Between a Truck and a Hard Place

Harry Hester | Columbus, GA

I’ve done 47 of the 48 states that we drive. I’ve done winter driving. Summer driving. Mountain driving. I’ve done Montana in the winter. All the cold places: Washington state, Wyoming, you name it, Colorado, Nebraska. But I’m still here. No accidents, none of that, in 15 years. I’ve come close quite a few times, but…

One of the worst moments I had was some years back. It dumped a bunch of ice and snow in and around Atlanta, of all places. I had three deliveries that day. The weather report came out the day prior—and the sun was out—and said, “Yeah, we’re gonna get some rain and some snow.” We’re looking around going, “Psh! Nah, can’t be.” Sure enough, later on that night some kind of front came in and brought the rain with it. And that morning, after I get up, guess what: there’s snow on the ground!

So I’m trying to scramble around and get this load off the truck. This was four, five o’clock in the morning, so Atlanta hadn’t really started getting up yet. Once they did, it became a nightmare. As I’m driving over toward my second drop, it’s raining and snowing. I’m going, “This… is not gonna be good.” The snow turns into ice before the day is over with, so there were quite a few disabled cars, trucks, and everything else on the road.

It’s raining and snowing. I’m going, ‘This … is not gonna be good.’

I was sitting on a slant and I got out to help another driver push his bus. I don’t know what the heck I was thinking. The guy yells back, “Your truck’s sliding!” And—I don’t know what I was thinking—I ran over to the truck, and I’m actually on the opposite side of the truck, pushing it to keep it from hitting the wall. And I’m going, “What the hell am I doing? This truck could just…” But once it came to a level part, it stopped sliding.

And believe it or not, I was able to get through the entire day and deliver all my freight and still get out of the city.