November 20th, 2007

#725: I'm Drivin' a Truck



There are two videos that I found in a quick check of YouTube. This one was the less-annoying of the two. Anyway it lets you hear the song which lends its name to this post's title.

...and if you like Yankovic's work you could get pulled into a swirling whirlpool of hilarity. You have to be careful.

Anyway, the truck:

I got my Class C license last week, enabling me to legally herd machines weighing up to 26,000 pounds. And so last night was my first night of doing it for actual money. I made two trips from the store, to the off-site warehouse, and back. Other than a little bit of trouble getting the thing parked at the loading dock at the warehouse, it was fine.

Last night was a double-truck night at the store. Once the unload was done I went outside and backed the big truck up to the dock, and had no trouble at all. Loaded it, went to the warehouse...and when I got inside and went to open the dock plate, it went up, I got on it to bring it down...and it cleanly missed the tailgate of the truck.

Patrick and Steve got a laugh out of that. Well, I did too. Then Steve made fun of me a bit, and Patrick told me to go ahead and back the truck up, and he'd make sure Steve's "fuckin' head" was in between the truck and the dock plate. So I backed the truck up, and then it was somehow too close and the dock plate wouldn't go up, so I said I'd move the truck forward a bit; Steve said he'd hold Patrick's "fuckin' head" in the dock plate....

That was the first time I'd parked that truck at the warehouse anyway. I'd done it a couple times at the store before I had my class C. Anyway, WTF; other than this little bit of trouble, it was a pretty good night.

It was much more fun to be at the warehouse than it was at the store. I genuinely like Patrick and Steve. I helped them with the floor backstock and left the warehouse at about 6:10 AM, and once I'd unloaded the truck at the store and then pulled it off the dock, I clocked out around 6:25 and went home.

So when I got into my Jeep to go home, the Jeep felt like a freakin' sports car compared to that massive Freightliner.

I have to say, that's an easy night compared to a lot of other jobs I could have been asked to do. I did spend some time working in the back room between trips to the warehouse, but an hour here and there is nothing like a full night of that nonsense. And it gets you out of the store for a while, away from the crap music played too loud, etc.

On my last trip back to the store, some moron was tailgating me because I was "only" going 35 in a 35 zone. The only reason I knew he was there was I could see the light from his headlights shining on the pavement.

When you're that close to a large truck, you can't see what's happening ahead; the first warning you'll have that the truck is entering a panic stop will be when the brake lights go on. No matter who you are, your reaction time is measured in tenths of a second; if that truck has to stop suddenly you may be surprised at how quickly it can stop and you will hit it. (A light turned yellow on me suddenly last night, and I was surprised that I got the truck stopped in about the same distance I'd be able to stop my Jeep from the same speed. I wasn't even using all that much braking effort...and this was with a full load.) If you rear-end a truck like that, your car is going to be totaled, and the paint on the truck's bumper will be scratched. (Maybe.) And to add insult to injury, the accident will be all your fault.

It was a stupid risk for that moron to take, because it was for damn sure not going to intimidate me into going faster; I was driving at the posted limit and didn't care how fast he wanted to go. And if you have an accident, you won't get where you're going very quickly, either.

I wish there was a way to get the idea across in a pithy statement: "If you want me to go faster, you must pay for any and all citations, fines, court costs, etc, and increased expenses incurred including increases in insurance premiums, vehicle wear-and-tear, gasoline, maintenance, and any deductible charges incurred as a result of me driving at your desired speed." There's no way to condense that; I've tried. *sigh*

Oh well.

With the class "C" on my license, there are a whole bunch of jobs I could do; I might find myself looking for another job next year--we'll see how things shake out.