Meeting Fellow Truck Drivers

There are fellow drivers I meet as I traverse the highways and byways of these glorious United States. Some bounce in and bounce right out, some even though bounced, stick in my mind for miles and months, some I can’t outrun fast enough governed at my little 65 mph truck, and then there are the few that I connect with and keep in touch with on one level or another. I wanted to share a little about some of these folks.

Jenniffer

I met Jenniffer around my 2 or 3 month mark in 2020. I had been on a load delivering to Laredo, TX, and was headed back up the interstates, and we merely passed each other while driving. Pretty sure it was her passing me, since I was still at the older 63 mph governed company truck, haha. Well, it came time to park for my10 hour break, and I pulled into some truck stop, petrified coz I still couldn’t back this rig up confidently. I actually 99% of the time avoided truck stops coz of that fear that all would be mocking the rookie who couldn’t back in. Well, my God blessed me, coz as I rounded the bend to the spots, I spotted that familiar lavender Freightliner!!! It was my gal (who I hadn’t actually met yet) Well, I pulled towards her truck, slapped my tranny into neutral, pulled that yellow diamond and bolted outta my cab to that freightliner like a frantic cat. I waved to her, and in total angst, asked her “help a sista park?!” She had been on the phone, another unusual thing for me to do; interrupt anyone when they look busy. She did *not* shoot me any kind of annoyed look or anything! I’m guessing she understood the petrified expression on my face, and she actually ended her call, and entered “trainer’s mode” to help me back my rig into a spot. Joyous tears fill my eyes again now, as I transcribe this memory for the blessing she gave me that evening. I felt Rescued by An Angel that God presented me with. She got me backed in, and we became connected in some weird way that can happen out here on the road. I have yet to catch up to her again, but we exchange messages fairly regular-ish, and FB interactions and I cant wait to meet up with her again. (for pizza! haha) I still to this day find it difficult to plan out how to hook up with peeps while on the road, but we came close a couple of times, just missing each other by half days here and there. But she has continued to be a HUGE blessing to me as I continue down these highways and byways. She is a tremendous loving (and Sassy!) soul and has such an outstanding witty sense of humour,. She posts some hilarious short stories on FaceBook that make me just bust out laughing even when I’m beaten down from a tough day. Bless you buddy {{{{{{Jenn}}}}}}

Michele

Michele is a fellow Schneider Driver, now medically retired. I’ve never met her face to face YET, but I will some day. again I was so close once, but still have trouble doing certain things out here on the road,. This special lady stayed with some of my employer’s facebook groups and I met her in in one of those very early on in my driving adventures. She always had positive and helpful tips for me and encouraged me to keep going when I felt I couldn’t. I knew she’d been where I was and it was a huge comfort, since I don’t connect to too many people. She’s another soul who goes through highs and lows yet keeps on keepin’ on, all the while helping others in ways that she is able. So full of kindness and another chickie with a unique Truckers’ wit that’ll just impress you to pieces, forcing a smile, and a definite “SMDH” (shaking my damn head). Blessings to you my dear one and I cant wait to absolutely see you next stop off near Baton Rouge – Ya know I’m starting to get better at trying to plan these stop offs, so look out girlie! {{{{{{{Michele}}}}}}

David and Eva
David and Rohana

David was the very first fellow driver I had ever met on the road. It was in Louisiana, or quite possibly Texas, haha. I do know I had just come from Louisiana. I recall vividly though that it had been a tough morning for me that day. David and I became friends in one of my employer’s facebook groups also, and he quite often poked fun at my rookie enthusiasms. I think to this very day and forever more I will always remember how he kidded me about me sweeping out trailers. I will never be able to sweep out a trailer without thinking of him! He’s pictured here with his buddy Eva, and then with his lovely wife Rohana. He had moved on to be an owner operator with another carrier, and is thriving in his new routes and we keep in touch often.

