What is the IQ of a Truck Driver?

Do you ever drive down the road and wonder why people think so lowly of a truck driver? Why people have a certain attitude when you mention you are a truck driver? Why, when you mention you drive a truck for a living there is always that “Ohhhh, you drive a truck”. Then the conversation usually ends or the other person puts you on another level lower than a slug. I get that response on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter that I graduated with honors from high school and attended 4 years of college, no, I didn’t mention those other details. The attitude only comes from the moment, first impressions I would imagine.

 

I guess “Mr. Foul-Mouth Anonymous” answered that question for me today! Read the following comment I reserved for posting here. This was in response to the post “18 Citations and Still a CDL Driver”. Read what this moron said about the post.

“Goes to show some people like to put there 2 cents in where its not wanted…the person who made the negative comments about the trucking company really should learn to get the facts before opening their big **((* mouth…”

 

That comment is probably why I traded the CB radio in for an XM radio. I don’t recall making any negative comments about any trucking company. The only comment I made was that the local news posted the company trailer all over their news cast in the Seattle area. I even got a comment from the owner of the company stating that it was a tanker truck at fault or the accident. I made another comment and stated that particular company was well respected in the Northwest! But what does freedom of speech mean when I can’t even voice my opinions of what actually caused the accident and why on earth any CDL driver was allowed to continue to drive with 18 citations!

 

Today, I-90 claimed 50 cars, truck’s, semi’s and buses in another weather related accident at milepost 49. Several dozen people were injured and about a half a dozen were still in Seattle area hospitals in serious condition. I have been over Snoqualmie Pass several dozen times and know what people drive like coming off the mountain. For those of you who don’t know, there is a very quick, 6% drop off when you start down the hill west bound. About a mile or so down the grade, there are a series of avalanche bridges that a vehicle must pass over while traveling down the mountain. The accident occurred on one of those bridges.

 

There are numerous signs, flashing lights, lighted billboards and other warning devices cautioning drivers to the hazards ahead and to lower their speed. Do you think people pay attention to those signs? Do you think truck drivers pay attention to those signs? Apparently not! I don’t know exactly who caused this latest accident or how it happened, but I am sure it was due to speeding and un-attentive driving.

 

For those fellow drivers who don’t like the speed limits in the State of Washington or strict DOT enforcement, please don’t come to Washington. Do me, my family and friends a favor, take your comments and total disregard for the safety of others on our nations highways elsewhere!

PS……. Mr. Anonymous, reporting this blog as spam is not cool!

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4 comments

  1. Tell you what, I think your comments are right on the mark.

    Having been a driver since about 1980 (started out driving water trucks to drilling rigs in Wyoming and fuel tankers from Wyoming into Utah) I think I’ve got a perspective on the driver issue. And, frankly, it ain’t pretty.

    Where there are, indeed, lots of careful and responsible professionals out here, this industry has always had it’s bad actors. There are a couple of things we might have been better off if they’d never happened. One of these was the movie “Smokey And The Bandit” which came out in 1977. Hate to say it, but (I think) this led to a big influx of people with gill slits and webbed feet in the late 70s and up through and into the 90s, even. The other thing was a program that, for a while, was making available large sums federal money for student loans for CDL training schools that were springing up like mushrooms for a while there back in the late 80s/early 90s. Pretty much anybody who could breathe on a mirror and fog it could qualify for a “student loan” and go to CDL school. If, after a couple of weeks, they could still fog a mirror, they’d be “graduated.”

    The advent of the CDL itself, has been blamed by many for the loss of lots of those seasoned, rock solid, old timer “knights of the road” types. While there’s some unfortunate truth to this, it also helped rid the industry of a certain element that, frankly, needed to be eliminated; careless and/or incompetent operators with multiple citations, multiple accidents, and multiple licenses from multiple states. Unfortuanately, there’s just something about this job that seems to attract badasses and sociopaths (borderline and confirmed). You can turn off the CB so you don’t have to listen to them, but you see them and their sign everywhere. You see them taligating, speeding excessively — or just driving too fast for conditions — and cutting off other traffic whenever they can. You see their tons of trash in the shrinking number of places you can still park a truck. You see their graffiti in the restrooms. And watch your step when you get out of your truck on the way to that restroom; you don’t want to step in somebody’s discarded poop bag. We like to say these are a minority, and I think they may be, but I suspect they’re a bigger minority than we’d maybe like to admit. Anybody who denies we got our problems is probably one of those problems.

