Truckers Against Human Trafficking
The Truckers Against Trafficking organization has recently released a new video to raise awareness about the prostitution and human trafficking rings that are often located around truck stops; and to help truckers understand what they can do to help.
If you want to help, get involved or just get more information visit:
Truckers Against Human Trafficking
James hugged our son tightly, gently kissing him on his head.
Whether you are married to, living with or dating a truck driver this is a scene that happens fairly often amongst trucking families. I have not covered this topic before because it is hard for me to cover it objectively, but here goes.
Truckers typically spend a lot of time away from their families while they are driving. This amount of time can; depending on what type of driving they do, last anywhere between 2 weeks up until 4 months. After so long they will often come home to take a short break, get some rest, do some laundry, eat some real food and spend time with their families.
All families react differently during this time:
What do you do when he comes home?
What do you do before he leaves?
Men are often quite helpless at taking care of themselves, especially if they have been in a relationship for awhile. Much like how we as women need them to mow the lawns, cut branches, tighten the plumbing and fix furniture when they get home; they need us to clean their fridges/coolers, sweep and mop their truck floor properly (they can do it, but never as well as a women can).
What do you do after he leaves?
The first night or afternoon is always the hardest.
Whatever you do, do what works for you.
Stay positive (cliche!), keep moving forward, get done what needs to get done, keep praying and never give up faith that he will always come home to you.
This was sent to me earlier this month - I have edited it to hide names, places and dates out of respect for the privacy of both the driver and officer in question.
I had a problem back in ----------- .
Is it legal to have alcohol within the truck?
No. It is not legal for the driver to either consume alcohol within for hours of going on duty or have it within their vehicle at any time. As a result they are held directly accountable by the DOT regardless of whether they are at fault or not. It's not fair it just is. For more info read 392.5 Alcohol Prohibition
So if it is illegal period why is the above situation interesting?
The situation above is interesting because it raises some interesting questions such as:
What can be done if a driver winds up in this situation?
After consulting with a couple of transportation lawyers who were very reluctant to comment on the subject; I managed to get this little piece information:
I apologize that this article is not as conclusive or as helpful as I would like. I hope that in the future I will be able to add more useful information to it.
One of the biggest discussions going on in the trucking industry is about driver respect and image. The lack of respect they get from the general public, media, shippers and receivers, from truckstops, walmart, and the list goes on which is making a lot of drivers very upset. There is also the discussion going on of whether drivers deserve any respect or human rights at all.
All of the drama happening on all sides of the argument on this particular topic and the approaching Christmas holiday has left me wondering at where we as humans have somehow forgotten what it means to be compassionate.
So what is compassion?
compassion; plural nounn:. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
This seems pretty straight forward - it's just about loving others right? Wrong! There is more to compassion than just loving others. One of my favorite explanations of compassion comes from the Vegetales production of Jonah, where compassion is described as sharing the loving of God (or human kindness if you prefer) with others even though they may not deserve it. Treating them the way that you yourself would want to be treated even if it's not returned.
I think this is something that we all should take a good long hard look at and have a great Christmas as a result.
guest • 32 minutes ago
I had been casually browsing through Trucking news and information on the website and happened to see the comment above insulting every good driver I know. A lot of people make so many assumptions about truck drivers and have no idea what they are talking about. A stereo-type has been applied to truck drivers, that while it is true in some cases, is not one bit true on the whole. I felt a need to stand up for the drivers I know and went ahead and replied.
You can see the full article here, http://www.overdriveonline.com/undoing-hours-rule-implementing-e-logs-key-items-on-2014-ata-agenda/
With the stringent weight management segments of the new CSA 2010 laws in effect more truckers than ever have been parking at Walmart. The store chain has huge parking lots that allow truckers to find parking and get shopping done for healthier and often cheaper food than can be found at truck stops. This has created something of a problem with many truckers failing to be respectful of the premises that they are parking on. This is also often the only location that many truckers are able to retrieve their medications.
The other day James and I were standing around outside Walmart preparing to do some shopping and chatting to another trucker when an angry looking employee comes up and less all his feelings loose. I will not name the man and I hold nothing against him and the conversation was certainly very informative.
WARNING! This may not be acceptable for younger viewers.
Advice and Tips for writing while driving over the road
I want to let everyone know that this the first book I have completed. I don't consider myself a professional writer or claim to know everything about writing. With that in mind, I would encourage you to do as much research as you can to help you along. What I can tell you, is that writing starts with an Idea.
