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

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:

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45.7 Million Given For Bicycle Paths – Trucking Got 6 Million For Parking

I was going to write this article about the continued waste of money that has a flow rate out of Washington, D.C. like the dreaded “Montezuma’s revenge” that the US DOT is using to continue to buy votes for the Zero in the White house.

But then I ran across something that simply amazes me – even more than the on-going waste of money on high-speed rail.

The U.S. Department of Transportation gave out $600 million in grants for innovative transportation projects across the country that address economic, environmental and travel issues.

Well, this would have been great if I had not seen where $45.7 million was given to AR, CA, IN, PA for bicycle and pedestrian paths.

The US DOT only gave $6 million to five different states to “help” with the lack of truck parking. What gives?

I know @RayLaHood gets hounded every day with messages about the lack of parking but won’t even address the issue. But, a city somewhere “cries” a couple of times that they need a bicycle path, and he breaks his neck to get to the “problem” as fast as he can.

Heaven forbid that the US DOT would try to help out the number one “freight carrier” of all the transportation modes in the US. But watch them throw up another ridiculous rule because of some “accident” that happened that didn’t even involve a tractor trailer. But guess who gets these rules forced on them first?

I mentioned earlier about the ongoing waste of money on high-speed rail, I figure I just as well get my thoughts in here on this too. LaHood is giving out money for this “gonna save us all” $10.4 billion to start high-speed rail “dream” that he and the Zero have. They “claim” this will fix the problem of all the traffic problems on the roads today.

But according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, of the 600,905 bridges across the country as of December 2008, 72,868 (12.1%) were categorized as structurally deficient and 89,024 (14.8%) were categorized as functionally obsolete.

So in this country we have 161,892 bridges that are either structurally deficient or closed out of the 600,905 bridge total. But high-speed rail is going to fix this?

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NTSB: Public Forum For Safety, Mobility, and Aging Drivers November 9-10

The National Transportation Safety Board has published its agenda for the Safety, Mobility, and Aging Drivers forum, which will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2010.

The two-day forum will be chaired by NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

Five panels of invited experts from academia, federal and state government agencies, industry, and professional associations.

Subjects that will be addressed include safety risks; occupant protection; highway and vehicle design improvements; driver performance, training and rehabilitation; and state programs and practices.

Organizations and individuals can submit materials for the NTSB’s public docket for this forum. Submissions should directly address one or more of the forum’s five topic areas (identified by the panel titles on the agenda) and should be submitted electronically as an attached document not to exceed 10 pages to .

The deadline for receipt is November 19, 2010. A description of the forum and complete agenda are available at http://www.ntsb.gov/events/Aging-Drivers-2010/Aging-Drivers.html.

The forum is open to all and free to attend (there is no registration). It will be held at the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center, located at 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C.

The event will also be webcast live on the NTSB’s website. Webcast details will be posted on the website when available. Webcast archives remain posted for three months after the event. After three months, the NTSB FOIA office can provide copies.

Directions to the NTSB Board Room:
Front door located on Lower 10th Street, directly below L’Enfant Plaza.
From Metrorail:
exit L’Enfant Plaza station at 9th and D Streets escalator, walk through shopping mall, at CVS store (on the left), take escalator (on the right) down one level.
The Board Room will be to your left.

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Local DOT Plays Favorites and Waste Tax Payer Dollars

Lewis County Kentucky – I have lived here for most of my 39 years on this earth. It is a great place to live, nothing really ever happens in this community, but you can bet when something does happen word spreads quickly.

A few weeks ago maybe months ago I received an email from the KY DOT district 9 office about political signs being placed on state owned property. To make a long story short, the email stated that “any” candidates sign that were placed on state owned property would be removed by state workers. And the signs would be taken to the state highway garage for storage and that if the said candidate didn’t pick up their sign then the state workers would destroy them.

Robin L. Webb (Dem) former state representative for my district in Kentucky and is a democratic senator in Kentucky. Seems like she was in the position of state representative for years. According to most anyone in this county – she was the “go to” person to get a job with the state and of course you had to be registered democrat. I have never personally talked to her – she may be a good person – but I have tried to email her before to only have her delete my email without reading before.

Seems the local state DOT might be playing favorites here as far as her political signs go. I know of at least two or three of her signs that look like they are on state property – but nobody else has a sign around hers. She is definitely not someone we need in senate as she votes strictly democratic when she votes.

In 2009 she had the second worse voting record by missing a total of 276 votes, resulting in an absence of one out of every seven votes cast in the House. I have a feeling that some favoritism is going on – with these political signs – when it concerns one of their own.

In Lewis County Kentucky there is a standing joke that goes on about the local state workers. It has something to do with whenever a new employee of the state is hired they have to be taught how to hold up a shovel, or lean on a shovel – something to that affect. Actually if a person is “lucky” enough to get a job at the state highway garage – then it is a good job – I have a few friends who actually work on the state.

I know this probably goes on elsewhere as well, but the state DOT is the only place I have ever seen send 10 people out to fix one pothole. One to do all the work while nine stand around “holding up shovels.”

Myself and a good friend of mine have been talking recently about some things that are “unnecessary” in this county. Things like how they waste money and different things of that nature. A few days ago I had to go to the local pharmacy to get some medicine, and it is located on the AA highway about a half mile from the junction of RT 57 and the AA.

As we were turning in to the lot off the AA highway we saw two state workers standing on the side of the road “holding up shovels” and a third state worker was in a tandem axle dump truck. It appeared that someone had been hauling some trim or molding that was wood and some pieces of drywall. I guess it had blown out of the vehicle and the state workers were going to clean it up.

As we turned into the lot I noticed the states John Deere 544K front end loader traveling towards the workers on the shoulder of the road.

The one pictured is similar to the states it is the same size loader.

We went into the pharmacy and got my medicine it took maybe five minutes, and as we were leaving we noticed that the workers had been joined by three more workers plus the big loader. These workers had picked up the small amount of debris and put it into the loader bucket – the loader in-turn dumped the small amount (not even close to a bucket full – you could not see the debris in the bucket) into the tandem dump truck.

Then proceeded to drive the loader back towards Vanceburg. It is 16.8 miles according to Google maps from Tollesboro, KY to Vanceburg, KY by way of the AA highway. That is 33.6 miles round trip, I figured they might have hauled this big loader out there – because of the tandem axle dump truck being at the scene. But to my astonishment they had driven this big loader out to the “clean-up” area and back to the garage.

Then to even make things worse as we went to Vanceburg to run some more errands we passed right by the garage, and there sat a single axle dump truck with a backhoe on a trailer already hooked up – but parked. But they had to drive that big off road loader 34 miles to pick up a couple of handfuls of debris and put it into a big dump truck – seems like a big waste of my tax dollars.

I will end this by saying I hope people remember – come November 2, 2010 – what has happened in recent times locally and statewide.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged absence of one, , , district 9, , , Email, Favoritism, , , , highway garage, joke, , , , , political signs, , state dot, , state representative, tax payer dollars, , Voting Record | Leave a comment

Truckers Question EOBR Regulation

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a petition seeking review of the final rule established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandating electronic on-board recorders for motor carriers with chronic noncompliance with hours-of-service regulations.

The Association’s core argument against mandating “black boxes” is that there is no proof the devices can accurately and automatically record a driver’s hours of service and duty status. An EOBR can only track the movement and location of a truck, and it also requires human interaction to record any change of duty status.

OOIDA illustrates this by reviewing the processes of loading and unloading – time that should typically be logged as on-duty, not driving. However, without interaction from drivers indicating to the device that they are on-duty, the device is incapable of determining the actual duty status of drivers. OOIDA also contends that FMCSA ignored a federal statute to ensure that EOBRs will not be used to harass vehicle operators.

“Not one word appears in the EOBR rule making record identifying regulations containing safeguards to ensure that the devices are not used to harass vehicle operators,” the brief states. “For this reason alone, the rules must be found to be arbitrary and capricious for the agency’s failure to heed the specific statutory mandate.”

A Regulatory Impact Analysis by FMCSA noted that “companies use EOBRs to enforce company policies and monitor drivers’ behavior in other ways.” OOIDA says this type of monitoring can be used to harass and improperly pressure drivers.” Carrier harassment includes the use of technology to interrupt a driver during an off-duty rest period.

Carriers can contact the driver and pressure him to get back on the road to maximize his on duty-time. Such power usurps the driver’s discretion to get rest, take a break or sleep when he believes it is necessary even when he or she has time left on the clock to drive or work,” the brief states. Another argument against the use of the electronic on-board tracking devices is it centers on the Fourth Amendment.

