WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT’S NOT LEGAL? (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

PaulCurran2015The 2 large bright green, cone shaped, industrial coffee grinders sat primly on their flatbed trailers– each hanging 2 feet over each side. They measured 12 feet wide and 9 feet high – legal height but over width by four feet and requiring permits. In fact, wide enough to also require escorts. The problem was, it was Friday, June 27 at 4 pm, the government was closed for the next 2 days and the grinders, which had come by ship from Germany, had an appointment at a new Mother Parkers Coffee plant in Toronto on Monday, June 30.  And we had no permits. That was 1800 kms (about 1200 miles) or 22 hours driving. And Tuesday was Canada Day, so even if we got the permits Monday, we wouldn’t be able to deliver until at least Thursday – 3 days late (permitted loads cannot move on holidays).

Coffee Beans

Hate It When Your Coffee Is Late?

Mike, John and I stared out the office window at the two trailers sitting in the terminal yard. The coffee grinders started back unblinkingly.

Mike started: “So, what do you guys think?”

Translation:  Take the loads without permits.

I looked at John, then at Mike: “What’s in it for us?”

Translation:  We’re taking all the risk, how will you repay us?

Mike: “I’ll keep you busy for a minimum of a week.”

Translation: I know you only get paid by the mile, so I’ll give you priority on upcoming loads – no waiting time.

This was good because waiting time for a dispatch was not paid – only loaded time. It could make the difference between a great pay period and a poor pay period. I looked at John and he nodded. Fine, I guess this was a go.

OK, Mike, we’ll do it, but you had better keep your promise.”

He swore he would, so John and I picked up the paperwork from dispatch and walked out to check the loads.

We left the yard at midnight, counting on the Kelly Lake scales being closed. They were and so were all the other scales en route – the weekend before Canada Day was usually stretched to the holiday by government workers. We ran only at night with no Over Dimensional signs, no escorts, no flashing lights, and no permits. When we met oncoming trucks, we turned on our back-up lights to illuminate the load width. Luckily we also had fog through to Montreal – which hid the size of our loads from prying eyes.

Mother Parker's Plant

We’re Here Mother!

Early Monday morning, we were parked at Mother Parker’s waiting to unload. It was a new plant so it took a while for the construction workers to get us emptied. Finally at 2 pm, I called Mike and asked for my next load. He asked me to hurry over to Phillips Cable and load two 9 foot reels of cable consigned to Johnston exporters in Toronto. This wasn’t uncommon to have a shipment go through two or even three sets of hands on paper between the shipper and the receiver. Mike would tell me the destination after I was loaded. I expected to go back to Halifax or at least in that direction as I had an ACLZ – a flatbed trailer that belonged to the container company who had shipped the grinders from Germany.

high-voltage-cable-reels-road-construction-27806368

Two of These Puppies

After I loaded – two big reels of cable as thick as my wrist, standing on edge on the trailer- I called Mike back and he told me that my paperwork would be at the City Truck Stop Fuel Desk on my way out of town. He then informed me that one reel was going to Phoenix and the other to Seattle. Yikes! I pointed out that the company truck had no valid US registration and the trailer belonged back in Halifax. He wanted to know if I could do the run – and being one to never turn down a challenge, I agreed. That would be 3,600 kms (2,236 miles) to Phoenix and then 2,286 kms (1,420 miles) from there to Seattle- a total of 5,886 kms (3,656 miles) or 72 hours of driving to get empty and then there would be the trip home.

Zuni%20sign

Pleasant Folk – I’m Jest Passin’ Thru

Two days later – July 2 and far ahead of schedule – I pulled into Mesa, Arizona and took a motel room, parking the truck with the license plates facing away from the road so my lack of US registration wouldn’t be obvious. I hadn’t crossed any highway scales – thanks to a small book that showed all their locations and the routes around them. One detour from New Mexico to Arizona took me through the Zuni Reservation on a dirt road and down a winding, hilly road that was quite surprising – but no scales. If I had been caught, the truck would have been impounded and I would have had fines in the thousands of dollars.

