It is probably safe to say that the average American does not really have a grasp of how important the trucking industry is to our economy. We just never stop to think about all the goods transported by truck because, quite frankly, we have more important things to think about. Yet every now and again a local crash changes that by revealing just what is being carried on the backs of those trailers. Four September crashes prove the point.
Fortunately, none of the crashes resulted in serious injury or death. But each one did close the roads for a time while local first responders cleaned up the subsequent messes. It was an eye-opening month, that’s for sure. More than one person was left scratching his/her head in wonder, never having realized what trucks actually carry.
The Four Crashes
By now, you are probably wondering what the four crashes involved. Below is a brief description of each, and the contents the truck in question was carrying.
- Gummy Bears – A truck driver passing through Port Chester, New York lost control of his vehicle on an exit ramp from I-287 to I-95, passing through the guardrail and overturning in front of a home. Its load of gummy bears and fish ended up in the property owner’s yard.
- Pumpkins – A truck traveling on I-75 in San Antonio, Florida caught fire after the driver lost control and crashed. His load did not overturn, but a fire sparked in the cab quickly spread to the trailer to engulf the pumpkins. The fire was hot enough to cause extensive damage to the road.
- Chocolate Bars – Police in Virginia reported that a truck carrying 47,000 pounds of Hershey’s chocolate was involved in a crash on the morning of September 18. The driver of the truck told police he swerved to avoid a car in front of him operating without brake lights, causing him to lose control.
- Vodka – Finally, North Carolina’s highway 70 was the scene of a September 21 crash in which a truck carrying 40,000 pints of vodka overturned. In this case, the load was not properly secured by the driver prior to beginning his journey. When the load shifted on a turn, the vodka took the trailer with it.
There have been plenty of other strange crashes involving trucks over the years. We read stories about crashes involving honeybees, fresh produce, fish, and just about anything else you can think of. It is enough to make us all wonder if there is anything we buy that doesn’t spend time on the back of a trailer.
Trucking and the Economy
The point of all of this is to say that the trucking industry is the backbone of the U.S. economy. Companies like C.R. England, one of the nation’s oldest and largest refrigerated trucking firms, carry goods across the country so that the rest of us find what we need on store shelves. In fact, more than 70% of all the goods sold in this country are transported by truck.
We have a lot of heroes whose hard work and dedication we like to call attention to. Too often though, one of the forgotten American heroes is the truck driver. Truckers go to CDL school and then get right to work within a month. Then they spend time working with driver trainers before going solo. Finally, they hit the open road on their own to pick up what we need and deliver it to stores and warehouses. Without them, are lives would be drastically different.