Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Life of a Trucker" by 11-year old Chelsea.

The following is a speech that was written and presented to her class by Chelsea. Chelsea is 11 years old and her father is a trucker.

I read this story on a group I joined on Facebook and I really enjoyed it. I think it is genuine and heartfelt, and it gives such an honest and valuable insight, not only into the life of a trucker, but also into the lives of the truckers' families, who many days out of the year are left behind at home, worrying about the loved ones who are out there on the road.

I contacted Chelsea's mother, Cheryl, and asked for permission to repost the story in my blog and she was gracious enough to let me borrow it :) I haven't modified it at all, I've just split the paragraphs up a little. Everything is Chelsea's handywork! :)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this story, I certainly did. The photos in this blog is of the Volvo that Chelsea's family owns.

"Life of a Trucker"

Miss Rolph and fellow classmates I’m here today to talk to you about the life of a truck driver. Some of you may already know my dad is a trucker. He drives a 2006 780 Volvo owned by Art and Joan McNea from Port Stanley Ontario that his boss, but his truck is leased on with Premium Transportation from Centralia Ontario which is owned by Mike Hogan.

Well to begin all these people so far that I have mention are the best people in the world and I am so grateful that my dad works for them because man the benefits me and my family get for having a dad as a trucker is so awesome. We get holidays in warm destinations like Florida, California and we get cold ones like out in BC, Alberta in the winter time but most of my travels are in the summer with dad, mom, my sisters at times and of course me.

A lot of people think truck drivers have it easy, well you know something their jobs are just as hard or even harder than most. They have deadlines, commitments, log book rules ,weather conditions, construction zones and dispatchers to deal with day in and day out. But did you know patience, honesty and knowledge are some of the virtues that are important for a successful driver/dispatcher relationship. Effective communication is vitally important and I got to say Kevin and John really do an awesome job for my dad. Oh ya there has been some upsets and disappointments but that goes with every job no matter where you are. Keep up the good work guys. It’s not so easy I’ve seen it with my own eyes and man I don’t know how my dad and all you other truckers can do it.

There are days I’ve come home and dad was there when I left for school and he’s gone when I get home I say to mom where has dad gone .I think maybe Oregon or BC or maybe Florida, but then I think when will he be home.I miss him so much when he is gone and I know mom does to that is why I love when summer is here cause we can spend every waking moment with dad on the open road. I don’t know where my dad has gone maybe Nevada, maybe Montana. When will he be home I’m not to sure but boy I miss him.I know my mom worries bout him while out there on the open road but it is only because she loves him. Whenever dad is gone every little noise I hear I think hey is that dad home nope that sound I heard was the garbage truck oh darn. Then mom’s phone rings and guess who it is, dad on the other end. He’s calling to say you need to pick me up in London for my truck is due for a safety and a service orders by Jodie the log book auditor and gal that keeps the trucks up to date for all that kinda stuff.

Well I guess it would be due he’s been gone for two weeks boy have I missed him.My sisters and myself and mom hop into the truck and head our way to London to pick dad up yes oh yes he is finally home. As soon as we get there we all go running up to dad and hug him tight as we hear him say Girls, I love you all so much. Tears rolling down our face as we are all happy he made it home from this trip safetly. Truck drivers special skills include communication skills, understanding the laws, maintaining proper licenses and endorsements, reading maps, patience with police and DOT inspectors and the ability to organize their time. It is quite apparent that truck drivers shoulder a lot of responsibility. Could you imagine having to remember things like information pertaining to loads, pick up numbers, customer addresses and phone numbers,phone numbers of brokers,contacts for breakdowns and many other things.This is all required communication between a trucker and a dispatcher. Wow too much for me to want to remember my respect for a trucker grows more and more everyday, dad how do you do it. Respect plays an important role between a driver and a dispatcher.

Lets face it, it is not easy being a truckers family, waiting for your dad to come home. I love you dad and respect you for what you do. One of my favourite sayings is,” If You Got It A Truck Brought It” my dad has a hat with that on and my mom has a t-shirt with it ,but if you really think about it if all the truckers stopped today where would we be. Would there be fresh fruit, meats or many other stuff that we rely on daily my guess is they would be few and far between. So as you all may see a life of a trucker isn’t so easy after all.

Thank you to Premium and H.A.T. Trucking for keeping my dad safe and giving him the best job ever. I love the holidays and awesome places we get to go and see and am looking so forward to many wonderful adventures this summer. So in conclusion to life as a trucker it takes a darn good family to support a trucker and a great relationship with all they work with. Life as a trucker is the hardest thing ever. I am proud of each and every trucker out there.Keep up the great work. Thank you.

Thank you Chelsea, for sharing your story with us :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dedicated to the Kenworth!

(Note: There are a lot of photos in this blog, so if it loads slowly, this is why ... Let me assure you though, that these beauties are well worth the wait. A lot of the photos were borrowed from www.kenworth.com )

The Kenworth! Ah......the Kenworth .......

To me, no truck glistens as beautifully under the sunlight as the Kenworth does.

I was driving to work this morning, the sky was blue and the sun was shining brightly, shiny grills of Kenworths were beaming at me as I passed them along the way. There’s something about the design of the Kenworth that is so beautiful… all their models are really classy and well-designed in their own way.

