Trick or treat!

Scuttlebutt and tall tales
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Rocket Babe
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#1 Trick or treat!

Post by Rocket Babe »

It's that time of year! :D :~salud:
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#2 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by bernomatic »

:O~
Chief Cook -n- bottle washer
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luke strawwalker
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#3 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by luke strawwalker »

And almost that time again... gee I didn't realize I haven't been around for so long... Later! OL J R :)
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#4 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by Rocket Babe »

Yes, it is :D and it has been too long! Where have you been? :?:
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#5 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by Rocket Babe »

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I call this one Double Trouble...
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#6 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by luke strawwalker »

Rocket Babe wrote: Thu, 27 Oct 22, 17:56 pm HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I call this one Double Trouble...
Nice... "Double Trouble on the Planet of Killer Pumpkins!" Next book perhaps?? LOL:)

Oh, just been busy. Kids' senior year and now I'm driving a school bus again, barely making enough on beef cattle to pay expenses... been a very tough, long, hot, FRIGGIN POWDER DRY year... and it's gonna get worse for a long while before it gets better.

Later! OL J R :)
My MUNIFICENCE is BOUNDLESS, Mr. Bond...
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#8 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by luke strawwalker »

Thanks Verna...

Ok here's something crazy... I know I've been on the bench awhile-- haven't driven a bus the last 10 years or so, drove for Needville ISD for 9 years before that. Now I'm driving at Shiner.

First a little background-- Shiner is halfway between Houston and San Antonio, in Lavaca County, 90 miles from the Needville farm. Shiner is about half the size of Needville, little over 1,200 people or so IIRC. Pretty rural, closest town is Yoakum about 12 miles south, Hallettsville about 14 miles east, Gonzales 23 miles NW, and Moulton about 10 miles north.

Now I don't know if its because it's rather rural, or because people have just gotten that much more worthless in the last 10 years, but I've had more people running my red loading lights on the bus since September than I did in 9 years of driving at Needville. Just crazy. I've had SUV's run my lights to turn 15-20 feet behind my bus into a parking lot at the wire works... risk running over a kid so you can save 30 seconds getting to work?? NUTS!!! I've had semis not even slow down and blast past me hauling sand to wells being fracked... gotta be an oilfield emergency I suppose. All sorts of stupidity like that.

Well, then we get to the day before Christmas vacation, Thursday before school let out Friday. I'm driving my rural part of the route where I go out way into the sticks clear out to Charlottenburg cemetery to drop a kid off. SO after dropping a bunch of kids on side roads, I get back to the T intersection where 1891 meets up with HWY 95, the main road north from Shiner to Moulton. I'm fixing to turn right, so I can stop at the next driveway about 50-100 yards away to drop 2 kids. To my left, the road goes about a third to half mile and then drops off into a valley beyond. I look and see a cement truck, coming up the blind hill, but I could only see the very top of the cement tank and the running lights on the very top of the cab... I'm like "he's plenty far enough away for me to make my turn" so I took off. I turned on my yellow warning lights to signal that I'm going to stop to drop kids, and accelerated to about 25 before I let off the accelerator and started slowing down for the stop. I glide down to a stop and open the doors, which turns on the red loading lights and turns off the yellow warning lights. I look into the interior mirror and see the kids getting up from their seats, so I glance out the right window to see if anyone is doing anything stupid, like passing the bus on the right shoulder, blowing past the bus, which happened a couple years ago and had the driver not seen it and grabbed the young kid's backpack and jerked them back at the last second, saving their life. Thankfully no car passing, so I glance to the left mirror and I see the cement truck, flying up behind the bus at about 45 mph, way too close. I'm like "oh *oops you said word #1, he's gonna hit" but I didn't have time to do anything but throw my arm across the aisle and say "Wait wait wait!" to keep the kids from getting off the bus and potentially getting hit or being outside the bus in the middle of a wreck. I look back into the left mirror and see him braking hard and swerving left, the truck leaning heavily to the right, and he misses my rear bumper by maybe a foot or so, and then starts swerving back to the right... the truck's weight shift and suddenly he comes up beside me past my driver's window, up on two wheels, I'm looking at the undercarriage of his truck as he passes by. I think he could have saved it had he swerved left a bit to put it back down on the tires, but instead he overcorrects and tries to swerve right back around the bus into our lane. The weight shifts and over it goes. The truck landed on its driver's side and it racked the cab sideways, knocking out every glass in the truck. It slides sideways into the ditch and skids to a stop. The kids are instantly like "I can't believe we just saw that!" and I was like "yeah". SO I gotta do something, so I grab the radio (since it's illegal to have a phone on the bus) and call the school, let them know about the wreck and ask them to call 9/11, give my location, and report that the bus was NOT hit and everyone is fine. Then I check my mirrors again to make sure there's not one behind him about to hit us, seeing we're safe I tell the two kids about to get off to go on straight up their drive to the house NOW and stay there. Once they're safely off, I close the doors to turn off the loading lights and pull the bus up out of the road on the shoulder, cut off my main master switch that controls the loading lights, then turn on my four way hazard flashers, and open the door. The kids are like "is the driver okay?" and I look out my window and see him standing up in the cab, standing on the ground just below his broken driver's window, looking about the cab for something, probably a phone. A couple local ranchers are already there looking in at him and he steps out through the missing windshield. I was like "If he's up and moving he's okay" and so I decide to stay put in the bus and look after my kids. The school radios back and asks again if everyone is okay and the bus undamaged, which I confirm. They then ask if I can continue the route, which I COULD, but didn't think I SHOULD until I was cleared to go by the cops since I was stopped with the red loading lights on which he evidently didn't notice until the last possible moment, which led to his rollover. My boss comes out with a 14 passenger sprinter van and picks up my last 5 kids and takes them on home, and the principal and superintendent show up and we BS with the fire squad guys who are basically just shoveling dirt on the diesel spilling out of the fuel tank of the truck... I told my story to a Moulton city cop and a county sheriff's deputy, who got my license, and then we wait an hour for the trooper to show up. He takes his pics and talks to the truck driver, and comes over and talks to me, and gets my story, then asks, "did the bus get hit?" and I'm like "no" and he's like, "well, I'm going to write it up as a single vehicle rollover, all I need is your phone number in case I have any questions... here's your licence" and that was it. In the meantime my boss had dropped off the kids and swapped the sprinter van for the school minivan, and came back out and took the bus back to the school, rather than have it sitting on the side of the road like a billboard. After I got done with the trooper, I took the school minivan back and swapped it out for my own minivan to go home.

