Plow contractor has had it up to here with trucks
Fred L. Rush Jr., is a Churchville snow removal contractor who knows trucks and trucking. He read my two recent articles about truckers who jackknife their rigs at the worst places in snowstorms. His reaction is a lesson for the trucking industry in how a few bad actors can tarnish the reputations of all who operate tractor-trailers. I'll let Rush tell his story:
I am a 59 year old snow removal contractor in Harford County utilizing 15 trucks and loaders for snow removal. I have had a commercial drivers license since I was 16 years old, driving large lumber trucks for my father and now operating my own dump trucks. Throughout our snow removal operations in the past and especially this winter season I have never seen so many tractor trailer drivers trying to operate in dangerous & blizzard conditions greatly endangering the lives of anyone else on the road.
At the Joppatowne Shopping Center in Harford County on U.S. Route 40 Wednesday evening (Feb. 10) at approximately 5:00 pm in near white out conditions we had a tractor trailer who was northbound and could not make it up the hill on Route 40 next to the shopping center (Route 40 was so bad at this time that my F550 Ford Dump truck with a GVW of 19,500 & 4 Wheel Drive could not travel on Route 40 at over 20 MPH), next thing we know the tractor trailer pulls into our shopping center and drives behind a Redners Food Market and gets stuck blocking the loading docks.
We had five trucks & two loaders onsite working and they were furious that the idiot would for some reason drive behind the shopping center and impede our snow removal operations. We finally got him going even after he got stuck again in front of the Redners store and we let him park in the front of the shopping center out of our way to keep him off the road and from killing himself or some other poor soul.
One of my Snow Plow Operators drives a tractor trailer for a living full time, I asked him if he would operate in these kinds of conditions and he told me he would have gotten off the road as soon as the storm started and agreed that this driver was an idiot.
We continually have these tractor trailers pulling into our lot & getting stuck and impeding our snow removal operations. We end up pushing out a place for them to park to get them out of our way. Any truck driver that can defend operationg a tractor trailer in these kind of weather conditions is a idiot in the least. These guys are traveling around in a 80,000 pound bomb and have no regard for life or property. The Government's CDL program has done nothing to increase the safety of the Public and is a joke, they worry more about you having a light out than if you are driving safely.
As far as cars causing some of the problems I can't count how many times I've seen tractor trailers cutting people off or tailgating cars especially when all lanes are full and there is no where to go. I remember back a few years ago when I was hauling salt out of the Harvey Salt Co. on Keith Avenue just before the Fort McHenry Toll Booth. On my 2nd or 3rd load I approached the Keith Avenue exit and there is a tractor trailer flipped over on its side, perpendicular to the toll booths and about twenty feet from them. I wondered how the driver could have approached the toll booths at such a speed to be able to flip his truck in this manner and also wondered if the toll booth attendants had to get a change of underwear after seeing this happen.
I think your article was on the money and that any tractor trailer driving disputing these facts should have his CDL revoked.
Fred L. Rush, Jr.
Rush Contracting Co., Inc.
Where Rush is right on point is his criticism of truckers who took their rigs out on the highway at the height of last week's blizzard-like snowstorm. Some of those who defended jack-knifing tractor-trailers drivers blamed the conditions or the lack of weight aboard the trailers. To me, it goes without saying that if the conditions are too bad or the trailer is too light, the truck doesn't belong on the road. State and local authorities were publicly urging drivers to stay off the roads, and I don't recall them making an exception for truckers. I know people want their deliveries, but at some point safety has to come first.