911

911

It only stands to reason that the more time spent on the road, the more stuff you’re going to see.  Throughout the course of a week or month, I tend to see a fair amount of stuff.  You have maybe heard of the television program Animals Behaving Badly.  Mostly what I tend to see are 4-wheelers behaving badly.  Sadly though, I saw a big truck behaving badly this last week as I was eastbound on I-76 near Fort Morgan, CO.

Truck drivers for the most part look out for each other.  What I saw scared the crap out of me.  I watched a company truck veer off the interstate onto the right hand shoulder and into the right of way.  I saw a cloud of dust and the truck came back onto the pavement.  I had planned to pass the truck until I witnessed this.  I brought it down a little and followed.  The name on the company was identified on the rear doors of the trailer.  I won’t identify the company here, but I will say it shares the name of the county where I grew up in Nebraska.  That narrows it to 93.

I tried to catch the driver on the radio.  As I mentioned, it was a company truck and the majority of them tend to not have a radio on channel 19.  My hope was the driver had just done something stupid and had recovered.  That was not the case.  The truck was veering from the zipper to the ditch.  I made a decision to call 911.

Several thoughts came to my mind.  I was concerned for the other people on the road.  I was concerned for the driver, but mostly I was disappointed in the driver.  Like I said, drivers tend to look out for each other.  I will advocate for professional drivers day and night.  This particular driver was not being professional.  He was making us all look bad.  Each of us battles with fatigue or distraction at some point.  If I am that sleepy, I will take myself out of service and catch a nap.  If I don’t, I expect someone to take the same action I did.

I rushed to call 911 because we were approaching a prepass.  I thought if the driver rolled over the scale, he/she could be stopped there.  No such luck.  The truck bypassed the scale and kept on rolling.  Thankfully I was dead-heading and rolled right over the scale back onto the big road and caught back up to the truck in a couple of miles.  After it nearly wiped out a sign on an off ramp, I followed the truck off my course through Fort Morgan while maintaining contact with 911 dispatch.  After it entered an industrial park, I continued east on 34 until I got back on the interstate in Brush.

I don’t know how it ended for that driver, but I was thankful nobody was hurt.  Some people my be critical of me for turning in another driver.  I don’t care.  As I was contemplating all this a thought came to my mind.  I can’t ignore something I know is wrong!  Immediately then, my mind went directly to a verse in the bible I recite in my head almost daily:

Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. – James 4:17

Yes, a sin of omission.  Ignorance is not a defense.  That is true both legally and spiritually.  We cannot just simply ignore what we know is wrong.  That is a sin of omission.  Sins of commission are pretty straight forward.  That is a sin we commit.  God does not distinguish between the two with one being worse than the other.  Both are sins.

Sins of omission are probably more difficult for us to deal with.  As a general rule, it is easier to turn away and act like you didn’t see something or to think someone else will step up and take care of it.  I’ve watched drivers in truck stops sit back and watch other drivers blindly back their trailer into something.  They find it funny.  I find that sad.  I think Satan acts the same way.  He delights when he sees people turn a blind eye to an avoidable situation.  I choose to not be like Satan.  Will you?

Thanks for reading! Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me: eric@bigroadblog.com

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Trucker as a Second Language

Trucker as a Second Language

Northbound 18-wheeler:  How bout ya southbound freightshaker with the skateboard.  You got it on?

Southbound 18-wheeler:  Yeah, c’mon.

Northbound 18-wheeler:  What’s that northbound chicken house doin?

Southbound 18-wheeler:  Open for business.  Check’n your down pressure and references.  Better make sure your comic book is legal.

Northbound 18-wheeler:  10-4 appreciate that.  You’ve got a diesel bear rollin’ in your front door about two miles and a full grown with a customer at the 78.  Be careful around the 66 ½.  You’ve got an alligator layin on the zipper.  Better get in the hammer lane.

