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Ernst visits Holiday Express

October 23, 2018
Jennifer Astello - Correspondent , Estherville News

Tuesday, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst visited Holiday Express Trucking Company in Estherville Iowa. Joni toured the facility, as she walked out to the shop she breathed in deep and said "I love the smell of machine shops."

Ernst visited Algona's Hormel plant just before stopping in Estherville, she said smelling Hormel made her hungry for a pepperoni pizza. She was then offered refreshments prepared by Holiday Express, meat, cheese, crackers, water and coffee took the edge off her Hormel craving.

Senator Ernst has spent over 23 years serving in the United States Military and now she serves as the first female combat veteran on the United States Senate.

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Trucking is very near and dear to Ernst's heart she explained that she drove truck at the beginning of the Iraq war.

"We would get our missions assigned and we were running 24 hour ops," said Ernst. "And we would go stage our trucks at a warehouse somewhere in Kuwait, and just depending on where you were on priority our drivers could sit 8-10 hours before they got loaded and of course even loading was an issue because we didn't have enough wrenches or forklifts."

Ernst went on to say, she loaded Saddam's Hussein's gold and other un imaginable things.

Ernst was relating with the trucking company as Sheila Schichtl Safety Manager at Holiday Express Trucking Company laid out all the safety concerns for their truck drivers.

Merle Johnson owner of the trucking company also known as "Bubs" explained to Ernst how the trucking companies are being over regulated and causing a whole lot of trouble. Last year at this time they had an "Un-safe driving score was in the single digits.

"Today we are at 40 percent (for an un-safe driving score.) We are seeing more speeding and our drivers admit that they are driving faster because they are trying to meet the deadlines for the day," said Schichtl.

Schichtl explained how the over regulating is having a very negative effect on their company and the trucking company as a whole and her drivers are more stressed.

Ernst listened with an open ear and it was made very clear the changes that need to be made when it comes to regulations.



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