I met tommy just shy of the Colorado border. Imagine my surprise when I climbed into his rig and saw custom chrome and jeweled detailing all over the console, velvet on the roof, and faux burl wood accents. To say his rig was flashy is an understatement. Tommy was originally from the country part of Louisiana and had a thick accent. At first I struggled to understand him, but over the hours his words became clear as they flowed like week old gumbo. Thick, hearty, and meaningful with a huge heart and an easy laugh. My phone was dead, so as he began discussing his frustration with new government regulations I couldn’t record it. I attempted to resume the conversation later as I found the topic of truck safety and big business important.
There is so much that we don’t understand about truck drivers. Between Tennessee and Topeka KS, I saw three big rigs overturned, or smashed into smaller cars. I also witnessed frustrated drivers cutting off these huge trucks caring unimaginable weight. These trucks take blocks to come to a stop and I watched drivers over and over try to avoid accidents that cars seemed intent on starting. Much of the frustration cars have is due to the fact they think truckers hog the road, but much of that “hogging” is actually government regulated. They are limited to the right lanes even if it’s rush hour and they are not getting exiting, and they are not allowed to go with the speed of traffic unless they are owner operated due to a lower speed limit.
This new regulation that has Tommy so hot seems a good idea on paper, but he explains some aspects I hadn’t heard and isn’t that hopeful that Trump will reverse it. I hope you listen all the way through and maybe… perhaps… the next time a rig is on the road you’d be a little less frustrated and much more thankful.