For those who have followed “A Day In the Life of a Lady Trucker“, here is an update of Desiree’s recent adventures:
Desiree is an OTR Driver who not only enjoys driving, but enjoys helping cdl students and new CDL drivers overcome obstacles every chance she gets, and she does . . . a lot! She is an advocate for truck driver training safety, the fair treatment of students by their trainers, women in trucking, and Green Trucking . . . but NOT at the expense of the Owner Operators, which appears to be the case these days.
Desiree will the guest on Allen’s Blog Talk Radio Show on Sunday February 22, 2009 at 6pm EST discussing: “The Harrassment of Women CDL Students and Drivers Within Trucking Companies” and also the Controversial “CARB” ( California Air Resources Board) Topic, which has many, especially owner operators, quite disturbed to say the least.
She is quickly becoming “a voice for many” as she is frequently contacted by magazines, news networks, and organizational groups desiring her input, opinions and support. Here is a page from her Facebook account which will give you an idea of “Who is Trucker Desiree” and what she wants to accomplish:
“Trucker Desiree : California is where I was born & raised. I am of a Family of Migrant Field Workers who came to California before the Freeways. I grew up at the beaches in Venice, Oxnard, Malibu, Arcata, Trinidad and Carlsbad as a child of the Welfare System.”
“After a life of struggles as a Single Mother, I am now an “Over the Road” Trucker.I fully understand where the miscommunication lies between Activists, Environmentalists & Truckers because I have lived on both sides of the argument and I have an Idea that can help.I am New to Trucking and I quickly learned to not tell people I was from California because of the manner Truckers are looked upon in my home state.”
“Similar to the way I conceal I am Mexican as I travel across the U.S. as a Trucker to areas that Mexicans are also misunderstood. The Geography of my home state isolates population centers from understanding that Industry requires dirty stinking trucks that work 24/7 to move sensitive high dollar freight from the Ports & Agriculture from rural areas of the State.”
“Trucking is a detail oriented job that requires much more than driving skill. Good planning to move freight out of California in Particular, makes this State… the least desired State to work in as a Trucker. Mostly because California targets Truckers without regard to how difficult this job is and what they do for California Industry.”
“California has the worst infrastructure I have seen since I became a Trucker. No Parking is available to accommodate sleepy drivers, especially in areas where Freight must be shipped from. The transit time to move freight out of the state at the Truck speed of 55 mph thru the traffic centers of Southern California & geographic locations in Central California affect a driver’s ability to NOT violate Federal “Hours of Service”. Therefore, California places Truck Drivers at risk by NOT providing them adequate space to rest, forcing them to continue to drive out of the state in many cases to get to “Friendlier States” where they can sleep safely.”
“Sleeping safely includes Idling because currently no other system in California has other options for drivers to sleep properly & have temperature controls in their cabs. A safe driver is well rested, not roasting or freezing which is the case now because Idling laws do not take into account that Truckers live in their Trucks & must congregate where shippers are located for proper planning to move sensitive California Freight out of the State.”
“Truckers are targets for Hijackers, especially in this economic downturn. Much of the Freight from the Port is extremely High-Dollar that must not stop for at least 200 miles from the time the trailer is sealed at the shipper.”
“Freight moves 24/7 so a driver must be on call to drive 24/7, this is why many trucking companies have Terminals in the Long Beach Port & other Port Areas. Owner-Operators do not have anywhere to go but wherever they can to sit and wait. Both Company Drivers & O/O must idle to rest & be ready at a moment’s notice.”
“Many times, arriving at the shipper, the load is not ready. Sometimes I have waited 14 hours, my entire Legal shift for a load at the shipper. I am only paid to drive, nothing else. Legally, I cannot drive. I must be in the sleeper 10 hours to go back on duty, but with no temperature control? Even if I am in the sleeper in the shippers dock during that 14 hours I cannot have temperature control to sleep properly under California’s current policy. When I am waiting at my company terminal in Long Beach, Pomona, French Camp waiting for a load, sometimes for days on end I have nowhere to go, I live in my truck to move freight.”
“Many O/O in this down turnuing economy do as well. California needs to implement in their Infrastructure plans a “Green” solution for Truckers that everyone can afford, not just targeted at “Mom & Pop” Truckers who have only their Truck in the whole World where they live & work to move California’s Freight out of the State.”
“Shippers, Receivers, Big Trucking Companies who have Terminals in California & the State of California need to combine forces to reduce emissions.The burden on O/O is too great, they are being singled out because they have just that “Old Truck” that is their life’s blood. As a Student Trucker I am appalled to see companies charging drivers to Idle in Freezing Winter Temperatures at a price higher than Diesel per gallon & the turning around and accepting the “Smart Way EPA Award.”
“A true Smart Way would be to require innovation to combine existing technologies in Trucking & provide adequate space for Truckers to park & rest.This includes at Shipper/Receiver facilities, Terminals & areas for O/O. Companies that manufactuer APU units to reduce idling have struggled in our downturned economy. Truckers who have purchased expensive APU units to comply with emissions regulations now have an additional concern that they cannot get warranty or repairs done.”
“Idleaire, the company that is in use at some Travel Plazas, is not a viable option for mass appeal because technology has advanced to the point that their product is quickly becoming obsolete.”
“Currently, Wal-Mart has a no idle policy on at their Distribution Centers. For Wal-Mart Tractors, a unit is provided in the bobtail parking section that keeps the engine block from freezing in Winter Temperatures. This unit currently does not provide temperature control for the driver, only for the engine. Some Tractors come equipped with bunk heaters, but many Big Trucking Companies buy only the Standard Model for their Fleets that do not have bunk heaters.”
“In California, Temperatures do not fall low enough to jeopardize the engine block, but they do get too cold & too hot for the driver to rest properly without temperature Control. RV’s can plug into electric power, Ships in port can receive shore power, but nothing is available to Truck Drivers to accommodate their comfort for safe driving to move freight from the State of California.”
“My Idea is a unit of similar size which is currently used by Wal-Mart to provide warmth to the engine block. It is less cumbersome than Idleaire.
It would not pump in foreign air like IdleAire which is an added security risk, because of Hijackers & Criminals who target Truckers and rob them. This unit could run off electricity but could be developed into a solar unit, perhaps wind power as well.”
“The Long Beach “Green Port” Project is the Ideal place to implement such a prototype because of the forward thinking innovation they are currently using to modernize this urban center. I am concerned when I read the Conference entitled “Faster-Freight, Clearner Air” has no VIP Speakers who are Truckers who live this life. I only see VIP Speakers who sell Trucks.” http://www.ffcacalifornia.com
“When I watched the Port of Long Beach Webcast about The Green Port Project, I heard about Innovations for Ships but not for Trucks that move the freight and fight Southern California Traffic to do it. To solve this problem, Californians need to understand Industry of this State is conducted away from the beach and the beautiful scenery. Its a dirty, stinky business that must be done. Who wants to put some plasma screens in their mercedes and drive them across the country? Anyone?” — TruckerDesiree@gmail.com
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