Words of wisdom from life on the road
In May, the NY Times article about the plight of America’s long-haul truckers created a great deal of interest. As a result, they decided to do a follow-up by asking truck drivers what they would say to drivers of four-wheeled vehicles if they got the chance.
Tons of responses came in with practical advice about highway safety, fervent pleas to put down those smartphones and requests to be treated with dignity. Truckers want to be seen (even if they are unseen, high up in their cabs) as fellow human beings, toiling long hours, who are conscientious and careful and want, above all, to get home safe to their loved ones.
We thought it fitting to share some of your fellow truckers responses.
Tip 1: ‘Let’s All Get There in One Piece’
Please be patient with truckers. We routinely see four-wheelers nearly kill themselves to not be caught behind a big truck. Take your time. Stay safe. I like to imagine all the cute little cars swarming around me as being driven by my brothers, my friends, my mom. I feel responsible for their safety.
My husband and I had a furious four-wheeler throw an oversized soda into the open window of our cab. Relax. Don’t succumb to road rage. Let’s all get there in one piece.
Finally, be thankful you get to go home at the end of your workday. For many of us truckers, something as simple as time at home, sleeping in our own beds, is a huge luxury. — Susan Hicks Wong, 58, Greensboro, N.C. Driving seven years.
Sometimes I ride in the middle lane of a three-lane roadway to avoid the right lane, as it is usually very rough. I have a co-driver, who is trying to sleep in the bunk and needs to get the best sleep possible so she, too, can be a safe, alert driver during her driving shift. I’m not trying to inconvenience you. These highways are our office, and our rolling bedroom. I’m just trying to do my job as safely as possible. — Greg White, 43, Mechanicsburg, Pa. Driving 22 years.