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A Hap-y Retirement

By on January 1, 2009
RoadKing Mag

Hap Ghan

There have been a lot of changes in the trucking industry over the past six decades, but not many drivers got to see all of them firsthand. Hap Ghan, 81, who first got behind the wheel of a big rig when he was 17, has seen them all.

“I never thought I’d see cruise control or stuff like that,” he says. “The younger bucks that drive them today have no idea what we went through when we started, compared to what we drive today.”

Some of those young bucks include two sons, three grandsons and a few nephews of his, so through them he’ll be able to keep up with all the changes. Plus, they made sure he won’t forget the past when they presented him with a mural made up of photos of all the old trucks from Hap’s years on the road.

“That was really nice,” he says of the collage. “It’s something to look at and remember. I had a good time driving and it was a good life. But now I look forward to getting off the road and spending time at home.”

So now he can look back fondly on his nearly 63 years and just relax. In fact, he is really just looking forward to just being home in Salem, South Dakota. And instead of flicking snow off his windshield every winter, now he can watch it float down past his living room window.

Of course, there is plenty that Hap misses.

“I miss the friends I made and the people we deliver to,” he says. “I miss the receivers, the shippers, just everyone you see all those years. I miss the drivers I saw every week.”

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