My truck was 13' 6” and I came down an incline to a bridge marked 12' 6”. I stopped short of the bridge. I decided it would be safer if I went around it on a service road but would have to back up to get there.
So here I am going backwards up the hill as cars are flying by me on both sides. Nothing left in my stomach to throw up so I had to settle for the dry heaves. I get up the hill and get around the bridge and continue on.
After a number of wrong turns and close calls I make it to my deliveries. I want to kill myself. I'm told by my company I have to pick up a load of air freight from JFK airport, which isn't too far away, and head out of the city with it.
I make it to JFK alright and while I'm getting loaded another truck from my company pulls up to load next to me. It was a team of two guys that were both brand new drivers (dispatch at this company were idiots...total morons). I had a couple months experience, they had a couple weeks. They, too, had barf stains on their shirts.
We shared our nightmare stories and looked at our atlases to figure out how to get back out of the city. We had to head west and realized that our luck had finally changed and our nightmare was about to end. We had a straight shot out of the city on the Belt Parkway! Oh thank GOD this ordeal was soon going to be over!
We got our loads and headed to the parkway. It was winter time so it was already dark outside about 6 p.m. Traffic was moving ok but it was insanely busy! Our first clue that something was wrong came when we realized that we were the only trucks on this expressway. Seemed odd but who cares...we just wanted to get out of there.
Second clue that something was wrong came when we realized how low some of the bridges were. At about the third bridge we went under the other driver behind me said he had seen a few sparks come off the top of my trailer as I went under. Oh my god that was close but it was ok. Right after that traffic came to a halt. Rush hour.
The final clue that something was wrong came when I realized the guy in the car next to me was leaning his head out the window trying to get my attention.
I was hoping he was going to tell me what a great job he thought I was doing...and how cool he thought truck drivers were....
......but even though he MAY have been thinking that, it wasn't exactly word for word what he said.
What he actually said was, “This is a parkway and you don't belong here! This isn't for trucks! You're not going to make it under the next bridge, it's too low!”
So naturally I said what anyone would have said in my position –
“It's too low for you to go under!,” he said.
Oh my God I just remembered what they told us in school....my next realization about NYC....parkways are for cars only. Trucks are not allowed there!
Oh my God.
This day was truly the worst day of my trucking life!