We do love trucking stories.
Most truck drivers love to reminisce and sometimes stretch the truth.
Truckers since way back when, have always loved to tell stories about trucking on their CB radios, when on the road, waiting at the loading dock, and generally when boredom strikes. There’s nothing like a good tall tale or a trucker story to help pass the time.
Since a driving career demands so much time behind the wheel, professional drivers have plenty of time to think up some pretty wild stories.
A Few of Our Favourite Trucking Stories
I Grew Up in a ’55 Peterbilt
By Dan Garcia
My dad was a Safeway store driver for 22 years. Our family also owned Denver Pallet Co. Dad bought one of Safeway’s 1955 Peterbilt conventionals to do our hauling.
Myself and my younger brother grew up in that tractor. Albert and I grew up working like men in the pallet business. Our dad was an old Wyoming cowboy, so being young, (10 & 8 yrs. old), didn’t get us out of work.
We worked 7 days/week in the summer and in the school season, everyday after school and all weekends. We constantly hauled used pallets out of Safeway’s Distribution Center to our yard, then repaired them and delivered them to our customers in Colorado and Wyoming. My brother and I both learned to drive a truck in this old Peterbilt. That’s why I say we grew up in it.
This tractor when at Safeway, had a refrigerated drum on it, which was removed before selling it.
The tractor was equipped with an 220 Cummins engine, 5 x 3 transmission, 255 in. wheel base, (and of course) spring ride suspension. This tractor made a driver out of a guy – DRIVER- powered steering. No air conditioning. The truck was equipped with sanders mounted in front of the forward drive axle…a great safety feature for the driver and the public. (Tractor was used in Safeway’s Western Division, which meant a lot of mountain hauling)
What did we like best about our Pete? Watching dad drive it and learning to drive it. It looked great and it was a member of our family.
R.I.P. Dan Garcia Sr.: Driver for 44 years, 3.5 million miles.
Thank YOU Smart Trucking for this site.
By Keith, New Jersey, USA
This story is from my CDL instructor, an ex-trucker.
He’s eating lunch at a truck stop restaurant. The door opens and a large man stands in the doorway. “Does anyone here drive for [company]?” he hollers.
“I SAID, IS THERE A DRIVER HERE FROM [company]?!” Another big guy, sitting at a booth and eating a meal, responds. “Yeah. I do.”
“You’re blocking the lane,” says the driver at the entrance. “Come move your rig.” The man eating ignores him. The man in the doorway lumbers across the room. Now he’s standing over the table.
“I said… you’re blocking the lane. Are you gonna move your truck?” “Yeah,” says the seated guy, looking up. “I’ll move it.” He goes back to his meal. “…when I’m done.”
For several moments, there was silence in the room.
Then, the standing driver takes his entire forearm and wipes everything off the table. Plate, cup, utensils, salt & pepper… everything crashes to the floor.
“YOU’RE DONE!” he screams.
It took many men to pull them apart.
Missed It By THAT Much!
Here’s one of the best trucking stories I know……
About two weeks ago, a very scary thing happened near my house. The big rig truck tried to make it across the railroad tracks, but the trailer jack-knifed a bit and the truck got stuck!
At the same time the truck was stuck on the tracks, a train was coming along, and I thought for sure the train was going to hit the truck!
But, thank goodness, the train was able to stop really fast, and didn’t hit the truck. The train had to stay there for nearly an hour, until the heavy duty tow trucks got there. I don’t know why they brought a lowboy trailer?
I was trying to help the trucker before the police and Norfolk Southern officials came. The trucker and I were waving our hands and his orange vest around, to get the train’s attention, so it would stop.
This was a very dangerous situation and it was very fortunate for the truck driver and the train, that the train was able to stop in time.
The Mule Train
My first truck driving job.
Going back in my memories, a few years, I remembered how I first entered into the trucking industry.
First of all, I am a 2nd generation trucker, and my son has taken up the occupation to follow in the family footsteps.
However, I did not have the opportunity to learn to drive from my father. Like many truckers these days, I went to a truck driving school.
The school I went to was in San Antonio Texas. Anyone who has ever passed through this part of Texas, knows that the tallest hills around here, aren’t really hills!
The school, however, was a quality professional CDL training school.
Just after I completed the truck driver training, I ended up moving back to western Oregon, where I did then use my dad as a resource and was able to procure a job driving a “mule train” chip truck, my first truck driving job.
This is where the story gets interesting.
My nightly run was from Eugene Oregon to Klamath Falls Oregon, over the Willamette Pass. This pass is a very beautiful drive, but is one of the tallest passes in the state of Oregon.
To add to the drama of a young truck driver’s first job, I had the audacity of beginning my new career in the middle of December!
The ice and snow were a lot to contend with, and the fact that I hadn’t even seen a set of chains during school, didn’t help very much. Imagine the first time I actually saw the runaway truck ramps!
I have to say that I learned to shift gears and steer in central Texas, but I learned to really “drive a big rig truck” on the Willamette Pass that winter!
How to Back Up in New York City Traffic
This incident happened in 1973.
Three of us truckers had loads going to JFK Airport on Rag-top trailers. We needed to stop in New Jersey to get a trip to deliver in New York, so we all stopped at the big ’76 truck stop’ exit in New Jersey, to fuel up.
Two of us fueled at the cut rate across the street and one guy had to use the 76. We finished up, and we didn’t see him so we went on to the company we were to trip lease from, and waited a bit for him to show up.
Time was running close and we needed to leave, in order to make the delivery on time.
We made our deliveries and were headed out of the city around 5:00 PM.
Now, this was my ‘rookie year’ and I did not know that New York state measures their bridge heights from the curb up.
As I was coming back out on the BQE, I saw several signs warning truckers that anything over 12’8″, would need to exit at a certain exit.
Not knowing any different and realizing that with the bows all the way out on the rag top, we were at least 13’6″. Off the exit I went.
Now remember this is around 5:00 PM in New York City and I am a rookie.
Next thing I know, bells are going off because we are at a tunnel and too high to enter it.
Again, TOO DUMB to get out and lower the bows on the rag top that would have taken down 6″.
It took one hour and 4 stops to ask cops how to get back on the BQE! Later, we were back on the New Jersey Turnpike at a rest area.
Keep in mind, that we NEVER did see our buddy, until he was banging on our doors the next morning!
He had not stopped to get the trip lease and went straight into JFK and made his delivery.
Fast forward two years.
A group of us were sitting in the driver’s room one day and I finally heard the “Paul Harvey” version of the JFK delivery.
The other driver had done exactly what I did and got off at the same exit and wound up in the same predicament.
Here is how he got out of it when he too ended up at an over pass he couldn’t get under.
When he wasn’t able to get the cars to stop so he could back up, he got out and called the cops and said, “There is a stupid truck driver down here blocking traffic. Can you get someone to help unblock the traffic?”
You know “THE REST OF THE STORY”!”
This is what his truck looked like only it was green.
By the way his name was Jimmy Blevins and we drove for Russell Transfer out of Roanoke,VA.
by Ed Martin