I got up early the next morning at 4 am to get breakfast at the attached restaurant and get to my delivery in Phoenix before the traffic got heavy. As I was eating breakfast, about 15 uniformed men came in and sat down to eat. As they chatted, I realized they were truck inspectors and they were setting up a truck inspection between Mesa and Phoenix as soon as they were done breakfast. I left my food, paid my bill and hurried back to my room to collect my luggage. As I was leaving the room, more inspectors came out of the room next to mine and headed for the restaurant. Sheesh! I walked fast to the truck, jumped in and headed out – that was a close one. I would do my paperwork and truck check when I got to the delivery.

When I got the first cable reel off, I pulled out of Phoenix and stopped at the first truck stop to ponder life and replace the breakfast I had left in Mesa.  Today was the third of July – everyone would be closing early for the fourth long weekend.  I had 1400 miles – or about 28 hours of driving to get to Seattle – best case delivery would be Friday afternoon, July 4th, and that was without stopping. If I could get empty, I could reload in Canada on the weekend where it was not a holiday.  Hmmm, a large carrot. So I called the customer in Seattle and asked to speak to the receiver. Frank came on the line; I identified myself and explained my situation. I asked if he would come in for an hour or so on July 4th to unload the single reel of cable left on the truck. He said absolutely not, that he had plans with his family, and it was a holiday weekend. I asked him if $150 would be of help to his family, and he asked what time I wanted him there. I told him 2 pm and said good-bye. I called my dispatch, told them I would be empty at 2pm Pacific time Friday and asked for a reload – they told me to call back Friday morning my time. With that I went back to the truck and headed out – following my handy-dandy how-to-get-around-the scales book.

Seattle-Tacoma Box Company

Seattle-Tacoma Box Company

At 1 pm the next day, I pulled in front of the Seattle Tacoma Box Company’s yard and was doing paperwork when a car stopped in front of the truck. An older gentleman walked back to the truck as I jumped out. It turned out he was the owner of the family business – a company that specialized in crating products going to Alaska. I explained that Frank was coming in at 2 pm to unload, and he just nodded. We talked until Frank arrived right on time. The owner left and Frank and I unloaded the reel in about 15 minutes – I paid him and pulled out.

Dispatch had given me a load of water slides from Kelowna BC to load Saturday and return to Toronto. I had about 500 kms (310 miles) – 5 hours empty- to go load and 17 hours to get there. That allowed me 11 hours to sleep and an hour for a shower and food. Perfect. Now, our company had no rights to haul in British Columbia, but Customs did not enforce those laws and there were no scales between the US border and Kelowna.

Saturday morning, I was waiting at the shipper’s plant when they opened at 8 am. The slides were fiberglass and were going to the new water park at the top of the 410 in Toronto. The full load weighed maybe 3 thousand pounds – which would not even be noticeable on a truck designed to haul 55,000 pounds. An excellent load, as I got paid by the mile and the better time I made, the more I earned per day.

waterslide

Finished Product Looked Like This

Because it was a regular weekend in Canada and our company had no Canadian authority in Western Canada, I chose to cross back to Toronto through the States – a trip of 4128 kms (2565 miles) or about 42 hours driving with this light load. This was complex as the ACLZ trailer I had was plated with a Maine license plate. My load had to go in bond through the US so the proper shipper and receiver had to be recorded on the paper work. As Canadians my truck and I were fine for customs, but the trailer was illegal – as an American piece of equipment cannot haul point to point in Canada, even through the US. Once I was loaded and down the highway towards customs, I stopped out of sight in an empty parking lot and made a few adjustments. One of the peculiarities of trucking is that the trailers bear virtually no part in the paperwork – just their country of registration. The insurance is carried by the tractor, all the legal liabilities lie with the tractor, and any and all paperwork is made out to the tractor. The trailer plates cost only about $10 and are good for at least 5 years without any renewal stickers. They are plated basically to keep track of them. Tractors now, are plated yearly at a cost of $5,000 -$10,000 depending on the areas they drive. So, no one paid much attention to trailer plates, and as a result, the registration paperwork was often missing from their holders.  So, I pulled my handy dandy milk crate of trailer license plates from the side compartment, chose a Nova Scotia trailer plate from my collection that had come from picking up plates found in parking lots and maybe from other places , and swapped out the trailer plate. This was totally illegal but in no way traceable. I removed the registration from the holder and hid it in the tractor for future use. So, when I pulled up to the border at the Washington State crossing to bond the load, I had a Canadian trailer.

