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July 27, 2011
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Let me tell you a little about the truck driver you just flipped off because he was passing another truck, and you had to cancel the cruise control and slow down until he completed the pass and moved back over. His truck is governed to 68 miles an hour, because the company he leases it from believes it keeps him and the public and the equipment safer. The truck he passed was probably running under 65 to conserve his fuel. You see, the best these trucks do for fuel economy is about 8 MPG. At almost $4.00 per gallon, well, you do the math. And yes, that driver pays for his own fuel. The load he's under needs to be 1014 miles from where he loaded in 2 days. And he cannot fudge his federally mandated driver log because he no longer does it on paper, he is logged electronically. He can drive 11 hours in a 14 hour period, then he must take a 10 hour break before resuming driving. And considering the shipper where he loaded held him up for 5 hours because they are understaffed, he now needs to run without stopping for breaks to make his delivery appointment. If he misses it, he will be rescheduled for the next day, because the receiver has booked their docks solid, as they have cut their staff to a minimum. That means the driver sits, losing 500+ miles for the week. Which means his profit will be cut, and he will take less money home to his family. Most of these guys are gone 10 days, and home for a day and a half, and take home an average of $500.00 a week if everything goes well.

You can't tell by looking at him, but 2 hours ago he took a call informing him that his only sister was involved in a car accident, and though everything possible was done to save her, she died. They had flown her to a trauma hospital in Detroit, but it was too late. He hadn't seen her since last Christmas, but they talked on the phone every week. The load he is pulling is going to Atlanta, and he will probably not be able to get to the funeral. His dispatcher will do everything possible with the loads available from Atlanta to get him there, but the chances are slim. So he has hardly noticed your displeasure at having to slow down for him. It's not that he doesn't care, he's just numb.

Everything you buy at the store, everything you order on-line, moves by truck. Planes and trains can't get it to your house or grocery store. We are dependent on trucks to move product from the airport, the rail yards, to the stores and our homes. Every day good, experienced, qualified drivers give it up because the government, the traffic, and the greedy companies involved in trucking have drained their enthusiasm for this life. They take a job at a factory if they can find it, and are replaced by an inexperienced youngster dreaming of the open road. This inexperience leads to late deliveries, causing shortages and higher prices at the store, and crashes that lead to unnecessary deaths on the road. It is even possible that is what led to the death of this driver's sister.
This is a true story, it happened yesterday. The driver's name is Harold, and I am his dispatcher.



Published: StarTribune August 3, 2011
Reprinted: Jalopnik.com August 5 2011
Radio interview NPR Talk of the Nation August 25, 2011
Reprinted: Land Line Magazine October 2011 edition
Reprinted: Today's Trucking Magazine September 2011 edition
Reprinted: Gobytrucknews.com January 4, 2014
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-02-05
Just another day by =StormBringer23 is a well-written insider perspective to an industry we seldom give much thought. ( Suggested by riparii and Featured by Nichrysalis )
:iconkissthesunrise:
KissTheSunrise Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
I didn't realise there is such a small profit margin. I rarely think of the truck driver and their lives, I'm too obsessed with getting where I'm going. Shizzzz... :ashamed:
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
Drivers are only paid for a fraction of the work they do. Thank you for reading and faving, and for your comment. :heart:
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:iconkissthesunrise:
KissTheSunrise Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
It was my pleasure! =)
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:iconcordaicor:
cordaicor Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
I liked it. We ignore so many realities it's good to read one once in a while :P Thanks for sharing!
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   Writer
Okay, here it is: [link]
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   Writer
:icondownarrowplz: Wrong link, sorry! Will be back...
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013   Writer
Featured [link]
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:iconnawkaman:
nawkaman Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
There is a story behind every window. I'm glad I looked through this one. It gave me insight into something I did not know much about, and I am very grateful to read in the comments that Harold did make his sister's funeral.

This is powerful and effectively written, and I wish that more people would at least attempt to look deeper into the windows and mirrors of the world to try to understand before they flash to anger.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, I really appreciate it.

I saw your wish come true, for a couple of weeks. Right after the Twin Towers came down. The compassion for each other I witnessed on the roads was astounding, and reassured my faith in humanity. Too bad it didn't last.
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