Produce hauling used to be a great school of trucking back when I started – simply because perishable loads perish – and 40 thousand pounds of lettuce delivered just a couple hours late might be the difference of a successful delivery or a rejected load. So, what’s good about such a tough deal, where you might lose thousands of dollars due to a flat tire or a bad wheel seal? First thing, it teaches you to never promise things you can’t make happen. If you say, “I’ll be there,” you better mean it. You better be ready for some “left lane produce train” trucking to burn that midnight oil. And that’s exactly where true SAFETY comes into play, because the slightest traffic infraction may make you late. Just running over a piece of blown tire might get you sidelined on a busy highway, and sitting in the emergency lane is a very inviting place for a distracted driver to cause you even more trouble! Truly “smooth operators” from the past just kept delivering their loads on-time for decades, avoiding any breakdowns, but this takes electrical and mechanical knowledge of the truck, proper inspections and preventive maintenance. Just keep replacing those worn-out parts at home, not on the side of the mountain road in the middle of the night! It’s not just about jerking that steering wheel while the automatic transmission does the job like big fleet style – it’s a full-time career, with lots of overtime, but if you really love the challenge, over the years, you too might become a true produce hauler. We are highly-appreciated, skilled, professional drivers who are paid very well for our sacrifices. Because, again – perishable loads of fresh veggies and fruits are only good if you deliver them fresh – just like you said you would! Thanks to produce hauler Michael Wloch of Henderson, NV for allowing us to take and share this great picture of his Kenworth out there burning that midnight oil for his customers!
Posted in: The Spirit of the American Trucker