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It's a Team's Life

How do you see the world?

By Linda Caffee
Posted Mar 11th 2018 7:15AM

Over the past eighteen years in trucking, my rose-colored glasses have slipped every once in a while, and this is something I choose to forget.  In order to keep my glasses clean and clear, I stay away from negative people and I choose my friends wisely who will give me a quick jolt if I start concentrating on the negative.

Our profession is far from perfect and in many ways trucking is a screwed-up mess.  We can choose to wallow in the areas that do not fit our personalities or we can find our niche in trucking.  My rose-colored glasses were put on at a young age when I first sat in a truck and pushed on the brake pedal and heard the air brakes.  The view from that cab over was breathtaking and at the age of about fourteen, a seed had been planted in my brain that would sprout if given any hope of becoming a truck driver.

Not really so many years later I was able to finally obtain my class A license but the timing still was not right as Bob and I had two amazing daughters to raise.  My desire to drive a truck was still kept in the foreground as every once in a while, my assistance was needed driving a dump truck, bringing back a truck from Amarillo, or in the middle of the night hauling water to a drilling rig.  I knew though that this was not the type of trucking I wanted to do full time. 

Finally, after a few false starts where even my rose-colored glasses could not hide the frustrations of being a driver or rider for a large carrier we found our niche.  This was a period of time where it seemed as if we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  We knew there were many areas of trucking that we truly enjoyed and in time we found our round hole, expediting as owner-operators.

The start of expediting as owner-operators was harrowing and I spent a lot of my time those first few weeks considering bankruptcy. In time though the rose-colored glasses came on and I did not look back.  These fictitious glasses come in handy when out walking in the truck stops to not see the mess some drivers leave, to have the patience to sit back as a shipper struggles to get the paperwork ready for a shipment, or when a load cancels.  The key has been learning to not faunch at the bit and have something to do that keeps my mind off of the current frustration that I cannot control.

Part of our job that happens almost daily is dealing with construction zones, accidents, and rush hour that causes massive backups and slows our progress.  It is part of the job and something we might as well sit back and slowly move along with traffic and not get excited. As professional drivers it is up to us to keep everyone safe around us and, in my mind, stay invisible.  Other vehicles passing us do not feel intimidated or threatened we are part of the scenery staying in our lane and not tailgating.  One area that we as truck drives cause frustration to other motorists is when we are looking for an address and the correct driveway to enter that will lead us to our freight and not to a business's front door.   When we are looking for an address and that very important driveway we have to be doubly careful to not run over the vehicle that is in a massive hurry to get to work or pass us as they often will put themselves into a very dangerous position or our blind spot.  This is probably one of the areas I most stress about other than weather conditions.

 After thirteen years of accident-free driving full time I still probably do not have a million miles, but we have sure been into some crazy businesses and areas that are not really truck friendly.  When we get into these areas I am very glad we are in a straight truck and I look forward to the challenge of creating our own dock using our lift gate and often going to get the freight using our pallet jack.  Each day in what we do is often different and we never know what the next challenge will present us with. 

My rose-colored glasses are on to stay and I will keep waking up each day looking forward to whatever our trucking business will throw at us next!

Bob & Linda Caffee

TeamCaffee

Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

linda.caffee8@gmail.com

 

Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;

Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;

Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;

Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.

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