Less than a month after the OOIDA board of directors named the reintroduc tion of the fuel surcharge legislation as its top priority, HR2161 was introduced. The legislation, introduced June 13, will create a mandatory fuel surcharge program to help carriers and small business truckers combat the effects of sudden fuel spikes. As you might recall, this legislation had originally been introduced in the 106th Congress as HR4441, where it passed unanimously in the House last October, but failed to make it to the Senate floor before adjournment. For OOIDA President Jim Johnston’s comments on the bill, go to “Issues & Positions” on page 12. For details from the “Washington Insider” go to page 14. Additional coverage is on page 18. I predict that with the additional support and heightened awareness, this dog will hunt.
If you have been trucking the past 10 years in the Yukon or some dark jungles in South America, you may have escaped seeing one of those truckstop flyers that says if the law wants a look-see at your logbook, you can refuse. Chances are, however, if you drive a truck in the United States, someone has tried to tell you that you have the right to plead the Fifth. One of my favorite reads in this issue is “Road Law” on page 50. This issue, lawyers Jeff and Jim deal with all the lies, gossip and bogus info about logbooks and the Fifth Amendment.
The passing of our senior editor Ruth Jones has left us with heavy hearts. This issue is the first in many years that does not list her on the masthead as our senior editor. And it’s the first in many years that has not featured her work. A week before she died, one of her main concerns was how the magazine was coming along. She wanted to make sure we spelled SuperRigs competitor Tod Job’s name right, and she liked the idea of doing a member profile on Shay Turner. She said Shay was a “pistol.”
Ruth was a force to be reckoned with – not just here at Land Line/OOIDA, but throughout the entire trucking industry. I liked how Roadstar Online described her as “a champion of all things trucking.” Our technical editor Paul Abelson, who also freelances for several other publications, wrote this for Super Driver, and I especially like these words. Paul wrote: “She was never afraid of a good fight, and when, in July 1998 she was diagnosed with cancer, she fought that as hard as she ever fought anything. But some battles just cannot be won, and this one was lost during the early morning hours of Friday, June 8. For those who knew Ruth, and those who benefited from her investigations and her writings, she leaves a legacy of always doing what she believed was the right thing, campaigning as hard as she could for what she believed in, and helping in every way she could to support and improve the industry that supports us.” You’ll find Ruth’s obituary on page 26, along with a story that may provide you with a glimpse of what kind of person she was.