The Lone Haul Essay Research Paper The

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The Lone Haul Essay, Research Paper The Long Haul When Emil Treuthardt started full-time trucking in 1949, he never thought he would find himself driving into the next millennium. The 21-year-old Wisconsin man was just passing time until something else came along. The problem was that his boss treated him so nicely that he could not leave. After about seven years, driving was in his blood, and he could not think about doing anything else. Now he has 50 years of driving without a chargeable accident. I won t retire. Says the 71-years-old resident of Monroe, Wisconsin. I m going to keep driving until I fail my physical. For much of his career, Treuthardt had one thing motivating him, his daughter, Kathy, who was born with cystic fibrosis, a disease of the lungs. She had to

spend 90 days at a time in the hospital throughout her youth. During her first 18 years, she had no health coverage, because insurance companies do not cover preexisting conditions. Treuthardt had to pay the $300,000 in hospital bills out of his own pocket. I had one hell of a bill for that girl, he says. I could have bought a couple of farms for that. He drove 50 miles to Madison to see her every night she was in the hospital, according to his wife, Rozella. Now Emil s motivation for driving is different. Kathy died last summer at 44. The road has become his therapy. I miss her, he says. She was a sweet little girl. She d always worry about her dad if my truck wasn t there Friday night or Saturday morning. The hardest part now is coming home Friday night and knowing she won t be

there to look for the truck. Kathy wrote him a note shortly before her death, saying, Dad, don t worry about me. I ll be your co-pilot when I m gone. Treuthardt says that note helps keep him going. I carry that with me. I ve got a picture of her with me all the time. I look at her wedding picture every morning when I get up. They always say that losing a child is worse than losing a parent. That s true. Parents are supposed to die first. At least I had her for 44 years. The median age of survival for a cystic-fibrosis victim is 31 years of age. The only thing that gets his mind off the loss of his daughter is driving. Once I get out on the road, I kind of forget about it, he says. When Emil is on the road, his mind returns to the life he has known for half a century. I wish I d

kept a diary, he says, reminiscing about trucking in the days of yore. We didn t have any superhighways, only two-lane roads. If we made 100 miles every three hours, we thought that was good. Today, if you don t make 200 miles in three hours, you re doing terrible. His first truck was a 1946 KB-7 International. It would do about 50 mph downhill or about 35-40 mph normally, depending on the load. The truck had a 26-foot, single-axle trailer. There were no air brakes or sleeper bunks in those days. In fact, sleep was something hard to come by. If you had bucket seats, you were out of luck. If you had a bench seat, like the one in Treuthardt s KB-7, you slept on it for two of three hours; any longer, and your body would cramp up, he says. The best bed was a blanket in a park on a

summer night. Trailers today are twice as long, and the ride wasn t much worse back then. It rode just as nicely as today s trucks, since the trailer wasn t as long and the load was lighter. We had 160 horses, and we thought we were getting somewhere. Now we re up to 425 or higher. Trucking companies had dress codes in Treuthardt s early years. He wore a hat with a patch that had the company logo on it. Some drivers even wore suits. Tires weren t solid rubber, as in earlier years, but they had air-filled inner tubes that often split in summer when the tires overheated. The driver carried a lug wrench and tire patches and pumped up the tire by hand. But if a trucker broke down, help was no farther that the next truck. Back then if someone had trouble, someone would always stop and