I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Leader!
There is a place just inside the New Mexico-Colorado border off I-25 called Raton Pass. I was only a few weeks into my driving experience and still following behind a leader during training. I was told to stay with him during the whole trip. We had just delivered some loads to Farmington, New Mexico and were headed back to Texas.
I did pretty well, especially since I had been given the smallest truck engine in the fleet, truck No. 71. I really struggled to keep up with not only my leader, but the rest of the trucks making that delivery because the truck just didn’t have the power of the newer ones in the fleet. I was always trailing behind when we had to climb hills or long stretches of flat highway. Poor old truck No. 71 just didn’t have much giddy-up in her.
After making the delivery and heading back, I guess my leader was becoming annoyed with having to wait for me. When we reached Raton Pass (which has a huge hill to climb) my leader left me behind.
At first, I was a little scared. I hadn’t been in that part of the country before and because I was following, I hadn’t taken the time to really know where I was. After the realization set in that I had been left behind, I pulled over to the nearest place I could find and pulled out my map.
I found where I was and where I wanted to go and just got back out on the road. That’s when I finally told my dispatcher that I didn’t need a leader anymore. I’m not sure whether the leader planned things that way or not, but he did me the biggest favor when he left me in Raton Pass. I had to finally buckle down and do things for myself.