George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Getting loaded with the laypeople

| January 16, 2013

When I’m home and have an opportunity to talk to nontrucking people (i.e., our friends and family), we always inevitably end up talking about being on the road. I actually started writing the blog for my nontrucking peeps when I went out for the first time, so I could let my Momma know where I was and leave a series of coded messages for the FBI (in case I was abducted by aliens and never heard from again).

Our group of nontrucking folks are now the best educated regular consumers out there when it comes to how their goods get to where they’re bought and coveted by teenagers. I’d like to think most of them drive better on the highways and have a little more respect for the fact that a fully loaded trailer can’t stop near as quick as their Ford Fiesta and get out of the damn way, and I bet they don’t pass in the right-hand lanes. I’d like for everyone to have to ride with 80,000 pounds wrapped around their vital organs and traveling at a high rate of speed with idiots darting in and out of traffic around them, just once. I’m sure our friends would like for me to stop going on tangents (especially when I have a couple of glasses of wine in me) about how “thish very bottle was probably on sheven trucks before it made it to thish table! That’s sheven human beings who had to rishk their lives to bring us thish wine! Are you kidding me? Truckers are GODS! They bring ush wine!”

Inevitably, I always manage to tell them something they just absolutely cannot believe. My friends and family thought I was a complete liar when I told them truckers are legally responsible for the weight and bearing of the loads, but have no control over how or who loads them. They found it unfathomable that George goes and picks a trailer up and has to take it away from the place it was loaded, pay to scale it, monkey with the whatevers until it’s sitting right on the tires and take a chance on driving it around sharp corners and up and down mountains. When I told them he sometimes has to take the load back and have it re-worked, they asked, “Does he get paid for that?” Uh. Hell no. When I tell them the nearest scale is sometimes 30 miles from the pickup, they absolutely can’t believe it. They can’t believe it because it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous, and if you think my tangents about how wine gets to us are awful, you should hear me go on about places being allowed to send gigantically huge amounts of weight out of the yard without being required to have a scale on premises.

Hopefully, the people I pass these things on to pass them on to someone else. I think if the general public had a better idea of what actually goes on in getting their Oreos to the Kroger, they might just reconsider cutting that truck off in traffic. (Ha! That’s probably the funniest thing I’ve ever written, but we can always hope.)

  • Smart Trucking

    Wendy,

    The general public knows very little about the trucker, just what the media tells them, which is not usually anything positive. We hear about truck wrecks, and little else.

    4 wheelers are not trained in their driver training, on how to share the road with big trucks. They should be informed that big rigs, can’t just ‘slam on the brakes’, like a car…. and there’s other things, too numerous to mention that most folks just don’t know about big trucks.

    You also mentioned about waiting time, responsibilities and liablities of the trucker too, and not being paid for many of the duties truckers are expected to do. Not many people would put up with that, in their own line of work, I’ll bet.

    The general public needs to be better educated about big rigs, but the media is certainly not the right source to convey the message about the industry.

    Thanks for shedding some light on this important issue.

  • Maxine Holister

    I have learned a lot watching trucker cams and reading your column.

    Thank you

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    You are RIGHT it is a Rip Off. Driver will NOT receive a Penny for time spent at the Shipper..getting this trailer Overloaded…then NO MONEY for driving of to wherever the SCALE might be…NO MONEY to PAY the people who WEIGH this Overweight trailer(Driver PAYS and Prays for reimbursement on payday)…if this loaded trailer IS overweight which many time IS..he will RETURN to the shipper and get the load re-distributed and go BACK to the SCALE again…..ALL this time AND driving is FREE..the DRIVER does it ALL for absolutely NOTHING….if he has an accident while driving he mAY go to JAIL…he may LOSE his JOB..endless problems…and he MUST do all this for FREE. This is standard in the industry and the reason Major Corporations get RICH in trucking AND shipping….the CHUMP is working for FREE! LOL.

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