This week has gotten off to a rather lazy start. But after last week, I need to relax a little.
Oct 26, 2010
Oct 13, 2010
I have seen a lot during the course of my driving career. But just when you think you have seen it all, someone will surprise you.
Yesterday it was a fella in a Jeep. He seemed impatient to get through the hordes of slower traffic. He came around me and was blocked by 7 vehicles spread out in 2 lanes. Rather than flash his lights, blow his horn, or tailgate...he did not even hesitate as he straddled both lanes and passed all 7 vehicles while riding down the zipper.
I have seen this done with motorcycles, but never in a car. White knuckle moment for sure because I just knew he was gonna hit one of them, but he never flinched. Of course, all the other cars slowed down, putting me even further behind...lol
Ugh, My urge to head west is getting stronger !!
Oct 11, 2010
Shaping up to be one of those weeks!!
I left out early enough on Sunday to allow myself time for a few extra breaks. The main goal was to be able to stop and watch a wedding that was being streamed online. Goal accomplished, and Congratulations to Paul and Jennifer !!
But after all the I Do's were said, I was left with a billion miles to fly and darkness encroaching rapidly. I made it to Charlotte just in time to sit with all the patrons of the Panthers game... the clock was ticking.
Throughout all the lane closures and over populated pathways, one thing was consistent. It seemed everyone had forgotten how to drive. I can't tell you how many times I had to zig to someone's zag. Several times I was riding on the rumble strip just to avoid collision. At one point I had to blow the horn to wake another driver up. It was just so frustrating, and I almost made the executive decision to just go ahead and let the next bozo hit me. But my tanks are all shiney now, and I don't have time for the paperwork.
I finally reached my destination just after 2am. Thankful for the reprieve, I greeted Baltimore with renewed enthusiasm today. At least until they started darting around me again. It seems it has been that way all day. Still tempted to just let em hit me, but for now I am safely tucked away amongst the docile diesels, waiting for the sunrise and the challenge of a new day.
Sweeeeet Dreams from Pine Grove, PA
This morning I had just pulled out of my first customer when the phone rings.
Oct 4, 2010
It's Monday night and I am on my way home already. I got lucky this week with a 2 stop New England route. By tomorrow evening, I will have already accumulated 2300 miles. But with long days behind the wheel, comes the potential for too much time to think.
Today found me in an unusually quiet and pensive mood. After watching the industry changes that have taken place over the past 13 years, I feel as though my livelihood is crumbling into chaotic ruins.
There are still many wonderful men and women out on these highways that represent the Concrete Cowboys and Highway Heroes of yesteryear, but more common these days are the folks looking for an easy buck. They bitch and complain about everything. From traffic delays to waiting on loads. And the most common thread that binds these newcomers is the singlemindedness of their actions. They are so intent on themselves, that they forget to take time to look around, to be courteous, to be cautious!!
One common complaint you will hear out on the road, concerns the slower company drivers clustered into the center lane, impeding the flow of traffic. This is one of my big pet peeves. Slower traffic keep right!! By hovering in the middle, they have now caused a rolling road block. The faster trucks are forced to either violate lane restrictions, or pass on the right where merging traffic becomes an issue. Once you are able to get around them, you will most often notice them staring straight ahead. I suppose if they don't acknowledge you, they feel less remorse for such actions.
I seem to be way off on a tangent here, but just bear with me.
They blow through truck stop parking lots and/or fuel islands at ridiculous speeds. They won't accommodate any other motorist, with their "me first" attitude. No concern for safety! Or maybe, just maybe, it is a lack of training?
Now back to the original intent of my post. I think I have solved the safety issues concerning the trucking industry, or at least one of them... How about, instead of the restrictions and regulations that are being heaped upon drivers, in the name of safety, we should make demands that Training Companies actually train the new drivers. Instead of weeks, let's put the potential drivers through months or years of training. Instead of the promise of "free"
training (if you work for the company for a stated amount of time, you owe nothing), let's put a hefty price tag on a long term education. Other certifications take many class credits or years to complete. Why not trucking? Let's actually require the skills to be demonstrated and challenged when taking a skills test. Let's stop making the truck so user friendly that any bozo can drive it. Automatic transmissions?? Please...if you take away all the challenges there once were, you are left with bumbling idiots steering their trailers over other trucks, cars, equipment, poles...blah blah blah!!
I can't tell you how many women I have heard recently admit that they can not back up their trailer. What the hell are you doing in a truck, sister? I do not believe women should be given any advantages based on gender!! It was a man's worlds at one time, but many women have succeeded by jumping in with both feet and learning the skills to be successful. No bitching, no crying...just doing!!
So, it is just my opinion, but if you make it harder to become a truck driver, you will be left with only those who truly have the desire to become a competent operator. And if one works harder to succeed, I believe there is more potential for that person to be cautious, courteous and willing to help a fellow driver. If the highways were full of those types of drivers, these ridiculous restrictions and regulations would not be so necessary!!
Think about it!
You have 2 such incompetent baffoons to thank for this post.
Okay, bitch session over
Oct 2, 2010
It is not as bad as it looks...Okay, may be it is. But it is all part of the job and with some blood sweat and tears, I am usually able to get all material unloaded safely. For more load entertainment be sure to watch my video... Its All Down Hill