Southbound 18-wheeler:  Yeah 10.  Appreciate that.  You’ve got a brake check at the 92 yardstick.  Four-wheeler on its lid in the middle.  Meat wagon just showed up.  There was a local taking your picture right before the split.  That’s all I can help you.  I just came on the big road at the 109.

Northbound 18-wheeler:  10-4.  I appreciate that.  Have a safe ride.

Southbound 18-wheeler:  You too driver.

If you read that and understand what it says, you speak fluent trucker.  If you have no idea what the heck you just read, this blog is for you.  This is a fairly typical conversation that may take place over the CB on any given day.  I’ll be the first to admit I did not learn this overnight.  There is not a glossary in the back of the owner’s manual of your new CB that tells you any of this.  Knowing the lingo does not mean you can use it correctly.  No, that comes with experience and hearing others chatter back and forth.

So…what does this conversation mean?  Let’s dissect it.

Freightshaker = Freightliner truck

Skateboard = Flatbed trailer

You got it on? = Is your CB on?

Chicken House = Weigh station

Check’n your down pressure = Weighing your truck and trailer

References = Paperwork (Log book, bill of ladings, receipts…)

Comic book = Log book

10-4 = OK

Diesel bear = DOT officer

Full grown/full grown bear = State trooper

Rollin’ in your front door = Driving in the same direction ahead of you

Customer = Someone pulled over by law enforcement

At the 78 = Short for mile marker 78

Brake check = Accident or something that would cause you to hit your brakes quickly

Yardstick = Mile marker

Alligator = Tread from a blown tire

Zipper = Dashed center line of a 4-lane road

Hammer = Left/passing lane on 4-lane road

Four-wheeler = Car/pickup or passenger vehicle with four wheels

In the middle = median

Meat wagon = Ambulance

Local = City police officer

Taking your picture = Using radar

Split = Place where two roads/interstates divide

Big road = Interstate highway

 

So let’s do this again and not speak in trucker.

Northbound semi truck:  Is the weigh station on the north traveling side of the interstate open?

Southbound semi truck:  Yes it is.  They are checking the weight of your truck and trailer and verifying all of your paperwork.  It would behoove you to ensure log book compliance.

Northbound semi truck:  Ok, thank you.  A Department of Transportation officer is driving ahead of you nearly two miles.  A state trooper has a car pulled over at mile marker 78.  Just past mile marker 67 is a blown tire with its tread laying on the center line.  It’s safest to drive in the left hand lane.

Southbound semi truck:  Ok, thank you.  Be very careful at mile marker 92.  If you’re not ready, you will have to quickly apply your brakes because a car has become involved in a rollover accident and has landed in the median.  The ambulance has recently arrived.  Also, prior to the interstate division, a city police officer is operating radar to determine if you are speeding.  I wish I could be of more assistance, but I just recently began driving south on the interstate.

Northbound semi truck:  Ok, thank you.  Please drive safely.

Southbound semi truck:  Please drive safely also.

Yeah, that’s boring.  No thanks.  I’ll stick to my foreign language.  Why do we talk like this?  I don’t know.  We just do.  A quick internet search is sure to yield you an entire dictionary of trucker slang but this is a language you will not learn from a book.

 

Thanks for reading! Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me: eric@bigroadblog.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

No, I’m not singing an AC/DC song.  I’m talking about dying and being prepared for the day of your death.  This is a topic most people prefer not to discuss or even think about.  Who really wants to talk about death?  Well today, I do and I’ll tell you why.

Last week I pulled an oversize load from Idaho Falls, ID, to Terrell, TX.  Other than some low clearance issues in Texas, this was a pretty good load.  Saturday found me driving eastbound across Wyoming on I-80.  West of Elk Mountain around the 240 yardstick I saw emergency vehicles and traffic backed up on the westbound side.  I do what I always do when I see flashing lights; I muted the radio and said a quick prayer for victim of whatever emergency waited ahead of me and for the skills of the emergency responders.  As I slowed down and rolled past the congestion on my left, I saw a motorcycle on its side with a blanket covering the majority of the bike.  On the shoulder near the motorcycle was an 18-wheeler parked with traffic going around it.  An obvious and general conclusion could be drawn that the rider of the motorcycle was deceased and somehow the big truck was involved.

