Friday, January 15, 2016

Trucker warns others on CB of massive pileup ahead; ‘Nobody answered.’

To say the weather wreaked havoc on road conditions this past week is a serious understatement. The number of massive-vehicle crashes was staggering. There were countless reports flooding the news and social media, such as a 40-car pileup in Indiana, and 50 vehicles and counting through the day in Pennsylvania. There were reports elsewhere of smaller pileups of a dozen or so vehicles.

The pictures of the tangled and mangled cars and trucks. Smoke mixing with snow. The images on a smartphone, computer or television were enough to realize the situation was bad bordering on dire.

But, that was nothing like driving by and seeing it.

OOIDA Member Joe Graham drove by the early stages of the Interstate 90 crash.

Joe saw a couple of trucks that had hit each other. There were another couple of semis that had slid off the road avoiding the previous crash. Some cars were also mixed up in the mess.

As he continued along, he felt the need to alert the approaching trucks. But, his warnings fell unheard.

This weighed on Joe, and he decided to put his thoughts out on a video that he shared on Facebook. His message, bordering on pleas to use all means to be safe, hit me hard.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Minor ‘repair’ temporarily sidelines Osburn

In need of a minor repair, OOIDA’s “Spirit of the American Trucker” driver Jon Osburn has been forced to begin the 2016 tour season with a pit stop.

Osburn suffered a tear in his knee that will require surgery and about three weeks of rehabilitation. That means Osburn and his co-pilot, Sassi the dog, were forced to cancel tour trips to California, Arizona and New Mexico.

But have no fear as Osburn promises he will be patched up and ready to go in no time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Singer-songwriter Red Simpson finally makes it to ‘Truck Driver’s Heaven’

Trucking crooner Red Simpson, who penned hundreds of songs, including a ditty about what “Truck Driver’s Heaven” would look like, has finally arrived at that big truck stop in the sky.

Simpson, 81, passed away on Friday, Jan. 8, at a hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., where he made his home and his mark on the city’s eponymous musical style. He had continued writing original music and performing live up to the end of his life. He suffered a heart attack Dec. 18 after returning from a concert tour in the Pacific Northwest.

“He wrote hundreds of songs, many recorded by Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, and became a star in his own right. But later in life, Red Simpson would also be known for owning Monday nights at Trout’s nightclub in Oildale and for being the kind of guy you could strike up a conversation with or bum some beer money from in a pinch,” reads the opening to Simpson’s obituary in the Bakersfield Californian newspaper. The paper notes that while he penned and performed many trucking-inspired tunes, unlike some of his contemporaries in the genre, Simpson himself never actually drove a truck for a living.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Virginia bill would infringe upon truckers’ rights

Ridiculous. Absurd. Infuriating.

Those are some of the more polite words that come to mind when studying Virginia State Senator John Edwards’ proposed bill to prohibit truck drivers from filing a consumer complaint against a tow company.

Sen. Edwards’ bill, which awaits consideration in committees once the regular session begins Jan. 13, would remove motor carriers from the definition of consumers with regard to complaints against towing companies. It effectively would make motor carriers unable to file complaints against tow truck drivers or towing and recovery operators with the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Counsel.

Instead of working to prevent towing companies from preying on truck drivers, Sen. Edwards proposes to make it even easier to get away with charging outlandish rates for nonconsensual tows.

Ludicrous. Nonsensical. Enraging.