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The truckers’ guide to understanding and acceptance on the job

By on July 24, 2015

If you’ve been in trucking even for a short amount of time, you know that things often do not run smoothly. It could be a traffic delay, an incorrect pickup address, an inexperienced dispatcher, an overbearing safety director, a “check engine” light, a missed delivery time, a trailer that has been dropped too low and so on and so forth.

Whenever I encounter such problems, I ponder: Why? Why me? WHY NOW?

I was bemoaning this perplexing issue to my night dispatcher, Rick — a wise, hands-on veteran of the trucking industry who I refer to as the Doctor Phil of Freight. He explained: “Problems happen because of Murphy’s Law, which states: If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Doing some investigating, I found a number of explanations, laws and principles that apply to the daily twists and turns we all experience in trucking.

Sylvester’s Law of Good Dispatches: The key to getting a good dispatch depends not so much on pleasing a dispatcher but on avoiding making the dispatcher mad.

Dilworth’s Maxim: Drive like your family is in the vehicle in front of you and the vehicle behind you is a state trooper.

Buxbaum’s Law: Anytime you back out of a driveway or a parking space, day or night, there will always be a vehicle coming or a pedestrian walking by.

Thompson’s Rule: If you can’t do anything about it, don’t.

Einstein’s Law of Travel: The best trips are the unplanned ones. This way, you won’t worry about fouling up your timetable. Conversely, the tighter the timetable, the more you’ll worry and the later you’ll be.

The Fox Epiphenomenon: If you do nothing, nothing will happen. If you do something, something will happen — but not what you intended.

Levinson’s Declaration: Long delays on crowded expressways are due to rubbernecking by passersby observing insignificant events. However, when I finally reach this particular point, I feel that I deserve to take time to participate in the distraction.

Huhn’s Law: You’re not late until you get there.

Davis’ Dictum: Problems that go away by themselves come back by themselves.

Hildebrandt’s Plotting Principle: If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Kolman’s Decree: It’s an imperfect world.

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