Friday, January 28, 2011

Dispatch Me Home – stories from the road

We are loaded down with acronyms like FMCSA, NAFTA, NHTSA, CSA, ATA and HOS to name a few. Going to the websites of these can provide useful information, but you will also find stuff that you don’t want to hear and that makes you wonder “what are these people thinking?”

Some sites are more enjoyable and provide the latest news, regs, etc. – in fact, everything trucking. I’m partial to and Also,

Another trucking site I like is American Truck Historical Society.

Two I stumbled into a while back are “DMH,” or the Dispatch Me Home website, and the Dispatch Me Home social site. They are both relatively new. They have been up about a year and a half. DMH was founded by Greg Martin, author of Dispatch Me Home, and his partner in crime – Bruce “Bandit” Weiser. The social site was built by Bandit in order to allow drivers and their friends and families to become interactive in the DMH project. It’s about sharing knowledge and experiences from the road and helping the public to see our industry in a better light.

You can go to the DMH web site and surf around or better yet go to the DMH interactive site and sign up. There’s no cost and you can get your own page where you can post stories, comments, and up to 25 photos on your page. Most are pics of trucks, but they don’t have to be.

On the homepage there are over 500 photos, some members’ photos, some not. There is everything from show trucks to antiques. Just one rule: Keep it clean; there may be truck drivers looking in. Bandit checks everything that’s posted. I’ve never seen anything off-color get by him.

Pictured above is a 359 Pete. Here’s the story behind this photo and how it’s connected to Dispatch Me Home.

I met a guy and his father at the Wildwood Florida I-75 Chrome Shop show a couple years ago, and I saw them again last year at MATS in Louisville. They are truckers in the United Kingdom and have a 359 Peterbilt they are restoring and putting into show truck condition. Anyway, I turned them on to DMH and they have several photos of their pride and joy posted. They told me they would post a driver’s view of what it’s like trucking in the UK, regulations, fuel costs, etc. It’s stuff like this I enjoy, being a former truck show participant.

I also hooked up with a couple from Tacoma, WA, that we used to do the truck circuit with. Sometimes we will get in there and reminisce about some of the fun things we had showing our trucks. Stories like like waxing ice at Louisville and being sand-blasted with wind and 110-degree heat in Las Vegas before it went inside at the convention center.

DMH has a two-hour radio show hosted by long time trucker/DJ “Big Al” Weekley and his wife Queen Bee – broadcasting real trucker tunes, classic country and bluegrass with a bit of inspiration for us all. The show originates in Blackwell, OK. Big Al keeps you posted on trucking news and DMH news. I had the honor of being DMH Member of the Month a while back, and Big Al recognized me several times over a couple of days. The show runs 10 a.m. to noon Central Standard Time. It repeats from midnight to 2 a.m. You can listen to the broadcast online.

Greg Martin’s book, “Dispatch Me Home,” is soon to be released as an audiobook. It’s about Sam the Man, an American trucker. The book tells about a better time in America when friendships meant everything and a firm handshake sealed a deal. The long-term goal is turn the book into a movie and roll the proceeds into a DMH home building and a hall of fame. For Greg and the Bandit, the DMH website, book, movie and hall of fame are all an attempt to bring our public image back from highway zeros to highway heroes.

So, come on in, the water’s fine. Every driver has stories from the road. Share yours and meet some nice folks.

(Photo courtesy of Bruce Wieser.)