Friday, May 6, 2016

City of Elmira, N.Y., solves truck parking problem

While some cities are resisting truck parking areas with the not-in-my-backward mentality, other municipalities have found a solution to keeping commercial vehicles out of their literal backyards: Give them their own lot. The city of Elmira, N.Y., has done just that.

Less than 10 miles north of Pennsylvania on New York State Route 14 lies Elmira, a city of approximately 29,000 people. We first heard about Elmira from Senior Member Terry Button, an owner-operator from Rushville, N.Y. and had to check it out.

At one point, the city had an issue with trucks parking along the streets, according to one city official. Additionally, trucks starting up their engines early in the morning were causing a bit of noise pollution.

Did the city say, “Enough is enough! Not in my back yard!”? You bet, but not in the way you think.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Is the FMCSA really listening?

In my conversations with truck drivers, it is not uncommon for me to hear them say that they feel as if the people in government aren’t listening to their complaints. The voice of a trucker often falls on deaf ears, they say.

As a way to prove to truck drivers that isn’t true, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created listening sessions so that they could hear the views of the public before approving a regulation. It’s supposed to be the FMCSA’s way of telling the truckers that they really are listening.

But the FMCSA has failed to make its gesture seem sincere.

The FMCSA and Federal Railroad Administration have planned three listening sessions about a potential sleep apnea testing mandate before the comment period closes on June 8. The sessions are scheduled for May 12 in Washington, D.C., May 17 in Chicago, and May 25 in Los Angeles.

But here’s where the FMCSA misses its mark. All of the designated meeting places are in downtown locations and do not have truck parking on-site. According to information provided by Truckers for a Cause, cab fare from the nearest truck stop to downtown Chicago would be $60 each way. Other options at the various locations are to find a place that will allow a truck to park for a fee and then use a train, bus, cab or Uber to get the rest of the way.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Historical group enjoys love affair with antique trucks

Frequently, Susan Culbertson will catch the wandering eyes of her husband, Arthur Culbertson.

Arthur Culbertson, from Kentucky, is a member of OOIDA and of
the American Truck Historical Society. He displayed his 1974
Ford WT9000 yellow cabover at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking
Show in Louisville, Ky. (Photo by Greg Grisolano)
“She’ll say, ‘you spotted another girlfriend, didn’t you?’ I’ll say, ‘yeah, I think I did,’” said Arthur, an OOIDA member.

However, Arthur’s girlfriends aren’t of the two-legged variety. A truck driver for more than 30 years, he’s possessed a lifelong passion for antique trucks. s the vice president of American Truck Historical Society’s Bluegrass Kentucky chapter, Arthur represented the group at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., by showing off his 1974 Ford WT9000 yellow cabover.

“She doesn’t worry at all about me and other women,” Arthur said. “But she knows I’ll spend all day looking at trucks.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Trucking’s history in the spotlight of ‘time travel’ series

We’re suckers for any sort of slideshow or photo essay about the history of trucking. So when we came across a recent gallery of images curated by the folks at Paste Magazine, well, we were hooked.

After sharing it around the office, we thought we’d pass on the link to all of you, too. Pay special attention to the photo from the 1970s. It looks like a driver getting arrested during one of the shutdowns from that era. Is that anybody you know? Managing Editor Jami Jones and I have half a mind that it may be one of our early OOIDA members.

You can view the full gallery here. We’d like to take a moment to point out to the folks at Paste that the so-called “driver’s shortage” doesn't really tell the whole story, something we’ve been pointing out for years.

Do you still have any old photos from your time in trucking? Share them with us on our Land Line Magazine Facebook page. We’d love to see them and hear your story! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Truck driver’s heroic deed not finished

Most of you probably either read about or watched video footage from a couple of weeks ago that showed a group of Good Samaritans rescuing a truck driver from floodwaters in Texas.

The rescuers, who consisted mostly of fellow truck drivers, included OOIDA Member Daniel Sieczkarski. The video from The Weather Channel shows Sieczkarski entering the floodwaters and dragging veteran truck driver Ronald Bumpus, who can’t swim, back to shore safely as the others pulled.

The video footage and talk of the rescue on April 18 in Brookshire, Texas, went viral on social media and received attention on several national news shows.

Bumpus, who runs a small trucking company with his son out of Murfreesboro, Tenn., avoided major injury and expressed appreciation to Sieczkarski and the others who came to his aid.

By all accounts, it was a job well done.

However, Sieczkarski isn’t finished lending a helping hand to his fellow trucker in need.