Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scaling back on rumors

I’ve spoken with more than a few drivers in the past week who have heard variations of a wild rumor coming out of Ohio.

In one version, police officers are walking around a truck stop with a bathroom scale and weighing drivers. In another, scale house means both the truck and the driver are put to the test.

Before you discount these as just another rumor of the road, let me point why these stories may have legs.

The FMCSA Medical Review Board has recommended a series of very restrictive rules that haven’t yet been formally proposed. The MRB has proposed drivers with a BMI of 30 or greater be required to undergo expensive sleep studies that can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.

They’re planning on doctors performing DOT physicals using the shortcut method of taking height and weight to determine BMI, which involves a scale.

We’ve been able to confirm zero truth to these rumors as yet, but we’ll continue to keep our eyes and ears open.

But after Minnesota troopers were found last year to be looking in drivers’ wastebaskets and looking for pornography as part of a ridiculous checklist for commercial drivers, is the idea of police officers carrying scales out of the question?

So if you see a trooper, officer or anyone forcing a trucker onto a bathroom scale, do me a favor.

Pull out a camera or camera phone and take pictures.

And please leave a comment with a link to the pictures.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cover your tandem

I suspect this may be an April Fool’s gag, but after getting more southern exposure at the Mid-America Truck Show than I cared to (and ladies, you are as bad as the guys), I’m all for America’s truck stop C-stores plan to stock the Plumber’s T-shirt from Duluth Trading.

The company says in a press release that it plans to “hit the streets of Chicago during the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) to offer complimentary exposure checks to average folks by using the official Duluth Trading ‘Exposure Meter.’ Willing participants will be asked to bend over to measure their risk of overexposure based on when their shirt un-tucks.”

I’m willing to bet they could find a real, um, “bare” market out by the travel centers, too.