So today I was taking a stroll down memory lane and thinking about people who had influenced me and ran right into this truck driver…no, not like that…the memory of the truck driver.
I was working for a rancher here in Arkansas doing odd jobs for low wages (but with housing provided…that story later) and we were loading dry corn into a grain silo from an 18 wheel truck with a big box on the trailer that had a tarp stretched over it. When the last of the corn had been fed to the auger the trucker began to scramble all over the trailer. He folded the tarp, knocked out braces at the top of the box and flopped the sides down and within minutes we were standing there looking at a flat bed. I asked him what trucking company he worked for and he said, “I don’t. This is my rig and when I leave here I’m going to the local mill to pick up a load of pine fence posts.” Then he said, “I am always looking for ways to improve my business…this way, I can usually avoid running deadhead.” I asked what “deadhead” meant and he patiently, but quickly, explained that it was a trucker’s term for running empty (no payload). I was about twenty years old at the time, just starting a family, and that trucker’s words have stayed with me. I wish I could say they had a huge impact then but, sadly, it is only with age and experience that I realize what an important lesson I was given that day by the corn silo.