Rubber Meets The Road

Rubber Meets The Road - Wyoming Michigan Truck Driving Jobs
Smooth pavement, silent running,
Easy driving. Bang!
Another retread bites the road.

— Trucker Poet


Where Rubber Meets The Road and Walt Whitman

Published in 1918 by Doubleday, Page & Company, The Patriotic Poems of Walt Whitman has four sections: Poems of War, Poems of After-War, Poems of America, and Poems of Democracy. The War for Whitman was the American Civil War, which he saw first-hand while tending wounded soldiers in DC hospitals. These poems are as relevant today as they were in his time.

Thick-Sprinkled Bunting

    Thick-sprinkled bunting! flag of stars!
    Long yet your road, fateful flag--long yet your road, and lined with
          bloody death,
    For the prize I see at issue at last is the world,
    All its ships and shores I see interwoven with your threads greedy
          banner;
    Dream'd again the flags of kings, highest borne, to flaunt unrival'd?
    O hasten flag of man--O with sure and steady step, passing highest
          flags of kings,
    Walk supreme to the heavens mighty symbol--run up above them all,
    Flag of stars! thick-sprinkled bunting!


O Captain! My Captain!

    O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
    The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
          But O heart! heart! heart!
            O the bleeding drops of red,
              Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                Fallen cold and dead.

    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
    For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
          Here Captain! dear father!
            This arm beneath your head!
              It is some dream that on the deck,
                You've fallen cold and dead.

    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
    The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
    From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
          Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
            But I with mournful tread,
              Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                Fallen cold and dead.

Year That Trembled and Reel’d Beneath Me

    Year that trembled and reel'd beneath me!
    Your summer wind was warm enough, yet the air I breathed froze me,
    A thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken'd me,
    Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself,
    Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled,
    And sullen hymns of defeat?

Eighteen-Wheeler Scammed

Tempe Junction Arizona Truck Driving Jobs - Eighteen-Wheeler Scammed

Container port duty, life-sucking maelstrom.
Eighteen-hour days, deeper in debt, my eighteen-wheeler is not my own.
Slip the yoke, screw the bloke, hammer-down home!

— Trucker Poet


Walt Whitman Eighteen-Wheeler Scammed

To the ancient Greeks, an eidolon was a spirit-image of a living or dead person. Modern dictionaries define the eidolon as either 1) an idealized person or thing, or 2) a specter or phantom. The 2013 SF video game Warframe declares eidolons to be “simple-minded, spectral fragments of the shattered Sentients that roam the Plains of Eidolon at night.”

However, you define your eidolon, consider how Walt Whitman used the word in this view of life and the universe.

Eidolons

       I met a seer,
  Passing the hues and objects of the world,
  The fields of art and learning, pleasure, sense,
       To glean eidolons.

       Put in thy chants said he,
  No more the puzzling hour nor day, nor segments, parts, put in,
  Put first before the rest as light for all and entrance-song of all,
       That of eidolons.

       Ever the dim beginning,
  Ever the growth, the rounding of the circle,
  Ever the summit and the merge at last, (to surely start again,)
       Eidolons! eidolons!

       Ever the mutable,
  Ever materials, changing, crumbling, re-cohering,
  Ever the ateliers, the factories divine,
       Issuing eidolons.

       Lo, I or you,
  Or woman, man, or state, known or unknown,
  We seeming solid wealth, strength, beauty build,
       But really build eidolons.

       The ostent evanescent,
  The substance of an artist's mood or savan's studies long,
  Or warrior's, martyr's, hero's toils,
       To fashion his eidolon.

       Of every human life,
  (The units gather'd, posted, not a thought, emotion, deed, left out,)
  The whole or large or small summ'd, added up,
       In its eidolon.

       The old, old urge,
  Based on the ancient pinnacles, lo, newer, higher pinnacles,
  From science and the modern still impell'd,
       The old, old urge, eidolons.

       The present now and here,
  America's busy, teeming, intricate whirl,
  Of aggregate and segregate for only thence releasing,
       To-day's eidolons.

       These with the past,
  Of vanish'd lands, of all the reigns of kings across the sea,
  Old conquerors, old campaigns, old sailors' voyages,
       Joining eidolons.

       Densities, growth, facades,
  Strata of mountains, soils, rocks, giant trees,
  Far-born, far-dying, living long, to leave,
       Eidolons everlasting.

