Line One
Roses & Razzberries

By Terry Scruton, Land Line Now senior correspondent

ROSES to Fikes Truck Line for all of its work to help out those in need this past holiday season. The company worked with Weyerhaeuser to bring loads of lumber to a ship in Florida that was headed for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Initially asked by Weyerhaeuser to move the shipments at reduced rates, Fikes offered instead to waive its fees altogether.

Then, in December, the company also participated in Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit group dedicated to placing holiday wreaths at veteran cemeteries across the United States. Truck driver Jeff Edmonson, who has been with Fikes since 2006, hauled a trailer loaded with wreaths from Harrington, ME, to cemeteries in Alabama and Louisiana.

In a time when we hear so much news about the bad companies out there, it's always nice to stop and take a moment to recognize one of the good ones.

ROSES go out to the Nebraska farmer who helped a group of stranded motorists – including several truckers – during a snowstorm one Saturday in mid-December.

Truck driver Ryan Bonsall said he was driving along U.S. Highway 81 near Sioux Falls when he and about 40 other truckers found themselves stranded by a snowstorm for 30 hours.

During that time, a local farmer came to the aid of several of the stranded people, bringing supplies and even letting 17 of them stay in his house overnight.

We also have to give a few RAZZBERRIES to the state for not coming to help these stranded folks. Ryan said the truckers who called 911 were told that no one was coming to help until the following Monday morning. He said they were told it was their own fault for driving during the bad weather, even though the state had kept the highway open after closing several others in the area.

OOIDA Member Dirk Albin and his wife Amanda would like to send a huge batch of ROSES to the Boise Stage Stop in Boise, ID.

Dirk and Amanda were there this past Thanksgiving. The stop had a driver appreciation day, complete with a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie given free to all CDL holders. Amanda said there was also a raffle and door prizes.

And we know it's February, but it's never too late to show your appreciation. Though Thanksgiving is long gone, we think this is one truck stop that deserves a little Valentine's Day love.

OOIDA Member Barb Langan of Austin, MN, would like to send some ROSES to the good Samaritan who braved the cold and rain – not to mention a heavy amount of traffic – to help out one of Barb's drivers back in November.

Though she didn't get his name, Barb said this man made a special trip back down the highway to pick up the wheels that broke away from the truck's rear tandem because of damage caused by loose lug nuts.

Though the man was driving a utility pickup, he said he had a CDL and was just helping out a fellow truck driver. He didn't give his name and refused any type of payment for his assistance.

He helped get the driver situated and back on the road so he could get to where he needed to go to get the truck fixed.

Well, Barb, we don't know who he is, but if he's reading this magazine, consider him thanked for a job well done.

We've got to send some RAZZBERRIES to the heartless folks out there who are trying to scam truck drivers out of their money in this tough economy.

We're specifically talking about a story out of Kissimmee, FL, involving a truck driver who went for what he thought was an interview with a legitimate motor carrier. The driver showed up at the office, which was mostly empty except for a paper sign with the name "Intrinsic Distribution" written on it.

A man calling himself Adam Redwine hired the driver, but not before charging him $50 for a drug test and background check. When the driver checked back later, the office was empty and his calls went unreturned.

Turns out there was no such company and the whole thing had been a scam. What a lousy thing to do for a measly $50. At least this will hopefully serve as a cautionary tale for other truckers out there so they don't get taken in by these crooks. LL