The guy's story was that he had the cruise control on in the truck, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, BUT he wasn't paying attention to the road, obviously, or he'd have tapped the brakes and started slowing down as soon as he topped the hill he was coming up, since I had my lights clearly flashing yellow for the impending stop. Amazingly my daughter's boyfriend, who lives with us because of his lousy home life and who calls us mom and dad and we call him son, he was in front of my bus almost as soon as I pulled off the road. He and a buddy were behind the bus at the stop and nearly turned in front of the truck as well, since he was *almost* far enough away in their view, but they decided he was just a little too close by that point and going a little too fast, so they waited, which is good because they'd have been killed when he slammed into them if they'd been right behind my bus between the truck and bus. They said he was going too fast and not paying attention, *probably on the damn phone* and didn't start slowing down til way too late. The rest is history. Don't KNOW he was on the phone, but at the very least he was very distracted from his driving, and hauling ass with a loaded concrete truck isn't a great idea anyway. Thankfully it all worked out.

TBC...
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#9 Re: Trick or treat!

Post by luke strawwalker »

Cont'd...

Of course, first morning back from vacation, I have a stupid fracking sand hauler semi pass me at the next stop up the road in the stone dark at 6:30 am, me sitting in the road with my loading lights on red. He slows down and just keeps right on driving around me and passes me on the left in the middle of the road. I blew the horn at him several times for making an illegal pass. I don't know where they get these truck drivers now... there's more tests and hoops to jump through to get a CDL than to pass the medical boards or bar exam nowadays, and yet so many of these truckers are so stupid I wouldn't trust them in a Yugo pulling a lawn mower cart... NO sense at all... for a CDL holder to pass a stopped school bus with the loading lights on is like a $500 fine and automatic suspension for a year, which means they'll be bagging groceries at the quickie mart instead of driving truck for a year... all that just to save a few seconds?? REALLY??? Even for regular car/SUV/pickup drivers-- still a $500 fine for the first offense, and like $1,500 for a second offense in 12 months... not chicken feed money! BUT it doesn't seem to deter them in the least... just crazy! Not that the cops seem to care much-- we've asked for frequent patrols of the worst areas (no it's not just me or my route having these problems) and I've only seen one cop do a U-turn behind me AFTER I had already taken off from the stop across from the wire works on the edge of town... boss told them to be there between 7 and 7:05 and they could easily catch them doing it, he shows up at 7:06 and it's already too late. I, like most bus drivers, work to time our routes to the minute, so kids DON'T have to wait in the cold or rain or fog or by the road in the dark, standing around too close to traffic waiting on a bus to arrive. Course in the fog all bets are off; in bad fog I was stuck doing 35-40 mph one morning and was at least 5-10 minutes late by the end of the route, but you can't drive 50 in the fog when you can't see. Course most idiots are driving 60-70... morons!

Oh well, the cops don't even seem to care, or they'd be doing more about it. Not like they don't gather at the local donut shop or mini-mart for coffee and kolaches and a BS session before hitting the beat LOL:) Not like they can't do that AFTER the route, ya know... Oh, they'll sit in the "school zone" in front of the school looking for anybody doing 25 in a 20 even though we have NO walkers walking to school, or out on the highway where the school zone lights reduce it to 45 mph, so they can write a double fine ticket because of the school zone, but as for actually shadowing a bus to prevent light runners who may kill some kids, NAH, that's not important! Oh well... what can you do??

Later! OL J R :)
My MUNIFICENCE is BOUNDLESS, Mr. Bond...
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