“The real-time, government mandated, 24-hour electronic surveillance of a driver’s location and movements contemplated by the (notice of proposed rule making) is an unjustified and dangerous intrusion on drivers’ right of privacy,” the brief states. The constitutional argument states that the constant monitoring constitutes a search of the driver within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

While warrant-less searches have been granted in the workplace, numerous court decisions have prevented them on a citizen’s home or private dwelling. Given the unique nature of the trucking industry and the fact that many drivers utilize their tractors as their “home away from home.”

The Association argues that “a driver has such a reasonable expectation of privacy in his truck when he is not working. The mandated use of EOBRs subjects perfectly legal, private activity to public scrutiny, and potential sanction,” the brief states.

OOIDA and the member plaintiffs are asking the court to vacate the rule and send it back to the agency for further consideration consistent with the court’s findings. The court has given FMCSA until Nov. 4 to file its reply briefs.

Thanks to OOIDA for keeping up with this!

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We The People – Want ‘Change’

Whether it is $789 billion or one trillion or three trillion – it’s a lot of money.

The Zero who is trying to look like he is in charge of this country promised if the stimulus plan passed it would “spur job creation while making long-term investments in health care, education, energy, and infrastructure.”

He also guaranteed the unemployment rate would not exceed eight percent.

It is evident that Zero’s plan has failed miserably – it was supposed to create three million jobs – instead we have lost 2.5 million jobs. As of September 2010, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent. The New York Times said it best “This is not what a recovery is supposed to look like.” According to a newsletter I received – “replacing the jobs lost throughout this recession could take another nine years.”

But each day I read something from @RayLaHood or Biden that says they are creating jobs and they really know how to do it. But, sadly the millions of people that have lost their jobs don’t think so. The question I have is where are these jobs? I have kept up with the job market even after “retiring” I know it is bad. The evidence of all these jobs lost suggest that this Administration is off target and moving in the wrong direction.

A major overhaul is needed in congress because we don’t need more borrowing, bailouts, government spending, mandates and taxes. Congress needs to set its eyes on small businesses, that’s where most of the private sector jobs come from anyway – in the past. From another newsletter I read “Congress needs to move forward with policies that encourage entrepreneurship, cultivate innovation, reward hard work and empower the American people to lead us toward prosperity.”

This country was founded by people willing to undertake a risk on their ideas of starting a business. We need to go back to this way of thinking. The problem is that these people in small businesses are afraid of the predictions of the future. Increases in taxes are what is stopping them from hiring, or even starting their new business or even expanding an existing business. Obama’s ad campaign of “change” worked once, but it’s time for a much needed change again.

Today LaHood announced another round of TIGER grants. Now I am not the smartest person by far, I know that a grant is usually something that is not paid back. With that said, where does this money come from?

TIGER stands for “Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery” but they could have just named it CRAP – Congress Regressively Approves Pork – it means practically the same thing. Forty-two capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states will share nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s popular TIGER II program for major infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit, rail and ports.

15 of 32 projects listed are for some sort of railway usage. 14 of the 32 projects are for bridge and or road and street replacement. And the rest involve bicycle paths, sidewalks, landscape improvements, etc. The highways that Mr. LaHood is talking about are mostly city streets – not really highways.

All in all this seems like it is just another scheme of this administration to use tax money where its NOT needed. I mean maybe a few of these projects are more than likely needed like the bridge replacements, but $10 million dollars for a bicycle path?

I will end this by saying CHANGE is DESPERATELY NEEDED.

WE THE PEOPLE will remember November 2, 2010.

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DOT Says Proposal To Resolve Mexican Truck Issue In Works

TheTrucker.Com has learned and reported that the Department of Transportation has a proposal prepared to resolve the Mexican truck dispute, but will not discuss the plan with members of congress until after Novembers election.

This is a very controversial issue among truck drivers, and should be among the American people as well, as it will concern their safety on the US highways too. Accidents involving tractor trailers is on a downward spiral with it being at its lowest in 2009 – since they began keeping any records. If Mexican trucks are allowed to travel within the US then this accident rate is bound to “skyrocket” up. US truckers are the safest drivers in the US as recent studies have proven.

