Thank a Trucker – Pay it Forward

I am an avid Twitter user, and every Friday on twitter is recognized by this hashtag #FollowFriday.

This morning while doing my follow Friday mentions I decided to add the hashtag #ThankYou to mine.

If you follow me on twitter you know me as @Truckdrivernews and I follow everyone back but usually try to follow truckers and supply chain and logistics and news people, etc. that deal with the trucking industry.

Today, I got a reply from someone that I didn’t even follow wanting to know ‘why’ I added #ThankYou to their mention? I answered with – Your a truck driver, right? Thanks for doing that job! The reply was – oh, Okay you are welcome. Same to you and all truck drivers. See how Pay it Forward works?

Today, some truck-drivers nationally get a one week ‘Trucker Appreciation’ given by the American trucking Association (ATA) which is not an organization for truckers, but it is for companies who join their organization. Usually though many in the trucking industry will follow suit and do a ‘Trucker appreciation week’ as well.

But, how many times have you been stuck behind a truck-driver in your personal vehicle, and just wished they would get out of your way? Trucks are big and slow its obvious by looking at it, that it would not be as fast or easy to maneuver as your car. Some people have asked me, how can I thank a truck driver? While I wouldn’t advise you to run up to one and try to hug them, you may find yourself lying on the ground.

You can thank a trucker in many ways and never even talk to them. While driving on the interstate paying attention and not doing any ‘stupid driving’ maneuvers. If you have kids have them to do the ‘national signal for honking the horn’ when you pass by a tractor-trailer. This used to make me smile every time when a car would pass and the little kids were in the back pumping that arm up and down, wanting me to blow that air-horn of course I would let it rip. Usually, it would scare the driver a little bit, but it was worth it.

Growing up on a farm I learned right a way what pay it forward meant. Neighbors would come and give my dad a hand with the farm work or cattle. Then later down the road we would be able to pay that help forward and help someone else out of a pinch. The same goes for most truck drivers I know, they would gladly give a hand if you needed something and would not ask for anything in return.

I think we should appreciate more what these men and women do every day – sometimes for weeks or months at a time. It’s not a job everyone can do, it takes a special kind of person to be a real truck-driver a professional, most I would say now are just “steering wheel holders” and wouldn’t give you the time of day. But, there are still some true “knights of the highways” out there on the road. So next time you are running a little late and a tractor-trailer is holding you up, just remember that driver is not doing it on purpose – give them a break. Be safe and enjoy life!

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in Truck Driver Industry | Tagged air horn, , , driving maneuvers, , , , , , national signal, pay, pay it forward, , , reply, ThankYou, , , , , trucker appreciation week, , , , | 2 Comments

Truckers for a Cause to Hold Conference Call to Educate Truckers on Commenting to FMCSA

Truckers for a Cause will host an educational conference call on “Do’s and Don’ts of submitting comments to FMCSA”

John Hill, former FMCSA Administrator will be joined by Joe Rajkovacz, Director of Regulatory Affairs for OOIDA for a 30 minute discussion followed by questions and answers.

This conference call is designed for working truck drivers who would like to make more effective comments to FMCSA on a regulatory docket.

With FMCSA seeking comments on both hours of service and cell phone use this is a good time to get involved with the process.

The session will cover practical Do’s and Don’ts like:

  • DO: Read the NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) for yourself.
  • Don’t: Base your comments on what you heard about it from other truck drivers.
  • DO: Make your comments polite and respectful.
  • Don’t: Forget to run spelll check.
  • This conference call WILL NOT be a forum for discussing the specifics of rules currently out for comment. It is designed to help drivers to feel comfortable with the comment process, understand how FMCSA uses comments, and to help drivers make comments that will influence FMCSA. We will also discuss the importance of working drivers getting involved with the FMCSA regulatory comment process.

    To join in you can call: 712-432-5015 Use access code 350926# for this conference call.

