What is the trucking industry coming to???
by, 11.04.2009 at 09.45 AM (456 Views)
I grew up around trucks. Since i was a child, nothing screamed cool to me like a 359 or 379 pete. My grandfather drove, my father drove, and now ive taken the reigns. My grandfather bought a brand new 1978 359 when he was 36, and to this day still has it. Hense the name 2millionmile359. The truck was born and raised in New York (long island specificly), and my pops put all 2 million on her. Im 26 years old, and have been surrounded by this buisness my entire life. Some things never change, but unfortunatley, the ones that really count did.
There was a time, not that long ago, when this buisness was one of few that showed a true brotherhood. One trucker could trust another trucker. We drove these trucks with our heads held high, knowing that what we were doing wasnt something any joe shmoe of the block could do. People saw us and were awstruck by our rides. We got the job done, and we got it done right.
Now, we are flooded with those who deface this great proffesion. Ones who have made it more of a race than a job, and who have taken it upon themselves to deface there trucks with outlandish amounts of chrome, and gaudy, overwhelming paint jobs, with more lights than the Empire State Building. When did this job become more about the glamour and glitz, than putting in a good hard days work, being there for your fellow trucker, and demanding the respect that we deserve?
Now more than ever, the roads are clogged with cars, and more trucks than weve ever seen in the past. It seems to be a trend, unfortunatly amongst my generation, to go out, get your liscence, buy a truck, and drive it through the front door of the first chrome shop they see, and whatever lands on the truck, goes on the credit card. Thats not class, and it #### sure isnt original anymore. I dont consider myself old school, im too young to wear that badge. But one thing i will stick to is that age old peterbilt slogan, "Class Pays". In my opinion, nothing is more eye catching than an old 359, with just enough modification that people look at it and say, "####, thats a sharp looking truck. I cant tell what he did to it, but theres something there that just makes it pop." THATS class.
On the other hand, thats not my major issue. My issue is with all these new drivers, in the sand and stone buisness especially, who drive down the road like they own it. On long island, the speed limit on our expressway is 55. Some of our trucks out here are loaded to 120,000lbs. I see these guys, in the left lane, weaving in and out of traffic, doing well over that. I will be the first to say that people who drive cars do NOT respect the raw power of a loaded tractor trailer, or ANY tractor trailer for that matter. What i dont understand is, why when your being paid by the hour, would someone put there life, and the lives of others at risk? When did it become cool to drive like an ###, and put everyone on the road in harms way? I know that in years past, weight limit laws, and saftey regulations were much more lax than they are now, but that doesnt mean we have to push the limits of the ones that are in place today.
Having said all this, i think that we should all look at ourselves, and than take a long look at the generation before us. Look at the guys who did 80 hour weeks, and than went in on a sunday to put there trucks back together. The same guys that didnt DEMAND respect on the road, the ones who EARNED it. I know that im not going to start a revolution, and i #### sure know that some are going to read this and get all hissy pissy thinking that im making a dig at the chrome shop mafia or something like that, but thats not it at all. To each his own as far as how one defines class, but at the young age of 26, if i notice a difference in the way truckers act towards one another, and other people on the road over the last 10-15 years, something has to be up. Im just saying, we all work hard, but still we have this stigma. We all get the stupid truck driver label, and every car on the road thinks were are maniacal killing machines waiting for our chance to strike. Why dont we do something about it, and earn the respect back that our fathers and grandfathers had in days past.
Hell, if one person reads this and agrees with me, ill be content to know that the entire industry hasnt lost it completley. If not, than maybe im just crazy...
-Stayin alive@ 55 on the 495