Archive for May, 2010

Trucking Vets Past and Present – Thank You for our Freedom

May 31st, 2010

Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

Like I have said before, this is a trucking blog site and I am partial to truck drivers. So I wanted to do my Memorial Day article to thank all the veterans – especially trucking veterans for our freedom.

Truckers are not well respected, or at least not publicly people may do it just not where everybody can see it. We as a country need to respect all veterans and show our appreciation. This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

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Common Sense Trucking

May 30th, 2010

Common sense trucking – what is that? Well, a lot of people coming into trucking now – don’t have it – and they need to get it. Some people can be “book smart” and dumb-as-a-rock at the same time. All the “books” in the world, on truck driving or whatever profession you are doing – won’t mean squat – if you don’t have any common sense. All the training or schooling you take won’t do you any good without any common sense.

Common sense – sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgment. All the books and schooling and training cannot give this to you. I understand that most drivers don’t like new regulations set up by FMCSA, and the D.O.T. but to tell you the truth, there’s not a whole lot any of us can do – especially if you don’t take a stand. All the – tweeting or writing on facebook groups or writing books and reading them – in the world does nothing if the right people don’t read it. Your senators and representatives of your state – can get things done – if they hear from you, they work for you.

If you knowingly have your log book screwed up and are for the most part driving illegally don’t speed – don’t advertise yourself on the CB Radio – this is asking for a ticket – use common sense. If you knowingly are pulling a trailer that will not pass an inspection and you get into an inspection and get shut down – you have no one to blame, but yourself. If you are in line at a weigh station and the truck in front of you is missing a mud flap – don’t tell them on the CB radio. Weigh stations monitor “CB chatter” all the time just for this reason. Why would you want to make the D.O.T.’s job any easier. Make them earn their pay. The D.O.T. doesn’t get out there in the truck and help you drive – do they?

I’m in no way condoning that you should do anything illegal here. But if you decide to do it – keep it to yourself. Taking pictures of illegally parked trucks – and posting them on the Internet, and then crying about the industry adding new regulations is not helping the industry. And what I’m talking about is, most truck drivers don’t have Internet while out on the road so posting pictures of illegally parked trucks doesn’t get the message to them – but it does give the general public another resource to use against truckers. Truck drivers need to be educated about the problems the trucking industry have – not the general public.

If you are a female truck driver. Why would you dress like a prostitute – and walk across a truck stop parking lot – and then complain because you were treated like a “lot lizard?” Just dress conservatively, walking through a dark parking lot – and lallygagging – is asking for trouble. By no means must you act like you are scared – even if you are.

Male or female you should always walk with your head up – and at least, pretend that you know what you are doing. All I am trying to say is that a little common sense will carry you through a lot of situations that otherwise would bring more trouble or harm upon yourself. A good example is CSA2010, which is really left up to you as a driver as to whether or not you receive infractions for defective equipment. I read and hear a lot of drivers talking about safety. Pre and post trip inspections are one of the main duties of the job that truck drivers are required to do. Do what is required of the job, and you will be good to go.

Trucking is not for everyone – if all you are going to do is complain – about things that happen to yourself because you did something that common sense would have told you not to do, then you need to find another job. Common sense is something needed today in trucking or you as a driver will not survive.

© 2010, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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What Happens When a Car Cuts Off a Tractor Trailer

May 28th, 2010

People that drive around tractor trailers really need to learn how to drive around the big trucks.

In this video captured by a traffic camera it appears that a car cuts off a tractor trailer, forcing the truck to left and into the concrete barrier.

The truck ends up climbing the concrete wall and crossing the wall and flips over in the oncoming lanes of traffic.

According to when the accident was over with there was a total of 6 vehicles involved and miraculously no serious injuries.

[stream provider=video flv=x:/ img=x:/ embed=false share=false width=450 height=253 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]

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People Complaining about the Oil Spill

May 28th, 2010

People have been constantly complaining about this oil spill ever since it happened. But these same people need to realize something, you are the ones that need that oil too. The total percentage of US oil that comes from the offshore Gulf of Mexico is just under 32%. All of the oil that comes from the Gulf (the US sector) is used in the US.

Much of that which comes from the Mexican sector is also used in the US. Except for 20,000-60,000 barrels per day that goes to Canada (exports of convenience, from fields near Canadian refineries), all US-produced crude oil is used in the US. When gas and diesel prices skyrocket are we going to have to listen to your complaints then?

Probably the funniest thing I have heard yet if there is a funny coming out of all this is people are complaining about the spill. But when BP started using the oil dispersant to try to break up the oil before it reached shores, they started complaining about this as well. I have come to the conclusion that most people just like to complain.

