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HATS OFF TO THE AMERICAN TRUCK DRIVER!

While I know many people think of big trucks as something that gets in their way on the highways and roads, as more of a nuisance when you are in a hurry, step back a minute and think about it. Those trucks are what delivers the majority of the goods and products you have in your household to the stores you purchase them from. If it weren't for those trucks you wouldn't be able to drive to the store to get the food on your table, the clothing on your back or even get in that car to drive to the store! Yes trucks even delivered your car to the dealership so you could purchase it!

Many people think that trains deliver most goods however that just is not true and even the goods trains do haul across the country still need trucks to get those goods from the trains to warehouses and then to the stores. Now imagine as a truck driver the laws they must abide by in order to do their jobs. Hours of service regulations, safety guidelines to keep those trucks in good running order and the hours of maintenance due to the extremely high number of miles these trucks run week after week. The expense of maintenance, repairs and general upkeep, not to mention the day to day running of a truck's operation expenses are extremely high. We all complain when filling our car's gas tanks with the high cost of gas these days. A car's gas tank holds an average of 14 gallons so if you are paying $4.00/gallon of gas to fill that 14 gallon tank it will cost you $56.00. Now lets look at it from a truck driver's point of view. An average truck's fuel tanks hold 300 gallons! Yes, I'm serious! 300 GALLONS! And diesel fuel is actually higher nowadays than gas prices are in most places in the country even though gas has to be refined more to be used in a car's engine. Makes no sense does it? So if diesel fuel is averaging $4.25/gallon compared to $4.00/gallon of gas and the truck holds 300 gallons it will cost $1275.00 to fill that truck up with diesel fuel! That's just one cost of the day to day expense of a truck. Add to that of course regular maintenance of PM's (which is oil changes, greasing all of those necessary truck parts so they work properly along with of course making sure all the other fluids the truck needs are filled to the correct levels). Then there is tires, breakdowns (which unfortunately occur more often than any truck driver would like) and other unforeseen problems like delays in loading or unloading.

Time is of the essence when it comes to a driver as they are limited to the amount of hours they can work per the FMCSA regulations. Any good driver, which 99.9% of drivers are will be following these guidelines as they should be. FMCSA is the acronym for Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration. They oversee the trucking industry in order for all of those goods and products you purchase to be delivered safely each and every day. Yes accidents happen. Yes, there are times when a driver will ignore these rules. Thankfully those drivers who do ignore them are the exception to the rule. With the high number of trucks on the road unfortunately the media has a tendancy to focus on the negative rather than the positive of that truck drivers do.

Some of the good truck drivers do? How about banding together to raise money for such things as Special Olympics. How about donating thousands of toys, clothing and much more each year for the Trucking Santas program. They volunteer their trucks to haul necessities to disaster areas without a thought as to whether or not they will get paid for their time or expenses. These are just examples and there are many, many more great things truck drivers do on a daily basis. So the next time you see a truck driver please give them a smile and thank them for their time and service. Because you see there is one other thing you don't realize. While they are doing all of this they are also giving up one huge and very important thing.......time spent with their loved ones and friends. Being a truck driver is a very hard job. It can take the truck driver away from their families and loved ones for weeks at a time. It's not only hard on the driver but on the family.

All I can say is HATS OFF TO THE AMERICAN TRUCKER! WITHOUT TRUCKS AMERICA STOPS!

(And how do I know all of this, you see I'm a retired truck driver. I now spend a lot of my time doing volunteer work however I did as much volunteer work even while still driving. I gave up a lot of my time with loved ones to deliver those goods and products you all rely on to be in the stores. While I no longer drive over the road, I will always give thanks to each and every driver who is still out there giving his life and time so that we can have the ease of going to the store or even ordering online and having those items we purchase hauled by who? A truck driver!)

This is a picture of me with my truck. (A few years ago) Yes I miss the truck but I don't miss the stress or anxiety related to the job. It's hard to describe completely what a driver goes through so someone who has never experienced it could understand. I do have to say I did love my job though and if given the chance would jump right back in that truck and go again!

