Drivers denied shelter during severe weather

| Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More than 44 percent of drivers who responded to a recent Land Line poll say they have been denied refuge at a shipper or receiver during severe weather.

While this wasn’t the case during the recent tornadoes that struck the Midwest in May, an OOIDA member from Maryland was at a pharmaceutical distribution center in Memphis, TN, in April when tornado sirens sounded. The employees there disappeared inside the facility, while the driver was forced to wait out the storm in his truck for three hours.

The National Weather Service is reporting that there have been more than 1,000 tornadoes, resulting in nearly 500 deaths in the United States in 2011.

In May, the NWS is reporting there have been at least 100 tornadoes, including the devastating tornado that struck Joplin, killing at least 120 people on May 22.

Drivers who live or truck in Tornado Alley know all too well how unpredictable weather conditions can be and understand the importance of seeking shelter when the tornado sirens sound.

However, some shippers and receivers around the country do not allow truck drivers inside their facilities when extreme weather conditions arise. While they advise their own employees to follow the posted emergency procedures, truckers aren’t included in their plans.

“Afterward, the girl in the office did apologize for the delay in getting my truck unloaded,” the OOIDA member told Land Line recently. “But when I asked her why didn’t anyone come get me, she said I wasn’t an employee so they couldn’t let me in the building anyway.”

Editor’s note: Those who are in the OOIDA parking lot or nearby during severe weather are welcome to take shelter with us in the basement here at our Grain Valley, MO, headquarters.

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