Last night, a completely unsolicited email came in from a reader who "works at a big commercial trucking company" and wanted to share a particularly ridiculous trucker mishap story. "Did I want to share it with the readers?" Of course!
Our storyteller, "they-will-know-my-velocity," swears to the tale's truth. I'm inclined to believe him, and either way it's pretty damn funny.
Here's the message that came in. Unabridged but broken up, punctuated, and Formatted To Fit Your Screen.
Now anyone with a relation to the industry knows some of the stories. Lonely driver, dark road, 40,000lb. paper load shifts and demolishes everything from the rear of the trailer forward, y'know, the usual. The new American Cowboys.
It can be very frustrating to deal with some of the trainee drivers that don't even have a road map. The best drivers hardly ever call us, They schedule their maintenance and make money. The bad ones end up shitting on their trainer's mattress as an act of defiance and get a job anyway.
Note: I'm not sure what the hell he means by "shitting on a trainer's mattress," but it made me giggle. Thoughts on interpretation?
The job has presented me with a lot of odd problems to solve. From a driver who didn't realize that he could position his own mirror by hand if the mirror motor didn't work (that was today) to dealing with the entire truck & trailer burning to the ground. (Happens more than you'd think).
Today also presented a situation I wish I haven't seen before. As the driver's main job is to go from point to point, delivering freight on time to specific locations on a map, I'm always surprised by the number of drivers I talk to that have no idea where they are.
Driver is picking up a load north of Denver. He is to go to Kansas with it.
As most of you already know, he would go East. Any fucking highway you like, as long as you're going East, you're not wrong yet.
He calls my coworker and says he's stuck. Can't turn around, not really sure what road he's on but it's a dirt one. Coworker pulls his GPS coordinates and...
He went here:
Zoom out a bit...'cause that doesn't tell us anything. WTF is this guy?
Um. Zoom out more.
The problem: No, he doesn't own a map.
Oh, there's Denver.
Looking at his current location and where he left from, the only thing I can assume is that he turned West instead of East. Now, our trucks have navigation equipped, but as we all know this is sometimes faulty (read - sends you to the wrong coastline) and we encourage our driver's to plan their route and use a map to do it with.
The fix - Fukt.
OK. So, he turned West down Hwy 34, probably, which was the right road if he was going East. He then followed that for probably more than 5 hours, since a 76,000lb truck and trailer isn't really great at mountains. 175 or more miles he went, eventually finding a dirt fucking road that was climbing in altitude and kept following it. He almost got to Summit Lake, the highest lake in Colorado and the 13th highest in the nation.
How he got on this Forest Rd 60, I have no idea, but I assume at some point he realized how "fukt" he was and kept going, hoping he would find a turn around before Salt Lake City. Instead of calling and asking for help before he got further from Christian territory, he only called when he got stuck in soft dirt. After almost climbing a mountain.
He still didn't know where he was. We sent a wrecker who was very amused and wished him godspeed.
Instead of doing this...
He went to the red circle.
That one's gonna cost...
And this is only the latest in some of the forehead smacking moments I've either dealt with or heard of. From driver's asking when their carburetor needs to be rebuilt or spark plugs changed (diesel, remember) to a guy who got stuck on a beach in Keansburg, NJ at night. (I told him I hoped the tide wasn't coming in before I hung up to call a wrecker) the job has proven to be one full of amusing and challenging situations.
But this one was memorable.
Everything here either happened to me or to someone who was sitting next to me. I give my solemn vow that these stories, as wild of some truck driver's stories are, are true.
Story sent in by they-will-know-my-velocity. Image: Todd McCann/Flickr. (Photograph is for illustrative purposes only, that guy is not related to the story. As far as we know).