Archive for November, 2010

Recovery Act – ‘If It Was Good’ – Why Keep Accentuating It

November 30th, 2010

If the Recovery Act – that the Secretary of Transportation keeps proclaiming about was a good idea for the economy – why must he keep reminding everyone?

Is it because those that were in favor of it are not sure about it? Or is it the apprehension that not very many would back it? I always thought that if it was a good idea then there would be no need for the reminders.

It is uncanny that those that favored the recovery act – keep ‘reminding’ us about it – telling us all these things that could not have been possible without spending billions of dollars. But then the Bureau of Labor Statistic reports unemployment has not changed much like we have all been told it would – if this money was spent. It is disheartening to keep reminding us of the foolhardiness of the Obama administration.

‘If it were a good concept, then I don’t believe it would need to be emphasized so much. It’s almost as if the Secretary is uncertain of the recovery act himself and keeps highlighting it, trying to force an artificial effectiveness on those who are not convinced, that it is working. When there are those of us that are living in the reality that it didn’t or has not worked.

I guess that they think if they keep reminding us that by ‘saying’ it is working then eventually we will begin to ‘think’ it is working. It is daunting to read the Secretary’s blog advertising that the recovery act has saved small businesses from becoming extinct and is helping the small businesses to even expand – when the tax breaks have not been extended yet. These same small businesses he commends will undoubtedly be forced to close – if their taxes are raised. Not to mention the fact that the new health care laws seem geared to causing small businesses to fail.

I just wonder when these foolish people in power will awaken from their fairy tale trip to dreamland and realize they have screwed up this country to the point of no return – in 2012? The ‘summer of recovery’ as the Secretary keeps exclaiming won’t go down in history as a medal winner. It will however go down in history as the biggest downfall – ’2010 summer of decay’. With the Senate making their dismal decisions as of late, e.g., not passing the earmark ban, and the passing of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act – we are setting ourselves up for yet again – another failure.

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

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Women In Trucking Salutes The Women Behind The Wheel On ESPN

November 29th, 2010

Viewers of the 2010 uDrove Humanitarian Bowl might be surprised to only see women in a thirty second commercial promoting the trucking industry.

The Women In Trucking Association, through the support of Frito-Lay North America, Freightliner LLC, Walmart, and Internet Truckstop filmed the ad to honor the “women behind the wheel.”

The commercial features a white Freightliner tractor-trailer (driven by Walmart driver, Allyson Hay). It continues as photos of women posed by their trucks appear with the words, “professional,” experienced,” “dedicated,” and “pioneers.” A photo of the 2010 Salute to Women ( appears before President/CEO Ellen Voie acknowledges the “women behind the wheel.”

S & E Productions, (; a Franklin, TN based video and audio production company produced the commercial. Dave Edwards, co-owner and producer, worked with Women In Trucking and the ad’s sponsors to create the spot. WIT member companies, Frito-Lay, Con-Way, Schneider National and US Xpress, supplied photos of female drivers.

Walmart provided the Freightliner truck and driver for the filming in Nashville, Tennessee, which occurred in November. “Despite the overcast skies and light rain, we were able to get the shots we needed,” Edwards commented. “Allyson, a/k/a Cadillac, was patient and a real professional to work with, and Ellen even remembered her lines,” he remarked.

“As a nonprofit association, the ability to obtain exposure on ESPN during a nationally televised football game is truly amazing,” said Voie. “Without the generous support of Frito-Lay, Freightliner, Walmart and Internet Truckstop, this commercial would not have become a reality,” Voie added. “Working with Allyson and the S & E production team was a lot of fun, even in a cold November drizzle!” she added.

The Women In Trucking commercial will be shown during the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl ( on December 18th. The Mid-American conference winner will play the Western Athletic Conference champion during the college play off in Bronco Stadium at Boise State University. The kick off is 3:30 pm MST and will be televised on ESPN.

Women In Trucking ( was established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generous support of Gold Level Partners, Frito-Lay North America and Walmart.

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

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Study About Drowsy Driving – Proves Nothing

November 10th, 2010

A study on drowsy driving was released by AAA on Monday.

I have read the report and find it to be ridiculous, to say the least. Although there is nothing funny about drowsy driving, this report was based upon too few drivers and phone surveys.

Now, an article written up in the Washington Post online, points towards truck drivers mainly, and the ludicrous comments left at the end of it.

The abstract of the study tells me that little time was actually spent on this. An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose.