Grand Coulee Dam

Grand Coulee Dam

I plotted my route to avoid what scales I could, and as I was driving down a two-lane back road towards Spokane, I crested a hill – and to my surprise, there stood the Grand Coulee dam. That was amazing, one of the largest concrete structures in the world and the largest electricity producer in the US, just sitting there on a back road. And driving

Anyway, it was July 4th weekend, and so when I rejoined interstate 90 at Spokane, I did not expect many if any scales to be open. I would take I-90 all the way to Buffalo. Across this northern route there was only one scale open and that was in Missoula Montana – impossible to circumvent, but a state that allowed a truck to buy a single trip permit. I stopped at that scale and bought a $70 permit, the scale master was a great conversationalist and we spoke for about an hour. He had taught jungle tracking to Green Berets in Vietnam. He showed me his bullet holes where he had been shot twice.

Bismarck Sign

Not The Battleship

I had a bit of a problem in Bismarck North Dakota when I went looking for fuel. It turned out that none of the company fuel cards had fuel stations in North Dakota, and I was in dire need of fuel. It was the middle of the night and I convinced the young lad at the fuel desk of a local truck stop that because the card I had worked at Chevron and they took Chevron cards, that my card was OK. I charged $400 worth of fuel, which the company eventually got billed for as the card didn’t actually work – as I suspected. That solved, I carried on.

Early Monday afternoon, I crossed back into Canada at Buffalo and was in Toronto delivering that afternoon – 6,500 miles (10,460 kms) in exactly one week – a personal best and about 50% more than my log book would allow. Mike had kept his promise. And in return I had generated over $13,000 USD revenue with additional costs of only $150 for unloading and $70 for a trip permit in Montana. – even though the tractor was not registered in the US and the trailer was illegal for the back haul. I would load back to Halifax – a load for export – another 1200 miles (1,800 kms) for a 10 day round trip total of 8,900 miles (14,000 kms). A good paycheck indeed.

Dollars1

Could You Bundle Those Hundreds Please?

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Paul Curran and I love to hear from our readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

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Image links are included with photos for this post (click on picture)

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59 Responses to WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT’S NOT LEGAL? (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

  1. Trent Lewin says:

    Holy crow Paul – I know little about this industry, but that all sounds harrowing. Bits and pieces of illegality and endless driving resulting in a favorable paycheck – as Roy Batty said, if only you could see what I have seen with your eyes (okay, not entirely applicable, but you have so many stories to tell and I just want to steal them all).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Thanks so much for the read and compliment Trent. It is great to see you here. We actually had a lot of authority (purchased and owned rights to haul certain products in certain areas) and the vast majority of what we did was legal. This particular trip stood out because it required breaking so many different laws. I honestly would prefer to run legal but there are so many rules that it is not always easy. To be honest, I do love a challenge and there is a thrill to leveraging special cases (i.e. running on a holiday week) to win. Appearing legal is 90% of getting away with it. I had the same company truck that I had during the Melanie story, so it was just a little workhorse, in no way standing out. If I had had my big shiny Kenworth (in Elizabeth and Ute), I likely would have been stopped just out of suspicion. Elegance sometime requires the minimum input. 😀

      Thanks so much for the visit Trent – please drop by again.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. judyt54 says:

    Definitely harrowing but fascinating as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hi Judy! Thanks for dropping by for a visit. I am honored. That job could be quite interesting – not only for the territory seen and the people met but also for the constantly changing demands. I ran “wild” meaning that I took any and every load offered from where ever I happened to be empty. Some drivers run scheduled trips always between the same points – that would drive me nuts. I needed constantly changing situations to keep me interested. I must say that I am a bit of an adrenaline pig and the constant changes and challenges keep me happy.

