Friday, July 15, 2016

Which is the best city for a trucker to call home?

A recent article from Forbes unveils a study that ranks the best cities in the United States for a truck driver to live in.

The study by Sparefoot, which used information from Indeed.com, took into account such factors as the average annual salary, median home price, salary as a percentage of home price, and median annual rent to generate the rankings.

The top cities for truck drivers were listed as follows:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heroic truckers epitomize good in industry

As a society, we often tend to focus on the negative. Instead of celebrating all the great things being done in our community, we spend much of our time complaining about the handful of problems. Instead of lauding all of the great police officers who put in long hours to make our communities safer, the headlines are stolen by the few bad apples who should never have become officers in the first place.

The trucking industry is not immune to this trend.

Instead of hearing about all of the professional truck drivers out there who have logged millions of accident-free miles, donated to charities and who have worked to make America a better place, the mainstream media’s focus is often on the accidents and the wrongdoings of the few bad apples who should never have become truckers in the first place.

But what I’ve learned since joining Land Line in November 2015 is that there are way too many good truck drivers out there to ignore.

It seems like every other week I’m writing about another heroic deed performed by a truck driver.

The latest involves an anonymous Wal-Mart trucker who spotted a wrecked vehicle submerged in water on Highway 190 near Robert, La., and called for help. The truck driver’s keen vision and quick thinking allowed local firefighters to rescue a woman from the vehicle after she had been trapped in the vehicle for about nine hours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Resist regulatory Stockholm Syndrome

The legal system in the U.S. is built on one fundamental truth: innocent until proven guilty.

FMCSA’s regulatory enforcement system abandons this premise on the ground floor of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, and in its handling of crash data.

Within the CSA system, violations handed out during roadside inspections are a done deal. If a driver or motor carrier doesn’t want to accept the roadside verdict, the driver or motor carrier must challenge the violation and prove they are innocent.

Without getting into jurisprudence and dissecting the requirements of the government, the CSA system as it stands – the one that was hatched to eliminate unsafe drivers and motor carriers – is harmful. It damages the reputation and livelihood of even the safest drivers and motor carriers alike. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Watch out for Pokémon Go players

Over the past week, my social media feed has been flooded with the word “Pokémon.” I found this peculiar because Pokémon is something I associate with the late ’90s when it took the world by storm after being introduced as a video game. We might as well be talking about Pac-Man.

Why is everyone talking about Pokémon again?

Recently, an app called Pokémon Go was released to the digital world. It’s an interactive game where users access their phone’s camera and GPS to catch Pokémon characters that are hidden literally everywhere. Much like a navigation app, Pokémon Go displays a map of where you are. Users have to look for Pokémon characters that are all over the map (literally), get near them, and then catch them.

On the surface, this seems like a harmless and fun app that allows its users to actively engage in a 21st century version of the popular Gameboy game. However, it has turned into a dangerous adventure pursued by people who are walking – and DRIVING – while staring at a screen searching for fictional characters.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, people are injuring themselves while walking and playing. Not only are people just not paying attention to simple “hazards” like fire hydrants, but Pokémon characters are being found in dangerous locations, such as the edge of a subway. Six distracted players were almost struck by a pickup truck during a police chase. Bruises to sprained ankles are punishing irresponsible Pokémon Go users.

If sprained ankles were the worst possible injuries, I wouldn’t be writing about this. Unfortunately, people are taking this game on the road … in their cars … while they are driving.

Although most claims of car crashes as a result of the game are proving to be hoaxes, that has not stopped several law enforcement and transportation agencies from issuing PSAs regarding the dangers of distracted driving.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Land Line, “Land Line Now” earn honors from KC Press Club

Your OOIDA media are committed to bringing you high-quality news and reporting about the issues that matter most to truckers. On Saturday, July 9, staffers attended an awards luncheon in Kansas City for the Heart of America Press Club. Hosted by the Kansas City Press Club, the magazine and radio show staff brought home a combined 15 awards for their work in print, online, and broadcasting.

"Land Line Now" Host Mark Reddig presents an award to
outgoing Kansas City Press Club President Linda Freidel
during the Heart of America Press Club awards banquet on
Saturday, July 9. Reddig was nominated for and elected to
serve as the club president for the next year.
This year, Land Line brought home 10 awards, including the gold for best Business-to-Business Publication and seven other gold awards for individual achievement. “Land Line Now” netted five awards including a gold for feature reporting.

The official business publication of OOIDA, Land Line Magazine was first published in 1975. “Land Line Now” is OOIDA’s trucking news radio program that airs daily on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Channel. The radio show celebrated its 11th anniversary on June 6.

The Kansas City Press Club is a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Every year, the Heart of America Awards honors the work of journalists in the western Missouri and eastern Kansas area. Both the magazine and radio show won awards in a variety of categories.

Below is a breakdown of the accomplishments of the Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now” staff at the 2016 Heart of America Awards: