George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Things that aren’t in the news, but should be

| November 20, 2017

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m sick to death of hearing about Tesla and autonomous trucks. We get it, OK? You have battery-powered trucks and fleets have placed orders. Awesome. Autonomous trucks are the new sliced bread and we’re all going to live in happy-land utopia when they take over the world, which could be anytime between the next seven seconds and never, but you can bet we will have seen at least seventeen gabillion headlines about it before it actually happens.

Yay. Super. Everyone gets a participation medal.

Meanwhile, in the real world …

While we’re still floundering around over here in the dark ages, delivering everything these autonomous folks need with human-operated diesel engines. Let’s talk about things you can only learn while enjoying the primordial experience of real, live trucking.

1) Someone who has never before driven a truck or trailer with super singles on it will be the first to tell you how exquisitely dangerous they are, and how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they save each year by not using them, because super singles spontaneously pop like a champagne cork every four seconds and take the entire side of your truck or trailer off when they do. Some will go as far as to tell you stories of how their brother’s cousin’s friend knew this guy once who destroyed an entire city block in El Paso with a super single blow-out. It’s really amazing the amount of information you’ll get from people who have never used them.

2) The hood of a Freightliner Coronado is possibly one of the heaviest things on earth. It shares the unique ability four-year-old children have to somehow exert the gravitational pull of Jupiter when they don’t want to move or be picked up. I have watched more than one skinny guy at a truck wash dangle on the end of the hood ornament, trying to get his slippery blue boots to gain enough traction to heave the damn thing open. This is also how you spot the “new recruit” at the Streakin’ Beacon.

3) The same people who don’t hesitate to sit in the fuel island for 30 minutes will lose their mind trying to get out of the parking lot. It’s like a switch is flipped from “Nope, not moving,” to “HOLYJEEBUSIGOTTAGOFAST!!” (The first person to blame this on ELDs gets a throat chop. An ELD does not make you act like an idiot — it keeps time. People act like idiots because they choose to act like idiots.)

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"Sometimes, being pleasant is hard" -- lessons from life, the road, and the fuel island . . .

4) No matter what the circumstances are surrounding it, if you tell a story about being delayed or missing a delivery time, you will get at least one person who references your hideous faults at trip planning. You could literally have been held up because Jesus Christ himself appeared on I-75, and you’d still have the driver who says, “You shoulda planned better.” It’s the truth, you know it. It’s the same driver who had an alternative plan, and didn’t miss their delivery time when their brother’s cousin’s friend blew up a city block in El Paso with a super single.

Now that’s trucking.

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