North America is all about big trucks. Shiny creatures covered in chrome that thunder along the freeways night and day transporting bricks, beets and Bud Light across the States and beyond. Do their drivers still listen to country music and send enigmatic messages on crackly CB radios? Brought up on the movie Duel, where an unseen driver of one of these amazing beasts menaced ordinary guy Dennis Hopper for countless scenic miles – a film with so many OMG moments – I’ve always been intrigued by the massive monsters.
Wouldn’t you love to enrol in truck driving school and get to grips with one? You’re the ultimate king of the road, gazing down on lesser mortals, slowly powering up the hills and triumphantly cascading down on the other side. Air-powered horns and noisy engines rent the night. I guess power steering would make them quite easy to control these days, or does it? So, what’s the life of a 21st century trucker seeing the sun set in Yuma and rise in El Paso, eating in diners and sleeping in the giant cabs?
And, here’s another thing, why are Americans so obsessed with weighing their freight vehicles? You frequently see the signs on the Interstates – all trucks must pull over for scales. I’m told in case they can be, literally, too heavy for the road and will break the bridges unless they’re checked. But we never seem to weigh lorries in Europe and nothing seems to get broken.
Wonder how much it would cost to get an HGV licence?