Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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Mark H. Reddig
Land Line Now
Friday, October 24, 2008
I know the economy is bad. I know we’re all struggling
But I’m getting more and more suggestions for RAZZBERRIES these days, it seems, from folks complaining about the attitude that they’ve been getting at truck s
I won’t say it’s reached epidemic proportions yet, but the monkey has definitely escaped from the lab and infected more than a few people. I had a couple of calls recently about one truck s
That’s all well and good, but one caller
Then there was the guy who went
And then there’s Diesel Dave Sweetman’s latest column in Land Line Magazine, for another example.
I don’t know what’s going on out there, but it sounds like some of these folks could use a serious attitude adjustment. So for anyone reading this who happens
You work at a truck s
You see, the other key word in your business is “s
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
But in some parts of the East and West Coasts, it’s at the crisis stage.
Take New Kent County, VA. An OOIDA member called us recently, saying a truck stop there posted signs that limit parking to four hours. The signs, and apparently some employees at the truck stop, say it’s a county ordinance.
I think anyone familiar with trucking knows that’s nuts. And this is representative of what’s happening in many locations on the East Coast.
A rule like this passed by a local government can only be based on one of two things: It’s either ignorance of the realities of trucking, or – worse – they just don’t want truckers hanging around.
Mind you, they certainly don’t mind eating, wearing or buying what the truckers bring. They just don’t want them around.
So which one is it? I’m betting on option No. 2.
So let’s think about solutions. And here’s where we start: How many of you live there in New Kent County, VA?
If you do live there, have you called your representative in the county government and explained this to them?
Have you explained that you pay taxes too? That truckers have no choice but to rest the amount required by the federal regulations?
Even if you don’t live there, if you just haul there, give them a call. Let them know this is having a detrimental effect on your ability to serve their citizens.
If you’re a citizen of Virginia, call your state lawmakers. Explain that putting a two-hour limit on parking in rest areas – which is also taking place in that state – prevents truckers, who have no other option, from parking in the state at all.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Rachele’s the trucker from Gatineau, Quebec, who decided in July to organize the first ever all-female truck convoy to raise money for breast cancer research.
A short three months later, on October 18th, it became a reality when 29 trucks convoyed down Highway 401 in Ontario with 29 women behind the wheels.
By Rachele’s estimate, the participants raised at least $15,000.
“For 29 trucks, I’d say that’s pretty good” Rachele says.
Plus, Rachele got donors to give all sorts of items that the women could take home – from bags containing things like bracelets and coffee mugs; to jackets and a coffee maker; to $1,500 worth of fuel.
“I think everyone left with a smile,” she says.
Will Rachele and the other women stage another convoy next year?
“Absolutely!” she says – adding that she bets there’ll be twice as many trucks next time.
Personally, given the short amount of time Rachele had to organize this year’s convoy, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a hundred trucks in the next one.
So, ‘cheers!’ to Rachele Champagne or en francais, ‘Sante!’
Monday, October 20, 2008
Folks are ready to use our domestic oil reserves so we can escape the dependence on foreign oil.
But those folks may have forgotten something. And the sad part is, it’s obvious, and I don’t think anyone – or at least very few people – have figured it out.
We can have all the oil in the world, but what if we don’t do anything to increase our refining capacity?
You can have all the oil in the world, but without the refinery capacity, what you have is a nice reserve of unrefined lubricant. It’s certainly not something you would want to put in your vehicle.
I guess the politicians missed that. Not that I’m surprised.
But we have to think beyond the political slogans and easy solutions. We have to think about the entire process of providing energy to this nation, start to finish.
If we mess up this one, we could damage our nation in ways I don’t even want to think about.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I recently talked
But just in case, here’s a quick recap: It’s the security card that all ports in the
One of the things Joe and Rick
It would be easy
But consider this: On September 11, 2001, a group of men made their way through sloopy airport security and managed
The airport where they started?
Okay, so the folks at the airports don’t know what’s going on, so what? This card is for ports, right? Surely the folks at the ports know what’s going on. Maybe they know, but for now, at least, they can’t do much with that knowledge. There are no card readers installed at the ports yet.
So does that mean you shouldn’t bother with a TWIC card? Well, that depends on whether or not you want
Let’s just hope the TSA realizes that,
Thursday, October 16, 2008
CARB has taken the kid gloves off.
The California Air Resources Board announced just last week that it was sending members of its staff into the field to begin strict enforcement of its idling rules – including the five-minute limit for commercial trucks.
Here’s how things work in a nut shell.
Trucks, even those with sleeper berths, are not allowed to idle more than 5 minutes in an hour.
The only exceptions for the vast majority of truckers are:
- You are stuck in traffic;
- Idling to service or inspect your vehicle;
- You are using a power take-off device;
- You cannot move because of mechanical failure, or bad weather;
If you violate the new truck idling rules, you could face a fine of $300. And if you do it again and again, you could face even higher fines, sometimes running $1,000 to $10,000.
The situation is dire for some truckers, who face forced confinement in their sleepers for rest periods.
The new enforcement effort has caused a lot of trucker reaction. One truck driver told us that the agency was stepping up enforcement in truck stop parking lots, something he questioned. Is it legal to go onto private property to enforce the rules?
It’s a good question.
I asked OOIDA’s Member Assistance Department about that. They concluded pretty much the same thing I did. There is nothing to stop CARB from doing that.
The truck stop is a public place, a business that welcomes members of the general public onto its property. And once CARB enforcers walk on that property, there’s nothing to stop them from ticketing any idling truck they see.
But that’s just another aspect of the situation – not the fundamental problem.
Admittedly, diesel fumes are worse than car fumes. But
Will state officials tell cars to shut the engines off and stop idling? I’d say no.
That’s because, first, so many cars run on the roads there, it would be impractical to try to shut them all down.
Second, trucks are an easy target. There aren’t nearly as many as cars, and with so many groups demonizing trucks, it’s easy to get lawmakers or agencies to pass a rule restricting them.
Of course, that leaves us with a number of problems that CARB hasn’t addressed. So let’s take a look at those.
First, this is inconsistent with other laws. Truckers are required to take their 10 hours off to get rest. How can the government expect truckers to get proper rest in a cab where the interior temperature may be well above 130 degrees?
Unfortunately, many of our laws contradict one another. And we the people pretty much have to live with it. Saying “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” won’t get you out of a ticket.
Second, while CARB could make an argument that owner-operators have the option of purchasing idle-reduction equipment such as APUs, no one can argue with any logic whatsoever that company drivers have that option.
So what should they do? Apparently, CARB’s answer is that they should roast out in the desert heat, which is plain bull.
So what can people like you and I do to help out those truckers?
The best thing is to get some useful information out there that can help those truckers.
We’ve spelled out the rules, which is a good step. But we plan to go much further. For truckers who don’t have an APU or other similar system, we’ll do some research and see if we can get some solid advice for you to follow.
But no matter what, be ready – those fines are high enough they could cause some real financial damage.