Here is part of the abstract:

In a nationally representative telephone survey of U.S. drivers conducted in the spring of 2010, 41.0% of drivers admit to having “fallen asleep or nodded off” while driving at some point intheir lives, including 11.0% within the past year and 3.9% in the past month. More than one in four drivers admit to having driven when they were “so sleepy that [they] had a hard timekeeping [their] eyes open” within the past month.

Telephone survey? Really? I don’t know about you, but I rarely answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number, and if I do and it is a “telemarketer” I slam the phone in his or her ear. So this bit of their “information from their study” is ridiculous at best – as is most studies that are conducted.

I don’t need a “study” to tell me that there are people out driving drowsy – I was a truck driver for 15 years – I know firsthand. The article written on the Washington Post site also refers to the NTSB’s report they gave on the accident near Miami, Oklahoma June 26th, 2009. They concluded that the “76 year old” truck driver had the accident because of fatigue. Which I am not debating at all, he was 76 years old and a truck driver that started work very early in the morning’s, so I’m sure he was tired.

But, I guess I should not mention this truck drivers age as a factor in this accident. An accident that had happened prior to this one and actually caused the stoppage of the vehicles that were involved in the accident with the tractor trailer – was caused by an 18 year old driver that had fallen asleep and hit another tractor trailer.

After NTSB’s investigation it sent recommendations to FMCSA and NHTSA for the trucking industry. They sent this to FMCSA. Educate truckers with updated fatigue material, require that all motor carriers adopt a fatigue management program, require all heavy commercial vehicles to be equipped with video event recorders, require motor carriers to review and use video event recorder, to ensure that the driver is in accordance with company and regulatory rules and procedures.

This was the recommendation sent to the NHTSA: improve highway vehicle crash compatibility, develop performance standards for-front under-ride protection systems for trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings over 10,000 pounds. After establishing performance standards, for-front under-ride protection systems for trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings over 10,000 pounds, require that all such newly manufactured trucks be equipped with front under-ride protection systems meeting the performance standards.

Develop and implement minimum performance standards for event data recorders for trucks that address, at a minimum, data parameters to be recorded; data sampling rates; duration of recorded event; standardized or universal data imaging interface; data storage format; and device and data survivability for crush, impact, fluid exposure and immersion, and thermal exposure. After establishing performance standards for event data recorders for trucks, require that all such vehicles be equipped with event data recorders meeting the standards.

These recommendations don’t include any mention of what really is causing fatigue driving. I didn’t see any mention of the need for flexibility in the current hours-of-service that would allow truck drivers to take a needed break when they need it. Plus, I didn’t see any mention of the lack of parking places that cause these truck drivers not to get the rest needed. These reports again just prove my point about the “blind mice theory.”

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

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Transportation Leaders – Three Blind Mice

November 9th, 2010

Why is it that the so-called transportation leaders are just like the three blind mice?

Of course we know there are more than just three transportation leaders, but I couldn’t find more than three blind mice.

So we will try to focus on the three that I and many others think are the most important parts of the transportation “leaders.”

Why did I pick the NTSB, FMCSA, and the USDOT? Well, it is because these three are in the most power when it comes to dealing with the trucking industry.

NTSB investigates most of the really bad accidents that happen within the trucking industry, they are usually completely thorough with their investigations to determine what has happened. This usually takes them several months to complete a full investigation. If to many of the same kinds of accidents occur, then they will make recommendations to the USDOT and FMCSA.

Then why do I consider them to be part of the blind mice trio? Well, the NTSB has a blind eye towards the people that are actually out here working every day – the truck drivers. Drivers are over here jumping up and down waiving their arms wildly to try to get these leaders attention, but they never see the drivers. Drivers have been complaining about the hours they work, appointment times, sleeping arrangements, lack of healthy places to eat, and the lack of good places to park – for years, but nobody will listen.

FMCSA’s primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. With that being said, why do they also have a blind eye towards the industry? I know the administrations leader Anne S. Ferro has to have some idea about how bad the parking situations are. And she must know what the drivers are going through on a daily basis, as far as sitting so much at the docks. Prior to her being the leader at FMCSA she led the Maryland Motor Truck Association as its president and chief executive officer from 2003 to 2009. Previously, Ms. Ferro served as the State of Maryland’s Motor Vehicle administrator from 1997 to 2003.

Why is she and the FMCSA so blind to the real problems that truck drivers face. She has been involved in transportation for some time now so, it surely is not lack of experience. Instead of her taking the reigns and driving to better this industry – she is allowing herself to be driven and enjoying the pay.

The USDOT is completely blind to anything to do within the trucking industry. It is led by someone who has not been in the “real industry” but has been a part of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and we all know they have blind eyes towards the real problems. The only thing this administration’s choice for leader of the USDOT is doing what he is told to do, by a so-called leader who knows nothing, and spending tax money on ludicrous livable projects, i.e., millions of dollars for bike paths and fighting distracted driving.

I don’t have a problem with him focusing so much on distracted driving, I do however have a problem as to how he handles the so-called problem – in trucking. States already have fines and punishments for text messaging and driving and are no way near as bad in a car as they are for commercial drivers. But he insisted on quadrupling the consequences for the safest drivers on the highway – truckers.

Trucks were first used extensively by the military during World War I. Trucking began to achieve significant foothold in the 1930s, and soon became the target of various governmental regulations (such as the hours of service). During the 40s and 50s, trucking was accelerated by the construction of the Interstate Highway System, a network of freeways linking major cities across the continent. So see, when have these so-called leaders ever been “concerned” for the drivers?

Here is the latest boat load of crap from the secretary of transportation’s blog. I left a comment that I would be surprised if it is approved, voicing my opinion about the whole “fake” concern that they think they have.

Just in case they “forget” to approve the comment, here it is.

What a boat load of crap…If you all in the DOT and the rest of your gutless entourage had a whimper of a concern for a driver’s health, then you would be fighting the ANTI-IDLING laws, and not allowing these rest areas to be closed.

Why not quit wasting all that tax money on bike paths, and get us some parking places built!

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A Simple Fix For a Couple Of Trucking Problems

November 5th, 2010

I saw a post earlier today on LandLine Now’s blog. It was titled “a solution to idling laws” and it was from a driver that said a simple solution was to make the truck makers add apu’s when they build the truck – simple solution – right?

Well, there could be a couple of simple fix’s to a couple of problems in the trucking industry. The problem is that if these simple fix’s were implemented then there would be no money for these states – for fines for these nonsensical laws that have been imposed upon truck drivers i.e., no texting, no idling.

Why do I call these two laws absurd? If a truck driver is “caught” texting while driving the commercial vehicle the fine can be up to $2,750 for the driver and up to $11,000 for the carrier. A little steep don’t you think? If the fine was not severe enough, under the rule, texting while driving for commercial driver does become part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s list of serious violations that count against a driver’s CDL. In addition, texting while driving carries a 10-point severity weight rating and is a driver responsible offense in CSA 2010.

Now, text messaging is banned for ALL DRIVERS in 30 states and the District of Columbia, but the fines and penalties imposed by states are NO WHERE near what it is for a commercial vehicle driver. Here you can see updated laws about cell phones and text messaging.

Simple fix for this? Go after the cell phone people and make them fix the phones so they will not operate while a vehicle is moving. Simple yes, but not practical to the money hungry thieves that think these ludicrous laws up.

Next up is the one that I find to be a inhumane law. No idling for commercial vehicles. It would be inhumane, if the place where you lived, enacted laws that read, you must turn your electric off in your home for 10 hours after 14 hours per day – wouldn’t it?

Same difference to a truck driver, the truck is their “home,” but these drivers are forced to try and sleep on their federally mandated 10 hour break in their “homes” with no heat and or any air conditioning – simply inhumane. Fines are somewhere around $300.00 for over FIVE minutes of idling while trying to sleep – simply inhumane. A simple fix would be for the truck makers to include apu’s on all trucks made. Problem with that is if the apu is diesel then there is restrictions placed on that as well.

There are a few other ridiculous laws that these money hungry thieves have, and I am sure there will be more in the future. I would just like to see everyone have to go by the same rules that are forced upon truck drivers and see how long the rules last. For the most up-to-date idling laws go here.

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

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LaHood: TIGER II Grants Removing Trucks From Highways

November 4th, 2010

The mission statement for the Department of Transportation says it is to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people.

It is kind of atrocious for the Department of Transportation to use fast, and safe, and efficient all in the same sentence as their mission statement. Especially when we have all been taught that driving fast is NOT SAFE, and NOT efficient as it makes the vehicle use more fuel.

What is a grant? The definition I found is; a giving of funds for a specific purpose. With that being said, where does this money originate? Do they just print it up, or what? Tax dollars are spent in hundreds of ways. They pay federal salaries, fund public schools and libraries and ensure that our military is well armed and protected to defend us.

There is also an allotment of revenues that are set aside to fund a variety of causes supporting organizations and individuals. A major portion of grant money is coming directly from taxpayers. So actually when the president, senator, representative or even this administration’s secretary of transportation shoots off at the mouth about how this is a “grant” you – the taxpayer – are still going to pay for it, one way or another.