Take time to develop that idea and then think of where you want to go with that idea. Write down a plotline, and then think of the different points in the story that pivotal things happen. Just imagine for a second that you don't have a GPS. How would you get from some town in Florida to another town in Washington state? Think of your plotline like a roadtrip, and the stops as pivotal moments or transitions in the story. Writing it down will help you stay on course. When you write, never throw anything away. If you think something is complete trash, remember that you can always rework it. It may just be the piece that you need to make a part of your story even better.
I found the best times to write are when getting loaded or unloaded. While waiting on a load parked at the truckstop. On my days off I would make it a point to write something. I would say that 75% of what I wrote was sitting on the drivers seat with the laptop on the steering wheel. The other thing to keep in mind is that this will take time. I am not saying that someone can't write a story in 3 month's, but most of us humans need to rest and take a break once in a while. If you find yourself not being able to write or unmotivated, take a week off. Recharge those batteries and maybe even come up with some other ideas to work into your story. I'll be honest and say that at times I was just plain lazy and left writing for a month or two. Had I applied myself more I would had finished this book earlier. It took me 1year and a half to complete the book. So next you get to the point that you finish your book. A work of fiction is ussually 45,000 to 80,000 words. It's time to revise what you wrote. You have to look for incosistencies, contradictions, or things that don't fit. At that point you rewrite those parts and then read it again to to look for bad grammar and punctuation. I would say you will do this about 10 to 15 times. At least I think I read this book I wrote that many times.
I hope that this helps and good luck with your writing. Please check out my page on facebook. Hope you like the book description.Target release date for the book is Feb 1, 2014.
I was at the Flying J truck stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and had the opportunity to meet and talk with the nice janitor at that location - Robbie Jones. Here's how the conversation went.
So how did you get into this profession?
I love trucks, I love being near them, but I lost my license and this was the only thing I could do to be near them again.
I used to be a driver. I was a driver ever since I was 16, but I got in trouble. My Dad trained me and then I got my license when I was 20 - it was easier back then. I was a bit of rebel though. I had the long hair and everything. I went racing up a hill in California and went racing down the other side and got in an accident and 1994. I got in a fight with the cop and he took my license. It was in the papers and everything.
How come you never reapplied?
With all the new restrictions I'd never pass these days. I'm a simple guy and it's getting too complicated out there.
Is it a lot of hard work being a truck stop janitor? What do you do?
It's a lot of hard work. I clean the showers, take care of the pumps and keep things clean around here. I like to take care of the drivers, I know they work hard and I love being around the trucks all the time.
What's one thing you would like to let the drivers know?
I would like to see the drivers have a better attitude when they come in the door. I know they live a hard life, always working, but I would like to see them appreciate what we do for them. We feed them and we clean up after them, a better attitude is all we would like to see. Sometimes they come in after a long day and they're grumpy and they treat me like dirt. I want to take care of them and it hurts.
I'm sure they don't always mean it.
Well, it's not just that, some of them are real mean to their co-drivers and their wives. It's hard for me not to want to stand up for them. I know those truckers wives have it real hard, because they do what I do all the time. The cooking, the dishes, taking the anger when things go wrong.
It's not all that bad, but it is hard at times. I need to go, but can I let the public know your name?
Yeah, It's Robbie Jones. You know it's really nice that you're asking about this. No one has asked me for my opinion before.
There are a lot of people in the transportation industry, some are more involved than others. There are the truckers, the shippers, the companies, but I think sometimes we forget to thank the people that clean up after us on a daily basis. The janitors and custodial staff of truck stop and rest areas.
One cold and windy afternoon we were taking a break at a rest area up in the mountains of Oregon. I was on walk with my son and I had the opportunity to speak with the rest area attendant as he was shoveling gravel.
"What are you up to?"
"I'm finishing up a new temporary room to house the rest area staff during the winter. It gets so damn cold every year. We mostly end up huddled in cars in the parking lot trying to keep warm during out shift. It will be nice to keep warm and have a hot drink."
"I imagine that will be nice. I can't imagine being outside in the snow all day especially up here in the mountains. I love the rest areas up here in Oregon, they are very well maintained."
"yeah, we do try."
"What happened to your arm?"
"I used to work out on the farms and I got it stuck in a corn husker."
"That must have hurt."
"Not really, shock cut in pretty quickly and I woke up with my arm gone. It itches like hell sometimes though."
"What brought you to this line of work?"
"I didn't have a lot of options. The farming industry won't hire amputees so this was all I could get. It's not bad though. Very relaxing except for winter and whenever there's problems with the rest area."
