Friday, September 25, 2009

Keep On Truckin'

What impact has technology had on the trucking industry? Judging by the number of 18 wheelers on the road it appears that America is very dependant upon the trucking industry to meet its need for goods and food. Trucks have not been replaced by computers and robots are not driving the trucks. Day and night truckers are crisscrossing America moving everything from mail to moo cows.

Truckers are accommodated with truck lanes, truck parking, and truck stops equipped with lounges and showers. There are trucker welcome centers and guidebooks for truckers. Roadside rest stops are filled with trucks soon after nightfall and South Carolina has roadside rest stops for truckers only.

I’ve been told that the independent trucker who owns his own rig and contracts to transport goods has been severely impacted by the significant increase in the cost of fuel because the large trucking companies are able to buy fuel in bulk at a lower cost.

Interestingly, we see Walmart trucks more often than any other. Walmart is moving a large amount of stuff and obviously selling a large amount of stuff. We’ve contributed to Walmart sales by purchasing a good part of a truckload since we left home - everything from a fire extinguisher to raincoats to snacks.

Some of the trucks are actually quite pretty. One day I hope to be able to climb up into one and look inside the cab. I hear they have many of the comforts of home – bed, microwave, and refrigerator. I suppose I could just walk up to one of the drivers and ask if I could look inside, but that would be way out of my comfort zone.

Although at times on the road they can make you apply the brakes or grip the armrest, truckers are usually willing to help when asked for information. You can also follow the lights of a truck ahead if the weather is bad and visibility is poor. Kudos to truckers, they’re coping with inclement weather, rough roads, errant drivers, and long hours. They’re going to every part of the country hauling what we need.

And I bet you thought the title "Keep On Truckin' was something about us.

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