SPECIAL REPORT: One driver says &rlquo;no’

| 6/5/2003

Truckers who are under pressure during June Safety Month can take heart from the story of one trucker in Florida who chose to say no.

This is how the trucker himself told the story:

The trucker, who was picking up a load at a shipper, had to wait 12 hours – from 12:41 p.m. Monday to 12:45 a.m. Tuesday – for the shipper to finish loading his truck. Then, after he had been on-duty 15 hours, the shipper wanted him to drive 400 miles in seven hours to deliver the load.

And that’s when the driver said no.

Since he had driven three hours to get to the shipper and waited 12 hours for the load, the trucker informed the people at the dock he could not move the truck. The response was quick – and nasty. The shipper called local law-enforcement officers, who told the trucker to leave or be arrested.

But the story has a happy ending, and an unlikely hero – a local DOT officer. The driver called the local weigh station, and a DOT officer drove straight out to the shipper’s location. He told the local officer that the driver could not leave without hours left on his book.

In the end, the DOT officer escorted the truckdriver to a nearby truckstop, where the driver got his required eight hours of rest.

For more about this story, watch this Web site.