Friday, July 8, 2016

‘Honoring the Blue’

In the works for months, CTS' police tribute cab was placed in service this 
morning. (Courtesy of CTS)
Today, as news headlines continue to shock us with the Dallas shooting tragedy, a trucking company in Wisconsin added a truck to its fleet honoring the nation’s police officers.

Last night Contract Transport Services – CTS – finished the wrapping of “Honoring the Blue,” semi cab that has been in the works for months. 

The truck was put on the road for the first time this morning (Friday), announcing that “In the wake of the tragedy in Dallas, CTS’s new truck is timely to draw attention and appreciation to those that serve our country and protect us.”

I’d like to share with you their Facebook message, posted by Curt Reitz, the president of CTS.
"On such a somber day for our nation, CTS is proud to put in service today our police wrapped truck. Too often the men and women that work tirelessly day in and day out to protect us are not recognized for their efforts. We roll out our police truck today, which will join our fire wrapped truck already in service. At CTS we thank those who keep our families safe. Our prayers go out to the victims of the Dallas shooting tragedy. We honor the blue and your sacrifices."

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Does the law really protect drivers who play by the rules?

The law as written protects drivers who stand up for safety concerns and do the right thing – at least on paper. But the slow pace of justice pushes enforcement so far into the future that the law is often little or no help to an individual driver.

Last month, for example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced in a press release that a major carrier had been ordered to pay back wages to a driver the company had fired (FMCSA refers cases of wrongful termination to OSHA, which enforces “whistle blower” workplace rules).

Back pay amounted to $126,870 plus $50,000 for compensatory damages and $100,000 punitive damages. But we’ll come back to the subject of money.

My interest was drawn to the time this case had taken. The driver had been fired in 2012 – four years earlier. That’s the time it takes a toddler to reach kindergarten or a teenage child to enter and finish high school.

According to OSHA, the average time from complaint to findings in 2015 was 257 days, roughly eight months. So far this year the average is 273 days, about nine months.

What does even the narrowest time gap mean to a driver facing an ethical choice with only minutes to decide?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Forrest Lucas goes Hollywood

Forrest Lucas is a longtime friend of OOIDA’s, a Land Line reader, a former truck driver and president and CEO of Lucas Oil Products. Actually, he is still a trucker, being owner of the Lucas Oil truck fleet. He is one remarkable guy. His products are everywhere. So is he. At any kind of sporting event, Lucas Oil sponsorship signs are everywhere.

Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. MAV-TV. Protect the Harvest. You never know what enterprise he will be into next. I would not be surprised to see the Lucas Oil logo on any competitive team anywhere. I would not be surprised to see him sponsor the youth 12-under marble shooting champs from Indiana.

Still, I was surprised today to get an email that announces the launch of the first of a slate of movies, produced by guess who.

I had to smile to read that while Forrest is busy running his oil company and various other enterprises, he along with ESX Entertainment in Hollywood has produced a movie called “The Dog Lover” that will air nationwide.

It features James Remar, Lea Thompson, Jason Blair, Sherry Stringfield, Christina Moore and Allison Paige. It’s described as “a dramatic thriller about a passionate animal rights activist who goes undercover at a dog-breeding facility, where the owner is suspected of inhumane treatment of animals.”