New Respect For A Tough Job
Anyone who has ever ridden with me knows that I like to get to my destination as expeditiously as possible. As I have gotten older, I have reduced my "need for speed" but still have little patience for delay. One such frustration has always been 18-wheelers.
With that said, I am also a consumer of goods. I like being able to walk into a store and buy the things that I want and I need. How do those things just magically appear on store shelves??? 18-wheelers. How do things get made in the factories that manufacture them?? From raw materials brought to them by 18-wheelers. See where I am going with this? I was fortunate enough to spend the day with a trucker and not only photograph, but spend time riding in that 18-wheeler as well as helping secure the loads of steel that he was carrying.
The first thing I realized was just how slow the trucks are and how many gears the transmission has to cycle through to reach 25 mph. The next thing that stood out was how skilled these drivers are. Anyone could likely handle a semi on a straight highway, but throw in smaller roads, maneuvering through traffic, and backing up, you narrow down the number of people who could significantly! The last and most interesting part was realizing what went into hauling the loads. There are some trucks that back up to a bay and the cargo is loaded or unloaded by workers. Then, there are flatbeds that haul steel or other materials that the driver is responsible for securing. It has to be secured in rain, heat, cold, snow, or any combination of elements. My realization of the work that goes into being a trucker was that, it would be a tough job for a young man. I just happened to be riding with a 68 year old flatbed driver that could run circles around people more than half his age.
In summary; I will be more courteous to big rigs realizing that the drivers are not being slow intentionally, I will likely let them merge over even it it slows me down a little, and I will remember all of the work it takes to make it convenient for me to walk into a store to get the things I want or need with any delay.
Here are a couple of shots from my day with that trucker.
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