 



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Reader Comments  (16)

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Lynn | October 18th 2011 at 1318964084

Lord have mercy!!! My Ex is training in Utah for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH no..not stress!!!!!!!!!!LOL, gonna send him a copy of this blog....gosh oh mighty!!!!
Pacesetter
Pacesetter | October 18th 2011 at 1318964211

Awesome!!!! Thank you for the personal experience stories and the great Shout Out to American Truckers! God Bless The Truckers!
Paws4Critters Pet Stuff
Paws4Critters Pet Stuff | October 18th 2011 at 1318965040

Absolutely great blog! My hat is definitely off to all truck drivers. btw, your truck was beautiful... love the color!

I first was introduced to truck drivers back in the late 70s when we use to travel more. Dad was in the USAF and had a CB radio. Whenever we traveled, we always tagged along with the truck drivers. Dad would talk to them on the CB and we'd meet up with them at the truck stops, which, btw, usually always had the best food. Matter of fact, where I live now in rural north Texas, the local truck stop is the BEST place to eat in town. It is always packed with truckers AND travelers, as well as locals.

I would, however, like to make another point to those who drive cars around the big trucks. You never know when a truck is hauling a heavy load... ALWAYS ASSUME THEY ARE HAULING A HEAVY LOAD. When you zip in and out between them or in front of them, they may not be able to slow down or stop. This is what causes the most accidents. Be careful and considerate of the big trucks. The last thing a truck driver wants is to be responsible for hurting or killing you and/or your family. Death resulting from an accident is extremely difficult for the survivor to handle.

Traveling with those truckers, and talking with them on the CB back in the 70s and 80s was a memory I will cherish. Think Smokey and the Bandit and Convoy. I loved the movie Convoy! We use to ride shotgun in a 1977 buckskin Chevrolet Impala station wagon. When we went to England, it was known affectionately as the "Yank Tank"! For those who don't know what it looks like cuz your too young... Google it! It's huge and that's why I call all the SUVs today station wagons!

10-4, Tricia, you done good :)
Gens Variety
Gens Variety | October 18th 2011 at 1318965887 - in reply to paws4critters

paws, that's my 2006 Peterbilt 379. OMG I loved that truck! And of course she had a "shiny hiney" as us drivers knew them by. A 48 foot stainless steel spread axle Great Dane refrigerated trailer. I mostly hauled meat out to Cali and produce back to the midwest. A great run and I'd pick up out west from Yuma, AZ all the way north to Salinas, CA. and deliver back to MN, SD and WI. That truck rode like the cadillac of semi trucks. LOL!

You also added a very good point, when those trucks are loaded to 80,000 pounds (and some may be loaded even heavier as yes they can be if they are licensed for heavy haul like mine was.....I was licensed for 86,000 although I could only bridge 84,000 so that was my max weight due to my length and axle spread) it does take some time to get the truck rolling and if you hit hills you loose speed uphill and gain it downhill. We don't race the cars, it's the weight causing it. I know not many people in cars realize this.
Shars Gift Mart
Shars Gift Mart | October 18th 2011 at 1318967731

Great Post! My son is an over the road Trucker. Right now he is delivering a load to Utah. Yes, he had to go from Pa to Utah and spent over $1000.00 in gas. Thank you for letting everyone know how wonderful and deicated the drivers really are so we will get our stores and shopping malls full of items!
Royal Presence
Royal Presence | October 18th 2011 at 1318978210

God Bless truck drivers!
Addoway.com/catsmom/storefront/
Addoway.com/catsmom/storefront/ | October 18th 2011 at 1318981366

Great blog, Gen. My uncle drove a big rig for years out of Ohio. He always told me to try not to ride along beside a truck because one of the truck's tires could shred.

You sound as if you loved driving that truck. Isn't it wonderful to have a job you love.
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | October 18th 2011 at 1318996254

Super blog! My ex-husband was an OTR truck driver and I spent a lot of time with him on the road before my son was born. They work long hours in stressful situations but he loved every minute of it...I did too!
Ayuni Gifts of the World
Ayuni Gifts of the World | October 18th 2011 at 1318997088

Fabulous blog - such an interesting life that must have been!

