The Old days are dying and the New drivers only smell like they have.

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Muleskinner, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Muleskinner

    Muleskinner <strong>"Shining Beacon of Chickenlights"</strong>

    You called that right Foo.btw did you get my PM Foo?
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  3. jlkklj777

    jlkklj777 20 Year Truckload Veteran

    Oct 1, 2007
    Duncannon, Pa
    I am surprised at the response. I kinda expected to be shouted down and was ready with a barrage of well placed barbs but I guess I can holster my arrows (for now). I would like to offer some more counter points on the subject and perhaps (at the very least) expand the breadth of the conversation and maybe even shine a spotlight on some hidden racism, fear, and hypocrisy offered by some of the members here.

    First let me say I grew up in a racist home. Dear old dad aspired to be a Klansman but lived in an area where they were not active. Of course he was an equal opportunity hater. Blacks, Mexican, Asians, Jews,.... You name the group he probably hated them. He only embraced english speaking W.A.S.P.'s (white anglo saxon protestants). One of his favorite rants was about non English speakers. "how dare THEY come to MY country and refuse to learn ENGLISH! THEYR'E UNAMERICAN! He advocated sending the blacks back to Africa and thought Hitler had a great concept. The Asians attacked us and had no business in this country. To say the least he was a whacko.

    Now let me continue and point out some of the relative comments that reminded me of dear old dads rantings and perhaps with some self reflection some of you may identify the hidden fears, hatred, prejudices, and xenophobia that I see in many of my peers today (even though they try to hide it).

    A few from Mules skinner;

    "You stand there waiting to pay behind these grubworms and by the time they move out of your way you know way more about what their drug of choice is,what their"babies mama's" name is,what new rap disc is out and who's ### they are going to kick when they get home than you care about...the good part of it is they speak some kinda "urbanesse" and you only understand part of it...."Fo'shizzle my wanker,you got that right, a'ight,I'll chump him up when I get back to the crib"

    "You wade your frazzled butt back through the steering wheel holders wearing everything from beach attire to the "bad boy" attire which is tribal crap of their choice accesorized with the tribal wrap tattoo and topped with the goofiest looking fashion of headgear that has ever hit the planet...The doo rag...uhh"

    Hmm sounds racist to me. Only guys I hear talking like this and wearing a "doo rag" are blacks.

    "So very true...If my Dad heard anything from us kids mouths other than chewing while we were in public he would put what I call "eyemarks" on warning was to lean over and whisper under his breath " I'll smack you so hard that your Mom's nose will start bleeding if you don't shut yer pie hole till we get out of here"

    Sounds to me like threatened physical abuse and even hints at spousal abuse too? Proud of daddys actions? sounds scary to me. Of course back then this WAS commonplace as I have heard it (and other threats like it) from my "elders" many times.

    One from Brickman;

    "One thing I just thought of that I cannot stand is the morons that come to America from other countries that refuse to assimilate. Then they feel compelled to stand at the phone banks, at the fuel counter, in the drivers lounge, in the bathrooms or where ever else they find convenient and yell at the top of their lungs in a foreign language."

    Labeling immigrants as morons is truly sad. This country was built on immigrants and by immigrants. Many so called "morons" did not learn the language but their children did. This country has never adopted a "national language" for fear of alienating potential voters. Back in the early 1900's (according to the history books and stories from grandparents) immigrants were routinely assaulted for not "speaking the language" well enough. They were forced to assimilate even though our country is supposedly the "greatest melting pot" this world has ever seen. Our politicians have embraced the foreign language speakers with mandatory translation for government paperwork.

    A contribution from myminpins;

    Wow!!! Even 25 years ago we dressed so much more neatly than the kids do today. We were neat and tidy. We tucked in our shirts. We wore our clothes with pride. We combed our hair. Today, most kids look like slobs who haven't washed, bathed, or seen a comb let alone clean clothes in a month.

    The hippy era was the 60's and 70's. Free love, Free drugs. Long Hair, grubby clothes, anti-war protesters, Bathing optional. Sandals very common. Not sure when the hippy craze "officially ended" but I still see some tie dyes, sandals and long hairs walking around today.

