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Daily Prompt: Exhale/No One Got Hurt

Trucking
My Last Rig

I started out early one morning yes before the sun came up, as do most truckers.  I had delivered one load of water, with my tanker,  a few hours south of Boston.  I stopped for coffee,  for the ride back up to the mountains for my second load of the day.  I walked around my rig kicking each tire as I do after hauling a load for few hours, all was good they were all still up and lights all were working properly so I made my way back into the driver’s seat.

I made the trip up into the mountains of New Hampshire for another tanker full of Spring Water.  I took three or four loads a day,  six to seven days a week into the bottling plants as we prepared for Y2K, do you remember that in 1999,  as the world worried about life as the calendar turned to the year 2000?  Well I  had hauled rubbish, household waste for years then switched to hauling a nice clean load, one I never got my hands dirty or truck for that matter.

It was a gorgeous day out on the highways and back roads of New England.  I reached the top of the mountain where the water came from the spring and backed up to test the water and load the tanker, all 8100 gallons.  When it was over flowing I shut off the pump and closed the hatch on the top climbed down and went  around to get back in the truck for load number two.  I was grossing out at 103,000 pounds. Yes I had a reducible load permit, I was a Heavy Hauler.

I was always tense as I maneuvered my rig off the mountain, overlooking the Big Lake.  See there was a stop sign at the bottom, silly engineers, and I don’t SWIM!

The ride through New Hampshire was once again beautiful and then I entered the highway where my speed increased and I was hammer down to get the load of water to the plant before they ran out yes that is how fast they were filling one gallon jugs.

As I made it to the tolls on Route 95 South I went through with my easy pass soon I would be in Massachusetts.  This is where things went bad real bad and in a hurry.  I had just gone over the nasty metal bridge in Newburyport when I saw a  tire,  yes a huge semi tire ready to cut in front of me. I had never felt anything at the moment it came off but now I looked to my left in the mirror and saw a school bus I blew the air horn very loudly turned on my emergency flashes  to get everyone’s attention praying for myself to not hit this large tire and lose control of my rig and it’s load on board.  I already had my foot off the accelerator trying to let it slow down so I could start dropping gears and make my way to the breakdown lane.  Holding tightly to the wheel not knowing how this would play out I held my breath for what seemed like forever.  This tire crossed in front of me and the bus and then headed for the median strip never loosing speed or falling over to stop the nightmare and then popped up beside a Black Saab, yes it has been 13 years plus and I remember vividly.  The car thankfully was being driven by someone not texting or talking on their phone and they yanked the wheel to miss my tire it then went off the highway. totally.

Now as this was happening another tire came up beside me as I was trying to move over one lane at a time scared to death wondering if I could hold onto her as this had never happened to me not even in a car. This tire ran straight up beside me and then off to the right and over the embankment.  You see I had 22 wheels on my rig and  except for the two steering axle tires the rest of them were paired up.

I made it over to the breakdown lane and was happy my boyfriend was in the passenger seat for this trip not that he could do anything to stop the nightmare but I was shaking when I stopped and as he hugged me he said “I swear I do not know how you stay THAT COOL as you are at highway speeds and loose two tires and could have killed someone.”  Who was COOL?

Now out of the truck and not wanting her to be destroyed by the weight and airbags and springs taking a beating I had him crank the landing gears on the tanker down and we unhooked the airlines and electrical plug and I pulled ahead.  I then got out of the truck and I was so angry you see I had spent over $1,000.00 for two tires and new rims and all new wheel studs that weekend, I called my tire man from the side of the road and I can not say here what I said to him but I had him send a tow truck at HIS EXPENSE to come get me.  I called the plant up in the  mountains to send another driver for my tanker of water.

I then climbed back in the truck  and  then and only then did I EXHALE.

 

Life on the road is tough on drivers of rigs for they get no respect from other drivers but that day I earned their respect,  for had I been a yahoo with no common sense they would not be here and you never would have lived a few moments in the rig with me.  Yes I am a female trucker but a damn good one!    Do you know the whole time this took place and then the wait that ensued I never saw one State Trooper you see they know me and I am responsible and courteous  though at times going over the speed limit back in my trucking days, which is why I always put money back into my business equipment, my RIG, as I asked a lot of her.  Now for the rest of the story some day I will finish it and title it THE TIRE MAN,  as it is a good one!

A woman was just killed by a tire coming off a rig here in NH and I re-lived this event all over again bet you everyone on the road with me that day just over 13 years ago did too.

