Big trucker gets a bigger truck

| Friday, January 23, 2004

After a grievance hearing with Teamsters Local 600, a 412-pound trucker who says he was fired because he couldn’t fit into a small tractor got an apology along with a big-enough rig from his company – Michigan-based USF Holland Inc.

Walter Geter, 49, also got back pay to cover his wages since his firing Jan. 15.

“They were so apologetic, told me it was a mistake and told me this would never happen again, that I’d always have a truck that I could fit in,” 6-foot-2 Geter told The Associated Press from this home in Berkeley, a St. Louis suburb. “They were just the nicest people you’d ever want to meet.”

Geter has an impeccable driving record featuring nearly a dozen safety awards and has been driving nearly 30 years, The AP reported.

The problem: Geter’s regular truck had broken down – and his bosses assigned him to drive a smaller Ford-series tractor.

“My behind fits in the seat, but my stomach won’t fit behind the wheel,” Geter had said of the new tractor. “It’s like putting a size 12 foot into a size 7 shoe.”