“Every year, U.S. truckers are burdened with new safety, security and environmental regulations. Those regulations come with considerable compliance costs,” said Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

“Mexico’s regulatory standards and enforcement on trucks aren’t even remotely equivalent to what we have here. To open the border at this time is insanity from both an economic standpoint and safety,” Spencer continued.

With that being said, I can see why the DOT wants to wait until after the November elections to try to push this through congress and get it resolved. If they released the proposal now the “libtards” running this country would be in even more hot water, come November.

According to thetrucker.com DOT says they want to move swiftly after the elections to shove this proposal through. Seems we have seen this tactic used by the DOT before, e.g., “Texting Laws for Commercial truck and bus drivers.”

Mexico has said before that if a new proposal did not go in favor of Mexico that they would increase the illegal tariffs they placed on the US – after the pilot program was stopped about three months after the Obama administration took office – as a retaliatory measure. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, should have had enough “guts” to question these tariffs – instead his only answer to the problem was to open the gates back up – in other words let the strong arm tactic Mexico pulled succeed. But what is the reason that Mexico won’t show proof that they can operate in the US according to our regulations and safety standards?

I would not have near as much fear for my family’s safety on the highways, if Mexico would just provide the proof that they can operate at the US standards on regulations and safety. And I’m guessing, but I would not be afraid to bet that there is not a handful of US truck drivers that are even willing to go to Mexico and haul any freight.

Several within the trucking industry are already saying that a shortage of truck drivers is on the horizon. If we allow Mexican trucks into the US to haul freight then, I would say those numbers are going decrease as many US truck drivers will be out of a job. There is not going to be anything good come from allowing these trucks into the US.

I will end this by saying the DOT has “claimed” several times before that they were working on a proposal to resolve the matter. I guess we will just have to wait and see what a “good plan” from this administration’s DOT office comes up with. I would be safe in saying it will most likely not be good for US truck drivers as nothing coming from that office has been yet. Be safe out on the roads I appreciate each and every one of you truck drivers for what you do.

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Voters Scared – I Wonder Why

Obama said over the weekend that Americans are so “scared” they’re not thinking straight about the upcoming elections. Things that make you go hmmm – I just wonder where in the world he would have gotten any clue that the voters are scared?

I bet it could maybe of come from the polls showing his decline as an approved president. Or maybe it might come from his “lame” administration he has or the way he has tried to run the country…straight into the ground. I guarantee that the voters are scared – I know I am – I am afraid that this clueless zero acting as the president, might get to continue acting like a president for a second term – if the US can survive until then.

He said Americans have every reason to be worried, but acceded that “facts aren’t doing his party” any good this year. Seems he may have answered my question as to where he got the idea that voters were scared. Facts don’t lie, they tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Obama said Saturday that voters can respond to their “trauma” by either “looking backwards” or looking “forward.” Well said Mr. President that is exactly what will happen too. The voters are going to look back and see where you lied to them for their vote and will be looking forward to voting you and your party out in the upcoming elections.

The billions of dollars that this administration has wasted so that they could “create or save” the 750,000 plus jobs are going to come back to haunt them in November. The millions out of work because of this idiot and his “cult” in the White House wanting to back the unions instead of actually creating any “real” jobs – are thinking very clearly Mr. President.

It used to be that trucking was a decent profession to get into. It was easy to become a trucker and paid relatively good money – not anymore though. Just look at what this administration has already done to trucking. With the implementation of the dreaded “No Texting” laws and there is talk about redoing the current HOS, and adding EOBR’s to every truck – you can read a great post from @ToddMcCann about The EOBR myth here.

They seem to not be focused on what the real problems are in the industry. Safer parking is a huge problem that they have known about for a long time. The DOT has wasted millions of dollars on bike paths, and buying up run-down rail stations to “fix up” but only gave $5 million dollars to six different states to deal with the parking problems. But still allow some states to close rest areas because of lack of funds to operate them.

This administration has a puppet within its mist in the DOT and this man will only do what he is told to do from the higher-ups. They allow him to be in charge of 50,000 or so employees that come up with these ridiculous ideas about safety and have no clue as to what they are talking about most times.

@RayLaHood keeps saying that “Thousands of people are killed or injured every year in accidents caused by distracted drivers.” But – only addresses the “problem” by adding a new law. People break laws every day so I guess thousands of people will still get killed or injured even with the laws in place. If they were serious about this whole agenda, then they would go after the device maker and make them add something to the device to disable it while a vehicle was in motion.

