Impure Thoughts #6: Overdependence on Technology

Impure Thoughts #6: Overdependence on Technology

Impure Thoughts #6: Overdependence on Technology

Other Guy: “Did you call that shipper and get directions?”

Sinister: “No, they were closed by the time I got the load info. I tried but no go.”

Other Guy: “Okay, well, I got a GPS but it’s a car GPS. But if it’s a decent address we should be able to get right to it in the morning, and hopefully get loaded pretty quick.”

Sinister: “Yup. We’ll see.”

Early the next morning…

Other guy: “The GPS is telling me I should turn on this Peterson Road, but I think I passed it.”

Sinister: “Yeah, it was a gravel road leading to nowhere. I could tell that as we passed it. I’m beginning to doubt that GPS is one of your best investments ever like you'd said.”

Other Guy: “Why’s that?”

Sinister: “…”

Other Guy: “Why’s that driver?!”

Sinister: “Well, it almost just put you on a gravel road to go to the place, and we’re not even in the right township yet. That’s one township north yet.”

Other Guy: “How do you know?”

Sinister: “I looked at Streets and Trips last night, and memorized what I needed to. Highway 1071 intersects a few miles north of this town. We should be able to turn right on that, and the place should be somewhere on highway 1071. The address is 28318. It can’t be hard to find, it’s a huge sawmill lumber yard type place.”

Other Guy: “You want to stop and call them?”

Sinister: “Go for it if you want, I’ve got it figured already. Highway 1071 intersects a few miles north of this town. We should be able to turn right on that, and the place should be somewhere on highway 1071. The address is 28318. It can’t be hard to find, it’s a huge sawmill lumber yard type place.”

Other Guy: “Now the GPS is telling me I should turn on this other road.”

Sinister: “That’s a single lane 5 ton road through a residential area. Pretty sure you don’t want to be on that.”

Other Guy: “Well, now the GPS is telling me to turn around. It might reroute itself…I don’t know.”

Sinister: “I do know. Highway 1071 intersects a few miles north of this town. We should be able to turn right on that, and the place should be somewhere on highway 1071. The address is 28318. It can’t be hard to find, it’s a huge sawmill lumber yard type place.

Other Guy: “You want to try to turn around and take that road?”

Sinister: “Which? The gravel, or the plainly marked restricted one? Please listen to me… Highway 1071 intersects a few miles north of this town. We should be able to turn right on that, and the place should be somewhere on highway 1071. The address is 28318. It can’t be hard to find, it’s a huge sawmill lumber yard type place.”

At this point I crank my mic gain almost to the point of ripping the knob off.

Sinister:The road we need should be a few miles up yet.”

Other guy: “Wow, your radio is a lot louder now.”

Sinister: “Yes. It is. Just keep heading north.”

A few short moments later…

Other guy: “Is the one you were talking about? Highway 1071?”

Sinister:Yes. Turn right.”

Other guy( smugly ): “Well yeah, since there is no way to turn left…”

This from a guy who was about to spin a u-turn to go down TWO forbidden roads.

Sinister: “Here’s the place, right here on the left. You just passed it.

Other Guy: “Oh, shit. Guess I have to back up.”

Sinister: “There’s a huge lot, with four other ATS guys parked here. Pretty hard to miss.”

A GPS system can be a great thing. But don’t let it override common sense. Learn to read a map. Don’t stare at it when you’re supposed to be approaching your destination. Don’t brag about how great it works when it’s proven to suck time and again in a 1300 mile trip. Most certainly, don’t CRASH because of a GPS.

There is simply no excuse for being that stupid.

My experience and knowledge enabled me to plan a route for this trip with this other driver in about 15 seconds, while this guy struggled the entire time. After we got loaded, he decided he should probably follow me instead of taking the lead, and screwing up constantly. I cut 150 miles off the trip, and found him the cheapest fuel on I-55. Of course, as a kid, all I wanted to do was leave where I was to drive a truck, so one of my hobbies – and an odd one at that – was to look at a map, pick two cities, and figure what looked to be a good way to get there. This guy worked in a factory for seventeen years, so yeah, I had a bit of a head start on him, but still, the number of times this guy was glued to the GPS was startling, and I think he’s going to have serious problems in the future.

I never once looked at a GPS. Didn't even own one at the time.

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