Ulmer: The daily life of a semi-truck driver | Columnists


The driver then maneuvers the arm over the trailer and halts right above our load. At this point, the driver climbs up on the trailer to wrap straps around our package and then he hooks the straps to the crane and climbs down.

The arm is probably 50 feet long, so as the load comes over the trailer it’s lifted a good 20 feet into the air. At this point it’s best to keep your distance and let the pro handle the situation. And he makes the whole process look easy.

Once he drops the load he reverses the process, hands us an invoice and heads back to the road. This is the fourth time this particular driver delivered stuff for us and it’s always nice to see him but boy he must have a serious case of road butt. The shipment starts in Indiana and this driver usually takes over in Minnesota. In order to get our load to Lake Tschida, his route took him to Spearfish, S.D., Bowman, Dickinson, Elgin, and he was hoping to end his day somewhere close to Minot because he had to be in Rugby, Devils Lake, Cando and Grand Forks the next day. I got tired just thinking about how many days this guy spends on the road. Worse yet how many times he has to go through the loading and unloading process.

Since his company forgot to send us soffits, a week later this same driver had to make a small delivery that fit in the backseat of our pickup. He was dragging and asked if it was OK for him to park here for the night. We offered our cabin but he wanted to get up early so he just crawled into his sleeper. That next thing we heard of him was around 3 a.m. when he fired up his semi and headed down the road.

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