    After the call we will post a listing of internet resources drivers can consider using for writing, editing, and getting others to help double check their comments prior to submitting them to FMCSA. This will be available at www.truckersforacause.com

    There is no charge for participating in the call and we even scheduled it on a Saturday to let you take advantage of free night and weekend cell phone minutes.

    DATE: Saturday January 22, 2011
    Time: 12:00 Central

    © 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

    Related Posts:

Posted in trucking news | Tagged , Administrator, , , , conference call, educational conference, Good Time, , , , , , , , , Specifics, , , | Leave a comment

California’s High Speed Rail

There is something about this Obama administration I don’t understand. Well, actually there are a lot of things 0bama does that I don’t understand and frankly I don’t think he does either. California’s unemployment rate is — 12.4% how are they supposed to pay for high-speed rail? The Unemployed in California is equivalent to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Of course this will undoubtedly create some jobs but still look at how much money California owes now. But will it create that many jobs? This is where my misunderstanding of how Obama thinks comes in. With that state in such a shape – why spend billions of dollars there to build a luxury like high-speed rail?

Last month, government agencies in California slashed a total of 37,300 jobs, are these the ones that will be put to work on this HSR projects? Even with all of the taxes, the budget deficit for the California state government for the last year was approximately $19 billion dollars. Is this really something California needs?

What I’m trying to say is this administration seems to be doing one bad deal after another? Is commonsense not a requirement for being an elected official? Its ironic that today the Labor Department released the weekly jobless claims and it had increased. And the Secretary of Transportation Lahood wrote a blog post praising what Obama was doing for this country – per high-speed rail.

He wrote:

Because of the leadership of President Obama, our children and grandchildren will benefit from a high-speed rail system that connects 80 percent of Americans and keeps us competitive with other leading nations.

I say our children and grandchildren will disown us when they see the bill for all this wasted money that Obama and his cronies are wasting. He goes on to write:

The people of California understand this, which is why they approved a nearly $10 billion bond measure to build a high-speed rail system in their state.

This coming from the same people who wanted to legalize marijuana. But maybe the people who have been doing the budget work in California have been smokin’ dope – because they sure don’t know how to manage their money. But this is the state that would rather save a fish then to get water to their farmers crops.

The secretary finished his praising post with:

With our population expected to swell by 70 million over the next 25 years, continuing to rely on congested highways and overburdened airports is simply unsustainable and would constrain America’s economic growth.

If the borders were secured this number would be mildly lower (yeah, right), but since the secretary is privy to secrete information he must know they are not going to attempt securing the border.

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in conservative trucking | Tagged billion dollars, , bond measure, , , , , , , Grandchildren, , labor department, , misunderstanding, New Hampshire, , , , , , shape, , , , weekly jobless claims | Leave a comment

Human Trafficking 101 Training Available On Demand

Transport for Christ International, in partnership with Chapter 61 Ministries, is pleased to announce the availability of a FREE ON-DEMAND webinar addressing human trafficking, a $32-billion-a-year business that destroys countless lives and enslaves its victims, the majority of whom are women and children.

National statistics puts the annual number of trafficked American children as young as 12 at approximately 300,000.

Additionally, another 17,000 internationals are trafficked into our country and forced into sex and labor.

Available ON DEMAND, the webinar provides useful tips on what to look for, what questions to ask, and what steps to take if you witness human trafficking.

The webinar can be accessed at www.transportforchrist.org/links (under “Truckers Against Trafficking,” click on the webinar link).

The webinar is intended to raise awareness to help fight this crime and those who perpetrate it. “We’re hoping that releasing this recording of Human Trafficking 101 in an ON-DEMAND format will raise awareness of an issue that most Americans do not know exists.” said Scott Weidner, President and CEO of Transport For Christ.

“Travel plaza managers, driver training schools, and safety directors at companies will be able to download this webinar and use it as an educational program they can share with employees,” continued Weidner. “Now, with the easy-to-use links, any one at any time can access the webinar, thereby providing extra eyes and resources to help stem the tide of human sex trafficking in our country.”

