posted on Feb, 17 2014 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by AccessDenied
If I called in because I felt my life would be in danger, due to bad weather conditions, many others would not get to work and some would not receive
the essential emergency services they may need during said bad weather. I clear roads so there is no calling in at my job. The thing is, I don't
own the trucks used to clear the roads (we use standard dump trucks with a plow blade and a salt hopper we throw up in the back) so I have to drive to
the shop to get the truck first. This is not always fun...that might just be the understatement of my life...lol.
I live in VA. The other day it was 10 to 15 mph all the way to work...at 3 am. I spent the next 30 hrs behind the wheel of that truck....Zero
breaks! I am still exhausted.
And to answer your question about "better driving skills", courses one is "required" to take. As far as I know, there are none. Not in VA
anyways. A CDL is required to drive the larger state trucks but that is because they own them. They subcontract much of the work to local companies
with the capacity to clear roads and spread salt....there are no "safety courses". I find it amusing when I am considered a "professional". I
was basically thrown to the wolves....it went something like this. Me- "I am not sure I know how to drive/operate this plow/spread salt/etc on these
horrible roads".....the boss man- "Learn as you go....wreck my truck and don't show back up because you're fired"......Me- "10-4". Experience
is a great teacher, the only teacher imo.
Like another said, what is horrible to some is normal to others and once you are accustomed to driving in bad weather conditions it isn't as
frightening as it may have once been. I need not say that even after driving in said conditions many many times.....there are those moments when I
think to myself....wtf am I doing out in this? And then I remember, someone has to do it.
I will add though, that I rather enjoy heading out when most are hunkering down. Going out and working in conditions that others cannot even function
in....I guess it's a pride and ego thing...I can admit that. It is also an adrenaline thing....it can be and IS often a rush. Sort of akin to
tornado chasing, except when chasing tornadoes, the "rush" is usually fairly short lived and the storm caught is here and gone rather quickly. When
"chasing" snow and ice over a period of 20 or 30 (sometimes more) hours...it is stressful and the rushes come in waves....depending on the roads.
Many times, traffic is more of an issue than the roads. Ignorant people pretending the roads are slick, driving like there is nothing on them,
unaware that my plow blade is MUCH wider than the truck.....giving me ZERO room on the mountainous back roads we have here (many times no guard rail
and sheer drops of hundreds of ft)....
So be aware....give the plow guys some room will ya. (Got me a little rant in there too)