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KIDS and TRUCKS

September 29, 2013

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Did you know that big trucks are magical? Some children think they are the most awesome things on the planet.  They travel to faraway places and bring back the most wonderful things—candy, toys, swimming pools…all KINDS of cool stuff!  The men and women who drive them have actually SEEN the places kids study about in social studies and geography class.  They talk funny, saying things like 10-4 (yes or okay), keep the shiny side up (stay safe) and mention things like hauling sailboat fuel (an empty trailer) and pulling a wiggle wagon (double or triple trailers).  They know a chicken coop has nothing to do with chickens (it’s a weigh station). They have CB radios, which are magic boxes that let little kids actually TALK to truckers. And any driver worthy of the title of “trucker” will take a moment to chat with a child who has admired his or her rig.

Trucks are just plain out COOL.  They have big tires; their steering wheels are twice as big as the one in Mom and Dad’s car; and their stacks (that’s trucker talk for exhaust pipes) are really, really huge and covered in chrome.  Their engines have a deep, throaty rumble that makes a young heart go pittypat, and trucks sneeze air out at unexpected times, which initiates the giggle factor in a child that just jumped two feet in the air.  Oh, and best of all, big trucks have AIR HORNS!  Yes, little kids love air horns. Just watch a group of them waiting for the school bus when a truck goes by.  At least one arm will be pumping up and down in the universal signal for “blow the horn”.   Most drivers happily oblige.

Little kids who love trucks often grow up to be truckers. The attention given to them by today’s truckers just might kindle a lifelong dream. So if you drive a truck and a small voice comes on the CB, take a minute to say “hi” and make them feel special for awhile.  If you see one in the truck stop, smile and give a friendly wave.  You might be that child’s hero.  If you have the opportunity to take your truck to school for show and tell without fear of getting in trouble with the boss or the insurance company, let ‘em sit in your seat.  Show ‘em how it goes up and down.  Let ‘em marvel that you have a BED right there in the truck with you…and a REFRIGERATOR…and a TELEVISION.  Let ‘em hold the steering wheel and imagine themselves rolling into Wally World with a trailer load of unimaginable joys.  Oh, and let ‘em blow the air horn.  They love that air horn!

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Michelle Taylor got her first job as a truck driver in the late 1980s and has driven straight trucks (concrete & dump trucks) and tractor trailers (fuel tanker, intermodal containers, & dry box).  Her current position is as an instructor at Career Tech/CDL School.

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