Why are you blaming BP officials? They are not at fault, the inspectors who failed to do their job are the ones at fault. People are boycotting BP now that is funny because of the name of the owners of the oil rig. But these same people that are “boycotting” are still supporting the company as BP gas and diesel and other products are not the only ones using that oil from BP’s oil rig. To truly “boycott” this oil spill, then you would need to stop using any and all products made from crude oil.

The Obama administration can’t do anything about it, but try to lay blame on – none other than – the Bush administration. But the president wants to spend Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. And how would that look enjoying Hyde Park and maybe yet more golf while the nation’s worst environmental disasters unfolds down south? How’s that change working out for you now?

Yea, it’s a bad thing that happened and yes some sea life will undoubtedly die from it, but it will eventually come back – or move to another part of the ocean. Accidents happen and we need to just work through this one. Was this oil spill preventable – yes, but it would be at a cost that you or I cannot afford as we need that oil coming from the US.

© 2010, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Alert – My ‘BS’ Detector is Overloaded

May 27th, 2010

I swear this year has really overloaded my built-in ‘BS’ detector. From the lies of Obama and Ray LaHood. And the bad part is, the year is not even half over yet. I want a government bail-out to replace my ‘BS’ detector.

I was going to start this article by talking about the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days”. They play a card game in that movie called “BS.” I thought this was a made up card game, but thanks to my wife and the World Wide Web, I found out that is a real card game. It seems this administration is playing this game as well, only they are playing it in real life.

The first time I called BS was when Obama was elected and it has been said oodles of times since then. My hosting won’t allow enough room to write all the BS Obama has spread, so I am going to just post a few good ones so far.

The very first one I found was this, In nominating Ray LaHood as the US Secretary of Transportation, Obama said: “Few understand our infrastructure challenge better than the outstanding public servant that I’m asking to lead the Department of Transportation.” I call BS! What you did Obama, was appoint a puppet. All LaHood is worried about is distracted driving and I have called BS on that several times already.

I must be from the “show me state” because I have not seen any proof that sending and reading text or email messages on a mobile device is a problem with truck drivers. Where is the proof Lahood?

Health care reform – from a truck drivers point of view. Some trucking companies and owner-operators cannot afford to take/offer any health care of their choice. But Obama’s health care plan is supposed to allow everyone to have affordable health insurance? I call BS! As it will penalize a person if they don’t have health insurance. How can they afford to pay a penalty – when they can’t afford health insurance now?

What I really don’t understand about this administration is why do they waste so much money? It’s almost a daily episode of a few billion dollars here and a few billion dollars there, and then when they failed to come into an agreement to extend the Highway Trust Fund and had to furlough about 2,000 employees for a couple of days. But as soon as they came back to work a few hundred billion dollars was wasted on so-called needed infrastructure projects, in state parks?

Plus billions of dollars have gone to mass transit, Mainly buses in different cities throughout the US. But most transit authority workers are union. Why are we giving money to unions? They are way overpaid for what little they do. I wonder why they are going broke? Must be because bus drivers in certain cities can make over $100K per year!

This administration is wasting money because they believe they can just print more up. I believe that is another BS because who is going to pay for the “new money” the US doesn’t have? It’s evident that jobs NEED to be created to pay for all the BS this administration is dreaming up.

Now onto “illegal immigration” how can Obama have any other stand but to be against the law Arizona enacted? I mean if other states adopted it, he (Obama) might get deported. Or at least made to show his real birth certificate. Obama and top members of his administration have said they disapprove of Arizona’s law (without ever reading it!) and the Justice Department is weighing civil action against the state.

The “president” would not condemn boycotts of the state over its law, saying it is for private citizens to decide, not the president of the United States. That is code in my book for, “yes I am boycotting Arizona.”

“You know, I’m the president of the United States. I don’t endorse boycotts or not endorse boycotts,” 0 said. “What my administration is doing is examining very closely this Arizona law and its implications for the civil rights and civil liberties of the people in Arizona, as well as the concern that you start getting a patchwork of 50 different immigration laws around the country in an area that is inherently the job of the federal government.”

What? If the people of Arizona or any other state are here legally they have nothing to worry about.

Don’t worry, as a good friend from Colorado keeps telling me, “They make it too easy” (to call BS). So I will most-likely revisit this type of article a few more times this year.

© 2010, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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MCSAC First Order of Business – Distracted Driving

May 26th, 2010

Who would have thought? Distracted Driving is a problem – but evidently not for truck drivers – according to all the accident statistics. But Ray LaHood is “obsessed” with distracted driving and since he oversees what FMCSA and MCSAC does, then they must waste more money trying to find a reason to study distracted driving for commercial drivers.

The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee was started in 2006 and provides advice and recommendations to the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on motor carrier safety programs and motor carrier safety regulations. Who would have thought that their first order of business would be to hold a three-day meeting to address distracted driving among truck drivers?

