Big City Driver
Preventing Traffic Jams and Road Rage, One Driver at a Time

The Old Bull Wagons

Back in the old days, all of the livestock haulers used to be exempt from stopping at weigh stations. It wasn't really a law, it was kind of the unwritten law. From Texas to California, through Arizona and New Mexico, all of the state troopers simply never messed with the bull wagons. You see, the police understood that these animals will die if they don't get off this trailer in a certain amount of time. And it's really true. A certain percentage of the animals don't make it. After a certain amount of time they need water and then food and then rest. And they can't rest while they are being transported because they have to stand up all the time. And they have to stand up all the way, because if one lays down, the others will step on him and fall on him and he might be killed. All livestock haulers know this and that's why they don't have time to stop for anything. Lives really are in danger if these drivers are delayed. It was not uncommon back then to see a convoy of bull wagons going over 100 mph. They would even blast by an open weigh station with no fear of getting a ticket. There were a lot of outlaw truckers back then.  No log books, no speed limits, no tickets. Many drivers back then didn't even have a drivers license.

I think it was the winter of '62, I was blasting across Arizona at about 105 mph. I always went 105, because when my truck hit 110, it would shake. But it handled 105 pretty well. I saw a sign that said "weigh station open- all trucks must weigh". So of course I stayed in the left lane with the cruise control on (a stick wedged between the accellerator and the seat). As soon as I passed the weigh station, I heard someone on the cb say "hey bull wagon, smokey bear's comin' after you". Could it be true? I was never pulled over before, I almost didn't believe it. Just in case smokey was listening, I said "I've got some cows that need water this hour and I have over a hundred miles to go." About ten miles past the weigh station, he finally caught me. I pulled over on the shoulder of an off-ramp and he stopped in front of my truck. A very young rookie got out and he was pissed off! "Who do you think you are blowing by my weigh station like that? Are you blind or just stupid?" He took my drivers license and told me to follow him back to the station. He said he was going to do a full DOT inspection, and find anything else he can think of to write me up for. I tried to explain that these animals were about to die, but he didn't believe it.

When we arrived at the weigh station, he waved me into the inspection area. I was suprised to see him with a creeper in his hand. I smiled at the thought of him sliding under a trailer full of cows. Well, I knew my truck was in good shape and that he wouldn't find anything wrong and I told him so. All of a sudden, he got a wiff of all the cows in the trailer and he said "maybe I won't go under it". He turned and saw a seargant looking at him and he said "oh, what the hell". He gave me an evil grin and slid under the trailer. The whole time, I tried to tell him that the cops don't mess with us for a lot of good reasons. And he was now begining to see that. He came out rather quickly, but it was still too late. He had crap on his face and all over his shirt! And when he wiped his rag on it, it just smeared across a bigger area and that made it stink worse. He took one look at himself and with a red face, he said "I've got to go change clothes just as fast as I can, get out of here". And I left without even getting a ticket.

Ken Skaggs


Ten Keys to Safe City Driving
(Now available on Video & CD!)

10 Keys to Safe City Driving CD Cover

1. Understand Traffic Waves
2. Prevent Traffic Jams
3. Stay Calm
4. Do The Math
5. Be Predictable
6. Time Traffic Lights
7. Expect the Expected
8. Compensate for the Ignorant
9. Teach Others
10. Make Sure an Accident is Never Your Fault

Read more

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