After passing through, I pulled down my radio mic and asked other drivers in the area to pray for the fatality in the hammer lane of the westbound side.  A couple of us briefly discussed how quickly life can end.  One of the other drivers said how his father passed away suddenly the week before.  Our trucks must have pulled away from each other and our conversation ceased before I could ask him a few pressing questions.

So what about this accident inspired me to compose a blog?  Here’s the thing about death:  You rarely know when yours will happen.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.  What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”  James 4:14

In the past I’ve mentioned that I read my local obituaries online every day.  When an obit says a funeral or celebration of life is planned, but not in a church or with a pastoral liturgist, it absolutely breaks my heart.  That person died and likely did not know Christ.  The Bible is very clear as to the eternal fate of those who choose to ignore God.  If they do not know Him in life, they will not know Him in death and shall spend eternity in misery.  Eternity…not just a short stay.

People often “joke” how all their friends will be in hell so it will be another party when they all get there.  What they fail to grasp is the fact that hell isn’t a party.  It is complete isolation.  To make it worse, they will be allowed to see the joy that is taking place in heaven and realize just how close to it they were but will now never be.

It truly hurts me to see people who have died and were not saved.  Conversely though, when I read an obituary that mentions not just a church funeral, but a life dedicated to Christ, it brings a literal smile to my face.  If you are dedicated to the Lord, death is not feared.

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.”  John 11:25

Those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.  Isaiah 57:2

I have a true passion for bringing Christ to the big road.  It is so evident every single day how many drivers do not know Him.  I pray daily that I can recognize the opportunities God places before me witness to the lost.  Jesus met people where they were…in the trenches so to speak.  Truck stops are my trenches and we truly are fighting a war with Satan.

Driving a big truck is dangerous.  I am reminded each day that I not only have my own life to take care of, but also the lives of each person I encounter on the road.  My loads routinely scale me right around 80,000 lbs and are usually as wide or wider than the lane I’m driving in.  Things sometimes happen around me very suddenly.  There are opportunities for tragedy surrounding us constantly.  I’d prefer to be spiritually prepared for anything.

After sharing a morning devotion over the radio early one morning, I had a driver respond back and ask me what I would do if I only had 24 hours to live.  I told him I would continue doing exactly what I was currently doing.  I do not have to make quick amends with God.  I’m ready when he is.  Can you say the same?

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Directions

Directions

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my last blog!  As I mentioned to someone on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, I’m still alive and shifting.  A lot has happened in my world in the last month and a half…some good, some not.

I’ve been running through the gears pretty hard lately.  As the days get longer, I’ve got more hours to run.  I’ll clarify for those unfamiliar with oversize loads.  In most states, I am only allowed to run during daylight hours.  This means a couple of things.  When the days are shorter, I don’t stop for anything since I may only have nine hours of daylight to drive.  The morning quart of coffee does not seem like a great idea about 10:00 am…but I don’t stop.  When I do shut down and find a place to park at night I’m usually exhausted.

When the days are longer, I still need to maximize my day, but I’m able to generally get in a full eleven.  In both cases though, I run into issues with curfew.  Most major cities do not allow me within their city limits during morning and evening commutes due to size and safety.  Because of this, I rarely stop because I’m always chasing the next city curfew.

Enough of that.  What I really have on my mind today are directions.  Since the majority of my 18-wheel experience is limited to pulling either a step deck or RGN, that’s all I can personally speak to.  I have to assume every other driver faces the same challenges I do regarding horrible directions.

