Trucker 5612 Hammer 3

Driver news roundup: Flag saver, flying hammer

Jan. 31, 2017
In this week’s roundup of trucker-related news items from around the country, we have the driver who broke up a flag burning, a flying hammer incident, a move-over reminder, and the story of a trucker who turned a tragedy into a cause.

In this week’s roundup of trucker-related news items from around the country, we have the driver who broke up a flag burning, a flying hammer incident, a move-over reminder, and the story of a trucker who turned a tragedy into a cause.

What were they smokin’? Protesters gathered in Iowa City to burn some flags, but passerby Matt Uhrin, a driver in his FedEx uniform, took exception—and his fire extinguisher. Wisely, according to the Iowa City Press Citizen, the driver wouldn’t comment except to say his actions were not related to his employer.

The incident was captured on video and posted, prompting praise from right-leaning sites and personalities including Ann Coulter.

In a follow up, the newspaper reported that Uhrin would not be fired—based on the announcement posted on the official Twitter account of FedEx. “We have reviewed the matter in Iowa City involving driver Matt Uhrin. He remains a FedEx employee & we have no plans to change his status,” the company said.

The tweet has since picked up nearly 60,000 likes.

Hammer time! Trooper Trav of the Kansas Highway Patrol came across something he hadn’t seen in his 23 years on the job: A hammer that had dropped onto the highway somehow got kicked up by a passing vehicle and flew into the windshield a tractor trailer.

According to the Facebook post by Trooper Tod, the trucker calmly got his rig off the road without incident. The officer suggested it was “also a good lesson on following too closely.”

Consider yourselves reminded, drivers.

Give ’em room:  While we’re passing along road safety reminders, Little Rock television station KARK goes to the shoulder with a tow truck driver who is concerned that folks aren’t following the state’s Move Over Law, which 2013 added tow trucks to the law originally passed to protect public safety personnel.

“Our lives are all in danger," the driver says.

And, the story noted, 18-wheelers are a problem. Again, consider yourselves reminded.

Life changing: Canadas’ CBC News has the story of a trucker who was involved in a “suicide by truck” incident four years ago, and he discovered he was unable to be comfortable behind wheel of a rig again.

But, with the shockingly high rate of suicide by truck in the province of Quebec (twice a week!), he saw the need to provide fellow truck drivers with the kind of PTSD counseling he didn’t receive.

"We went to see the kind of help (military) veterans were receiving," Forgues said. "When we saw the services they had, we asked: 'Why don't we have the same resources in the transportation industry?'"

He and his wife set up a Facebook page (en francais, but translations are available for each post) to organize the appropriate resources, and he’s also started visiting trucking companies. Some 50 truckers have contacted him, according to the report.

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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