In the past twelve years, some of my fears have been overcome, laid to rest, or are not as stressful as they once were. 
 
Winter Conditions When we were considering expediting one of my biggest fears was winter and winter conditions.  Being from Arizona the idea of being “forced” to drive in bad conditions petrified me.  The relief was evident on my face when I learned that we are the captain of our truck and the last thing the company or the customer wants is their freight damaged by a wrecked truck.  When conditions are bad we are to pull over till we feel it is safe, all that is asked is to communicate where we are.  Another problem was learning to sleep when I knew Bob was driving on icy/snowy roads.  This can still be a problem even knowing that Bob is an awesome driver.  We have learned that if we have spent much time driving in winter conditions we need to park for a bit, get some good sleep, regroup, and then start again. 
 
Getting Lost -  When we first started driving we did not have a GPS and we followed the directions on the Qualcomm from start to finish.  If there were several interstate changes in a city with lots of traffic I became a white-knuckle driver trying to be in the correct lane with plenty of time to make my next maneuver.  Getting a GPS took away a lot of this fear.  I still get very stressed when we are trying to find the location of a customer, there is a lot of traffic around me, and I am trying to not only find the customer but the correct driveway.  I still fight with this stress as I worry that if I pass up the driveway it will be difficult to get turned around or that we will end up being late.  So far we have made it to every customer but I still carry around this fear with me. 
 
Late for a pickup or delivery – When we started in expediting being late was not acceptable and even when we knew the customer was not open the computer did not know that.  When we changed companies while being late is still not an option communication is an option and if the customer is not open we are not docked for not being there sitting in front of a closed business.  It was wonderful to have this stress lifted off of our shoulders.
 
Backing – There was NO doubt is my mind that everyone was watching me back while laughing and making snide remarks.  Why I thought I was so special is beyond me now looking back at those fears.  This was one fear I knew I had to overcome and I backed everywhere in the truck stop.  When I pulled into a truck stop and we had time I went to the back row where there were not trucks and I practiced backing over and over from different angles.  We also added cameras to our truck, one on passenger side, one in the box, and one on the back of the box.  These cameras also helped a lot to let me know when I was backed into the dock and that I was backing straight.  When backing, I adjust both side mirrors in tight and down so that if there are lines I can see them and I can also see the back corner of the box.  This has helped me a lot.
 

Breaking Down – If our truck coughed my heart would stop wondering what we would do even though I knew Bob can fix about anything.  Well it finally happened to where Bob could not fix the problem and we had to be towed to a shop.  I learned it was not the end of the world and take one minute at a time till it is worked out.  Time does not stop and it will all work out. 
 
We each have our fears and learning to address them before they control our lives can be a challenge.  Work through what we can and conquer the fears and learn to control the others.  Take a break when needed and then tackle the problem once again.

Comments (7)

Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

 
 

I've read your article and agree that all your points caused at least a slight concern but there is one that terrifies me to this day. I drive with crohns / IBS and sometimes trying to find a clean available bathroom is my worst enemy. States are shutting down rest areas and truck stops are full before dark. If you are lucky enough to find a place to park it's a crap shoot what condition the facility will be in. From one truck driver to another, please respect the facilities! You never know who depends on them. Thanks!

February 22, 2017 19:17:25 PM

I've read your article and agree that all your points caused at least a slight concern but there is one that terrifies me to this day. I drive with crohns / IBS and sometimes trying to find a clean available bathroom is my worst enemy. States are shutting down rest areas and truck stops are full before dark. If you are lucky enough to find a place to park it's a crap shoot what condition the facility will be in. From one truck driver to another, please respect the facilities! You never know who depends on them. Thanks!

February 22, 2017 19:17:20 PM

Henry that is one of the reasons I wanted an automated transmission is so I could learn to drive first in traffic. Now that I have learned to drive in traffic I really understand why a automated transmission is a must.

February 18, 2017 6:09:10 AM

Mine was missing a great and tearing up a transmission . The good news is I have not broken anything in the driveline of any of the trucks I've driven since 1983 . I have however missed my spot on the gears more than just a few times .

February 16, 2017 6:29:42 AM

Craig I still have the fear of getting lost. I do not like to do U-turns and even though it really is a unreasonable fear it is one of my biggest fears still. Before the GPS a detour that required us to get off of the interstate was enough to make my heart race and my palms sweat till I was back on the interstate. One time in the middle of the night and on a long detour not marked I followed a tanker for what seemed miles with lots of twists and turns with my heart about to quit at any time and finally either the tanker driver figured out he could not shake me or that really was a good detour he got us back on the interstate. For some reason drivers will follow a short truck because they think we know where we are going and to often I have had a long line of trucks and no clue what I was doing. We have always made it through which is why I am able to write about it.... That is what I have to remember is it will work out stay calm.

February 16, 2017 4:30:22 AM

Well you covered the big ones. A break is always best to regroup!

February 15, 2017 11:12:01 AM

Out of everything on your list I would pick getting lost. I really don't know why because with cell phones, GPS and plenty of fuel in your tanks you are never truly lost. Maybe it comes from my flatbed days in the late 80's without a cell phone or GPS.

February 15, 2017 7:50:38 AM