I used to manage a Motel 6 property up in Reno. The back of our lot overlooked the Interstate (I-80), so I decided to hang a GIGANTIC "Truckers Welcome" sign off the back railing, so it could be seen from the Road. I loved filling the motel up with truckers - they were the best customers! Always so nice and polite, always leaving the rooms in great condition - we never had any problems with them...... not like most of the rest of our clientele!!

I built up a big following of truckers, because I totally catered to them. We had many who travelled the same route week after week, so I would hold the quietest rooms for them..... since I knew they were checking in to grab a few hours sleep before getting back out on the road; I'd make sure I held rooms for them even when we were full.... They were always very appreciative of their special treatment - because, unfortunately, many other motels did not cater to them like I did.
Shop4UniqueGifts
Shop4UniqueGifts | October 18th 2011 at 1319007466

Thumbs up there lady! Women truckers ROCK and have to deal with a different set of issues. I understand exactly what you mean have a friend that taught me the ways of the trucker and what they have to deal with. Sometimes it takes another showing us what they go through but we should be open to the experience. Thanks for giving us a perspective from the view of a woman trucker. :) Great post!
Donna's Stuff & More
Donna's Stuff & More | October 19th 2011 at 1319032640

Fabulous! My dad drove a big rig for a few years when I was a toddler. Sometimes took me with him 'cause I'd talk non-stop! Thanks for sharing - and very good to remember how heavy these trucks are when driving near them!
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BeewitchingItems | October 19th 2011 at 1319053731

This is so good!! I had an uncle that drove a truck and I even rode with him on a trip once. I have friends who are truck drivers and I know what they (and you) all have to go through. Bless them all
Fredrick Nijm
Fredrick Nijm | October 19th 2011 at 1319057210

I used to travel with a truck driver in high school delivering furniture. I didn't like the moving part, but the driving from city to city and state to state and sitting in that huge truck was something I will never forget. Thank you for sharing.
Indizona Variety
Indizona Variety | October 19th 2011 at 1319081129

Wow! Great story. I never imagined you to be a trucker, LOL. When I was a kid we would often be on I-70 traveling home from my grandparents' house and I always thought it was cool how the truckers would flash (blink) their lights to let my dad know it was safe to pull back over in front of them. My dad would do the same for them if they were going around us and then when they came back over in front of us they would blink their tail lights at us. I always thought that was the greatest thing! That was in the 60s & 70s, and a lot has changed since then. I don't see that like I did when I was a kid... of course I'm not usually on the freeway traveling between cities either, so they might still do it.

I pretty much stay away from the 2 right lanes so I'm not in with the trucks. I don't like to be behind them because I can't see. It drives me crazy not to be able to see over or at least through the vehicle in front of me. I like to know what's comin' up in front of me. I don't like to be right beside a truck either because I'm afraid I might be in their blind spot or tread might come off one of their tires or something.

You used to haul through Yuma... I wonder if it was while I was there. We could've met sometime. Wouldn't that be cool? I went back to Yuma several years ago to move my grandma here to Georgia, and she rented the largest U-Haul truck that can be rented. This truck was huge. We got that one because I had a storage shed full of things to get too. Anyway, I drove that truck and was pert near eye-level with the truckers. That was something, I'll tell you. I loved driving that big U-Haul. I have a picture where I parallel parked it in 4 spaces between posts in a motel parking lot. I was so proud of myself. Oh, and checking the oil and cleaning the windshield... I had to climb up on the fender to do those, LOL!!
Tuckerstuff
Tuckerstuff | October 19th 2011 at 1319089346

Your rig is AWESOME! I would miss that, too. Love 18-Wheelers and there's nothing like a convoy on the highway. That's a big 10-4, good buddy, no plain wrappers in sight, free and clear 10-20 on the I-40. Roll on, girl! Remember that T.V. show B.J. and The Bear? I loved that show.
Second I Do's
Second I Do's | October 24th 2011 at 1319463002

Married to a truck driver:) After we dissolved our corporation, it was something he wanted to do. Stress is right and never knowing what each day will bring adds to it. So many things that are out of his control. Very seldom does he ever have a day that goes well and he has only been doing this for two years! Hats off to all of them!!!

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