Line One
Roses & Razzberries

OOIDA member James Morris sends out a RAZZBERRY to the Illinois Department of Transportation. James and his wife were driving through the state recently and had just done a post-trip inspection on their rig.

A short time later, they were stopped for a DOT inspection. The officer found nothing wrong with their tractor or trailer, except for one minor thing – a clip holding a metal placard on the front of the trailer was slightly bent on one corner.

It was such a minor thing, James said the officer couldn’t even find a violation code in order to write it up, but the officer did it anyway. You have to wonder if federal and state inspectors will be as thorough if and when trucks come into the U.S. from Mexico.


A truckload of ROSES to the quick thinking Georgia State Patrol troopers who saved the life of truck driver Carl Warner back in March. Warner, a 53-year-old from Delaware, OH, had a heart attack while driving his rig near Perry, GA, causing his truck to slam into a guardrail.

Troopers, on their way back from training, came across his truck, pulled him out and performed CPR, saving Warner’s life. It’s too bad there aren’t guardian angels like that on every highway.


Cheryl Oakley, wife of OOIDA member James Oakley of Edmond, OK, sends out a king-sized load of RAZZBERRIES to a retail chain we won’t mention here – because we don’t want to get sued. Let’s just say that James will be up against a wall before he goes to this mart again.

James doesn’t like the loading practices of this retailer, and we can’t blame him. He says they make you wait in line for hours before you can unload, then mark you as late when you’ve missed your appointment time because you had to wait in line.

On top of that, you have to pay a lumping fee and wait until the employees feel like giving you your paperwork before you can leave.

Hmm. That gives us an idea for a new slogan for this chain, or one like it: Always a pain. Always.


Richard Seese, a Land Line Magazine reader from Toronto, SD, sends a long overdue ROSE to the police department of Watertown, SD. Back in 2004 – he said it was long overdue – Richard was delivering there in the middle of the night, but thanks to bad directions, he ended up in front of the local police department.

Well, the officers weren’t expecting a load, so they started contacting city offices at 2 a.m. to see if anyone there was expecting one. No luck. Then they proceeded to call every factory in town until they found the one that had ordered the load.

Not only did they work the phones, but they gave Richard a police escort to the loading dock.

Richard said he still tells that story today, and most drivers can’t believe that a police department like that still exists. It’s good to know there is one still out there.


A big load of RAZZBERRIES goes to the Ohio town of South Vienna.

The town has some pretty strict parking regulations for trucks. In fact, trucks are not allowed to park anywhere in the town, with the exception of emergency breakdowns and pickup or delivery.

Trouble is, those exceptions, which aren’t posted anywhere, are limited to just one hour.

When was the last time you were able to actually make a pickup or delivery – or get someone out to fix your broken down tractor – in an hour or less?

Maybe they should try getting everything they need delivered by horse-drawn wagons for a while and see how they like that.


A hand-drawn ROSE goes to cartoonist Brian Basset. Basset draws the comic strip “Adam.” A recent Sunday edition featured Adam driving behind a truck with one of those “How’s my driving?” stickers on the back.

Adam calls to complain and gets this message: “Hi, if you dialed this number and reached this recording, you A) had to have driven dangerously close to the back of my truck; and B) are on a cell phone, which is distracting and unsafe. So are you really sure you want to discuss my driving habits?”

The final panel of the strip shows Adam driving with plenty of room between his vehicle and the truck. It’s good to see someone in the media recognizes that it isn’t always the trucker’s fault.


“Roses and Razzberries” is written by Terry Scruton, senior correspondent for “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio. He may be reached at