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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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:iconnawkaman:
nawkaman Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
We have such short attention spans, and thinking of only ourselves is the easiest possible way of living. When will we learn that it is also the loneliest?
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
I couldn't agree more.
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:iconleapingriver:
Leapingriver Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is such a powerful piece. I cannot say in words how deeply this touched me. I mean I knew truck drivers have it hard and that they don't earn much and have long hours; but I never thought of it as deeply as I do now. This is such a sad story and a really big eye opener; the possibility that what he does to protect others could have prevented his sister from dying if only more truck drivers were as strong and as perserve-ing as he is. I can say that this story has really made me wonder about each truck driver we pass by now. I wonder "how long has he been driving?" "how long has it been since he last saw his family? Or even spoken to them?". and although we know that our packages and gifts are delivered by truck we never really letter sink in or we don't register it. We just think oh here's my package; you never think that a truck driver is the one who brought it for you.
My respect for these truck drivers has really grown and I now see each and every one of them differently and I now register that they have a family and that they do have feelings and that they really are a huge part in our community and economy. Thank you for sharing Harold's, and other truck drivers, life and story with us and opening our eyes to their hardships.
This was a piece well deserving of a daily deviation, and what I really liked is that it was a somewhat different DD; it wasn't one that was poetic or cute or abstract, no, this was a powerful and touching true story. I feel as if that's something special; that something as simple, yet powerful, can be featured with the high honors of a Daily Deviation. Your wording and delivery really earned you a spot as one of Deviantarts favorites, Congratulations! :D
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Wow. What a wonderful comment. You've made my day, and I thank you. :D
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:iconapocalypticangel4792:
ApocalypticAngel4792 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Student Writer
This story is so sad:cries:

My uncle has been a truck driver for most of his life, so I understand how hard it can be for them sometimes. From the last I heard, he had a solid route to and from Florida from Atlanta, GA, so he's pretty lucky considering how the industry has been forced to change in the last few years.

He's also the one who taught me about proper spacing for trucks. Too many times he has to slam on his brakes, which he's already pushing to the floor, because some idiot crosses over into his lane during traffic. You need to give trucks twice the amount of room than you do for cars, especially in front. I see too many people just slide on over into their braking space, assuming the guy can stop in time if something were to happen. They can't people, they just can't.

But he loves his job, and though he's nearing retirement age, I think he'll do it as long as he can. I don't blame him either: If I didn't hate driving so much, I'd consider it as a possible career choice.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
A high five for your uncle, and one for you for supporting him. Thank you for your comment.
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:iconapocalypticangel4792:
ApocalypticAngel4792 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Student Writer
:highfive:
No problem^^
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:iconlankadoodle:
Lankadoodle Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Written beautifully ♥
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you.
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:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
I've always had a special admiration for the men & women who make sure the rest of us have what we need and want everyday, while they are on the road at great expense not just to their wallets, but to their families who hardly ever see them. This piece touches me so, and I'm glad it's getting the recognition it deserves.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you so much.
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:icongwenneareble:
GwenneAreble Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So sad to hear:( I knew quite a bit of this already, as my dad is a truck driver. But this true story is very unfortunate and I know it may not mean much, but I am so sorry for his loss.