       Exalte, rapt, ecstatic,
  The visible but their womb of birth,
  Of orbic tendencies to shape and shape and shape,
       The mighty earth-eidolon.

       All space, all time,
  (The stars, the terrible perturbations of the suns,
  Swelling, collapsing, ending, serving their longer, shorter use,)
       Fill'd with eidolons only.

       The noiseless myriads,
  The infinite oceans where the rivers empty,
  The separate countless free identities, like eyesight,
       The true realities, eidolons.

       Not this the world,
  Nor these the universes, they the universes,
  Purport and end, ever the permanent life of life,
       Eidolons, eidolons.

       Beyond thy lectures learn'd professor,
  Beyond thy telescope or spectroscope observer keen, beyond all mathematics,
  Beyond the doctor's surgery, anatomy, beyond the chemist with his chemistry,
       The entities of entities, eidolons.

       Unfix'd yet fix'd,
  Ever shall be, ever have been and are,
  Sweeping the present to the infinite future,
       Eidolons, eidolons, eidolons.

       The prophet and the bard,
  Shall yet maintain themselves, in higher stages yet,
  Shall mediate to the Modern, to Democracy, interpret yet to them,
       God and eidolons.

       And thee my soul,
  Joys, ceaseless exercises, exaltations,
  Thy yearning amply fed at last, prepared to meet,
       Thy mates, eidolons.

       Thy body permanent,
  The body lurking there within thy body,
  The only purport of the form thou art, the real I myself,
       An image, an eidolon.

       Thy very songs not in thy songs,
  No special strains to sing, none for itself,
  But from the whole resulting, rising at last and floating,
       A round full-orb'd eidolon.


Jake Brakes Shouting Out Loud

Kaysville Utah Truck Driving Jobs - Jake Brakes

Jake brakes popping, slashing cool night air,
Echoing across the sleeping valley.
Gear down, good buddy, gear down.

— Trucker Poet


Walt Whitman’s Jake Brakes

His words remind me of jake brakes sounding miles away. Punctuated, they seek attention, but distance softens their urgent calls. So Walt Whitman punctuates his words, gently guiding my attention to those things that to me are like water to a fish, but which benefit from closer inspection.

In his poems, Whitman defines America and the place of history in all things. He calls to all of us: take action to right the wrongs besieging so many others who are less fortunate than us. These are topics laced together, inseparably intertwined, as each of us is with everyone else. Civilization requires society. Society requires cooperation. Cooperation is the natural human condition. All else is fantasy and folly.

To Foreign Lands

I heard that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle the New World,
And to define America, her athletic Democracy,
Therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you wanted.


To a Historian

You who celebrate bygones,
Who have explored the outward, the surfaces of the races, the life that has exhibited itself,
Who have treated of man as the creature of politics, aggregates, rulers and priests,
I, habitan of the Alleghanies, treating of him as he is in himself in his own rights,
Pressing the pulse of the life that has seldom exhibited itself,
(the great pride of man in himself,)
Chanter of Personality, outlining what is yet to be,
I project the history of the future.

What Place Is Besieged?

What place is besieged, and vainly tries to raise the siege?
Lo, I send to that place a commander, swift, brave, immortal,
And with him horse and foot, and parks of artillery,
And artillery-men, the deadliest that ever fired gun.

My Tires Speak

Casper Wyoming Truck Driving Jobs - Tire Speak

My spinning tires speak in tongues
Countless voices plainly talking
Individuals hiding amongst themselves.

— Trucker Poet


My Tires Speak and William Shakespeare

More than four hundred years after his death, academics continue to argue about whether William Shakespeare was a real person and wrote everything attributed to him. Regardless of the answer, the plays and poems of Shakespeare continue to delight millions.

Then there are the crazy spelling variations in his name. He signed it differently at various times in his life. Editors and printers coined more variations before and after his death. So whether you spell it Shaxper, Shakspere, Shakespear, or Shackspere, his art remains immutable.

Every play he wrote in iambic pentameter is like an epic poem, but his most famous poems are the sonnets. Shakespeare never drove a truck, but if he could have, I’m sure he would have heard the tires speak to him.

Sonnet 27

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear respose for limbs with travel tired,
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired.
For then my thoughts (from far where I abide)
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see.
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which like a jewel (hung in ghastly night)
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
Lo thus by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for my self, no quiet find.


