The Life, Death, And Resurrection Of My Truck Driving Career

Topic 9369 | Page 4

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Yosemite Sam's Comment
member avatar

Want to thank u PC for your story. Glad to hear you that nothing serious happened to you and glad you were given a 2nd chance. your story has taught me that safety is the key. Great to hear u are now feeling more comfortable driving after ur incident. Didn't really know how someone would feel after going through an experience like yours. You have shown me to never give up even after such a life changing experience. Thanks 🙏🏻 stay safe!

Montana Maxi's Comment
member avatar

This is a really great account you put together. Oddly I stumbled upon this searching for Jack Buell Trucking on google. I used to work for the same company as you so I heard about the accident and can understand how easily it could happen with one of those Bennett Lumber loads. Amazing photos and it's great you're alright and that you were able to keep on driving.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chevelleal's Comment
member avatar

At the conclusion of our meeting, I thanked them profusely, and assured them they were going to see a new driver from now on. I told them I had become too confident after having just 2 months of uneventful driving under my belt, and in a way I was glad I had been humbled in such a brutal (but unfortunately expensive) way. I needed that. I know that the feeling of that truck starting to tip, the sight of the dirt pouring through the shattered windshield, and the sound of the truck scraping across the road will be forever etched in my mind, and I’m glad for it. I want it to be there constantly, to remind me of the reality of this business, that it isn’t a piece of cake, that you can’t sit there and think, “Nothing will ever happen to me.” The dangers are always present, and I just didn’t realize it, or at least I didn’t think I was so vulnerable. For me, it was one thing to hear stories about other wrecks and the stupid mistakes other driver’s have made in the past, but it was quite another to actually experience it. It made it all real for me. Last Tuesday could very easily have been my last day of life, but by the grace of God I am still here.

There was something else they mentioned during the meeting which I’d like to share. They told me about their theory on the “terrible 2’s of trucking.” The theory is that right around the 2-month, 2-year and 20-year marks of a driver’s career, they will usually have something happen that will knock some sense into them. Whether it’s something as minor as bumping into another truck in a truck stop or something major like what happened to me, it seems those are the times when a driver becomes either too comfortable, too complacent, or too confident. I was all three that day.

So anyway, they told me to go home for the weekend and call back on Monday. They were going to try to figure out which truck they would put me in and I would be back on the road again early next week. I called my wife and told her I still had a job, and then I drove home. We had a great 4th of July, I washed all my clothes and re-organized all my gear, spent some great quality time with the kids (I started watching The Lord of the Rings with my 10-year-old daughter who was watching it for the first time, but we didn’t get to Return of the King—she has to wait until I get home to finish the series!), and I called in on Monday. They said they had a truck lined up for me and to come in tomorrow morning.

So one week after I wrecked my truck, I was put into an identical Kenworth T660 (which somehow feels different from the other one for some reason) and I was sent to Texas with a load of… lumber At least this wasn’t rough-cut, but I still made sure to tighten and re-tighten the straps frequently and drive as easy as I could. It was a little nerve-racking at first hitting the road again. I was nauseous and uneasy; even feeling the slightest g-force from turns gave me flashbacks. I think I was suffering from some sort of temporary PTSD. But after the first day or two, I started to feel a little more comfortable. I am now super-cautious going around turns. I try go slow enough to not even feel myself turning if possible. I am on a year-long probation period now, so I know that if I have one more screw-up, I’m finished as a driver. So I’m being as cautious and conservative as I can reasonably be (keeping in mind that I still need to turn those miles!).

Looking back on what happened, I think of it this way: on the first day, my career died. On the second day, my life was a living hell of confusion and fear. And on the third day, my career rose from the dead... get it? I think that is so fitting. I am so grateful that I have been given this second chance. I know that with almost any other company, if this had happened I would be looking for a totally new career path right now. I don’t really know why I got so lucky, but I know there is a plan and a reason for everything, so I’m just trying to make the most of this situation and learn from it while moving forward. Forgive but never forget. Live and let live. Don’t run with scissors. A penny saved is a penny earned. You get the idea.

To everyone who actually took the time to read this whole thing, thanks. I really hope my story can be a wake-up call for any drivers who might be starting to fall into the same trap I was. Be as safe as possible out there, because safety is not just a buzz-word, it’s for real. And out here, the stakes are high. It’s life or death. Don’t take anything for granted, and don’t ever make the mistake of being over-confident in your own abilities or the capabilities of your truck. Keep them wheels rolling… on the pavement, not in the air!

i am fresh out of a local T/T training school...dont even have a job yet...thanks for your story; it will stick with me for a long time

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

I can tell now those photos and that story really shook me up, and seeing those pictures really showed me the importance of me taking my time around corners at a reslly slow speed even in a dry van/reefer. I have over 200 hours of training completed here at Swift and let me tell you something now, I have a seen a fatal car accident after I got out of bed and it literally paralyzed me I could not even sleep for 2 hours or more, but this is far worst then anything thats happen to me so far. THANKYOU for sharing your story with us cause it is a very good thing that I saw this as I was getting too confident around corners and this just knocked some sense in my head.

I am going to be 3 times as careful as I was before as I am going into being solo here in a day or two.

GOD BLESS YOU PERSIAN CONVERSION! Be safe and hope to see you some day on the road!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stacy M-Yellow Wolf's Comment
member avatar

Persian Conversion-as someone just starting to look at schools and embark on a career in trucking, I read every word of your post. First, I am glad that you are ok. What a terrifying experience! Second, thank you for sharing this. It very well may save someone's life in the future. I have been extremely humbled by the willingness of the members of TT to share their experiences-both the good and the bad. I am reading everything I can knowing that a lot of it will lodge in my brain and come in handy one day. Stay safe❤

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Greg H.'s Comment
member avatar

At first, I think I thought twice about reading this, to long. ha ha But, I ended up actually going and getting a cup of coffee, about to watch a little Tv, and it kept nagging at me to read this, and I'm glad I did really. I was involved in a terrible accident when I was 16. I was driving. It was the worst possible situation you could imagine. What's crazy, is that I ended up driving for a living... I still look up at God and think, it really is nuts. And then I have a thought on my mind, even though this one accident was so terrible, it did prepare me to be the driver I am today. I've had a couple of minor incidents over the course of 29 years driving, but nothing major. And I really hate to use that one accident as the reason, because of the severity of it, but it probably has made me the driver I am today. It takes nothing or very little to keep me humble. Just remind me of that one accident, and I'm good.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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