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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Travels With Lloyd

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/22/2024
Page Views: 395
My first passenger was a challenged, and challenging, young man…who taught me a lot.

After I had worked for Schneider for six months, I was allowed to bring a passenger. Of course, I was hoping that would be Michael. However, Michael had gotten a job and wasn't eligible yet for vacation; so my first passenger was a friend of ours named Lloyd.

Driving around with LLoyd was a challenge in itself, apart from the usual trucking challenges. But, as is generally the case, the more I resist a lesson, the more emphatically it comes.


By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/7/2003
Page Views: 1895
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
If you knew you had a limited time to live, would you really want to spend it working for someone else?

Last New Year's Eve, one of the guys in the gay men's club that Michael and I are in, mentioned that he would really like to be a passenger in a truck. He didn't say he wanted to be a passenger in my truck; he didn't know that was possible. He just said that it was a lifelong dream of his.

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High Speed Chicken Feed

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/10/2003
Page Views: 1711
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
Oh, to be young and irresistable.

We (myself and my passenger, Lloyd) were on our way to Wal-Mart in Buckeye (just outside of Phoenix) when a bobtailed, Schneider, owner-operator truck passed us. You can recognize owner-operator trucks because they are usually some color other than orange; also, while they say Schneider on the sides, they usually don't have the official Schneider logo. Now, granted, my truck, the Eric Idle, is white; but it does have the Schneider logo. Anyway, when I saw this truck, I just had the feeling it was also going to Wal-Mart. And, since I was going there to get an empty trailer, and empty trailers are often hard to find, it was annoying that he was going to be there ahead of me. There was nothing I could do about it; I was going as fast as my governed engine would go, and owner-operator trucks don't have governors at all. So I shrugged and resigned myself to another Quest for Empties that would take God knew how long.

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Surely, Mr. Feynman Was Joking

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/14/2003
Page Views: 1642
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
Can truck drivers be considered members of a cargo cult?

Lloyd, my passenger, and I were eating lunch in a truck stop in Washington state, when I noticed his gaze fixed over my shoulder. I turned around—discreetly, I hoped—to see what he was looking at. It was another driver, of course, a good-looking one, that had caught Lloyd's gaze. Normally, that would have been enough for me, too. However, this particular driver was reading a book: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. It caught my attention for two reasons. 1) I read this book a number of years ago; and 2) I had recently been discussing it with a member of a Schneider drivers' Internet bulletin board.

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On The Roof

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/21/2003
Page Views: 1633
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
Just because it's not how I would have it, doesn't mean that's not the way he should have it.

Lloyd offered to get out and make sure I didn't hit anything, an offer I accepted. In addition, the two male employees who were going to unload the trailer, stood on the dock, guiding me back. Both were young and attractive, and I wasn't fooled by Lloyd's offer: I was sure he'd be looking at the young men with a lot more attention than he would devote to the backing of my truck. Oh, well. He had wanted to come on this trip to experience truck driving, but how could that compete with the sight of muscular young men?

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Within the Rainbow

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/28/2003
Page Views: 1590
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
If we older folk pay attention, the world really is getting better.

I had never heard of a company called De Monte, but I was assigned to pick up a load from their facility in Stockton, California, anyway. When Lloyd and I got there, we discovered it was Del Monte, the canned-fruit-and-vegetable people. Yet another example of how the folks sending drivers to their loads can't spell or proofread. Adding to the fun was the fact that my loading appointment was scheduled for 8 AM, which was exactly when Del Monte's morning break began. I received my door assignment, backed up to it, and went inside to await the end of the morning break.

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The Efficacy of Repair

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/29/2003
Page Views: 1531
Topics: #18-Wheeler #TruckDriving #BigRigs #Schneider #TruckDriver
Learning to trust that things can and will be fixed is an important lesson.

My previous PM had been a disaster. Performed in Des Moines, the mechanics had managed to break things that had previously been fixed. Today's was a B PM, supposedly for minor items; but I had a list of fourteen things to repair. And I didn't have a lot of hope. By this time, after a string of PMs in which there were usually more things wrong at the conclusion than there had been when I drove in, I didn't have a lot of faith in these repair efforts.

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