Semi truck drivers get arrogant once in a while and think that if you do not drive a semi, you are not a trucker or in the transportation industry. So who is exactly a trucker or commercial driver and what are all the kinds of drivers involved in transportation?
Who is a commercial driver and who is in the transportation industry as drivers are fairly easy questions to answer; anyone who gets paid to drive and holds a commercial driving license to do so and/or hauls any type of goods, live or not. It does not matter what type of vehicle they drive, it could be a taxi cab, bus, shuttle van, armored car, delivery van, straight truck, dump truck, pick-up truck, grain truck, drive away operators…you get the picture.
Who is a trucker is almost as easy to answer; anyone who drives any sort of truck to deliver a payload is a trucker. What type of truck you might ask? Anything from pickup trucks up to semis. Simple wasn’t it?
Yet, we hear many who denigrate people who use pick up trucks to deliver trailers, pull hot shot trailers, boat trailers, or cargo trailers as not being ‘real’ truckers. I have never understood that. Those people carry cdl licenses and get paid to deliver freight and use a truck to do so, they have to either have their own authority or run under someone elses and pay road use tax…if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it most likely is a duck isn’t it?
Back in the day, I knew an old hand driver that went by Cowdog on the cb. I used to run into him occasionally running produce out of California. He was an owner operator and had a nice truck with a unique security system. He had rattle snakes in his truck; somehow defanging them. He would turn them loose in the truck when he got out of it. No one messed with his truck!
I was going through St Louis several years ago and was talking on the cb, suddenly this old scratchy voice came across the air waves hollering at me, “Hey Lady Godiva, where the hell are ya old girl?”
I replied and asked who it was hollering at me…the scratchy voice said, “look down out yer winder it is Cowdog.”
I looked straight out my window and didn’t see a semi, I looked down and there was an old duelly pick up truck pulling a new pull trailer setting next to me with a very old, craggy faced man leaning over looking up at me waving like a mad man! I recognized him right off though he was 25 years older than the last time I had seen him; sure enough it was Cowdog.
We rolled along in the back up and caught up on the cb. He said his wife had died and his health got to where he couldn’t drive the big rigs anymore so he bought that pick up truck and delivered trailers to dealers. He proudly said he was 78 years old and still working hauling freight! When I asked if he still carried rattle snakes as a security system he replied, “naw, I quit that. Missed picking up one snake one time and it was loose in the truck. Got stopped by DOT and when the DOT man climbed up in the truck, he got the shit scared out of him by that old rattler sitting on the floor behind the seat rattling at him. Gave me a big old ticket so I took them out to the woods and let ’em loose.”
Was Cowdog still a trucker? As he would proudly say, “Damn straight!”
One of the main reasons truckers do not stick together is the thoughts of diversification many have. Each part of the industry thinks they are better or different from the other when in reality, we are all the same; we get paid to drive a vehicle hauling something or someone.
Ya’ll be safe!