I can’t say if the accident rate for big trucks is the same as for cars, but I do know when you’re piloting something that’s 75 feet long, hitting things, or going where you’re not supposed to happens. I don’t have a hunge number of accident or damage photos, because generally when I saw other trucks getting damaged, or in a ditch, I was driving. Whipping out a phone then isn’t a nice time. And to be fair, often I was in shitty conditions, so a phone in hand is a bad, bad idea.
That being said, I have come across a few pictures of damage that might be interesting. None of these are damage I was involved in. They were all in my old yard, before my company was absorbed, and yes, I did call and check on all the damage, or report it if necessary.
I’ve amassed a collection of photos of stuff from traveling all over the United States, and I though I may as well share some photos now and again. It’ll break up the monotony of books, right?
Pet and I were in Pennsylvania, at a truck stop, and we didn’t want to eat there. There was King’s across the street, which is not a restaurant we have out here. So we went, had a good lunch, and discovered these guys. They’re called frownies, and that day all our loads were screwed up, so we bought a container. I’ve always wanted to stop and see these dinos, out in Cabezon, but we’d usually go through too late or early to stop. One night we ate at the casino down the road, and decided to hit up the dinos before we went into east, towards Missouri.
So Pet and I are driving through New Mexico, and we pass a pickup hauling a piece of farm equipment. It’s probably twice as high as the pickup, and at least as long, but the pickup’s trundling right along with it.
Then Pet speaks up. “I saw the most incredible thing today. There was this pickup hauling with this trailer, maybe half as long as our cab.”
“So like an eight foot trailer?”
“Maybe six feet. And it was hauling a telephone pole.”
Why have I been up almost 36 hours? Well, as of last night anyway? Our air conditioning went out Thursday night.
In 85 degree weather.
I’m driving along, and it’s hot, muggy air. So I do what I can to cool down the cab: bring in cool air from outside without the fan, and crack the windows. This, of course, wakes up poor Pet. Pet is unable to sleep. This makes Pet grumpy. By the time Pet is up, and the truck is too warm, it’s Friday morning.
We go, make our delivery, and thankfully, there’d been a small rainstorm just before we got into town. So we were able to sleep for about an hour at our delivery without it getting too hot.
I often say that Alberta is the truck from Hell. Sadly, I am not joking most of the time. Within three days of being assigned to her, the engine control module failed. We missed my Nonny’s 80th birthday party because we had to have an EGR cooler replaced in Gillette, Wyoming. Less than a week later, we had another EGR cooler replaced. Two weeks after that, the turbo blew up. And less than 2 weeks ago, we had to have the EGR cooler replaced.
Want to see what my EGR cooler looks like today?
See all that black crap that’s on the red? That’s exhaust. It wasn’t there last Wednesday. I noticed it Friday, but since we were already en route to Salt Lake (see story below), I didn’t want to be waylaid.
Sometimes I encounter things on the road that are too funny to pass up. Remember the forklift? This is funny like that, although it doesn’t involve a lane closure.
I’d just parked for the night, and decided to run in and pee before I dug out my laptop to goof off. When I ducked in the restroom, there were two women having a conversation, as women often do. Guys, I know ya’ll don’t talk while you’re on the shitter, but for women, it’s not unusual to continue the conversation you were having before you walked into the bathroom. At least, judging by the number of women I’ve seen do it, anyway.
So I’m in a stall, listening to them babble on. There’s talk about a fingernail getting ready to fall off, and whether the soap in the bathroom smells good or poopy, and then they mention the scale. Many truckstop bathrooms have scales, at least in the women’s. I don’t visit the men’s restroom.
There’s a Travel Centers of America truckstop in Wyoming with an unusual addition: geese! There’s a gaggle of about a dozen geese that have been there about as long as I can remember. They seem to be your normal garden variety geese, mostly white ones, with a couple brown spotty ones thrown in They’re also the biggest geese I’ve ever seen. Apparently truckstops help more than truckers grow an extra size or two. Their heads easily come up to my hips, and they’re the size of beach balls. They’re also completely tame, and totally nonplussed by the 40 ton trucks whizzing through the truck stop. I’ve seen them stop more than one truck while they waddle across the fuel islands on their trip from the building to the shop.
I always wanted to feed them, but Pet and I don’t usually keep bread products in the truck. But today was a different story. Today, I had most of a loaf of bread that had gone stale. And the geese were about 100 feet from where we parked. So, out I hopped, with half the bread in my hands.
When I was a kid, I told my grandparents I wanted to be a truck driver when I grew up. They told me I didn’t want to do that. Then I said I wanted to be a teacher. They’re both retired teachers, and told me I didn’t want to do that either.
Guess what I’d kind of like to do when I grow up and stop driving?
I didn’t really set out after college to become a truck driver. I’d gone to a four year, technical college in Oregon, and while I didn’t graduate with a bachelor’s degree, I did at least graduate with a pair of associate’s degrees. Then I moved to northern Idaho. Lovely place, but a bad place for someone with a computer engineering background to move.
Have you ever seen those National Guard commercials, w here the attractive young 20 somethings go “Need experience to get the career you want? But, no one will hire you without experience?” That was me. Not only did I lack an official bachelor’s degree, but I also was a crap computer engineer, and didn’t have any experience. So, even if north Idaho/eastern Washington was hiring computer engineers, I wasn’t going to be interviewed.
We were in Wyoming a last weeks ago, and I was picking up a sandwich for the two of us at Subway. We usually get a footlong and share it, and I was making the order while Pet went to pick up some bottled water. Even though we’re remarkable similar in our food choices, this sandwich (tuna) required many specifics. Cheese on my side, none on hers, and sure, I’ll try the mustard. Our Sandwich Picasso remarks “So, she’s the picky sister.”
Pet and I were crossing Oregon today, on our way home. We’re coming down a hill, and we see one of those DOT trucks with the —> get over arrows. So, we stay in the right lane.
Then, we see a second one of those DOT trucks, with the >>> arrow. So, we keep staying in the right lane. The truck in front of us slows down, allowing us to see a flatbed tow truck just beyond the second DOT truck. We can’t see what it’s winching onto the platform though.
By the time we pass it, we’re doing about 30mph, and get an excellent view of what they’re winching onto the flatbed tow truck: a forklift, laid over on it’s side.