Friday, August 21, 2015

Engineers say to ‘zip it’ when approaching work zones

It’s always interesting to see what kind of new “safe” road configurations road engineers come up with. Anytime we stumble onto a new one, the Land Line crew immediately wonders how our readers – the men and women who literally live their lives on the road – are going to react to some desk-generated idea.

We haven’t been surprised that traffic circles or roundabouts aren’t exactly popular. The diverging diamonds are confusing and have left more than one trucker scratching their heads wondering if it really is safer.

Earlier this week, a Missouri Department of Transportation newsletter winged its way into my inbox. In it was a reminder about the “zipper” merging concept that state DOTs are urging motorists to use when approaching lane closures.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A truckin’ flashback to 1984

OOIDA Member Frank Arpino of Waterloo, N.Y., was cleaning out his attic when he found an old Parade Magazine dated April 29, 1984. It’s obvious why Frank kept it. The 30-year-old cover says it all.

Here's a photo of the 1984 Parade sent to us by
a member. It features trucker Arnold Arrick
(dang, he's not a member) ready to roll.
For the article, writer Sally Sommer set out to see what the trucking life was “really about.” Her report is a positive and colorful read as she describes her 2,600-mile road trip through 12 states with several real truckers. Frank isn’t featured in the story (or anyone we know), but it’s a fun article and pretty fair depiction of what professional truckers were like in 1984 and what they were not

In 1984, Frank was in his seventh year of driving. He says he’s only worked for two companies his whole driving carrier. Earlier, he drove for a regional outfit in central New York. He now drives for a long haul company out of Wisconsin. This year marks his 38th year of continuous driving.

He says the job used to be fun, challenging and always something to look forward to. Even though he still likes being a trucker, things have changed. He thinks that electronic logs “took all the pleasure out of the job and doubled the stress.”

Frank also is no fan of the outside/inside cameras, too, and finds them insulting.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Who’s a fat, non-compliant cheater?

OOIDA Member Joyce Sauer Brenny is president of Brenny Transportation Inc. in St. Cloud, Minn. She was recently reading some malarkey spouted by a research analyst, prompting Joyce to sound off on Facebook. We could not help ourselves. We had to invite her to say more. Here’s Joyce’s comments.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Making the world safer, one driver at a time

When it comes to defensive driving, Terry Kearns says you’re never too old to learn some new tricks.

Kearns, an OOIDA member from Paducah, Ky., and his wife, Gail, run a mobile driver training simulator and classroom for the Paducah Area Transit System. According to the organization’s website, the mobile simulator offers supplementary education and training opportunities for a variety of vehicles, including law enforcement and commercial drivers.

The simulator is an entirely self-contained technology system in a 53-foot expandable mobile classroom. Three separate units can emulate many different types of vehicles, small or large. 

“It’s like a video game, to a point,” Kearns said. “I can set different scenarios up to happen at any point.”

Those scenarios include distracted driving incidents, adverse weather conditions, mechanical or tire failure, or even a child running out in front of the vehicle.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bringing home the gold from IAMC

Most people want to believe they are the best at what they do, but not everybody gets to prove it. When it comes to covering trucks and the trucking industry, “Land Line Now” on The Road Dog channel on SiriusXM and Land Line Magazine are two of the best.

At the 24th International Automotive Media Competition awards in Plymouth, Mich., on July 26, the magazine took home one gold award and the radio program a gold and a bronze award as well garnering “Best of Radio” overall for the competition.