Sometimes you just have to call it quits .

With the winter season upon us, there’s an increased chance for adverse road conditions. The question we all need to ask ourselves when faced with Mother Nature’s wrath on the highway is “When do you call it quits?”

We all face many pressures as drivers to perform in all weather conditions. It’s our job to get the load to the consignee on time and in a safe manner. During times of snow, ice, wind, fog, heavy downpours etc… the two issues of on-time and safe can be in conflict with one another. Bad weather forces us to make a choice whether to continue driving or stop until conditions improve. If you keep rolling, you earn income but risk the chance of losing everything you’ve ever worked for... including your own life or others’ lives. If you decide to

        Sometimes you can be the hero.

stop, most of us won’t receive any compensation while our trucks are sitting. However, you don’t play a part in a potential accident or get caught/stuck on the highway if it becomes un-passable. Again, you can choose a particular location in which to park your truck/trailer until you can move safely to your destination. If you decide to stop and other drivers push on and make the delivery on time, you may look as if you’re unreliable and not dedicated. As you replay each option over and over in your mind, the decision becomes challenging and yet important. With the change from split logs to the 14 hour requirement comes more of a quandary. Time becomes a huge issue regarding when to stop and for how long.

I grew up in Pennsylvania where winter seemed to always bring snow and ice. As a kid and into adulthood, these weather conditions were quite a normal way of life. As a young truck driver, I was determined and somewhat enjoyed the thrill and challenge of making the delivery on time no matter what the conditions. However, as I’ve grown older and witnessed many roadside tragedies, let’s just say, I’ve lowered my threshold for challenges on the highways. As a seasoned and mature driver today, things look very different. I’m not willing to risk other’s lives, my life or equipment for the bragging rights of being the “one truck that made it through the storm.”

 

Comments (6)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

Read These Next...

BUSINESS Smart

Out in the Elements

March 03, 2018

 
 

Good article and good comments, just wished all other professional drivers would take the same "high road" if you will, often if you slow to a reasonable speed you are seen as a problem and in fact become a danger to others and yourself, sometimes it is best just to park it!. As a pilot friend of mine said, as i get older and more experience it takes less and less bad weather to keep me on the ground.

January 27, 2014 15:46:22 PM

Funny that you point out that as a young driver you enjoyed the thrill because I was thinking the same thing. Not that I am all too old now, but back in the early years of my career, I would often call home and take pride in letting them know I was driving through a blustery mess of weather. Almost like I was a hero in my effort to get the freight there no matter what! Now, should I encounter it ever, I look at weather like this with a different form of respect and caution. Of course, we are lucky to see a few inches of snow in a storm here in California, but it still requires caution none-the-less!

January 18, 2014 7:42:17 AM

I like you caption under the picture... "Sometimes you can be the hero". What is not mentioned is "All it takes is one time to be a chump". Great article.

January 16, 2014 19:47:09 PM

It is hard to call it quits.... We were convinced not to long ago going across Wyoming that it was time to call it quits. Those wind gusts are treacherous and enough to scare anyone! That picture gives me the shivers Henry and I would have been a nervous wreck.

January 16, 2014 7:55:37 AM

Two thumbs up Henry. When I was a new, young, bullet proof driver back in the 70's I would push through no matter how bad it got so that I could say that I was the one that got the load there on time.
Now by the Grace of God I have gotten older and wiser and don't take the chances that I did back then, I still give 100% but no longer risk my life or that of the public, I do the best that I can and I keep in mind that when I get there....they will still want it.

January 16, 2014 7:34:48 AM

I am not as bold as I used to be either. Electronic logging has weighed in on my decision making. In the past if it took 6 hours to go 150 miles, it did not matter. Now, the idea of burning an extra 3-3.5 hours does.

January 16, 2014 3:48:09 AM