A Little Help?
Drivers should look out for each other
By David A. Kolman, Senior Editor
I received an email from a reader describing an occurrence that I’m sure many drivers have experienced.
I came up behind a truck on the interstate that was moving only slightly slower than I was. As there was no other traffic around, I decided to pass. Just about the time I came even with that other truck, he was somehow able to speed up to the exact speed I was traveling.
We stayed side-by-side for about five miles when we came to a hill and I was finally able to pull away. By this time, a couple of other trucks had come up behind. I could tell by the digital salutes they rendered as they passed that they were not happy.
The emailer asked: “How many drivers have thought about how little the cost is of slowing down for just a short distance to let another truck pass?” My question to him is: Why not slow down, get back behind that truck and wait for a more opportune time to pass, say the next upgrade or downgrade?
What does it cost to do something nice for someone, particularly for a brother trucker? Just a little “expense” in time and energy. The other day while running an errand near my home in my pickup, I came upon a rig that had traffic backed up. A few were honking at the driver as he tried unsuccessfully to turn around on a two-lane back road.
I was certain he had missed the poorly marked shortcut to the highway.
I pulled off the road, ran up to the driver and learned that he did indeed miss the shortcut. I told him to follow me and I’d get him safely to the highway, which I did after about four miles.
I’ve also been the recipient of kindness from a fellow trucker. I had a blowout on my rig late one night and was parked on the shoulder of the interstate with my triangles out and flashers on awaiting a road service provider. The tractor was a rental unit that had no working radio and no working CB.
Several other company rigs passed while I was waiting, without even so much as blinking their lights. About three hours into my wait, a rig finally stopped. The driver said he had seen me when he passed by earlier, going the other way. This time, seeing me still there, and not being able to raise me on the CB, he decided to stop and make sure I was okay.
While we sat in my rig chatting, he started fiddling with the CB and got it working. After about 15 minutes or so, as he started to head back to his rig, I thanked him for stopping to check on me and tried to slip him a couple of bucks. He refused the money.
“I’m happy to help,” he said with a wide grin. “I never get tired of doing things for others. Sometimes, those things occupy the biggest part of their lives.”
Kindness. Pass it on.