Line One
Roses & Razzberries

OOIDA member Margaret Ingalls Walton sends out a televised RAZZBERRY to WGAL-TV, a local NBC affiliate in Lancaster, PA. In reporting a wreck on its Web site, the station had seven pictures with a caption that said: “Three people were injured this morning when a tractor trailer struck a car.” 

It wasn’t until the fourth picture in the series that readers learned that the car driver had been trying to make an illegal U-turn through the median of a four-lane divided highway and that it was not, in fact, the trucker who was at fault.

We know that wrecks involving trucks make for an exciting story, but the truth makes an even better one.

Mary Traver, a Land Line reader who works as a dispatcher, sends a RAZZBERRY to brokers who post loads on Web-based load boards and then don’t bother to remove the loads when they are no longer needed. Mary said this is a waste of time and money for dispatchers and drivers alike. 

While she said she has worked with many good brokers, Mary said there are some out there who take half the money from a load just for pushing papers.

“We all need to remember the one who’s trucking all night, eating in nasty restaurants, tarpin

g in 100-degree and below-zero weather and missing out on family events just to have a paper-pushing broker take half of the loads’ gross revenue,” she wrote. We couldn’t have written it better ourselves – and by the way, take the damn load off the board.

Land Line reader Mark Halloway of Elizabethtown, KY, sends ROSES to the Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers who are riding in 18-wheelers to combat aggressive and reckless drivers.

Following the lead of Washington state, these troopers are getting a look at the world from a trucker’s point of view and can finally see that not everything that happens on the road is the trucker’s fault.

Hmm, maybe we could start a pilot program like this for other people who blame everything on truck drivers – brokers, shippers, receivers, politicians …

A fresh bouquet of ROSES goes to Bud Floyd and Eddie Lund. Speaking during a workshop at the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association’s 2006 convention in May, the pair – vice president of C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., and vice president of sales and operations for Allen Lund Co Inc., respectively – told attendees that the best way to deal with transportation headaches in the produce industry is to keep drivers happy.

The Packer, a produce industry newspaper, reported that the pair recommended companies try driver lounges, ample lead time and consolidated loads to make drivers happy. Here’s hoping the audience was listening.

A big, fat RAZZBERRY to ExxonMobil for the big, fat pension plan it gave to its now-retired CEO, Lee Raymond. 

While fuel prices were nearing the $3 mark for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, Raymond received a $400 million retirement package including stock options, a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and the use of a corporate jet for professional purposes.

With that kind of money, it probably doesn’t worry him much to know that everybody doesn’t love Raymond after all.

ROSE to Jim Haslam, the founder of Pilot Corp. Haslam and his wife, Natalie, donated $32.5 million to the University of Tennessee, Jim’s alma mater, making it the largest individual gift the university has ever received, according to the university’s Web site. At a time when other executives – Lee Raymond, are you paying attention? – are receiving obscene amounts of money, it’s nice to see one who cares enough to give some of it back to the place where he got his start.

OOIDA member Lou Esposito of Duanesburg, NY, called in to offer a RAZZBERRY to Oprah Winfrey for a show she did in May about truck stop prostitutes. Esposito said the show put “another bad light on the trucking industry.”

We think Lou was a bit hard on Oprah, who was highlighting the very real problem of underage prostitution. Perhaps a betterRAZZBERRY target would be the sleazy pimps who lure these underage girls into such a horrifying line of work. 

And, let’s face it, a crate of rotten RAZZBERRIES should go to the guys who pay for the services of those underage girls. Without them, the girls, and the perverted pimps who push them, would be gone. And that’s one out-of-service order we wouldn’t mind seeing.

By Senior Writer Terry Scruton. He may be reached at terry_scruton@landlinemag.com.

Do you know someone who deserves a rose or a razzberry?
Send suggestions to Land Line, Rose/Razz Department, 1 NW OOIDA Drive, Grain Valley, MO, 64029. Or, you can fax it to (816) 443-2227. Be sure to include your name, address and a number where you can be reached.

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