Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, "Land Line Now" senior correspondent

Some belated Christmas ROSES to Brenny Transportation and Brenny Specialized, along with the Minnesota Trucking Association. These groups came together at the end of 2016 to donate more than 800 toys that were given to less fortunate families around the St. Cloud, Minn., area just in time for Christmas.

We know it’s February but, hey, Valentine’s Day is all about spreading the love, right? And it’s never too late for that.

ROSES to George Rivera, of Pueblo, Colo., for an article he wrote in The Pueblo Chieftain a while back singing the praises of truck drivers everywhere. Rivera asked readers to give some thought to how “products make it to store shelves, clothing for the racks, food at our grocers, building supplies at box stores, and gasoline at convenience stores.”

Of course we all know the answer to that but Rivera went on to say that the “trucker, who more often than not is perceived as an annoyance on a busy interstate or a hindrance to us” is the one who makes it happen. He reminded readers that truckers have “chosen a profession that keeps them away from family and friends so that we can live our lives a little fuller, more comfortably, more efficiently each and every day.”

He finished by urging folks to say a silent prayer for truckers and wish them “good luck and Godspeed.”

Mr. Rivera, on behalf of truckers everywhere, thank you for noticing and thank you for making sure others notice too.

ROSES to several truckers who saved the life of a fellow trucker after a horrifying wreck near Casco Township in Michigan late this past year. The truck in question rolled over and burst into flames, but other truckers stopped to help and were able to pull the driver to safety before emergency crews could even get to the scene.

The truck was a loss, but the driver was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries thanks to the good Samaritans who stopped. They weren’t named in any of the news stories or by South Haven Emergency Services – which responded to the fire. Hopefully they’ll see this and know that we are grateful for their actions.

ROSES to Contract Transport Services out of Green Bay, Wis., and its employees for donating more than 80 bicycles as part of a bike drive this past year. Working with the American Foundation of Counseling Services and the Brown County Pals Program, the company delivered the bikes to Notre Dame High School in December.

CTS President Curt Reitz said in a news release that the company started the bike drive early last year as a way for employees to be part of the community and to fulfill the company’s “charitable mission of taking care of kids.”

Well, CTS, we say mission accomplished.

ROSES to OOIDA Member David Coon and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia for standing up to an overcharging tow company and getting David a compensatory check for more than $2,200.

Coon was involved in a crash in May of 2013 and was charged more than $8,000 for towing services by Hutch’s Wrecker Service. The Commission ruled that Hutch’s charge was way over the allowable limit and ordered them to pay back some of the money.

The kicker is Coon’s tractor wasn’t even damaged – just some minor damage to the back of the trailer. But the company still charged him an exorbitant fee for three hours of labor for eight people. For a minor incident with no debris and no damaged tractor.

While we’re at it, let’s throw a few RAZZBERRIES at this towing company and hope they and others like them learn their lesson as more and more truck drivers like Coon stand up and fight for what’s right.

One last batch of belated ROSES goes to everyone who participated in the 2016 Wreaths Across America program. Braving subzero temperatures in some areas, more than 44,000 volunteers placed wreaths on 1.2 million graves of military veterans this past December. In spite of the fact that weather caused the cancellation of opening remarks at Arlington National Cemetery, volunteers got the wreaths laid anyway.

And let’s not forget the more than 400 tractor-trailers and drivers who delivered those wreaths to more than 1,200 locations across the country. LL