Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays

Originally Posted on Tue, Dec 25 2007 @ 12:48 PM [EST]





I would like to wish everyone:





If you don't celebrate Christmas, then:






And to everyone:



Comments

Merry CHRISTmas and a happy New Year to you and yours..Thanks VM
Comment By:VM on Sat, Dec 29 2007 @ 8:20 AM [EST]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

No Zone / Share The Road Safely

Originally Posted on Sat, Dec 15 2007 @ 3:41 AM [EST]

It has been a while since I've posted anything about trucking, so I figured I would cover some important topics: 'The No-Zone' and 'Sharing The Road Safely'. Now, I know that most of you may believe you know about these two subjects and if you are a trucker, then you probably do know about 'The No-Zone' but please take the time to at least read the items under the 'Sharing The Road Safely' section.

Now, how about we go see if we can learn something together. (For some reason I just had a flash back to Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.)

Instead of taking the chance of messing up this very important public service announcement, I'll just quote the web site and published information. You can find more information at the FMCSA's "Share The Road Safely" web site.

I'll list the URL for the page I'm quoting before each quote.






What is a No-Zone?

The "No-Zone" represents the danger areas around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Some No-Zones are actual blind spots or areas around trucks and buses where your car "disappears" from the view of the drivers. These blind spots are the Side No-Zone, Rear No-Zone, and Front No-Zone areas. The
right-side blind spot is doubly dangerous because trucks and buses make wide
right turns! Knowing the No-Zones can save your life!

For examples of
"No-Zone" situations to avoid, click below.

http://www.sharetheroadsafely.org/cardrivers/workZoneSafety_Tips.asp

Safety Tips for Work Zones

Trucks have more accidents in highway work zones than other vehicles. Work zones can be very dangerous for all vehicles especially when traveling on the highway. It is important to be alert and prepared to slow down or stop in a work zone. Slowing down and allowing others to merge, will ensure a safe passage through work zones. Here are a few tips on work zone safety.

STAY ALERT- HIGHWAY WORK ZONES ARE UNSAFE
Work zones are busy places where construction vehicles and workers are always moving. Stay alert and stay on the safe path that is designated throughout the work
zone. Avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes when possible. If you can't avoid work zones, allow for more time to travel, slow down, and consider sharing a ride with someone to reduce congestion.

TAKE YOUR CUES FROM TRUCKS
Work zones often pop up suddenly. If you are not paying attention to the signs, you could find yourself in a serious accident. Trucks can be great indicators of trouble or slow downs ahead. Trucks have a height advantage and can see ahead of traffic. Paying attention to a truck's brake lights is a good signal of a slow down or work zone ahead. Truck drivers know the stopping limitations of their trucks, and pay close attention to traffic. Take your cues from trucks and you'll be prepared.

MERGE GENTLY
Aggressive drivers can be extremely dangerous while driving in work zones. Work zones require time and courtesy. For a smooth passage through work zones, allow others to merge in front of you. Be especially considerate to trucks. They require more space to merge and are the least maneuverable vehicles on the road. Remember, trucks have large blind spots, making it difficult to see cars squeezing in close to the front and sides of their truck.



http://www.sharetheroadsafely.org/truckAndBusDrivers/truckAndBusSafetyTips.asp


Safety Tips for Truck and Bus Drivers

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of a moving truck or bus is the driver! Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. Eat well and stay fit. Remember, hours of service violations are serious and can threaten your livelihood or even your life. Stay healthy and well rested, or don't drive!

ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
Inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Learn how to inspect your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and others on the highway.

BE AWARE OF YOUR "NO-ZONE"
Other drivers may not be aware of the size of your truck's blind spots. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The No-Zone represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone.

SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
Watch out for highway construction. Stay alert. Work zone crashes are more likely to happen during the day. Almost one-third of fatal crashes in work zones involved large trucks. Take your time going through work zones and give yourself plenty of room. Expect the unexpected!

ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
Always leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you hit someone from behind, you are typically considered "at fault," regardless of the situation. Large trucks require more stopping distances than other vehicles. Take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking situations.

FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a crash, a seat belt can save your life and those around you. It will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck or bus. A major cause of truck and bus driver fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts, is still the single most effective thing all drivers can do to save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.

ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Avoid aggressive drivers! It's estimated that each year two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving behaviors. Keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. The only thing speed will increase is your chance for a crash.

WORK TO HELP YOURSELVES
Be the professional on the highway and at safety events! Help stranded motorists; notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to crashes. Join a "Highway Watch" program, if available in your state. Your participation in public safety events and your performance on the highway can change public perception!

TELL US WHAT IS WRONG
If you know of unsafe situations, tell us about it. This includes unsafe companies, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadways, and unsafe vehicles. The following "hotlines" are maintained for your protection. Please call us to help make the roads safer and your job easier.

FMCSA Driver Hotline: 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238)
NHTSA Vehicle Hotline: 1-888-327-4236


Check out these links to other web sites for additional Commercial Motor Vehicle Information:


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Large
Truck Crash Facts 2001

Layover.com





http://www.sharetheroadsafely.org/cardrivers/carSafety_Tips.asp

Safety Tips For Car Drivers

When driving on the highway you are at a serious disadvantage if involved in a crash with a larger vehicle. In crashes involving large trucks, the occupants of a car, usually the driver, sustain 78 percent of fatalities. In order to keep you and your family safe when driving around large trucks and buses, you should be extra cautious. Sharing the road with larger vehicles can be dangerous if you are not aware of their limitations. Here are a few tips to help you drive safer to prevent an accident and minimize injuries and fatalities if one does occur.

CUTTING IN FRONT CAN CUT YOUR LIFE SHORT
If you cut in front of another vehicle, you may create an emergency-braking situation for the vehicles around you, especially in heavy traffic. Trucks and buses take much
longer to stop in comparison to cars. If you force a larger vehicle to stop quickly this could cause a serious, even fatal accident. When passing, look for the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front and avoid braking situations!

BUCKLE YOUR BELTS
Always buckle your seat belt. Seat belts are your best protection in case of a crash,
especially if you get into an accident with a large vehicle such as a truck. Trucks require a greater stopping distance and can seriously hurt you if your car is struck from behind. However, your seat belt will keep you from striking the steering wheel or windshield, being thrown around, and from being ejected from the car. Wearing a seat belt is the single most important thing you can do to save your life, especially in a crash with a large truck.

WATCH YOUR BLIND SPOTS - THE "NO-ZONES"
Large trucks have blind spots, or No-Zones, around the front, back and sides of the
truck. Watch out! A truck could even turn into you, because these No-Zones make it difficult for the driver to see. So, don't hang out in the No-Zones, and remember, if you can't see the truck driver in the truck's mirror, the truck driver can't see you.

INATTENTIVE DRIVERS
Inattentive drivers do not pay attention to driving or what is going on around them. They can be just as dangerous as aggressive drivers when they drive slowly in the passing lane, ignore trucks brake lights or signals, and create an emergency-braking situation. They also create dangerous situations when they attempt to do other things while driving, such as using cell phones. When you are driving, please focus only on the road. If you need to attend to another matter while driving, safely pull over in a parking lot or rest stop.

AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS
Aggressive drivers can be dangerous drivers. They put themselves and others at risk with their unsafe driving. Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, pulling in front of trucks too quickly when passing, and making frequent lane changes, especially in the blind spots of trucks, can create dangerous and potentially fatal situations on the road. These situations can lead to road rage not only for the aggressive driver, but also for others sharing the road.

AVOID SQUEEZE PLAY
Be careful of trucks making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you'll be caught in a "squeeze" and can suffer a serious accident. Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn especially in urban areas. They can't see cars directly behind or beside them.
Cutting in between the truck and the curb increases the possibility of a crash. So pay attention to truck signals, and give them lots of room to maneuver.

NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE
Drinking and driving don't mix. Alcohol affects a person's ability to make crucial driving decisions, such as braking, steering, or changing lanes. Remember, you are not the only one in danger when you decide to drink and then drive. You are sharing the road with everyone including large vehicles and your chances of getting into an accident are greatly increased. If you get into an accident with a truck, you're out of
luck. The odds of surviving a serious accident with a large truck are too low. However, if you do live through it without serious injury, think of your higher insurance rates, your large legal fees, and other social and professional setbacks it will cause you. So think before you drink.