      Great to see you here Judy – please drop by again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Judy says:

        Thanks, Paul. I do drop by now and then, so just because I dont comment doesnt mean Im not lurking =). I admire your adrenaline based grace under pressure, and to call that a “challenge” must be the understatement of the century…You project such things very clearly, I could feel the adrendaline starting to build here, too…excellent writng–

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul says:

    Thank you so much CM for the opportunity to guest post. I know you are busy preparing for your upcoming home construction and am honored that you took the time to edit and post this piece. It looks great thanks to your hard work. ThankYou.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I write this comment, I am waiting for the drywall/painting contractor to arrive. While I’m excited about seeing my old house made new, I’m not looking forward to the mess, noise and inconvenience (what, no bathroom for at least a day? Yikes).

      I’ll try to keep up on responding to comments, but if I fall behind it will be because my computer has been temporarily disconnected.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Very interesting read. I was rooting for you to outrun/out-maneuver those inspectors in AZ. When we moved from NY to Seattle, our furniture went on a journey like this. It arrived very late. I hope it enjoyed the trip.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Bwahahaha! I’m sure your furniture had a very pleasant trip Dan. Thanks so much for dropping by for a read. I am honored. The truth of trucking is that when you can’t fill a whole truck, your goods travel with others to give you a reasonable rate. This often entails considerable sidetracking but is necessary as the cost of fuel and other operating charges including paying the driver, is very high, over $1,50 a mile.

      Thanks for the visit Dan – please drop by again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        I have to write about that move sometime. The moving company hosed us pretty badly, but we got everything settled with some interesting help.

        Like

        • Paul says:

          Moving companies are like mechanics – many will screw you over at every chance, but once you find one you can trust it is a god-send. That sounds like an interesting post Dan about your move.

          Like

  5. The Hook says:

    This post was another personal best, Paul.
    Well done.
    Well done, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whew. Reading this is a bit like spinning a Rubiks Cube. Lots of higher level thinking skills rolling down those roadways

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Phil! Awesome that you could drop by. I am honored. Some types of trucking are indeed like Rubiks cube. In fact running wild means you get tossed a new cube each time and have to decode it on the run – and it has to be done before you are discovered. The best are awesome. There can be a dark side to it but I refused to get involved. The best are often given an invitation to join organizations who specialize in hauling things that shouldn’t be hauled. Big money – more in a day than I would make in a month. I received one such invitation from a driver who recruited potentials. He was an instantly likable jovial guy in his mid-thirties who drove a very expensive company truck. Always quick with a kind word or a helping hand. And he worked for one of the biggest drug smugglers in the country. He had a Masters in Literature and taught before he changed professions. To him it was a game – he didn’t use and he never saw the end users. He was one of an elite group of a dozen or so drivers who moved a sizable chunk of the weed and hash that entered the country. This is much bulkier than coke or crystal or pills and requires tractor trailers to move any sizable quantity. His company could be hired to haul anything you wanted – no questions asked. in between loads they hauled the same regular goods that everyone else did , so no one questioned their presence.

      I chose not to get involved with that sort of illegal – many of the drivers were millionaires. I knew end users though and I saw what it did to them and I could not in good conscience disconnect my actions from their pain. There are some smart drivers out there – some of who don’t have consciences. In all fairness there are also some very smart drivers who do have consciences. I worked with one driver who hauled bulk flour for a living who also had a Masters – in engineering. And there were many drivers who had street smarts without the formal education – guys who never had a chance to go to school.

