Everything you consume rides in a truck sometimes. -T Swaim
About eleven years ago we stopped driving a big truck for a living but until this year we have been licensed to drive anything in any combination over the American highways carrying anything for hire. SWMBO gave hers up as well this year. Scares me to think about it. However there were many adventures, many happy surprises and some terrible disappointments.
The disappointments have to do with Texas and Louisiana law enforcement mostly and I don't want to remember them so they will not be here. I will tell you that they fabricate violations (lie) and they do it a lot. There is no recourse.
This truck had a Cummings engine. It was our experience that big displacement Cummings have a strange vibration that puts our hands to sleep.
SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) always wanted to drive a big truck so when we came back from living in Mexico we took that trade up. After the schooling and apprenticeship we went at it in earnest taking a job in Louisiana because in a moment of insanity we had moved to this paradise(?) and I liked the color of the trucks (special order Corvette yellow).
We did not fit the image of truck driver. I am not very big, I don't wear a ball cap or stetson, I drive bare footed or in flip flops and I wear aloha shirts. She is slim, wears feminine clothing, wears the same kind of footwear but drives in house shoes or barefoot, had blond hair and does not wear a bra. Neither of us wore underwear. We believe in the concept of being our brothers keeper. Damned hippies.
She took abuse on the CB in the south because there were a few manly men, driving pickup trucks mostly, that resented the fact that a 100 pound women could take the place of a 300 pound grit gut. She could and did. I stuck her with the handle of "Mad Dog" (her initials backward) on the CB. No one understood because they had not seen that side of her. Believe me it was a name she earned. She never used that handle but it was definitely hers. She could drive longer without peeing than anyone I've ever seen. I have to pee a lot and I usually wake up before I'm in the ditch.
We hauled a variety of loads during the seven years we drove in the 48 state (we did not drive in the foreign countrys of Alaska and Hawaii as there is no bridge to Hawaii and Alaska might as well have been on the moon), fought in all of them and made love in a 18 wheeler in all of them .
We hauled everything. We once hauled alligators from Sebring, Florida to Houma, Louisiana because Houma had a shortage of them. We, on several occasions, had the opportunity to tell the agriculture inspectors in-route that we did not have time for their business as we were carrying a "hot load". After inspecting our papers and discovering that we had a load of Crystal hot sauce from New Orleans or Tobasco from Avery Island laughed and waved us on.
Grandson checking out the alligators
We hauled paper, sometimes toilet and sometime blueprint or newsprint, we hauled cane sugar, cane syrup, dried beans, chicken, oysters, catfish, boudin, candy and ants. The ants did not pay well since they would stop you in Arizona and send you back to New Mexico to fumigate your truck. Arizona doesn't know that they already have ants. Neither does California. The worst attack of fire ants I have ever experienced was in California. New Mexico is making a tidy profit killing ants. I wonder if they split it with Arizona.
That was just the stuff we hauled to Arizona and California. We hauled produce back to Louisiana and sometimes other southern states. I am quite familiar with Florida both in delivering produce from California and picking up produce to deliver to California. Crazy, No?
The best was the time we took a delivery from ROADRUNNER Trucking. We went to the ACME warehouse in Chicago and picked up a load of assorted hardware, poisons and edibles. In that load was a pallet of ANVILS. The delivery was to Albuquerque, New Mexico to a place on COYOTE Street (near as I can recall. Being a Roadrunner cartoon fan I got a lot of entertainment out of reading that load sheet
We drove this portion of the California coast regularly. We had stopped here for a break and lunch. I seem to remember it was thanksgiving but I could be wrong. I often am.
Same parking place looking the other way. I love that coast and I wish I could afford to live there.
This is the other side and the doors are touching. I think this is where I tore the door off someone else's truck trying to leave the dock. They said it happened all the time there. I never went back and if I had I would not back to the dock if there was another truck there. The profit in that business is marginal without being set up for damage.
The Interstate Highway system was built for national defense and the department of defense owns it. If you do not believe that it is only because you did not pay attention when "Bush the first" mobilized to teach them A'rabs a lesson. Loads that were for the war effort deviated from the law for expediency. Some local enforcement types learned the hard way to not delay a load of bombs.
Yes they transported bombs in civilian trucks, even in produce trucks.
The Interstate makes it possible for me to walk out my front door and be in Los Angeles in 36 hours in my car or deliver fresh caught oysters from the boat in Sulfur, Louisiana to a dealer there. Jacksonville, Atlanta or Dallas is only 12 hours without hurrying, ten if you hurry. On my first trip for this company another driver and I delivered a load of produce from the west coast to a town on the east coast (North Carolina somewhere) in under 48 hours.