I recommend that truckers and 4-wheelers (car drivers) alike should check out the FMCSA's "Share The Road Safely" web site.I think I've taken up enough of your time for tonight. Be safe out there. -TTB


Comments


Heres what really happens in work zones..Trucks are traveling the speed limit when some idiot decides that saving 4 seconds on his trip is worth his life and decides to whip around you. I've seen it over and over again. They think somehow that they can just around you and merge and that is where they are DEAD wrong! I remember being on the I-35 in Austin when someone thought they could do that and they ate guard rail and I just kept on a trucking. I'm not stopping for nothing. Trucks have more accidents in these zones because of these idiots not because of the drivers..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Dec 15 2007 @ 7:05 AM [EST]

Good blog, TT. I am glad someone cares.
Comment By:lenutt on Sun, Dec 16 2007 @ 7:45 PM [EST]

I agree with you comment VM. Not being an expert on the subject of big rig accidents in work zones, my thoughts on why there appears to be more accidents involving trucks is two fold: 1) Big Rigs are HUGE and the space in construction zones are smaller and the road surface is uneven 2) Most drivers of 4-wheelers (and some truck drivers) are idiots and think that those extra few MPHs or that extra time gained (a few seconds) by not slowing down are going to get them where they need to go faster. Most people do not realize how marginal the gains are by speeding, not to mention what happens if you get pulled over or have an accident. I use to be one of those people. I was the guy that drove at 85+ MPH every where he went and took stupid risk. Then I turned 18 y/o and I realized it wasn't worth it. I still would speed some but as the years went on, I even stopped that. Now I pretty much obey the law. I become more and more embarrassed each day at being a 4-wheeler. -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Dec 18 2007 @ 1:32 PM [EST]

Its not so much your speed that matters its the space in front of you that does. Can you stop if the car in front of you slams on the brakes?..Speeding is OK as long as you got the cushion to stop. I pass trucks all the time going 59mph when I am going 61mph...Why?..Because I don't want to break RPM's a secret my mentor taught me who has 30+ years in. I catch them when I am empty on the hills which usually is not the best place to pass but I do. It's actually easier for me to drive a big rig in heavy traffic than a 4-wheeler because of my mirrors and I am used to it. Don't break your RPM's when behind another slow moving vehicle hang back and bring up your RPM's when safe to pass and they'll think you've got a Frankenstein of an engine. VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Dec 23 2007 @ 2:42 AM [EST]

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm Still Alive

Originally Posted on Fri, Dec 07 2007 @ 10:38 PM [EST]


Hello all. I'm still alive. I know that my blog hasn't had a lot to do about trucking but it has taken all my time to take care of dad. I have not given up on the idea. I just have to get dad independent again.

Just to warn you now, this still will not have anything to do with trucking except one of the reasons I haven't made the move yet; my dad. If you don't want to read my rant on my dad, you can feel free to stop reading know. Don't worry, I'll understand and I won't get made. I just need to rank a while and get some things off my chest.

OK ... here I go. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Dad has improved a lot but it is still a waiting game to see how far he will improve. He has gotten to the point were we believe he can pretty much take care of himself again but he does seem to want to do that. He seems very willing to let everyone wait on him and not do anything for himself. I hate to do it but I'm about to set him straight and remind him that he is a 66 year old adult. He had physical and occupational therapy coming to his place once a week. Well, physical therapy released (discharged him from care) last week and occupational therapy released him this week. If they feel that he is able to do things well enough that he doesn't need them any more, then I feel he can start putting forth the effort to start taking care of himself. I understand that there are things that he cannot do on his own, such as putting in his eye medication. The wife and I are more than willing to help him with those things. Right now, the wife and I are putting in a HUGE amount of effort and he is willing to sit back not put in much at all. It is time for that to stop. This has put a big strain on us. We both feel we have lost our lives and that all we do now is take care of him.

My dad was always the strongest, most independent man I had ever known. Except for injuries (I'll list a few of them in a moment), he has only missed one day of work due to illness and that was actually because he was too drunk to go to work (which was really saying something at the time because he was a VERY big drinker. He no longer drinks. He hasn't had a drop to drink in over twenty years.) I really do not know what has happened to him. He has started relying on my brothers and me more and more each year, even before his leukemia and kidney problems. As I said earlier, he is only 66 years old which isn't that old these days. Several times over the past few years, we've had to use some tough love on him and he has come around and started being more independent so I guess it is time to do it again.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, as promised, here are some of the injuries he has had:

  • He has broken his back 3 times (resulting in his lower 6" of his spine being fused together.)
  • He had a blood clot moving toward his heart. It caused him to pass out. Luckily, he was on a roof at the time and rolled off. Why is this lucky? The clot was heading toward his heart. According to the doctor, if the clot had reached his heart, it would have killed him. When he fell off the roof, it caused the blood clot to break up and pass through the heart. The down side to falling off the roof, he broke his sternum which punctured his diaphragm.
  • He has cut off his thumb. Surprisingly, they were able to sew it back on in the late 1970's. It is fully functional and he even grew back his thumb nail. The only thing is it is now a 1/8" shorter which is the width of the saw blade.
  • He shattered the ball and socket joint in his right shoulder. The interesting thing is how he did it. He woke up one morning and stretched while yawning. That's it, he stretched. Explanation? He had been working roofing for several weeks and the biggest thing he did was carrying bundles of shingles up a latter. Most of the time it was two or three bundles at a time. Well, by doing this, he built up his back muscles so strong without much building up of his chest muscles and when he stretched; his chest muscles weren't strong enough to stop his back muscles. The result: a loud pop, a shattered shoulder and now an artificial joint.
  • He was crushed between the two halves of a double-wide mobile home which resulted in him have 30K lbs across 6" of his pelvis area. Amazingly, besides being much thinner in that area for a while, he had some pelvis damage. He was walking again (on crutches) in 6 days and left the hospital in 16 days.
  • Completely exploded a disk in his back (all three sections...nothing was left). After the surgery, he was a 1/4" shorter.
    (The broken backs and the exploded disk accounted for a total of 5 back surgeries.)

(Yes, it is amazing that he is still alive after all of this.)

Now, before you say, "No wonder he wants someone to take care of him." let me say, he was strong enough emotionally and stubborn enough, he recovered from all of those injuries and was able to return to a very normal life. He actually returned back to work after all of them except after the mobile home crushing him. This put him on disability but he still lead a very full life. Even the death of my mom didn't keep him down for too long. It was rough on him but he still pulled through it. He made it through the leukemia and kidney problems last year and spent almost a year with the leukemia being in remission and his kidney function getting back to over 80% of normal. But since his relapse a few months ago, it is like he doesn't want to try. He hasn't given up but he definitely isn't fighting very hard. (Sorry, I started kicking into the rant again.)

I'm sorry this ended up being so long and if you are reading this, I can only think of a few reasons:

  1. You skipped to the bottom without actually reading it.
  2. You are really, REALLY bored
    or
  3. You're VM and you had to take a break from driving a pencil long enough to let your hand rest. =-)

That is enough for now. Feel free to comment or drop me a line at: truckin.tedybehr@gmail.com

-TTB



Comments

Your Dad is going to do whatever he wants to do and there is nothing going to change that, its up to him. I hope he does the right thing for your sake. He will probably play the martyr role for a while until he realizes that you are serious. You owe him love but that can't stop you in what YOUR family needs. Put YOUR family first..He's a grown MAN he's gonna do what he wants..He's probably deep down scared about his mortality and he doesn't know how to express it but to have you waiting on him hand and foot. He seems like a truck driver thats for sure STUBBORN..So use Trucker Psychology 101 with Professor VM..Let him rant and rave but push on with what you need to make your family happy..VM-out! By the way I drove a truck for a total of 60 miles today when I dropped the pencil...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Dec 08 2007 @ 6:01 AM [EST]

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Update On My Dad

Originally Posted on Sun, Nov 18 2007 @ 1:31 AM [EST]

Just another update on my dad.For those of you that don't know about what has been going on with my dad, he has been battling kidney failure and Leukemia. You can check out the follow post for more info:
http://truckintedybehr.blogspot.com/2007/10/still-here.html
http://truckintedybehr.blogspot.com/2007/10/update.html

Dad came home from the Rehabilitation Center on Thursday evening (11/15/07). He is back in his own apartment. He is doing much better and all his numbers are improving. It is still too early to tell if the Leukemia is going back into remission.