Sonnet 44

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way,
For then despite of space I would be brought,
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay,
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee,
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But ah, thought kills me that I am not thought
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend, time’s leisure with my moan.
Receiving nought by elements so slow,
But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

Sonnet 64

When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age,
When sometime lofty towers I see down-rased,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage.
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store.
When I have seen such interchange of State,
Or state it self confounded, to decay,
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.

Recalled Volvo Trucks Unsafe

Recalled Volvo Trucks not repaired and still operating on the nation’s roadways are unsafe.

Volvo Truck
Volvo Truck

March 23, 2016 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has determined that vehicles subject to Volvo Trucks’ Safety Recall (NHTSA Part 573 Safety Recall Report No. 16V-097000) that have not already received the interim or permanent recall remedy repair specified by Volvo in the recall and are still operating on the nation’s roadways are in an unsafe condition and should not be operated; such vehicles are to be immediately ordered out-of-service by federal and state roadside safety inspectors.

On March 10, 2016, Volvo Trucks North America announced the recall of certain model year 2016-2017 VNL, VNX, and VNM trucks manufactured from May 11, 2015 through March 8, 2016. The trucks may have been manufactured without a roll pin on the steering shaft.

If the roll pin is missing, the lower steering shaft may disconnect from the junction block. Also, the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft may not have been properly tightened. Either condition can lead to separation of the steering shaft without warning, resulting in a complete loss of steering, which may lead to a crash.

The recall affects nearly 20,000 Class 8 motor vehicles, with nearly 16,000 affected vehicles in the U.S.

On March 18, FMCSA issued an Urgent Safety Bulletin advising operators and carriers of recalled vehicles to immediately contact Volvo Customer Support at 1-877-800-4945 (Option 1) before continuing driving operations.

Today’s announced declaration is not intended to provide a basis for further enforcement action, but seeks only the immediate cessation of the unrepaired, unsafe trucks. Operators of vehicles declared out-of-service must comply; violating a federal out-of-service order may result in civil penalties as well as criminal prosecution. A full copy of the Federal Register notification is available here.

Contact: Duane DeBruyne: (202) 366-9999.

To read the complete notification – click here.

Electronic Logging Devices Required

Electronic Logging Devices to be Required Across Commercial Truck and Bus Industries

Electronic Logging Device Rand McNally ELD
Electronic Logging Device Rand McNally ELD

December 10, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.




“Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”

The Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion – largely by reducing the amount of required industry paperwork. It will also increase the efficiency of roadside law enforcement personnel in reviewing driver records. Strict protections are included that will protect commercial drivers from harassment.

On an annual average basis, the ELD Final Rule is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.

“This is a win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Employing technology to ensure that commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules will prevent crashes and save lives.”

Electronic Logging Devices automatically record driving time. The ELD monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information.

Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving. These limitations are designed to prevent truck and bus drivers from becoming fatigued while driving, and require that drivers take a work break and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

Electronic Logging Devices – Final Rule Elements

  • Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years. It is anticipated that approximately three million drivers will be impacted.
  • Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment. The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs. [A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.]
  • Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions.
  • Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions. In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.
  • The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website. Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways.

Motor carriers who have previously installed compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices may continue to use the devices for an additional two years beyond the compliance date. Eventually, all carriers must install and use Electronic Logging Devices on all commercial vehicles.

A copy of the ELD Final Rule announced today is available at: ELD Final Rule.




Further information, including a comprehensive, searchable list of frequently asked questions, and a calendar of upcoming free training webinars, is available https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/elds.

Image source: Rand McNally, hd-100

Safety Belts Required for Truck Passengers

FMCSA Proposed Rule Would Close Safety Gap On All Large Commercial Trucks – Safety Belts Required For Passengers




December 9, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced it is seeking public comment on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) making safety belts required for all passengers riding in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

Federal rules have long required all commercial drivers to use safety belts (49 CFR 392.16); this proposed rule would hold both trucking companies and commercial truck drivers responsible for ensuring that any passenger riding in the truck cab are also buckled up.

Approximately 275 occupants of large trucks killed in crashes in 2013 were not wearing their safety belts, according to the most recently available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For a copy of today’s Federal Register announcement, see: Federal Register.



