You’re not gonna believe this shit, but see that big-ass truck? I was given the keys to it and sent on my way. That’s it. I didn’t have to go to truck-driver school, I didn’t have to watch a two-hour instructional video, I didn’t have to take a written exam … hell, I didn’t have to prove in any way, shape or form that I was capable of driving this massive death machine.
Now, here’s the thing: I am arrogant enough to consider myself a more capable person than 90 percent of the general population. A military background and an overly healthy ego will do that to you. And, be that as it may, I was more than moderately intimidated by the prospect of driving this truck from Boston to Philly.
Fortunately, I did just fine — I daresay I even enjoyed it — but the pucker factor involved in driving a six-wheeler whose box is filled from floor to ceiling, front to back (literally) with the entire contents of your previous house? It’s quite high. And the concentration required to keep this thing in between the lines on the highway, to read the height markers on all bridges, to not scrape the side on a guardrail or Jersey barrier that you are barely clearing, to not forget that you aren’t able to stop on a dime (despite the fact that the fucknut car drivers around you seem to think otherwise) is exhausting.
So, what I wanna know is: If I, the most capable man on the planet, found this to be challenging, and if gaining access to such a beast requires nothing more than a regular driver’s license and a credit card, what are the stats on accidents caused by the relative morons who rent these things and don’t have the foggiest clue how to handle them?
All I know is, the next time I’m on the highway and I see one of these suckers, I’m giving it a wiiiiiiide berth.
If you’ll notice in traffic, real truck drivers do just that and want to be no where NEAR these things, lol.
Jessica @ One Shiny Star says
We always go for the trailer… not as much space. I don’t know how that even compares to driving a truck like this though. Have you ever driven with a big trailer too?
At least Boston to Philly isn’t TOO long… I moved from Northern Virginia to way down south… it took forever!
beta dad says
That shit is scary. I moved from Virginia to California in one of those things. Pulling my Blazer behind on a trailer. It was really hairy going across the desert of Utah in high winds, not to mention sharing the roads winding through the Sierras with a bunch of other yahoos in RVs pulling THEIR cars.
You know, I never even thought about the fact that they will give the keys to one of those to any moron – not that you are a moron. Yeah, I’ll be avoiding those things like the plague now.
I drove one of those things from Illinois to Virginia (and back, two years later), with everything we owned, including the car. That was in the early 70s and I STILL give them a wide berth.
Dang, you da man.
I was once behind one of these things on I-95 near Providence. The road was 3 lanes at that point, and he took up every single one of them. He just kept swerving back and forth across all three lanes. It wasn’t just that he was in the middle lane and would sometimes creep to the left or the right a bit. No, he was literally swerving all the way over to the left and then back all the way over to the right, over and over again. Very scary. If I’d had a cell phone at the time I absolutely would have called the police. I stayed behind him and waited until he began a swerve to the left and then I gunned it and passed him on the right.
The Domestic Goddess says
I’d never, ever do it.
My then boyfriend/now husband rented one of these when he was 19 to move into an off campus house. He didn’t have enough to begin to fill the truck, even with the other guys stuff, but it was the only one on the lot when they needed it. He packed his boxes and furniture around the edges and started “hopping” down the street – not exactly smooth clutching. When he got to the new house, he opened the back and found his dresser drawers (and all the contents) had slingshotted around the trailer because he left the drawers facing out and not against the wall! Ah, lessons learned.
I moved two months ago and I drove that puppy all by myself (I’m a gal) – the movers were riding in our SUV driven by my guy. They were laughing at me when I first climbed in – and then when we arrived, they congratulated me and said, “You done good, Mama!” like I was a total pro. 😉
Nothing broke and no one died. I’d call that a success.
Ain’t no way in Hell I’d do that now. In my 20’s, however, I did it every year.
Basically, you’re aging backwards while my fool ass ages forwards.
I hear you. I zoom past these now that I’ve driven one cross-country… I know whose behind the wheel: an over-tired, stressed out, too-cocky idiot hell-bent on getting to the new place so s/he can get some sensation back in their butt (those seats killed me). I had the pleasure of driving down out of the Rockies in the first snowfall of ‘winter’ (it was September for heaven’s sake). My friend had to physically pry my hands from the wheel when I hit her house. Next move – we pay.