We've setup to have a nurse come in once a week to monitor him and to help setup his meds for the week and things like that. Home Health is also setting up for him to receive some more 'occupational therapy' to basically teach him how to do his day-to-day activities the most efficient way possible for his current physical condition. We are checking in to see about getting a care provider to come in a couple times a week to help him around the house. This will give me and my wife a little break during the week.

He has been having vision problems since he has gotten sick again. He is having problems seeing well enough to be able to read things like cooking instructions. My wife and I have been taking care of things like his shopping and fixing him meals, etc. We have also been taking him back and forth to dialysis three times a week, chemotherapy once a week and any other doctor appointments. My brothers both live about 20 minutes away so we have been handling most of the work load this time around. We've been working on a schedule with them so that they will be helping out on the weekends.

I really must say that my wife is amazing. She has been doing so much to help my dad. She helps take him to his appointments. She has taken over his finances. She helps with the shopping. She is absolutely amazing.

That is all for now. Be safe out there. -TTB


Comments

I don't know what to say but to tell you you are in my prayers and have my support..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Nov 18 2007 @ 3:38 AM [EST]

It's good to hear that he is out of the hospital and back home. His health may not be the best right now but being at home can make a differance in recovery. When my dad was battling cancer he was in a much better state of mind when he was home. A positive outlook by your dad can do wonders toward recovery. The mind is a very powerful tool. I hope things get better and be sure to keep letting your wife know how much her help means to you and your family.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Sun, Nov 18 2007 @ 9:19 AM [EST]

Thank you both. Your thoughts and prays are greatly appreciated. Be safe. -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Nov 18 2007 @ 12:16 PM [EST]

send me an e-mail please!
Comment By:vm on Thu, Nov 22 2007 @ 5:17 AM [EST]

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What I'm Reading Now

Originally Posted on Sun, Nov 11 2007 @ 12:19 AM [EST]




So, here is what I'm reading now:



'A Brief History of Time' by Stephen Hawking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brief_history_of_time



'Journey To The Center Of The Earth' by Jules Verne
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_center_of_the_earth


Have you read them? If so, what did you think of them?So, what are you reading?





Comments

My favorite books of all time.."Have A Nice Day" by Mick Foley-professional wrestler..And the "Boxcar Children" when I was a kid..Good reads..My daughter (who is only 6) by the way was Student of the Month and won an award for her writing..Must be my Fathers Masters Degree in English skipping a generation..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Nov 11 2007 @ 3:39 AM [EST]

Is it not funny that the real Dr. Seuss did not like children?..Kind of crazy huh?..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Nov 11 2007 @ 6:56 AM [EST]

I have read "Journey to the Center of the Earth". I am an avid reader and have quite a library. At any time you will find so many books in the truck that it is hard to find a place to put them. My favorite genre is science fiction but I read W.E.B. Griffin, Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, etc.. A person that reads, learns and a person that learns will have a lot of useless and useful knowledge tucked away in their brains.
Comment By:lenutt on Sun, Nov 11 2007 @ 2:35 PM [EST]

Hey I got a lot of useless knowledge..For example that Dr. Seuss comment...VM
Comment By:VM on Mon, Nov 12 2007 @ 2:47 AM [EST]

My wife says I'm a walking encyclopedia of useless knowledge. -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Nov 12 2007 @ 7:18 PM [EST]

I've beenreading a lot the past five years or so. I've read about 70 books in 5 years. I've been into the classics lately such as Jules Verne, Mark Twaine, H.G. Wells, etc. Then I'll turn around and pickup a Harry Potter book or something by Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I don't know if I can really pick a favorite. -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Nov 12 2007 @ 10:21 PM [EST]

Well if you like to read then be a trucker because you'll have plenty of time to read when waiting to get loaded or unloaded...VM-out! PS I've actually seen truckers fight over books at a terminal when a lady gave all her old books away..Audiobooks are cool too...
Comment By:VM on Thu, Nov 15 2007 @ 5:01 AM [EST]

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Comment Regarding GAO Report

Originally Posted on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 10:05 PM [EST]

About a week ago (10/31/07), I posted an article from MSNBC.com titled 'GAO: Easy to cheat on trucker drug tests'. You can find my post here:
http://truckintedybehr.blogspot.com/2007/11/gao-easy-to-cheat-on-trucker-drug-tests.html

If you choose not to read the earlier post, you can find the MSNBC article at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21568973/

I originally posted this article with no real comments from me. A few days later, I edited the post to add a few comments from me. Well, I should have posted those comments and more when I posted the article. I found the article interesting and I hoped to solicit comments from the drivers out there. Having a laps in mental capacity, I forgot to even state this. So, what I have now done is looked closer into this. Now, I'm by no means an expert on this (or anything else trucking related) so please, read the information provided by the DOT and FMCSA. It is every driver's and carrier's responsibility to be informed about the regulations that govern the motor carrier industry.

A comment from my fellow blogger, VM, says it best about this article:


This report makes us look like a bunch of junkies. There are truck drivers that use drugs a very, very, small percentage I would say. I would dare to say that we are the most sober in contrast to other professions. Yes, you could use "Crank" to stay up for a week but you'd crash hard for two days not doing a damn thing so where would that get you?..I could walk into work tomorrow and they'd say "VM go get a drug test" I never know when it's coming it's a lottery type thing. My CDL isn't worth getting high it's my bread and butter. What am I going to do if that's pulled?..Dispatch Full-time? Man that would suck..I do it part
time now and that's a headache.


I agree with VM's comment. The article just paints a picture of truck drivers as a bunch of drugged up people just waiting to have an accident. I completely disagree with this article. I do not worry that the truckers out there are on drugs, I worry that they are tired because of the problems with the industry, but that is another issue entirely and I won't go into it now.

Since the article leaves out a lot of information (where the sites were located, why they were chosen, etc.), below are two links to the actual reports the GAO released based on statements of Gregory D. Kutz and Katherine Siggerud.


Statement of Gregory D. Kutz
Managing Director Forensic Audits and Special Investigations
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08220t.pdf [PDF]


Statement of Katherine Siggerud
Director Physical Infrastructure Issues
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08225t.pdf [PDF]


I've read both of these documents and I found them interesting. I recommend that all drivers and carriers read these documents. They give some insight into the drug testing requirements. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there is a lack of information and misunderstanding about the regulations involving drug testing. I've also listed some information links on the subject of drug and alcohol testing from the FMCSA and DOT web sites at the bottom of this post.

The reports do show that there are problems with the agencies responsible for collecting the urine samples. This does need to be fixed because these sites are responsible for collections for any DOT required testing as well as other industries.

Another problem is that currently, drug testing laboratories are only authorized, not required, to perform validity testing for all DOT required commercial motor carrier drug tests. This validity testing would detect if adulterants such as drug-masking products and synthetic urine were used. Drug-masking products are widely available via the internet and certain magazines. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is aware of these products and revised the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs in 2004 to require that specimen validity tests be conducted on all urine specimens. The DOT did not adopt this update in their regulations so drug testing laboratories are only authorized, not required, to perform validity testing.

Yet another problem:


According to FMCSA data, more than 70 percent of compliance reviews conducted
since 2001 and more than 40 percent of safety audits conducted since 2003 found
violations of drug testing regulations, including finding that the carrier had
no drug testing program at all1.
1 FMCSA data used in this statement include
information from compliance reviews and new entrant safety audits conducted
through September 21, 2007.


These issues must be fixed. Drug testing not only helps to find the guilty and to deter the use of illegal drugs, they also prove innocents.

=====================================

I found this to be interesting and to be what I would have expected.



Commercial motor carriers2 account for less than 5 percent of all highway
crashes, but these crashes result in about 13 percent of all highway deaths, or
about 5,500 of the approximately 43,000 highway fatalities that occur nationwide
annually. A DOT study on the factors associated with large truck crashes finds
that vehicle factors, such as brake problems, and behavioral factors, such as
speeding and driver fatigue, are some of the most frequently cited factors
involved in large truck crashes.3 While illegal drug use is not among the most
frequently cited factors in the DOT study-appearing as an associated factor in
only 2 percent of the crashes included in the study-it is clear that the use of
illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, can severely impair the
ability of individuals to drive.

