Addictions come slowly. The emotions of an addiction slowly take over a persons soul. The road has its own Addictions. Adventure, Challenges, People, A New Life.
Good or bad, Looking Thru the Windshield can and will change a person.
Growing up in a small farming community in Idaho, I would dream of places that I would never see as I drove the tractor round and around the fields. I felt like the song where people would travel to the end of town and disappear. I wondered what was on the other side of the fence? Is there a life more than what I was seeing?
Would I fit into another life style?
The thoughts kept coming. Then an opportunity opened, I took the leap. Friends would say, Steve you need to write your story. I soon realized my story was really a little different then others. If you sit in one spot you don't progress.
This is my story.
So You Want to be a Truck Driver
See a Truck driver, you will find a car lover.
It may be quiet out there in cyber space, but is all this for the good. I was reading an article about a March 3rd, 2020 accident in Wyoming that took 3 lives and set 25 others to the hospital. This accident was reported to have some 140 vehicles involved in this 4 mile section of snow, ice and high wind covered roadway of I-80. The article talked about CB radio communication as a warning to others of this accident.
After 9 years being off the road and my decision to write my stories, I realized that I must get back on the road. Not that I wanted to but Reality is Reality and I could tell the stories but no writer could really tell the stories with out some facts. When packing the truck I was assigned to be my home for the next two years, I started looking for my old CB radio. I found one of my older radios but to no avail could I fine my favorite radio that that had broadcasted my voice for so many years, As I hit the road the space on the dash seemed empty without my trusty CB, but I would try it out without one. I found I was lonesome and needed the companionship of other drivers.
But!!!!! times had changed after buying a new radio, not as good as my old one, but a few miles of road reports was better than no reports. So why did I say BUT!!!!. There was almost no one on the radio. No road reports of the winter roads since I chose the worst time of the year to get back on the road, January 5th. I felt lonely and then had to take each mile from Looking Thru My Windshield. No other comments. I started wondering what had happened to the trucking industry and especially to the drivers that had been such a close knit group some 9 years earlier.
I started asking at truck-stops and making comments on my new CB. The air waves were quiet. Then a lonely voice would say something. After more questions I would get comments from others. Now I am not talking about the hours on end us drivers would talk but, I would hear a few minutes a day of others thoughts. So what was said and what was the opinion of the old seasoned drivers? Or are there any seasoned drivers left on the road today?
I will cover this in my next blogs so stay tuned and please pass my site along, "Looking Thru the Windshield" to others.
It was a lovely day for delivering a wagon load of product to a customer. I finally arrive at my drop off destination. Warehouse says it will take 5 hours to unload our wagon. What do I do for five hours? Looking at the map of the area I see Graceland. Only 5 miles away and on the same road. Asking if we could unhook from our wagon and leave to visit Graceland, our answer was yes. I had never seen Graceland. What an opportunity being so close.
STOP!!! What about my 14 hour clock. It has been running for 6 hours. Five hours to unload? Only 3 hours left. Our time will be gone.
STOP!!! This actually happened in the good old days before Ethel was created, maybe not even thought about. I had paper logs back in those days.
STOP!!! Who is Ethel? Ethel is my own personal ELD, "Electronic Logging Device" who isn't so personal. She is really a big mouth. Dispatch, law enforcement, courts, hard drives, and just about anyone that wants to see what I have been doing, even photos or videos if someone does not trust you.
STOP!!! So why is this so important? Ethel was created to reduce accidents, keep the driver and public safer, and make sure the driver gets enough sleep to safely drive down a street, and don't forget, law enforcement can require the driver to show Ethel to him or her so they can determine if this driver is safe. Yes, a box that has no feelings or intelligence can determine what a person is feeling or will react to.
STOP!!! This is like placing seeds in the ground and on a given time and day all seeds will germinate and pop through the soil at the same time. What are the odds of this happening? The same odds that Ethel can determine the same scenario in every driver on the road.
Let's Back Up and Rethink This
First we cannot believe that humans are created equal. We all have internal clocks. We operate differently, so to say 10 yours of sleep is just right is like saying all people with black hair will be good football players. So, how can we say every man or woman in the world needs 10 hours of sleep to operate a truck safely.Then we have to ask ourselves can a machine determine just because it says you are rested, you are safe?