Well, I reckon the time has come to throw down a few pics, particularly for the younger generation and those just starting out... these scrapbook pics will give y'all an idea of what it's like to be an OTR truck driver. I have a pretty good mix of photos here, so expect anything & everything... truck pics, wreck pics, scenic pics, etc. Sometimes I took pics of huge mills or chemical plants, just because they were THAT big, lol...
I used to keep a cheesy 35mm "point-and-shoot" automatic camera handy while I was driving, just so I could record stuff for posterity. Some pics were taken on the roll, others from a dead stop, and from outside the truck. Now, to expedite matters, I'm just gonna snap the scrapbook pics as they are, and not waste time trying to crop the edges with the digital Canon cam I currently possess... so you'll see the scrapbook round the edges, or maybe a wooden table or countertop.
Oh, yeah, before I forget, I have some trucking pics in this link, there are cool shots on both pages of this old thread. Kinda funny to see shots of White Sands & Elephant Butte Lake there, as those two locations are now close to my home. Well, Elephant Butte Lake is a couple hours away, as I can't ride directly toward it across the White Sands Missile Range or the Jornada del Muerto, lol. It's only accessible to me by a loop route, either through Las Cruces or Carrizozo... meh, here's the link, enjoy the pics!
If that link doesn't bring up pics the first time around, keep trying and the pics will eventually appear, lol. Let's get started on the retro look at trucking in the Roaring '90s, when I earned my CDL-A. Dunno what the form is now, but in those days a hand went to driving school for a few weeks, then ran with an OTR trainer as a team before upgrading to solo. Some companies offered in-house driving school, with a commitment required for a set period of time. I went to U.S.T.D.S. for school, and started OTR with U.S. Xpress.
Here we go to the USX terminal in OKC...
Here's the truck in which I teamed OTR with a trainer... nothing fancy, just a Freightshaker Condo with a Super 10 transmission (not my choice of transmissions, I prefer a 13-speed or a Straight 10). However, it served to instruct me, and I was fortunate in my assignment of a trainer, as he was also ex-military. I think that makes a BIG difference, getting along with your trainer... it lets you focus upon what's important.
Here's my trainer talking to a fleet mechanic in one of the USX terminal shops... OKC or Chattanooga, I think. We frequently ran FedEx loads, so I'm tossing in a pic or two of that whole scene... later, after I upgraded to solo, I ran solo FedEx loads, as the company learned I was reliable enough to run those loads without wasting time trashing around in some truck stop or casino, lol.
I reckon there's some sort of pic limit per post here at this site, so I'll just throw down 10 pics at a time, that way there should be no trouble with pics coming through alright. There might be a few blemishes on these old paper scrapbook photos, so bear with me... I'm sure some clown spilled beer on one or two pics in years past, when I frequently shared the scrapbooks with interested parties. 'Nuff said, back in a flash...
Railsplitter's Crazy "Trucking Daze" thread...
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Here are a few things we were issued at the outset of various jobs: fuel card, fuel network brochure, reefer alarm code chart, that sorta thing. A hand was expected to buy his (or her) own atlas, exit guide, etc. The trucks had early SatComm units aboard, so a driver could ask for directions, but sometimes those directions were bad, so I generally backed up those directions by using my trucker's atlas and CB to locate shippers & receivers. That brown paper BS bag came in handy when dealing with dispatchers, and also when dealing with Super Trucker, lol...
Even while off duty in my 'Home 20' of Coronado, CA (San Diego), I'd use the truck as an RV while camping with friends & family... I'd cover the SatComm dome above the catwalk with aluminum foil, tape it up securely to hide my location, and burn company fuel while camping in the mountains or desert, lol. Here are a few pics of that scene, starting with a shot of my first assigned USX tractor, good ol' #5211... I had some great times aboard that truck, and not always on the job either, lol. Here's my tractor parked in front of Truckhaven Rocks in Anza-Borrego...
Look closely in this next pic, and you'll see my truck in the same location, only this time you're seeing it from the summit of that outcrop, lol.
Some gal I used to know, we went camping at Borrego Palm Canyon and had a blast... but this shot was taken from the outcrop summit as well.
Camping with friends in Lark Canyon, not far from Boulevard in East San Diego County... great place to camp back in the day, almost primitive with very few people. Not quite fully remote camping, which my friends & I also did, but pretty close. I'd always pitch my tent and let friends or family sleep in the truck, just to give 'em an idea of what it was like for me on the road. The last place I wanted to sleep while off duty was aboard the truck, lol... but I'd use my assigned tractor as a 10-ton RV just to haul us out there to the wilderness, firewood strapped to the catwalk. Heaps of fun, and heaps of good memories...