My favorite Kenworth is the W900. (As you can see, it is no coincidence that this very truck is the one displayed in my blog heading...) I love that gorgeous, big, shiny grill. When it rolls up on my bumper in rush hour traffic, it’s delightfully intimidating. This truck is so majestic, especially if they’ve been polished and cared for in a way that a W900 deserves to be pampered!

Then there’s the T600 … and I’m not sure that a big macho big rig, nor a macho truck driver, would want to hear this… but the T600 is sooo cute! (If that makes me sound too girly, so be it….it IS cute!)

With that stripe down the middle, the nose is so small & dainty and with the big head lights (i.e big “doe eyes” or "puppy eyes") it’s simply adoreable! There's no better word for it.
(But let’s be clear however, it IS a big rig… it’ll crush your little Honda Fit in a second, so don’t let it’s cute & innoscent appearances fool you…)

The T600’s big brother is the T660. It’s not quite as cute as the T600, it’s bigger and has more muscle, it’s certainly more intimidating than the 600.

It's fun to observe the different styles as they've evolved through the years. Personally I'm a bigger fan of the more "square" look that these truck grills used to have, but the new & more "modern" look they have now isn't bad either. This truck is like the "in-between" child in my book ... it's nice looking, don't get me wrong, but between it's oh so cute little brother and it's big & menacing big papa (coming up in next paragraph), it kind of remains a little anonymous...

The “big papa” is the T2000 … I love passing the T2000s on the road, that humming from their massive engine is like some kind of a soothing sound, it’s very relaxing & I wish I could stay next to them and just relax in their shadow for awhile, but we all know that lingering next to a big rig is not a bright idea, so I just resort to passing while turning down my radio for a second.

Ah yes, this is a shallow, shallow blog … but I couldn’t help but blogging about the Kenworth today, there were so many of them on the road this morning and it’s just really nice to have something pretty to look at while stuck in traffic… I know I could write much more about these trucks, such as power and evolution through time and how many awards they have won through the years, but I just really wanted a blog about the exterior today ... Perhaps another day, I'll go more into detail about each model. Today was not that day.
These awesome photos below are from the Wes Kerney Collection and I shamelessly copied them from http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/ - if you are a big rig fan, I strongly recommend that you visit Hanks' Truck Pictures, there is a LOT of eye candy there...
Please enjoy the lovely Kenworths displayed below ....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Trucker's Prayer

A Trucker's Prayer

Dear God above bless this truck I drive

And help me keep someone alive

Be my mortal sight this day

On streets where little children play

Bless my helper fast asleep

When the night is long and deep

And keep my cargo safe and sound

Through the hours big and round

Make my judgement sound as steel

And be my hands upon the wheel

Bless the traveler going past

And teach him not to go so fast

Give me the strength for every trip

So I may care for what they ship

And make me mindful every mile

That life is just a little while


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Big Rig of the Week - New Toy for the Upland Fire Department!

We were out running errands around town today, when my eyes veered off the road and on to a bright red fire truck it its ladder pointing about 100 feet skyward.
The eye candy was strategically placed along the side of the road to draw attention to the firemen who were walking up and down among the cars stopped at the traffic lights. Each fireman was holding a boot, taking donations for Jerry's Kids, a charity dedicated to kids suffering from Muscular Dystrophy.

(For more information on this check out http://www.mda.org/telethon/ , or you can Google "Fill the Boot" campaign and read more about this particular charity....)

I didn't have my camera with me, ironically enough since I ALWAYS have my camera in my truck, just incase a fancy big rig should happen to catch my eye. So we decided to go home so I could get my camera, and at the same time we fetched our jar of coins and poured all the change into a bag. If these firemen wanted full boots, then by george, who are we to stop them from achieving their goal?
We drove back down to the firetrucks, at this point I was probably drooling a little.
Sure the truck had caught my attention from afar, but up close, it was just beautiful!
We handed our bag of coins to the fire captain and he told us that the truck was brand new and is not even in service yet. They had borrowed it for the weekend, just so they could draw some attention to their charity event, but the truck was due to be returned back to the factory for more upgrades and finishing touches before Upland can become its home for good.

The truck is a Pierce fire TRUCK. The ones we normally call "fire trucks" are infact only a fire ENGINE. This particular truck is actually a TRUCK, which is a first for Upland. The photo below to the left is an engine... which is basically an engine attached to 4 wheels... The photo below to the right is a truck...which is an actual truck / bob tail if you will, hauling a "trailer"... in this case I guess it would be the ladder and all the fire equipment.

Representatives from the fire department have been involved in the design of the fire truck, having made several visits to the Pierce factory in Appleton, Wisconsin to make their input regarding features, whistles & bells for this new truck.
One of the custom features they got is the red banner on the ladder with the gold leafed Upland Fire logo.

The ladder can support 1 firefighter per section, as well as 2 firefighters at the very top of the ladder. Normally, a 100 foot ladder can only support 1 fireman. The structure and design of this truck allow for several men to be on the ladder at once, which needless to say will make it much easier and more efficient to rescue people and bring them down the ladder.

Below are a few photos of the truck.... If you want to see more, you can visit: