You may find this hard to believe, but I made a mistake this week. OK – haha – it isn't that hard to believe. I made a mistake. I relied on technology. It cost me about 25 minutes and a lot of aggravation. We were demonstrating the new Cascadia this week at some dealerships in Iowa. While doing this, I tend to brag on the new technology in these trucks. People are impressed. Heck, I am impressed. Then, I get a reminder that the most important “brain” in the truck belongs to the driver.

Every open house is an educational event. Everyone should be learning from each other. This one started out trying to teach the marketing department about the 14 hour rule.  We had open houses scheduled for Dubuque, Davenport, and Cedar Rapids, IA. The times were set from 15:00 – 19:00. That gives plenty of time to move our little caravan from town to town – unless someone adds something and does not tell the driver. 

On this occasion our reservations were made for Bettendorf, Iowa after the open house in Davenport. Then leave later in the morning for Cedar Rapids – no problem. Then management told me that one of the salespeople in Cedar Rapids wanted me to go with him on a sales call early in the morning. WAIT! Now, there is a problem with the 14 hour rule. If I was to leave Bettendorf early enough to meet the salesperson to go on the call – by 19:00 - I would be getting pretty close to the 14 hour rule. If we were to change that reservation to Cedar Rapids and then just go over to the dealership in the morning – no problem  - and the reservations were changed. The executive learned about the 14 hour – ELDs – and preplanning. 

I knew where the dealership was. I knew where the hotel was. The way that I knew was to go out the driveway out of the dealership and turn left. That backtracks me about a mile in total to interstate 380. My GPS/TND was telling me to turn right. I trusted the GPS without verification. In my defense, I just thought that it would take me to the interstate without backtracking. BUT NOOOOO! It knew a better way – like going through the lovely center of Cedar Rapids. Its better way took me through construction zones – got me at one point to a road that was closed for construction – and generally took me on a 52 minute tour of Cedar Rapids.

The next morning I did not even turn on my GPS. I took it off the windshield and put it in my bag. Drove right to the dealership with no issue. Lesson learned. If the TND shows something different than you – verify the route.

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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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