2 There are approximately 711,000 commercial motor carriers registered in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). This includes an unidentified number of carriers that are registered but are no longer in business. MCMIS contains information on the safety fitness of commercial motor carrier and hazardous materials shippers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

3 DOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Analysis Division, Large Truck Crash Causation Study, Publication No: FMCSA-RRA-07-017 (July 2007).



One of the major problems with the industry is "IMAGE". Sheryl Youngblood, Ph.D. (a.k.a. truckerdoc) describes it best on her web site (http://www.truckerdoc.com/site/870139/page/461177/site) (11/05/07)


Fact. The research and other indicators show that only about 12% of the drivers are making it difficult for the others. So why does it seem that the industry is being over-run by drivers who don't care? There are several factors that contribute to this perception.

1. In a population of 3.6 million drivers, 12% will be highly visible. You will see part of that 12% every day.

2. As humans, we pay more attention to the negative events in life - things that might hurt or destroy us.

3. We are also programmed to remember the negative events more than the positive.

4. Constantly repeating the belief that good drivers are in short supply only reinforces the fallacy. If something is stated often enough, it becomes a reality in people's minds.

5. People use the confirmation bias. Once they believe something, they look for evidence that supports their belief and disregard events and information that don't support it.

6. We get what we expect. Quantum physics and psychological research have clearly demonstrated that expectations actually cause events and behavior to occur. We have amazing power; people will conform to our expectations of them.

7. Good drivers aren't talking to and supporting each other enough. I wish I had a dime for every time drivers told me that they don't listen to the CB anymore because of all the nonsense they hear. Knights of the Road have relinquished the airwaves to the vocal minority. If the drivers who are doing "good work" don't speak up, it gives the appearance that they don't exist.

What can you do?

1. It is important to actively seek out other Knights of the Road, such as yourself and
support each other. There are more of you than there are of them.

2. Take back your Road; Take back your CB.

3. Train yourself to look for the positive in events.

4. Expect the best in other drivers. Most of the time you will get it.

5. Mentor the new drivers. There are a lot of good ones out there who need your help and encouragement and want to be part of the comraderie.



Informational Links:

Federal Alcohol and Drug Testing Requirements Brochure
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-initiatives/drugs/drug-testing-guide.htm

What Employees need to know about DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing [PDF]
http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/testingpubs/Employee_handbook_200601.pdf

Overview of Drug and Alcohol Testing Rules
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/drug/engtesting.htm

AM I COVERED BY DOT DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING REGULATIONS?
http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/odapc/v3_slide0001.htm

Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/odapc_faq.html

Implementation Guidelines for Alcohol and Drug Regulations
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-initiatives/drugs/drug-guidelines.htm

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs
http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/NEW_DOCS/part40.html?proc

A BIG thanks to VM and TruckerDoc!!!!


Comments

Man, did I ever tell you that you got a brain?..Bravo on the presentation!!! Thank you for the backup...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Nov 10 2007 @ 5:54 AM [EST]

I would also like to thank TruckerDoc for her support of drivers..I think a lot of people get turned off by me because I post whatever I feel. Sometimes I need to vent and that comes across pretty negative. But, I consider myself a friend who'd take the shirt off his back to help someone. So don't buy the idea that VM thinks himself as a big hardass. Actually I'm a big softy with most people but I'm no pushover either...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Nov 10 2007 @ 8:16 AM [EST]

Thanks VM. I know your type...you put up the big hardass front then you probably cry watching "Steal Magnolia" lol -TTB
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Sat, Nov 10 2007 @ 5:41 PM [EST]

Yes, like today I went to a driver I dispatch house and fixed his computer for FREE..He's a good man but bad with computers so I helped him out I like helping people out..So I am a big softy and like helping people out..Whats wrong with that?..By the way I do have a dark side and when I smell blood I am like a shark I don't stop..So I am a true 2 for the price of 1 Gemini..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sun, Nov 11 2007 @ 3:19 AM [EST]

I bet having a split personality makes it more interesting when you talk to yourself. -TTB
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Nov 12 2007 @ 7:16 PM [EST]

I do..I have to actually stop myself from blurting crazy things aloud...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Thu, Nov 15 2007 @ 5:03 AM [EST]

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pre-Trip Study Guide

Originally Posted on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 12:04 PM [EST]

I found this simple pre-trip study guide. I would love to hear from you truckers out there. Does this list look complete? Are there any changes you believe should be made? Do you know of any better guides? Any tips on how to memorize it?

I've been reading the OHIO CDL manual but having something like this as a basic run down is nice to have.

--------------------------------

Engine Compartment
1. Alternator/belts/mounting
2. Water pump/belt/leaks
3. Leaks/hoses/wire
4. Air compressor/belts/mounting
5. Oil level
6. Coolant level
7. Power steering level

Front axle checks
1. Springs/U bolts
2. Spring mounts
3. Shock absorber/mounts/leakage
4. Steering box/mounting/leakage
5. Steering leakage/tie rods
6. Brake hose to chamber
7. Brake chamber/mounting/pushrod clevis and pin
8. Slack adjuster/position (no more than 1 inch pull)
9. Brake drum/cracks/shoes
10. Tire/kick for pressure/tread depth
11. Rim/cracks/bends
12. Lug nut tightness/rust streaks
13. Hub oil seals inner-outer

Walk around
1. Left tractor door hinges/latches/mirror mounts
2. Left fuel tank mounting straps/fuel cap tightness
3. Front of vehicle light mounts/cab damage
4. Right fuel tank/mounting straps/cap tightness
5. Right door/ mirror mounts
6. Exhaust stack/integrity of connections
7. Rear of cab/air hoses/light cord
8. Catwalk/steps
9. Drive shaft/U joints
10. Tractor frame rails/cross members
11. Tractor front/header board
12. Air glad-hands/trailer light cord socket/socket ketch
13. Right trailer side/clearance lights/reflectors
14. Under-frame
15. Landing gear/up/no stones
16. Trailer side door latches and hinges
17. Trailer axle,
18. Spring mounts
19. Trailer shocks/airbags
20. Brake hoses to chamber
21. Brake chamber/chamber mounting tightness
22. Brake drum/cracks/brake shoes, lining thickness
23. Tires/pressure/tread depth
24. Rim/cracks/bends
25. Lug nut tightness/Budd or disc/spoke wedges and nuts
26. Spoke wheel spacer
27. Hub oil seals/inner-outer
28. Rear of trailer/mud flaps
29. Rear trailer door/latches/hinges
30. Landing gear crank stored
31. Fifth wheel release arm in
32. Fifth wheel slider locks in
33. Fifth wheel platform greased
34. Trailer apron plate not caved in
35. King pin latched

Vehicle Light Checks
1. Headlights/bright/dim
2. Front signals/4-ways
3. Front clearance/reflector
4. Rear tail lights
5. Rear signals/4-ways
6. Rear brake lights
7. Rear clearance/reflector

In-cab Checks
1. Clutch / gearshift / neutral
2. Start-up oil pressure
3. Volt meter
4. Air pressure/dual tanks
5. Speedometer
6. Light indicators
7. Steering wheel play
8. Horns (city and air horn)
9. Windshield/mirrors adjusted
10. Wipers
11. Heaters/defroster
12. Safety/emergency equipment
13. System air-brake checks/leakage/low air pressure waning/button pop
14. Check service brakes
15. Check parking brakes

Found at: http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/1608/page4.htm


Comments

It looks like alot but it really isn't. Most of the stuff is visual and after awhile you will actually know something is wrong while driving the day before and can have it fixed. You get to know the truck by feel and sound. A walk around will take awhile when you first start driving. But after awhile you will breeze right through it and not miss a thing.
Comment By:roadhzrd on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 7:24 PM [EST]

Thanks Roadhzrd
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 8:01 PM [EST]

Always check your fifth wheel..You never know if some joker has pulled it at some rest area or truck stop and you should check the fifth wheel jaws to make sure they are around your kingpin..When you get into the cab check for air leaks by releasing tractor and trailer brakes and pressing on the service brake..Like my favorite smartass Rdhzrd says sounds like a lot but you'll breeze right through it after awhile...VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 7:04 AM [EST]

Get yourself a piece of solid steel bar (My favorite) about 18" long 1" thick and use that as a tire thumper..Tires should spring back to you when properly inflated. If they go thud you have a flat..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 7:07 AM [EST]

Thanks VM
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 11:29 PM [EST]

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Did You Vote Today?

