By Colin Genge, OOIDA life member, Wichita, KS
I am in my 41st year out here and bear no one any ill will. But the common courtesy, or lack of it, we show each other absolutely astounds me.
When I was a young driver, it was a code. You waved at the truck you met on the two-lane, you warned him (a peace sign turned sideways) about radar ahead, or a clear road (one finger up spinning around to “wind it up”). The biggest thing was a wave and a smile.
You stopped when a truck was on the side of the road and offered any assistance you could. You sat at the counter in your favorite truck stop and joined in the conversation. There was always a “hello” and a smile.
You flashed your lights to let the truck that passed you know it was safe to pull in (and no – you did not try to speed up). And when you got the flash, you blinked your trailer lights to say “thanks!” Somewhere along my 4 million miles, this has all vanished.
Today, one can walk across a truck stop parking lot, pass three or four other drivers who all have their noses buried in a phone or iPad, and no one speaks.
C’mon people. Show a little of the respect drivers had for each other in the old days. Have Qualcomms, electronic logs and our precious cellphones isolated us so completely that we can’t wave and say “hello” anymore? Where’s the love?
Try it yourself for one week. Smile, say hello or good morning to each driver you meet. Let’s bring back the camaraderie. LL
Editor’s note: Life Member Colin Genge has been trucking professionally for 41 years, mostly heavy haul, in 48 states. He’s leased to Kustom Karriers, Newton, KS, and travels with his dog Bailey.