Guest Post By | Dalene Davies-Smoot
Yesterday, I had the priviledge of going to Chicago in a beautiful KW900 with a driver friend of mine.
The weather was gorgeous, the roads clear, and all appointment times were made without a hitch – even backing into a space no wider than a horse and making it on the first try…it’s no wonder Bob (and I) loved the industry…loved the drivers…loved everything about moving goods from one place to another to meet consumer demand.
Yet it’s the demand on the drivers that goes unnoticed. Grueling miles, high diesel prices, toll roads, no sleep, be-there-an-hour-ago-but-be-legal commands, scale houses, and of course – drivers in four-wheelers that lack the respect for the trucks and what the trucks are trying to do…everyone should go on a day trip and experience it from high above…it’s fun, it’s eye-opening, and it will definitely make you thank a trucker – if you bought it, a truck brought it…and chances are, he or she didn’t get to see their family because of it. Keeping trucking honorable – the way Bob would want it….karma will take care of the one that disgraced the industry.
This wasn’t my first time on a truck, but it had been many years. It’s made to look so easy by professionals, but it’s a difficult life for both driver and family left behind for days on end. There’s no mercy for being late, doesn’t matter that there was a 10-car pile up on the interstate; doesn’t matter that the roads were shut down due to poor visibility; it’s very, very hard. No wonder Bob was so loved….he told every driver no content is worth your life….shut down, be safe, and I’ll handle the repercussions.
A run to Salt Lake City and back to drivers is like a day trip to Davenport to us. Leave on Sunday evening for California with three stops in downtown LA and five in Phoenix, yet sitting in Kansas City the following Saturday night on time but in a line of 10 other trucks waiting to unload so the hurry up and wait game has again succeeded in keeping him/her away from home even longer. Home Sunday morning and probably leave out again on Monday morning to repeat the run.
Frustrations are consuming even the best drivers today. Educating the public is the one thing I see as vital to any change. But you can’t change what doesn’t want to be changed. Everyone who shares the road is responsible for and to themselves. Truckers have operated under this premise for years but for most other drivers it is the truck drivers themselves that need “to be taught a thing or two.” And this is where the industry rises above – by taking the hurtful and meaningless comments in stride and letting them roll off your back. Don’t let the stupidty of a few make you any less than what you are.
And as for the (alledged) shooter? Karma will deal with him….because the cowardice of evil will always be outdone by the good. Stay stong, stay united, stay safe, and God help us to say thank you more often!
“Greg – you said it all…you love it, 27 years!!! But frustrations are consuming even the best drivers today. Educating the public is the one thing I see as vital to any change. Now that the trial has been postponed, I can be more proactive in the case.”