"Do the truckers give you much trouble?"
"Not really. If there is any trouble it's hard to tell the difference between the car people and the truckers. Most of the time it's a bit of both."
So, remember this winter that a lot of these hard working people are out there cleaning up after us. Thank them if you see them and let them know they are appreciated!
Before the 19th Century - Beginning of Transportation
The first known existence of a vehicle being used to transport goods is a wagon estimated to be as old as 3500 BC. And this was of a simple wagon found depicted on a clay pot from that time.
Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire created the wagonway around 2000 years ago which was a special tracked road system which pre-dated the railway. The tracks were made of stone blocks or wood and allowed people to transport goods from mines to the city where it could be distributed to the craftsmen.
The Trucking Industry had its inception in France around the year 1769 with Nicolas J. Cugnot's experimental artillery tractor. It was introduced in America in the nineteenth century, but neither the times, nor the technology, nor the roads were prepared for such an innovation, and the occasional builders of experimental vehicles received little encouragement for their efforts, particularly given the stellar successes of the rail industry in transporting heavy goods
The Train system debuted in England during the 1820s and was used to transport people, mail and supplies between towns and cities. As time passed trains became more common throughout the worlds as the number one means of transport.
Trains were highly efficient at moving large amounts of freight, but could only deliver that freight to centralized urban centers for distribution by horse-drawn transport.
The few trucks that existed during this time were mostly novelties, appreciated more for their advertising space than for their utility. The use of range-limited electric engines, lack of paved rural roads, and small load capacities limited trucks to mostly short-haul urban routes.
20th Century - The Beginning of Trucking
In 1910, the development of a number of technologies gave rise to the modern trucking industry. With the advent of the gas-powered internal combustion engine, improvements in transmissions, the move away from chain drives to gear drives, and the development of the tractor/semi-trailer combination, shipping by truck gained in popularity.
In 1913, the first state weight limits for trucks were introduced. Only four states limited truck weights, from a low of 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) in Maine to a high of 28,000 pounds (13,000 kg) in Massachussetts. These laws were enacted to protect the earth and gravel-surfaced roads from damage caused by the iron and solid rubber wheels of early trucks. By 1914 there were almost 100,000 trucks on America's roads. However, solid tires, poor rural roads, and a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (24 km/h) continued to limit the use of these trucks to mainly urban areas.
The years of World War I (1914–18) spurred rising truck use and development, as the increased congestion of railroads during the busy war years exposed the need for alternative modes of transporting cargo. It was during these years when Roy Chapin (working with a military committee) began to experiment with the first long-distance truck shipments, and pneumatic (inflated) tires capable of supporting heavier loads were developed which enabled trucks to drive at higher speeds. Two truck manufacturers that emerged during this time were a former sewing machine maker, White (pictured above), and one that would become a modern euphemism for "truck," Mack.
By 1920 there were over a million trucks on America's roads.
The years beyond 1920 saw several advancements, such as improved rural roads, the introduction of the diesel engine (which are 25–40% more efficient than gasoline engines), the standardization of truck and trailer sizes along with fifth wheel coupling systems, as well as power assisted brakes and steering. By 1933, all states had some form of varying truck weight regulation.
The New Deal - New Regulations
In 1933, as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the National Recovery Administration requested that each industry create a “code of fair competition”. The American Highway Freight Association and the The Federated Trucking Associations of America met in the spring of 1933 to speak for the trucking association and begin discussing a code. By summer of 1933 the code of competition was completed and ready for approval. The two organizations had also merged to form the American Trucking Associations.
The trucking code was approved on February 10, 1934. On May 21, 1934 the first president of the ATA, Ted Rogers, became the first truck operator to sign the code. A special "Blue Eagle" license plate was created for truck operators to indicate compliance with the code.
In 1935, congress passed the Motor Carrier Act, which replaced the code of competition and authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to regulate the trucking industry.
Based on recommendations given by the now-abolished ICC, Congress enacted the first hours of service regulations in 1938, limiting the driving hours of truck and bus drivers.
In 1941, the ICC reported that inconsistent weight limitations imposed by the states were a hindrance to effective interstate truck commerce.
1940s - Interstate Highways
Also in 1941, President Roosevelt appointed a special committee to explore the idea of a "national inter-regional highway" system, but the committee's progress was halted by the initiation of World War II. After the war was over, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 authorized the designation of what are now termed "Interstate Highways", but did not include a funding program to build the highways. Limited progress was made until President Dwight D. Eisenhower renewed interest in the plan in 1954. This began a long, bitter debate between various interests such as rail, truck, tire, oil, and farm groups, over who would pay for the new highways and how.
