Dateline 24 Nov 2016
Stuck on the QEW headed to Kipling Ave in Etobicoke, hundreds of cars around me, and I can not help but wonder how my life arrived here. I work for a company out of Smithville, and I drive a Tractor Trailer delivering and picking up mostly recyclables. Sitting here I notice a large number of people with their heads buried in their phones. Texting or posting to Facebook. I want to know what makes them think they have a right to threaten my life and welfare. Last night alone there was two accidents involving a car and tractor-trailer, one being fatal. Now I am not saying distracted driving had anything to do with the accident, I am simply saying many times, it’s final when it is a car vs tractor-trailer.
My first delivery today is to one of the three Lush locations in Toronto. When I lived in British Columbia, Lush was a favourite store of mine. I deliver two or three times a month to the various manufacturing places, and warehouses. Lush has two places now on Jutland Drive just off Kipling. These are two of the more difficult places we go, simply because car drivers are always in a rush, and they believe they can beat the truck.
When we arrive on Jutland road, in order to make it into the parking lot of Lush Main I have to back across what is a pretty busy road. So I pull up the street to the left of, and put the four ways on, and get out to see who is hiding in my blind spot. Once I make sure it’s safe at the moment to back up I head back to the tractor. Windows open, and air horn sounds, I begin to reverse into the lot. It never fails, three or five cars will race behind the trailer. In our blind spots, and I wait to hear or feel the crunch of the one that did not make it. Even more surprising are the cars that try to pass us on my side, which is, even more, dangerous than racing the trailer.
There is a traffic law that where the drivers must give way to a bus when the bus is re-entering traffic. Why is there not some traffic law, where, cars must come to a stop and allow the truck and unobstructed corridor for their entry into the parking lots that you need to back in off the street?
After completing at Lush, I was off to Casco, another place in Etobicoke, off Rexdale Blvd. Before I pulled out of the Lush parking lot, I did a Google Map Search for this place. Sure, enough there is no number on the building or sign to say its the one. I see only one driveway, but it certainly does not look truck friendly. So, off I go…taking the 401 to 427 North, and cutting off on Islington. I arrived at the GPS address, and sure enough, there is nothing to indicate I am in the right place. I have learned my lesson about pulling into a parking lot in a tractor-trailer and not being in the right spot and not being able to turn around. Luckily I decided to turn the corner and there I found this small driveway with cars all around it.
I pulled off to the side and put my four-way flashers on and went into the plant to confirm where they wanted me. This is where I met Roberto, a middle-aged man strutting around like an old Drill Sergeant from my past, barking orders, and he certainly had his yard well organised! It was refreshing to see and hear. So many places seem to be chaos, with no order or organisation. So I pulled into where I was instructed and started my load up.
Just a glimpse into a day in the life of an Az Driver……