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Monday, March 31, 2008

On the Road with the original florida kid - week 30

"On the Road" with the original florida kid
Hello again fellow truckstars! It's Week 30 and.....
.....you're on the road with the original florida kid....
Grandma, Barbie, Pup the wonder dog and the whole gang here at the ranch say a big howdy "Hey"!
"KITCHEN TABLE TALKIN"- Alright grab a cup of Grandma's famous cowboy coffee, an ashtray, pull up a chair and let's get to it!
Again this week I can't not go into this subject....the nationwide shut-down. I got off the road from 2 back-to-back runs on friday night, all the while monitoring my cb and listening for any chatter about a shut-down. I heard very little about it, except that someone told me that there was a news report on tv about it being planned for sometime next month. Today I heard it's tomorrow April 1st. I still, sittin' here, can't help but wonder why there's no real organization to one of the largest labor forces in U.S. history....I'm not talkin' about a general truckers "union" because I don't think that's realistic, from financial and time standpoints, not that I'm against it, I'm not, but what we're really talking about here is a voice, one voice representing the 3.5 to 5 million drivers in this country....not to mention the other 15-18 million people employed in "diesel culture" support industries.....amazingly, there isn't one. I, personally, find that more than a little incredible. The OOIDA and the ATA? Okay let's talk about that.....the OOIDA has fewer than 200,000 members as does the ATA....a fraction of the total number of drivers and yet both these groups are the only ones, or at least only trucking organizations fighting like hell, for ALL truckers, men and women, in the local, state and federal arenas and courtrooms of this country.....and making progress !! Who else is? the Sierra Club(that's right, the tree huggers...), the Teamsters(I wish I was one....) besides them I can't answer that because I don't know.....do you truckstar??
There's 10 different trucking papers and magazines, all seperate in ownership. None of the trucking websites are connected that I know of....sooooo what do we do and how do we do it? Maybe we need one of those heavy hitter business and organizational consultants.....
And, it's not as big a deal for an independent to turn down a load or park his truck for a day as it is for the millions of company drivers who will lose their jobs if they refuse to drive on the day of the shut-down....me for example, the brokers I get hauls from won't care if I say "no" I can't drive on that day, they'll, I'm sure find someone else in 5 minutes to take the haul....it's the co. drivers who will pay the price....there are so many kids coming out of these trucking schools who don't know any better that it's scary to think the trucking industry as a whole is so cost conscious that it would rather pay low mileage to a greenhorn than it would an experienced pro.....(you know...the kind that helped build this country).......and sure, it'll be a "no money" day for many of us but I'm confident we'll make it up, if nothing else, in fuel savings, in no time and a long overdue message will have been sent to the "powers that be".
Those of us who have been around long enough also know that the trucking co's love to pass themselves off as "driver friendly" - and - "on the drivers side" and all that BS but when it gets down to it, most, if not all, care much more about their bottom line even if that ends up being at the drivers expense, and more often than not ....it is.
No....I wasn't born yesterday, I know how business works and how it HAS to work....but you can't tell me that screwing your employees and O/O partners IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS......
QUESTION: Is there ONE trucking co. in this country that is shutting down the day of the "shut-down" ? If not....why not? Is there even ONE trucking co. that is going to stand with the drivers? Probably not.....Why? Because they're more afraid of their "big business" customers - THAN THEY ARE OF YOU !! That's why....oh yeah and it's all about the money too.....
.............and say what you want about the "flake -o - rama" actor community....but at least they refused to cross the picket lines when the writers were on strike......
Before I go any further I want to urge you, PLEASE, to get involved and join the OOIDA and the ATA !!
http://www.ooida.com/
http://www.truckline.com/ (this is the link for the ATA, click on membership up top on their page)
and while I'm at it I want to put up these links too so you personally can contact your political rep's ;
(you'll probably have to catch them in between $2000 a night hookers and looking for sex in airport bathrooms, or flying around in some corporate Lear Jet somewhere.....)
To find your Representative - www.house.gov - ( just enter your zip)
To find your Senators - www.senate.gov - (scroll to your home state)
Write them often, tell your friends to write them often......when? right now !
I'm working on a few things on my end I'll let you know more about as the next few weeks go by.....
I guess ultimately we have to look to the government for relief from the fuel prices......but if this nation is still "by the people and for the people" then we should be able to hope for action on our behalf, and not just truckers but everyday people too.......wha'cha' think truckstar? Maybe I was absent that day but when did big business start telling everyone what to do....and getting away with it?
