Line One
Roses & Razzberries

A bone-shaped RAZZBERRY goes out to Charles Whittington, president of Grammer Industries and vice chairman of ATA. In a recent Transport Topics article about speed limiters, Whittington came out in favor of the idea, saying, "we tried to help promote safety and manage our equipment and have the truck manufacturers help us put a leash upon our dog."

We know plenty of drivers in the industry who say they've been treated like dogs for years, we just can't believe someone in power finally admitted it. Sorry, Charlie - that dog won't hunt.

OOIDA member Ed Pates offers a ROSE to Wal-Marts across the country that feature truck parking. "Sometimes I get out on the road and I need to get something and it's so convenient to find one that has truck parking," he said. We can't argue with that.

While he was on the subject, Ed also offered a RAZZBERRY to those drivers who are abusing the privilege by parking outside of the designated truck parking areas, leaving trash and hitting parked vehicles. In a country where parking for trucks is at a premium, we think some people should appreciate what they have while they still have it.

RAZZBERRY to Exxon Mobil Executive Vice President Stuart McGill. Speaking at an energy conference in February, McGill said that the idea of freeing America from its dependence on foreign oil was not only a bad one, but that it was impossible as well.

Of course, being from a major oil company that depends on a significant amount of foreign oil for its profits, we're sure we can trust McGill to give us a fair, unbiased and accurate assessment of the situation.

Asking a man like McGill for advice on cutting back on oil is kind of like asking the Marlboro Man for advice on how to quit smoking.

Land Line reader Rebecca Harvey offers a ROSE to Utah Highway Patrol officers Sgt. Rick Eldridge and Trooper Sanford Randall. Rebecca, who hauls hazmat, was making a run through New Mexico recently when her rig quit running.

Unable to leave her truck because of hazmat regulations, Rebecca radioed for help. When the troopers arrived, not only did they help her find the problem - a cracked heater hose - but they removed the hose and went into town to get a new one along with some antifreeze.

As if that wasn't enough, upon their return, they changed the hose and filled the truck up with antifreeze so Rebecca could make it into town.

OOIDA member Randy Gowens offers a truckload of RAZZBERRIES to anyone who was traveling along U.S. 97 in Oregon near Silver Lake on Jan. 23. Randy said he came across a Swift truck that day that had spun out across the icy road, spilling its load of ornamental trees and losing a chunk of its trailer.

While Randy stopped to assist the driver and call the police, he said not one other person stopped to offer help during the hour and a half he was there.

"I had one pickup run past me, and several trucks (running fast) through the gap on the shoulder nearly ran over me," he said. "But not one offer of help."

Oregon may be the beaver state, but don't expect much damn help when you're driving through.

A Ramblin' ROSE goes out to Betty Runyon, a Kalamazoo, MI, woman perhaps better known to some as, well, "Ramblin' Rose."

Betty is known throughout Western Michigan for her ability to give drivers directions around the Kalamazoo area on the CB. But local CBS affiliate WWMT-TV reported that, thanks to her quick thinking back in February, Betty soon became known as a lifesaver.

Truck driver Rob Noblit was traveling through the area when he began coughing up blood and experienced a shooting pain in his chest. Hoping for directions to the hospital, Noblit grabbed his CB and radioed for help. Betty answered the call, telling Noblit where to pull off the highway. She soon met him there and whisked him away to the hospital.

Noblit was diagnosed with blood clots in his lung, but made a full recovery. Betty left him her phone number with instructions to call if he needed a ride back to his truck. It's good to know that truckers passing through Western Michigan have a guardian angel looking out for them.