[aprssig] [OT] RE: APRS experiment along I-40, mapping vs. voice alert vs. local info

Alex Carver kf4lvz at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 15 18:40:00 CDT 2010

> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 13:55:12 +0100
> From: "Dave Baxter"

> Alex, Wow!..
> I'm amazed you took a truck for that journey that by the
> sounds of
> things was not even roadworthy!   Hire or
> otherwise, surely it should be
> fit and safe for use.
> If that was me, I'd have taken one of the hire people for a
> short jaunt
> round the block, on the grounds that if all OK, I'd take
> it.  If not,
> they'd experience the same problems.

Unfortunately the way things are here that's pretty much the normal state.  There are not enough inspectors in the Department of Transportation (federal or any of the states) to inspect every single truck for safety.  Theoretically the rental agent should inspect the truck but most of them are hands-off franchisees that just want to earn their commission from each rental.  Taking a truck out of their available pool just eats into their profits and they won't do it.  Even the contract says I have to take it up with the main company rather than the franchisee.

I did call the company but they didn't really care.  I'll write a letter next and see what happens.

> Heck, here in the past, I've done that, and *Made* them put
> a decent
> (ie, legal) set of tyres on the truck I was going to
> drive.
> Guess you had no choice of hire company or vehicle. 
> Seriously, if you
> had to swerve to miss some errant drunk, hit a bump and
> lost control of
> the thing, hit, injured (or worse) someone else, who's
> fault, and who
> gets the sharp end of the lawyers? 

I sort of had a choice (there are three major general populace truck rental companies) but all three operate the same way so there's really no escaping something like this.  If I had my commercial driver's license I could have rented a real truck instead and had a much better time.  I may go get one just to have it.

> >From the sounds of things, having all the emergency
> comm's kit
> available, invoked Murphys Law, and you didn't need to use
> it in anger.
> Hope you gave the hire co drop off place a few choice
> words, or got some
> money back.

I do think that very same thing.  I was so prepared for the trip that I survived the trip rather than having had some kind of serious accident and no way to summon help.  No money back (yet).  We'll see what a letter does followed by a letter sent to various media outlets if necessary.

> Here (UK) regardless of who owns the vehicle, if Mr Plod
> stops you (for
> whatever reason) and takes an interest, you as the driver
> cop it.  No
> one else (in the first instance at least.)  Unless
> they somehow admit to
> letting you drive an unfit vehicle when asked, after
> they've bagged and
> binned your remains..

I could have been stopped by the highway patrol along the way.  But they likely would have just forced me to wait for a replacement truck which means I'd have to unload and reload the entire truck myself.  I had already spent five hours loading the truck with help.  I don't think I could have done it myself in the middle of the trip.

> I've been relatively lucky with hire cars in the US. 
> Having an (OK,
> very out of date) CA licence, gets me a better rate than
> the usual
> tourists do, even hiring on the East
> coast..   But I still on ocasions
> have to reject a car because something is obviously wrong
> with it.  The
> last one (4 years back now) had no working indicators, and
> that was up
> for hire!   (From a German sounding co, next
> to Philli international.)
> At least there was no argument, they just checked over a
> car just back
> in, and gave me that one.    Colegues at work
> though, have had hire cars
> and van's in the US, that conk out on the highway with no
> warning, and
> on one ocasion the instrument pannel went up in flames
> while they were
> driving!   On each ocasion, money back (and
> for one of the breakdowns,
> expenses) was successfully invoked.

I'm working on it.  Rental cars and trucks are just abused in general because of the "It's not mine" mentality.  Other than uncomfortable cars I've not had a problem with any rental car.  Rental trucks have always been terrible, though, and a lot of work and money for very little of anything else.  One particular rental car company that sounds like a spaceship flown by a very famous captain has given me multiple upgrades for free because of a terribly undersized and uncomfortable vehicle I once rented from them.  My knees were in the middle of the steering column with the seat as far back as it would go.


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