Truck Drivers Were The Honorable Knights Of This Country's Highways, WHAT HAPPENED?

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Jerry Escondido's Comment
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Truckers used to be the protective Knights of my the USA's Highways. When I was younger, I really believed the stories in the TV series, "MOVIN' ON". Will & Sonny were real life heros to a 12 year old boy, me. Now, even I knew, "BJ AND THE BEAR", was just a silly TV show. Right up here with "HOGAN'S HEROS". Guess I'm Dating myself a little.

SO, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

I have been a Professional Trucker from 1979 until now, except for a 7 year hitch serving my country in the US Navy. I served on board the USS Merrill (DD976), my, Spruance Class Destroyer. Just typing that last sentence gave me goose bumps. How many Squids are on the road today, I wonder? I'm sorry, got distracted. Glory Days, and all, you know.

Before I start *****ing about the Honor and Selfless Dedication, that is truly lacking in today's Truck Drivers, I'll give you a little of my own history. I earned my Class A after graduating High school in 1979. No, I did not attend the "Wally Thor, Truck Master School of Trucking".

I was taught how to be a Professional Trucker by an old school, log truck driver, by the name of Junior MacDonald. I was 18 and he was (??) 60-65-70. NOTICE that I said, "Professional Trucker", not truck driver, not trucker, not driver. I say this because Junior told me, the first time I got in the truck with him, that he would teach me to be a "Professional Trucker" if I wanted. He said a MONKEY could be trained to be a truck driver, trucker, driver, but only a truly honorable man/woman could become a "Professional Trucker".

At first, I thought it sounded kind of corny, like you are probably thinking right now. But after sharing the cab of a Kenworth with him for 2 months, I came to understand what he meant. He not only taught me how to drive a truck without wrecking it, but he also taught me what it meant to be a "Professional Trucker", and the responsibilities that come with that title. Now you have some idea of how I view what I do for a living. Here are just a few examples of what I mean:

First one. If I am driving down the road and I see a motorist, on the shoulder, in the middle of nowhere, broke down, I will pull over and offer assistance. I don't care if it will make me 15 minutes late for that next delivery. I won't just fly by if they are alone.

Second one. If I see some young girl, 14-18 years old, walking alone, late at night down some dark road, I will pull over and offer her a safe ride. I won't judge why she is out there, alone , at night. I have a 20 year old daughter that I love more than life itself. She has always made me proud. She is not perfect, but always loved by me. I would want someone to try and help her if she was ever on her own, late at night, on some dark road. And again, I don't care if it would make me 15-20-30 minutes late to my delivery. I hope you are beginning to see what I am trying to share. PEOPLE will always be more important than freight.

I sleep so very well every night and never lose a bit of rest. You must understand, my belief is than there is a Karma, a Force, a whatever(?) you want to call it and the rules are simple. As long as I can be Honorable, Kind, Caring, Helpful, Compassionate, and love my country, Honestly in my heart, then life is good. When you give goodness of yourself, you shall receive goodness in return.

Now to the haters out there, I am not some long hair, commie, homeless, drug addict. I am not what you might call a "touchy feely" sort of guy. I am a man without doubt and I like being a man. I love women. ALL Women. There ain't no such thing as a bad woman, some are just a little better than the others. I love all of my family members, even the dumb ass ones that never learn. I have seen much of the world outside of the USA and I can say, without a doubt, I love the United States of America and our way of life above all others. So let's all get back to the days when we, as Professional Truckers, were the Knights that protected the Highways of my country.

I welcome your comments and stories.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Cory B.'s Comment
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Former Navy here. About to start my career driving. I served onboard USS Valley Forge CG-50.

Kieran L.'s Comment
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Much respect to you sir, but I can't figure out what your point is in this post... are you saying truckers are no longer helpful or friendly? I'm not sure what to make of everything you said, it seems to go in a lot of different unrelated directions. confused.gif

C. S.'s Comment
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If I see some young girl, 14-18 years old, walking alone, late at night down some dark road, I will pull over and offer her a safe ride.

As a woman who has been in that situation a few times in the past, I would politely decline your offer. Additionally, many drivers (myself included) can't give people rides, no matter how short, at risk of getting fired (or worse).

Much respect to you sir, but I can't figure out what your point is in this post... are you saying truckers are no longer helpful or friendly? I'm not sure what to make of everything you said, it seems to go in a lot of different unrelated directions.

My thoughts exactly.

G-Town's Comment
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Jerry, Before the end of the day you will likely hear from Old School, Brett, Errol, Dragon, Daniel and a host of others.

I don't have time at the moment to write an appropriate response to this. I will however say this, there is a growing core of dedicated "professionals" contributing to this forum with the intent of providing truthful and factual information to students, trainers, and people considering trucking as a profession. They do it in what little free time we have.

Although you likely had good and noble intentions your post came across rather self righteous and pompous. I respect your experience, I do.

You asked what happened? I think the answer lies within your post. You are in a great position to gain respect with this group by using your experience to help guide the next generation of drivers. But like so many in our age bracket, it's far too easy to complain and reminisce than attempt to make a positive difference. It's your call, old crotchety trucker or wise and respected teacher? Let us know.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Second Chance's Comment
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I think he is trying to say, where did the unsung heroes go that watch out for our fine citizens of the roadway? It is true, there is a different breed of drivers out there today, and I am sure company policy has a lot to do with that. I still get annoyed when you let a truck over in a tight spot and they don't even give you the flash. Everyone used to do that, not today. A lot of people have stick up their butt and forgot common courtesy.

I am thinking he is lending to that, not in particular, but honorable, and helpful drivers, where'd they all go?

I don't have an opinion either way. No I don't know what I am talking about. Got milk?

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Hey Jerry!!!! I have to agree, it's not like it used to be but a lot of things have changed too. Most companies won't allow an unauthorized passenger, most are on e logs and can't afford lost time and the third is safety. There's to many people out there setting up good Samaritans to rob them which totally sucks. Also, just about everyone has a cell phone nowadays and a breakdown isn't as much of an issue as it used to be. I do however agree about professionalism and respect, people don't grow up with respect and discipline enough anymore. That being said, if I see a driver on the shoulder, I'll shout out on the radio to make sure they're ok, sometimes they respond, sometimes they don't.

Jerry Escondido's Comment
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OK. I suppose

Jerry Escondido's Comment
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After I woke up this morning, I reread what I had written. Some of you were right-on, correct. I couldn't even figure out exactly what it was that I had been trying to say. I think I sort of combined 4 or 5 subjects into one long, long, confusing post. Trust me, by the time I finished reading what I had written, I was sleepy, my head hurt, and I did not get my own point.

Please forgive me my lack of experience, posting on forums, this was the first time I ever wrote a post. Normally I just read and keep my mouth shut. I promise to do better sticking to one thought from here on.

With that said, Here Is what I crammed all together:

1.) The first topic I addressed was "the good old days" of my youth. I am now 54 and things just seemed simpler way back when. Where did the time go?

2.) The second topic I wanted to touch upon was that of Driver Academies of today. I suppose they are the most efficient way of putting out book smart Truck Drivers, but not Professional Truckers. I have run into many of the new breed of driver that has all the smarts a school could teachWhat ever happened to the

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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You're doing just fine brother, no worries. I get what you're saying though and things have definitely changed, some things for the better and some not. Growing up military and with a father who was strict but very much based on honor and respect, I totally agree with you. It's a shame too and it's not just the trucking industry but society as a whole.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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