With the results of the November elections and the republicans gaining control of the house, reports of some of the GOP candidates that won their elections are now saying they don’t want the money they were given for Obamas high-speed rail. Which is very understandable when one takes a closer look at a little thing like how are they suppose to afford it.

The reason I entitled my post “LaHood: TIGER II Grants Removing Trucks From Highways” is because this is one reason that @RayLahood says it is a benefit in his Thursday morning blog-post. Another important benefit? Removing 15,000 trucks a year from congested local roadways. In Chandron, Nebraska the president of Nebraska North Western Railroad (NNW), “There’s nothing cheap about running heavy trucks down a highway. A 120 car train takes 400 trucks off the roads. That’s a reduction in wear and tear and emissions.”

So LaHood touts that these TIGER II grants are creating jobs. But says it is going to be used to “remove 15,000 trucks a year from congested local roadways.” Sorry Mr. secretary, but removing trucks from the road is not creating jobs – as you keep indicating that these grants are creating all these jobs. How many other truck driver – jobs – are you planning on removing?

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Seems Not Everybody Wants High-Speed Rail

November 3rd, 2010

The Republican lawmaker in line to head the House Transportation Committee says he wants to re-examine $10 billion in federal grants for high-speed train service, one of President Barack Obama’s own programs.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., the committee’s ranking GOP member, told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday that he believes high-speed trains are a good idea, but he doesn’t agree with the projects selected by the Transportation Department for funding.

Mica said that most of the projects weren’t truly high-speed trains like the trains in Europe and Asia. He also said that the Northeast is probably the only region in the United States with a population density great enough to financially support a high-speed rail network.

“I am a strong advocate of high-speed rail, but it has to be where it makes sense,” Mica said. “The Obama administration “squandered the money,” giving it to dozens and dozens of projects that were marginal at best to spend on slow-speed trains to nowhere.”

Some of the GOP candidates who won gubernatorial races in Florida and Wisconsin on Tuesday are opposed to proposed rail lines in their states, including Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Florida’s Rick Scott. Walker has created a website,

Walker has put up a public letter to Obama on his website:

Still, Secretary La Hood declared that: “High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin,” and “there’s no stopping it.”
I am drawing a line in the sand Mr. President: No matter how much money you and Governor Doyle try to spend before the end of the year, I will put a stop to this boondoggle the day I take office.

It’s outrageous for Secretary La Hood to suggest that your administration can force Wisconsin to continue building a train it doesn’t want and cannot afford. Almost as outrageous as the fact that the decision to saddle Wisconsin taxpayers with untold millions in operating and maintenance costs, forever, was never debated or voted on by the Wisconsin legislature. If it had been, this letter would not be necessary.

Republican John Kasich, who defeated Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio, is also opposed to plans to introduce faster train passenger service there. The administration awarded that project over $400 million earlier this year.

I just wonder why all of the sudden all these folks are opposed to this? Could it be that they think it should be put on their “wants” list instead of their “needs” list?

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Women In Trucking Finalist in Pepsi Refresh Project – Needs Your Help

November 1st, 2010

The Women In Trucking Association’s mission includes addressing obstacles that might keep women (and men) from succeeding at a career in the trucking industry. One of these obstacles has been identified as driver harassment. This includes negative comments on the CB, in the truck stop or terminal, at loading docks or even in the cab of the truck.

Pepsi is giving away million of dollars each month to fund refreshing ideas that change the world. The ideas with the most votes will receive grants. Women In Trucking submitted a $250,000 grant proposal to create a toll free crisis line for professional drivers. The project was approved on November 1 and is now open for votes, which will determine which projects are funded.

This grant would allow us to:

  • Research the need for a national driver crisis line.
  • Create a toll free crisis line for drivers and their families.
  • Offer educational materials to address health and wellness issues.
  • Provide a “best practices” guide for carriers to address driver needs.
  • Develop policies for driver trainer-trainee relationship during over the road training.
  • These resources would extend beyond our members to include all professional drivers (3.4 million), both men and women and their families. Small carriers (fewer than 20 trucks) comprise 96 percent of interstate trucking companies and most do not have the resources to offer this service to their drivers. This project could be implemented in fewer than six months with the help of FEI Behavioral Health, a leading provider of workforce solutions and crisis management programs.

    The voting process will end on November 30, 2010 and the grant will be limited to the top two vote getters in the $250,000 category. To vote, visit or send a text (104025) to Pepsi (73774) to have your vote counted.

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