Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES to truck driver Rodney Dunn of Cloverdale, OR, for saving a woman whose Volkswagen came close to tipping over the edge of a 100-foot drop in Oregon back in April.

Dunn saw the car and stopped to help. He recognized the woman inside who had both feet on the brake and was too afraid to move. He hooked a steel cable to the car and held it there until a tow truck arrived. Once the car was secured, Dunn and another driver helped the woman out of her car and up the slope.

The woman was uninjured and was even able to drive her car away from the scene.

The woman insisted that Dunn “deserves a medal” for what he did, but Dunn was modest about his actions. He told “Land Line Now” that he “just did what needed to be done. You know, that’s just how it works in my world.” Well, Rodney, we’re certainly glad drivers like you are in this world.

RAZZBERRIES to the American Trucking Associations and its president and CEO, Bill Graves.

As the debate over EOBRs has heated up this year, Graves has gone on record numerous times as claiming that the devices actually improve driver morale.

Exactly how would that work? Tell you what, Bill, let’s strap an electronic monitoring device to the back of the chair in your office and see what it does to your morale, OK?

He has also said that the “vast majority” of the trucking industry supports these things. Too bad the ATA doesn’t represent the vast majority of the trucking industry, which is made up of smaller trucking operations and owner-operators. And most of them don’t like EOBRs one bit.

This one isn’t directly related to trucking, but we know there are a lot of you out there who ride motorcycles, so this one’s for you. ROSES to Harley-Davidson for offering to restore a motorcycle belonging to Ikuo Yokoyama of Yamamoto, Japan.

Yokoyama lost his motorcycle in the devastating tsunami that hit the coast of Japan in March of last year. Amazingly enough, the bike washed up in a storage container in British Columbia, Canada, earlier this year. It was discovered by a local man who was just walking along the beach. You can imagine it was in pretty rough shape.

After the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ran a story about the man and his bike, a Harley rep tracked him down and offered to restore the bike.

Now that’s some news that’s worth getting revved up about.

ROSES to the group of truckers who helped police save the life of a man who was threatening to jump off a highway overpass.

It happened on I-94 in Minneapolis back in April, when a man climbed over the guard fence and was threatening to jump. Traffic below the bridge was stopped as police tried to talk the man down. A quick-thinking state trooper – and ROSES to him as

well – had the idea of lining up several semis underneath the bridge so that if the man did jump, he wouldn’t fall very far.

The troopers eventually got six trucks into place and cut the potential fall by half. Fortunately, police were able to grab the man before that happened, but our hat is off to these officers and to the truck drivers who didn’t give a second thought to helping them out.

RAZZBERRIES to California’s clean fuel directives and its cap-and-trade program.

We know that pollution is a huge problem in the state and these programs are well meaning, but a report released this spring by the California Trucking Association suggests that these moves could drive diesel prices up in that state to more than $6.50 a gallon.

The price of diesel in California is already consistently among the highest in the country, and these measures aren’t going to help. In fact, they could severely cripple California’s transportation industry as out-of-state carriers swoop in to pick up all of the business. I’m also betting more than a few out-of-state truckers will just quit running in California because it’s getting too expensive.

Clean air is a necessity, but then again so is, well, pretty much everything that comes by truck. California needs to find a better, less expensive way to balance the two. LL


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