Any of you guys remember your very first day as a mover? I remember mine. It involved a crew leader named Frosty and a crewman (me) hiding behind a highway divider at one in the morning.
The day’s job was to deliver to a house in the countryside somewhere south of Denver, which had gone well enough. That is, if you don’t count our box truck-vault trailer rolling backwards down the long winding driveway and getting stuck jackknifed in the grassy embankment.
Driving in the Dark Without Flares
For us, it was two hours before we could get our truck out of its grassy trap and up to the house to begin unloading. Unloading about 14,000 pounds of household goods which is no record-breaker, but certainly a decent day’s work for three guys.
We didn’t get out of there until 10 o’clock at night. It took until almost 11 to back our truck- trailer all the way back down that driveway. An hour later our truck decided he’d had enough and broke down on I-25 North, twenty miles short of our midtown Denver exit.
If you don’t have road flares, you start making deals with God.
If you’ve ever been south of Denver at midnight, you know how dark it can be. If you’ve ever broken down on I-25 south of Denver, you know how fleeting life can be. There’s no shoulder. There are no lights. It’s not a real good place to break down.
Long story short, our fearless leader Frosty ended up standing behind our broken-down vehicle, in the middle of the lane in the darkness of night, waving frantically as each successive tractor trailer came barreling up the pitch black interstate. After a few close calls I jumped behind the cement barrier along the non-existent shoulder. And there I stayed until our rescue vehicle showed up.
The lesson of this story – besides always chock your tires – is this: Have road flares!
Those trucks barreling down on us all managed, with Frosty’s brave assistance, to veer into the left lane before crashing spectacularly into our box truck and trailer. But with each successive tractor trailer that came roaring up, I felt our luck running out. If we’d been out there in the blackness another hour or two… well, let me just say that after twenty years I still don’t want to think about it.
We know, you just want to get rolling in the morning. But take a few minutes to make sure your trucks are equipped properly. Get those flares inside any big vehicle you ever drive.