      There is no lack of smarts out there Phil, the stupid stereotype works well to cover any misdeeds – after all who would ever think a truck driver would be that complex?

      Thanks so much for dropping by Phil -please come again.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Outlier Babe says:

        I was just reading somewhere yesterday–where did I read it? some article about how those higher ed are increasingly those with the money–that it used to be common to find educated bricklayers, let us say truckers, what have you, but it is no more, and will become less so. And here you are, saying otherwise. I do think we may be seeing a last hurrah, left from the economy’s tank. Colleges/universities are continuing to dumb down and price up what they’re offering as a “college level” education, so fewer non-privileged will have those Masters.

        Like

        • Paul says:

          This story took place some years ago OB, so you may very well be right. That said, though, the immigrants here in Canada often have problems getting their training recognized and so many with advanced degrees are doing blue collar jobs. I personally know two PhD’s(one in theoretical physics from Moscow University, the other in Hydraulic engineering from a Pakistani University) who pump gas for a living. I also know a medical Doctor from India who is a tech at the hospital. There are also numerous Masters and PhD’s driving taxis. All are very smart men. What you say may be true amongst native born and educated but definitely not for immigrants.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Outlier Babe says:

            True. I have seen that, as well. But looking at it from the perspective of a woman knowing there are educated straight women seeking potential compatible male partners, in my admittedly-limited experience, many foreign-born men not (depending sometimes upon country of origin) bring too much sexism into the equation to be considered.

            Like

  7. Outlier Babe says:

    So this man I have held in such high esteem is an (un)common thief and flouter of the law!! I feel an attack of the vapors coming on. As if the first hadn’t been bad enough, when all those inspectors came into that restaurant!

    You, sir, are a conniving, sneaky, clever, quick-thinking, bold adventurer, and I would love to take a road trip with you!
    🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Thanks so much for dropping by OB. it is an honor to see you here. We special people have to stick together. ha! There is some joy to be had from besting the system. I’d take you along in a flash – you’d enjoy the intricacies of the job. 😀

      Like

      • Outlier Babe says:

        I would, between those times I was too occupied hanging my head out the window with my tongue hanging out just enjoying the ride.
        🙂

        Like

        • Paul says:

          Ha! Interestingly enough each area has a different smell that is noticeable to the human nose. I bet a pooch would love it. Each type of truck engine smells different as well. To this day, I can sniff a diesel engine and tell you if it is Cat or Cummins or Detroit. We used smell to detect and identify many system failures as well. Especially in the mountains, when I stopped for a break, i would sniff all the wheels. You can easily detect a hot wheel where one brake is too active or where one brake is not active enough. You can prevent serious damage or even a fire this way. You can also detect an oil seal problem, an exhaust leak, a clutch issue, an anti-freeze leak and many other defects by sniffing. hearing can also be a great source of information.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 says:

    Love the post you are a canny man Paul , I love the ” The Book of Weighs”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Welcome Willow! It is pleasure to have you visit. Yep, those “weigh” books were pretty funny. They were sold in a few larger independent truck stops and were about the size of a comic book – soft cover. They showed a map for every highway scale in the country and the roads to take to get around the scale. We used to make our own notes as we encountered each scale. There was a big disclaimer in the front of each book saying that they were not intended to show drivers the way around the scales but rather used the map to “better place the scale by including surrounding roads”. Bwahaha! They were about $10 and worth their weight in gold. They could have sold them for $100 and they would have sold just as many. The info was excellent and the book never lead me astray. I used to buy detailed maps as I entered each area and had a briefcase full. Between the special book and the detailed maps, navigating was pretty straight forward. We also bought specialized books that showed the height of every single bridge and overpass in the country as well – this helped when hauling over-sized loads.

      it was an art for sure. Thanks so much for the visit Willow – please drop by again.

