Wisdom Behind The Wheel

I’ve been trucking since 1978. I got 5.5 million miles behind me, accident-free. Which I am very proud of. I’m not saying I won’t leave the parking lot today and be involved in an accident, but… It’s been a very good living for me. I also have a wife that has been very good on her end, taking care of things at home. She paid the house payments, paid the car payments, took care of the kids, lots of repairs on the house. She was able to fix the faucet if I wasn’t home, didn’t have to hire somebody.

I’ve run Alaska for just about 20 years, and I’ve been on the ice roads and all that stuff up there. You’re scared out of your pants the first time until you realize that it’s safer than what you think. A lot of people don’t realize it only takes 28 inches of ice to hold 80,000 lbs. of weight. They think they have to have four feet or five feet of ice — you don’t. Yeah, it makes you feel better if you got that amount, but the most I’ve ever driven on is 44 inches. Your speed on ice is just like it says on Ice Road Truckers: 12 miles an hour. You better not be caught over 12 miles an hour or you’re off the ice.

If you’re into animals, wildlife, nature, Alaska is the place to go. It’s the last frontier. Let’s face it, it is. I love it up there. If I would have done it 20 years sooner, I’d be living up there. But when you start getting grandkids down here, then Mama says, “No, we’re not moving.” And she would be right with me. We’ve walked across the glaciers.

My wife is not in very good shape right now. We talk about dying. We’re getting up there in age. And she has made a deal with my grandson that he takes her ashes up and dumps them on a glacier in Alaska. That’s her deal. And my grandson says, “Grandma, I’ll take care of that.”