Recently I called a sale yard in southeastern Oklahoma I was to load some tractors at.  I asked the girl on the other end of the phone to please give me directions to get to their location.  She put me on hold and forwarded me to someone else who ultimately did not pick up the line.  After five minutes of waiting, I hung up and called back.  Someone else gave me the directions.  It turns out, I only had to make a single turn off the main highway to find them.  Simple as that.  Why couldn’t she have just told me to turn at highway X and I would find them a mile and a half later.

This scenario is not uncommon.  Routinely I’m forwarded to someone else for directions.  I always want to ask them how they got to work that morning.  Can’t you just tell me the route you took?

What’s worse than this?  Bad directions.  A lady in Miami giving me directions to their business and used the Golden Gate Expressway as a landmark.  Then she says, and I quote, “It’s not really called that.  That’s just what we call it.”  Seriously?  Why don’t you just tell me to take a left at Bob’s house and another left where the green shed used to be that blew away in the hurricane.

I have found the worst words you can hear when receiving directions are, “You can’t miss it.”  I disagree.  I most certainly have…often.  I’ve been lost in most major cities in the US.  Usually when you’re really lost, it’s not on a truck route.  Hello residential neighborhood!

Who/where you get your directions from is extremely important.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so cynical when I am forwarded to someone else for my routing.  Bad directions can cause us so much trouble.  I can’t be the only person who, when lost, keeps getting further and further off course until I find myself in a really bad situation.  The best thing to do then is to simply stop.  Turn on the 4-ways and seek some direction.

Our lives work the same way.  Where we get our direction from is critical.  If we receive bad directions, we end up further and further from where we need to be.  The ultimate trouble however, may not be immediate.  A ship that is 1 degree off course may not immediately be in danger.  If that same ship travels 1000 miles being 1 degree off course the results could be catastrophic.  The same is true with us.  One step in the wrong direction can be corrected rather easily.  100o steps may take a significant effort and who knows where we will be.

The atlas we should all use for direction is not published by Rand McNally.  It’s published by God and it’s called the Bible.  In it, God tells us the exact route to take for our lives that will lead to the ultimate destination of heaven.  Even though we may follow His directions, it does not guarantee we won’t have some rough roads or maybe even an accident or two.  There may be some difficult times along the way as well.

Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”  – John 10:32

A year or two ago I was going through one of the rough patches life tends to throw at us.  I wrote a personal mission statement that I felt defined my life and the direction I intend to go:

I will use my many gifts, talents and abilities for their God-intended purpose.  By representing God, myself and my company well, and in that order, success is inevitable.

What does this have to do with direction?  God’s road map ensures success.  Success though depends on whose standards you are measuring.  By worldly standards, you may think you are a failure.  This I know firsthand…been there, done that.  Keeping in mind that the world is temporal and heaven is eternal, shouldn’t we be more concerned with achieving God’s standards?  This does not mean we cannot have both.  Be careful however, in how you try to order your successes.

Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God.  And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success – 2 Chronicles 26:5

God wants us to succeed.  He has given us the perfect directions for doing so.  He knows we are going to try and take a shortcut and do it our own way.  When this happens, we need just to ask him for directions from our current location.  He’ll get us back on track.  We just can’t be too proud to ask.

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Live Like That

Live Like That

I’ve mentioned this a couple dozen times either in my blogs or on Twitter:  I love my church.  I would not be who I am or where I am without it.  I’ve also mentioned the struggle I sometimes go through to find a place to worship on the weekend when I’m not home.  This week I landed in Baldwin, FL at the T/A to do my 34.  Actually, I tried to park Saturday afternoon at a truck stop in Jacksonville.  I thought if I made it there around noon, there would be enough parking at the Kangaroo Express at Exit 22 on I-295.  I was incorrect.  I tried to jockey my wide load into a couple spots but simply could not fit.  Grrr…. I already had a pounding migraine and the frustration of driving back up the road to either the Pilot or T/A just made it worse.

