A Rare Event

Topic 27503 | Page 1

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Brandon Kitts's Comment
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So I pull into a Pilot in Chilicothe OH tonight. The truck parking is tight with only one way in and out. The street lamps dont work. So myself and a few others are forced to blindside back. The rare thing was all of us helping each other back. There was about four of us all different races and nationalities helping each other out. From what I hear that was the norm in the day but is now rare.

Bill R.'s Comment
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There was about four of us all different races and nationalities helping each other out. From what I hear that was the norm in the day but is now rare.

Way to go.thank-you.gif
No time like the present to start a new trend. If we all did more of this, wouldn't be nearly as much trouble in the world...IMHO.
Bill

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations Brandon! Most of the time we are helpful to each other out here. There's always a few low down individuals out here who are too jaded to be helpful, but many times I've seen other drivers more than willing to help each other out.

I remember one night pulling into the Pilot at Milford, Connecticut. It was late and I didn't expect to find any parking spots available. To my surprise, one opened up just as I was getting near it. Getting in the spot was challenging due to trucks parked in random areas making the angles tighter than it should have been.

As soon as I set up to back in, a young fellow three or four trucks down jumped out of his cab and started guiding me in. Now, personally I don't like having a random spotter like that, but it was still a kind gesture. I mostly ignored his arm waving and got myself in rather smoothly.

As soon as I set my air brakes I noticed him walking up to my open window. He said, "I can see you didn't need me, but I just wanted to say that looked awesome! I hope one day to be able to do that like you." We visited for a few minutes and I both thanked him and tried to encourage him to hang tough and keep being helpful like that. Later that evening my wife told me, "You made that young man's day today." "How so," I asked. Her reply was, "You treated him as your equal, your fellow driver. You didn't treat him as a rookie."

Later I realized we had each shown a kind gesture to each other without being asked. He volunteered to guide me into a spot, and I volunteered to visit with him. Neither of us necessarily needed each other's gesture but we still were willing to do what we did. That willingness to help or be kind to each other can sometimes make a huge difference in a truck driver's day.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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There was a lot more camaraderie back in the day because there was a need for it. You didn't have cell phones, Internet, GPS, highly reliable equipment, and a million other modern-day tools to help us get through everyday life.

If you look back throughout history you'll see that hardship is what brings people together. People need each other to get by. When times are good people tend to become selfish and fight for all they can get for themselves. It's a privilege you have in prosperous times with better technology.

The one thing we desperately need is to raise the level of professionalism in the industry. Most things have improved drastically over the years in trucking. The equipment is better, the technology is fantastic, the drug testing is much better, the electronic logs have brought things more in line, and better enforcement overall has helped in many ways.

The one thing that has not improved is the reputation of truck drivers themselves or the average person's opinion about the desirability of a career as a truck driver. We know that trucking is a fantastic career in so many ways for the right person. It's a truly special and unique career. But there are still way too many smelly, dirty, cursing, obnoxious jerks in flip flops making the rest of us look bad. One of the biggest problems is the quality of some of the trainers they're using. They're killing themselves and this industry by running off solid recruits with outrageous sociopaths. These recruits immediately get out of trucking and run straight to YouTube.

This year I will be starting several campaigns to raise awareness of these issues and to see if we can start some movements to make improvements that benefit us all. You'll be hearing about them within the next month or two.

I'd love to see more camaraderie and a higher level of professionalism amongst drivers. I'd also love to see drivers and office personnel better understand each other, build stronger relationships, and work better as a team. I'd also like to increase our efforts to educate drivers about the benefits of sticking with one company for several years instead of jumping ship every time the wind changes direction. And, of course, we have to find a way to get better quality trainers out there. Sure, there are plenty of good ones, but as we know it's those bad apples that make a big impact.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

I’d like to add to the examples of camaraderie found here:

Sunday afternoon, around 3 PM in Rosemount, MN, I was circling a small-ish Pilot parking lot, which to my surprise was completely full. Even the reserved spots had all been taken. On my second pass around the lot, I heard someone on the CB call out to me, asking if I needed to park. It was a Swift driver who was about to leave, and was letting me know so I could have his spot. I keep a bag of bite-size Snickers bars handy, usually for the contacts I meet at my shippers, consignees, and tank washes (everyone who helps me out in my job), so was happy to thank him with my gratitude and some candy. I was most grateful, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax until I got safely parked.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Okay Pete, I just checked the GPS tracker to see if you were close by. I'd be glad to help you out with something. Unfortunately you're 1,025 miles away! Hopefully, whenever we do meet up, you'll remember that I do enjoy a Snickers bar when offered one for free!

One of these days our paths will cross.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

“A” Snickers bar?!? No sir... I’d part with at least two for you; I think we’re all in agreement you’ve earned it!

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