Running in the Red

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Date Submitted: 09/27/2011 10:08 PM

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Running In The Red

David Jackson

ENGL 101

May 1, 2011

Running in the Red

Throughout my career there have been many days when I wondered why I even wanted to be a professional driver. The long hours, many days away from my “life” and family have taken a toll on me in many different ways. Some can be written about, others not, but the one thing that remains a constant throughout my 23 years in the industry is the continual push from trucking companies to get the drivers to get the “next load”.

This push leads to drivers falling asleep at the wheel, fatalities, money and sometimes careers. As I like to say, when I was young and dumb, I would fall for the company’s schemes and run myself until I had simply had no energy left. Driving hundreds of miles without remembering a thing and dozing at the wheel only to be jarred awake by the rumble strips on the side of the road were a normal part of life for me for a lot of years.

Then one day when I had my fill, I decided to go at it from a different angle. I would no longer pull the straight 35 hour runs with no break and start valuing my life and others around me a little more. This strategy probably saved my life and probably someone else’s out on the highway, but it didn’t do much for my career. I was soon labeled a renegade and companies would steer clear of me or starve me to death once they figured out my strategy to run legally.

The solution you ask? Well, there really hasn’t been a “solution” so to speak, I still struggle from year to year trying to find that “perfect” carrier to drive for, but I am convinced after this many years that they all run their operations a bit on the shady side. I have been able to keep my record clean with no accidents or tickets, and this always helps me find a job when needed. With age and experience I have learned to do what I think is right, with no regard to what the company “pushes”. Which I believe is the true definition of a professional.

While the trucking industry...