Roses & Razzberries – August/September 2020
ROSES to Front Row Motorsports – which you may know better as the home of NASCAR drivers John Hunter Nemecheck, Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland. They launched a campaign in June dedicated to thanking truckers for all they have done during this global pandemic to keep our country moving.
In addition to having a “Thank a Trucker” decal on all of their race cars, the campaign called on everyone to visit Front Row Motorsports’ website and leave a personal message for a trucker. Those messages were collected and shared on team and driver social media outlets. The team said in a statement that truckers are “working hard each and every day to keep shelves stocked and deliver vital goods to families across the country.”
And as we now see that this pandemic is not over just yet, that service becomes more critical than ever, so thank you, Front Row Motorsports, for taking the time to recognize that.
ROSES to three employees from the TA Petro in Eloy, Ariz., who recently saved the life of a truck driver. According to a news release from the company, it happened on June 3, when shop assistant general manager Tracy Tydings was completing his tire counts. He spotted smoke and flames coming from a truck in the lot. He ran to the truck – a reefer unit – along with mechanics Mikey Wells and Steve Tijerina and started pounding on the door to alert the driver.
The driver, Juan Dominguez, was asleep but woke up when the three were hitting the door. Steve helped him get out of the cab and away to safety before the truck became further engulfed in flames.
Juan’s wife, Evelyn, said he lost all of his personal belongings but he was grateful to the three men for saving his life. And so are we.
RAZZBERRIES to the House lawmakers – and they know who they are – who voted to include the provision raising the minimum insurance requirements for truckers in the highway bill. This provision would raise the minimum liability coverage for trucking operations from $750,000 to $2 million. Yes, you heard that right.
They voted for this thing in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the majority of money in trucking cases is more than covered by that $750,000 amount. Not only that, but there is an overwhelming lack of evidence that raising that amount will do anything to increase safety. As we’ve said before, the only thing it will increase is the bank accounts of those personal injury lawyers.
ROSES to the truckers who not only helped reunite an owner with her pregnant dog, but also helped transport that dog’s puppies to new homes in Canada amid border shutdowns due to the pandemic. CFPL reports that Kilt the border collie was dropped off with a friend in New York when her owner, Victoria Craig, was set to go to Nepal. Craig’s trip was canceled because of the pandemic but then she was stuck at home in St. Thomas, Ontario, while Kilt was across the border in New York.
Thankfully, truck driver Erik MacDonald of Nova Scotia was able to get Kilt across the border, but not before she had given birth to her puppies in New York. Working with another group of truckers, Craig was able to get the puppies to new homes in both Canada and the U.S.
Honestly, who doesn’t love a story with a happy ending? And puppies!
RAZZBERRIES to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission for signing a contract earlier this year with Conduent Transportation to handle upgrades and maintenance of its toll collection system. If the name Conduent sounds familiar it’s because that is the exact same company that completely botched the upgrade of Florida’s SunPass electronic tolling system a few years back.
That mess cost Florida millions of dollars and resulted in numerous investigations at both the state and federal level. Not only that, but the Florida DOT fined Conduent the maximum amount allowed by law and said it would not renew its contract with Conduent once it expired. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.
Maybe things will work out better in Ohio. Only time will tell. Still, it seems someone in Ohio should have called someone in Florida before they made that decision. LL