Originally Posted on Tue, Nov 06 2007 @ 11:54 PM [EST]


Did you vote Today? I hope so.
(Yes I did, thank you very much ... lol)

Voting gives me mixed feelings.


1) I feel very proud that I voted and helped do my part to keep democracy alive in this country. My vote may be just one of many, but one vote CAN make a difference.

2) I feel sad knowing that so few Americans actually vote. To make it worse, not even all the Americans that are registered to vote actually do. I know that this was a small election year. Ohio had no issues on the ballot (one issue was printed but they ended up not getting enough signatures to actually get it voted upon). There were no state positions up for election this year either in Ohio. This just leaves local items. In my areas, we only had 7 elected positions like mayor, school board, City Director of Law (whatever that is), etc. We had three levy renewals/increases: School Levy, Senior Services and MR/DD. Other areas of Ohio had a lot more and I know that other states had Governor races, etc going on.

3) A little depressed because I see so many candidates running unopposed. We had 7 positions on the ballot this year. 4 of those 7 were unopposed. Now before you start saying that I should run, let me say that I know nothing of about those jobs. Besides, I'm WAY too honest to be a politician.


Comments

TT, the infamous lenutt has been just north of you for the evening. Thought you might feel the heat from all the negative comments coming my way lately. Just passing through going to Chicagoland.
Comment By:lenutt on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 7:08 AM [EST]


Watch out for them tolls Lennut!!! VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 7:45 AM [EST]


I wish I had known you were in the area. I would have loved meeting you for some coffee. I did notice that there was a change in the temp around here. lol -TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 9:56 AM [EST]

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bloglines.com

Originally Posted on Mon, Nov 05 2007 @ 11:32 AM [EST]

I want to tell you about a great web site that I found by reading Ken and Karen's blog 'Out Here on the Road' (http://kenandkaren.hwyblogs.com/). It's called Bloglines.com. Now before I continue, I want to say that I am in no way affiliated with Bloglines nor am I making any money for recommending it. Bloglines makes it so much easier to keep track of the information that I want. It will allow me to keep track of the blogs I read, podcast, news feeds, etc.

Instead of trying to describe it myself, here is a quote from their 'About' page:

http://www.bloglines.com/about/
(11/05/07)


About Bloglines

Free and Easy
Bloglines is a FREE online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. With Bloglines, there is no software to download or install -- simply register as a new user and you can instantly begin accessing your account any time, from any computer or mobile device. And it's FREE!

Bloglines is a window to a whole new world of dynamic content that is being created and distributed over the new "live" web. You can make your own personalized news
page tailored to your unique interests from our index of tens of millions of live internet content feeds, including articles, blogs, images and audio. And it's FREE!

Bloglines shields you from the confusion of news feed standards -- RSS, Atom, and others. Bloglines allows you to search for, read and share any updates from your favorite news feed or blog regardless of its authoring technology. And it's FREE!
Last, but not least, Bloglines provides you with the tools you need to begin creating your own clip blogs and blogrolls. Become a publisher, share your thoughts and opinions! And it's FREE! Get started today!.

Feature Rich Service
Bloglines offers the most features for people who like their online news to be fresh. It's the most popular website of its kind, indexing millions of new online articles every day.

Key Features of Bloglines:

  • All-in-one Blog and news feed search, online subscriptions, news reader, blog publishing and social sharing tools
  • Available in 10 languages
  • Mobile version optimized for handheld computers and cell phones
  • Email subscriptions help manage your e-newsletter traffic
  • Package Tracking (UPS, USPS & FedEx)
  • Custom weather forecasts
  • Quick Pick Subscriptions get new users started quickly and easily
  • Personalized recommendations to find new subscriptions
  • Bookmarklet for single-click subscriptions to any source
  • Notifiers for all browser types to remind you when new articles have arrived
  • Bloglines Saved Searches deliver future articles matching your key words and phrases
  • Most Popular lists show the days hot topics and which blogs are getting the most noticed
  • Handy add-on tools for bloggers such as automated blogrolls, subscription
    buttons


I just started using Bloglines and it is great. I've been able to add the 16 or so blogs that I read to it. Now, I can access these blogs from any place. Before I started using Bloglines, I was using the reader built into Internet Explorer 7. Even though IE7 does a good job with feeds, I also use three different computers on a regular bases. It was difficult to make sure I added any new feeds to all three computers and then if I read any updates on one computer, then I would have to turn around and check the feeds on the other two to make sure I had actually read everything.

If you have multiple feeds (blogs, news, podcast, etc) that you keep track of, I recommend you give Bloglines a try. Once again I want to say that I am in no way affiliated with Bloglines nor am I making any money for recommending it. I'm just trying to help out my fellow bloggers.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

GAO: Easy to cheat on trucker drug tests

Originally Posted on Thu, Nov 01 2007 @ 12:26 AM [EST]

Edited (11/08/07): After reading this post, please be sure to read my follow up post: http://truckintedybehr.blogspot.com/2008/12/comment-regarding-gao-report.html

OK .. I just saw this headline story on MSNBC.com (posted 10/31/07)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21568973/

What's your opinion of this article? I think it is a bunch of crap. There are more people driving cars that are on drugs than there are truckers. You hear it all the time on the news where someone under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol are in an accident. The only good part about the article is that statement that the number of large-truck fatalities is down 5% last year - the largest decline in 4 years.



GAO: Easy to cheat on trucker drug tests
Three-quarters of testing sites don't provide secure conditions, report
finds


By Lisa Myers and Richard Gardella
NBC News Investigative Unit

WASHINGTON - Undercover federal investigators discovered that it was surprisingly easy to cheat on random drug tests designed to catch truck drivers who use drugs, NBC News has learned.

Undercover investigators with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, used bogus truck driver's licenses to gain access to 24 drug-testing sites. They found that 75 percent "failed to restrict access to items that could be used to adulterate or dilute the [urine] specimen, meaning that running water, soap, or air freshener was available in the bathroom during the test."

The GAO team also bought drug-masking products over the Web
and was able to mix them with real specimens at the drug-testing sites "without being caught by site collectors," the agency said in a report scheduled to be made public Thursday.

Drug-screening labs never realized that there was a problem. "Every drug masking product went undetected by the drug screening labs," said the report, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News.

DOT cites drop in road deaths
A spokeswoman for the Transportation Department, which requires motor carriers to test their employees and sets the regulations for collections, said driver errors, not drug use, caused most accidents.

"Our efforts on this front have been critical in helping us reduce the
number of large truck fatalities by nearly 5 percent last year — the largest
decline in four years," said the spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of
anonymity.

But Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who asked GAO to investigate, said the report was "frankly astonishing and shocking and dismaying. You can manipulate the tests, you can mask substance abuse and go undetected on the roadways."

Oberstar, who planned to hold a hearing Thursday, said the drug-testing system was broken and was placing other drivers in danger.

"It fails, it is not sufficient, it is not protecting the public interest," he said.

How many are cheating?
The Transportation Department estimates that fewer than 2 percent of truck drivers test positive each year for controlled substances in random federal tests. But when Oregon law enforcement officials conducted their own random tests this year, 9 percent of truck drivers tested positive.

Dozens of products widely available on the Web are marketed to truckers as fail-safe ways to defeat the mandatory drug tests.

"My first reaction was total disbelief. I just felt sick," said Kathleen Ellsbury, whose husband, Tony Qamar, was killed two years ago when a truck driver in Washington state lost his load of logs on a curve, crushing Qamar's car. Also killed was Daniel Johnson, a fellow seismologist at the University of Washington.

Ellsbury learned later that the truck driver, who was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for vehicular homicide, had previously been convicted of possessing methamphetamines and that he had meth in his blood at the time of the crash.

"The system has big holes, let's say that," said Ellsbury, who said she had a message for truck drivers who might be tempted to cheat: "I'd like to be standing right outside the bathroom and hold up a picture of my husband — remind them there's consequences."

Truckers promise to do better Spokesmen for the trucking industry said truck drivers were among the safest drivers on the road, with much lower rates of drug use than the general population. Still, they said, having roughly 30,000 drivers
test positive each year was unacceptable.

The Transportation Department spokeswoman, while blaming "commercial and passenger driver errors" for most highway deaths, said the department was continuing to "work with our state law enforcement partners to aggressively ensure trucking companies comply with our regulations, including drug and alcohol enforcement."