Here are a few shots taken at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial in Mobile, AL... that's my USX truck parked next to another rig, not far from the B-52 'Calamity Jane.' Great little side excursion en route, the battleship memorial... I'd make time for such "paid tourism" whenever possible, it was part of the lifestyle in those days. Priority missions included boat rides, skyscraper tours, show caves, etc. Whenever I was given a new load assignment, I'd check the atlas to see what I could check out along the way as a commercial sightseer or paid tourist ("turista pagado" en espanol, lol).
Running out west again...
Hmm, getting dark here, so I gotta go cover the young fruit trees I planted last spring, we're in for another hard freeze tonight... but when I return, I'll post some wreck pics to keep y'all happy, lol. It's almost beer-thirty here as well, but first I gotta knock out this small task. Back in a bit with some classic wreck shots!
Okay, got those young trees covered... this spring, I intend to plant pecan & pistachio nut trees in my yard, along with the usual melons, hot peppers, tomatoes, and legal dope plants, lol. I'm leaning more toward homesteading and a self-sustaining lifestyle, you understand. If I met the right country gal, I'd raise goats & chickens out here in the boondocks... some of my neighbors do, and some have horses as well, though I can't afford to keep a horse. Meh, I'll get my horsepower by twisting a throttle or mashing an accelerator, lol... works for me! Let's look at some wreck pics!
These are scanned prints of old photos, subsequently shot with the Canon cam, and the thin paper got wrinkled a bit at some point over the years, so that's what you see... bear with me, not all my wreck photos are on this thin scanned print paper. Anyway, those first two shots show the result after a truck driver opted for that "long layover"---meh, makes it easier for D.O.T. bears to pull roadside inspections of the chassis, 10-4? "As you can see, officer, my brakes are adjusted correctly!" Lol. I have a few more scanned prints to throw down, starting with this good-looking Swift tractor... I like the custom stacks!
Here's a red Pete in showroom condition!
Nice... only 12 more payments and she's mine! D.O.T.-approved! Here are a couple more tractors in showroom condition!
That one on the left is designed so that when the wind is on your port beam, the rig is more aerodynamic...
Here are some filler shots, as the next wreck pics will require a full post... howzabout some backed-up traffic shots?
Oh, hell, the flash is interfering with the next set of wreck pics, so I'll post those manana... for now, we'll go to Chicago's West Side, that burg is a train wreck in itself, lol. Here I am in a Florilli truck, picking up or delivering a load (can't remember which), and the mean streets were kinda tight, lol.
Here's a nice gauntlet of vans & straight trucks... cue the line of advice from Super Trucker: "CLOSE YER EYES AND MASH ON IT!!!"
And a West Side alley... alla youse professional truck driving hee-roes should have no problem navigating this alley in the dark with a long-nosed Pete or KW and a 53' wagon, 10-4?
This guy was actually doing a job of work...
I was already in the shadow of the Sears Tower (the building has since been renamed), so I pulled a bit of paid tourism and made my way to the SkyDeck...
Hmm, this posting business is taking longer than expected, and I have some household tasks to take care of here, so we'll knock off for the evening and resume tomorrow. I'll be doing this for awhile, so no big hurry... it ain't like I have some idiot dispatcher or scumbag broker giving me grief, lol. So hang in there, youse OTR heroes & wannabe OTR heroes, for I'll undoubtedly be back like a bad rash to plague y'all further, 10-4? Ya know, seeing those Chi-Town shots reminds me of the time I trashed around Manhattan, and I promised to incorporate some of my trucking stories in this thread, so here's one about the Big Apple...
Metropolitan heroes who drag 53' wagons into that burg should get a kick out of my story, it's good for a laugh or two... enjoy, and I'll see y'all manana!