Intermodal containers waiting to be transferred between ships, trains, and trucks are stacked in holding areas at a shipping port. After compromises had been made, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 authorized the construction of the Interstate Highway System, an interconnected network of controlled-access freeways that allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas. This act also authorized the first federal maximum gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg).
In that same year, modern containerized intermodal shipping was pioneered by Malcom McLean, allowing for more efficient transfer of cargo between trucks, trains, and ships.
In the late 1950s, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conducted a series of extensive field tests of roads and bridges to determine how traffic contributed to the deterioration of pavement materials. These tests led to a 1964 recommendation by the AASHTO (to Congress) that the gross weight limit for trucks should be determined by a bridge formula table based on axle lengths, instead of a static upper limit.
1970s - The Beginning of the Lifestyle
By 1970 there were over 18 million trucks on America's roads.
The Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974 established a federal maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg), and introduced a sliding scale of truck weight-to-length ratios based on the bridge formula, but did not establish a federal minimum weight limit. Consequently, six contiguous states in the Mississippi Valley (which came to be known as the “barrier states”) refused to increase their Interstate weight limits to 80,000 pounds, and the trucking industry effectively faced a barrier to efficient cross-country interstate commerce.
The decade of the 70s saw the heyday of truck driving, and the dramatic rise in the popularity of "trucker culture". Truck drivers were romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws (and this stereotype persists even today). This was due in part to their use of citizens' band (CB) radio to relay information to each other regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. Plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and using CB slang were popular not just with drivers but among the general public.
The year 1977 saw the release of Smokey and the Bandit, the third-highest-grossing film of that year, beaten only by Star Wars Episode IV and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. During that same year, CB Bears saw its debut; a Saturday morning cartoon featuring mystery-solving bears who communicate by CB radio. By the start of the 80s the trucking phenomenon had waned, and with the rise of cellular phone technology, the CB radio was no longer popular with passenger vehicles (although truck drivers still use it today).
1980s - Deregulation
The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 partially deregulated the trucking industry, dramatically increasing the number of trucking companies in operation. The trucking workforce was drastically de-unionized, resulting in lower overall pay for drivers. Trucking had lost its spotlight in popular culture, and had become less intimate among drivers due to the increase of both motor carriers and truck drivers. However, deregulation increased the competition and productivity within the trucking industry as whole, and was beneficial to the American consumer (by reducing costs).
The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 established a federal minimum for truck weight limits, which finally standardized truck size and weight limits across the country for traffic on the Interstate Highways (resolving the issue of the "barrier states").
Qualcomm was founded in 1985 by MIT alumnus and UC San Diego professor Irwin M. Jacobs, USC and MIT alumnus Andrew Viterbi, Harvey White, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, and Franklin Antonio. Jacobs and Viterbi had previously founded Linkabit. Qualcomm's first products and services included the OmniTRACS satellite locating and messaging service, used by long-haul trucking companies, developed from a product called Omninet owned by Parviz Nazarian and Neil Kadisha, and specialized integrated circuits for digital radio communications such as a Viterbi decoder.
21st Century - New Regulations and New Technology
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established January 1, 2000. The primary mission of the FMCSA is improving the safety of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and truck drivers through enactment and enforcement of safety regulations.
By 2006 there were over 26 million trucks on America's roads, hauling over 10 billion short tons (9.1 billion long tons) of freight, and representing nearly 70% of the total volume of freight. Many automobile drivers are largely unfamiliar with large trucks and many accidents are the result of these drivers being unaware of an 18-wheeler's numerous and large blind spots. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that 70% of fatal automobile/tractor-trailer accidents were the result of "unsafe actions of automobile drivers".
In 2007, a live action film of Transformers was directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film brought a new interest to the trucking industry.
Compliance Safety Accountability,(CSA) is a comprehensive program, administered by the FMCSA, under authority of the U.S. Department of Transportation, to improve commercial truck and bus safety by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to commercial motor vehicles. CSA 2010 began in February 2008 with field tests in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri and New Jersey. In 2009 FMCSA added Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Montana to the tests.
CSA was implemented over the weekend of December 11, 2010, even though there is a pending lawsuit to stop the program. A stop order (temporary stay) was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Ken Siegel represents the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, the Expedite Alliance of North America, and the Air & Expedited Motor Carriers Association, which claim to represent about 2,750 small carriers, and contends that FMCSA has not followed proper procedures before publishing the data.