We should also show respect for truck drivers because they are people, and we should respect people in general. But this is a story that I think can hopefully bring that into perspective for some people.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
We should respect people in general. Absolutely. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
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:icongwenneareble:
GwenneAreble Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome, and thanks for writing this piece if I didn't already say so.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013   Writer
:+fav: I'm so glad to see this DD was published in August. I have family who are long-distance truckers and they support many more in the large family. Babies one gave birth to are now being raised by Grandma. These people also managed income by learning how to dispose of toxic waste, another daily job we need so much. Her husband is also a smoke-jumper. Thank you.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013   Writer
You're welcome.
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:iconalittlebitoffaith:
alittlebitoffaith Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
This is so sad :( nobody ever thinks of the things going on with someone while driving people are rude. And this happens all the time to truck drivers to think that they are hardly home with their families and friends and trucks drivers have a dangerous job u know they could wreck for one. I'm terribly sorry about the drivers sister Tho :( I hope he made it to the funeral
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you for your comment, and yes, he did make it to the funeral.
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:iconalittlebitoffaith:
alittlebitoffaith Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
I'm glad there r hope for those who've passed away 1 John 5:28-29 tells us do not marvel at this bc the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out sp this shows theirs going to b a resurrection of those that have passed away
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:iconkuchikiyorume:
KuchikiYorume Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I've admired truckers for a while now- I know I wouldn't be able to do what they do.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013
Don't be so sure, it just takes really hard work, and an ability to survive the loneliness.
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:iconkuchikiyorume:
KuchikiYorume Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Are you kidding? I can hardly survive being without attention for five minutes.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013
That would make it tough...driving is a very lonely occupation.
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:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013   Writer
My uncle is a trucker. He's a brilliant man and loving father. He used to have his own hunting & tracking company in Alaska. Now he lives in Tennessee and makes a meager living driving a big truck, because his wife left him while he was in the hospital and took their five year old son with her to Virginia.

You just never know what other people are going through...

Beautiful piece. DD well-deserved!

Thanks for giving me something to think about.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you for your comment, and for taking the time. You are so right, we just never know.
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:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013   Writer
You are very welcome.

I really enjoyed the piece. :heart:
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
A :heart: for you and your husband...congratulations!
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:iconsurrealcachinnation:
SurrealCachinnation Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013   Writer
Thanks so much! :aww:
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:iconnyaning:
Nyaning Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Student General Artist
So sad...
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:iconwdnest:
wdnest Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Professional Writer
Im sorry - I hope the driver is ok now.
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
He is...I will pass your message on to him. Thank you.
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:iconhokage3:
Hokage3 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This truly deserves a DD....it was a sad story, but it is reality....your job is underestimated, your efforts ignored....you gave me a new insight to the life of our dedicated drivers, and I have a new found respect to you guys.....I feel bad for your friend, even though this happened long ago, I hope he is OK now...
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you so much. Harold is as well as anyone else would be who lost a loved one. I will pass your message on to him.
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:iconsideshow-cellophane:
sideshow-cellophane Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I'm going to show this to my mom. Not because she shows any disrespect for truck drivers, but because she's scared to death of being beside one, and how there aren't enough stories about good, kind, hard-working truck drivers such as Harold's.

My sympathies for him, highly. This has opened many eyes, as I can see, and a new respect for truck drivers. I wish him luck, and to you: a very well-deserved DD. :)
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Tell your mom she's doing it right. I drove truck for 30 years, and I'm still scared of being beside one. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.
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:iconstygma:
Stygma Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have some sympathy for truck drivers. They do a job I'll never do, and we need them. Once, I was following one of those truck hauling a construct and taking 2 lanes (or 1 lane and an half, which is tempting for reckless drivers). Instead of making my way, I stayed behind to block one of the lane, and the driver of the security truck following the van understood and was able to block the second lane. I could see the frustration of drivers behind me. I didn't care.

People are doing crazy things around vans and trucks. They don't realise those engines are deadly. They can't break easily. I live in Canada where we get all crazy weather. It's dangerous. I have friends who are truckers and the father of one of them died burned alive in his truck. It's a hard job. Some drivers seem to think that truckers are anoying of purpose. Thanks to you for opening some eyes, hopefuly!
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:iconstormbringer23:
StormBringer23 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013
Thank you so much.
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:iconstygma:
Stygma Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure!
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:iconthecrazymagnet:
thecrazymagnet Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013   Writer
Since I first got behind the wheel of a car, I've been taught to keep an eye on the truck drivers. When the weather's bad, if they keep going it's probably fine; but if they pull over, get the hell off the road. When they pass you, flash your lights when it's safe for them to come back into your lane; they'll appreciate it since they can't see. When they're behind you, accelerate like hell going downhill, because they use that momentum to get a speed boost and save a crucial few bucks on gas. All of this and more has been drummed into me for years, and I have great respect for Harold and his comrades. A touching piece :heart:
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