Highlights of my trucking career

Discussion in 'Road Stories' started by 51.50, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. 51.50

    51.50 Heavy Load Member

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    Jan 20, 2016
    Salem Oregon
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    In 1969, l was working in a warehouse for Cotter Co. (a hardware distributor) They had a fleet of a dozen bobtail box trucks. Over the PA system came the call: anyone here have truck driving experience come to shipping. l went in and gave them a 100% ######## story of my truck driving experience. The sent me on a route delivery with 30 stops leaving from downtown Los Angeles. l pulled out around the corner and parked to read how to shift the two speed rear axle from the data plate on the glove box door. Away l went.
    A few months later my brother in law asked if l would ride to Palm springs and help him deliver a family into their new home. l agreed as he was driving a tractor trailer for Mayflower Moving. After the unload, he offered to let me drive and l was hooked! An International R 190, V8 gas engine and 8 speed road ranger with cable shift Hi/Lo range. l went to work at Mayflower as a helper. Over New Years the #1 seniority driver got a DUI & lisc suspended for a year. The dispatcher told me to get my Class A permit and l worked as driver trainee until June when l took the test and got my Class A license. l continued to work there about 6 months a year and during lay off l would take any driving job l could get. It was the same everytime. There was some old junker out back with loose steering, worn out brakes with main and aux transmissions. 4x4 usually. Take or leave it. l always went for it. l became great at shifting them. Even the 220 Cummins which to have both sticks shifted at the same time or it would not pull the next gear (not even on flat ground)

    In 1975, l got the opportunity to run 11 western for Global Van Lines under Ray Cobb Trans of Covina. A contract truckman, not an employee. l worked there until 1983. After a two years hauling household goods, Ray asked if l would like to try hauling cars but it was 48 states. l agreed. He had me go out in the yard and practice loading and unloading my car (1957 Chev 2Dr HT). l was very careful.

    Hauling cars, l was clearing $2700 - $3300 every month after paying all expenses and taxes. That was a lot of money in those days. Then in 1980 the government instituted Deregulation. Rates and pay have gone down ever since. In November 1983, l had enough of New England and promised myself to never drive a truck across the Mississippi River again. l kept that promise. l could go on about it but l am sure it has only become worse. l had no beef against the southern states.

    In 1984 l bought the '59 Pete, paid cash. It came with a Grandfathered PUC permit. That was the most enjoyable time for me. My Truck and flatbed hauling for who ever l chose. In 1991, l was forced into bankruptcy by IRS for unpaid taxes. Wife and l took jobs driving milk tankers. It took 5 years to pay the taxes off. 1986 We moved from central calif to Northern Calif. l went to work driving for Cumpton's Trucking. The nicest people l ever worked for period. In 2003 we moved to Dallas Oregon. l took a job wit May Trucking, after 6 months, l got a lease purchase from them Freightliner Century. Paid that truck off & got clear title. It had 880,000 miles so l sold it in a week but now l have no truck. May offered to put me in a company truck until l found one l wanted. A 379 EXHD. l was SO tempted. l could sign for it and go. l drove it for 7 months and decided to buy another Century. l found the Black Dog. l invested the money from the White (first) century into the Black one. l became more independent. l chose to run Oregon, Washington maybe Idaho but No loads to, from or through calif. l finished my lease purchase in August 2009, sold the truck and retired. Last year l took a job for 3 weeks hauling Christmas trees down the mountain to the staging area in a 10 wheel truck.
     
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