Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton
Land Line Now senior correspondent


Some carefully measured RAZZBERRIES go out to the folks at the National Weights and Measures Conference. At their most recent meeting in July, they decided to drop the issue of automatic temperature compensation from their agenda.

That means that you’ll just have to keep pumping that 90-degree fuel and continue to not get what you are paying for.

It’s a simple concept, really. Installing these gizmos would have allowed fuel pumps to automatically adjust the size of a gallon to make up for differences in temperature. Meaning, when you bought that hot fuel you’d get a little bit more to make up for the energy you’d lose.

Naturally, the industry celebrated this decision, with one group representing truck stop owners going so far as to say it helps keep a level playing field.

If that’s what they consider a level playing field, they must be playing a different game than we are. On a playing field like that, there’s only one winner, and it’s not the consumer.

While we’re on the subject of hot fuel, we’ve got to give some ROSES to Missouri’s Sen. Claire McCaskill for reintroducing legislation in the U.S. Senate that would require retailers to install automatic temperature compensation at the pump.

In July, about the same time the Weights and Measures people were probably cashing their checks from the oil industry, McCaskill brought back the Future Accountability In Retail, or FAIR Act of 2009.

In addition to the requirement, the legislation also effectively kills one of the retail industry’s biggest arguments – the cost of implementation – by establishing a grant program for retailers who own or operate five or fewer pumps to help pay some of the cost for the new equipment.

The big retailers, however, are on their own. That is what we’d call a level playing field.

Some baby ROSES go out to two truck drivers who possibly saved the lives of a group of four toddlers who wandered away from a day care in West Mifflin, PA.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the children – whose ages ranged from 15 months to 2 and a half years – walked out through an open door in the building and headed for a busy road nearby. A spokeswoman for the state welfare department said the kids made it more than 200 yards away from the day care and could very likely have been hurt – if not for the truckers.

A pair of truck drivers, whose names were not given, were passing by and saw the toddlers. They stopped, grabbed them, and brought them back to the day care where, according to the story, nobody had even realized they were gone.

Because of those truckers, what was already a horrible situation was saved from turning into a tragic one. The day care, incidentally, has been shut down by the state.

OOIDA member Eddie Cox of Cedartown, GA, would like to send out some ROSES to the Newborn Truck Stop in Tallapoosa, GA.

Eddie uses the stop all the time, and he said it is “probably about the cleanest truck stop on the road.” He said the rest rooms are kept clean and disinfected and the food is first class.

But Eddie’s feelings are probably best summed up by this statement: “You could take your family,” he said.

We get plenty of calls complaining about the bad truck stops out there – and unfortunately we know there are too many of those – so it’s nice to have one once in awhile pointing out a truck stop that’s doing it right.

A ROSE goes out to the line of truck drivers who stopped to help a single mother who had lost her job.

WBTV, a CBS affiliate in Charlotte, NC, reported that Latrica Ingram lost her job at a restaurant there earlier this year. Unable to find work, the single mother of a 13-year-old daughter took to panhandling to help raise money.

She told the TV station she was standing on the Interstate 77 off ramp on Sunset Road, when more than 20 Con-way Freight trucks stopped and gave her gifts ranging from money to bottles of water.

Ingram said she thinks the truckers must have used the CB to organize their efforts, so she sent a message to the TV station to praise them.

 Well, we’ll just throw our praise right in there with her. Thanks to those truckers for a good deed well done and for presenting a positive image for the trucking profession. LL


Terry Scruton may be reached at