    Offered by stranger;

    This profession has been taken over by a bunch of gypsy hoodlums who have no respect for themselves or anyone else

    This is because large companies will not pay decent and will keep drivers on the road for months. Very few decent family men are going to be treated like this, so these morons are hired to hold the steering wheel while being told every move to make. They have no control over their lives, so they act like over grown children in public.

    Gypsy Definition: an offensive term for a member of the Roma people. The Roma people were thought to have come from Egypt (the term comes from the mid 16th century) and is also used to describe a person with a nomadic, unconventional lifestyle.

    Again a reference to "morons"

    Definition: an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody's intelligence.

    So because others dress differently and do not conform to his view of what is correct they are inferior in intelligence? He goes on to say that; "If the drivers I started out running with were still alive today there would be a lot of killings. Today's cats would meet a tire thumper up close and personal in the back corner of the parking lot."
    A Very sad commentary on potential violence being perpetrated on "others." This is one of the first steps to hatred. Looking at others as inferior and not worthy. Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to beat them with a tire thumper in a back corner (at least in this fellas opinion).

    Offered by TrooperRat;

    Bathroom? I mean - just plain gross. I don't go into truckstop bathrooms. You go in there, and people are taking showers in the sinks.

    I have seen this as well. Many travelers are down on their luck and cannot afford the 10 bucks for a shower so they use "public restrooms" to get as clean as they can. I have seen guys wash their feet, arm pits, face, and hands in bathrooms. Some are offended and say; "thats gross."
    At least they are trying folks. By the way when folks come out of the toilet they may have fecal matter or urine on their hands. They use those contaminated hands to turn the faucets off and on. Ever thought about that?

    Muleskinner, Now for fellas that learn another language that is wonderful. You should not denigrate their achievement by referring to a bilingual speaker as an "idiot." They took initiative and will be more versatile over all than a fella that can only speak English. Your getting angry about others not speaking English deserves some self reflection. Normally anger is an emotion stirred up by fear or resentment.

    Regarding immigration; Our corporate society loves illegal immigrants and so does the federal government. Think about it; The feds get tons of new workers (with fake ID's) that are paying into the tax system with no hope of ever receiving any benefits at retirement for their contributions over the years. Our American work force is too haughty and proud to scrub toilets, bus tables, dig ditches, mow lawns, pick fruits and vegetables, work in the hot sun building houses, babysit our kids, and clean our houses and pools. They serve us on a regular basis and do it for slave wages in many cases. Why? Because they are striving for a better life. They are hoping to provide for the family they left behind.

    Lets do a little role reversal muleskinner. Your the foreigner now. You were unlucky enough to be born in a country that has little to no job opportunities. The government is corrupt. There is very little medical care for you or the kids you had with your lovely wife. Now you know that the country up north is rife with job opportunities for a hard working man. The trick is getting there. You cannot afford the bribes to the local officials to get a visa. You are unskilled because you were not offered an education at the governments expense. Therefore you do not qualify for the "skilled worker" programs that the INS offers to fast track foreigners wanting to come to the USA. Your kids are hungry. Your wife is sickly. What do you do?

    Not so easy to dismiss them now is it? Start thinking about all the folks and put a face and a story with that person. Kinda tough to hate and despise someone after you "look through his eyes." Governments have tried to convince their populations that foreigners are EVIL. Therefore they must be shunned and destroyed when they attempt to disrupt the status quo. Welcome to the wonderful world of XENOPHOBIA.

    I suspect your not a bad person Muleskinner. Nor do I believe the others I singled out are either. We all have prejudices, fears, and yes some of us are closet racists too but it in politically incorrect to admit it today.

    If I upset some of you maybe thats good. I hoped to inspire some of you into looking at things in a different light (a new perspective if you will). We can be better than our parents and grandparents if we will take the time to do some self analysis).

    Bashing others for their attire isn't necessary either. We wear what we are comfortable in based on where we grew up and our culture. Wearing sandals on the job (in the truck) is actually very beneficial to your feet. Speak with your podiatrist if you do not believe me. Tight fitting clothes will restrict blood flow and dark clothes absorb heat. All scientifically proven. Wearing steel toed boots on a work site is prudent and thick jeans may be prudent if your bailing hay, throwing chains, or riding a motorcycle but in the drivers seat of a truck? Nope sorry not much chance of getting hurt there. Climbing in and out of a truck and skinning your knee? I suppose its possible but I like to keep things aired out. Sweating in your nether regions causes heat rash and irritability and makes it harder to sit for long periods of time. Wear those jeans if you want but consider switching to some flip flops and shorts when in the truck. I am sure your body will appreciate the "fresh air."

