Written by Scott Hughson
I was on the last stop of a three stop meat load. The customer was a grocer in central New Jersey, off of I-287. The direction on the qualcomm macro stated “Follow directions to a tee or risk turning your reefer into a flatbed.” A mental image of a low bridge entered my mind. As a precaution, I called the customer for directions, but no habla English. So….no back up directions.
Of course, I got lost and relied on Google maps to direct me three blocks from a 12’3” bridge. I found it, the low bridge, and the customer was on the other side of it. Right downtown! I swung wide right and some four-wheelers had to back up for me to complete the lost trucker turn. I came to a residential area, and a sign stating “No trucks over 4 tons”.
I took another wide right turn into a neighborhood of side by side houses. I put on the four ways and pulled the yellow knob. Some kids and their parents were playing inside a chain link fence so I asked them for directions to the store and in broken English, they directed me to the same low bridge. Every driver goes through this same madness! I needed to take a moment and gather my wits.
After a couple of minutes, I took the address of one of the houses and the street name and called 911. I told them I was and over-the-road truck driver and needed help with directions so I would not get stuck under a low bridge in town. I was forwarded to an officer and I gave him my location. As he started giving me directions, I told him I didn’t want to tear up his town with this big rig, and asked if he could send someone to escort me safely to the customer, which he did.
Within ten minutes, a plain wrapper with flashing lights under the hood guided me like I was in a parade. He brought me to the right bridge for safe passage and pointed me to the customer. I flashed my lights as a courteous gesture of thanks and made the turn. I still made it to the customer on time with no damage to my truck or trailer. I don’t make a habit of calling 911, but in this case, my trucker instinct told me it was the right call to make.
Look us up at www.navajo.com
Stop by and see us at
1400 W. 64th Ave.
Denver, CO 80221