Truck Stops And Random Thoughts

Here’s a truck stop instead of St. Peter’s, yeah yeah yeah yeah

Truck Stop clouds

Truck stops are weird places. Disproportionately noisy places. First off, you have refrigerated trucks, normally called “reefers” which have noisy motors at the front of their trailers that keep the temperature controlled inside the box. Then, often, you have truckers who just like to idle their motors all night. Usually they do this to run their heating or A/C, and often assorted electronic devices. So, you get caught inbetween two reefers, or two chuckleheads who think they need 500 horsepower air-conditioners, or any combination therein, and you’re in for a noisy night.

Then there are people just coming and going at all hours of the day and night, such is the 24/7 nature of the transportation business. Sometimes you have people talking, arguing, just hanging out being loud. Which was fun when we were in high school, not so much now that some of us have to work for a living. Then there is the infamous “lot lizards”, purveyors of that oldest tradition, who ply their trade on these dirty lots.

It’s all a very weird scene, man.

A few nights ago, I spent the night at a rest stop off Interstate 5. It was peaceful, almost silent. The best night of sleep I’ve had since I’ve been on the road.

I’m still getting used to my new truck. The clutch is so smooth, I barely have to tap it to get it out of and back into gear. It has big, chunky buttons on the dash, much different than my Freightliner Cascadia. Yes, this is how I approach trucking, I can’t tell that much difference about the engine, but I appreciate the aesthetic of the instruments. I blame Art School. For a lot of things, actually.

Quick fire round, here’s some random, unconnected thoughts that I want share:

California Highway 12 between Lodi and Rio Vista is a horrid, miserable piece of road which should be immediately dug up and the concrete ground to dust and the land salted so that no living thing would ever grow there. I hate that road with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Today I drove around downtown Oakland. In a 77,000 lbs tractor trailer. I’m a goddam rock star.

Oakland

My DBL Martha and I got into it on Monday, after I had been stranded all weekend in Fontana. She continually assumes I have this level of knowledge and understanding about Schneider, and this industry, and I have to remind her that I’m new, brand spankin’ new. She wanted to pin being stuck on me, but I wasn’t having it. I think back to training, when Arkansas and I got into it. I get into it with a lot of people, don’t I.

Somebody said, if you meet one asshole, then they’re an asshole. But, if you are constantly meeting assholes, then maybe you’re the asshole. Maybe I’m the asshole.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has told me the same thing: “It gets easier.” That phrase does not help one iota when you’re in the thick of it. It is useless, pointless advice that does not serve to lessen any struggle or shed light on any specific problem you might be facing.

It doesn’t mean it’s not true. Even just two weeks in, it is sort of getting easier. A little.

California Sunset

Lastly, hopefully I’ll get some home time this weekend, the first time I would be back since I officially got on the road. Someone said that trucking is like working two full time jobs, then sleeping in your office. Yeah, it’s like that. It would be nice to sleep in a real bed. My own bed.

But, like they said in Godfather II, this is the business we’ve chosen.

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