Drivers Protected From Forced Safety Violations

FMCSA Final Rule, children boarding school bus by flickr user woodlywonderworks

FMCSA Final Rule Prohibits Coercion, Protects Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers From Being Forced to Violate Safety Regulations



FMCSA Final Rule Announcement

November 27, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the publication in the Federal Register of a Final Rule to help further safeguard commercial truck and bus drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations. The Rule provides FMCSA with the authority to take enforcement action not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries. The rule was first proposed in May of 2014. It becomes effective on January 29, 2016.

“Our nation relies on millions of commercial vehicle drivers to move people and freight, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are able to operate safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This Rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public.”

The Final Rule addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA, steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations, and penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.

“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”

In formulating this Rule, the agency heard from commercial drivers who reported being pressured to violate federal safety regulations with implicit or explicit threats of job termination, denial of subsequent trips or loads, reduced pay, forfeiture of favorable work hours or transportation jobs, or other direct retaliations.




Some of the FMCSA regulations drivers reported being coerced into violating included: hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving, commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements, drug and alcohol testing, the transportation of hazardous materials, and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

Commercial truck and bus drivers have had whistle-blower protection through the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since 1982, when the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) was adopted. The STAA and OSHA regulations protect drivers and other individuals working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting or engaging in activities related to certain commercial motor vehicle safety, health, or security conditions. STAA provides whistleblower protection for drivers who report coercion complaints under this Final Rule and are then retaliated against by their employer.

In June 2014, FMCSA and OSHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the STAA. The Memorandum allows for the exchange of safety, coercion, and retaliation allegations, when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.

For more information on what constitutes coercion and how to submit a complaint to FMCSA, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion. Please note: the Final Rule takes effect 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

This rulemaking was authorized by Section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA), as amended.

For a copy of today’s Federal Register announcement, see: www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/11/30/2015-30237/prohibiting-coercion-of-commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers.

FMCSA Final Rule, DOT And OSHA

The public, commercial drivers, motor carriers, and other industry members may file a safety, service, or discrimination complaint against a household goods moving company, bus, or truck company, including hazardous materials hauler or a cargo tank facility, by calling toll free 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern Time. Complaints may also be submitted through FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint website at: https://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.

FMCSA was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. Its primary mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. For more information on FMCSA’s safety programs and activities, visit: FMCSA.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety, and consumer financial reform regulations. Additional information is available at: Whistle Blowers.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit: https://www.osha.gov.

– See more at: Final Rule Prohibits Coercion, Protects Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers From Being Forced to Violate Safety Regulations

Ohio Garfield Trucking Shut Down

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
FMCSA Orders Shutdown Ohio Trucking Company




November 19, 2015 – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Jefferson, Ohio-based trucking company Garfield Trucking, LLC, USDOT No. 1882948, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered that it immediately cease all intrastate and interstate operations.

On October 4, 2015, a commercial vehicle operated by Garfield Trucking was stopped for an unannounced roadside safety inspection in Missouri. A total of 43 safety violations were recorded during the inspection, including 13 out-of-service violations such as multiple instances of improperly adjusted or inoperable brakes, defective brake components, cracked frame rails, load securement violations, and falsified hours-of-service log books.

It was further discovered that Garfield Trucking had been operating in violation of two separate out-of-service orders, one of which dated back to October 2014.

On October 13, 2015, FMCSA safety investigators visited Garfield Trucking to conduct an unscheduled compliance review. The investigators observed an “out-of-business” announcement on the premises. The investigators left and also sent by express mail copies of a demand for access letter and an administrative subpoena for company documents. Garfield Trucking has yet to provide FMCSA safety investigators with access to the subpoenaed documents.

Garfield Trucking shut down due to denial of access. Garfield Trucking has been unwilling to produce proof to FMCSA that the company has a safety program. Garfield Trucking’s refusal to allow FMCSA access, its continued operation despite two out-of-service orders, its continued use of unsafe vehicles, and its failure to comply with hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving substantially increase the likelihood of serious harm to drivers, passengers, and the motoring public.

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order and operating without operating authority and a USDOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000 as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.




A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at Garfield Trucking IHOOS.

– See more at: FMCSA Orders Shutdown Ohio Trucking Company – Garfield Trucking