Roses & Razzberries – December 2018

December 2018/January 2019

Terry Scruton


ROSES to Shell Rotella for surprising truck driver and mentor Deb LaBree with a check for $10,000 for her work as a mentor to other women in the trucking industry. As if that wasn’t enough, they did it on national TV on an episode of “Megyn Kelly Today” where LaBree was set to appear as part of Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

LaBree – who, let’s face it, deserves plenty of ROSES of her own – has been driving for about 12 years and has more than

1.2 million accident-free miles. She has used that experience to help other women make their way in the trucking industry.

OOIDA Board Member Bob Esler sends out ROSES to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Esler said a friend of his – whom he declined to name for privacy reasons – was under a hazmat load heading through Ohio when he suffered a stroke. He was able to get the truck off to the side of the road and call his wife – but he had no idea where he was or what had happened.

The trucker’s wife called the Ohio State Highway Patrol and explained the situation. Although she didn’t know exactly where he was, she knew where he was headed. That gave the police enough information to ping his phone, track down his location and give him the help he needed. A big thank you from Bob and all of us and the family of that trucker.

ROSES, here are some for Reps. Bill Posey, Ralph Abraham, Steve King, James Comer, Randy Weber, Brian Babin and Andy Biggs. This group of lawmakers earlier this year sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging them to push back the effective date of a regulation that could gut the glider kit industry.

The regulation would put severe greenhouse gas restrictions on the glider kit industry and has the potential to shut it down altogether. Glider manufacturers are currently limited to producing 300 trucks in 2018. But the letter urged the EPA to delay enforcement of the rule for another five years. The letter says that “hundreds of American workers in the industry have been laid off in the last three months,” adding that “the glider kit and truck industry will cease to exist in short order without meaningful relief.”

ROSES to California for making its CDL training requirements into law. They were signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Jerry Brown. So what’s the big deal? Well, first and foremost this puts California ahead of the game as one of the few states that is now compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s entry-level driver training rule, which goes into effect in 2020.

California also went one better by adding a requirement for a minimum number of hours of behind the wheel training – something the FMCSA’s rule doesn’t have (although it should). Now admittedly it’s not much – only 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training are required. And 10 of those must be on a public road. But it’s a step in the right direction.

ROSES for everyone who participated in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy at this year’s Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo.

The convoy included 522 trucks – a hundred more than last year – and raised a whopping total of more than $191,000 dollars. And that’s $75,000 dollars more than last year. The auction for the first 15 spots in the convoy generated $105,000 dollars in the first 30 minutes alone.

We single out the GBATS convoy because it’s one of the biggest, but really we are sending out ROSES to everyone who participates in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics every year. It’s a great cause, and we can’t thank everyone enough.

RAZZBERRIES to the U.S. Department of Transportation for language it used in the Automated Vehicles 3.0 document released earlier this year. No, it’s not that kind of language, but it might as well have been.

This is the first automated vehicle guidance we’ve seen from the DOT that specifically mentions trucks. It also specifically says that the DOT “will no longer assume that the CMV driver is always a human.” What was that? No longer human? So … robots, then? Squirrels? I guess this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, the DOT has been treating truck drivers as less than human for decades anyway. 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.