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Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Truck Stops Here

As some of you may remember, my "J.O.B." is working for a national retailer specializing in the trucking industry. Basically, to cut to the chase, I manage a few stores and we sling cell phones and satellite radio to truck drivers. We do this all day long, until the late hours of the night, 7 days a week, 361 days of the year.

There are many thing that I really love about my job, and some I could live without. For one, there are days when my cell phones (yes, I have more than one by necessity) rings constantly from 6am through to 1am. Also, the pay grades are not adapted regionally, so while I am making 40% of what I should be, others are living high on the hog because their cost of living is much less than in Portland, Oregon.

One thing that I really enjoy is the colorful people I meet. I get to see and talk to folks from all walks of life, and from all states. It's interesting to me to hear their stories, and see how people behave differently geographically.

Each year, there are more than 300,000 new truck drivers on the roads. In the old days, to become a truck driver, you had to have an "in". A seasoned driver would take you under his wing and show you the ropes old school style. In 6 months, maybe you would be ready to hit the road safely on your own.

Today, many trucking companies run their own schools. After two weeks of training, you get plopped into a truck with another driver who is chosen for you. (Think two gold fish in a bowl who don't get along.) The newbie gets cut rate wages during this time, slightly increased for the first year, and the trainer gets a little bit more. Subsequently, the biggest gripe from old school truck drivers is that these schools unleash students that are dangerous on the road, and improperly trained. For instance, if you train during the summer, how will you know the proper and safe way to drive in the ice and snow?

The long back portion of a truck is referred to as a trailer. These must be balanced with the axles in different places, depending on the load the trailer is carrying. I have seen newbies push their axles all the way to the middle while carrying heavy equipment. It looked something like a teeter-totter. Sure enough, the first turn, the whole load tipped the trailer on its side.

The other day, a truck ran into a barrier 10' in on the side walk trying to make a turn that was not too harsh. The bright shiny new truck his company provided for him was missing the front quarter panel, was dented and pretty scrapped up. It was his second week on his own and he was pulling into a truck stop with wide lanes to accommodate trucks.

I think all truck companies should hire an Astrologer. Dan Ciuboda posted an interesting article on Living Astrology.

  • Astrology for Drivers

  • Why not? Insurance companies are doing it!

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    At 7:40 AM, Anonymous elsa said...

    Check this news today on your topic:

    At 3:38 PM, Blogger Velvet Blade said...

    Wow! Finally! I wonder how many US companies will use it as a another way to charge folks more, though.

    Thanks for the info and sending the link!

    At 8:47 PM, Blogger Seo Link Master said...

    Fuel is the adrenaline of any car, truck or engine. Thus, it is every vehicle owner's wish to enhance the fuel of their car and save more of it as well. With this in mind, the most innovative fuel-saving tool in the automotive industry was conceptualized and created: the Tornado Fuel saver. An automotive air channeling tool that creates a swirling air motion, the Tornado Fuel Saver allows the air to move in a faster and more efficient way by whirling air around corners and bends. Hence, more fuel is saved.


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