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Nominal Me

I'm falling in love with my camera and taking photos everywhere I go. That, combined with my passions for politics, sports, religion and other things we all agree on, makes this blog persist.

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Location: Astoria, New York, United States

I'm born in Manhattan and raised in Queens.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Truck Stop Life

One big lesson for me when taking my current job was the life of a (sort 0f) truck driver. These drivers are carefully regulated in terms of the number of hours they drive and the cargo that they hold.

One way the government keeps track of drivers are weigh stations, which most of you regular drivers have seen but have never been to. Sometimes they are called "inspection stations" and they serve to be the eyes and ears of transportation officials nationwide.

A driver is expected to drive over scales and is sometimes asked to provide your DOT card (an extra drivers license for truck drivers) and other vehicle information. Most of it is routine, although sometimes (like this Mississippi stop above) you are pulled over and inspected more thoroughly.

Drivers also have to keep "log books" which document where they have been in a day, how many miles they have driven, and how many hours they have worked. If it appears they have been speeding, or working more than 70 hours in an eight day period, heavy fines are enforced.

It's not all bad for truck drivers though, because truck stops can be really awesome. The good ones, like the TA Centers, have places to eat, sleep, and shower. I've never had to sleep or shower in one of these places, nor would I really want to, but the choice of food can be pretty extensive and it is a good place to shop for odd things.

It seems that these places are warehouses of odd, unsold items. In this place in Arizona (above), I found the Star Wars: Clone Wars novel Jedi Trial, a book that was so bad I could not find in any Barnes & Noble in New York City.

Sometimes you see strange things in truck stops, like the "no one's been hurt here in a while" sign. Not good.

These places are pretty large however, and you can get all of your Christmas (oh wait, we're not allowed to say that anymore), uh, Holiday shopping done here.

Clothes, like leather jackets, hats, "I love America" t-shirts, flannels, as well as stuff about owning guns and random bits of pottery.

Truck stops are a whole different world.

America's Treasures