Paperwork and all the little things that can get you into several hundred dollars worth of trouble; those are things I don’t miss about truck driving.
One of my trucking journeys took me to San Diego. After delivering my load I waited two days for another one.
In trucking if you’re sitting you’re not making any money. When my new assignment came I rocketed northward.
Passing through a weigh station south of Long Beach my log book was confiscated.
Log books keep track of your trucking comings and goings. You may have heard references to these things in country songs.
I was told to pull over and report to an officer inside the station office.
“Name?” asked the officer behind the counter.
I told him.
He thumbed through some log books, found mine and thunked his index finger on the day’s page.
With a voice reminiscent of Charlton Heston playing Moses he said, “This says you’re still in San Diego.”
I looked at the page. I looked the officer in the eye like my dad taught me to do.
“Sir, I’m sorry, I’d been sitting there for two days waiting for a load so when I got one I got so excited I just took off up the interstate.”
The officer stared at me for what seemed minutes but was probably only a few seconds.
“Well,” he said. “Mark your log book correctly. And don’t do this again.”
I did what the officer said, got my log book and headed out.
Days later at the company dispatch office in Phoenix another trucker came in ranting and raving about the $700 fine he had to pay for the same infraction at the same weigh station. The difference may have been that he asked the officer, “Don’t you have something better to do, like sit in a donut shop?”
I smiled inside. No way was I going to tell him about the fine I didn’t get.
Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.