  2. It’s perfectly safe and perfectly normal to drive a truck at 75 MPH in 30% of the Continental US and safe & normal to drive a truck at 70 MPH in another 30%. It seems like Washington State is home to lots of aggressive car drivers and those avalanche bridges obviously were not designed with highway safety in mind. What happens when they get icy? Steep downhill, curving bridges, at high altitude, loaded with heavy traffic, often with tired and sometimes intoxicated skiers or other high-country recreation types, mixed with heavy truck traffic, and coated with ice. The guy that thought that up should have his head examined.

    Did you know that on a 6% downgrade a loaded semi can take 10 times as long to stop as your little speedboat? Did you know that drum brakes have had a known problem with fading during hard use that disc brakes do not have? Do you know how long this fact has been known? Check out the report done by the Detroit Police Department back in the early 1970s on the very subject. It seems that their big Plymouth Fury cruisers had a big problem with brake fading during high-speed chases. A number of them were involved in brake-fading type accidents. Yet trucks still have drum brakes 37 years later. Go figure?

    Why is it that States with discriminatory split speed limits seem to have such a high accident rate? Did you know, on a per-population basis, that you were 50% more likely to get killed in a truck-involved accident in Michigan in 2005 then you were in Colorado in 2005? Michigan has a super-safe (sic) split speed limit like Washington State, and Colorado is 75 MPH for all vehicles. Why is it that so many car drivers in split speed States think that bizarre recklessness is normal driving? Clue: It’s one of the main reasons that you have so many accidents. It would probably be much safer for the cars to drive slower in the right lane and let the trucks drive much faster in the left lane. After all, the average car’s trip-length is 1/10th that of the average truck’s trip-length. There would be much less need to dive across multiple lanes if the trucks drove in the left lane and the cars drove in the right lane. It would also make much more economic sense. Is productivity an issue in your economy? It is an issue in ours here in Colorado.

    If you don’t think that you can operate your little speed racer in a safe non-reckless manner around trucks driving at 75 MPH please stay in Washington or Oregon or California. If you want to go to Illinois my suggestion is to fly there. Or take Amtrak, or the Dog. It will be a lot safer for all of us who are used to driving in a non-reckless, non-aggressive manner around trucks at the higher speeds that are safe & legal in the 80% MAJORITY of America.

    By the way. What is the penalty for passing a truck on the shoulder at a high rate of speed, yanking it in front of the truck, then slamming-on your brakes, while leaning out the window and giving the trucker “the finger” where you live, if you get caught? Here in Colorado, the penalty can be as severe as 10 points on your license, a $1,000 fine, and up to a year in JAIL, unless you try to beat the trucker to the construction lane closure, in which case the penalties can be much more severe. We believe that what passes for normal driving in many split speed States is highly reckless & aggressive. We treat your kind of “angry at the truckers” driving as strictly as driving while under the influence. Just keep that in mind when you come outside your split speed limit enclave. Intentionally cutting a truck off, or refusing to yield to a truck’s signal, or trying to prevent a truck from changing lanes, or from passing you, can be considered a very serious offense in 80% of the US. Trying to play “beat the truck” to a construction lane closure is considered a FELONY in some States. Passing a truck on the shoulder in an aggressive manner, because you’re in “a hurry” can be loss-of-license in some States. FYI.

    A guy from California tried to pass me on the shoulder one night at the I-15SB/I-84EB merge one night in UTAH. It is a 75 MPH zone. I was driving at 75 MPH. He came off of I-15, which has to merge onto the EB lanes of I-84. He tried to play “beat the truck” on the right shoulder at close to 100 MPH in extremely light traffic, only to discover that the bridge shoulders weren’t quite as wide in Utah as he was used to in California. Then it was road-rage and multiple attempts to get me to rear-end him all the way to the weigh station. He then went into the weigh station and told the weighman that I had tried to kill him and his family. The scaleman called me in so that I could witness the guy’s reaction to the query: “Sir, have you been drinking”?
    OOPSY, in a rather spectacular way. Moral of the story: Don’t come into the weigh station in your car and make a scene if you’ve been drinking. After all, the weighman is a State Trooper. The last I saw of him he was getting into the back seat of the cruiser wearing the latest in chrome bracelets. I heard that he lost his license for DUI & reckless driving. The cops were laughing about it. That’s what is dead wrong with split speed limits: The anger directed at the minority by the “offended” majority is the cause of so many truck accidents. Can’t we all “just get along”?

