Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tales from the Road

Many years ago, I drove a truck for a living. I often worked on Saturdays with my friend, who also worked there, too.

One such Saturday, we had to wash the trucks behind the building. Afterwards, the trucks had to be moved around front, where they were parked until Monday.

I washed the big one, which had air brakes. Without getting too much into details, it takes a while after washing and doing some minor stuff to the air brakes, for the truck to be safe to drive. The air pressure has to build back up, essentially.

So, I started the truck, and hung out and waited. My friend was in a hurry, so he wanted me to move the truck.

Nope, the warning buzzer is still, erm, warning.

He assured me that a real truck driver can handle a situation like that, and he jumped up into the truck. I headed into the office.

The next thing I heard sounded a lot like a large truck crushing a Buick, because, well, a large truck with no brakes couldn't stop, and crushed a Buick.

I was out of the shop and on the scene in a few seconds. My buddy was still sitting in the seat, and was kind of stunned. I got up in the other side of the truck and set the emergency brake. I told my friend, no matter what, tell everyone that he set the brake. He repeated the story so many times (to the police, to the insurance company, to the boss, to the Buick owner) that to this day, he believes that he did.

I always felt badly for the guy who owned the Buick. But thinking about it, I probably shouldn't have. He walked in to a clothing store to buy a suit, and wound up with a new car.

This also worked out ok for me. I sent the story in to a magazine a few years ago, and won a prize.

And my friend? He got a newer, better truck to drive.

It was win, win, win.


A New Yorker said...

Yep liars always seem to win and honesty gets you kicked outta a job!

Unknown said...

This story has a nice moral. ;-)

Buzzing J said...

No wonder the insurance companies are all up for bailouts.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanie said...

Damn Joe! You got spammed again!

Great story!

Unknown said...

If it were me I would have gone straight to jail. I swear.

Donnie said...

Dammit. I used to tell my dad that lying paid...he never agreed!

Unknown said...

insurance fraud DOES pay! How great is THAT! What was your prize

Da Old Man said...

@ Lauren: It all worked out, though.

@ Shadow: Yes, it does. I think. :)

@ Buzzing: Believe me, the trucking company paid enough in insurance to buy a couple Buicks

@ Joanie: Yeah, I did, but I made it disappear.

@ Etta: Probably. That's just your kind of luck

@ Don: Once in a while it does.

@ Dizz: Hard to explain. No actual prize, just mentioned in the magazine. So, I got immortality.

Jackie said...

Well let's see my dad was a truck driver and I am married to one. So I can definitely see this happening.

You make everything so darn funny. I love to hear trucker's tell their tales anyway.

Every single one has at least 2 or 3 good ones up their sleeve.

My husband took off the top of his rig under a low bridge in Chicago...I shouldn't be laughing...but, your story was so funny.

But, this wasn't his fault. The company gave specific directions to go in the way he was going, and, it was rush hour in Chicago, and, there was no sign or warning marked anywhere about a low bridge.

He said he was covered in dust from the fir glass and looked like he had been rolled in powder.

He could see sunshine coming through the top, the Qualcom box and his light was just dangling down, everything was a disaster.

As he sat there in shock a lady pulled up beside him in her car. She blew her horn and started pointing up at the top of his truck.

She just wanted to let him know that the top was gone. He said he just looked down at her, eyes only showing through a face white from all of the dust....and he mouthed to her..."No S*** I don't know?"

Well thank goodness there was no sign. The city of Chicago had to pick up the tab on that one and he didn't lose his job.

Now about that other old truck I have over on my site. I think you are probably right about the 20's. I know it can't be older than a 20's or early 30's model.

Thanks for stopping made my really did!!:-)))

Da Old Man said...

@ Shinade: My uncles on my mother's side, and my grandfather and father all drove trucks. The first truck I drove was a 1948 International without synchro mesh transmission.
I was glad to stop by. Thanks.

Christopher Jones said...

I need a new house. Think you can hit my current home with a wrecking ball of something?

ReformingGeek said...

I could never get a way with something like that. Very funny, though.

Anonymous said...

Every body wins except the insurance company and those who pay premiums.

The Self-Deprechaun said...

You should post the story that you submitted. Maybe you will win your own zuchinni award :)

I'm glad that you are writing blogs instead of working the trucks and having friends crush buicks.

Da Old Man said...

@ CB: No, I don't have access to one.

@ Reforming: It was so funny that to this day, my friend is convinced he applied the brakes.

@ Anon: You do realize that nearly every single accident is the result of stupidity? Just not all of them have a funny antecedent and such silly hubris.

@ Self: Me, too. I stopped driving professionally a while ago.

Kevenj said...

Great story Crotchey. I drove a truck for a while too,when I was younger making a wooping $7.50/hr, although not a big rig like you. Just a flat bed class C, but a brand new International one delivering plumbing supplies back in Chicago.Shinade made a good point about some of the older bypasses in Chi-town. I used to live next to one that did have signs posted but we had a semi get stuck or tear off the roof all the time.
By the way, did you hear about the time that a semi got stuck under a railroad bypass and nobody could figure out how to get him out without damaging the truck and/or bypass? Allegedly, a young kid came up w/the answer. What was it?

Anonymous said...

Wow! One of those stories in which everyone was better off after a tragedy than they were before it, huh?

Very unique, Crotchety...

Da Old Man said...

@ Kevin: I'm going to guess to let the air out of the tires

@ The Hawg: Thanks. It's rare when that happens.

Unknown said...

I'd better keep my mouth shut on this one -- or at least limit my typing.

Michelle said...

I knew thats why I never trusted Truck Drivers!!!

Sandee said...

Now the guy that owned the Buick knows what happened. Yep, now he knows.

Have a terrific day Crotchety. :)

Chunks of Reality said...

Funny story! :)