Letters: Truck vs. Car Speed, Home Run, Removing Snow, 10% Pay Cut

These Letters to the Editor appear in the Feb. 16 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Truck vs. Car Speed

Regarding different speed limits for cars and large trucks, arguments with this one go on and on.

Some think different speed limits compromise safety by having a higher number of vehicles passing on the highway; simple logic says that more vehicle interactions increase the chances that accidents will occur. Others say that speed differentials have a negative effect on safety and that lower speed limits for trucks improve braking and maneuvering for the slower-moving vehicles. People argue that heavy trucks require longer braking distances for any given speed, and lower truck speeds help equalize the stopping distance.

If transportation safety personnel and motorists agree that highways are safer when vehicles travel at a uniform speed, why then do so many states have different speed limits for cars and trucks?

They vary because many factors unrelated to safety, road conditions and traffic patterns influence decisions on setting speed limits. Because the states have the authority to set their own speed limits, the influences can be all over the board.

As long as speed limits are not strictly enforced, most drivers will drive at a speed they are most comfortable with anyway, regardless of what speed is posted.

As a former truck driver, I do know that the larger the equipment, the faster you need to go to get the comfortable sensation of movement. At slower speeds, car drivers feel like they are going faster; not so with big trucks.

One cannot dispute the stopping-distance concern as it relates to speed. Until the ratio of brake-to-wheel is significantly improved on large trucks, we will continue to have this argument.

Lawrence Hartung

Director of Safety

deBoer Transportation Inc.

Blenker, Wis.

A Home Run

Jason Miller’s Opinion column (“Survival of the Fittest — and Hungriest,” 2-2, p. 9; click here for previous article.) was a home run for me. It took me back to the days when I worked for one of these tire companies that fought the inevitable takeover of radial tires.

Now I’m on the other side, promoting the inevitable: to have all truck tires balanced as a method of saving fuel, increasing tire life and improving safety.

Roger Le Blanc


Counteract Balancing Beads Inc.

Georgetown, Ontario

Removing Snow

My questions and concerns are these:

What happens to the trucks that go out of town and it snows when they are out overnight? Are they supposed to carry ladders?

What happens to all the independents that go across country?

Does anyone have estimates on the cost of workers’ compensation when the drivers fall off the ladders? Companies will have to send two drivers to retrieve the vehicle, plus the driver if he needs medical treatment for a period of time.

How much damage will it do to the roofs of the trucks and who pays for that?

Why can’t they just simply require a sign on the truck stating, “DO NOT FOLLOW CLOSELY”?

Andrew Gross

Chief Executive Officer

Instant Again LLC

Rochester, N.Y.

Well, let’s dig into the subject of snow removal. The fine proposed in New Jersey for not clearing the vehicle roof is $25 to $75.

I think that is worth the fine if we balance that against the lost work, hospital bills, increased insurance premiums from claims, new regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for climbing up to clear the roof and the extra cost involved at terminals to add “de-icing stations.”

Tim Pajari

Vancouver, Wash.

10% Pay Cut

I wish the Teamsters union the best of luck but feel the 10% pay cut it is willing to take from YRC Worldwide is a house of cards (1-12, p. 1).

I spent 32 years with Roadway in middle management and had a secure future and a comfortable planned retirement until the merge with Yellow.

As it turned out, I saw a strong, healthy company slowly deteriorate, with a one-time stock value well over $70 now going for less than $5.

Chuck Wethington

Corporate Fleet Safety Director

Company Name Withheld by Request

Chattanooga, Tenn.


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