Long story short, unbeknownst to me, the T/A has a Truckstop Ministry there.  Once again, God took care of me.  They held Fellowship Meetings at 11 am and 6:30 pm.  Both chaplains delivered spot-on messages I needed to hear.  I guess I should stop being amazed when that happens :)

I’ve had a fairly rough couple of weeks lately.  As I mentioned in my Thinking Problem blog, it can be difficult to deal emotionally with stresses in our personal life when we are 1800 miles from home.

At different times in our lives, songs have a way of reaching us.  With where I’m at today and some of my non-freight stresses, the song Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets, really is cutting into my heart.  Rather than me explaining the meaning behind the song, you can read it in the band’s own words.

People pass
And even if they don’t my  name
Is there evidence that I’ve  been changed
When they see  me, do they see you?

When they see me do they see you…ouch.  I have probably caught the ear of a few people walking by my truck if I’m parked when this song comes on.  The question itself at times can really break me down.  What do people see when the see me?  At times I don’t think I really want that answered.

Was I Jesus to the least of us
Was my worship more than just a  song

We can’t just talk the talk.  We need to walk the walk.  As my pastor explains, “Our body has two tongues.  One in our mouth and one in our shoe.”  Which one does the talking for us?

We are all human.  We make mistakes.  God expects it.  If we ask, He will forgive us.  Do we do the same?  Do we have resolve to change and Live Like That?  I try so hard to have my actions point to Christ in the way I conduct myself on the road, at home, the way I date, interacting with people who do not know me, online, on the CB…So everything I say and do, points to you.

Our lives should have a purpose.  What is yours?  What/who do your actions point to?  Are you living for you or does your life have a purpose?  Listen to this song a couple of times and read the lyrics.  How do you stack up to the questions the song asks?

 

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thinking Problem

Thinking Problem 

Hi.  My name is Eric and I think too much.  I sometimes think so much at night, I wake up in a truck stop as the sun is coming up and I don’t always remember where I’m at.  Oh, and the headaches.  When I crawl out of bed after a long night of thinking, I will wake up with a pounding headache.  That doesn’t stop me though.  I just start thinking again and ignore the consequences.

I know I’m not the only person who thinks too much.  I’ve never really asked other drivers, but I imagine a good many of us spend our days pondering random or possibly complex exercises of intellect.  What else do we have to do?

Few can argue that boredom and loneliness are among the biggest problems we face, as drivers, on a personal level.  For many a driver, these are mitigated with eating and smoking.  Those vices then escalate to health problems and a whole host of other issues.  Remind me again why we love driving a truck??

When I’m not busy thinking, I’ve got my satellite radio tuned to other people who get paid to think.  After a few hours of listening to the likes of Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow and Mark Levin, I begin to start thinking like they do.  I think until I’m thunk (if drinking gets you drunk, thinking must get you thunk ;)

So what’s the problem with being a thinker?  The problem isn’t the thinking, it’s hangover you get from being thunk.

As a truck driver, we have countless hours to pass over the course of a day and week.  Long runs with few drops are great for putting in the miles but they are also the most difficult, at least for me, to not get bored.  For example, this week I hauled a load from the Midwest up to northern Vermont.  I reloaded in eastern Connecticut for an unload in Sioux City, IA.  Great people to work with on both ends and lots of relatively easy miles.  This is fifty hours of nearly uninterrupted driving since I only had one reload for the week.  A lot of things can go through a person’s head with nothing to distract them over the course of 3500 miles.

I’ve never been a person to feel stress or worry about much.  I do tend to over-think and over-analyze though.  Maybe that is just splitting hairs.  Once a person is thunk, a simple thought can turn into a million different mental scenarios.  This may be great for some.  For others it may drive them to the point of Chicken Little.

As I started thinking about thinking, a thought came to me that I think I thought when I was thunk.  Actually, it’s a quote:

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He’s going to be up all night anyway.  ~Mary C. Crowley

I had some really great reminders this week of why I am out here driving a truck. (If this is your first visit to my blog, thank you and please read some of the back story here.) I spent countless hours thinking and worrying about my personal life this week.  I discussed my thoughts in great detail with God, sometimes getting a little emotional and second guessing my career decision.