      Like

  9. markbialczak says:

    Do what you have to do to get the job done as long as nobody gets hurt in the process. Paul Curran’s Book. I’m buying it. Another great story, and proof that stretching the law until it snaps is forgiveable when done with proper foresight and canniness. Way to go, smart hauler Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hi Mark! So pleased to have you drop by. Welcome! I actually never had a chargeable accident Mark. Or received a ticket for an accident. I’ve had others hit me a few times but never the other way around. I liked the Dalai Lama’s way of putting it: ” Study and understand the rules well, so you know when and how to break them.” Ha! Our company drivers at the time also used to compare notes a lot as well. If one driver discovered something new happening or a better way to accomplish a task – it wasn’t long before we all knew. The few drivers who were withdrawn didn’t stay long doing this type of trucking – they were better suited to scheduled runs where a driver saw the same thing on each run. We had a good time.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story Mark – please drop by again.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. HA!!! Love your stories… did you ever read my ‘driving Miss Crazy’ series? and is that a picture of you at the top??? This is the first post I have read since I got back.

    Like

  11. I’m car sick just reading about the trips! Now that was an adventure!!

    Like

    • Paul says:

      Hi Kate! Awesome to see you here. Thanks so much for the visit. That job was often unpredictable. I have seen myself wait for a load for three weeks – that was rare but it happened – or be going non-stop for a week or more. We covered a lot of territory in a year – around 120,000 miles. Road Trip! Ha!

      I really appreciate you coming by – please come again.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahhhhh, living dangerously were you, Paul? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Elyse says:

    I believe that you gotta keep a job interesting — legal is nice too. Apparently not so much for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Oh Elyse – I really am a good guy. 🙂 ha! Thanks so much for dropping by -I am honored. I have to tell you that in long haul trucking it was impossible to not break the rules. The issue -generally, this run was an exception – is that there are so many jurisdictions and each one sets their own rules. I have seen truck laws down as low as city level, and they are often as low as county level.For sure every state and province has different rules. So for instance in some states it is required that a driver adjust their own brakes (not a big deal, just a bit dirty) – you can get a fine if you don’t stop and do so where it is indicated by sign (for instance in the mountains). In other states it is very illegal to adjust your own brakes – you can get big fines and even jail time , in extreme cases. You could say when in Rome, but if I adjust my brakes in one state and then the next state discovers this, they still fine me and shut me down. How do you deal with rules like that? It is a dirty little secret and it is covered by “don’t ask and don’t tell”. As a result, you get used to breaking the rules, because you have no choice. Once that is accepted then you have to roll back “right” from obeying the law to “don’t hurt anyone”.

      In the name of not hurting anyone, I had personal safety rules that I always obeyed, that should have been law but weren’t. For instance when maneuvering or backing , I always turned the radio, CB, CD deck and all other distractions OFF. I always wound the windows down in case someone shouted or there was an unusual noise.And so on.

      So you see Elyse, I really am a good guy just in a bad situation. 😀 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Ha!

      Thanks so much for your visit – it is a pleasure as always. Please drop by again – and give my regards to Cody.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Man, what a ride! Love your stories Paul, and love what you said to Trent above:
    “Appearing legal is 90% of getting away with it.”
    Haha! Reminded me of something my grandfather used to say, “You don’t have to be right, you just have to be quick.” (Because then you sound like you know what you are talking about.)
    Enjoyed the read, thanks for the invite! -c

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hey Christy! So glad you could make it. I am honored.I like your grand father’s advice – git in, git ‘er done, and git out. ha! Absolutely true. I call it skating the valleys of the probability curves. We had a name for it -gypsying: didn’t really belong to any country or swear allegiance to any set of rules and half of what you did, you did with a crystal ball – winging it. And you traveled where and when you wanted. Anytime you stopped you increased the chances of being caught incrementally. So you had to be quick. Moving targets are hard to catch.

