Monday 11-2-09, Ranchester, WY

Taking I-90 across to Sioux Falls today instead of the usual I-94 through North Dakota. Marten's new management team recently instituted a new company policy whereby trucks passing anywhere near a terminal are always required to stop in for the mechanics to do a routine inspection on the truck and trailer. On the face of it this sounds like a good idea since it ought to help ensure the equipment's always in good working order. The problem is, the inspections are being used to fire drivers. For example, proper tire inflation on big rigs is 100 PSI. From what I have heard, if the air pressure in any of the 18 tires measures below 90 PSI, rather than "write up" the driver for an infraction, the driver will simply be fired on the spot.

When I was recently in Mondovi for routine maintenance on the truck and asked the mechanics about taking the rig through this new "inspection lane" the company created, one of them replied in a low tone, "You don't want to do that." Then another said, "You don't have to, since the truck is being serviced."

So on this trip from WA to Columbus, Ohio, I am making darn sure not to go anywhere near a Marten terminal! This means staying south of Wisconsin, and north of Indianapolis. Unfortunately Marten is now a different company than the one I drove for for many years.

(photo can be zoomed by clicking)