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Truckers Give Rides to Iowa Lawmakers

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DES MOINES, Iowa- Outside the Iowa State Capitol Wednesday a line of 14 semi-trucks waited not for cargo, but to pick up riders.  The Iowa Motor Truck Association brought a line of 18 wheelers to give rides to lawmakers.

"We're doing this as a way to show folks how important the industry is," said Brenda Neville, President of the IMTA.  "Everything we get on a daily basis comes from a truck."

Rides were scheduled between 10:30 and 2 pm.  Lawmakers braved the cold wind in front of the west Capitol steps to jump into trucks for a ride around Des Moines.

I'm kind of excited about this, it should be fun," said Rep. Kraig Paulson (R) House Speaker.

Neville said the IMTA supports an increase in the fuel tax, as a way of keeping roads and bridges in good shape. "I think by getting a legislator inside a truck and seeing what it's like from the inside of a truck is very valuable." said Neville.

Before lawmakers  could hop in the large trucks needed to make it up the Statehouse driveway.  For at lease one empty flatbed truck the new snow made the climb a bit tricky.  Dallas Williams drives for Casey's General Stores.  He had to stop half way up the hill, due to some pedestrian traffic.

"Midway up the hill is a bad place to stop," said Williams. Ended up finally having to back down and take another run at it." He eventually did make it to the top, where a lawmaker was waiting for a ride.

When it comes to winter driving, truckers face more issues, especially when it comes to stopping. "Loaded or empty it makes a difference," said Williams.  "If you're loaded it's not as big an issue, believe it or not you can actually stop a little quicker loaded," said Williams.

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