I received this email remembrance from the 60’s that hit home hard with me personally. Many of my high school and college friends were heavily embroiled in hopefully our last draftable war --- Vietnam. I was drafted into the Marine Corps in 1968 and by sheer good fortune, was one of only a handful of Marines that did not serve in Vietnam. Though painful, I think it good for all of us not to forget the huge impact this “police action” had on an entire generation and, how many made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the ideas of democracy, liberty, and freedom. I detest how fragmented and polarized our country has become over the past decade and abhor the thought that our service men, women, and families’ sacrifices mean so little today.
VIETNAM WALL / WALL INFORMATION
Just in case you've forgotten....
The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.
12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.
5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. 1 soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.
997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.
1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.
31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
31 sets of parents lost two of their sons. 54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school.
8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.
Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered.
They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya,
Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam.
In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 - 245 deaths.
The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred
For most Americans who read this, they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us
who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.
Please pass this on to those who served during this time, and those who DO Care.
I've also sent this to those I KNOW do care very much, and I thank you for caring as you do.
Semper Fi 'Til The Day I Die!! God Bless America!!
"The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." -Margaret Thatcher
"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in
deciding to protect us from ourselves." -Ronald Reagan
"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Thompson
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there would be a shortage of sand.” -Milton Friedman
It’s hard to imagine how persistent the regulators inside the beltway are. There continues to be a never ending avalanche of bad ideas promulgated in the name of safety that lack common sense, true cost-benefit analysis, careful or reliable study, or true safety value. Nor is there ever any accountability after the fact. Mandated ELD’s supposedly by their own study (FMCSA), will save 19 lives annually. Not only is that statistically insignificant, it is also unmeasurable. Why 19? Why not 25?
Nowhere on the top ten list of primary causation for crashes is driver fatigue (1%) and yet the regulators have created and credentialed certified medical examiners who will go along with the bogus STOP BANG protocol for sleep apnea that will have the end effect of driving many of our safest drivers out of the industry…. i.e., males over fifty with 17 inch necks. That’s a great idea! Let’s eliminate all our multi-million mile drivers and replace them with window foggers, or better yet, robots, and stand back and watch fatalities, crashes, and property damage go through the roof! Does anyone in the beltway have any idea how many lives these men and women save on a daily basis?
I haven’t heard much chatter about the absurd and irresponsible suggestion to require minimum insurance levels of
4.4 million dollars when the current minimum is $750,000.00. I guess somebody pointed out that claims exceed the existing minimum only about 1% of the time now and that small carriers and owner operators would become uninsurable, although they represent 90% of the carriers who handle long haul freight. I guess somebody pointed out that the suggestion came from a Congressman whose family’s law firm has specialized in ambulance chasing for decades. I guess somebody pointed out that all of the carriers who support this notion are self-insured and would be unaffected.
The latest and greatest two bad ideas that are being pushed through this year are the trail balloon on re-establishing sleep apnea guidance and mandated speed limiters. It appears that they are moving faster on governing all trucks with speed limiters than apnea so let’s look at their logic on that issue first. Split speed limits have been installed in various jurisdictions for years and the consensus is that they cause more problems than they solve. Safety numbers worsen. Canada implemented speed limiters in the province of Ontario 2 years ago and just recently gave up on it as a very bad idea --- no safety improvement. The only entities in the industry who support speed limiters are the ones who have already implemented them --- the very large. It hasn’t improved their safety one iota! As
a matter fact, because professional drivers don’t like driving governed trucks, their driver turnover ratios increase to over 100%, they employ less experienced drivers, and the numbers worsen. The only reason they govern trucks is to save money on fuel, not to save lives. The other huge negative, in my opinion is the black eye speed limiters will give to the industry from the driving public who will blame trucking for the 10,000 rolling traffic jams per day on the interstate. They will not blame the safety groups, they will not blame Congress, they will not blame FMCSA, they will blame us. So much for trucking’s image! There is not one single shred of evidence that speed limiters will save even 19 lives and yet the agency persists on this senseless mandate.
I’ll once again drill down on the impending apnea/fatigue guidance in next quarter’s newsletter. I'm fed up with re-regulation insanity and beyond that, I'm fatigued.
‘You don’t need to outrun the bear’: NASTC head Dave Owen’s case to small fleets for e-logs
(by Todd Dills, as it appeared on Overdriveonline.com August 30, 2016)
Dave Owen, head of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies, and Terry Frey of the BigRoad smartphone-app-based logging device and full-fledged ELD provider, appeared jointly in a session last Friday at the Great American Trucking Show, where Owen delivered the address you’ll hear in the podcast above and below.
