After a while on the road, you don’t even have to part the curtains to know what’s going on in the parking lot. Sound tells a story quite well through thin walls on the sleeper. You know pretty much immediately if the person backing in beside you is having trouble – I watched George lay in the bunk and mentally count pull-ups before he jumped up and put his pants on. He usually doesn’t sleep well until both sides are parked, and will roam a lot three turns looking for the prized end spot in a corner on the last row, where there’s nothing but curb and open land on one side, and a straight shot back on the other.
He jumped up and got out on the fourth pull-up – they were getting frantic and it sounded like someone was just over the whole thing. You know the sound – grind, gas, brake, grind, gas brake. Good ol’ George, who needed nothing more than a solid eight hours of sleep, goes and stands out in the dark for 20 minutes, guiding this person into a spot they surely would have taken our fender off trying to get into. He did everything but crawl up into the cab and park it for them.
He jumped back up into the bunk, flopped down. “Well, looks like that’s both sides parked for the night. I can get some sleep.”
“Are they both going to be here all night?”
“Werner parked right before us and hasn’t moved, I don’t know about the one who just parked.”
“You didn’t talk to them?”
“Nah. Shut the curtains as soon as they hit the brakes.”
“They didn’t say thank you for helping?”
“Baby, my thank-you is knowing my fenders won’t be ripped off for at least the next few minutes.”
Everyone stayed parked and we actually got about six uninterrupted hours of sleep before the unmistakable sound of two large objects attempting to occupy the same space shot us both out of the bunk like rockets. Thankfully, it was not accompanied by the sickening rock of the cab that comes with actually being hit, but someone had taken a crunch really close to us. We opened the curtains, and right in front of us, someone had plowed themselves a fender row, trying to do a blindside back. The drivers were already out of the trucks, and the fun had begun. I’m going to have to commend the guy who got hit — he held his temper very well, and they both did the right thing, but the whole exchange was hilarious in retrospect.The guy trying to do a blindside back was in a beat-up yellow Freightliner, the guy who got hit in a fairly new Volvo. They’re standing in the parking lot, trying to determine how destroyed the fender is. The guy in the Freightliner yells, “Man, them Volvo fenders a dime a dozen – it ain’t even tore off! It’s just a ripple in it!”
The Volvo guy looks at him like he has three heads and yells back, “You bring your Pikachu Freightliner to the shop with a ‘ripple’ in the fender and see what it costs you!”
Yellow Freightliner guy was obviously offended at being called Pikachu, but in all fairness, he had a yellow flattop with black lettering and round red lights, and it really was the same color as Pikachu. I feel like he may have been called this before, and the altercation might have opened fresh wounds, but I didn’t hear the rest of the exchange, because I was dying laughing at the Pikachu reference, and the absurdity of having a “ripple” in a fiberglass fender.
They never assaulted one another, and apparently everyone got reports made and were satisfied enough to go on with their business. George didn’t get much more sleep, because Werner left as soon as the fray in front of us cleared up. We waited out the rest of the ten and never saw the person on the other side he helped the night before. He was relieved, because he mumbled as we were pulling away, “If the sumbitch can hit me on the way in, they can sure figure a way to hit me on the way out…”
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.