Back behind the wheel

Back behind the wheel

Well, it had to happen. I had given up my Commercial Drivers License (CDL) back in 2015 because I did not think I would drive commercially again. I was a dispatcher for the company, and did not want to go through the hassle of renewal, etc. if I was not going to use it.

Fast Forward to 2021. I am tired of working in a call center and looking at going back to what I was good at. I am going to go back to driving. So, the first thing was to get a DOT Medical Exam completed and then apply for my CDL Permit (Taking multiple written tests). With those two hurdles behind me, now I need to start practicing for my Driving/Skills Tests. Once I pass those tests (in the presence of a MVD Inspector) I will get my CDL back and I can start driving again.

My plan is to stay local in the AZ area, hauling tankers. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do You Have A Death Wish!?

Tanker truck making a delivery in Phoenix

Delivery at a Phoenix gas station.

In my industry, Safety is paramount. We train our drivers to always error on the side of caution and safety.

One of my drivers came in and relayed a situation he had tonight at a station in Southwestern Arizona.

When a driver arrives at a gas station to make a delivery, he has to park the truck in a specific location in order to reach the connections for the underground storage tanks.  Drivers deploy orange safety cones around the perimeter of the area, and nobody is allowed to enter the area while the delivery is being made.

Apparently, a pickup full of high IQ people tried to run him down in the station. The driver drove over the cones, and came directly at the trailer. My driver put himself between the truck and the fill hoses. At this point, there is 400 gallons per minute of gasoline flowing through the hoses and into the tanks. Any breach in the hose could result in a fireball that would destroy the station.

So, my driver is yelling at the pickup driver (who was female) to stop. The driver is lurching the pickup forward a little at a time, apparently trying to get the driver to move.  By the time the truck actually stopped, it was on top of the drop fittings that connect to the ground, and inches from disaster.

Two drunk guys proceeded to exit the truck and start threatening my driver because he was “in the way.” This particular driver has an extensive history in law enforcement, and had started working for us when he retired from carrying a badge and gun.  While Idiot #1 is telling him that he’s “about to feel the pain,” he’s telling both of them that they are about to make the biggest mistake of their lives.

While this is going on, apparently several other customers at the station are starting to gather behind our drunken tough guys. The obvious intention was that these idiots were about to “feel the pain,” and then spend a long time in Federal custody, while they healed.

Cooler heads finally prevailed, and the drunken circus loaded up and departed, still yelling threats of violence.

What they didn’t realize, or seem to care about, is that what they were doing can be classified as Domestic Terrorism. They were interfering with a Hazardous Materials unit, attempting to cause a spill, or worse.  Their best case scenario would be that Homeland Security would have to pump daylight to them for the next few years. The worst case scenario would be a big hole in the ground, and a few dozen fatalities.

Why would you tangle with a fuel tanker, either parked or moving?