Luck in the business

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by LouisFred54, Feb 21, 2024.

  1. LouisFred54

    LouisFred54 Light Load Member

    Apr 25, 2017
    How much luck is involved in successful trucking? We clearly can’t control anyone else’s decisions or subconscious actions but obviously, we aren’t perfect either. Rumble strips, front sensors, being late for loads IN EXCHANGE to getting there safely are things we have to accept are there for a reason. I personally feel, if a driver was on the road for 30 years accident free and said he could be accident free all over again, even if the circumstances are different, not saying it can’t be done but I’m not sure if it’s likely. We can’t rely on luck but what do you think, are we fortunate to still be here despite our skills behind the wheel?
    Flat Earth Trucker and bryan21384 Thank this.
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  3. Opus

    Opus Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    South GA
  4. gentleroger

    gentleroger Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2010
    I am still here BECAUSE of my skills, not despite them.

    This is something I posted a few years ago, but it fits here as well.

    I can't control the stupidity around me, but I can control myself and my reactions to it. It is not the thing itself that matters, it is a person's response to the thing. I can leave myself space, I can plan an out, I can watch and anticipate the actions of others, I can drive at a speed that is appropriate for my load and conditions, I can get my rest/take care of myself so I am alert, I can stay off my phone. I can do these and a hundred other choices to keep myself safe.

    Last week I was hit by a merging vehicle that lost control. Looking at the telemetrics and the video both I and the Safety Critter are amazed I was able to not only keep control on the vehicle, but also maintain my lane which avoided adding other vehicles to the incident. It wasn't luck, it was skill - from the basic mirror scans that gave me an instant to prepare to the long drilled but rarely practiced skid control maneuvers.

    I admit I got lucky my first year that none of my stupidities resulted in catastrophe, but I learned from them and developed skills to remove luck from the equation as much as possible.
    TripleSix, xsetra, Speedy356 and 5 others Thank this.
  5. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    There, but for the grace of God, go I...
    Call it luck or providence or karma or from a higher power... just be glad if it has sheltered you from the worst.

    Because we are all fortunate to still be here, despite our skills behind the wheel.

    That random patch of black ice, that other crazy person behind the wheel, a sudden wind gust, a nail in the road...
    In many cases those random things throw skill right out the window and into the ditch.
  6. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    A lot of the luck is basically good defensive driving.
    I see a lot of dash cam videos where by people technically have the right of way and drive right into the offending vehicle just because they have the right of way. But your safety manager will still call it a preventable accident as it could have been avoided. Which is what defensive driving is about, yes you may have the right of way, but it’s not worth it to get into an accident if you could have reasonably avoided it.
    Also intuition plays a lot into luck. Sometimes you just get a feeling that something might be happening. Always pay attention to that feeling if you get it, it’s your unconscious part of the brain realizing something is amiss and you’d be wise to pay attention
  7. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    It is called fear.
    And you are right to advise to always be aware of and heed it.
    shatteredsquare Thanks this.
  8. shatteredsquare

    shatteredsquare Road Train Member

    May 23, 2014
    middle dirt
    a lot easier to play dodge ball with road debris when you got more than 10 feet between you and the pitcher, these idiot husbandless 4 wheelers coming to play squeeze-me games between big fun trucks get all the brake lights, ill slow the whole freeway down, I don't gaf, you aren't going to come tickle my following distance and then erotically squeeze me into merging traffic you dumb bish and not get demagnetized by my karma stick. no such thing as luck. the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. foreign and domestic.
  9. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    Memphis, TN
    I think luck plays a tremendous role in anything you do in life. It's just defined a multitude of ways. Most will say it's when preparation meets opportunity. I've heard others say that good luck only comes about due to a northern man's foul up. Then there are times where you just have serendipitous occurrences, in which you can't explain how or why it occurred, it just did. Specific to trucking, if you last long enough, you find instances in which all 3 definitions of luck will occur.

    I know for me, I try to prepare properly each day. That's with the hope I can increase my good fortune. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. In that regard, I may need outside help to facilitate more good fortune.

    Sometimes other drivers break down, gets in an accident or just plain screws up and I'm able to repower a load for more miles, or cover a pickup for more miles. Sometimes my good fortune is at the expense of others misfortune.

    Then there are times in which you just can't seem to explain it. That's simply waking up each day. As we all know, each day is never promised.

    I've heard folks say they don't believe in luck, and that's always troubled me some. I just have a hard time believing we control our own destiny 100 percent of the time. Sometimes it's just better to be lucky than good.
    Opus and hope not dumb twucker Thank this.
  10. Knightcrawler

    Knightcrawler Heavy Load Member

    Apr 10, 2017
    Mpls, Mn
    Gotta agree. My dad was a city driver/spotter at 1 place his whole life (except that WW II thing was an interruption). He died 2 years before I got my CDL - he would have killed me if I got it while he was still around. Every time I back into a place I know I dont have the talent to get into, I know dads hands were on that wheel...

    As for dodging the morons on the road, that is my guardian angels (note the plural - I have a staff of 3 on retainer)...
  11. Concorde

    Concorde Road Train Member

    Jun 29, 2016
    West Melbourne Florida
    My Angels hate me :)

    One lobbed a lightning bolt at me and another pushed a cow into my lane in the middle of the night :)

    Pic is the exact moment I got struck in WA.

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