. 

Dave Prince
Birmingham, Ohio

Spot on
Thank you for being here for us truckers. Specifically, you have always answered my questions. The answers you have given have always turned out to be “spot on,” I found. 

Always you have answered me more immediately than I have ever expected, at any point in time. Thank you! 

I have been driving semis for 17 years. Six months involved reefer work. The remainder of my driving time was dry van OTR, until the last six-plus years, as a steel hauler from Chicago to Toronto.

Rich Waslowicz
Woodhaven, Mich.