A Sad Day For Me In Trucking

by Rhonda

This sad day happens all the time to many in their jobs. Just a fact of life. Today is Aug 4 2009. I was looking forward to a night at home to mourn and sleep. Yesterday I was given the news that my friend Kevin of 38 years may not make it thru the night. So this meant a night on the phone and computer as I and the family stayed connected. Today I find out that Kevin passed away, age 45. After this news I was called to work. I just knew I would be called to work! Every time something goes wrong for me, it seems that is when I am needed at work or somewhere else. This has happened at almost every event in my life for the last 30 years. Don't know why it happens, but it does. I would have preferred staying home but maybe work will help me deal with this loss.

I know I can do the job safely too, otherwise I would have said no to working. I am so tired of others who think they know more about trucking and how to drive a truck than those who do it everyday. I will never understand why those in the medical field can work double shifts and no one says anything about it. I don't want a tired nurse/doctor/surgeon working on me. But I guess this is ok in the medical field. It's also ok to buy a 40 foot motor home with air brakes and not be licensed for it. I have to have a license to operate a large vehicle with air brakes on it, so how come that doesn't apply to motor homes? I am tired, but so are many, many others who get behind the wheel. After all, how many of us are awake when we get up and rush out the door to get to work? I could go on and on about this.

I get to work and its about 6:00 when I can leave with my load. I am focused and watching my gauges and mirrors and traffic as I leave town. I'm also listening to the sounds of the truck as we move, and all is normal there too. When I leave town and get away from all the traffic, I allow myself to do some remembering of my friend. So much to think about when you are behind the wheel driving. Reminds me of the calls I received from mom when dad was having trouble. I was always in Chicago, or near Chicago, when these events happened. No time to let your mind wander with that type of traffic. Had to stay focused on always being safe.

I arrive at the receiver safely and check in. I drop the trailer in the drop lot and get my empty trailer and head back to the shipper. As I get closer to town, you are at the point where headlights are needed in places as the sun is getting really close to the horizon. After I drop the trailer and get the new one, it's dark and you need your headlights.

Again all is normal and traffic not too bad in town due to the time. This is an enjoyable drive to the receiver as there is a very bright moon out. You can see for miles and you almost need sun glasses, or would that be moon glasses? Its been a long time since I have seen a moon this bright. For me, this brightness is because the heavens are rejoicing with the arrival of my friend joining his dad and my dad. Sure wasn't this bright last night.

I like this type of night driving as its much safer for seeing. I really do not like night driving in a truck or my personal vehicle, but this time its ok. I don't like the idea of only seeing where the headlights let you see because it's not much distance for any vehicle. Its even worse in bad weather. I drive slower at night too. Always have. Need to compensate for the lack of visibility we are used to in the daytime. I arrive at the receiver safely and check in again. I go to the lot and drop the trailer and get my empty. Soon I am heading back home.

About halfway back is when I became tired and I did what we all do to stay awake. There are moments you are sleepy and moments when you are wide awake. When I entered town with all the lights, the sleepiness left me and I made it safely to the shipper where I dropped the trailer in the lot and parked the truck for the night. It is 2 hours past my bedtime and soon I will be home and will get a good nights sleep.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
by Brett Aquila

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