Old school journeymen truckers are some of my favorite people, and it truly breaks my heart when I talk with them and hear them seeming to talk about trucking in the "past tense". I can't tell you how many I've heard about being forced out of business and some even parking their rigs and going to work as co. drivers. I get lots of e-mails from guys like 'bigjackknife' on chicken trucker.com who tells me a lot of his neighbors and friends near where he lives, which is a trucking hub, are done, and have their trucks up for sale, and JW who runs the site, he's an independent and he's breakin' his ass just to make it week to week.....and listen to me...we're not talkin' about losers who don't know what their doing, we're talkin' about top notch pros who have more miles than I'll ever rack up. 'bigjackknife has more than 2 million miles....JW's been around forever too....THIS SHOULD NOT BE !! Come on, someone has to haul freight....why are the best people getting bumped out yet the damn trucking schools are always full and popping out kids as fast as they can?? WHY?
Before anything else happens I hope we can all get together on a National Truckers Prayer Day.....the bible says - "if God is for us - then who can be against us?"
Do you think for one second that God would be on the side of some mindlessly greedy, earth raping corporation? Do you?
I bet He's wondering why 2 or more have not gathered in HIS name and asked for HIS intervention.........
TRUCKSTAR TECH- On a lighter note I want to mention a couple of new things I came across: the first being the new power source by Cummings Comfort Guard. It's diesel powered and even meets the strict California standards. This is the one I was waiting for, the one I want. Truckstars, fight it out if you want to but more and more areas are stopping overnight idling.....
Are you one of the lucky drivers with a mobile web laptop? http://www.dtv4pc.net
Want unlimited tv on your mobile laptop? Try this co., for a one time fee around 50 bucks you'll have great tv on your laptop or pc...I'm signing up as soon as I get my new laptop.Check them out! ( I know it sounds to good to be true but it's not, no tuner, no hardware just a fee for a one time software install and access. We're talkin ESPN, NBC, and a bunch or other top stations. I didn't find them, they found me.....)
Also if you're looking for a really durable laptop try this co. out - https://www.onthegopc.com/index.asp
Here's the Sony Vaio refurbished laptop site - http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644534352 ( I know it's a long one but so what, just click on it.....)
Also - if you can check out the new International Lonestar Truck - high style meets high tech, they look awesome and are fuel efficient!
Don't worry I'm always looking for cool new stuff that's affordable and portable for those of us who are on the road but want to have media access.....
THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT- If you're like me the biggest health issue you may have, lately, is stress. Make sure you're taking a good "whole food" organic vitamin, eating your meal replacement MetRx protein bars, and drinking Muscle Milk Protein drinks. Back off on the coffee and try to stay away from sodas too, and high fat, high salt snacks. Keep the coffee(I know, I know it's hard, I love my coffee too....) to a minimum! Whole grain cereals and lots of fresh vegetables......you can do this! Every day try a little harder to clean up your diet and you'll see your health, stamina and endurance will improve and "runs" won't burn you out so bad.......
.......next week the "endochrine system"...you don't want to miss it !!
NASCAR- Denny Hamlin took the checkered at the Goody's Orange 500 in Martinsville. Junior led then Jeff Gordon led for awhile and gave it a good try but just couldn't seem to catch Hamlin and took second in the end. I'm not the biggest fan of short track racing, these cars are capable of such high speed excitement that it's kind of a waste to me, but whatever....
PBR- The Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico over the weekend was another great show! Young L.J. Jenkins, a New Mexico resident took the event title over second place finisher Guilherme Marchi, who is ranked number 1 overall in the point standings. Travis Briscoe, another of the new rising superstars, former world champ Chris Shivers, and favorite Ross Coleman all had good outings. Bull ridin' at it's best!
Tis' the season for Chuck Wagon Cook-offs!! (http://www.chuckwagon.org/),check their site for the 08' schedule, and truckstars if you only go to one event or take one vacation this year, and you're a fan of the old west, then you have to go to the big National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock in Sept. 4-7th(http://www.cowboy.org/ ) the Chuckwagon Cook-off Championship is held there!!
Take a minute and PRAY for our troops around the world - with me - truckstars....whether you agree with the war or not - I think we can ALL agree that these are OUR men and women over there, our KIDS, and, the politics involved is way over my head, not to mention the idea that there's probably a lot going on we DON'T know about, so......and let's not forget about GOD in this equation....it's HIS will I want done, not some profit crazed business man's, not the government's, and damn sure not my own, I'm just not capable.....how 'bout you truckstar?
Okay truckstars - I gotta go - I'm trying to find a haul and a back-haul....(truck payments....know what I mean vern?)
so until next week
Remember - NO load and NO paycheck is worth dyin' for !!!!!
Pray for us all, our nation, the world and the lost..... and try not to worry!!
God hears prayers, trust me - I know.
As always I want you to remember - I love ya' and I'm prayin' for ya' !
Play nice, drive safe and pull it on home...........
Are you ready? Let's roll..........
......you're on the road with the original florida kid...............we gown..........