The Trucker Brief: America The Beautiful
By: Jake Isreal
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea!
I started driving a truck in July 2007. I can still remember taking my first trip with my company trainer after getting my commercial driver’s license (CDL). I was 25 years old and I had seen a little bit of the country. My family moved a few times and we had a few nice vacations to different places, but nothing like what I was embarking on. This first trip in the truck would take me from Dayton, Ohio to Seattle, Washington.
Over the course of this trip I encountered America and all it’s glory, from the vast urban expanses of Chicagoland, to the cornfields of Iowa and Nebraska, to the majestic mountain majesties of the west. I saw God, or at least sights that conjure up thoughts of such in the mountains of Utah, Oregon, and Washington. I sat in the front seat of the truck while being unloaded somewhere in the SeaTac area just staring at the majesty of Mt. Rainier. I tell ya what; I was truly awestruck.
Over the last 10 years I’ve driven easily over a million miles in a truck. I’ve traveled nearly every highway and byway, and hit all but two of the lower 48 states. I’ve driven through small towns and big cities. Delivered freight to giant corporations, small businesses, churches, and schools. I’ve helped bring supplies to disaster areas, and I’ve hauled equipment to build neighborhoods, windmills, and oilfields.
I’ve helped to create build the modern world and I’m damn proud of it. That being said, the truck driver has to put up with a lot of crap these days. The government regulates every minute of my day. There’s a computer attached to my dash that tells me when I can drive and when I must take a break. They do this in the name of safety. The government and certain groups will have you believe that I don’t get enough sleep and that I am a danger to the public without someone “the nanny state”stepping in.
The problem with these regulations is that they get in the way much more than they help. Now, a driver is forced to drive tired because he’s up against the clock. It used to be easier. If I was tired, I could park and take a nap. Now, with the clock ticking, there’s no choice but to keep moving. You have to keep going or else your freight won’t make it on time. This is creating a lot of problems in my industry.
Another problem is that there are severe parking shortages around the country. Regulations at the local levels have made it hard for drivers to park near their destinations. People and locales that don’t want “them dirty truckers” in their neighborhood, keep truck stops from opening. Never mind that we have all their groceries and literally everything they need. “Nope, not in my town, go park somewhere else.” Eminent domain even takes a much-needed truck stop on occasion, so they can add on to a highway giving room for more trucks that have nowhere to park. Drivers have been getting killed because of this and it’s becoming a problem. It seems like every week I’m hearing of a driver getting shot or burned up in his truck because he had to park in some shady spot. This is due to his computer telling him he had to park without a truck stop or a safe place for the driver to go to; and drivers certainly can’t even defend themselves in many places due to Draconian gun laws that protect the criminals and damn the law-abiding citizens.
That’s always the case, though, isn’t it? Everything Big Brother touches turns to shit. We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. We are responsible for so much good in this world. Yet lately, with the government trying to dictate our every move, we seem to be fading out. Burdensome regulation isn’t only affecting the truck driver; this abuse by our leaders and elected officials is stunting our country’s growth and it needs to stop.
The West Is The Best because we are built on freedom and liberty. We must not allow the tyrants of our time to ruin this great nation. We must stand up for the principles upon which this country was founded on. We must never apologize for creating the modern world.
I hope to bring more insight into the world of truck driving in the coming installments of “The Trucker Brief”. Topics will include travel tips, road safety, and politics that relate to the American trucker.