Editor’s page

Black boxes. Few editorials from the pen of Jim Johnston have prompted as many responses as the OOIDA president's criticism of Freightliner's embrace of black boxes. In mid-December, Jim received a four-page letter from Freightliner CEO Jim Hebe defending the company's decision to install black boxes as standard equipment in their trucks. Hebe asked us not to print his letter unless we printed it in its entirety, so Jim Johnston selected a few issues to address in his regular column. Those of you who are online and want to read the whole letter, go

Trucking has its own administration. The brand new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is no longer a concept, but a real live operating entity. The FMCSA is officially a part of the US DOT responsible for the issuance, administration, and enforcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, the Hazardous Materials Regulations, and the drug and alcohol testing requirements. For more info, go to "Washington Insider".

What's new with hours of service? The HOS rule revisions remain under scrutiny at the Office of Management & Budgeting (White House office). After the OMB releases the DOT's proposed revisions, interested parties will have their shot at expressing their positions. What are those positions? Jason Cisper gives readers a look at where some influential groups stand on this issue, including OOIDA's position. See "Shaping the Hours-of-Service Regulations".

Influenza. This is an ancient Portuguese word that means "sicker than a poisoned dog." OK. Maybe not. For truckers, it means there are few situations more miserable than falling ill when you're under a load or you're way too many miles down the road to head for the house. How do you know what's making you sick? What can you do to get better? Does the shot help? These and more flu facts by Donna Carlson. 

Searching for a hero. There's certainly no shortage of trucking heroes out there, but we were moved by a story written by a reporter for the Voice of America. On a field assignment during the Hurricane Floyd disaster, Chaliss McDonough's car was swept off the highway by floodwater. She found herself stranded in the dark on top of her car. McDonough experienced a firsthand look at heroism when an unidentified trucker stopped and stayed with her until rescuers arrived. She wrote the story  in an effort to find and thank him. The North Carolina Trucking Association's "Tarheels Wheels" first published it. Land Line's Editor-in-Chief Todd Spencer agreed to publish it as well, in hopes of reaching a larger segment of truckers. So, to Chaliss McDonough's trucker hero, are you out there?

Next month, Louisville. Look for OOIDA and Land Line staff at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, at the end of March (23,24,25). We'll be at Booth 117. Now's the time to make plans to be there.