I was watching the traffic on the Interstate in front of me. The Interstate was busy, but we were all running smoothly, with vehicles merging onto the Interstate with no problems. 

What fascinated me was watching the trucks as they changed lanes, letting cars onto the Interstate, or moving around the cars to get on down the road. At times the trucks traveling at the speed limit were moving over into the slow lane to let the cars go by that were traveling at a higher rate of speed.

I thought about how much some of these trucks weigh, up to 80,000 lbs., as they glided by little Smart Cars, weighing less than 3,000 lbs. So much skill and finesse is used to keep everyone safe while driving a very large vehicle. My time is often spent admiring the ability of truck drivers who safely weave their way around traffic, back into what appears to be an impossible area, and then get out of the truck as if it is no big deal.

A friend of ours recently had his truck hit in a parking lot, and the offending driver was sick over it. He told my friend that he had been fifteen years without an accident, but by not watching his driver’s side mirror, he had a very dumb accident at a slow rate of speed. The worst part is that he did not know he had hit anything. One second of not paying attention can be deadly in a truck and ruin a perfect driving career. It takes a lot of skill, paying attention, and knowing beforehand what to do in an emergency to reach a million miles accident-free.

When I think about all of the drivers I know of that have driven millions of miles without an incident, how can anyone not be impressed with their skill and constant attention to detail? Drivers spend each day in cities and areas they do not know, often looking for a customer who does not have an address on the building or their mailbox. While looking for a customer, we are also checking our mirrors to make sure another vehicle has not tried to pass us on the side we are going to turn.  Truck drivers are called professionals for a reason.

Next time you have the chance, watch the traffic in front of you. Observe the skill that truck drivers have as they move their combination vehicle, which is often longer than a home, through traffic.

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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.

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