A Fork In The Road

Isn’t it great when everything seems to be going well? The wind is at your back, the truck is running well, and you’re actually heading back to the house – that’s a great feeling, in my opinion. But it can also bring that sneaky little feeling that something bad is about to happen – bad news gets passed your way, a “Check Engine” light rears its ugly head, or an unexpected bill lands in your lap that makes any forward progress seem to get stripped away in an instant. Lately, I’ve had conversations about the over-regulation in this industry, and how it’s pushing out great truck drivers and owner operators. Many are considering quitting this line of work altogether, but they either feel trapped or aren’t exactly sure what else to do. We’ve all heard that timeless advice – “Better get out, while the getting’s good” – which implies to quit while things are going well. But what about the similar advice to “quit while you’re ahead” – is that the same thing? Not exactly. This poem is an example of the distinction between the two. It might sound nice to get out while the getting’s good, but not if you have other obligations that haven’t been met. Then, it stands to reason, that it would be better to quit while you’re ahead, but, if you’re anything like me, you’re not thinking that quitting is an option. I hope if you’re one of the professionals in this industry you’ll stay and make a positive difference, but if you decide to go, I wish you all the best in your new ventures. After all, only you will really know when it’s quittin’ time.

By Trevor Hardwick

DecPoemPicThis ol’ Peterbilt keeps pushin’ on,
With its hood out in the breeze.
Smashin’ raindrops from the sky,
And blowin’ leaves off the trees.
I ain’t had a single setback,
Things are going just as planned…
So, maybe I should quit, while I still can.

All my lights are burning brightly,
All my Bridgestones, holding air.
All the coops are closed up, tightly,
I ain’t seen a single bear.
I am still ahead of schedule,
Lots of time left on my hands…
So, maybe I should quit, while I still can.

Heavy traffic is behind me,
Heavy wind is at my back.
Heavy payload in my wagon,
Isn’t on a railroad track.
While the summer may be over,
My left arm still holds a tan…
So, maybe I should quit, while I still can.

When I key the mic, I’m answered,
So, I guess I’m being heard.
When I’m passed by other drivers,
I ain’t seen a single “bird”.
And I’ll be home this weekend,
Which makes me a lucky man…
So, maybe I should quit, while I still can.

I still have a bunch of bills to pay,
And still have tons of debt.
I’m still not even close,
To meeting obligations, yet.
I’m still so far behind some things,
So, I guess I’ll press on, instead…
And, maybe I’ll just quit, when I’m ahead.

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.