Sign up for The Wire Newsletter!

Fuel for Thought



By Greg Huggins
Posted Sep 13th 2016 7:45AM

There are many ways to complete a particular task. Some tasks require specific steps to reach the desired end result, while others can be accomplished with many different options to still reach the end result satisfactorily.

Short cuts can be useful, even beneficial for reaching your desired goal faster or for less expense. Then there are some shortcuts that should be avoided at all costs. Determining whether or not taking a shortcut will be to your benefit will vary depending on the risk factors involved.

A good example is deciding which route to take to reach your destination both on time and more importantly, safely.

Years ago in Black Mountain, NC, while on I-40, I decided to take a shortcut to I-26 via NC 9 and U.S. Hwy 64. It would cut off about 10 miles and keep me from going into construction on I-40 at the I-26 interchange. This was before GPS and cell phones, so I grabbed my trusty road atlas, planned my “shortcut” route and proceeded with my new plan. If you have ever been in this area, you will probably see where this is headed. About a mile or two after turning off of I-40 onto NC 9, I knew this was not going to be a shortcut. Constant switchbacks and hairpin turns in the mountains of North Carolina are not a trucker’s friend. About an hour and half to two hours later I met up with I-26, and it was only a 30 mile shortcut. Sometimes it is not worth it to take shortcuts.

Other shortcuts that should be avoided, without exception, include your equipment. Proper equipment to do the job is crucial in your success. Do not try to overload your truck or van, use it as it is intended, or get better equipment. When you try to exploit the rules, you endanger yourself and the rest of us out here on the road, when your less than adequate equipment fails. Those of us who take the time to learn the rules, understand our equipment needs and limits, invest in the proper equipment and training to do the job and carry the proper insurance, should anything happen, take our jobs, no, our careers, very seriously.

Whether you agree or disagree with regulations put on us in this industry is irrelevant. I will say this again, for the hard headed ones, Whether YOU Agree or Disagree with the Regulations put on US in this industry is IRRELEVANT. If you want to get into this industry, then by all means, do so. But do it properly, with proper equipment, proper training and proper insurance. Each time someone enters this industry untrained, with shabby equipment and underinsured, when you have an incident that brings your operation to light, it gives us all a black eye as a whole. Shabby equipment? No, you do not have to be running the newest model truck or van, but it should be compliant with the current regulations. And don’t try to use auto insurance in place of commercial insurance. You may get away with it for a while, but if something happens, YOU will be bankrupt and homeless when the lawsuits finish with you. Yes, commercial vehicle insurance is expensive, so are the insurance payouts when a crash happens.

If you cannot comply with current regulations, do not enter this industry. We do not need you here. If you cannot comply because you feel some regulations are wrong, do something to change it, do not just ignore it, you cannot afford it.

Taking a back road shortcut may be beneficial many times, but taking shortcuts with compliance is never a good idea.

See you down the road,


The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

- Vince Lombardi


Please sign in or sign up to post a comment.  Or sign in with Facebook.