Oct 282015
 

It’s taken a while, but my first audio-book is now available for your listening pleasure. For all of you truck drivers and long distance commuters, you can download Silly Woman, Big Rigs Are For Men from www.Audible.com today. Silly Woman audiobook cover

For those of you, women especially, this audiobook let’s you experience the trucking life vicariously. No tests to study for, no learning to back up a mile-long trailer and no crazy weather to deal with. The story shows how I ended up in the seat of an 18-wheeler. A career I never in my wildest dreams planned. Some of my eye-opening experiences include learning about “Jake” brakes and how to back up that 53 foot  trailer (it seemed like a mile long), a challenging lesson for me. You’ll drive with me through a Wyoming blizzard, it was that important to get home that weekend. And then there’s the scary trip on Oregon’s I-84. I didn’t realize freezing rain occurred on the west coast and some other scary deliveries.

I never realized, when I was learning to do this job, that it takes a special type of person to be a truck driver. Most people felt that didn’t include a woman. Financial necessity as a single parent drove my need to succeed. I needed a full-time job and after driving a school bus for 13 years, it was the only job I felt qualified to do. I really didn’t think it would be that big of a change. I was wrong.

Download this audiobook and sit back and enjoy my story.

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Jun 202013
 

Put it here. Yeah right! I mention in my first book, Silly Woman, Big Rigs Are For Men, that one of my biggest

It doesn't look that difficult at first glance. But I soon found out different.

It doesn’t look that difficult at first glance. But I soon found out different.

hurdles was to learn how to back up a tractor-trailer and it most definitely was an issue. Because this was such a problem for me, I took the time over the years to document some of the “docks” I delivered to and I’ll add more blogs detailing those difficulties

This dock didn’t look that difficult at first glance. But I soon found out different.  It turned out to be one of the most difficult docks I backed into in all the years I drove. The entry driveway doesn’t look like it’s going to be an issue, but when I try to set up my truck so I am able to back around the corner close enough to get into the dock as well as keep from hitting the trash dumpsters and the parked cars, that proves dicey to say the least. The person responsible for designing the dock must have thought truckers had rubber trailers that bend in the middle, sadly we don’t.

As a truck driver, you quickly learn your dispatcher, who may never have driven anything larger than their personal vehicle, has no clue what the dock is like at any pick-up or delivery point.

note the dumpsters and cars that compromise my maneuvering room

note the dumpsters and cars that compromise my maneuvering room

The best the dispatcher can tell a driver is, “Well our drivers have delivered here before and nobody said anything about a problem backing in.” Perhaps in today’s world dispatchers are a little more truthful than they were when I was out there driving, but I seriously doubt it. After all, their job is making sure the product gets from point A to point B. Accidents, weather, construction hold-ups, breakdowns or docks from Hell or other issues the driver faces aren’t their problem.

The next picture shows the damage done to the building by other drivers due to the limited space for maneuvering a 72′ vehicle. Ergonomics, the study of the most efficient way to design a work space, isn’t considered when docks are installed. I’ve always thought too many docks were a afterthought when buildings are designed and so they are tacked on in the most unlikely of places by engineers (theoretic’s, you know theoretically this will work) who have never driven an 18-wheeler. I can hear them saying, “Oops, you need a dock? How long did you say the truck was? Seventy-two feet, no problem I’ll add an extra eight feet for the drivers to back in right over here, that should be enough space.”

 

Damage to the building by other drivers. A result of the limited maneuvering space

These marks are from trucks that cut the corner too short backing in.

 

Six inches of clearance here. Very careful backing

Six inches of clearance here. Very careful backing

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