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Author Topic: Retired driver in Northern California  (Read 855 times)

Elliot

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Retired driver in Northern California
« on: October 28, 2016, 10:18:42 PM »
 :)
Thanks for letting me come here and play!

Started driving in January 1982, running team, pulling flatbeds, for International Transport out of Rochester, Minnesota.  My truck owner was George Lovejoy, who had around 30 trucks on with IT.

But running team was awful, so I went to Werner.  (They had 800 trucks then.)

A couple other outfits, some of it local. 

Finished up with almost ten years at Hendrickson out of Sacramento, CA, running western states.

Now I have a Blue Bird bus that serves as an RV and toy hauler.  Have put 60,000 miles on it in ten years.  Attaching a photo of it.

I ought to have some photos from my trucking days, but I need to dig them out from the basement, so... that's it for now.



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Retired driver in Northern California
« on: October 28, 2016, 10:18:42 PM »

norseman

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 04:45:31 AM »
Welcome to the forum! That sure is some bus you have! ;D

Jan.
"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." - Mark Twain

Mister TyZo

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 08:51:25 AM »
Welcome to the forum! That sure is some bus you have! ;D

Jan.


 ;D. X 2.....
Be Safe / Be Careful  BTB

charlie

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2016, 09:01:58 AM »
Love the bus. :) 8) You & Jimmy B should start a Hank's RV club......he lives in Reno & has a Yellow Freght GMC tractor he hauls a 5th wheel with. ;D

Elliot

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2016, 11:39:41 PM »
Thanks, gentlemen!

In case you wonder about the grille... yes, it's off a Pete.  But the emblem reads Millicent, which is "her" name.

I make absolutely no effort to make Millicent pretty or shiny.  She is all about brutal practical utility.  I installed a full bath, with the best RV commode money can buy, and a house-size shower.   But that's it for luxuries.

You may have noticed the roof is two feet higher than original.  Wasn't the least bit difficult -- just quite a few hours.

And I put a "toy-hauler" tailgate on her.  The last 15 feet is for "freight".
This photo is from the construction phase ten years ago.
The tailgate was once an air freight skid.




Elliot

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2016, 12:18:46 AM »
I'm not finding any photos from my early trucking days with I.T., but here is one from the last outfit, Hendrickson.

I met Bill Hendrickson right after I started driving in 1982.  He had one ratty old cabover with rubber blocks for suspension, which he often drove himself.  He was on I.T.'s western fleet.  He's of Norwegian heritage, as am I, and we lived close.   So I got to know him a bit over the years.  Dinners at his house, water skiing -- hecka nice guy.
One time I arrived at his house... he was on his back in the driveway, slipping new bearing shells into the crankshaft on that old thing. 

Finally... it "fit into my life" to drive for him.  By then he was Hendrickson Trucking with 200 trucks and 400 dry vans.  And a few flats to keep us honest. 
And Bill still spent much of his time out in the yard with the drivers, and in the shop, with grease on his hands. 

Then he retired and his boy ran it all into the ground.  The boy absolutely hates -- loathes -- trucks, trucking, truck drivers... anything to do with a trucking company.  He wants an airline.

I forget exactly where I took this picture.  I think Colorado.  I seem to remember a quite pleasant little loop between Denver and Forth Worth with potato chips.  And after looking at that old tank a few times, I cooked up this scene.  It was either at an armory or a VFW post... maybe.  Been about 20 years.

I call this...

"No, you do not have an appointment.  Call your dispatcher."



Jon_G

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2016, 10:10:27 AM »

Welcome, very cool bus you have!

Jon

Mister TyZo

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2016, 10:36:42 AM »
 ;) @ Elliot.... There 's a couple I.T. driver's here I'm sure will Chim In Eventually..  If I had the Where With All to Copy & Paste I'd Post a Pic of his KW..  Off the top of my Head I'm thinking of Wee Willy , He calls Winnipeg,MB home..
Be Safe / Be Careful  BTB

tery

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2016, 02:56:53 PM »
Welcome to the forum driver . I went down to Rochester and took my I.T. road test - then the contractor lost some trucks before he could put me on . . . . Your motor home rocks !
---------- Keep On Trucking ----------

wayne_crane

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2016, 03:04:47 PM »
Welcome aboard great bunch of guys on here you love it 

Elliot

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 02:44:47 AM »
Well, I have searched high and low, and I'm afraid I no longer have any photos from "the old days" with IT. 
But I have this one.
Earlier, I told you about Hendrickson Trucking and founder Bill Hendrickson.  Bill would give anybody a fair deal.  Great guy.  He told me he didn't mind if I made a mistake, so long as I had used my head and made the best decision I knew how to make at the time. 

But if you patently failed to "put brain in gear before starting truck", he would be unhappy, and of course rightly so.

One day the telephone started ringing with citizens reporting a Hendrickson truck "all over the road".  (The 800 number was on the back of all the trailers.)  The final phone was from the Highway Patrol. 

The tractor was hauled back to the yard.  Bill took one look and called a sign-painting shop.


tery

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2016, 06:53:18 AM »
I hope that the driver was OK and no one was injured .
---------- Keep On Trucking ----------

Elliot

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Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2017, 09:19:55 PM »
I'm back.  Happy New Year!
Yes, let's certainly hope no-one was hurt in that crash, but I don't remember any such information about it.
 
One thing I do remember... was that the drivers surname was Elliot, and he was brand new with the company, so hardly anybody had heard of him.  And as you can see... my given name is Elliot.   
So a rumor started in the shop that it was I who had crashed. 

That would have been a bit out of character, even if I say so myself....  And that rumor didn't get far. 

Now....  Something else about crashed trucks.... 
I worked in Hendrickson's office also, mostly hiring new drivers and giving them the orientation lessons.  But only for one year, which was all my blood pressure could take.  And here is why:

One morning... I came to work and was greeted with the news that one of my hires had crashed in the night, badly. 
I don't know about any other recruiters and trainers and such staff, but I felt that inside me. 

He'd been sailing calmly across Nevada as usual, when he caught up with an old VW Microbus crawling along with candles for taillights, and a bicycle or two hanging on the back, obscuring the "candles".   

The following sentence is partly "trucker b. s.", I'm sure, but... I was told that mechanics found bicycle parts INSIDE the Cat 3406.

But this driver was a top hand -- MY top hand ;)
And once in a while... Fate can trick even the best of us into unavoidable circumstances.  So he was back in a new truck a few days later, with our complete confidence.  You don't abandon a good man over just a single lightning-strike of awful bad luck.

I expect the lawyers are still debating the visibility of those "obscured candles".

Working in the Safety office... sometimes we were pressed to hire drivers we would rather not.  I hired something like one in ten applicants, and we always had trucks "parked against the fence".  Too many trucks "against the fence", and it was "Hire somebody TODAY!"

I'm sure glad it wasn't I who had hired that Mr. Elliot, who turned out less than favorably, and quickly.

I have more stories....  You may have to gag me.  ;)

Hank's Truck Forum

Re: Retired driver in Northern California
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2017, 09:19:55 PM »

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