    I do have light sensitive eyes and I do wear prescription glasses with the darkest photo gray I can get but that chrome still bugs me.
  4. animal control

    animal control Medium Load Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Where I come From
  5. stranger

    stranger Road Train Member

    Oct 10, 2006

    You are very far off about my interpertation of the word "gypsy". As you see I never capatialized the word, therfore it was not a proper name, but generic. In the 70's gypsy truckers were truckers who ran wild, or in other words, did not return to a home base regularly. It may be hard for today's trucker to believe, but then most truckers left on Sunday or Monday, and were home before the weekend. There were a few exceptions, such as coast to coast, but even they usually ran three trips and had a week off, plus a day or so each week.

    So by "gypsy" I am pointing to a trucker who very seldom goes to a home base, or as in many cases I have ran across, has no home at all, and lives out of the truck. Many times these drivers who don't care for such encumberances as homes are also not inclined to be the cleanest around. A broad statement I know, but I don't have space to go into detail of something most everyone knows what I am talking about.

    As far as the part about olden day drivers knocking knots on peoples heads, the drivers that came up through the 50's and 60's were a tough breed. Many were still driving when I started. They did not take any crap from anyone. If you didn't act like a human being they would help you out in the manners dept in their own special way. Did I do this? No, but I was young and starting out then, and trying to keep my nose clean and earn the respect of the people who knew much more about this profession that I did. You either earned their respect, or you didn't last long. Most employers were either former drivers or were still driving, even if on a limited basis. They knew what was going on. They knew everyone everywhere along the routes you ran, plus they knew every other trucking employer in three counties. You acted right, or you went to work in a factory.

    Things were much different then , and the 70's were different than the 50's. Times change, people change. When I started some truckers were still wearing the hard billed truckers cap and coat like Ralph Cramden (Jackie Gleason) did in the Honeymooner's. I am sure they did not totally like my jeans, western shirts and boots. But I was clean, my clothes were clean, and I treated these drivers with respect and a little fear. As I said earlier, they policed their own, and weeded out the riff-raff.

    As a greenhorn I would go into a truckstop, and if the place was crowded I would look for a seasoned vet sitting alone. I would ask if I could sit and eat with him. I learned extreme amounts of wisdon from listening to these drivers. I would also associate with the old hands while waiting untold hours at the packing houses.

    On my first trip out OTR, one of the drivers I was talking to found out I was driving by myself in my own truck. He stated that he thought I was with my dad, and looked too young to be driving, much less owning the truck. He invited me to go to lunch with him and gave me great advice on brokers and hauling produce.

    The "vet" I bought the truck from taught me more than I could ever repay him for, as did the owner-operator who gave me my first semi-truck driving job. This was an in-state only job, but it was around 1600-1700 miles per week, and over doubled my pay from the prevoius job.

    I have been broken down and had three trucks stop at one time to help. I have had a driver drive me hundreds of miles home from a truck with a blown engine. This driverwouldn't hear of anything but letting me out in my own front yard. I have tried to repay other drivers with the same un-selfish help I received when starting out. I have also taken a driver over 300 miles to his home after his truck was destroyed in a wreck. I didn't know him, but he was from my area and needed help.

    If I complain about today's drivers, maybe you can see my point a little clearer after this post of just a few things that have changed. It would take days to tell of all the help, encouragement, and friendships that I gathered throught out the early years of my career.
    Original Lady Cherokee Thanks this.
  6. jlkklj777

    jlkklj777 20 Year Truckload Veteran

    Oct 1, 2007
    Duncannon, Pa
    Well written and reasoned Stranger. I am happy that you do not advocate assaulting others for supposed disrespect. I did include both definitions of gypsy to give you the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately the term is still derogatory even to this day.

    I think we can all agree that the camaradarie of old has diminished greatly over time.

