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Friday, October 18, 2013

The Evolution of Trucker Logic

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           The Evolution of Trucker Logic

      Trucker Logic is usually taught by some guy named Murphy.  It is most often learned the hard way.  If you are lucky it is at someone else’s expense and not yours.  Over the years I have had learning opportunities both ways.  Though I no longer drive my experience continues to expand.  Murphy never quits and is always ready to teach. Murphy’s lessons are seldom forgotten and often used as teaching models.  I heard Murphy mentioned often over the years.  The first couple times I saw him in action I was amazed at how something that should be routine can become a teaching experience.

      My first experience was in a lumber yard near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  It was early fall and cold.  Another driver and I were removing our tarps so the forklift could get at the load.  Our loads were covered with our companies eight foot boxed end tarps.  The corners were sewn to make them fit the load better.  Each tarp covered half the trailer.  Our company used rope ties on the tarps.  That is not usually a problem, but when they are wet and cold they can be very hard to untie. I was struggling with mine but my buddy got his undone quickly as he had bought his own rubber straps.

      When we entered the lumber yard we drove along the fence on our left and then turned and parked side by side with our back to the fence.  We left about twenty feet between the back of our trailers and the eight foot chain link fence so the fork lift could maneuver while unloading us.

      As I said my buddy was ahead of me and was on top of his load trying to get the tarp off the load.  It was windy and he grabbed some of the ropes that the company had permanently attached to the tarps and wrapped them around his hands.  He then whipped the tarp up to loosen it from the load.  At the same instance a gust of wind rushed under the tarp and lifted it clear of the load. The tarp snapped loudly and inflated and lifted much like a sail.  When I heard the popping sound I turned just in time to see my buddy who was standing on top of the lumber about twelve to fourteen feet in the air being lifted up.  He tried to let go but the ropes tangled and suddenly he was airborne.

     He resembled Mary Poppins as he sailed over the twenty foot open space and cleared the eight foot fence.  He finally landed about twenty feet the other side of the fence. He stood there and did not move.  I ran to the gate and back to him and he was still just standing there with the tarp ropes wrapped around his hands.  He seemed to be in a trance.  I think it may have been shock.  Anyhow once he regained his composure we rolled up the tarp and carried it back to his truck.  He said the landing was feather soft, but the whole thing freaked him out.  It taught me a lesson and I never wrapped the ropes around my hands when unloading.

      Some years later I got a refresher course in what can happen when material is flapping in the wind.  I now had my own truck and was eastbound on I-70 in Indiana near Greencastle.  The cars in front of me were swerving to the shoulder and into the left lane for no apparent reason.  Then suddenly I saw it.  It was a blanket lying in the middle of the right lane flapping around.  It was just a blanket what harm could it do. Evidently having forgotten the preceding story I decided to straddle the blanket.  As I said what could it hurt.

       I was about to find out it could hurt a lot.  The flapping blanket was snatched up buy my driveshaft and whipped around repeatedly.  The tail reached into my frame rails and somehow grabbed my air lines and snatched the completely out and tore them off.  I lost my air pressure suddenly and barely had time to get to the shoulder and out of traffic before my brakes locked up.  Fortunately I was near a truck stop with a shop. A towing bill and repairs came to about seven hundred dollars.  Getting it to the shop turned out to be pretty simple.  We backed off all the brakes and the mechanic slowly towed me to the shop less than a mile away.

      What I learned was that flapping things can be dangerous.  Like the truck that passes you with the loudly slapping casing that says he is about to pitch the treads off his tire. 

       Another time traveling westbound on I-40 just east of Knoxville at night a bread truck driver lost a complete pair of tandem wheels off the passenger side of his vehicle. The tires rolled along the shoulder for some distance before cutting between his vehicle and mine.  Then they travelled across the interstate before coming to rest on the south side shoulder.  They narrowly missed hitting some eastbound vehicles headon.  The ironic part is it took us almost three miles to convince the driver he had lost the tires.  He thought we were trying to pull a joke on him.

      The point I am trying to make is that things that seem harmless can suddenly become very dangerous in the right situation.  The blessing in all these stories is that no one was injured.  That was strictly by the Grace of God.  They all could have caused serious injury. My reason for sharing them is that they may help someone avoid a similar situation.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Shutdown Before The Meltdown.

             The Shutdown Before The Meltdown

      The Retarded Genius’s in Washington supposedly running this country need to get their collective heads out of the collective posteriors.  A minority of one party has taken the system hostage.  The President needs to threaten to impose a budget by Executive Order.  He also needs to threaten imposing martial law if they continue to destabilize the government. 

     That being said something does need to be done to fix a completely broken system.  What would be good for the country is for a few radicals to stand up and say, “We are going to pass a balanced budget amendment “now” and a budget that complies with that view. Yes it is going to hurt, but not near as much as the economic collapse of our nation which is inevitable if actions to fix it are not taken.”

      If they do so a few rules need to be put in place that outline what they can cut and what will not be cut. The first rule and the first duty of Congress is to defend America.  Anyone who has made that sacrifice for this country should be exempt from any cuts.  That includes all active duty pay and benefits, all retiree pay and all disability pay and programs.  Without their sacrifice we would not have the nation we have today.  They have paid the price for their benefits.

      Secondly all Social Security benefits will be paid and are exempt from cuts unless they are cuts made to every member of government starting with Congress and the Courts and must be on a uniform percentage of cutting.

     Thirdly and finally the Constitution requires the Congress to look out for the Welfare of the nation.  Food banks should be established if necessary and nobody in the United States should do without food.  Also no one should die because they can’t get medical care in this country.  The Congress will make sure all these requirements are met.  Everything else is fair game.  The size of the military may be cut as long as it does not affect national security. 

        So what is a balanced budget?  It is not one that only causes the deficits to stop increasing.  It is one that expenditures do not surpass income.  Realizing that making such drastic cuts will throw many people into the unemployment line it may need to be programmed to be implemented over a five to ten years period, but a budget that achieves that goal must be planned and programmed to take effect in a specified time frame.

     It is time to restructure the whole system of government.  Especially the tax system so everyone and every business pay’s their fair share.  There should be no exemptions for anyone or anything that benefits one person or business over another.  All subsidies should be ended.  If a business can’t survive in the market place it needs to be revamped so it can. 

     This may all sound simplistic and idealistic, but if it is not done and soon the collapse of the American system is inevitable.  It can’t continue the way it has and is doing at this point.  History shows us what happens to countries that try to do so.  Sooner or later they implode and collapse and lose their position as world leaders. With no one to step up and take America’s place as the world leader we would be looking at a system of worldwide anarchy.

     The present two party system is not going to bring this to pass in America.  We need a viable third party.  Most of the ones that want the job are no better than the ones we now have in place.  It will take a party different than the two parties that we now have.  It will have to be a party willing to make tough decisions and stand their ground.  That is something lacking in most of America these days.  It will also have to be a party that understands the values of America and is willing to work to return to those values.

       We need some New Revolutionaries that still look to our original Revolutionaries for ideals and direction to guide this country forward.  It they do not appear or step forward this nation is doomed to becoming a third world country if not worse.  Congress does not get that Abomnicare is a moot point if the economy collapses.  Abomnicare "will" collapse the system simply by draining it of any money that might have helped make it grow.  When people are already broke they can't spend what they don't have.  When they take money out of their budgets to comply with Abomnicare it is money they might have spent on goods that would have stimulated the economy.  Without that stimulus the collapse is not only inevitable but quickened.