Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES to actor Donal Logue, known for roles on everything from “ER” and “Grounded for Life” to “Sons of Anarchy.” But did you know he’s also a partner in a trucking company – Aisling Trucking out of Medford, Ore.? And that he has his own CDL? Not only that, but he loves to drive truck.

In a video on YouTube, the actor tells the story of how he came to form the trucking company with a couple of friends and talks about how much he loves the culture of trucking. In the video, he said his Hollywood friends often ask him about what it’s like at truck stops and if it’s “a lot of Richard Petty-looking dudes with cowboy hats.” Logue responded that there is some of that, but “it’s an amazing culture.” He goes on to say that “the railways can move so much freight but everything is brought by truck to every home and every store.”

In an interview on reddit.com, Logue said that “trucking is a thousand times harder than acting. When I’m driving truck I marvel at the skill level and hard work it takes, and I love truckers, truck stops and all of it. It’s criminal how little truckers get paid for the service they perform.”

Mr. Logue, you may be a fan of trucking, but we’re guessing you now have a few more truckers who are fans of yours.

RAZZBERRIES to the state of Minnesota for using private receipts to enforce overweight restrictions after the fact. OOIDA Member Greg Herden of Brockway, Mont., is a farmer who hauls his agricultural products in the upper Midwest.

In 2012 he received a fine of $1,474 in the mail after Minnesota state troopers in the civil weights enforcement division were going through receipts at a grain elevator and found receipts they claimed showed that three overweight loads were hauled. Greg represented himself in court and told the judge that no weight limits exist for private roads in Minnesota, and that the troopers could not prove that his truck traveled on federal or state highways. The judge agreed and ruled in his favor.

Unfortunately, the judge did not agree with the argument that using private receipts to issue the citation was a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And while state officials say state statutes allow for the investigation of receipts at private scales, that didn’t sit well with Greg. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve heard of fishy enforcement practices out of Minnesota. In fact, we’re quite fatigued by the whole thing.

RAZZBERRIES to Bloomberg News for a story in which they trotted out the old chestnut about the average life expectancy of a trucker being 61 years.

It’s a long story of how that statistic came into being so we won’t go into the whole mess here. Suffice it to say it stemmed from a combination of factors, including a misunderstanding of a study with data dating back to the ’80s and another that was completely made up by a trucking insurance journal back in 2008.

The bottom line is it’s just not true, and the truth is nobody has actually bothered to do a study large enough or specific enough to find out. Kind of like how nobody at Bloomberg bothered to find out that the stat wasn’t real.

RAZZBERRIES to the Investigation Discovery channel for a program it aired back in August called “ID Investigates: Killer Truckers.” Loaded with ominous music and narration, bloody re-enactments, graphic descriptions of horrible crimes, and inaccurate information, this look at serial killers who happen to be truck drivers was a sensationalized look at the trucking industry from the very beginning.

The only bright spots were from trucker widow Hope Rivenburg, trucker Desiree Wood and blogger (“Ask the Trucker”) Allen Smith. They were interviewed quite extensively for the program and did their best to show the reality of the trucking business, even when the program itself was working overtime trying to convince viewers that there were killers lurking at every truck stop in the country.

The program was called “ID Investigates,” but apparently they couldn’t be bothered to investigate the fact that, according to the FBI, serial killers are no more prevalent in the trucking industry than they are in any other profession. You never would have known it by watching that show. LL

 

Got an idea for a ROSE or a RAZZBERRY? Email it to terry_scruton@landlinemag.com. You can also check out the official Facebook page at facebook.com/rosesandrazzberries.