Archive for February, 2011

As professional drivers, we all realize that we need truck stops and travel centers.  They realize they need us as well.  But, at times, their perception of our needs is different than what our perception.  As professionals, it is important that we communicate with the travel centers and truck stops so that they may better understand our needs and begin working together to build a business plan that works for everyone.
                On Wednesday,March 3, 2011 at 1900 EST, All Drivers Together Conference Line will host a conference call in which drivers will have the opportunity to discuss those needs, issues, and situations that arise every day as they visit various stops around the country. But more important than the naming of issues, it is vital to the success of the call that solutions be offered to show that drivers can work together to make the industry as a whole better for all those involved.  The call will be recorded and once completed, will be posted on the website and forwarded to large brand travel centers as well as the national organization that represents them. This session is open to all drivers and free of charge.
                Please be aware that while this conference will be open to all drivers and everyone is encouraged to participate, the call will be monitored to maintain an orderly and free flow of information. This call is not designed as an avenue to point out certain travel stops but to offer first hand observations and viable solutions as how travel centers can better understand a driver’s perspective but also how drivers can better work with the travel centers, making it a better experience for everyone. In all we will ask you not to mention truck stop names, or specific locations  in this conference, Please generalize your subject matter. This is order not to slam anyone chain but to bring attention to truck stops and travel centers as a whole so they can here what we as driver see where the can make possible improvements to better serve us, and where more people want to stop at their place of business. 
                The conference number is 712-432-0075 access code 243977#. Everyone is encouraged to attend this conference.  Thank you.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 385, 386, 390, and 395

[Docket No. FMCSA–2004–19608]

RIN 2126–AB26 Hours of Service of Drivers

Comments to proposed Changes in the Hours of service!

 

Hello, my name is Rusty Wade, I am a 63 year old truck driver who has been driving since 1974. I have four and a half million miles driving experience.

Why I am commenting on the proposed changes in the Hours Of Service regulations.

I attended your listening session held at the Mid-America truck show last year, and left there with high hopes that your agency was going to use the comments drawn from real life experience that I heard many other drivers tell you at that session.. However reading your proposed changes I feel that you misunderstood what drivers were trying to express; or, after reflection you decided that their comments were not germane.  You appeared to listen at Louisville, now it appears you were not actually comprehending what you heard.

Can you explain how your changes are going to be beneficial to those of us who drive? Don’t you believe they are?

It has become standard across most industries to explain changes to "stakeholders" in that industry and to attempt to get those "stakeholders" to "sign on." Do you not care what we think? Most of the drivers in this country are stakeholders whether they own the truck they drive or someone else does. They invest a lifetime of dedication to safely moving the goods this country uses every day usually by working through most of the night to get them where they are needed when they are needed.

The committee’s principles included the following:
• The rule should be simple, enforceable, and compliance should be measurable.
• FMCSA should consider expert opinion, all available data, and feedback from HOS listening sessions.
• FMCSA should consider the appropriateness (implementation vs. enforcement) of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Your rules show that you are confusing two different types of trucking and that you are trying to force a one-size-fits-all approach that is extremely inappropriate. There are several rules that apply to what you call "regional" drivers that will possibly kill OTR drivers. You can’t get more unsafe than that. You are attempting to require that a driver cannot drive more than seven hours without stopping for a "break."

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So you travel 48 states and are getting burned out by the same food every day.

 

Today I had lunch at a restaurant beside the Petro 2 at Hiway 77 and Interstate 59 in Rainbow  Alabama.

 

I ordered the Country Fried Steak, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, and fried okra.  WOW the food was great as was the locally baked roll.

 

So one night Gary mentioned that he really wanted to have The Truckin Bozo’s name on his race car. I told him I would have to ask Dale as that  name is trademarked.  While we were talking I asked him if “thebozo.com could sponsor the car and get our name on the car too.  From that beginning, the fun began.

The caged monster on the way to Bradenton

Later as time passed, a discussion of Gary’s car led to the formation of a coalition of fans of the overnight radio show that Dale did for over 20 years.  That show continues today with Steve his son as the host, and Bubba Bo a long time Cincinnati radio favorite filling in on the weekends.

Dale of course is on Sirius and XM radio in the afternoons from 4 to 7 east coast time.

 

Those fans decided to raise $1000 and also sponsor the car. In just a few days the money was raised from donations of individual drivers who wanted to prove that the show still had a legion of fans listening to 700 WLW and to the XM RADIO channel 152 where it is also carried.

 

The decals for the fans were made, and applied the night before the cars first qualifying round.

I think that decal stands as a testament to the fact that drivers can come together and that drivers have a community spirit that even goes to helping one of their own compete on this level of drag racing.

The ATN Fan decal was applied the night before the first qualifying run!

When you hear about truck drivers being people who take the job because they cant do anything else. think about how just this one case demonstrates that truck drivers are normal people, but normal people who drive trucks rather than work in offices.

This car is sponsored by , driven by, and will be racing to show support for truck drivers. If you are coming to MATS, and you plan on parking at Poppa Johns Parking lot, bring your own story, bring your own hobby,   Yes in one part of the parking lot you will find this race car and hauler, and in other parts of the lot you will find truckers who rescue needy animals, who support compelling charities, and who promote the trucking community every way imaginable.  Join them and have a great time when the show is over in the evenings. I hear plans for weddings, concerts, convoys, charity drives, charity auctions, and of course food to be SHARED free from one driver to another, in small groups and large groups.  Some of the events are for fun like a “tin foil hat” contest on Thursday evening, and a costume party on Friday evening. Other events are more serious such as a real wedding and charity functions. All in all expect to come and join in showing ourselves and anyone who notices that truck drivers are real people and that they are good people.

We were streaking south to the races in Bradenton. But we needed one more set of decals for the new car.

Then Bob remembered the decal man at the TCA in Cartersville, Ga, so we stopped and had dinner while the nice people there made the decals we needed.

 

The TCA in Cartersville Ga and the nice people who made our decal.

The dinner was excellent, and the decal looked great!

A week later I was sitting in New Paris, Ohio at the Petro.  The record winter storm came through as I waited for the trailer shop in Richmond to finish the repairs on my trailer that I had them do while Gary, Bob, and I were in Florida at the races.  Two inches of ice with a little snow on top really made a mess of the parking lot!

The truck stop struggled valiantly to keep the lot drivable as you can see in this video.

New Paris Ohio as they struggle to clear the ice and snow!

 

I wonder how many “travelers” know the reality of the good truck stops. They are always trying to give good service and improve on what they did yesterday!  Mid-America is coming, and I urge all the drivers attending to stop by the booths of those truck stop chains in attendance and thank them.

 

Truck Stops want to hear from you, What are they doing well, what are they failing at. What services do you want to see added or expanded.  I myself think they should all have a service like the one at the 49r travel plaza in Sacramento. Shore Power   If they all had power that I could access, I would never need to idle.

If you do not know what shore power is, here is a short picture album of the site in Sacramento.