Roses and Razzberries – August/September 2019

August-September 2019

Terry Scruton


ROSES to Volvo Group’s Hagerstown, Md., division for raising money for Truckers Against Trafficking. The company held its annual Power Day event back in June featuring trucks, games and all sorts of community fun.

One of the biggest attractions was called “Drive-a-Truck-for-a-Buck.” For the low price of a dollar, attendees older than 18 with a valid driver’s license could hop behind the wheel of a Volvo or Mack truck and take it for a spin in a loop around the parking lot. According to local news reports, hundreds of people paid for the privilege, bringing in a tidy sum for a worthy cause. It’s sad that a group like Truckers Against Trafficking is necessary, but we are glad they are out there.

ROSES to Jeffrey Johnson, 45, Milwaukee, whose decision to drive his truck into a ditch to avoid a crash cost him his life but likely saved the lives of others. It happened back in June along Interstate 94 in Wisconsin. Another truck driver, Kenneth Rogers who also died, lost control of his truck and hit a median barrier wall, sending it into the oncoming lanes of traffic. Two cars struck the wall and a truck coming right behind them might have done the same – killing the drivers of both cars – had its driver not decided to swerve off the road at the last minute.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said it was the worst wreck he’s seen in 25 years on the job, but he hailed that truck driver as a hero. We couldn’t agree more.

RAZZBERRIES to the Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives who earlier this year introduced a pair of bills aimed at bleeding truckers dry.

The first bill, HB4779, would create a 6-cent-per-mile vehicle miles traveled tax only for trucks. The second bill, HB 4780, would create a bridge toll program – again, only for trucks. If this sounds a bit familiar, it’s because the lawmakers cited Rhode Island’s truck-only toll program as an inspiration.

Look, we get that states need money, but you know what? So do the people behind the wheel of the vehicles that literally bring you everything you need for your daily life. They’re trucks with human beings behind the wheel, not rolling piggy banks.

RAZZBERRIES to Pennsylvania lawmakers for once again pursuing the idea of fining drivers if they fail to remove snow and ice from their vehicles. This proposal at least includes a provision that would excuse truck drivers if they are on their way to a facility to remove the wintry precipitation.

That aside, the impracticality of such proposals still stands. Those facilities that drivers would be on their way to? They aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. That leaves drivers with the unpleasant and dangerous option of having to climb on top of their trailers and remove the snow themselves.

We admit errant snow and ice falling from vehicles is a safety hazard and a real problem, but we just don’t see a solution that doesn’t involve exchanging one dangerous situation for another.

ROSES to OOIDA member Brant Aderman from Live Oak, Calif. Brant saw a story on social media recently that he was so moved by that he just had to do something about it. When a 2-year-old boy was viciously assaulted, the boy’s father posted pictures online and asked people to spread the word about the adult male who allegedly did it. The Worthington Globe reports that Brant saw the pictures after they were shared by a friend and was brought to tears, thinking of his own 5-year-old son. He found out the family lives in Worthington, Minn., and, as it turns out, he drives through there about six times a month. So Brant reached out to the father in hopes of meeting him and his son.

Not content with just a meeting, Brant went to the store and bought a cart full of toys, a tricycle, a truck, sidewalk chalk and everything else he could think of. He gave the toys to the boy and invited the family into his truck. He also gave them some ice cream treats and some frozen pizzas to take home for dinner.

What can you say about this guy? Thanks Brant for taking a bad situation and turning it into a positive story. LL



Terry Scruton

Terry Scruton brought nine years of journalism experience when he joined Land Line Magazine in 2005, and that experience continues to serve him on the radio show. Terry’s must-read “Roses & Razzberries” is also a popular feature with Land Line Now listeners.