While the protests around the Monroe, Louisiana area remains peaceful, one angry protester took out his frustrations on two trucks.
CDLLife spoke with William Adkins, owner of T-Rex Trucking, LLC. Adkins owns 3 trucks and has them leased on with the family’s business, Larry Adkins Timber, a company his father started 50 years ago.
Adkins told CDLLife that the truck, a 2005 379 Peterbilt was parked in Olla, Louisiana. The lot was well-lit and had surveillance. Another truck was also parked on the lot.
“It was quite a shock,” Adkins said. “You see stuff like this happening but it’s never here. It’s always somewhere else.”
Adkins told CDLLife that his driver loves his truck. “He puts a lot of work into that truck. He washes it and polishes it.”
Adkins said that the driver takes a lot of pride in the truck, adding that a new set of fenders had been added just 3 days before the vandalism.
Adkins said the driver and his wife spent 7 hours scrubbing the truck. He said that most of the graffiti had been scrubbed away — along with some of the clear coat — but they’re just grateful to have most of the hate removed from the truck.
“We never put political stickers on our trucks. I never let drivers add any political stickers.” Adkins said that he’s not sure why the truck would have been targeted.
Thanks to video surveillance, police have identified the suspect.
On the video, Adkins said you can see the vandal empty his can of paint on his truck. Next he moved to the other truck on the lot.
“He was out of paint, so he rummaged through the truck and stole some money and then he emptied the fire extinguisher inside the cab of the truck,” Adkins recalled.
“I just hope they catch him and give him more than a slap on the wrist,” Adkins said.
“Trucking insurance is expensive. There was no way we could even turn in a claim on this,” Adkins said.
Josh McAllister, President of the Louisiana Loggers Association and Vice President of McManus Timber, echoed Adkins’ statement. “People just don’t know how much it costs to own and operate a rig and insurance premiums are so high.”
Many trucking companies that have closed this year have cited rising insurance premiums as a factor. McAllister is working to change insurance laws in Louisiana.
“Trucking companies have so much to worry about right now. This shouldn’t be what they have to be worried about. I’m fearful for my drivers out on the road right now,” McAllister said.
Adkins said that despite the bad, a lot of good has come of the incident too. “There’s been a lot of positive,” he said, “I’ve had 6 or 7 offers of people from chrome shops offering to clean the truck.”
“I’ve had so many people reach out in support. At least there’s something good that’s come out of it,” he said.