Sometimes, my favorite part of my job is being out in the wide open vast areas of places like Nevada, between Ely and Hiko Junction, or I-84 between Tremonton, Utah and the Idaho line. That’s when you can relax and worry less about traffic and let your mind indulge in music, thoughts of home, or maybe ponder some hobbies or lingering projects you’d like to complete. But, without the chaotic distractions or mental preoccupation of city driving to contend with, the wide open expanses of the interstate can also reveal a heightened awareness of annoying rattles, squeaks, and whistles that the truck makes, which might otherwise go unnoticed. One noise in particular that bugs me, is the whistle of the wind through the wing window and/or the door jamb (less evident on newer trucks but a commonplace on the older rides I tend to drive). I always preferred the mirrors being mounted to the doors, as you’d see on a 359 or 379 Peterbilt, but that was until I got into an A-model KW and the mirrors were mounted to the cab. It took some getting used to, but I began to appreciate the fact that cab-mounted mirrors don’t rattle your door in the wind – which is also a big factor in allowing the wind to whistle in the cotton-pickin’ door jamb, too! UGH! This poem is just a little ride along on a hot and sunny afternoon – a description of what is going on in the cab and in the thoughts of a driver as he becomes more aware of his immediate surroundings. If you’ve driven the older rigs, or you’ve been on the road for a while, I think you’ll laugh as you relate to the subject of this poem. It’s good to drive old trucks, to travel into wide open spaces, and to appreciate and absorb the environment you work in, but remember, it’s also good to whistle while you work!
Whistle While You Work
By Trevor Hardwick
Here I sit, just listening, to the whistle of the wind.
As it’s rushing through the door jamb, so I slam the door again.
There’s white noise on the CB, and road noise down below.
Dust whirls, trash and tumbleweeds, are dancing to and fro’.
The pavement sizzles in the heat, and offers a mirage.
I’m longing for that motorcycle, parked in my garage.
With John Prine on the radio, and Subway in my gut.
The rattle of the door tells me, the dang thing still ain’t shut.
Billboard signs and highway lines, ahead and in my mirror.
My pitted windshield doesn’t help, to see things any clearer.
Reflections of my lug nut caps, are sparkling on the ground.
Shining in the sun, as the wheels go round and round.
Everything is going well, but much to my chagrin.
I hit a bump and now I have, to slam my door again.
That whistle has to be, the most annoying sound on earth.
I filled the gap with paper towels, for whatever it is worth.
I take a look around and see, the picture of my wife.
I turn the tunes up loud, it’s Dire Straits, The Walk of Life.
Suddenly the highway line, keeps tempo with the song.
That’s more than I can say for me, as I try to sing along.
A vanillaroma tree is hanging, from the visor clip.
And down between the seats, an open bag of tater chips.
Bugs are splatting on the glass, the wiper blades just smear.
It sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m happy that I’m here.
All the places that I go, and all the things I get to see.
The ambiance of being here, a sense of feeling free.
That dog-gone whistle in my door, is driving me berserk.
On second thought, they say it’s good, to whistle while you work!