    Remember: The way that you are used to driving around trucks in Washington State or California is often considered abnormal and illegal in 80% of the US. My advice: Stay home if you don’t know how to “drive nice” around trucks. Just because you’re used to driving 10 to 15 MPH faster then the trucks where you’re from is NOT a good excuse when you come to the 80% majority of the US without split speed limits. We think that it’s quite dangerous.

    Let me ask you a question: You’re out plowing the north 40 when you gotta’ go. Do you drive the tractor all the way back to the barn to use the john, or do you get out and whip it out on the blindside of the tractor??? Even in suburban Detroit, it’s quite common to look for the blind spot instead of trying to find a restroom. It must be different where you’re from.

    Almost 30 years in trucking.
    Two very minor accidents.
    Under $1,000 damage, total.
    I DRIVE 75.com

  3. Hello,

    I thought that this would interest you and your readers!

    July 20, 2007
    Truck Driver to Appear on National Television on dLifeTV
    Florida Resident Fits the Exact Profile for Producers
    For people with diabetes, getting control of one’s glucose levels is always the ultimate goal, but for many it’s an ongoing struggle. For Kathleen, Florida resident Nancy Younger, who has diabetes, being a full time truck driver and balancing her diabetes is now making her a mini-celebrity.

    The producers of dLifeTV — a national, weekly, newsmagazine show about diabetes, airing on CNBC Sundays at 7:00PM Eastern — were looking for someone for their “Real People, Real Stories” segment, which features individuals who have inspiring stories related to living with diabetes. Ms. Younger found that exercising at various truck stops by walking around the parking lot, staying in touch with her doctor and watching what she ate greatly improved her blood glucose control and offered her the opportunity to lose weight.

    dLifeTV with the second show of its new season offers viewers the opportunity to see first hand what it is like living on the road; truck stop to truck stop with diabetes when they hear Nancy Younger’s story and more on July 22nd at 7:00PM on CNBC. Bill Younger, Nancy’s husband and also a truck driver, also appears on the show to discuss how he supports his wife in her ongoing battle against diabetes. dLife TV is the brainchild of Howard Steinberg, who is executive producer of the seven-time, Telly Award-winning show, and also lives with type 1 diabetes.

    About dLife
    dLifeTV is the first and only national, weekly, lifestyle series devoted to living with diabetes, and http://www.dLife.com is the largest, independent website with diabetes information. The dLife.com Viewing Room offers original streaming video content — unique and entertaining information for people with diabetes, with prediabetes, or who have a family member with diabetes. Produced by LifeMed Media, dLife is the first-ever multimedia platform for diabetes information, inspiration, and connection. dLifeTV airs every Sunday on CNBC at 7:00pm ET, 6:00pm CT, and 4:00pm PT. The dLife Diabetes Minute is heard on radio stations around the country and on XM Satellite Radio.

  4. I’m a once and future truck driver currently not driving to write a book about trucking.

    I’ve over 10 years of undergraduate and graduate education. I’ve also taught college English and written for trucking magazines.

    To answer your question:

    It varies from test to test, but the middle digit in my three-digit IQ isn’t 0, 1, 2, or 3. I’m more intelligent (as the tests say) than 99 percent of everybody else. I did absolute nothing to earn this and quite a bit to destroy it. In other words, I’m gifted in spite of my own stupidity, so don’t think I’m bragging.

    The primary characteristics if bright, educated people are they know and are comfortable with not knowing very much at all for certain; they know when they’re not dealing with facts; they know how to get the facts and present them in an orderly, persuasive fashion.

    I say truckers are the most important people in the country.

    A lot of them have really foul mouths on the CB, and I wish they would stop that. It’s hard to defend guys who so energetically promote negative images of themselves.

    They will clean it up, though; watch and see.

    Thanks,

    Andy

    P.S. In the upcoming presidential election, we’ll all vote for liars.

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