What’s Mike hauling over-the-road this month?

My buddy, Mike, has been driving tractor trailer cross-country since high school and he’s hauled just about anything you can think of.

Ironically, his loads seem not to reflect the economy, but social trends. One day, maybe ten years ago, my office phone rang. While most acquaintances assume you’ll recognize their voice, Mike always launches into: “This is D. Michael Saunders. I’m just down the road delivering 48,000 pounds of popcorn. Wanna meet for lunch?”

We enjoyed lunch in his air conditioned, studio-sized Peterbilt cab. He’d once hauled steel for the auto industry but lost that contract to a more union-friendly carrier. Then he went to hauling general freight. A load to Atlanta; pick up another load there and bring it to Denver; another load from there to wherever. Once or twice a month he made it home to his wife in Phoenix.

A real estate boom in Arizona caused him to sell his rig and buy a dump truck. He was psyched. “I’m home every night at 5:30 and they’re moving enough square miles of dirt down here to last me a lifetime!”

A big slump in land development put him back on the road. He got a new rig and worked his way back up through hauling general freight, to where he is today: working for the entertainment industry. He hauls Ice Capades and Disney stages and props from city-to-city. He sits it out at full pay for the three-or-four day duration of the shows.

It’s ironic how this choice work – a manifestation of how much people spend on entertainment – is occurring the middle of a serious recession.

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