"In 2006 alone, this combined federal and state effort led to more than 5,000 enforcement cases that resulted in more than $19 million in fines and 1,035 companies being taken out of service," she said.

Lisa Myers is chief investigative correspondent and Richard Gardella is an investigative producer for NBC News.
Comments

This report makes us look like a bunch of junkies. There are truck drivers that use drugs a very, very, small percentage I would say. I would dare to say that we are the most sober in contrast to other professions. Yes, you could use "Crank" to stay up for a week but you'd crash hard for two days not doing a damn thing so where would that get you?..I could walk into work tommorrow and they'd say "VM go get a drug test" I never know when its coming its a lottery type thing. My CDL isn't worth getting high its my bread and butter. What am I going to do if thats pulled?..Dispatch Full-time? Man that would suck..I do it part time now and thats a headache..TT don't listen to the media they don't know what they're talking about...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Fri, Nov 02 2007 @ 6:39 AM [EST]

I've edited the post so it basically ask for everyone's oppinion. I think it is a bunch of BS. Why don't they enforce drug testing for car drivers? Yes, truckers are on the road more than the average driver but there are a lot of other people on the road all the time for work or commuting to work. Hell, a few years ago, my brother was turning onto the street he lives. A woman, decided to pass him on the left at the time he was turning left and hit him doing 55 mph. Luckily, no one was hurt (not even the 3 young kids that were unrestrained in the car). It turns out that she had had her license suspended, had no insurance and was under the influence of 5 different prescription meds that she shouldn't have been driving while taking.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Fri, Nov 02 2007 @ 1:20 PM [EST]

Well its just that I have a lot of pride in what I am doing. I sacrifice a lot for other peoples convienience. I miss holidays, I work goofy hours, and I miss much of my childrens youth. I do sacrifice a lot and to think its somehow its in vain makes me angry. Truckers do a lot of the dirty work that keeps our nation running so I get a bit defensive whenever people talk mess about our biz. So I take pride in being a trucker..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Nov 03 2007 @ 8:09 AM [EST]

I just want you to know that I don't believe this crap. I believe that most truckers are going to take more pride in what they do then the average worker. They also have a lot more to lose by taking drugs than the average person. For the average worker, they may lose there job if caught but they can go find another job in the same field. A trucker not only loses his/her job, but his career because they will lose their CDL. No CDL, no trucking.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Sat, Nov 03 2007 @ 1:54 PM [EST]

Yes, thank you for undestanding and appreciation in the future if you want to continue to go on and be a trucker I'd gladly take you under my wing and show you the ropes. If you ever need any questions answered don't hesitate to ask I am here for you brother. The thing I like about this biz is that I had a lot of mentors in the past and still to this day show me the ins and outs of this business its kind of like a brotherhood. We don't have pieces of paper on the wall to show how smart we are. However, I still pull wisdom out of my elder drivers everyday. But, a piece of paper only shows what a good parrot you are. Being booksmart is fine to a point, but being wise is worth its weight in gold..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sun, Nov 04 2007 @ 3:22 AM [EST]

VM ... you don't know how much that really means to me. Thank you.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Nov 04 2007 @ 11:20 PM [EST]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Update

Originally Posted on Sat, Oct 27 2007 @ 8:29 PM [EST]

Just an update on things. Well, dad hasn't gotten much better. He had to go back into the hospital again on Wednesday, Oct 17th. He wasn't able to stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time. They were thinking that his body wasn't processing his meds completely and things like his pain killers were building up. They discovered that his leukemia is back. It has been in remission for almost a year. He isn't able to be on his own right now so we were able to get him into a rehab center at a local nursing home. He wasn't happy about the idea but he understands. My place is VERY small; actually too small for my family and there isn't any place for another bed so I wasn't able to let him stay with me. It wasn't an easy thing to do. He will be starting chemo on Friday, Nov 2nd.

Now for the REALLY bad news. His leukemia is so bad that that he cannot even take all the chemo drugs he took last time. When his leukemia (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) was discovered in January 2006, they gave him three different drugs. The doctor was up front about it: "…if I treat your leukemia like I need to, it will kill you…" so if he gets the other two drugs, his body will not be able to handle it. They also have him on three different drugs to fight infections. And to quote the doctor again: "…if you get an infection right now, it will kill you…" Just so you know, my dad has gotten to know this doctor pretty well over the past couple years so the doctor knows that dad prefers he be straight forward about things. The doctor said that if there isn't an extreme improvement in his blood count numbers within the first 4 weeks of treatment, then he will not get better. I'm a realist so I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worse.

My dad was bummed for a little bit but he has come to terms with it. He is deciding now whether or not to sign a DNR (Do-Not-Resuscitate). I'm pretty sure he is going to sign it and I support his decision. He knows that in his current physical condition, they will end up breaking ribs and possibly collapse one of his lungs which would lead to pneumonia. Since his body isn't able to heal, he knows that this would kill him. He already has a Living Will in place and I'm his Power of Attorney for both medical and financial. His Living Will just basically states that if his condition is terminal or if he is believed to be permanently unconscious then nothing is to be done to prolong his life (this includes nutrients and hydration unless he can eat or drink himself). All that can be done is to keep him comfortable.

My wife and I are the only ones in the family that know things are this bad. We (my dad, my wife and I) decided that it is best not to tell my brothers until we see how he responds to treatment. We feel there is no need to worry them until we know how things are going to go.

I think that is all for now. I ask that all of you keep my dad in your prayers. Be safe out there and keep the rubber on the road.

As always, I appreciate your comments and feel free to e-mail me at: truckin.tedybehr@gmail.com -TBB



Comments

I will keep your Father in my prayers. I don't know what to say but I am here for your support..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sun, Oct 28 2007 @ 1:57 AM [EST]

Thanks VM. No need to say anything. It is the thoughts that count not the words. I appreciate you very much.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Oct 28 2007 @ 2:07 PM [EST]

I would say that I hope your Dad recovers soon, but from what you have said about him I just hope God comes to his aid so that he doesn't have to suffer too long. I recently lost my Dad to cancer and it was hard watching him suffer. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Sun, Oct 28 2007 @ 5:02 PM [EST]

Thank you Roadhzrd. I've thought the same myself. I hope that he gets better and fast but if he does not, I hope he doesn't suffer. I appreciate you very much as well.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Oct 28 2007 @ 8:43 PM [EST]

TT, all of our prayers are going out to you.
Comment By: lenutt on Tue, Oct 30 2007 @ 7:49 PM [EST]

Thanks Lenutt. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated and you are greatly appreciated as well. Keep the rubber side down.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Oct 31 2007 @ 10:35 AM [EST]

Friday, October 5, 2007

Still Here

Originally Posted on Fri, Oct 05 2007 @ 4:21 PM [EST]

I'm still here. My dad has been having kidney problems (he has been back on dialysis for a couple weeks now) and last Thursday (09/28) we ended up taking him to the hospital because he was feeling really bad. Turns out he was EXTREMELY dehydrated and his blood pressure had dropped to 63 over 47. He ended up staying in the hospital until the following Monday afternoon. Of course, me being the good son that I am, I spent most of the weekend at the hospital with him and I've been over at his place every evening to make him dinner and make sure he has everything he needs. He is doing much better but we need to get his strength built back up and hopefully his kidney function will increase.

My dad is one of the reasons I've decided to not make any decisions regarding the trucking industry until sometime next summer. I may be a pessimistic, but with the problems dad has had the past few years, I really do not expect him to make it another year. I hope that I'm wrong.

OK … on to something trucking related.I will be heading out to another Transportation Job Fair & Truck Show. This one is being held by 'Tri-State Semi Driver Training, Inc'. Below is the info. If anyone is going to be at the show or in the area, let me know.


10/6/2007
Tri-State Semi Driver Training, Inc.
Start Time: 10:00 AM
Ending Time: 3:00 PM
Description: 2nd Annual Transportation Job Fair and Truck Show
Grand Event! 6690 Germantown Rd. (Rt. 4N), Middletown, OH 45042. TRUCKS,
CRUISE-IN, MUSIC, FOOD AND DOOR PRIZES! LIVE Remote with "Wild Walley" and the
Rebel 105.9. REGISTER to win 4 tickets to the Nextel Cup NASCAR Night Race at
Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, on October 13th with hotel
accommodations. (Must be present at 1pm to win) BRING your hot rods old and new!
Dash magnets for the first 25 cars to arrive. Butler County Sheriff's Dept. K-9
Demonstrations. BLOOD Drive with the Community Blood Center 10am-1pm; please
call Tri-State to pre-register. ON-SITE hiring for experienced and
non-experienced Class "A" CDL Drivers by these major carriers: Averitt, Falcon,
NTB, PI&I, Prime, Roehl, Schneider, TMC, US Xpress, Waste Management and
Werner. Call 1-800-860-7364 for more details.

