Beware of thieves

I never gave a thought to my tractor-trailer being stolen until it was, back in October 2009. The theft not only put me out of business, it cost me out-of-pocket money I never planned for. After reading an article about the rise in tractor-trailer theft in this country in an edition of USA Today, I felt my story needed told. And all truckers should be made aware!

I was lucky and not in my truck at the time.

On Oct. 24, my tractor, trailer and the 44,000 pounds of copper I was hauling was stolen from a major truckstop in Texas. I contacted the local authorities and the motor carrier I am leased with to file the necessary reports. I gave statements to all, including Homeland Security. I was assured they would contact me as soon as my equipment was recovered. I kept in contact with both agencies by either speaking to the officer in charge or by leaving messages on their phones. I got the feeling they weren’t searching very hard.

On Dec. 18, the Texas authorities called to inform me that my Western Star was recovered in Louisiana on Nov. 30, and it was towed and currently in storage. The officer apologized for any inconvenience this delay might have caused, but he had other obligations at the time. This was three weeks after the initial recovery! Homeland Security never called. Who was responsible for contacting me? Texas police? Homeland Security? Or Louisiana police? My tractor-trailer was reported stolen and was supposedly placed on a national list. The added cost of $900 for towing and storage were unnecessary. On top of all of this, my motor carrier charged $2,500 for cargo damage. They quoted the terms of my lease and said I was responsible for the loss. My truck was parked in a well-lit, security-patrolled parking lot, and it was locked. How was I responsible? As far as I could tell when I researched my lease, it said nothing about theft, only “cargo damage, personal injury and/or property damages arising out of Owner’s acts or omissions under this agreement.”

Are my trailer and load of copper still missing, or I have just not been contacted about the recovery?

David P. Gaibis Sr., New Castle, Penn.

Sleep apnea treatment doable on-road

Thought I’d take a minute or two to send you a short note to say how much I enjoy your publication. I really liked your most recent piece about sleep apnea, which is what I have and have been on a CPAP unit since 2007. Needless to say, it has been a life-changing experience for me, and I’m glad (grateful, in fact) I made the move.

My employer, Swift Transportation, has a great sleep apnea treatment program through Mark Berger’s Precision Pulmonary of Houston, Texas, as you mentioned in your article.

FYI, I’m now field-testing a second prototype 12V-powered CPAP unit that has performed very well so far; the amp draw is incredibly low, and I can run both Webasto heater and CPAP together for up to 12-14 hours without having to run the truck engine, even in -50 F Saskatchewan cold. I drive a 2010 Volvo 670, and clever engineering by them provides me with a built-in space for a CPAP breathing machine and permits easy access, easier operation, shock protection, etc.

Since I run in all 48 continental United States and Canada, the field testing of any new item is both rigorous and runs the full range of temperature, humidity and operational extremes. So once Mark and his people at Precision Pulmonary get driver feedback, they’ll be able to choose what kind of 12V-powered CPAP (and features) they’ll be offering the industry.

Thanks again for a great trucking magazine and being a positive contributor to the industry. It’s noticed, even if you don’t hear this often enough.

Ken Armstrong, Tomah, Wis.

Searching for daughter

I am in hopes you can help me find my oldest female child. She’s driving truck cross-country. I am 63 and have not seen her since she was 14. Her half-sister found their mama dead on June 6, 1980.

I have worked for Lester Coggins Trucking five times (Fort Myers, Fla., and Okahumpka, Fla.), and I live in Nashville, Tenn. I can go into more detail if need be.

Thank you for your time. God bless.

David M. Harris Nashville, Tenn.

Editor’s note: If you have information regarding David Harris’s letter, please contact us at, and we will pass the information to him.



How do you feel about the Obama administration’s handling of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill?


What? You mean mishandling it or perhaps not handling it! Same thing he is doing with everything else in this country. He is systematically destroying the United States of America. What a shame!

— Debra H.

Let’s not pick on the government’s slow response, though it was extremely slow. The total blame belongs on the rig owner and BP, who used the rig, and quite possibly the under-trained response teams, workers on the rig. Boycott all BP-made products, all BP gas stations and their sister companies!

— Charlie N.

It is difficult to understand the motive behind the lack of response. President Obama’s Chief of Staff once said, to (paraphrase) “never let a major crisis go to waste.” I believe that the bigger the crisis, the more American citizens will demand that the government. takes over and “saves” us from the “evil” corporations. We can not fall for this.

— Rich W.

I am disappointed. I think he should be applying more pressure on BP to get the leak capped and answers as to what caused the explosion.

— Debra B.

I don’t think the administration needs be involved in cleaning up the mess as much as they need to get on BP’s case for the lack of work on their behalf. It’s BP’s problem to fix this spill not to pass it onto the government so taxpayers can pay for it.

— Ronnie Q.

It happens, why should the Obama administration have to handle it? It was BP’s screwup, let them fix it. Then if any major damage is done, they can then face federal charges and fines. It isn’t up to the government to hold everyone’s hand through any problems they have.

— Jamie R.

Response. What response? “What oil spill” is what Obama would say. Remember, he is from Chicago and has no idea what the sugar-white sands of Ft. Walton Beach even look like and most likely never will after this season.

— James B.

All I can say is if the Obama administration can’t clean the oil up, heaven help us when it comes to health care. We’re going to have so much red tape we’ll die before they approve surgery.

— Robert K.

Just like Katrina and every other disaster — slow response.

— Tina F.

The political administration should stay the hell out of it. The functional government should provide to BP all the intellectual, technological and material resources we have at our disposal. Not until the spill has been stopped should the politicians be allowed to take the floor and pompously pontificate about things of which they are completely ignorant. Solve the crisis, analyze the failures, assign blame and impose sanctions if appropriate, then move forward to reduce the risk of reoccurrence. Whether we are talking about stepping into the tub for a shower or drilling for vital natural resources, we can stack the odds greatly in our favor, but we will never, ever, be able to legislate or engineer “s— happens” out of existence.

— Dean T.


Obama has not handled anything. Hard to handle things when you’re busy pointing fingers.

— @JonRHansen

They stink! At least Bush had people in Louisiana within 24 hours. Obama’s taken, what, a week?

— @mikethedriver


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How do you think the Gulf oil spill will affect trucking?

I think it will affect the oil that goes in the truck — diesel fuel. The price of diesel is going to get higher. Seafood prices are going to go up. That affects truckers, too — we like to eat.

— Jules Graves, Jackson, Miss., driver for Graves Trucking

It will affect trucking as far as getting oil. A lot of truckers carry fuel. There’s going to be less fuel to be taken. So some truckers may either have to find a new job or find something else to carry.

— John Davis, Minneapolis, Minn., company driver for Werner Enterprises

I’m not sure how it will affect trucking, but I feel like BP’s doing the best they can. The government forces the oil companies to drill so far out — [the oil companies] have no control at those depths. If the government allowed them to drill closer in, they would have a little more control over something if it breaks.

— Brian Tuttle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., company driver for Windy Hill Trucking

It’s probably going to hurt trucking. Fuel prices are probably going to go up. But maybe this will help some people around the coastal area to get some work cleaning up the mess.

— Jerry Price, Moundville, Ala., driver for Whisenhant Towing