Most Americans are aware of the problem in Asia and Africa, but are oblivious to the problem that is occurring in their own backyards. Lyn Thompson of Chapter 61 Ministries adds that “human traffickers move their victims by some mode of transportation all the time. But when they are on the nation’s highways, and stopping at places members of the trucking industry frequent, they’re in places where their activities are more visible.”

“We can then make the call and save lives by calling the national human trafficking hotline number of 1-888-373-7888. We believe the trucking community – Truckers Against Trafficking – can be the heroes in this fight.” The webinar can also be accessed through www.truckersagainsttrafficking.com.

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in trucking news | Tagged , ceo, christ international, countless lives, Demand, , , , human traffickers, human trafficking, lyn thompson, Mode Of Transportation, national statistics, Partnership, , sex, Tide, , , , , , webinar, Weidner, | Leave a comment

Educating the Public Driving Tips: Traveling with Tractor Trailers

In my last post about driving tips, I gave you five tips that if you follow could save your life. We talked about what not to do such as: pulling out in front of tractor-trailers; don’t dead stop in front of tractor-trailers; don’t pass on the right-side ever of tractor-trailers; don’t drive in the NO ZONES; pay attention at all times while around tractor-trailers.

This post will mostly deal with “traveling with tractor-trailers” in general, on two lane roads and on interstates. The thing I see mostly about 4wheelers when traveling in and around tractor-trailers is the fact that the 4wheeler drivers are so-impatient and drive aggressively. They tend to act like they are late for work or getting married or something – they just drive irresponsibly and end up getting into situations/accidents that could easily be avoided.

We have already talked about the effects that could happen when following too close to a tractor-trailer. One thing I did not mention in my other post was following to close to a tractor-trailer limits your field of view. If you get too close you can even lose site of the road. Tractor-trailers straddle items in the road, once the tractor rolls over the item, then the trailer will usually cause the item to move or the trailer picks the item up.

This causes the item to “fly-out” from under the trailer and usually right into the vehicle behind the tractor-trailer. If you are following to close then you won’t see the item and you will hit it, causing damage to your car, or causing you to have an accident. Plus following too close doesn’t give you enough room to stop in case the tractor-trailer has to make a quick stop. A good rule of thumb to ensure that you’ve left yourself enough room is to look for the truck’s side mirrors. If you can see them then you are in a good place.

The thing about driving with tractor-trailers on a two-lane road is most of the time there is no-where to safely pass. So 4wheeler drivers need to be more patient when driving on two-lane roads. A loaded tractor-trailer weighing up-to 80,000 lbs. takes a long time to stop – at 55 mph almost 400 feet. It also takes a long time for the same truck to get up to speed, this is usually when the impatient 4wheeler driver will do “stupid” driving maneuvers, passing with oncoming traffic, passing on the right shoulder, Making improper and unsafe lane changes, Screaming, honking, and flashing their lights, Changing lanes frequently and abruptly without notice (signals), aggressive drivers have no concern for fellow motorists. For many motorists, sharing the road with trucks is difficult. However, research shows that most fatal crashes involving large trucks are caused by the car, not the commercial vehicle.

Next up I want talk a little bit about driving on the interstates. I have seen some remarkably stupid driving on the interstates by 4wheelers. First I want to explain what different things are on the interstates.

  • exit ramps: or deceleration ramps leading off the interstate. This is what the lane is for is to decelerate/or slow down – not the slow lane on the interstate.
  • on ramps: or acceleration ramps leading onto the interstate. This is used to get up to speed with the flow of traffic.
  • In the above image I have detailed where you should either speed up or slow down. Of course this depends on traffic and conditions. Now, also some exit and on ramps have no “merge area” which means the acceleration or deceleration lane is very short – normally all traffic will come to a slow down. This may also apply to rest-areas, and emergency pull-offs.

