Is it I lord?

That is a line from Dan Schutte’s famous hymn Here I an, Lord. Wonder what made me think of a hymn in the middle of this industry? OK, I was following a thread on face book. It was the usual. Since it involved Elogs things got a bit testy. Most of the comments were civil, but you did have the ALL CAPS people on both sides. One comment – and I will clean it up a little drew my attention and made me think of this hymn.

New drivers just don’t want to work. Would rather play video games in the truck, than make money. They say plan the trip, but good luck with that unlessyou are a drop and hook mega carrier – "puppy".

It is hard to believe, but I was a rookie. I didn’t know much about trucks. I just needed a job. They said 30 years ago that there was a driver shortage. That it was a great career. So, I went to driving school. 3 weeks of prep. Then I went out with an instructor for a couple of weeks. If he wasn’t a rookie he was dang close. I know that I was his first student. To say the least, I had a lot to learn when I started.

The one night I made a rookie mistake. It was a wet snowy night. I was tired. The truck stop was fairly full, but the back row was empty. I backed my tired hinder into the back row and set the brakes. When I tried to leave in the morning my brakes were frozen. It was slightly uphill and had gotten a bit slick overnight.

An old flat bedder helped me. He showed me how to free my brakes. He actually got under the trailer and showed me how. After we got the bakes working he hooked a chain and pulled me forward enough so that I could get going. Then he told me what I did wrong. The whole time, not once did he talk down to me. I want to be that guy.

Most of the time, it is just helping spot. Maybe just watching a blindside for a driver. Heck, had one last week. This was a driver who actually looked older than me. My spot was tight to the wall, but there was no trailer on my blind side. His spot was the first spot and he did not have enough room to get his truck straight and avoid a blind side angle. I got out of my truck and walked at a safe distance. As soon as he saw me he rolled down the window. I told him that I would watch his blind side. Then I walked in front of his truck. He could see me. I could see his blind side. He maneuvered his truck into the hole. After he finished. He got out of his truck and said thanks. HE was a professional.

This industry – this world – works better when we get off our butts and help each other.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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