Truckers Helping Truckers
May 1, 2016
No one knows what it’s like to be a trucker, except for another trucker. Maybe that’s why drivers are always so ready to help each other out, whether it’s a warning on the CB about a traffic jam or loaning tools.
We asked members of the RoadPro Pro Driver Council for examples of trucker generosity and cooperation and they came up with some good ones:
Joanne Fatta recently found herself in a tight spot when the air line on her truck snapped while she was pulling onto a road, leaving her rig stuck and blocking traffic in both directions.
“The next thing I know, these two Russian truck drivers walked up. Cars were squeezing around the truck on both sides while we figured out what to do. Finally, the two men came up with an idea. One stood on the ground holding my air line tight against the rubber seal connection to my trailer so air could get to the trailer and the other sat on my deck behind my cab, pulling air lines to give the guy holding the air line enough slack. I fired her up and air began to build, so I released the brakes and crept my truck and trailer off the road.
“All while these two truckers were on my deck and walking right by my drive tires. These men were trusting me with their lives. Once off the roadway, I thanked the men. I call them my guardian angels! No names, just two fellow truck drivers helping out another truck driver. If it wasn't for these two kind men, my company most likely would have had a nice big bill for a tow. I will never be able to thank these two wonderful fellow truckers enough for helping that day!”
Henry Albert recounted a recent incident that could have ended in disaster:
He was driving through Riviera, Texas, in April when he noticed a tanker truck stuck on the railroad tracks — the worst possible place to be stalled. Another truck had stopped in front and the driver had fastened a logistics strap to the bumper of the stalled tanker.
Albert stopped and got out a tow chain in case the strap failed and others ran down the tracks to warn any oncoming trains. Luckily, the strap held and the tanker was pulled off the tracks before a train rolled through.
“What I witnessed really impressed me on this day,” Albert wrote in his blog. “The situation reinforced what I already believe, that camaraderie is alive and well today. We just don’t require as much personal contact due to technology and all the devices we use for communication. A broken-down truck is not alone, as we are all connected and can quickly take care of many circumstances as they arise. A simple call can have help on the way in mere moments. It’s refreshing to know that we still care and have each others’ backs should we need a helping hand.”
Not every act of kindness involves equipment and danger. Ryan Sexton said he’s paid for lunch for drivers who were short on cash and once made it possible for a fellow trucker to wash off the road dirt.
“He didn’t have enough shower credits and he had gone for four days without one,” Sexton said. “He was very emotional to have the chance to get a shower.”
Tom Kyrk got some help as recently as the Mid-America Trucking Show last month in Louisville, Ky.
“I was parked next to another driver and was having some issues with my batteries. He hopped out of his truck and in a matter of minutes we had a set of jumper cables hooked up to my truck and it was running again,” Kyrk said.
And, on Kyrk’s 40th birthday, a truck stop waitress led the customers in singing “Happy Birthday” to him.
For livestock hauler Maggie Riessen, helping out sometimes means herding animals.
“I've helped a few drivers who were in accidents reload their animals and take them to the plant. I've had a guy offload my pigs onto his trailer when my truck broke a rocker arm. He was a godsend,” she said.
Allen Wilcher travels with his fianceé, who blogs under the name Sierra Sugar. She said Wilcher has taught young drivers how to conduct pre-trip inspections and anonymously paid for the meals of truckers who were veterans. Sugar said if she sees a parked driver slumped over his steering wheel, she’ll stop to make sure he’s just napping and not in trouble.
“What's the point of being out here if you're not going to enjoy the road, the scenery, and help one another?” she said. “Make the world a better place. Smile, you never know whose day it may brighten.”