I can’t say my colloquium with God produced instantaneous results.  I do know without hesitation though, God’s got my back.  He may not give me an immediate answer or even the one I’m looking for, but He has promised to help me through it.  Even though I may still be worrisome, I know he’s got it covered.

That gets me thinking again.  How do people that do not know God cope with their thinking problem?  If you have spent much time in a large truck stop in a major city, you have seen some of the nasty things that can go down after dark.  That is why I am so passionate about bringing Christ out to the big road.

If you are the friend or family member of a truck driver, this may be the first you’ve ever thought about thunk drivers.  Spouses, children, girlfriends/boyfriends and friends of truck drivers are more important than they may even realize.  Sometimes all it takes for a person to curb their thinking problem is to just have someone to talk to.  I can only speak for myself, but random phone calls from friends mean more than they even realize.  At the end the day especially, I want to talk.  I have also found that most drivers want you to ask them where they are at.  We are very proud of our ability to traverse the country and most want to share that. A simple “Hi, how are you” with a happy voice can go a long way.

It almost goes without saying, but first and foremost is prayer.  We need God.  Even when I know I am following His plan for me, I can still think until I’m thunk.  Knowing He’s right there with me is sometimes the only answer I can find to some of my thunk ponderings.

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Church on the Road

Church on the Road

Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably figured out that on Sunday morning, I will be posting something regarding church.  I suppose some people roll their eyes while others reply to the tweet with nice words.  The reason I mention church so much is…are you ready for it…attention. 

I don’t mean the kind of attention that screams ‘hey look at me.’  The attention I hope to garner is not for my own pride.  Instead I hope people will see how important it is for me to attend a weekly service, even though it may at times be extremely, and I mean extremely difficult.  In doing this, I literally pray I am setting an example for others to follow.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? – James 2:17

This weekend I bobtailed to an amazing church in the Colorado Springs, CO, area.  While at Restoration Church, I felt as though I was in my home church in Sioux Falls, SD.  My home church is Celebrate Community Church.  It was there that I was saved.  Pastor Paul Aragon at Restoration Church, through his sermon, renewed my purpose of being on the road and ministering to fellow truck drivers.  In short, his message was that of making significant sacrifice for the work God has tasked you with.  People making these sacrifices are considered optimizers.  Optimizers…inspire living by the way they live.  For example…going to church each week even under difficult circumstances.  Optimizers:  a) Pray persistently  b) have a vision to complete the work  c) are motivated by the future.

Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.  Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you – 2 Timothy 5:5

This should be my mission statement.  I love my work as a truck driver but it was not my first choice.  I have given up most of the things I enjoy.  I am not a martyr nor am I complaining.  To quote the Blues Brothers, “I’m on a mission from God.”  The reason I do this:

The day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night – 1 Thessalonians 5:2

I pray daily, persistently,  for the 3.5 million truck drivers traversing America’s highways and interstates.  By the numbers, there could be millions of drivers who do not know Christ.  That breaks my heart.  We have no way of knowing when our last day will come.  If your truck skids off a mountain tomorrow, do you know where you will spend eternity?  Do you know Christ? Pastor Paul said it best today. “Judgment day will be the best and worst day ever.  Are you ready?”

Jesus said, The time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son and they will rise again.  Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment – John 5:28-29

Going to church doesn’t necessarily make you a Christian and ensure your name is written in the book of life.  Huh?  Owning a long nosed Pete doesn’t necessarily make you a truck driver.  There’s an entire culture and unwritten book of rules that makes a person a truck driver beyond just running through the gears.  God’s rules for being a Christian are not unwritten.  They can be found in the Bible.  I read my Bible every single day because it gives me a vision to complete His work.  Where do you get your vision?

I read online obituaries every day.  It breaks my heart when I see people whose funeral is held outside of a church.  Those people probably didn’t know Christ.  If that is the case, those people will be spending eternity suffering in hell. *gasp*  Yes.  In spite of their earthly success and possibly great philanthropy, they ignored the one aspect of their life that would have granted them eternal success, not just the time spent on earth.  How can that be???  As an example, let’s say your house burns down.  Would you expect people you spent a lifetime ignoring and/or treating like absolute crap to invite you into their home to live forever?  God’s judgment is rather similar.  All He asks is to be your friend and for that to be evidenced by your actions.  If you do that, on a day we will never know in advance, you will be invited to spend eternity in His house.

So…will judgment day be the best or worst day ever for you?  If you know Christ, judgment day will be awesome!  If you do not know Him, judgment day will be your worst day ever.  Well, actually it’s just the first day of forever.  I’ll say it again…forever.

If you read this blog all the way through to the end I sincerely want to thank you.  I am more passionate every single day about exactly why I am out here on the big road.  I had so much more I wanted to say but I don’t want to lose the reader.  If you don’t have a relationship with Christ, please seek someone who can guide you to Him.  If you don’t have that person in your life, let me know.   Nothing in your past is unforgivable.  Are you motivated by the future?

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Load of Dispatcher Brains

Load of Dispatcher Brains

For those who maybe don’t speak trucker, a load of dispatcher brains means you are running down the road with an empty trailer (not getting paid.)  How do you know when a dispatcher is lying?  Their lips are moving.

How often do we hear drivers complain about their dispatcher or company?  A lot.  I see it on Twitter.  I hear it in truck stops.  I hear it on the CB.  Drivers are constantly trashing the company who is writing their paycheck.  Btw…when you post your complaints on Twitter, your company can see it.  You may not think so, but you are replaceable.

Maybe I am just fortune to be associated with a good company.  Check that…great comany.  That’s not to say I don’t get frustrated or at times a little agitated.  I would guess they would say the same about me.  You will not however, ever see or hear me speaking poorly of my company publicly.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to be out here doing this.  Sure, I could go to another company if I wanted.  Let’s face it though; the grass is not greener on the other side.  The grass is greener where you water it.  That means you will at times need to properly deal with frustrations rather than just complain to any and everyone.

I’m sure there are some sketchy companies out there.  If you work for one them maybe a change is in order.  Chances are though, when you leave a company and have the same issues elsewhere it’s not the company.  It’s you.  The squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the oil in this business.  The squeaky wheel gets crap loads and no miles.  That doesn’t mean you never voice concerns back to the company.  It means when you have issues you face them, you don’t Facebook them.  Being a civil adult gets you much farther than copping an attitude.

A month or so ago I had a couple of rough weeks of low miles various other issues.  I was frustrated but didn’t fly off the handle.  The result was a couple of good 1900 mile loads plus warm weather.  I work hard and they appreciate it.  I appreciate what they do for me as well.

I’m not trying to recruit drivers here.  If you are a whiner and going to make us look bad, I really don’t want you driving a truck with our name on it anyway.  The long and short is this:  Being a civil adult with your company will get you a lot further than acting like a foul mouthed infant.  Give it a try.  Let me know how it works.

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Right Decision

Greetings all.  It’s been a while since my last post.  I have a million ideas I’d love to discuss, but when I sit down to put my thoughts together, I realize they are not particular interesting…this is the best I’ve got.

Random truck on I-90 Wyo

I’ve been back on the road for a few months now.  I’ve been asked many times if I made the right decision to come back out on the road.  Without hesitation I can say YES!  I won’t say every single day has been bliss.  I’ve had plenty of frustrations.  By far though, the good has outweighed the bad.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been out here.  Lots has changed.  In the old days, most everybody had their CB on.  Most trucks today either don’t have a radio, it’s on a different channel or just don’t have it on.