The trucking industry is 3 to 5 million strong just in truck drivers, so if drivers could get together they could be a huge voice in upcoming elections, although most won’t get involved either because they are gone so much or just don’t care. But, just remember if you don’t go and vote you have no right to speak up about what happens after the elections.

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Stimulus Money Success or Failure

I, like you, have probably read countless different articles about how the $787 billion stimulus package was a success and then some articles showing what a big failure it actually was. So was it a huge success like the Obama followers keep touting?

The answer depends on whichever news site you use to get your updated regularly website of lies – truth is most “news” sites won’t tell you except what they are allowed to put out there for readers to see. As I have said many times before I will never sugar coat anything that I know smells or looks like “Bull Sh*t.”

Obama and his followers claimed the $787 billion stimulus package would “save millions of jobs” and bring the country back from the brink of economic catastrophe. And according to another article I just read, as of September 30th 70% of the stimulus has been spent but – according to recovery.gov only 750,045 jobs – have been created/saved. I’m not sure how they can figure “saving” a job, but I’m sure it came from the same bull that Obama gets his BS from.

When the US Secretary of Transportation is not touting about the banning of texting and driving he is “blowing his own horn” about how the Recovery Act is keeping workers on the job today building infrastructure for tomorrow. Funny thing is most if not all these big road projects the DOT brags about are done by either state DOT workers or union companies. But that is something they don’t want you to know about – they think you are stupid, ignorant people.

Before the stimulus package passed, experts predicted the government would lose 5% to 7% of it to fraud surprisingly enough only .2% of the 190,000 projects are being investigated. They use “newfangled computer algorithms” that can track suspicious spending patterns before there’s a complaint – the keyword being “they.” If “they” developed the newfangled computer algorithm then “they” could and would be able to make it say anything “they” want it to say.

Senators Tom Coburn and John McCain have targeted a slew of Recovery Act projects they consider wasteful – see “Summertime Blues” – for a list of 100 projects that are considered wasteful spending.

According to one article I read, Vice-President Joe Biden, Obama’s point man on the stimulus – fraud has been “the dog that hasn’t barked.” Funny Joe, but fraud is just as bad as wasteful spending and it has barked several times and continues to howl – every day. Vice-President Joe Biden, personally blocked 260 projects that flunked his smell test, including a $120,000 Army Corps of Engineers plan to print brochures about a lake cleanup. “We said, Hey, man, no brochures, put it on a website,” Biden recalled in an interview this summer. “Stupid thing, but it saved that dollar amount.”

But Joe, it “smelled” okay to spend $10,000 on signs to tell people this is how your stimulus money was “wasted” I mean spent?

I will end this by saying if you are working and have a job and are surviving this economy you had better thank GOD, not the government. I hope people “smarten-up” before November – or heaven help us all.

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Question For People Who Complain About Trucks and Truck Drivers

It is very disheartening whenever I hear people talk badly and complain about trucks.

Here is a question you need to stop and ask yourself the next time you have a complaint about truck drivers or that noisy truck.

How do you think the things you buy get to the stores that you buy from – Teleportation?

A good friend of mine – @alanqbrstol – posted a link to a picture of a t-shirt that asked that question.

It is surprising that there are actually people in today’s time that still don’t realize that every item is at some point in time hauled by a truck in one way or another.

Some of the really “great minds” in our society even think that most comes by trains – or should come by train. Yea, I have seen a train pulled up to a Walmart or Kroger store unloading – haven’t you?

Everything that you have ever bought at any store – gets there by a truck – and always will get there by a truck.

People that have not been around trucking have no idea of the sacrifices truck drivers make every month, week or day. All they can see is that big smelly and noisy truck, that is holding them up by about five minutes while they are trying to get to a store or home. I know a lot of truck drivers and I don’t know a single one of them that intentionally intends to hold anyone up.

It takes a special person to be a truck driver – it’s not just sitting behind a steering wheel and driving. Trucking is very hard work for little pay. What other profession do you know of works it’s employees for 70 hours per week without paying any overtime? So give them truckers a break – in fact you should thank a truck driver – when you see them.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Complain, Drivers, kroger store, point in time, single one, special person, , , Teleportation, , , , | 1 Comment