Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton
Land Line Now senior correspondent


Some ice cold RAZZBERRIES to the state of Minnesota for enforcing federal motor vehicle safety regulations without permission.

According to documents obtained by OOIDA, up until August of this year the state had been enforcing regulations – including issuing fatigue out-of-service orders – with no authority from the federal government.

The FMCSA recommended that Minnesota take steps to adopt federal regulations and to incorporate any amendments to those regulations into Minnesota law.

Minnesota corrected its law and complied with the feds, but still, the fact that they somehow didn’t do so sooner is astounding.

Sounds like someone is asleep at the wheel in Minnesota – and guess what? It isn’t the truck drivers.

A truckload of carbon-neutral RAZZBERRIES goes out to the California Air Resources Board and their so-called Truck Regulatory Advisory Committee.

The OOIDA Foundation’s Tom Weakley attended a committee meeting and reported back that, at the very least, the committee is poorly named. CARB officials at the meeting not only didn’t ask for any input on regulations from carriers, vendors and trucking groups in attendance, but also went on to make it absolutely clear that they had no interest in any discussion of the regulations.

Weakley said that, even though CARB isn’t willing to listen, it doesn’t mean OOIDA is done talking. To borrow a phrase from California’s most famous politician – we’ll be back.

A bunch of ROSES comes from OOIDA Life Member Bill Baker of Elkhart, IN.

Bill bought a used Freightliner a while back, and the auto shift was giving him a bit of trouble. He spent $4,000 to fix it and sent a letter to the president of Eaton, the company that makes the auto shift on his truck.

Bill soon got a call from the folks at the company headquarters who offered to replace the clutch and the auto shift and, as if that wasn’t enough, give him back the $4,000.

Ordinarily, that would be enough to merit a ROSE on its own, but the story doesn’t end there. Bill says they gave him a truck to use while his was being repaired and even gave him a tour of the facility. Now that’s what we call customer service.

M. Lynn Sloan, an OOIDA member from Plymouth, WA, would like to send some RAZZBERRIES to a local tractor-trailer repair facility she had to deal with recently.

Lynn says she had her trailer inspected at this place, which she didn’t name, and said they found more than 20 stress cracks. She told the company to fix them, paid for the repairs, and drove off with a new DOT inspection sticker.

Four months later, Lynn changed leases and took the trailer in for inspection at another facility and there they were: more than 20 stress cracks nicely marked with chalk.

The original company took the money and cleared the trailer for inspection, but didn’t do any of the work. The company refused to reimburse Lynn and the state DOT says there isn’t much they can do, so Lynn is taking the matter to court and is filing a complaint with

Here’s hoping justice prevails. We only wish she had given us the company name so we could shine a light on these cockroaches.

OOIDA member Mike Dul of Blairstown, NJ, sends out some ROSES to Hoover Truck Center of Flanders, NJ.

Mike says he has been a customer there for years and they have always gone above and beyond the call of duty. He says you can approach the owner, Bob Hoover, directly with any problem you have and he’ll take care of you.

That friendliness and honesty extends all the way down to mechanics and the people in the parts department. Mike says there have been times when he’s needed work on his truck, but couldn’t afford to pay a dealership price. So the folks at Hoover gave all of the technical information on Mike’s truck to his own mechanic. Mike says they’ve even given him, at no charge, parts he needed that they had extras

of – telling him to just buy a pizza for the boys in the garage.

When we get so many calls about bad dealerships taking advantage of drivers who don’t have much money to begin with, it’s always a pleasant surprise when we get one about a good dealership. LL


Terry Scruton may be reached at