This must be another one of the secretary and Obama’s schemes to “create jobs” but in real terms though this means – waste money and lots of it. The only so-called proof the secretary has is from a study preformed Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). They concluded that a truck driver was 23 times more likely to cause an accident while driving a tractor trailer and texting. But the study was ONLY on 203 CMV drivers and 55 trucks from seven trucking fleets. Out of 3.5 million truck drivers on the road today.

And they also included in their findings “near misses” as accidents in fact it was 46 percent near misses. Out of a total of 4,452 crashes, near misses, crash relevant conflict, and unintentional lane deviations. A near miss according to is:

  1. a strike by a missile that is not a direct hit but is close enough to damage the target.
  2. an instance of two vehicles, aircraft, etc., narrowly avoiding a collision.
  3. something that falls narrowly short of its object or of success: an interesting movie, but a near miss.

A “near miss” is in fact not an accident and therefore can’t be used to determine an accident. So in other words this most recent report should be thrown out as it only viewed a very small number of trucks, and used information that is irrelevant to causing an accident. The numbers for the 203 drivers they studied are right – but to say that 3.5 million truck drivers are 23 times more likely to have an accident while texting and driving is ridiculously unreasonable.

If you look at these figures – estimates of 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths occur every year within the U.S. Walkers and bikers account for 15% of the total traffic deaths each year. Fewer than 9% of those deaths involve commercial vehicles. More than 80% of those accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. Of those death related accidents only 4% of trucks are fatigue related. Drinking related accounted for .06% of those accidents.

I would say the secretary is looking for any excuse to implement the decree just for commercial drivers to get money. As the fine for doing this can be up to $2,750.00 which I say is unconstitutional according to Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

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2010 South Dakota Special Olympics Truck Convoy and Show

May 26th, 2010

Have you ever seen a truck convoy? It is an amazing site to see hundreds even thousands of trucks all rolling on the highway, one after another.

A convoy is a group of vehicles or ships traveling together for mutual support. Truck drivers help organizations out all the time, with either donations or transports – anyway they can – especially when kids are involved.

Special Olympics – the first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held in Chicago in 1968. Anne McGlone Burke, a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, began with the idea for a one-time Olympic-style athletic competition for people with special needs.

The World’s Largest Truck Convoy is a one-day celebration that helps raise money for Special Olympics. All trucks entering the World’s Largest Truck Convoy — semi-trucks, truck/trailer combinations, large trucks, low-boys, dump trucks, flat beds, buses, large tow trucks, large box trucks, etc. — must be of 10-GVW or larger. (Note that hazardous materials are not permitted.) Note that Truck Convoy registrations are accepted from companies (one or more trucks) or individuals (participation levels are detailed in the registration packets).

The convoys are held in different states to allow for more people to be able to get involved. One such state is South Dakota, which has been participating in the Special Olympics Truck Convoy for seven years. This years convoy will be held September 24 & 25 at W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds Sioux Falls, SD. Marty Ellis is one of the organizers of the South Dakota Special Olympics Truck Convoy and Show. I got in touch with Marty and asked if he would answer some questions about it, and he agreed.

When were the Special Olympics convoys started?Corporal Norm Schneiderhan, a deputy sheriff from Orange County, Florida, organized the 2001 event, which raised $17,000. Ninety-seven trucks participated in the convoy.

Who started the convoys?Corporal Norm Schneiderhan started the original Convoy. Here, in South Dakota we started in 2003 by Mike Currier, Russ Ronk, and Dan Moore.

How long does it take to organize a convoy like this?We actually start the morning after the Convoy for what we are doing the next year.

Can people not in the convoy donate to a particular convoy?YES everybody can go to and get the particulars on each of the different convoy’s or contact their local Special Olympics office and let them know you would like to donate or volunteer for their truck convoy.

How long has South Dakota been involved in the convoys?This will be our 7th year.

Do you have any “special” memories of a particular convoy?A few really stand out. One when we decided to have the athletes give medals to the drivers for the first time. We had a lot of truck drivers with tears in their eyes.

Another is when one of our volunteers (Jerry Seaman) received the athletes choice award in our truck show. For years, he had been the one to get the athletes together to bring them out to look at the trucks and decide which one they liked the best. Of course he always steered them away from his truck. We decided to have a Special Olympics official do that and Jerry won.

The other was the first time we had one of our athletes (Mason Ivers) sing the National-Anthem. That is an emotional song to begin with, but when a Special Olympics Athlete does it, it really gives Special meaning to it.

I want to thank you Marty for taking the time to answer a few questions for us, and for doing this for Special Olympics I am sure it is very appreciated.

Do you want to add anything else?Different States do their convoy’s different. We have a Texas Holdem Tournament the night before with a trip for 2 to Laughlin, NV. at the Riverside Resort. The actual day of the convoy we also have a Truck Show where all the drivers participating have a chance to win trophies, and prizes, along with raffles and a live auction.

We have our own website at with all the updated information. All of the Convoys are always looking for private and company sponsors and volunteers. People can donate money, items for raffles, prizes, or the auction. They can also talk with the organizers about having items placed in the goody bags or offer services (like, karaoke, health screenings, etc.)

Each year I have a painting commissioned for our convoy. This years painting is based on Leland Martin’s song “Highway Angels” the paintings and prints are done by David M. Porter (

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Truck Drivers – Skilled or Unskilled Labor

May 24th, 2010

There is close to 70,000 people employed through various govt departments to ensure the safety of the road, sky, railroad, and water.

Of course I am going to talk about the trucking part of it. There are about 4 million truck drivers on the roads today. Truckers are all federally mandated on what they can and cannot do, on just about everything involved with driving a truck.

Truck drivers are regulated on how many hours they can drive per day, work per day, sleep per day. Drivers are also subject to drug test at any time any law enforcement ask, or their employer can ask as too, and drivers must comply.

Skilled Labor – is a measure of a worker’s expertise, specialization, wages, and supervisory capacity. Skilled workers are generally more trained, higher paid, and have more responsibilities.

Unskilled Labor – work that requires practically no training or experience for its adequate or competent performance.

Based upon the two definitions I provided to you which do you – the non trucking people – consider to be a truck driver?

Most people who are not in the trucking industry, have no clue what it is to be a trucker. A lot of people have this crazy idea that all truck drivers do are sit and drive – wrong. It takes a whole lot of skill to maneuver a 40 ton vehicle into tight alley ways that most business’s require trucks to back into so that the trucks can either load or unload. A large pick-up or SUV is about 16 feet in length, a tractor trailer is 75 feet in length, and bends in the middle. Could you back it up without any training?

A person wanting to learn to drive a truck must go through some type of schooling usually in order to get a CDL license. This is usually just a three week course, and ALL it does is help you get a CDL license. Truck drivers are constantly learning even veterans that have been on the road – don’t know it all. If a truck driver says he or she has learned everything about trucking, then they are lying.

Medical doctors go to school and have training for years before they are considered a doctor. They are trained to save lives when possible. There are approximately 700,000 doctors in the US, but 125,000 patients “accidentally” die each year. But yet the government doesn’t regulate how long they work. Doctors are not regulated upon how many hours they have to sleep before another shift starts.

There are approximately 4 million truck drivers on the road, but only 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths occur each year within the US. Walkers and bikers account for 15% of the total traffic deaths each year. Fewer than 9% of those deaths involve commercial vehicles.

More than 80% of those accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. Of the death related accidents only 4% of the trucks are fatigue related. Drinking related accounted for .06% of those accidents. Those numbers continue to fall – as far as what truck drivers cause – in the number of traffic deaths.

But yet the government feels that they MUST regulate how long a driver is on-duty driving each day, and how much that driver must SLEEP before returning to the duty of driving. The department of labor classifies truck driving as unskilled labor. This needs to be changed to very skilled labor in my book, according to the figures between doctors and drivers i.e; to how many people die per year because of each job.

© 2010, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

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Death Row Inmates – Rights or No Rights

May 23rd, 2010

If a person is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death – should they have the right to keep appealing the execution dates?

I am of Christian faith, and the Bible mentions in several different scriptures “Eye for an eye.”

So yes, I believe that any person who commits an intentional murder of anyone should receive a punishment of “an eye for eye.” The definition of intentional – done with intention or on purpose; intended.

Kentucky authorizes lethal injection for people sentenced on or after March 31st, 1998; inmates sentenced before that date may select lethal injection or electrocution. Right now KY has 36 death row inmates, and these are some sick puppies!

In Kentucky there are three inmates fighting a new execution method that Kentucky is wanting to use. The three are asking a judge to declare that the state violated a state Supreme Court order in the way it adopted the three-drug lethal injection procedure. The motion says the state doesn’t spell out how the chemicals would be injected, authorizes unqualified people to insert the IV lines and doesn’t allow death row inmates to address a public hearing about the protocol.

This is exactly why I asked the question: Should death row inmates have the right to keep appealing the execution dates? Why does it matter how the chemicals are administered? Why does it matter if the person putting the IV needle in the convicted killers arm is not qualified to do so? Are they afraid they might catch something? They are sentenced to die – who cares. The victims in each of the cases was not given the right to live. They were not allowed to protest the date that they were killed – or the fashion in which they were killed in.

The death penalty is a punishment that fits the crime; it is neither “cruel” nor “unusual.” Executing a murderer is the appropriate punishment for taking an innocent life. Allowing these sick murderers to remain on death row for years is a big waste of money. I think if you kill someone intentionally and are convicted of it by a jury, and judge then the court should not allow you to live any longer, and the death sentence should be carried out immediately.

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