Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES go out to truck driver Brendon Finn from South Bend, IN, for his heroic efforts in rescuing a woman from an attacker back in March.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the attack happened in the parking lot of a Dollar General Store in Kokomo, IN. As a woman got into her parked car, a man hiding in the back seat grabbed her from behind and was allegedly trying to drag her to his nearby vehicle.

Fortunately, Finn was unloading close by and saw what was happening. Without regard for his own safety, Finn chased the suspect through yards, down streets and into a muddy field. When Finn caught him, placed his knee on the man’s back, and held him until police arrived.

Who knows what would have happened had Finn not been there that day? This was more than being in the right place at the right time. Finn definitely did the right thing.

OOIDA Life Member Paul Sasso would like to give out some ROSES to JoAnn’s Gearjammer Truck Stop in Salt Lake City, UT. Paul says he has only had positive experiences there.

He said he had a $5 shower “with a nice towel in a man-sized shower where you weren’t bumping your elbows.” Paul said the parking is great – five acres – and so is the food.

We called JoAnn Patience and asked her to talk about her truck stop. What’s so special about her showers? She says “they are spotless. I am anal that way.”

Everything she serves up is homemade, even the pies. Her giant cinnamon rolls are baked fresh every morning. Sasso says “they are to die for.”

JoAnn has a deep respect and affection for truckers and knows how to give them the kind of truck stop they need. It’s a job she’s been doing for more than 30 years, with the last nine at her own place.

JoAnn suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which makes for some long days. But it doesn’t stop her from “doing the job.” This tough, hard-working lady says you can either say “woe is me, or you can get up and go.”

These days it seems we hear more complaints than compliments about truck stops so it’s good to know that some out there still care about truck drivers and are doing it right.

Some frozen RAZZBERRIES go out to Summit County, CO, Commissioner Dan Gibbs for his proposal to eliminate trucks from part of Interstate 70 on ski weekends.

Even though Gibbs didn’t offer any ideas on how he would limit or stop truck traffic, the idea that anyone would even try it on a main trucking route like I-70 is ludicrous.

We realize that ski tourism is an important part of Colorado’s economy, but guess what? So are truckers. How do you think all that ski gear you sell gets there? Or the food those tourists buy in the restaurants? We’ll give you a hint: Those things didn’t come by sled dog.

Here’s a batch of ROSES for the Occupational Safety And Health Administration for ordering Memphis-based United Auto Delivery and Recovery to give William Beecher his job back and pay him $100,000. Beecher was fired after complaining about mechanical problems on his company truck.

Beecher reported the problems to his supervisor in February of 2009, and the supervisor agreed that he should leave work and come back when the truck was fixed. Instead, he was fired the next day.

Good thing OSHA went to bat for this guy. No trucker should have to work in an unsafe truck nor be worried about reporting it.

We have to give out some major RAZZBERRIES  to the White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their plan to reinstate a cross-border trucking program with Mexico.

The biggest problem is the long-term effects of the plan.

Mexican motor carriers will get permanent authority after 18 months. That means even if the program ends, they get to keep operating here. The plan is for Mexican carriers in the first pilot program to get credit for the time they operated here in the states. As it stands, that means some of them could get their permanent authority in no time at all.

This is sounding a lot less like a test pilot program – and just a thinly veiled attempt at a permanent program. LL