Owen believes that programs such as BigRoad in their most basic forms — available free of charge to operators as stand-alone hours recording apps on smartphones/tablets that are not synced with the engine — offer powerful tools to small fleets to solve what’s been an outsize problem for that group: high numbers in the Hours of Service BASIC category of measurement under CSA. Such programs provide a “real-time log audit,” he says, on “every truck, every driver … that you can edit.”
In his address, he encourages those not doing so today to utilize such programs, “before they make you turn it into an ELD” by syncing with the engine, to do what they’re designed to do as a “spell-check for logs”: solve the problem of form-and-manner mistakes represented in safety scores and stats. “Don’t pay us $20-$25 a truck to do your log audits for you. … When I initially got excited about BigRoad, it was about this — log audits.”
The NASTC/BigRoad session was one of two at the Great American Trucking Show devoted specifically to hours of service and the coming ELD mandate, and talk about the mandate throughout the many conversations I had over four days in Dallas overshadowed even news of the speed-limiter mandate proposal released last Friday, while we were there.
Most owner-operators continue in a holding pattern on ELD implementation awaiting the outcome of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s lawsuit to block the mandate. About which, said Owen:
The reason [FMCSA] mandated [ELDs] is because the big companies had to go to [ELDs] because they turn drivers over so much they could never get drivers trained enough to do it under the complicated system. … They mandated it once, and OOIDA sued them – OOIDA’s suing them again, and I hope they prevail again. In the meantime, however, because of the bell-shaped curve of CSA, we’ve reached a tipping point — if you don’t go ahead and bite the ELD bullet, and you’re running long, your numbers in CSA are going to get …
Worse and worse, as he sees it, as others get ELDs.
Early on in his presentation he told an old joke I’ve heard him tell before about a couple campers in their tent when a bear shows up and starts crashing their campsite. One guy rolls over, gets out his flashlight, gets his duffel bag out and puts his shoes on. He opens a Snickers bar and starts stretching his hamstring. "What are you doing?" the other guy says. "You can’t outrun that bear."
But he doesn’t have to, of course. “I’ve just got to outrun you.” he replies
“You can’t outrun the bear,” says Owen, “you cannot outrun the larger carriers, who have millions of dollars … to throw at safety. But you don’t have to. As a small trucking company, you just have to outrun your peer group” when it comes to safety scores. Electronic logs — whether a full engine-connected ELD or not — gives any small operation getting enough inspections to register in the CSA program a bit of a speed boost in the race, he believes.
Let us always remember that almost all over-the-road companies were started with one driver, one truck, and one trailer, and I believe in many ways even today, that business model is the safest and most profitable.
Because making the truck profitable, the driver financially sound, and the rolling stock immaculately maintained on a day to day basis, is essential to that model’s sustainability. The entire operation is managed by a multi-talented, multi-tasking, highly-motivated owner-operator, who can’t afford down time, an accident of any kind, an out-of-service violation, or a hiccup in his cash flow. He also must be an extraordinary driver, maintenance man, salesman, and dispatcher. And, if he decides to add additional power units and drivers, he must carefully clone himself. He absolutely cannot afford to hire even a mediocre driver.
When we started NASTC, it took us several years to identify our niche---- those companies that we could deliver back a return of their first year’s annual dues. Through the 1990’s and into the early 2000’s, that niche was defined as a small fleet with a minimum of five power units in size. We never talked to one or two truck companies for many reasons and the primary one was that there was already a very effective and established organization filling the needs of owner-operators, OOIDA. We continue to encourage our member owner-operators to belong to both organizations. Today however, we represent all full-truckload carriers down to new-entrants and one-truck companies.
NASTC started its new entrant survival training course (NEST) some eight years ago primarily for carriers who just obtained their authority or ran four power units or less. A small company’s most vulnerable time seems to be at this time of development and we developed our curriculum around the rhetorical question: “How can we help them grow without going broke?” The most effective NASTC programs that have made a huge positive impact have been in the areas of fuel management, technology, and safety whereby a small company can achieve an impressive level of sophistication and buying power without hiring more people and spending money they don’t have.
NASTC’s Management and Safety Program (MSP) is no more than a bundling of several programs whose whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. It’s implementation has allowed many of the newest and smallest companies to “button-up” their new venture into a company that attracts million-mile drivers, makes 100% on new entrant audits, has single-digit CSA scores, enjoys healthy to non-existent insurance claims and loss-runs, and above all else, enjoys operating ratio’s in the mid to low eighties. They have the ability to take their time and grow only when they find a million-mile driver who understands that safety is the north star to an MSP company.
I think that there are many companies who have been NASTC members for decades and have 10 to 100 power units that could go back to basics and learn from our new entrants. You might want to implement some of MSP into your already mature programs. Come to our conference in November, come to our break-out sessions on these programs and more or, just come to have a good time and reacquaint with your NASTC team.
As always, call me on anything. I’m still at 800-264-8580.
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