What Do You Do?

Picture this: you’re sitting around a table at a restaurant with a few friends and some other people you don’t know. Maybe you’re meeting some friends of friends or whatever. As everyone mingles and discusses their daily lives, they talk of their office jobs or their schools and such. Each of them seems to understand and relate to one another and nod in agreement with every topic regurgitated. But, then someone asks you about yourself… what do you do for a living? You reply that you’re a truck driver. Suddenly, intrigue settles in among the others. People look at you like a dog looks at a high-pitched noise – tipping their heads in an expression of confusion and curiosity. You could’ve told them you’re a “Domestic Relocation Engineer” and they may have lightened up a bit, but it’s too late – the cat is out of the bag. You’re a truck driver. Now the questions start piling on like the press at a controversial political event: “What do you haul? Where do you go? Why are trucks so big? Do all truck drivers take speed to stay awake?” Then, you get the comments like, “I always let a trucker over in front of me when I see them trying to merge” (uh-huh… everyone says that, but few actually do it). A friend of mine used to say that when anyone asked him what he hauls or who he hauls for he always said, “I haul Bibles for Jesus.” And that typically ended the conversation. I thought that was clever and funny (credit to Bill Mowatt for that one). I don’t mind answering questions about our industry to people who are curious. It’s flattering and fun to give them a glimpse of life outside their neighborhoods. This poem, which I call “I Haul it All!” is one I hope you’ll remember to look at and read to your inquisitive friends, when the conversation turns to you and your trucking life.

By Trevor Hardwick

DecPoemPicI get lots of people,
Asking what it is I pull.
And, how much does my trailer weigh,
Whenever it is full?

People always wonder,
‘bout the places that I’ve seen.
Asking silly questions,
‘bout the business I am in.

I don’t mind them asking,
And I’m flattered that they care.
I just tell ‘em, frankly,
That I’ll go anywhere.

If you find me eastbound,
Coming out of Frisco Bay.
I’m likely full of wine or seafood,
Headed on its way.

Maybe I’ll be southbound,
Out of eastern Washington.
Loaded full of apples,
Pears and ‘taters on the run.

You might see me loaded,
Full of old Wisconsin cheese.
Or streakin’ across the desert,
With a load of BVDs.

I left that ol’ Sunshine State,
With oranges on my back.
And chickens out of Arkansas,
To be somebody’s snack.

Yogurt out of Twin Falls,
Lamb, from L.A. piers.
And produce into Hunt’s Point,
But I ain’t been out there in years.

Paper, from Port Townsend,
Steel, from Bethlehem.
Peppers, from Nogales,
And books from Birmingham.

Kraft, from caves in Carthage,
Beer, from Boulder town.
Just load it up, and sign the bills,
And I’ll be hammer down!

Whatever I am hauling,
And wherever I may roam.
I am quite content, here,
In my home away from home.

About Trevor Hardwick

Trevor Hardwick is a 3rd generation truck driver who has been in love with all things truck-related since he was “delivered” (pun intended). When he was a kid, Trevor began using artwork and poetry as a means of staying connected to trucking, and still loves doing it today. Trevor lives in Stanwood, Washington with his wife Alicia, and has been a regular contributor to 10-4 Magazine since January of 2008. Alicia puts up with Trevor’s love affair with trucks and also shares his outspoken devotion to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.