Every truck stop used to give a free cup of coffee with your fuel.  Today many do not.  That irritates me a little bit.  I just spent $700 for fuel and you can’t give me a $.02 cup of java?  Really?

10 years ago I did not have gps or a smart phone.  I had a map.  How in the world did I get anywhere or find a truck stop?  Today I rely on a trucker-specific gps to navigate me coast to coast.  I have several applications on my smart phone that help me locate a truck stop anywhere.  I freak out when either of these fail.  How times have changed!

This time around though, I am a different person.  I still don’t necessarily consider myself a truck driver.  I just happen to be driving a truck.  I see the truck as my venue to carry out a calling to help reach lost truckers for Christ.  There is no doubt in my mind I have been called out here to do exactly that.  The challenge is greater than I imagined it would be, but that continually reinforces why I am here.

The truck is both my job and my ministry.  I love them both.  I am exactly where I need to be.  I can’t say for sure how long I’ll be out here.  I would really like to have a family or at least a wife someday.  This lifestyle is not the most conducive to starting that process.  It will take a special person for sure…I discussed this in a past blog.

I am thoroughly enjoying the travel, minus the snow and ice.  I’ve learned to cook some awesome pork loin and potatoes in the bunk of my truck.  I am writing a daily devotional specific to truckers.  This one will take a while.  Life is good.  I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me!

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trucker Chapels

Trucker Chapels

How often do you see a chapel at truck stops?  It may not be something everybody notices, but it is something I not only notice but seek out.  When I’m on the road over the weekend, attending church is quite a challenge.  It is a real struggle to find a truck stop with a chapel service on Sunday morning.

A couple of weeks ago I shared this with a gentleman on a Saturday evening while I was chaining his tractor to my trailer.  I was hauling it across western Nebraska for a Sunday unload near North Platte.  Since I would be oversize, I told him I was chasing the remaining sunlight to make it to the TA in Ogallala (I am restricted to daylight driving hours only with a load of that size) because I knew I could attend a chapel service there on Sunday morning.  What followed was pretty cool.  We openly discussed our faith and he invited me to a Sunday morning service at his church the next morning.  I accepted his offer.  As it turns out, I was the only person at the 8:00 am service in the parking lot who drove a big truck with an oversize load ;-)  I was welcomed be everyone…including being recognized during the service by the pastor.  It was a nice church with a very good message being spoken.

Unfortunately, had I made it to Ogallala, there was no guarantee of a Sunday service anyway, even though one may be scheduled.  Too often I am the only person in attendance.  Many of these chapels have only one chaplain.  For whatever reason, chaplains do not always make the service either.

A huge thank you to Bosselman, Sapp Brothers, and TA/Petro for their efforts to work with different ministries to bring us Sunday morning services.  It breaks my heart though to be the only person in attendance.  Many of the formal trucker ministries are struggling to provide consistent chaplains.  In some cases, the chaplains also drive and therefore cannot be at the same chapel each week.

My weekly challenge of finding a Sunday service while on the road, as well as the meager driver attendance, has reinforced why I am out on the road to begin with.  I know God has called on me to bring His word to the big road.  There are lost people everywhere and my calling and ministry is to save lost truck drivers.

I still haven’t figured out exactly how I am to accomplish this directive.  I share devotions each morning with anyone who accepts my invitation to listen on Channel 16.  I am working (slowly) on putting together a daily devotion specifically for truckers.  If there are suggestions from others, please contact me by email.

If I can send a message to other drivers already saved:  God has called us to serve, not to be served.  Explore the links below for the various trucker ministries.  There may be more, but this is what I am aware of.  Participate in the services and invite others to attend.  If you feel called, volunteer your time with one of them.  If you are unsure what you can do, reach out to me.

Here is a link to TA’s ministry page.  These ministries are not limited to TA.  Please check them out.

 

Thanks for reading!  Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.

Joshua 1:9

Email me:  eric@bigroadblog.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment