This is in response to the story I read about New Castle maybe building a crossdock. That’s what us truckers call the “transload facilities. According to the story, the idea is to put a cross dock rail head in by the old Firestone plant.

Oh boy, what a colossal mess in the making!

Let me eleborate before I’m marched to the gallows for not allowing progress. There is an underlying problem with this town, and its not the drugs that everyone gets hyperfixated on whenever a new idea is presented.

It’s truck traffic. Trucking is my profession and I know about it.

Let me set a scene. You are not from the city or state you are driving in. You have a load of whatever going to a receiver in New Castle. You diligently follow your GPS that is set for your truck profile: 13’ 6” tall, 75’ long and weighing a max of 80,000 pounds. And as you follow the GPS, it says turn on a road and suddenly there’s a sign that says “No Trucks!”

Too late, becaue the sign is in a terrible spot. It’s 50 or 100 feet dow the road you’ve already driven down.

“GPS recalculating” in a rig is not an easy task and usually ends up with you in a tight spot.

Do you back up and potentially cause an accident? Do you try the road anyway and hope a cop doesn’t see you?

We are making roads handle 40 ton trucks constantly and we’re not fixing them constanly. Also we risk property damage, like a 53’ trailer dancing with a telephone pole or your car.

And that’s a good situation. Take a wrong road in a city with low overpasses and now you have a convertible semi.

Wouldn’t it be better to put our signs in better spots and direct trucks through town?

Like the “Welcome to New Castle, Home of This and That” signs. Except these wayfinding signs would say “Trucks use this road for this business name” and have a nifty arrow pointing the way.

Wouldn’t a nice flow of trucks on certain roads be nice and helpful? Or do we want more lost big rigs creeping through neighborhoods?

Do I want more jobs here? Yes. Do I want better roads and better truck flow? Yes. But the town and people have to help the truckers keep America going. We deliver everything but babies.

But maybe I’m just a stupid trucker. What do I know about roads and driving?

Louie Chaplin

New Castle