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Comments by Navigator....Bob Brandon

     This is what you could call, my maiden voyage.  Folks up and down the highway know me as The Navigator.  I've been an Over-the-road trucker and photographer for a few years, and lots of miles.  It's a lifestyle that's not for everyone, but if you've got what it takes, it's the best job on earth.  Now I'm bringing some of those adventures to the web throught this column,  and this is the first installment. 


 

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I recently drove long-haul for a company out of northern Michigan.  
This photo was taken just south of Salt Lake City at a new Flying J. 

I've driven just about everything with wheels.  And like most of us Northern Boys, delivered everything from cars, lumber, steel, and computers to dynamite.  The list could take up the whole page and then some..There's almost nothing you can name in this country that didn't ride on a truck at one time or another.  

I've been behind the wheel professionally since 1992.  I was working for  the city of Alpena as an Operation Specialist.  That meant I cleaned catch basins and sanitary sewer systems.  Damndest stuff ends up down there.  Well, I didn't like this job much..and the pictures weren't much fun ether. 

I worked the Oil fields as a equipment operator/roustabout.  My main responsibility was to drive to various well locations draining pit water from well sites throughout northern Michigan.  Lot's and lots of hours and too many bosses. And once again, the pictures weren't that interesting.  

Looking back, the best job has to be driving the open road. I have taken  hundreds of rolls of film:  major cities, deserts, oceans, accidents, 
and as my wife Carol says,  everything in-between.  Sure wish I had a digital camera but I haven't found one as good as my Minolta 9000.

Anyway, back to how it started:  like a lot of us, my best drinking buddy got a job as a driver trainer.  One night old Howard asked me if I ever thought of driving the big rigs.  After a long talk, I thought the money was good, lots of miles, and good hometime.  And best of all, I'd get to see the country.  

After the tests were finished, I jumped aboard to my first trip East, New York and JFK Airport!  As I soon learned quick, we were delivering next day mail and packages.  This was real OJT, on-the-job-training.  

Old Howard is an owner-operator and still drives.  He taught me lots of lessons that have saved my life more than once, and kept me out of harm's way.  Don't forget, Over The Road is the best life there is, but it can be dangerous.  But if you're careful you can drive hundreds of thousands of miles, accident-free.  

I've gotta go now, my rig's all warmed up, and my thermos is full.  I'll log another report from down the road soon as I get the chance.  Till then, watch for wide right turns and share the road.  We'll catch you on the flip.  This is the Navigator, over and out.

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