      Thanks so much for the visit Christy – please drop by again. 😀

      Like

  15. List of X says:

    Wow, Paul, this adventure reads as if you were hauling a trailer filled with illegal aliens carrying sacks of cocaine, suitcases of counterfeit money, and a few escaped murderers for good measure. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Thanks so much X ! I appreciate the visit and compliment. Yep, it felt like that some days. ha! We did run legal a lot and i would prefer that, but I wouldn’t give up a load because it was illegal. I didn’t do any loads that would harm anyone – just loads that were OK to haul but just not by me at that place and time. It kept life interesting. 😀

      i am honored that you dropped by X and please come again.

      Like

  16. djmatticus says:

    Once upon a when, before my life had direction, I thought I’d like driving trucks. The adventure. The scenery. The freedom… though, I did always suspect that wasn’t as true as I’d like it to be. The romantic notion of the road hiding the harder truths of that kind of life. But, I have always liked being behind the wheel and watching the blacktop slide away under me…
    Still, it was probably good my life went another direction. The stress of skirting the law to get bigger paydays would probably have given me a heart attack.
    So, I became a banker instead.
    What? Why is everyone laughing? I fail to see what’s funny about that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Welcome DJ! I’m glad you dropped by for a visit. There are ultra-legal trucking jobs. But that would have bored me to death. A lot of the scheduled runs with big companies were that way. I preferred to run wild – taking the next load no matter where it was going or what it was. Much more interesting. Ha! banker? Whew! that’s a long way from truck-driver. Actually you would likely do well driving a scheduled run – they paid well and had guaranteed wage and you were paid to make sure every trip went exactly like every other trip. Repetition was well rewarded.

      Thanks again for joining the discussion DJ – please drop in again. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Aussa Lorens says:

    I love how so many of your posts start out by talking about skirting a rule or regulation 😉 But hey– if the paycheck covers it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hey Aussa! Great to have you visit. Thank You. It is true, many of my posts do start that way – ha! – I hadn’t even actually noticed. Many of my days started that way too. 😀

      Thanks again for dropping by – please come again.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh, Paul. You are a rogue, aren’t ya? I always suspected that underneath that cover of intelligence and wit, there was a bit of a bad boy. Great stories, and it was some good insight into the work of a couple of my fave uncles. I also suspect they worked like you did – quite a bit. Thanks for the head’s up this was here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Who me? Tsk, tsk – I’m just a law abiding citizen. ha! Your ability to act inconspicuous is a large part of success. As long as the first few layers of reality appear normal, few will delve further than that. Mind you when someone rats you out, these sleights of hand don’t work. Ha! Happened occasionally but rarely.

      Sounds like your uncles were hard workers.

      Thanks so much for dropping by Robyn. I am honored. Please come by again. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. ~ Sadie ~ says:

    Damn, you were a bad boy, Paul 😉
    In middle school, during the CB radio craze, I so wanted to be a truck driver when I grew up. For several years, I dreamed of riding the roads traveling all over . . . makes reading your stories even more interesting!!

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    • Paul says:

      Thanks Sadie! Pleasure to have you visiting. Running the roads is fun – on good days. I enjoyed it. Basically you’re married to the job when you do long-haul, so there isn’t much room for anything else in your life – but it is an eye opener seeing all the different people and geography. When you own your own there is an unending financial commitment – my truck payments were about $48,000 per year, my fuel was about $60,000 per year, registration and yearly taxes often ran over $7,000 and insurance was about $15,000 per year. Plus I paid 27% of gross revenue to the company for use of the trailer and for dispatch and admin. It is pretty clear that the first $130,000 was spoken for before any personal expenses or profits. In the end it was the growth in asset value that was the “profit” – the truck would be paid off in 4 years and valued at about $50,000 – that was the profit.

      Ha! Anyway. I can ramble forever about this Sadie. Thanks so much for dropping by. Please come again.

      Liked by 1 person

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