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If safety No. 1 priority, why has Santa not been put OOS?



I’m sorry to have to write this, but we’re going to have to get real about Santa Claus.

I don’t mean the bit about whether he exists or not.

No sir. I’m talking about whether his reindeer and sleigh are up to safety code and if he even has a CDL or more to the point, a pilot’s license.

Also, I’m sure he has Hours of Service violations each year and flagrant violations of air pollution standards.

You don’t think flying reindeer have some pretty polluting emissions?

Come on. They’ve got to be worse than any greenhouse gases.

How much do the reindeer contribute to global warming? Why aren’t we reading about that in the newspapers, huh?

That’s not to mention that Santa is probably driving without his safety belt on. I bet he doesn’t even have electronic stability control on that thing, much less in-sleigh cameras or rear-view mirrors.

Heck. I doubt Santa has an ELD. No wonder he’s been able to get by with HOS violations for eons. What do you want to bet that some poor kid each year accidentally gets Santa’s “comic book” logs mixed in with her presents?

Come to think of it, maybe Santa wraps some gifts in his fake logs, what with the price of wrapping paper, tinsel and ribbon going up each year.

And speaking of eons, I bet that legally, Santa is too old to be driving a freight-delivery vehicle in the first place. How long has that guy been around?

I would venture to say that his body mass index is off the charts and his neck circumference is indicative of sleep apnea.

Think about it. He consumes cookies, hot chocolate, maybe even sandwiches and soda pop at EVERY SINGLE STOP.

No wonder he’s overweight. Sheesh.

And just because the reindeer are pulling the sleigh doesn’t mean it’s safe for Santa to nod off in his seat. And if he’s sleeping on the job because he has sleep apnea, you can bet the reindeer don’t keep to the prescribed route. Which means a bunch of kids are missing out.

I ask you this: Was there ever a Christmas when you were growing up that you didn’t get something you asked Santa for?

See, he was probably asleep in the sleigh while the reindeer did their own thing. They probably were making unscheduled rest and meal breaks so they could eat and take a load off.

What do reindeer eat you ask?

I looked it up and they eat leafy greens, bird eggs and “treats” like carrots and apples.

Oh, and mushrooms.

My goodness, you don’t want me to go there. Can you imagine having to hair test a herd of reindeer for magic mushrooms? Let’s not think about getting them to pee in a cup.

I’m not sure either kind of drug screening would turn up hallucinogenic mushrooms, anyway. That’s an accident waiting to happen.

And what if some of the eggnog left out for Santa is spiked? It could happen. Probably has happened.

And who’s to know if he inhales a bit of weed now and then?

He doesn’t get pulled over by troopers because even in a helicopter I don’t think they could keep up with him. Who’s ever heard of a helicopter landing safely on a roof, anyway. Doesn’t make a bit of sense. And no law enforcement department in the world has the finances to follow Santa around on Christmas night. Can you imagine the paperwork it would entail just to ask?

Yep. No doubt about it. Santa is one of the last of the lone ranger type of drivers and a safety risk if ever there was one.

And although I hate to suggest it, it might be better if he were put out-of-service.

Yeah, that would be a bummer for the whole planet, especially for the children.

But is safety the No. 1 priority or not?

Sometimes tough choices have to be made.

Wait just a minute. … Maybe that doesn’t have to happen. I mean, what if Santa could get an autonomous or a driverless sleigh? Sure, it would put the reindeer out of a job, but that would be better than placing the whole kit and caboodle OOS on Christmas Eve wouldn’t it?

I’ve ranted on about autonomous and driverless vehicles in this column many times but I may have to eat my words in this case.

Could I get some hot chocolate with that?

Be safe and God bless.

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The Nation

WIT’s Ellen Voie wins inaugural Cinderella to CEO of the Year honor



Women In Trucking Association President Ellen Voie, left, accepts a copy of the book “From Cinderella to CEO, How to Master the 10 Lessons of Fairy Tales to Transform Your Work Life” from its author Cary Broussard. Voie was named the 2019 Cinderella to CEO of the Year. (Courtesy: WOMEN IN TRUCKING)

PLOVER, Wis. — Women In Trucking Association President and CEO Ellen Voie has been named the 2019 Cinderella to CEO of the Year — along with winning her award category “Climbing the Beanstalk” — for cultivating an innovative improvement to the workplace to create inroads for women to achieve career goals and enhanced work-life balance opportunities for all genders.

The Cinderella to CEO Awards recognize women who have overcome obstacles to change businesses, communities and industries for the better.

The inaugural awards, inspired by the book “From Cinderella to CEO, How to Master the 10 Lessons of Fairy Tales to Transform Your Work Life” by Cary Broussard, honored 200 women across industries and communities who were nominated for the awards.

“Our goal is to accelerate the successes of women who have worked hard and helped others to also succeed by connecting them to opportunities and each other,” said Broussard, CEO of Broussard Global. “In 2030, women in the U.S. are expected to control 75 percent of the wealth in this country. We want the wealth to be in the good, caring hands of those who strive to make the world a better place.”

Nine category winners, including Voie, were recognized by a distinguished Cinderella to CEO panel of judges for their support of other women, their transformational ability to overcome obstacles and barriers, and their desire to motivate others to accomplish their dreams. Each award category is tied to a chapter in Broussard’s book.

“I am so honored to receive the very first Cinderella to CEO award, as there were hundreds of nominations featuring some amazing women who have done truly notable and altruistic projects,” Voie said. “I am especially thrilled to be recognized by an organization outside the trucking industry, which makes the award even more special.”

Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission.



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The Nation

FMCSA explains Hours of Service proposed rule



Here is what they have to say…

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The Nation

10 finalists named in search for top rookie military veteran driver



Last year’s top military rookie Quinton Ward sits in the cab of his new Kenworth with Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — The top 10 finalists have been named in the search for the top rookie veteran driver.

Kenworth has teamed with the FASTPORT Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program to find the top rookie military veteran, who has made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

The top 10 finalists with their military branch and current truck fleet include:

  • Chris Bacon/U.S. Marines/TMC Transportation
  • Thomas Blitch/U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves/Werner Enterprises
  • Wade Bumgarner/U.S. Navy/Veriha Trucking
  • Joseph Campbell/U.S. Marines and U.S. Army/Roehl Transport
  • Keso Going/U.S. Army/Epes Transport
  • Steve Harris/U.S. Marines/Stevens Transport
  • Kevin Lassing/ U.S. Army/U.S. Xpress
  • Maliq Melton, U.S. Army, Melton Truck Lines.
  • Monte Morrone/U.S. Army and U.S. Marines/Prime Inc.
  • Tim Raub/ U.S. Navy/Averitt Express

Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on  or, by members of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, or Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member school.

“This year’s competition in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” program features an outstanding group of 10 finalists, who are representing their fleet and branch of military service. On behalf of Kenworth, we appreciate their dedication to excel as truck drivers in their new profession, and we are grateful for their military service to the country,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.

“It is important for organizations across the United States to especially reach out to our veterans to help them make a smooth transition back into civilian life. This is one way that the trucking industry is doing its part,” said Brad Bentley FASTPORT president.

During the Great American Trucking Show August 22-24 in Dallas, three finalists in the recognition program will be announced as America’s top rookie military drivers. All 10 drivers will receive special recognition at the President George W. Bush Library during a tour and reception. The final winner will be announced in December.

For further information on the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award program, please visit





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