Semi Social: Still Rollin’
November 8, 2010
By Tom Kelley
In a landscape littered with the archives of trucker blogs that have long since come and gone, The Daily Rant stands out as one of the earliest, most prolific, and more importantly, still published trucker blogs on the ‘net. First published in May 2005, The Daily Rant is still alive, and well, and posting as you may have expected – 364 days or more per year.
The proprietress of The Daily Rant is Salena Lettera, who currently team drives for Landstar’s Ranger division with her “boyfriend/co-driver” Ed Godfrey. A forty-something New Yorker, Lettera has held a CDL since 2006, and had already spent two years on the road with Ed before getting her license.
About her choice to be driver, Lettera says,“I’ve done a lot of jobs in my life, from my first one bussing and waiting tables in my family restaurant, to managing a movie theater . . . to making people beautiful selling Estee Lauder cosmetics and hawking Sabrett’s from my very own hot dog cart; but driving a truck has been by far the best job I’ve ever had.”
Many of the trucker blogs we’ve seen tend to follow a single theme, whether it’s business, travel or human interest, but at The Daily Rant, Lettera provides a continually interesting mix of themes and topics, ranging from (hundreds of) photos of her travels, to commentary on current events, to both the business and personal sides of surviving and thriving on the road as a trucker.
Lettera’s posts frequently bridge the gap between lifestyle issues and the nuts & bolts of trucking. Lettera mentions Barnes & Noble bookstores as a frequent stopping place to grab a latte and check out the latest reading material. When asked by a fellow trucker how to deal with parking at retail locations, Lettera covered both the technical as well as the personal side.
“What we usually do . . . is check it out before we go. If it’s in a mall, we usually have no problem navigating the parking lot, but some malls don’t let trucks park in their lots so we look for those signs right away,” says Lettera. “We also usually look at the address on Google Maps, which is really an invaluable tool. Most Barnes & Nobles are in big shopping plazas . . . it’s rare that we come across one with a small lot.”
“You can often get a good idea of the turning area in the lot by looking at the (Google) satellite image,” explains Lettera. “In those pictures, we can see where the cars are parked. Most parking spaces are 10′ wide by 20′ long, so knowing that, we’re able to determine how much turning room we’ll have or where we’d be able to park the truck once we get there.”
“Sometimes a mall security guard will stop to see what we’re doing,” says Lettera. “Their main concern is if we plan on staying overnight. I usually say something like, ‘Oh, we’re just planning to go to dinner and then hit Barnes and Noble for a little while . . . we’ll be out of here when the mall closes.’ I make sure they know I plan on SPENDING MY MONEY in their mall and that I won’t be staying there overnight. That usually seems to work.”
Parking in a retail location is just one of the advice posts at The Daily Rant, other topics range from how to find favorite food items, to tips for a low-cost date night, to how much Lettera and Godfrey have saved by upgrading to a 132″ sleeper in 2009. Other posts cover the previously mentioned photos and current events topics, and occasionally the blog’s namesake, a rant about whatever has drawn Lettera’s ire.
Check It Out At: http://www.salenalettera.com/