If you have been driving for almost any length of time, chances are that you have seen some type of intense weather. Out here we face things like wind, rain, snow and ice on quite the regular basis. Heck, if you drive around the desert regions long enough you may even see a dust storm rivaling those seen in the Sahara Desert! I have always said that if the weather gets too difficult to maneuver safely, I have no problem parking and risking being late instead. This week I was almost forced to shut down by Mother Nature, but it wasn’t the necessarily the weather!
Upon finalizing the new apportioned plates for my 2018 Freightliner New Cascadia, I decided to head right out and pick up it’s first load to deliver the next day, instead of head to the house and transfer everything from my previous Freightliner Cascadia CNG truck I was in up until then. As I headed up the hill to the shipper I pull bagged limestone from, I could see telltale puffs of white smoke from the mountain behind the mine, indicating a fire of some sort. As I approached even closer to the scale house to check in, the white smoke started to turn black, which from living in a wildfire zone I knew was a sign that the fire was getting even worse.
When I got in the scale house to check in, the plant guys inside had not even realized what had started just the other side of the mountain from where their plant was. Thank goodness I had an appointment, unlike all of the trucks in line for first-come, first-serve loading, since my main concern at that point was loading as fast as I could and getting the heck out of Dodge! The whole time I sat and waited for my 15 pallets, I could see and smell the smoke around, while shadows of smoke were cast down from overhead. This was the point and time I began to wonder, “What would happen if this plant were evacuated?” I know if I were one of those drivers waiting in line, I might start to consider getting the heck out of there and to heck with the load! Loads can always be re-scheduled and safety is much more a priority than a place in line at a shipper!
Sometimes forces of nature are more than we can handle. There is no shame in admitting that certain weather and other “acts of God” are beyond our control. I have also encountered wind and ice storms that have caused me to layover before and of course the receiver still took the load, all while the world continued to move on. In a situation where your life or safety is threatened, don’t try and be “Super Trucker” and flirt with disaster. Just like the natural phenomena I have seen out there, I have likewise seen my fair share of “Super Truckers” with their trucks lying in a ditch for losing the gamble with Mother Nature!