Twin Sticks on a Grade

 So I decide to drive trucks for a living. Better than being a grease monkey. Travel at someone else’s  expense, and a paycheck to boot! What a hoot! I was already married and had a baby, and unable to keep any job I could do.  Our parents were helping us when I decided to try the truck driving school the state unemployment office offered. They signed me up and off I went. Thirty days of intense training in the most industrially abused town near Los Angeles, Dusty, smoggy, and sickening, compared to the green orange grove covered hills where I grew up, some what east by south of the worst city on the planet.
What I did not know was that in those days was that trucking jobs were scarce even for drivers with many years and lots of miles of hard experience. I had a class one license but no experience at all. So I had to work for little companies that no self respecting experienced trucker would ever even consider, for they were brutal jobs for the most part with low pay. Most included grueling labor to do and driving was just incidental. After a year or so of this baptism into the trucking industry BingBanger Trucking foolishly hired me.
Their trucks were ancient relics one breakdown away from the metal recyclers. My boss was Bob, an old school cigar chomping alcoholic asshole; one breakdown from the Norwalk mental Hospital nearby. Red faced and critical, but mean; drivers avoided him for good reason. He knew lots of other company drivers in the area, and they knew him. What I did not know was that they knew about me. So when I showed off my inability to shift those old worn out dual transmissions on the most gosh awful grade ever devised by the California Division of Highways, where I had stopped to free up the stuck shifting arms and backed up 5 miles of traffic behind me in doing so the second time, they called Bob. Lots of them. They were the truckers who had to wait for me to get up that grade, and were furious about the time they lost waiting for me me to crawl up in granny gear, (because that was the only way to get it going again). When I returned to my yard, as I scurried past his office, his gruff voice bellowed out this simple phrase,”RAAB, WHEN THE F—K ARE YOU GONNA LEARN TO SHIFT?” He said he was tired of getting phone calls about that damn kid in #28!
Well, I thought about it and found a solution, by shifting the auxiliary unmarried box more squarely (to prevent it from hanging up) and more quickly(to keep my RPMs in the correct range) which meant I had finally mastered the art of the twinsticks and no longer stopped on the grade, and could now drive all the way to the summit without resorting to a granny gear, much to the delight of Bob, and a dozens of other truckers!

One thought on “Twin Sticks on a Grade

  1. Congratulations Vance.
    I’m turning positions in the universe

    2020 year of possibilities
    Keep exploring with curiosity and caution. Unfold the secrets to our humanity


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s