    And to end today’s post with talking about construction areas. The construction workers put those signs out miles before they do the work for a reason.

    If you see the sign that tells you the lane you are in will end get out of that lane – simple, right? Obviously it is not that simple because I still see “ignorant” drivers stay in that lane until it completely quits – this is why traffic comes to a halt before construction zones.

    Generally you will see two tractor-trailers get side by side in situations like this. This is a crude for of traffic control and generally when done right traffic continues to roll. But a lot of states now say this is against the law – and will write tickets for this.

    The main things to do when traveling the interstates or two lane highways with tractor-trailers is to pay attention and go with the flow of traffic, don’t follow to close and be courteous. Be safe and arrive on time – in one piece.

    © 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

    Related Posts:

Posted in Truck Driver Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BREAKING NEWS: The Government Lies!

Who would of thought that the government would lie to the people to get their way?

I would have never thought that they would turn to cheating to get what they wanted.

It really breaks my heart to learn of this I am distraught tonight to find this out – I don’t know if I can go on.

If you have a good imagination please use it to imagine me sitting here “rolling my eyes.”

I am not a fan of the ATA – Anti-Trucking Association, but I was surprised today to see an announcement by them that “FMCSA Manipulates HOS Fatigue Factor” I thought say it ain’t so! My government would lie to me – to get what they wanted? It’s no wonder nobody trust the government anymore.

In an effort to rationalize a change in federal Hours of Service (HOS) requirements for professional truck drivers, the U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) misapplied its own crash numbers so as to elevate driver fatigue as a cause of truck crashes, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said today.

Just a thought, I would be willing to bet that the Department of Transportation has done the same thing with cell phones. We already know they took a public poll to determine if “texting and driving” by professional truck drivers should be eliminated. Guess what the people said? We have already seen their so-called report they used to determine that a truck driver was 23 times as likely to have a crash while texting and driving.

We already knew they like to “mold” reports into their favor. When the real facts are supplied to them they ignore them because the real facts tell a very different story than the manipulated reports that they use.

“Since the current HOS rules were introduced in 2003, the trucking industry has achieved a continually improving safety record, reaching the lowest fatality and injury rate levels in recorded history,” said ATA President Bill Graves “It is troubling that this complex, restrictive set of proposed rules is founded on what appears to be incorrect analysis and inflated math.”

It is very troubling to find this information out, because it only makes me wonder what else have they “doctored” for their favor?

First, it overstated the percentage of single-vehicle truck crashes (which are more likely to be fatigue-related) compared to multi-vehicle crashes. More specifically, FMCSA approximately doubled the weight given to single-vehicle truck crashes in its large truck crash causation study.

Second, FMCSA appears to be treating any crash in which fatigue is listed as an “associated factor” as a fatigue-caused crash. That approach is not just contrary to prior research methods, it is also at odds with the Agency’s own report to Congress, in which it stated that for associated factors: “No judgment is made as to whether any factor is related to the particular crash, just whether it was present.

I’m guessing that this sort of thing goes on all the time. That is why a more transparent government is needed. Now what can we do about it?

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in Truck Driver Industry, trucking news | Tagged , Bill Graves, , , , factor, , , , , , , , , , President Bill, , , , Safety Record, , , , , | Leave a comment

Retired Trucker Offers Roadside Assistance

Marietta, PA, January 11, 2011, Jerry Moeckli has been appointed as the new lead chaplain for the Transport For Christ mobile chapel located at the Sacramento 49′er Travel Plaza in Sacramento, California.

Jerry and his wife, Joyce, will be assuming duties immediately.

Mobile chapels are a refuge for truckers, many of whom are away from home for weeks at a time.

Approximately 500 truckers a day pass through the plaza, and the Moecklis will be there to serve anyone who needs help.

Their goal is to make the chapel a home away from home for travelers who have a desire for fellowship or need assistance.

