Line One
Roses & Razzberries

Mama raised this trucker right. According to news reports, trucker Christopher Keiser of Hillsboro, IL, was rollin’ down Illinois Route 15 last month when he ran over a bag containing $44,000. Realizing it was a bank bag, he stopped, turned on the emergency lights and backtracked to pick it up. Inside were two wads of cash. A deposit slip showed the money belonged to an apartment community. Keiser then drove to a nearby lube shop and called the bank printed on the bag. “It would have been easy for a lesser person to take the cash,” said D. Robert McCardele, administrator for the apartment complex. “Apparently the person responsible for transporting the money put the bag on top of their car and drove off.” ROSES to Keiser, who said it was just the right thing to do.

ROSES to Donnie Darnell who went the extra mile to take care of an OOIDA member and trucker. Darnell, owner of Goldstar Truck Service in Greensboro, NC, stayed open and worked to replace a water pump on a member’s truck so he could arrive on time. Darnell only charged the normal rate versus the overtime rate usually charged.

ROSES to OOIDA member Harvey Zander for his selection as the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Independent Contractor of the Year. Harvey collects a new 2002 International tractor built to his specifications as his award and plans to turn it into another show truck similar to Harvey and Karen’s show truck, “Icy Blu.” Harvey, a resident of Eagan, MN, is the first two-time winner of the TCA contest. He was nominated and sponsored by Dart Transit where he has been an independent contractor for more than 20 years.

ROSES to J. Merle Jones, a 90-year-old truck mechanic, who still can be found behind the workbench in a Joliet, IL, garage that he built in 1967. The founder of four successful Navistar truck dealerships and service centers in Illinois, he never traded in his mechanic’s jumpsuit for a suit and tie.

“I have been lucky. It has been a good life,” Jones said in a recent interview with the Daily Southtown. “I’ve done a lot of long hours and hard work, but that doesn’t hurt you.” Jones now limits himself to fixing broken alternators, a skill he learned in 1928. He also says he has seen a lot of changes in trucking over the years. Some of the first trucks he worked on had hard rubber tires and no cabs, thus exposing drivers to all the elements. “The trucks we had then,” he said, “didn’t even have windshield wipers.”

Most Flying J fuel stops have a policy of giving truckers one free 20-ounce cup of coffee with a fuel purchase. One OOIDA member reports that after buying 136 gallons of fuel at the Flying J in Albuquerque, NM, she asked for the coffee to be poured into her thermos instead. The thermos held less than 20 ounces, but the truckstop refused and charged her 99 cents for the fill. RAZZBERRIESto the Flying J at Interstate 40 exit 153 fuel stop. They reportedly have no problem filling RVers’ thermos bottles for free.