Comments

Amigo, my heart goes out to you. I hope that your dad's problems straighten out and everything goes well with him and you. Maybe this job fair will be much better than the last one. Hope your day goes better.
Comment By:lenutt on Sat, Oct 06 2007 @ 2:53 PM [EST]

I hope and pray also that your Father lives another 100 years..Maybe you should be looking at truck schools rather than trucking jobs..At least if you get your CDL on your own you can work local for a while..Just to give you a heads up even if you get a CDL and drive a garbage truck or a mixer that still counts with many companies as "Experience" because I had a year and a half in driving tractor trailers then I did 2 years driving a mixer before I got hired on again to drive tractor trailers again..Just letting you know..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Oct 07 2007 @ 7:24 AM [EST]

Hey Waste Management might not be a bad gig of you want to be around the house..Don't knock hauling garbage they make pretty good coin..And like I said previously..experience there can get you what you want elsewhere if the road is calling your name again down the line..CDL experience is CDL experience to the insurance companies and that means if you put in a couple years hauling garbage for WM that still counts as "Experience" for getting a good job doing longhaul for someone else...Vm-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Oct 07 2007 @ 7:31 AM [EST]

Thanks guys. Things have still been pretty rough for dad. This job fair was much better than the last one. As soon as I can get a little time I will post some info. I really do appreciate you guys and thanks again.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, Oct 11 2007 @ 10:19 PM [EST]

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Still Around

Originally Posted on Mon, Sep 24 2007 @ 8:18 PM [EST]

Sorry it has been a few days. I've been out of town. I want to thank everyone for all the comments and advise. I really do appreciate all of it.

Comments

I am still here to help you out anyway I can so ask questions if needed I have trained many a driver in the past. They would say "Hey VM this guy is riding with you today." And all of a sudden I end up a trainer. Must have been a good one because they keep on sending me rookies..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Oct 01 2007 @ 3:59 AM [EST]

I can always tell when either a rookie or mechanic has been in my truck when they pop both the trailer brakes and the tractor brakes..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Oct 01 2007 @ 4:00 AM [EST]

Thanks VM.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Fri, Oct 05 2007 @ 4:03 PM [EST]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Trucking and Transportation Job Fair - September 15th

Originally Posted on Tue, Sep 18 2007 @ 8:50 PM [EST]

On Saturday, I went to a 'Trucking and Transportation Job Fair' at the Dayton Airport Expo Center in Vandalia, Ohio. I thought this would be a pretty good one. It was advertised in 'the Employment Guide' (http://www.hwyblogs.com/out.php?go=www.employmentguide.com) which, as you may know, puts out a big weekly publication in different regions of the country. Now the ad in last week's Guide was a full page ad on the back cover. Now with that much hype and it being held in a fairly large location, one would think that there would be a large number of companies there … WRONG. It ended up only being held in the entrance hall of the expo center and there ended up only being seven (eight if you count Dayton Freight and Kelley Transportation separately) companies there:
  • Continental Express
  • Dayton Freight / Kelley Transportation
  • ISupply Company
  • KBT
  • NTB
  • Schneider National
  • (One I Don't Remember)

The ad also said, "See The Trucks You Could Be Driving!!!" There were four trucks in the parking lot. None of them were open except one and only the trailer.

To say I was a little disappointed is an understatement. But I did get some good information on the companies that were there.

I am still about a year away from deciding but I'm using that time to gather all the information I can so I can try and make a well informed decision.

Now … I would like to hear from you. Have any of you driven for or had any other experience with any of these companies? Do you have any thoughts in general about these companies or any other company?

Send me an e-mail: truckin.tedybehr@gmail.com
or
Leave me a comment.

Feel free to send me an e-mail anytime with any thoughts or advise you might have.


Comments
Read the fine print in a lot of what these companies tell you. Its like the military they tell you a bunch of half-truths to get you in the door..I can not comment on that list but don't anyone sweet talk you by putting out a good line. Actually I would avoid all of these companies like the plague altogether..Why?..Because if the job they were offering was that great why do they need recruiters?..Haha!!..If I were you I'd go to the nearest truck stop and just chew the fat with some drivers..See which ones they like..I could tell you all about companies in my area but in yours I don't have a clue. There are some good companies that don't advertise much but will treat you right..Its your job to do the digging..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, Sep 19 2007 @ 7:44 AM [EST]

Starting out you'll not have that much of a choice but after you put a couple years in and keep your CDL clear you can go wherever you want..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Wed, Sep 19 2007 @ 7:56 AM [EST]

Thanks a lot VM. Appreciate the advise. Being former military myself (MANY years ago), I don't put much stock in what a recruiter says. Currently, I'm gathering information so that I can narrow down the list some and I do plan on hitting the truck stops in the near future. Thanks again and don't let Roadhzrd and Lenutt give you too much crap. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Sep 19 2007 @ 8:25 AM [EST]

No, I dish it out just as much. They are my buds we just like to give each other a hard time, truck drivers like to do that. I don't take what they say personal at all. Seriously though, I think your best off talking to other drivers from your area. There maybe some companies worth a darn that either train you or take you straight out of truck school. It is my intention to help you out as much as I can. Look as a married man and a father I would strongly suggest you look for a company that runs regional. It gets you by the house more often and puts less stress on your family. With a family you shouldn't be gone too long from them. It puts way too much stress on you and yours..You can run all you want of the 48 later when the kids are out of the house. But a family man should be at least close to home. But, do what thou whilst...VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Thu, Sep 20 2007 @ 8:00 AM [EST]

I really do appreciate it VM.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, Sep 20 2007 @ 9:55 PM [EST]

TEDYBEHR: I WOULD JUST LIKE YOU TO CONSIDER NOT THE TRUCK DRIVING BUT THE LIFE STYLE WHICH IS VERY UNSTABLE FOR YOUR WIFE FAMILY AND YOURSELF. TRUCK DRIVING IS NOT A FANTASY BUT A DIFFUCULT JOB DONE WELL BY MILLIONS OF DRIVERS.YOU ARE GOING TO WORK 70 HOURS A WEEK OR TWO WEEKS WORK FOR JUST ONE WEEKS PAY.YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE READY TO ENDURE THE SACRIFICE AND LONELINESS THAT COMES WITH THE TERRITORY.I TRUCK BECAUSE I AM UNEDUCATED AND HAVE NO OPTIONS OR JOB OPPORTUNITIES.MOST DRIVERS COME FROM VERY RURAL AREAS WERE THERE ARE NO JOBS.IF YOU HAVE CHOICES FIND A PROFESSION THAT GIVES YOU MORE TIME TO LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH LONG TERM STABILITY
Comment By:RC on Fri, Sep 21 2007 @ 3:13 PM [EST]

RC you may be uneducated but by no means dumb. You are 120% right, trucking is hard not only on the driver but his family too. I run local and I still am gone most of the week, 12-14 hour days are the norm. VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Sep 23 2007 @ 1:23 AM [EST]

Thank you very much RC.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Sep 24 2007 @ 8:14 PM [EST]

I'm not about to say VM is right because his head swells up and his wife gets pissed at me! Plan on being away from home for long periods to start out. Unless you get lucky enough to find a shorthaul company that's willing to train you. I'm guessing you live in the Dayton area. That is a good location to get home once in awhile during training. You have 2 major highways that see alot of truck traffic. I-75 is a big north south route and I-70 is a major east west route. With a small to medium sized company from the area will get you through the house quite often. Just don't think bigger is better. That was the mistake both VM and I made. Like Vm had said, once the kids are out of the house you can go longhaul. Take your wife along and be a paid tourist. That is when the big companies would probably work out. They cover alot of country and with a little luck you can have time to check out some great sites this country has to offer.
Comment By:roadhzrd on Mon, Sep 24 2007 @ 11:10 PM [EST]

Thanks roadhzrd.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Sep 25 2007 @ 7:10 PM [EST]

What Am I Reading

Originally Posted on Tue, Sep 18 2007 @ 8:42 PM [EST]




What am I reading?


