Overdrive Magazine

October 2019

Issue link: https://dmtmag.uberflip.com/i/1172966

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10 | Overdrive | October 2019 Truckers dug deep to pull out another successful auction for the St. Chris- topher's Truckers' Relief Fund at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas in late August. Benefit earnings came to nearly $18,000, well over last year's record of $15,755, again matched by fleet Heartland Express. e fund assists over-the-road drivers when illness or injury causes them to miss work. Much of the event at the TA-Pet- ro Truck Parking Community was organized by Les Willis, co-owner of small fleet Godspeed Expeditors. He's been the volunteer organizer of the parking community for seven years. "If you're not getting, maybe it's because you're not giving," Willis says of his efforts. "Nobody's going to rob me of my blessing. GATS is the only show that's geared towards the driver. Every trucking company says they care about the driver, but few step up in truck parking." I will say definitively that yes, we need greater flexibility. We are profession- als, and no one knows our needs better than we do. Still, there are areas that need clarification. Drivers should also understand that while these changes do not allow us more drive time, they do have the potential to extend a driver's day and thereby allow a kind of added time capacity into the market. It's anybody's guess how that would affect truckload rates. ink about the three-hour pause to the 14-hour clock, which could al- low around 15 extra off-duty hours in the middle of my days over the course of a workweek. So much depends on how that time's taken. For me, it could help eliminate wasted time in congested areas. e temptation would be there to use it to gain back lost time spent waiting for shippers and receivers in those moments I can, in fact, release myself from duty. I know that kind of approach to the use of any pause button has potential to devalue my time at the docks. at's a principal reason for the mixed feelings I have about the changes. Can't you hear the dispatcher? "Well, if you use your three-hour stop, we can still make it by the set time aer the load's on." Never mind the driver wasn't able to actually rest during that time. ey should not be tired, right? Mixed feelings on the hours proposal Another record year for benefit auction Sponsors of the entertainment at the TA-Petro Truck Parking Community at GATS were a big part of making the festivities happen this year. The author of this story, "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer, is pictured singing with the Stone Creek Four on the truck parking stage. Marhoefer performed every show night, along with others. Also performing with Stone Creek: Country music legend Leon Everette and trucker-songwriters Tony Justice, Bill Weaver, Mandi Jo Pinheiro, Taylor Barker, Ken Freeman, Terrance Mathis and Brad James, among others. Overdrive Extra contributing blogger Clifford Petersen is leased to Christenson Transportation. Find more of his commentary via the Aug. 28 post at OverdriveOnline.com/ overdrive-extra. BY CLIFFORD PETERSEN BY LONG HAUL PAUL Todd Dills A truck with its own Facebook page | New to GATS truck parking this year was a truck show with various classes and a participation fee supporting the St. Christopher fund. Mark and Holly O'Donnell's "Family Tree" 2018 Peterbilt 579, leased to Bennett Heavy and Specialized, was among them. The rig's design "celebrates the history and culture of trucking," says Holly, who's pictured. Montage images include the Omaha Stockyards, the Truckin' Bozo radio personality and Idella Marie Hansen, named by TA-Petro as a 2017 Citizen Driver, a program recognizing drivers with exceptional personal and professional qualities.

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