Greg and I

Now this fella, Greg… He gets Father of the Millennium award from me. He is a quirky, nostalgia-filled hard-core drummer of a guy, who will always do a good turn for a stranger or a friend. I’d say he’s almost the epitome of the guy who stops traffic to help an elderly person to cross the street without even blinking, yet edgy enough to mouth off to anyone (out of earshot of gramma of course) who gives him a hint of sass about it. He was in Schneider’s Bulk Division when I met him in company facebook groups. He also has been a significant help to me ever since the beginning of my career at Schneider. He only recently found a new opportunity that he is trying out, and I wish him the best. We continue to be in touch though, and I’m sure we will for years to come. I was thrilled the day we bumped into each other at one of Schneider’s operating centers, AND so happy we got a selfie! I’ve met other drivers in person, and keep failing to get selfies, which I’m attributing to the cell phone being in the truck, and me being in “work mode” which is not “photo mode”. When I had met Greg, I was off-duty and had cell phone in hand. Then again… coulda just been the right timing and mutual enthusiasm to grab a pic..

Tony

There are some colleagues here at Schneider who have that helping mentality and this driver is one of the good guys. We became friends early on and bumped into each other a good handful of times, since we both parked at the same operating center. He took time one day to help me with my backing. There must’ve been some weird subconscious thing going on, because I was worn out mentally at the end of a 14 hour day, but didn’t want the opportunity to pass when he offered his help. I lasted a mere 20 minutes before I told him I just couldn’t go on any longer that day. The thing is, whatever he taught me in those 20 minutes had transformed my backing skills! I never had a back that couldn’t be conquered since! That’s not saying that I never have trouble, but when I do, I just re-setup, or even choose another spot if that is an option. I learned how to do the S corrections to wiggle it in if need be, too. Not too surprisingly either, as I pen this diatribe, he is currently an instructor in one of our yards, training and testing new Schneider applicants. We share some similar interests, so every once in a while we grab some grub local to the yard, and talk shop. One day he saw me playing with my drone at the yard, and stopped over to check out the technology. I grabbed this quick snapshot of him with his bike.

Michael

My friend Michael has been another tip-giver and supporter since the beginning! I actually met him one day, but again, neglected to grab a selfie of us! Michael has a Million Safe Miles award and has been with Schneider for 16 years!

~~PHOTO COMING~~

Then there’s my buddy BettyAnn. We both exist in that introverted almost hermit spectrum, but I can always rely on her for support and encouragement. She checks in on me from time to time when I’m off-grid, to ensure I’m still hanging in there. It was an awesome day when I was at an operating center dropping a trailer and hear a “JJ!” being called from another truck–low and behold it was BettyAnn! She usually runs a lot out west, (where I wanna be) but our paths crossed and we had a fast and quick chat, before running off and grabbing our hauls. Oh! and yes — you guessed it… another missed opportunity for a selfie of her and I. 🙁 BettyAnn is another long-time Schneider Driver!

Axle
Lael

Lael & Axle and I met in a Tamarack, WV rest area one day. I was wrestling with a bracket on Trinity III, and he was walking his dog, nearby and checked if I needed a hand with the bracket. Nooooo it wasn’t “like that” hahaha….he has a gal, or had one, he traded her in I believe and has a new one now… hahaha. He’s got about 23 years in the industry and has since that day become my go-to for truckin’ advice. He’s straight shootin’ and isn’t a guesser or speculator which is how I like to roll. I’m always after the facts, not opinionated guesses or biased suppositions. We recently had occasion to literally cross paths in Indianapolis he was coming 70 eastbound, and I on 70 westbound, so we grabbed a meal together at a local truckstop, and I got to see my gal Axel again… What a doll-baby!

One last little story…

I’ll leave you with a funny little story that I still chuckle about today. One fella as he was passing me actually tossed me a kiss! He puckered up, took his right hand to his lips, and “air tossed” me this kiss as he passed me by (yes most everyone passes me because of the governed engine)… I caught it of course… LOL Anyway what makes me laugh to myself is that in my mind’s eye – and the way I will always picture this passer-by because I only caught a glimpse of him…he looked like Antonio Banderas! That long, lustrous, wavy, yet neatly mis-managed hair, the slight cocoa complexion. When I think about it though, he was probably dirty from a greasy day and had unwashed unkempt greasy scraggly hair….. But he never will in my mind — he will always be The Antonio Banderas-looking Sexy Guy That Tossed Me a Kiss Across the Passing Lane! HAHAHA!

Till next time,

Love and Pix,

JJ

xx

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