Moeckli, a retired firefighter, comes to Transport For Christ with 10 years experience as a long- haul truck driver. He and his wife, Joyce, incorporated trucking ministry into their lives as they traveled across the country delivering goods.

Moeckli stated that they recognized the difficulty truckers experienced if they wanted to attend traditional church services, as church parking lots can’t accommodate 18-wheelers. Since the truckers could not easily drive to church, the Moecklis brought church to them offering services, Bible studies and coffee wherever they stopped.

Transport For Christ chapels are located at strategic travel plazas across the United States and Canada. The chapels offer truckers a place where they can find fellowship, encouragement, a listening ear, as well as assistance for any physical needs.

For more information visit Transport For Christ.

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in Truck Driver Industry | Tagged , bible studies, , , fellowship, Firefighter, , , home away from home, , , , marietta pa, offering services, parking lots, roadside assistance, , , Travel, , travel plazas, , , trucking ministry, | Leave a comment

Truck Driving Expert or Trucking Cretin?

I have never claimed to be anything but a truck-driver, and I never claimed to be a very good one either. Of course the people I worked for would tell you differently. I have seen some people lately that try to “claim” to be an expert of trucking but fail and are usually considered cretins, or “loose cannons.”

The ones that I see like to copy off the real people that are out here everyday keeping a watchful eye on the industry. They have failed at what they did before – and then they see how others are doing it, and they copy them. These are the ones that are only in it for either fame, or money.

It’s a shame that these I speak of are like this too, because they have big ideas, but their hearts are in the wrong places. These wannabe trucking “advocates or experts” lead their followers down the wrong roads and they even leave some of them stranded. As long as the agenda “focuses” on them they play along just fine, but once they get hint that the focus is going off them they will stick a knife in your back.

They have driven several real advocates away because of their idiocy. And to top it off now one of these people is claiming to be an expert in trucking – with less than three years of driving experience. So I asked a few of my trucking friends if three years or less, if you could even consider yourself an expert or not.

I got three really good answers back one was from @gabsatrucker who is a female truck driver she said “No. J always said you didn’t really start figuring things out until the 3 year point & from my experience I would concur.” I can maybe see starting to figure out what the industry was about in three years – but that’s far from being an expert.

Next I got another good answer from @MissHGV another female truck driver she said “I was always told you’re not a pro driver until you’ve been driving for 10 years.” I don’t think anyone can consider themselves an expert truck driver – because the industry is always changing. To try and label yourself is just plain foolishness.

@ToddMcCann chimed in as always with “Think the term veteran depends on the situation. 6 months in Vietnam–Veteran. 2.5 years of trucking. Ummmm?” The ummmmm I’m guessing is a no-way.

Let’s look at what the meaning of “expert” is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject.

Well, after reading all that I would assume most would agree that a truck-driver who has ONLY been in the trucking industry for three or less years is NOT AN EXPERT.

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in Truck Driver Industry | Tagged , , course, cretin, , , , fame, Female Truck Driver, , , good answer, hearts, Idiocy, Lead, less than three years, , real people, , , | Leave a comment

WIT and JJ Keller Team up to offer Anti-Harassment Best Practices Policies for Carriers

The Women In Trucking Association, with the support of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.® will present an anti-harassment best practices white paper for carriers to adopt for driver training.

The trucking industry has struggled with how to avoid harassment issues between driver trainers and trainees during the initial weeks of employment. “The practice of putting two unrelated individuals in the cab of a truck for a few weeks of training can create a tenuous environment, especially when one is a male and one is a female,” said Ellen Voie, President/CEO of Women In Trucking Association.

“Unfortunately, the situation is unavoidable if there are not enough female trainers to accompany a female trainee,” Voie remarked. “We realize that harassment issues are not limited to those of opposite gender, so the white paper will be gender neutral to address potential harassment scenarios and offer ways to minimize or eliminate negative interaction,” she added.

The white paper will be prepared by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.® subject matter experts familiar with human resource issues in the trucking industry. “We are excited about working with Women In Trucking Association to provide best practices for carriers who deal with driver trainer-trainee issues,” said Jan Hamblin, J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.’s Corporate Sales Manager of Strategic Accounts and member of the board of directors for Women In Trucking Association, Inc.

The anti-harassment white paper is expected to be available in 2011 and will be offered at no cost to corporate members of Women In Trucking Association.

J. J. Keller (www.jjkeller.com) is the trusted source for DOT / Transportation, OSHA / Workplace Safety, Human Resources, Construction Safety and HazMat / Hazardous Materials regulation compliance products and services.

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. For more information, visit www.womenintrucking.org

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in Women in trucking | Tagged , best practices white paper, , Construction Safety, driver trainers, , female trainee, Female Trainers, , , , , , jj keller, Jjkeller, keller associates inc, , , , , , subject matter experts, , , | Leave a comment

How do you define yourself? by Ellen Voie

Recently I noticed a mini van sporting a license plate, “CEO MOM.” Immediately I knew that the woman who owned that vehicle had children (or perhaps one child) and had a professional career. That’s a lot to glean from a twelve inch piece of metal tacked to a bumper, but it was evident that this was how she defined herself, as both a CEO and a mom.

If you had to limit your identity to a few letters on a license plate, what would it be? What if those letters were on a tombstone, what would you like the world to know about you after you’re gone? What is the legacy you will leave behind?

There’s a poem called “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis that asks the reader to think about “how you spent your dash?” The dash is the short line between the year of your birth and your death that appears on your tombstone. What happens during your life is condensed into one short line, or a “dash between the years.”

As the woman in the mini-van defines herself as CEO MOM, each of us must think about whom we are and how do we identify ourselves. If someone were to meet you for the first time, what would you tell him or her about yourself? What are you doing with your time within the dash?

Many of us in the trucking industry cringe when we hear the term “truckers” when someone refers to professional drivers. Yet, how many of you call yourself or your peers by this label? When you respond to a stranger’s introduction, what terms do you use to describe yourself, both personally and professionally?

The next time someone asks you what you “do” you could tell them that you are responsible for moving important commodities that are crucial, such as groceries, building supplies or paper products. Don’t respond with, “I’m a trucker.” You are much more than that. You’re a skilled professional who operates a tractor-trailer alongside inexperienced four wheelers.

The way we define ourselves gives others a glimpse into our self-esteem and our attitude toward our own achievements. Trying to explain who you are in only a few words is very revealing. Do you describe yourself in positive terms or are they words that diminish your identity?

During my childhood, one of my brothers had a paper route. When someone asked him about himself, he responded (with all seriousness) that he was a “news transfer agent.” He placed a great deal of importance in delivering the newspaper to his customers each day and this pride in his effort was evident.

As a professional driver, you are an important part of the economy and your efforts should be reflected in the way you describe your career to others. Listen to one of the captains on the American Trucking Association’s Road Team talk about the importance of their role in moving freight for their carriers. The words they use portray their attitude about their career choice. Compare these drivers’ descriptions to those you hear on the CB radio or at a truck stop and then look at the driver to see if their words are a reflection of their professionalism as driver.

When you greet someone who asks you about yourself, think about the way you describe yourself and your career and how it reflects the view they might have about you and your life. Are you “just a trucker” or are you a “highly qualified professional with an impressive safety record who supports the economy by delivering products to the consumer?”

When your family and friends gather at your funeral to recall the things you have done and the legacy you have left behind, will they describe your life with words that reflect the importance of your career as a professional driver? Think about “The Dash Poem” where Linda Ellis asks, “Will you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?”

This article was re-posted with the permission of Ellen Voie CEO/President of Women In Trucking

© 2011, Truck Drivers News Blog. All rights reserved.

Related Posts:

Posted in Women in trucking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment