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Travels of a Trucker I Am Not Perfect

February 2, 2012

It has been widely rumored that I am the perfect truck driver. A man’s man trucker, the best in the driving world. Maybe these all exist in my own mind, but certainly I can say that in no way am I perfect. Far be it is the case. Over the years I have made my mistakes as plenty of drivers have done before me and plenty of drivers are doing now or plenty of drivers will do in the future. Let’s face the facts. We are all human and we all make mistakes. As a matter of fact, if a driver told me he has never once made a mistake as a driver I would call BS on it in a heartbeat. We all make mistakes and we have all had our fair share of blunders. It is those who learn from their mistakes who can move graciously forward in the world of trucking and be proud to call themselves truckers.

So what kind of mistakes have I made as a driver…well lots of em. So let’s get started with my little list of over the years blunders and 3,2,1 roll tape…

1.) Smacking a Lamp Post in a Liquor Store Parking Lot.

No I wasn’t drunk. I was delivering a load of ice and I was turning in a circle in the parking lot. The only problem was I had to avoid a car on my turn and it was on my right hand side and I was turning in a left hand circle. I heard a big crunch, felt the bang as the side of the truck hit the lamp post and just like in a slow motion movie I watched a 40 foot lamp post fall down. Yes it was spectacular to say the least watching it come falling down and crashing into the parking lot. Was I embarrassed…most certainly!! I was rather lucky that there were no other cars in the parking lot on that side and thus I narrowly avoided a huge claim. Damage cost was approximately $6000.

2.) Putting the rear wheels of the Trailer into the ditch on a turn

I was out in Coaldale when this little blunder occurred. I had a full load of McCain’s fries destined for overseas shipment and I had to go out on the scale on the left side of a guardhouse. The main road was directly in front of me and then I had to swing really wide and come back in to get a trailer seal and paperwork once the weight was correct. The only problem was I forgot about the big v shaped ditch that I had to swing wide for and of course when I went to turn back into the McCain’s shipping area my trailer had not turned wide enough and the right side of my trailer wheels got caught in the ditch and I was stuck there with a full load of fries. I certainly felt one fry short of a full meal deal on this event since not only did I have to wait for a Tow Truck to pull me out, I also had the priviledge of sitting there during a shift change with a hundred employees gawking at the idiot who couldn’t turn his trailer wide enough. Lucky me!

3.) Sorry I didn’t see you coming at me!

Sitting on a T Intersection in the middle of damn near nowhere, it was like rush hour. I just couldn’t catch a break at getting out onto the main road. Everytime I had the opportunity some little four wheeler would come flying around the corner. So I went for a push and nosed my truck in and kept on going. I started turning my trailer and a four wheeler stopped except he didn’t stop and he kept going closer as I was trying to turn my trailer. The front of his car was sideswiped by my trailer. I actually blamed him and said, how can you not see 75 feet of truck coming out??? Well in the end of course it was my fault, but I still shake my head that he would just keep on coming and allow me to hit him. It was a minor scrape, a broken head lamp on his vehicle and I was more angry than anything.

4.) The Banks being robbed!!

This was a real doozy! I was working for H & R at the time and I had a big shack long nosed Kenworth. Turning radiuses on this truck sucked big time. I needed to take every corner wide. I had to pick up a load at Molson’s Brewery down near Granville Island and picking it up was not a problem. It was the coming back. Every corner sucks. So I chose to turn the corner at Broadway and Oak Street. The corner is very narrow. There is one lane going up a hill and on the corner there is a big light standard which one would never be able to knock down if life depended on it. I mean they must have pile driven these monsters 40 feet into the ground for the impact they suffered. As I lined up wide to take the corner, I had traffic coming down the hill and thus my far reaching corner turn was short lived. I tried to pull it back into my lane and of course the trailer had not swung wide enough and I clipped the rear right axle on this monster lamp standard. Well it ripped the rear axle off, blew the tires which sounded like a gun going off, set off the bank alarm on the corner and damn near gave the pedestrians waiting for the bus  heart attacks!

5.) You wanna piss me off you can pick up your freight off the street!!

I was so livid at this receiver. I lined up for a door and backed in all nice and he tells me I have to move!! I was choked at having waited for over an hour only to be told I had to move. Moving was not the problem. I forgot I had a roller trailer and all my freight was on rollers! I gunned the truck forward and saw the freight rolling out the back door!!! And roll did it ever, landing in a big pile in front of his bay door. Needless to say, I helped him put it back in and it was damaged so I sheepishly returned truck and trailer and walked away from this job while my pride was still intact.

6.) Damn Ice Scream!

I was working for a high paced delivery company. The way they worked was mornings were rush, rush. Pick up freight so that it could be cross docked and shipped up to Whistler for same day delivery. I had to run over to Versacold and pick up a load of Ice Cream and I dis use a load bar. Except the damn ice cream was so slippery and frosty that it slipped sideways and came crashing down. Needless to say at the next stop here I was trying to stack Ice Cream back and they were yelling at me to get back ASAP that they would fix it at the warehouse. Well by the time I got back to the warehouse everyone was waiting and they of course were in shock at the disaster and about 6 guys were stacking the ice cream buckets back into position. I was ashamed at this…partially because I hate rushing around and partially because I was embarrassed and insulted that they were of course laughing at me and not with me. Chalk another one up to walking away from a job.

7.) It’s a little dusty here!

Here’s a good one. I was hauling Super B loads of various tile from BC to Ontario for auctions from King of Floors. Some of my load had shifted because the tile boxes had gotten a little wet from the bottom. I was driving along and I could see the occasional poof of white smoke and I thought that was mighty odd. So I started watching a little closer and wouldn’t you know it, I had a pallet of Ceramic Tiles that had shifted and the boxes had started opening up allowing the Ceramic tile to fall between my Curtain tops and as I was driving it was falling to the road shattering into dust. I could see the occasional car behind me swerve to avoid the dusty nightmare following behind me. By the time I got to the Receiver I had lost a few boxes of Tile in a dust storm and in the process it had bent my aluminum retaining brackets which held the trailer together so I had to get that repaired as well.

Well there you have it, some of my best bloopers to date over the years. Thanks for reading Travels of a Trucker. If you like what you read, please stop by and sign up by email. You can also follow me with Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/truckerofbc or if you’d like you can follow me on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Travels-of-a-Trucker/256861804368734

If you are a sponsor I am always looking to test and try out new products designed for men and trucks. I would also like sponsors for giveaways. You can reach me at rogerdsims2002@yahoo.ca

Thanks

Trucker.

Stay tuned for my next blog when I announce the winner of the $50 Zagg.com E-Gift Card. I will also have a new Contest for a $50 Elephoto.ca Giftcard.

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