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I'm a slightly mad pagan trucker with an unhealthy obsession with yarn.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Blog Fodder Inspired by @TruckerDesiree

Ooooo! I’m on a roll this week….two, count ‘em two, @TruckerDesiree inspired posts & in two days no less. *grin* If she’s good for nothing else, she does give me great fodder for my blog.

This one dealing with the hauling of hazardous materials & ‘lack of’ safe parking.

I’m sure most people pay no attention to the various little placards that go on the sides of trailers marking it as a hazmat load. But those on point squares can tell you a lot about what is in that trailer. Sometimes it’s something as common as household cleaners & bleach. While these particular items can cause an environmental hazard are fairly innocuous in the grand scheme of things once packaged for consumer use. Now in tanker trucks you get everything from gasoline to sulphuric acid. Which would have significant environmental impact if spilled. Box trailers also haul these bulk chemicals but just in smaller containers.

But it seems as though Desiree’s problem is who should or should not haul these items. Which after 9/11 the rules on this changed. It used to be anyone that held a CDL could get a hazardous materials endorsement. Ohhh the horrors in that thought. *insert large amount of sarcasm* But in these enlightened times if one wishes to haul these items you have to have your fingerprints taken & a background check run. You can find out more about it here. There is also company training that one must take as well. This does vary from company to company & whether or not you are pulling a tanker or certain kinds of items…ex. Dynamite. (oh yeah, even dynamite is moved by truck) But there are certain people convicted of certain crimes that are not eligible to haul these items.

Desiree would like to add to this list student drivers. I’m not sure how much experience she thinks one should have before hauling such things. Actually to a point I agree with her. I would take little comfort in knowing that there was a student driver fresh out of school hauling 44,000 lbs. of dynamite across the Hoover Dam coming at me (which you can no longer take a truck over the Hoover Dam, thank you Mr. Bin Laden, but you get my point). But the stuff she & most of the drivers at the company where she works do not haul these ‘more’ hazardous items. So with training in proper loading & load securing these items shouldn’t present much of a challenge. But to listen to her tell it, it’s nothing short of being mentally tortured to haul a HazMat load.

Now onto the ‘lack of’ safe parking. I have been trying to figure out what exactly is ‘safe’ parking?? Is it a pay to park lot?? Which by the way are a complete joke. If you look at the little ticket they give you it says they are not responsible for your safety or the safety of your vehicle. Then what’s the point of having a ‘secure’ lot? A well lighted lot??

But if you look at where most truck stops are located, they are in the worst areas of town. So where exactly are ‘safe’ places for Desiree to park?? How about at where she delivers?? Oh right, she’s on Wal-Mart dedicated & they don’t allow truck parking at their distribution centers. Even the ones that deliver there. (Only one of the myriad of reasons not to shop at Wal-Mart)

Does she think that bad things don’t happen in safe areas?? If so then she is sadly mistaken. Bad things happen everywhere. And if a driver is ‘forced’ into parking somewhere ’unsafe’, then that is no ones fault but their own. A little thing called trip planning is a drivers best friend. They even have these nifty truck stop guides that let you know where even the smallest of truck stops are located. Even the ones in the middle of BFE. I do agree that in certain areas of the country there are less available parking areas, the north east being one. But once again with a little trip planning this can be remedied.

I know what I’m saying may not be the ‘popular’ thing to say but I really don’t care. One of her tweets stated that any publicity was good publicity & I hate to be the one to burst her bubble, but it’s really not. So hopefully she comes to her senses one day, but until then I won’t hold my breath.


Terence Smelser said...

Again, "from the mouths of babes" Ok, from the hands of "A" babe.

True words and an astute observation.
Our strength is our independence, avoiding collaboration with government agencies and even refusing to co-operate in many cases. THAT is where our strength lies.
Well, that is the observation of one trucker anyway.

HazMat: lets not forget the one thing MANY,MANY people fail to realize is Hazardous (as defined by the gubberment) any syrup used to make soda. Also, any "cleaner" made with citric acid.

Minor examples

Keep up the good work and stay true to the road.