Real life on the road.

Driving on US-95 between Needles, California and Parker, Arizona on a two lane road we were stopped by a highway worker acting as a flagger for the eastbound traffic. Further up the road there was a highway worker acting as a flagger for the westbound traffic.


Joe and I had been listening to an audiobook since leaving Las Vegas when we came upon the road block. Pausing the book we each questioned the reason for stopping.

Ahead there were no signs of road machinery tearing up asphalt nor laying down new. The roadway was clear except for a couple of pickups with ranch style livestock trailers off the road.

We wondered if one of the pickups had blundered and found themselves “off roading” in the desert instead of being on the pavement.

No. Both of the pickups with livestock trailers were soon back on the road heading toward us, then passing by.

The highway worker turned his stop sign around letting us know we were to proceed slowly. Soon, it became very clear why the road was blocked and the pickups with ranch trailers were out in the desert.

A cattle truck had wrecked, ejecting its cargo.




This type of an accident has a long reaching impact on many people, not just the truck driver.

Starting right at this point, the truck driver is stranded. His truck is wrecked and not driveable. How far from home he is we will never know. Maybe close enough for family to come get him, maybe hundreds of miles away. Either way he, or she, will not be making any money on this day nor tomorrow. This truck driver has possibly lost an income of $2,000 depending on how far the cattle have to be driven to the feed yard or sale barn.

The owner of the cattle has had his, or her, day ruined as well. These cattle were, more than likely, on their way to a sale barn where they would be sold “on the hoof”. That would be a set price per pound of live cattle. Easily selling at $300 each. There were possibly 20 head out there scattered around. Loss to the rancher. About $60,000.

If the truck driver owned the truck and trailer his loss could be up to $150,000. If he, or she, were a company driver then the business owner would be absorbing the loss.

One moment of not paying attention to the road will have a cost of $150,000 or more. Wrecker fees to right the tractor and trailer then tow them off the road. The highway workers won’t be working free out there. The state of either California or Arizona, whichever the wreck was in, will be charging for the disposal of the dead cattle and any other clean up fees.

Then there are the fees that will be charged by the drivers of the two pickups with ranch trailers. How much time did they spend out in the desert rounding up the frightened stray cattle that lived through the ordeal?

The realities of truck driving can be sobering at times. As you, my friends, drive your cars and pickups to work or shuttle your children around to their various activities I beg you to remain vigilant. You are all precious cargo to me and I only wish the best for you.


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

8 responses to “Real life on the road.

  • aspot2stamp

    Thanks for caring so much Leslie a much. It is easy to get distracted when we are driving and doing the same thing and running the same route day in and day out. We need to keep in mind that it only takes a brief second to have mayhem decend upon us. My toughts and prayers go out to the driver of the cattle truck so much could come from accident. I hope things are going good for you and Joe as you travel the highways and byways across the U.S. How is Joe feeling? How much longer will the two of you be out on the day job? Take care my friend.

    Much love and hugs

    • Message In A Fold

      Hello there Shelly :-). I was beginning to worry about you and your family. You all have been in my thoughts and prayers, especially Brian with his unsettling and undiagnosed illness. I will continue to hold you all up in prayer.

      Joe is doing fine. He has got his Warfarin levels evened out. We might be home for Thanksgiving but it doesn’t look very promising. We are working on being home mid December through January.

      Are you guys doing alright, weather wise? I know you were blasted by Sandy before it finally quit.

      Great to hear from you.

      Love you – Leslie

  • Maureen Mathis

    That’s so sad – those poor animals had to suffer the effects of the poor judgement of the driver. Perhaps he had a mechanical malfunction and it wasn’t his fault at all. Poor guy (or gal, as I’ve learned!)

    • Message In A Fold

      There, but by the grace of God, go I.

      I think of you and your little white car as you dash around your town and in the heavy Austin traffic. Each time you come to mind I fire off an extra prayer of safety for you and your family.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Those poor animals, hope none of them suffered pain. Also the poor beasts that were so frightened and shook up ad then having to travel again. Hope the truck driver is safe too and that it isn’t his own business or that he didn’t go to sleep. Traffic accidents happen so easily. You two stay safe.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      From the look of the trailer some of those poor beasties were ejected through the metal. It is horrible to see these wrecks, and lately there have been many. Too many.

      I’ll be home soon and will get in some crafting. Is all your stuff packed away? Joe says “Those piss ants”! What does this do to you and the house you found in Cornwall? Are you having to do the same?

      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Pissants indeed Joe 🙂 Some craft stuff is packed but only those things I don’t use very often, I was going to leave the rest until the last minute!
    Yes we have had to tell the people in Cornwall that we can’t proceed with the purchase – can’t afford it until we sell here. We hate breaking our word, it is something we don’t do. Those poor people have had it happen to them twice now. It is one thing to tell a white lie but to tell whopping lies like this couple did is dreadful. Hey ho think positively 🙂
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Please forgive my delay in answering your comment. Gad zooks Joe has been to so many doctors in the last few days I’m worried about his radioactive levels.

      Man, that sucks big time to have your hopes and dreams dashed by a couple of storytellers. I just don’t understand people that find it socially okay to leave ruin behind them and don’t even care.

      I’m so sorry that you and Rod have been used in this manner. Thank God you two didn’t get really stung worse.

      Now things are open for the real people to have a chance at your home.

      Are you creating Christmas goodies in your crafty space? Are you doing some stuff in swaps?

      I’ll keep you both in my prayers.

      Love you – Leslie

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