Driver to Driver

Hang In There

Wednesday October 20, 2021

I started early in the morning and got to the shipper to switch trailers. It was teeming rain and their gate was closed. I had to walk around to find an open door to let them know. I was soaked. 

There was a trailer blocking the one I needed, so I had to move things around. It took me a while. 

I thought I did my paperwork correctly and eventually, off I went. 

There was a major accident on the QEW and it was closed and I had to take a detour. It took just over 3 hours to get to the last Canadian truck stop before Buffalo. 

This is when I found out I did the paperwork incorrectly. It took another 90 minutes to get my entrance authorization to the USA. 

I move up the last 5 km before the Peace Bridge but due to the earlier traffic accident, there was a long delay crossing the border. 

About an hour after crossing the border, traffic was heavily delayed due to construction. 

And then there was another delay as people stopped to look at a tractor trailer accident going through other way. 

I made it to Erie, PA, on my first day. My entire duty time was used as I parked with 22 minutes to spare.  This was less than 275 km for the day. 

The next day, I got up early and drove all day to my delivery. I only stopped my 30 minute break and a few quick stops. 

It was Friday afternoon and I was 17 minutes late. Everyone went home. I had to sit with this load until Monday. 

Off to a truck stop. 

I was so distracted by all this, I missed a No Trucking sign. I blocked traffic, had to get a heavy tow and was given a few traffic tickets from the local sheriff. 

When I got back to the delivery on Monday, they had me back in off the street, going uphill.  

I got out and looked for obstacles that I may hit. There was a natural gas pipeline on the other side of the narrow road. 

It took me a long time to back in. I was blocking traffic and couldn’t get the set-up right. I over-heated the clutch and stop to let it cool. 

I wanted to quit. What more could go wrong. 

I had some mentors convince me not to give up.  ——-

Fast forward 2 years and I’m on the same load. 

I’m consistently able to make it the 800 km to my favourite truck stop when I’m in this part of the country. 

Now, I back in from the street. It takes just a few minutes. No biggie.  ——

So when you’re out there in the beginning, it’s tough sometimes.  

Ask questions….my favourite question is usually “how do other guys do it?”

Take advice from others. Listen to them. It may not always be right but you never know. 

Accept feedback. Sometimes it’s hard but someone is giving it to you because they care and want you to do better.