Editor’s Page
Roping a grizzly bear

Sandi Soendker

Ready or not, here it comes. In this issue preceding the implementation of the hours-of-service reform, there’s a lot of ink dedicated to the subject. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the old rules will be in effect up to midnight Jan. 3. After midnight, it’s a brave new world. So, are you feeling brave?

Bear with me. One of our OOIDA board members (it seems to me it was Bill Rode) said last year this whole HOS reform puts him in mind of roping a grizzly bear. When you are trying to rope a grizzly, you first decide all the ways you might do this. Then, decide on the plan. In between the time you announce the plan and go for the rope, those involved will lend expertise and speculate on the success of your plan. That part is followed by another phase in which you secretly wonder if your plan is of any account. In the end, you throw the rope and then two things happen. Either you realize this might work or you discover what it’s like to have an 800-pound bear on a rope.

New column: ‘Off the Network.’ One of the first things you realize when you start trucking is that it’s the driver’s responsibility to know the laws of the states in which you operate. When you get off the network, you are expected to be in the know wherever you are. It might be expected, but it’s not practical. How can you keep up with all 48 ever-changing sets of state trucking rules? You can’t. With this in mind, OOIDA members Don and Debbe Morrow had a great idea a few years ago to gather this info and put it into a usable format.

They were driving for a truckload carrier based in Wisconsin. After thousands of hours of work, they compiled the info that resulted in “For the Long Haul, A State-to-State Guide for Professional Drivers.”

I have a copy of it on my desk, right beside my “Associated Press Stylebook” and “Women Who Run with Wolves” by Clarissa Estes, also known as the OOIDA Employee Handbook for female staffers.

This month, we’re pleased to bring you this valuable info in the way of a regular column from the Morrows called “Off the Network.” I predict it will score big as one of the most useful pages in the magazine. The first column, as an example, will focus on the subject of 10-hour breaks in rest areas. With the new hours-of-service rules going into effect this January, it is important to understand which states allow 10-hour rest area stops and which do not.

OOIDA’s new hours. We realize truckers don’t operate on a Monday-through-Friday 9-5 schedule. So OOIDA has new phone hours (beyond our regular business hours) to help you reach us when you need to. From Monday to Friday, phones will be answered by live people from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST. However, if you have business with Truck Insurance, Truck Insurance Billing, Business Services, Medical Benefits or Membership departments, they will be on the job until 6:30 p.m. CST on weekdays. Those departments will also be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Saturdays. The building won’t be open to the public on Saturday, but the phones will connect you to live, breathing, working people.

This just in. Land Line was among the international automotive media elite recognized at the International Automotive Media Conference Nov. 18 in New York City. We won six medallions — one gold, three silver and two bronze awards. More details in the February issue, but a quick congrats to gold medalist René Tankersley, silver medalists Mark Reddig, Dick Larsen and contributing writer Tom Kelley, and bronze medalist Paul Abelson. Also, our June 2003 issue received the Bronze Medallion of Excellence for best writing in a single issue for magazines with more than 150,000 circulation.

Happy holidays from our staff. Peace!