Giving thanks: Driver dispatches

| November 28, 2013

Truck in rain on highway

We asked, and you answered. Following find a round-up of readers’ answers to the question What are you thankful for? As for Matt Owens, commenting on our Facebook page, he kept it simple. “I’m thankful for a 650-hp Kenworth T800 with three functional drive axles” to keep his business rolling, he wrote.

Sage words.

And driver David O’Malley wrote in with this well-considered dispatch:

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

I guess I could complain about being unemployed with 20 years’ accident-free experience. As I sit here and e-mail you on my Macbook Pro sitting in my office in my log home on two wooded acres in Southern Massachusetts.

I guess I could whine about how the doc screwed me on my med card because I was one number off on my blood pressure and now I can never get a two-year card again.

I guess I can stomp my feet and make my face turn red now that I need two 1 a.m.-to-5  a.m.s…

Or moan and groan that shippers and receivers are killing us with wait times, even though i mostly have run flats all my life and really have no clue about waiting. Forty-five minutes to me is an eternity…

But, wow, here I sit and if I ask how I got here, trucking is the answer. It’s all I have done. It’s all I know. It has not been easy, but as far as hard is concerned I bet there are a few people over in the Philippines who would kill to trade places with me.

My children are almost grown and healthy, due to the insurance I have always had through my few trucking jobs. My daughter is looking at colleges and will actually go to one of them. Yes of course it won’t be easy, but it’s doable because of my work in the industry.

My marriage is actually still going strong after 18 years, in part because I have always been gainfully employed , and the time apart I think actually helps the union get stronger at times.

I have a shop full of toys with two wheels and four, collected and paid for over the years with money earned in trucking. And no not always as much money as it should have been or used to be, but it’s always been there.

I have worked hard — American-type hard, and there aren’t too many people who can say they earned their dollar that way anymore. I’m proud of that!

So when a trucking magazine asks me what I am thankful for at Thanksgiving time, I answer trucking! 

Happy Holidays!

And happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Overdrive

Bradley Coddington: I’m thankful that I have finally been able to take a vacation after five years.

Terence Gunderson: I’m thankful for all I have — my family, my health, my job and my freedom. I’m running through Thursday to be home Friday and the weekend. Crazy shoppers on Friday: be safe if you’re out and about.

Todd Darnell: Thankful for my family and my God! They are both my rock! I could lose everything — as long as I still had them both, I would be fine!

Bill Weaver: I’m thankful for all of my loves — God, Family, Country. We might be in some tough times, but we can all thank the U.S. soldier for preserving and protecting what we have.

Jesse Skubal: For my first issue of Overdrive in the mail today!

Richard Young: I’m thankful for my family.

John Andrade: I’m thankful that I work for Ashley furniture as a delivery driver and that provides for my family of seven kids, my mom and my wife. I can’t thank God enough for providing me with driving job that I love very much. I’ve had my CDL for about nine years now, and I own three trucks (two 26-foot Hino and a Mitzu). I’ve been doing the same job for 17 years.

Corey Carlson: Thankful for a great surgeon who fixed my eye, allowing me to get back on the road soon. Also, I’m thankful for my loving, supportive wife.

John Sendzimer: I’m thankful for my seven years behind the wheel. Been out for three years, but I still care about the industry.

Darryl Harris Sr.: Thankful to have a loving family. Thankful to have gainful employment. And, first and foremost, I’m thankful for the Almighty for providing me with both. Amen.

Related

Home (and away) for the holidays

61 percent of drivers report they plan to be home for Thanksgiving -- find a round-up in answer to our informal polling of readers on Overdrive's Facebook page about holiday plans.

Joe Merabelle: For making it home from a round trip to North Dakota while fighting a chest cold.

Al Riso: I’m thankful that I’m not in Texas.

Luz Carouso: I am thankful that drivers care about one another, even through simple gestures such as a flash of the lights or holding the door open at a truck stop. I am grateful knowing that young drivers will gain more insight on operating in a professional manner by watching experienced men and women. I am thankful to be associated with people who want to put in a full day’s work and earn the money that protects and nurtures their families.

Related

Thankful from the road: Pretty trucks, inspirational owners

When I sat down and started writing it, I realized it wasn’t going to be about the trucks at all. It was about me being thankful that people like this exist on Earth.

 

Jason Akers: No holiday here, but I’m thankful to have a loving family and a decent job. Got to keep the wheels a’turning. Christmas right around the corner and trying to get enough to buy my son an iPad.

Edward Robert Pelletier Gomez: I lost my truck and everything last week. Stressed out of my mind, but blessed to be healthy and alive.

Stephen Allen: I’m thankful for all God’s blessings. I’m home for the holiday with my wife, three kids and seven grandchildren.

Daniel Malmquist: I’m thankful for waking up every morning still breathing, bu most of all for those out there on the front lines protecting our freedom who will not be with their loved ones this Thanksgiving. God bless them and the United States of America. And yes, I will be running this week. With 20 years in the military, missing many a holiday, what’s one more?

Daniel McCreary: I’m thankful for a family that doesn’t complain about the crazy trucking schedule. And though I don’t always see eye to eye with my company’s management, I’m thankful for a secure job that allows me to comfortably support my wife and six children. I’m thankful for customers who make my job a real pleasure.

Dwight Nelson: I’m thankful just to be back on the road driving again [after going through a nasty divorce]. I ended up losing my Chevy Silverado, my 2005 Volvo truck, my CDL, my house, my two sons and damn near my mind. I was off the road from August 2009 to January 2013. I’m now a driver trainer with Total Transportation of Mississippi. So far I have a 100 percent success rate with all of my trainees. I make sure that all of them are road ready and properly trained before I sign off to allow my company to let them go out as solo drivers. So far, all of my students are running teams and doing a good job. I’m dealing with some sciatic nerve damage in my left leg, but I’m not going to let it get the best of me. I’m wishing everybody a Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to share your stories about what you’re thankful for. Thank you Jesus.

Payne Overton: My son, son-in-law and family friend all were killed in a car wreck this past year, Dec. 13, 2012, by a truck driver. He fell asleep at the wheel and T-boned my son’s car. At first I blamed the driver. But I started to think about my husband, who is an owner-operator himself. I know how hard it is trying to pick up and make deliveries on time. I am thankful that my son, son-in-law, and friend did not know what hit them. It was that fast. For all of the drivers out there: I thank you for all you do. I am at peace now, seeing things through a driver’s eyes. I have been on our truck with my husband many times. I thank God for just getting by one more day. I am thankful for my family, friends and the drivers I know and love.

  • John

    I drove for 16 yrs, and retired from OTR 2 yrs ago. I’m thankful for God, my family, friends, and the many truck drivers that still KEEP AMERICA MOVING. Especially those that give up their family time on the holidays.
    But most of all, I’m thankful for the soldiers that have given their time, over so many yrs, to fight and defend the freedoms we all have. GOD BLESS AMERICA!