PAY ATTENTION not all things are within our power to PREVENT as I sadly learned.

 

Keep On Trucking!

Peace

 

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Fire Kills 112 Workers Making Clothes for US Brands.

Rivers of Hope

The 100-plus workers who died in a fire late Saturday at a high-rise garment factory in Bangladeshwere working overtime making clothes for major American retailers, including Wal-Mart, according to workers’ rights groups.

Officials in Bangladesh said the flames at the Tazreen Fashions factory outside Dhaka spread rapidly on the ground floor, trapping those on the higher floors of the nine-story building. There were no exterior fire escapes, according to officials, and many died after jumping from upper floors to escape the flames.

As firemen continued to remove bodies Sunday, officials said at least 112 people had died but that the number of fatalities could go higher.

The Tazreen fire is the latest in a series of deadly blazes at garment factories in Bangladesh, where more than 700 workers, many making clothes for U.S. consumers, have died in factory fires…

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Good Morning

Just want to pop in before the week gets crazy for all of you baking and cooking up a storm or running off to catch a plane.  I wanted to thank each and every one of you for following and or liking my space here with you.  This is a  wonderful time of the year. A time to give THANKS for all we have.  Times are really tough not only here in the US but sadly around this world.  I pray daily for this world to live in Peace and Harmony.

I hope you will make memories here in the states with your family and friends.  That you travel safely to and from your homes.

You see it  is coming upon the day my life changed with one rear-end collision.

I had spent Thanksgiving at my parents home with my brother and his family also attending.  We left early as I had to drive a dump truck the following day/  A girl has to work you know.  So I did I trucked probably 13 loads that day for the boss and then met up with my boyfriend at the time and his boss.  They asked if I wanted to go to the Casino.  I really did not want to go I had been driving all day in heavy equipment which can beat you up pretty badly.  Seems they had discussed going for a few hours long before I showed up.  Men!  Well neither of them had rights to drive a car so in the end I said I would go for a few hours, two-hour trip down maybe five hours there figuring that would be enough time for them to lose all their cash, me I love games of chance but work so hard for my money and am so responsible that I take just $50.  This night we left at 8:00 PM from his boss’s home and headed south to CT.  We were going to Foxwoods.    We made good time as there really was no traffic due to it being a holiday weekend.  I went in with them and watched for a little while then I placed $20 into a One Armed Bandit machine,  SLOTS  I like the lights flashing and the sounds that come from them but not how they suck you into feeding them more and more hard-earned money.  So I played that $20 for all she was worth till it was gone then told the men I was going to get some sleep out in our conversion van.  I slept till his boss who was also tired wanted in to sleep as well.  I fell back to sleep till about 4 AM and wanted to head north so I went in search of the boyfriend.  I found him glued to a Poker Machine and I said we wanted to head home.  He answered “but I’m up $500!”  I laughed and said “good as we could use the extra cash for heating and Christmas”.  Not happy but not having a license he had no choice but to cash out and make his way with me home.  The dogs would need to go out by the time we got back.  We had 3 of them.

Now we are all in the van and getting ready to leave the parking area and I  make plans to go to the coffee shop a DD at the next light.  While sitting in our new van at a Red light we were rear-ended by a Casino Tour Bus doing 35 mph or more.  I went unconscious upon impact his boss’s eardrum blew as he was laying down on back bench seat and boyfriend was pinned for a moment in the passenger side.  No air bags deployed who knew they did not when you are hit from behind.  Every seat that was being used by us snapped upon impact.  No none of us had seat belts on as we were just going into a local coffee shop for a cup for the ride home.  I would have broken left leg and two thigh bones had I k=not been thrown to the rear of the van.  My left calf is still HUGE after 12 years.  Knee is still torn to pieces not to say a thing about my back.  The two of them who stayed in their seats healed over time but I am left with injuries and memories of a night just the day after showing many thanks.

It was 4 years later the doctors sat me down and said I would probably never drive a Big Rig again and on my Birthday.  Such a very sad day for me. I tear up still with just going back to that day.

 

So now 12 years later I am alive and very thankful to be. So many things in my life would be so different had that accident not occurred I know that now but it was still a long 12 years.

So really pay attention while out there not only to your driving but put down the phone and pay attention my parents almost lost me that day and it was the bus driver on the phone.

 

No pretty photo for this post as there really was none.

I have made up for it this past 6 months with all of you.  Thanks for being there when I needed you the most.

XO

Eunice