P.S. Any site members---rookies or experienced hands---feel free to comment upon anything I post in this thread, I don't mind fielding questions or abuse, lol. I already paid my dues and had my fun, so no worries... and if I can help any younger hands by sharing whatever knowledge and experience I possess, so be it. Which reminds me, I frequently post elsewhere in my quest to boost road safety, particularly among the younger generations who never completed any Driver's Ed courses in school. Those f/u leftist academic institutions have gotten rid of Driver's Ed courses, when Driver's Ed should be the most important course of study. Here's a link to one thread where I attempted to share some observations... you younger hands might do well to read the thread, you might learn something from it. CHEERS!!!
homesteadingforum.org/threads/road-safety.17526/Last edited: Jan 24, 2023
Gotta run to town to drop off some library books and resupply with beer, but before I go, I'll post those wreck pics I couldn't post last night, due to the camera flash interfering with the process. So here we go... I was running I-85 out of Atlanta, heading toward the SC line, when I ran up on this nasty doubles wreck which had occurred in the middle of the night. Straight stretch of road, the driver probably fell asleep, and he may have paid the price too, as there was blood in the crushed day cab when I saw it up close. I was relatively new to the industry at this point, so I pulled over on a slightly wider shoulder beyond the wreck and walked back to see if they needed any help. Good thing too, because that wrecking crew was desperate for water: when they got the call to recover the wreck, they didn't realize it was gonna be so difficult, with the doubles combo lying in a ditch and the power unit all f/u in a weird position. It was a hot humid day in Georgia too, almost reminded me of Basic & AIT at Fort Benning, lol. Anyway, I gave the wrecking crew two gallons of water which had been chilling under an A/C vent in my sleeper, and they immediately took a break to chug that agua, with a full-grown bear standing nearby and overseeing the operation. Throughout my brief venture to assist the crew, I surreptitiously snapped a few pics of the wreck scene to show family & friends back home, and here are the pics...
The photos aren't in exact sequence, you can see where the second trailer has been righted in a middle photo, but you get the gist of it, aye? I like that last pic wherein the guardrail looks like a piece of spaghetti... meh, this is why it pays to get your sleep (and NOT behind the wheel).
Gotta make that town run and get it outta the way, I only have 2 or 3 beers left in the fridge, lol... but I'll be back like a bad rash to post some more pics later, 10-4? Y'all hang loose, I'll catch up to ya later... nice day here too, with blue skies & sunshine, just a bit cool still with the breeze.
Okay, I FINALLY made it back to this thread, lol... goldurned camera battery took forever to charge, and that Canon cam is only 7 years old. Meh, it sees a lot of use, especially on the trail while dirt biking. Anyway, I noticed that some digital pics I've taken of old glossy paper photos picked up the surface reflection of my hands holding the Canon cam, so if you happen to notice that, well, there isn't much I can do about it unless I angle the shot, and then the pic gets all distorted, so just deal with it. Most of the time, it doesn't make much difference anyway... these pics are simply meant to give folks an idea of what trucking is like, especially those younger men & women who may be considering a career in the trucking industry. I'll try to throw down captions when I think it's necessary, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the ride. Here we go...
Truman Home & Library, Independence, MO...
Part of the Subtropolis, an underground complex of warehouses carved (or blasted) out of limestone on the outskirts of Kansas City... next photo is kinda dim, but you can see one of the underground tunnels, the place is a trip, lol.
Crude Truckin' Thanks this.
Rolled past Lake Lure and Chimney Rock in the Tar Heel (NC), and since I had time to spare on a weekend run, I took a dip in the Rocky Broad River (and that water was cold, coming down from the mountains!), then dropped my wagon and bobtailed up into Chimney Rock Park. Awesome place, the hiking trails were really fun on a perfect spring day... remember, exercise is good for you! Lol. If you ever roll past this park, the weather is nice and you have the time, be sure to visit it, it's totally worth a few dollars for the entrance fee (I paid $5 back in the day). Part of the Daniel Day-Lewis remake of 'THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS' was filmed here, even though James Fenimore Cooper's story takes place in upstate NY, lol. I highly recommend the 'Cliff Trail'---as seen in that movie!
This taped-up composite photo shows a cool little spread near Lake Lure, this place had its own pond and looked pretty sweet!
I actually rolled past the park entrance before I decided to stop and check out this place... found a wide shoulder by the Rocky Broad River, shaved and washed my hair by the truck, then put on some board shorts for a dip to get cleaned up (no truck stops back in the woods). The view of 404' Hickory Nut Falls was pretty cool from that location, another factor in my decision to play the paid tourist...
This 'pool' was ideal for a dip... but the water was freezing despite the beautiful spring day, lol.
After dropping my wagon in a lot in the village, I rolled through the entrance gate and bobtailed up this scenic road...
Views of the gorge and Lake Lure were pretty cool... look closely in the next pic and you can spot my trailer down in the village (upper left).
Nice shot of Hickory Nut Falls, but you can see even better views of it in that film I mentioned, lol... remember, do NOT pass this park without visiting it, as it is a destination in its own right. My pics don't do justice to it, but they bring back good memories, and that's all that counts, lol.
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