    I too respect my predecessors. They handled many hardships in the beginning and had very little comforts on the road. Most actually had to be mechanics as well as drivers and that mechanical knowledge was a big part of why drivers would stop for a broke down motorist wether they were a 4 wheeler or a trucker. They had a desire to help one another regardless of whether they knew you personally.

    I take my hat off to the fellows that actually exemplified "the nights of the road" concept.

    In our current society (a throw away, disposable, rush, rush, and me first one) we have lost many of the old morals and values our parents and grandparents had drilled into them. Regrettably the state has tied the hands of parents in regard to discipline and has offered as a solution a steady supply of pharmaceuticals to keep our rambunctious children in check. Corporal punishment is no longer viewed as an aceeptable way to discipline children. For over zealous parents we have social service agencies ready to abduct our children and incarcerate us.

    I firmly believe the interference of the government is the root cause of much of the 'disrespect' we see today.

    Class, unfortunately is not something that we are born with. It is something we learn over time from our elders. Wether it be the "yes sir, yes mam" answer to an elder or the choice of apparel we wear in public. There are very few role models today for our young people. MTV, reality tv, soap operas, Jerry Springer all cater to the lowest common denominator in our society. Truly sad when dysfunctional becomes the norm rather than the exception.

    Then factor in the race for material gain and you get more and more parents having to go to work to support their children as well as buy that Mc Mansion with the private swimming pool and the 2 new cars out back, plus the rv and the boat for the weekend. These folks must rely on others to raise their kids (as in day care and babysitters). Neither seem to be a suitable replacement for a stay at home mom or a dad that takes an active role in that childs upbringing.

    Not sure what the solution is unfortunately. Pandoras box has indeed been opened and we must all live with the consequences.
  7. kd5drx

    kd5drx <strong>Master of Electronic Communications</stron

    Nov 28, 2006
    Some where USA
    I see we have opened a big box on this subject. I see the new generation has spoke up as well as the some what new generation. And of course us old timers. Now let me say what you wear while driving down the road in the cab of the truck is strictly your choice in my opinion i my self used to wear carpenter shorts and sandals and a loose t shirt while driving down the road due to the things pointed out by many about being comfortable for the long drives. Now when i got out at to fuel or go in and eat or meet the customer or the public i was always in the proper attire for the situation. When i pulled a flat rack i always had cover alls and work boots and long sleeve shirt on as well as gloves and a hard hat in the areas we worked you needed them on most construction sites. When i pulled reefer or dry van i always had on long jeans and a nice shirt and boots since most docks require that at least. Now as for the comments about cleaning the outside of your truck on your time off or out of your pocket. Let me pass something on a DOT officer once told me. If it looks like crap on the out side it probably looks the same way on the inside and the log probably looks the same way. and 9 times out of 10 he was right on the money when her pulled you over. And he was goi9ng to write you a ticket. He told me this as he was going threw my log book with a fine tooth comb and looking at him self in the reflection of my shiny doors on the reefer i had just pulled from Minnesota to southern cal in a snow storm that snowed all the way to NV. But you bet i took the money out of my pocket to wash the company trailer as that was what he was going to see the most of when i crossed the scales. My truck company trailer but i always washed them together i spent a little to save a ton. So i thought i would pass that on. Now if your company doesn't want to pay for the truck wash's then thats there problem but i would probably find another company to drive for if they had no more pride in there equipment than that. And when i said its the driver responsibility to keep it clean i was talking about the inside and all he had control over believe me i have seen some sick stuff. I used to recover trucks for Arrow out of Tulsa when i was a trainer there. Man you talk about some sick stuff coming out of those trucks was plum disgusting.
    Some of it would take a steam cleaner just to get in the cab much less try and drive it. SO i have seen most of every thing you can see out there from the worst to the best. What we are all trying to say is take some pride in your profession and your self and try and dress and act like an adult and remember you represent an industry not just your self our your company. So ask your self what is that person that has no idea what the inside of a truck looks like thinking when he sees you for the first time. Remember you only get 1 shot at a first impression so make it a good one.
  8. myminpins

    myminpins Road Train Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    Dartmouth, NS, Canada
    You said:

    What part of this makes me a prejudiced person? My children are neat and tidy (And they're 18 and 17 - one doesn't live at home any more but is still neat and tidy). I don't care what clothing ANYONE wears as long as it's neat, tidy, CLEAN and doesn't expose too much skin (belly shirts, etc. NOT at the beach).

