Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Logging 101 (or WTF!)

Well..here, something just a little different.., yet another offering of a glimpse into another world.
  OMGosh, been in this world before..hated it with a passion, and...surprise..still hate it just as much! My first experience living with a log truck driver was ever so long ago, back when my honey and I were just starting out on our exciting life of romance. At 70, my Dad taught my ex, and my honey both how to drive log trucks, and enabled them to get their class one license, way back when my 1/2 century sweetie was just 21..Sh*t that's a long time ago!! It wasn't our first step into that doorway of trees and trucks..we both spent some time cutting trees, planting trees, and picking cones, so we have pretty much seen the whole process, well him much more than me, but, we have cut them down, and put them in the ground...No way in hell will you ever see me pulling gears..the world is much safer that way.. My better 1/2 did a few other jobs out in the bush, running choke chain, and such, but..somehow, and I simply cannot fathom how, driving log truck got under his skin.
  That life totally sucks! He has drove various types of trucks. For many years he delivered fuel..hey..that wasn't so bad, pretty normal days, and most weekends off. He drove tank trucks, and Vac trucks, and gravel trucks, some jobs made us tons of money (well..O.K. good money) but log trucks..geez..never, ever enough money to make up for the side of life I saw.
  The first time he started driving..our son was just born. Wow..talk about fun!! I remember staying up till 2AM, doing what ever housework I desperately needed to do, making a lunch, making a thermos, and then wandering outside in the dark to climb up into the truck and start it. Then I would wake him up, he would get his bearings, grab his lunch, and away he would go..to return in time to have a bath with the baby, eat, and go to sleep. Days off..Hah! If the truck wasn't on the road, it was being washed and worked on.Back in those days, he worked with a 6 week hold back..yep...never quite sure what pay day held..was this the one with 10 loads, or 4? Break-up...there is fun stuff...That is the sometimes extremely long period that you don't get paid..because, that is when you really don't work! Break-up can last 4 weeks, or..sometimes 3 months!
  I was thrilled when our lives changed and logging was left behind. Well, in truth, even when he hauled fuel, our lives depended on logging, because that is what the whole economy was based on. When the mill shut down, it wasn't just the folks cutting and hauling trees that lost out..no one needed fuel hauled either, so..once again, our lives took a turn far away from logging, and into the oil patch.
  Truth be told, when the patch is busy, life is put on hold there, as well. Again, if the truck isn't hauling, it is getting worked on, but..one bonus, the money is much better. Through no fault of our own, he took another course and spent some time hauling coal. This wasn't as good money wise, but, it gave far more time for life. However, like oil patch, coal isn't a going concern now, so, he tried a set scheduled haul, away from home, and..while doing this, that damn logging bug bit him again!
  I believe driving log trucks is some sort of masochistic condition suffered by those who enjoy punishing themselves! I am unclear what possesses grown people to spend days and nights pulling loads of chopped trees all about the bush. Most trips have something that occurs, a flat tire, an air leak, electrical, and of course all work is generally performed in the middle of nowhere, and usually someplace really freaking dirty! And..again..days off..what a joke!!
  Now that baby he used to have a bath with, has somehow joined this world. I remember when our son used to say he was going to grow up and drive a truck like his dad..I used to tell him if he ever considered that life, I would cut his little paws off..well..he still has his paws, but I am not impressed! Sure I am glad, at a time many can't find work, he is doing O.K....but sure wish it was something other than log truck driving! I hope this allows him to ride this economic waterslide till things turn around, but..I wonder..does he have bite marks like his dad?
  So, although being the partner to someone who drives log truck basically sucks the big one..or at least that's my personal opinion. I am trying to accept this lot in life. No matter that my beloved moans and groans and complains daily about his work day, well except for the odd.."had a pretty good day" remarks...and although I see how very tired he is when he finishes a week, I can also see..he appears to be in his own zone, a world that defies normal...someplace that he feels comfortable, and sadly, a place I think he feels he belongs...The sadly is directed at me..because I am the one who will never understand logging 101..