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Fuel for Thought

Cash Machine

By Greg Huggins
Posted Mar 7th 2019 9:16AM

Trucking can be a lucrative business, not only for the driver, but for others as well.

Most of us know that if you need some quick cash, you can go to the ATM and quickly get what you need. Anytime Teller Machines (ATMs) are practically everywhere nowadays.

Apparently there is another form of ATM out here too. Acquire Trucker’s Money (ATM). It seems that an overwhelming number of people run out of gas or have a flat tire at a truck stop. I have had flat tires in the past, never have I been so lucky as to have one at a location that could repair it, usually side of the road and middle of nowhere. As for running out of gas, who runs out of gas at a gas station (truck stop)?

Sometimes the ATM folks get a little more creative. Selling their wares truck to truck. Then there are the ones looking for donations. This is the one that really gets under my skin. I have no issue with charitable organizations asking for donations, legitimate charities, but a guy in a Jeep with a notebook asking for signatures and donations “to help the kids, man” does not seem very legitimate. And claiming to be from a local radio station does not help garner trust. Funny thing about some of these people is you will see them repeatedly. While on a 34 hr reset, I was approached by a guy who “ran out of gas” each day I was at that particular truck stop. The donations guy in the Jeep trying “to help the kids, man” was also trolling another truck stop 100 miles away a couple of weeks ago when I was there. Maybe he was legitimate (I doubt it), but there were bigger issues. Waking drivers by knocking on their trucks to ask for money disrupts their sleep and can lead some drivers to make poor decisions.

Many of us have encountered these people at various truck stops. Why do we not see these types of people at other businesses? I can’t recall running into these types of folks at the bank, home improvement stores, restaurants or gas stations that are not truck stops. Probably, it is the patrons. For the most part, truck stops will have various drivers from all over the country come and go, so each day there is a new ATM parked there.

The worst part of it is, when you encounter someone who really is in need of help, after all the previous characters you have encountered, you may write it off as another one looking to ATM.

So what is the solution? Is there a solution? Is it even a problem?

See you down the road,