    I have no problem with truckers wearing shorts and sandals but wish they were always CLEAN. It's unkemptness and dirtiness that offends me, not the clothing. If the hippies of the '60s didn't wish to bathe, that was their prerogative but I do not want to go into a place to eat or even a store and be assaulted by massive waves of body odor. It's offensive. I have a VERY sensitive sense of smell and odors such as that make me physically ill.

    Like I said, I have no problem what people want to wear - just make an effort to have on clean clothes and clean yourself as often as is reasonably possible.

    I am heavy now and do sweat MUCH easier than I used to but I'm referring to people who are rank - haven't bathed in at least four or five days, have lank, greasy hair, multiple food stains on their clothing, etc. It's obvious they have no self-pride.

    I honestly don't see why that is a bad thing???

    Wanting people to have self-respect and make their best efforts to be clean and neat is a prejudice now???? I'm sorry, I don't understand that at all.
  9. Muleskinner

    Muleskinner <strong>"Shining Beacon of Chickenlights"</strong>

    777,First off the "foshizzle" conversation I was refering to was coming out of the mouth of a short,fat white guy's mouth who was near his early to mid 30s at the BP truck stop in Marion,Il....AND HE WAS WEARING a DOO RAG with an image of a CONFEDERATE FLAG....As for the tribal tats,I've never been able to see what a tat is of on a black person and the tats I was refering to were on WHITE guy's arms and usually accompanied with a walmart west coast choppers t-shirt that hasn't been changed in a week or so.So come on back at me with how I'm an equal opportunity hater.I don't appreciate being called a rasicist by anyone.

    And as for your comment of "holstering your arrows for now" comment with the veiled threat implied that you were going to open a can of "big mouth"on us.IMHO it would be advisable for you to keep them "holstered"(although I think a quiver would be a better place to keep them) since nobody in this thread has even began to shoot a rifle your direction and cause you to hunt for your bow.You have MISSED the whole point of this thread so I really doubt you could hit anything with an arrow anyway as that takes skill at hitting your mark.
  10. latanea

    latanea Road Train Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    cincinnati (sharonville)
    Times have changed - we all agree on that...

    I think the most visible changes have been not only the demographics of driver rank - but also in manners and road courtesy.

    I have all but given up on flashing over drivers in traffic - rarely does anyone recipricate or thank you.

    I did not find any of the "old" ways until I hired on at roadway -

    seems like the union companies are the last bastions for the older methods and forms of courtesy and manners.

    (probably due to us not having a turnover rate - and a ton of 30 year guys around to keep manners alive...)

    When I started out for dick simon way back when - most every guy I met in another simon truck was either a student or had just a few years...

    so many companies are like this and save for a few weeks with a good trainer - most drivers have no source of info on how to do things save from "how not to hit objects".
  11. raindancer

    raindancer Light Load Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    While you made some good points about people comming here to work there is something I would like to point out. We have been talking about respect going both ways. I USED to admire the making a better liveing for your family attitude as this is what I assume we all want to do. What I object to is the "we have greater numbers so WE"RE ENTITLED" attitude.
    We used to haul meat to Garden City Ks. Nice,friendly little place. Fast forward ten years. Now the "townees" have been run out and the only truckstop for miles told me the last time I was in there "no Anglos".
    I owned a home for sixteen years, worked hard and almost had it paid off. It was a nice place. I raised my kids there. The city made the decision to "deversify" the neighborhood. When everyone else sold I stayed. After years of no problems my big truck windows were broken, my Jeep taken for a joy ride(almost $4000 in damage) and my house vandelized so many times my ins. threatened to drop me. I can't sell the place for half of what I paid for it. Nobody wants to live there. Even slum lords won't touch the area. I have family AZ. Can it get more violent? Someone crawled thru the doggie door of my sister's house in broad daylight in a gated community.
    Is this EVERY member of a certain race? No. I have friends of all backrounds. People have certain cultures and backrounds. They choose to be who they are.
    People often dress to tell you who they are. Hooker. rapper. Cowboy. Bussiness man etc.
    I prefer clean, respectful and hard working. Just like to be around others with same values.
    KO1927 and Original Lady Cherokee Thank this.
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