June 8, 2010 – On a daily basis truckers face nearly impossible deadline pressures, and unpredictable traffic and weather conditions, as they try to eke out a living during these rocky economic times.
Now imagine trying to navigate the country while having cameras mounted in the cab of your truck with Dan Rather riding shotgun next to you and a chase car following close behind.
That’s exactly what OOIDA Life Member Donald Wagner of Yerington, NV, did recently. He told Land Line on Monday, June 7, that Rather rode along with him in his truck for more than four days, five states and three time zones. Wagner said they traveled from Reno, NV, to Des Moines, IA, for an episode of “Dan Rather Reports,” which airs tonight at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on HDNet. The episode is titled “Haul or High Water.”
Wagner said it was an “interesting experience to say the least.”
“He (Rather) wanted to know what all goes in to being a trucker, the hours we put in, what we make, how many miles we can legally drive, and what all goes in to operating our trucks like costs for tires, brakes and service costs,” he said. “I haven’t seen the piece yet, but I was told this was to show the public – who may not know much about trucking – what it takes to be an American trucker.”
Wagner said it was a little unnerving to have cameras filming his every move.
“I was never without a camera,” he said. “They basically filmed me getting in and out of the truck, fueling, everything I did during the day.”
Rather’s report, which is the fourth segment he has done in the past year on the trucking industry, will also feature OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer giving testimony in April before the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security hearing on Oversight of the Motor Carrier Safety Efforts. Spencer’s testimony was centered on hours of service, brokers and electronic on-board recorders – and their impact on safety in the trucking industry.
Rather’s piece will also feature drivers who say they are working more hours for less pay.