I'm finishing up


"The Taken" by Dean Koontz






I just started reading
"The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury



So what are you reading?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11

Originally Posted on Tue, Sep 11 2007 @ 7:58 PM [EST]

My words will not do the meaning of today justice, so I will keep it short.

Remember those that lost their lives on this day. Remember those who gave their lives trying to save others. Show your thanks to all of your heros.

Peace!!!!

TTB


Comments

Amen, brother.
Comment By:lenutt on Sat, Sep 15 2007 @ 3:58 PM [EST]

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Currently, I'm a 4-Wheeler (but I'm improving)

Originally Posted on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 11:57 PM [EST]

I live in a small mid-western town in Ohio with a population of about 15,000 and a county population of about 44,000. The biggest employer in the area is DHL who acquired Airborne Express (ABX) in 2003 to become one of the larger freight carriers in the world (I'm not sure of there actual ranking with the big boys of the world (FedEx, UPS, etc) but I know they are up there). For those of you that do not know, ABX came here after purchasing an old Air Force base which gave them the advantage of owning their own airport which is now controlled by DHL. Even before DHL acquired ABX, there have been a lot of trucks going through our little town. The number of trucks have only increased since DHL has started expanding there operations here. DHL employees people from at least 4 other counties in addition to ours. Now, DHL isn't the only large employer in this area. We have everything from a company that makes composite wood, to computer retail companies, to aluminum die-casting and automotive parts manufacturing (not to mention several stone quarries). We even have a truck driving school at the local community college. These businesses require a lot of freight to come in and out of the area. This amounts to a lot more traffic than a city of 15,000 people. The biggest problem has been that the city and county have been way behind the ball on expanding the roadways to accommodate the increase in traffic (not just for big rigs but all traffic). They are finally working on a by-pass but I still believe the location of it could have been in a better place to be more effective.

I have always done my best to be a courteous driver, especially to the big rigs on the interstate. I will admit that at times I have been the stereotypical 4-wheeler. I have complained about all the big rigs going through town and tearing up the roads. But, I have never blamed the truckers. Even though I know that there are other routes they could take that would keep them out of the main areas of town, I've also realized that time is money. If they took a longer route, they wouldn't make as much money.

I would like to thank lenutt (check out his blog at http://lenutt.hwyblogs.com) for helping me to realize that I've been pretty near sighted when I blame the trucks for tearing up the roads. I just recently read his blog from start to finish so I could get caught up on it. He has provided me with a lot of insight in a trucker's life. In his blog entry on February 4, 2006 (http://www.hwyblogs.com/blog/lenutt/b561.php) he talks about the amount of tolls and taxes that an O/O and trucking companies have to pay. Now, I knew that trucks had to pay higher tolls and things but I never really connected the dots until I read his post. It was like the proverbial light bulb turned on above my head and I felt so stupid for the thoughts I had about trucks tearing up the roads. Without all the taxes and tolls that are paid for each of the 18-wheelers on the road, there wouldn't be enough money to even keep the interstates paved yet alone all the other roads in this backwater area of the world.

Now that I'm able to better understand the knowledge I already had on this subject and I've been able to open my mind to accept a broader understanding, I feel that I'm becoming a better 4-wheeler. I hope this will also help me to be better prepared to become truck driver.

Thanks again to all of the truckers out there. I'm not saying that because of the taxes and tolls that you pay. I'm saying that because without you, I wouldn't have the conveniences of running to the store at anytime to get something I want or ordering something online from a company anywhere in the country and have it at my door in a few days. I think that VM (check out his blog at http://vaqueromuerto.hwyblogs.com) said it very well in his blog entry on September 2, 2007 (http://www.hwyblogs.com/blog/vaqueromuerto/b1602.php). Check it out.

OK … once again I think I've rambled on long enough. Until next time … be safe out there.

-TTB


Comments

Its not that I want to discourage you from trucking. It is however, my intent to make you aware of the pitfalls of trucking before jumping in headfirst. I think you live in a good area to run regional to at least get you home once and a while. Thats a good thing, most carriers don't mind you stopping by the house if your empty en route to a pickup. I think your heart is in the right place. Its just now with Messican Truckers to compete with it may not be a good time to just be starting out. You got to look long term because if for some reason your CDL gets pulled you got something to fall back on. At least with your computing experience you can work in a trucking office when you get a few years of driving and get the respect of your other drivers. I've seen personally a few drivers with nothing to fall back on push a broom after years of driving. They don't have the skills to do something else and its sad to say the least (continued)
Comment By:VM on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 2:59 AM [EST]

Once you gain the knowledge and experience of driving you can ultimately tell other drivers what to do and they'll do it because they know you can do it too. I really don't know where the wind is going to blow in this industry. Me thinks for the worse I hope not. VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 3:03 AM [EST]

Thanks VM, I appreciate it. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 3:14 AM [EST]

At the moment it doesn't look good for us out here. If big business gets thier way,we will be working for almost nothing. Not just in trucking. That's why Uncle Sam doesn't want to stop the flow of illegals into our country. Big business has a good supply of cheap labor and they don't need to relocate. Some areas are passing laws to stop the hiring of illegals but will they enforce it is the question. Politicians will pussyfoot around the subject of illegals and Mexican trucks hauling our freight. They don't want to piss off the people that are making donations to their campaigns.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 9:05 AM [EST]

We have had some large amount of illegals busted in the area. About a year or so ago, they busted over 200 illegals working at a local company and just a few weeks ago, they bust 140 illegals at a company not too far from here. It is pretty sad that it took local/county law enforcements to make the bust. Apparently (at least in Ohio), local and county law enforcement can apply for authority to make I.N.S. bust. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 2:46 PM [EST]

Hopefully they keep it up and fine these companies. Not just slapping some fingers and saying no-no. I'm waiting for the Feds to step in and tell the locals to stop.
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 9:32 PM [EST]

200 would be a drop in the bucket where I live. At least I can get a decent taco..Looking on the brightside...VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Sep 10 2007 @ 7:49 AM [EST]

We were seeing a LARGE mexican population around here but they seem to be dwindling. Now, don't get me wrong, I do not have a problem with someone who comes into the country legally. I'm not prejudice. The way I see it, don't hate someone for the color of their skin, there are so many other reasons to hate them....lol TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Mon, Sep 10 2007 @ 1:32 PM [EST]

I don't hate either in fact I have many Mexican people in my family. It bothers me when they do it the wrong way breaking laws to get here...In fact...Yo habla Espanol pero todo yo quiero esta las reglas. Esparar en la linea y apprendidas ingles...VM aka VaqueroMuerto (Dead Cowboy) for all you honky's like me....
Comment By:VM on Tue, Sep 11 2007 @ 7:12 AM [EST]

No language skills here besides english and I don't not so well either. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Sep 11 2007 @ 8:09 PM [EST]

Hey VM, enough of that Russian already!!
Comment By:Roadhzrd on Fri, Sep 14 2007 @ 4:47 PM [EST]

I learned Spanish for two reasons..To keep the mind working and to know when someone is talking behind your back...It trips the Mexicans out when a blue eyed blonde can speak Spanish....VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 15 2007 @ 7:28 AM [EST]

Well, well I finally found ya Truckin Tedybehr. Please don't listen to VM because he will drive you absolutely insane. I am already insane so it doesn't make any difference
Comment By:lenutt on Sat, Sep 15 2007 @ 3:56 PM [EST]

Thats right I drive my drivers nuts!!! VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Mon, Sep 17 2007 @ 4:46 AM [EST]

Glad you found me lenutt. Thanks for the advise about VM but I figure I better get use to all types of people before I get out there. TTB
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Sep 18 2007 @ 9:01 PM [EST]

Friday, September 7, 2007

What Am I Reading

Originally Posted on Fri, Sep 07 2007 @ 11:42 PM [EST]



If any of you are wondering, here is what I'm currently reading


(yes, I'm reading two books at once):







============================================

"The Taking" by Dean Koontz








"Battlefield Earth" by L. Ron Hubbard



Comments

Dean Koontz, good author....VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Sat, Sep 08 2007 @ 6:35 AM [EST]


I agree. I've only read a few of his so far. I've been reading a lot of the classics the past couple years by Mark Twain, HG Wells, etc.
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Sun, Sep 09 2007 @ 12:01 AM [EST]