Unusual “Trucking” Story-By Sabik Singh

One day, Blacktop of North Vancouver needed us for a delivery to Trasolini Contractors. I got my truck loaded with hot asphalt and went to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. Once I parked my truck on the ferry, I noticed that my steering tire felt funny. We had 1600 balloon type tires and on the front tire, there was a small hole on the surface tread, and I could hear air coming out. What do I do? Most truckers had air hoses in the trucks, to clean out the cabs and also to air up the tires. I decided to use the air hose to put air in the tire, and of course, the air just came right back out. Now what? So, I took out a body screw with big threads, tapered it, put some black tape around it and screwed it in the tire. I prayed that it would hold, and to my luck, I made it there and back.
Sometimes, you just have a bad day. I was hauling gravel with another trucker to 1st and Boundary. The other driver was having trouble with his truck and trailer unit and was parked on the side of the road. I pulled up behind him and he came over and said, “Hi, Sabik.” I said, “Hi. What’s up?” He told me that while transferring the load, the hydraulic hose broke, and his trailer box was only part way in. He didn’t know what to do. To help, I got out of my truck, put a chain on the back of his transfer box, tied it to my truck and pulled in the rest of his transfer box until the safety hooks clicked. He carried on.
This same driver had another problem on another day. As he was transferring his trailer box, the rear axle wheels fell off the trailer. As a result, he couldn’t complete his transfer and, the trailer box was not in all the way, or hooked onto the bulkheads on the truck box safety bar. The driver phoned me, asking where I was. I told him I was close by and would get to him in about a half hour. When I reached him, I gave him two small chains. I said, “Take them, tie your box onto the safety bar and drive carefully and go dump your load.” “Thanks, Sabik, he replied.” I told him he owed me a coffee for my help.
Unusual “Trucking” Story
This story concerns Jim, the trucker who had caused the problem with a load of ore at Princeton Mine. He was a good worker driver, fantastic to work with, and a good person, at least with me. One day, Jim had invited a person over to his house for coffee and dinner. Since I knew this person as well, I’ll just call him “X”.
The story goes that Jim invited X to his house. Jim’s wife was a good cook and also ran a restaurant in Langley. Dinner was served and there was the usual chit-chat: “how are you…is everything going well…is work going well…how is family…etc”. Mr. X also made comments about the kitchen chandelier, their Greek furniture and Mrs. Jim’s expensive art.
Shortly after dinner, while still at the table having coffee, X felt something brush against his leg. Feeling awkward, X adjusted his position. When the brushing didn’t stop, he moved his chair several more times, readjusting himself. By now, Jim had sensed something was wrong and asked X if he was alright. X, sounding upset and irritated, said, “I’m fine.” Jim poured some coffee and Jim’s wife brought out dessert. X now was really upset because he thought it was Jim’s wife’s leg. But then, when the wife left, X felt even more upset and frustrated. Jim again asked, “X. Are you okay? Did we say or do something wrong?” At this point, not being able to control himself, X moved his chair back and looked under the table. After he saw this thing under the table, X fell backwards and his chair hit the back wall. “What the hell is that?” X yelled at Jim. To this, Jim replied, “Oh. Sorry X. That’s our six foot long pet snake. We keep him for protection.” Now the table, coffee and dessert went flying. X left quickly, shocked.
Jim told me later he usually does that to some people who think they are smarter or above everyone else. “Jim, you shouldn’t do that,” I told him. “Do you still keep your valuables under the snake cage, Jim?” I asked him. Jim’s reply: “Yes, we do.” Not funny.
Often, I would go to work for the City of Vancouver. On this particular day, I was working at 4th Avenue, underneath the Granville Street Bridge. At around 1:30 pm, I was coming back from the Vancouver landfill at Burns Bog to pick up another load. As I was driving, I came upon a leather case on the road. I stopped, picked it up, and put it in my truck’s cab. That afternoon, I loaded my truck to go to Nelson with salt. I came home and told my wife, Janice, about the leather case. We opened the case, and saw what was inside: it had about $6, 000 in cash, some cheques, other papers, and a deposit book, ready to go to the bank. It belonged to some people who sold small boat crafts. Janice and I both decided to keep the case safe and return it to the owners.
Two days later, I phoned the owners and they were surprised that somebody wanted to return the money. For the heck of it, I asked if there was a reward. The company manager said, “I’ll give you $100.00 for the return of the leather case and all papers, monies, and books.” I said no. Surprised, he asked, “Then, what do you want?” I said, “I would like to get a letter saying that I found the leather case and I am now returning it intact.” They agreed and asked where and when to meet. It was decided that I would meet them at the McDonalds on Main Street, close to Science World. The manager then asked, “How will we know who you are?” I said, “I’ll buy a coffee and stand by the entrance door.” The next day, two men approached me while I was waiting at the McDonald’s. We said our hello’s, shook hands, and talked for a few minutes about how I found the leather case. I then gave them the case, and they checked to make sure everything was there – they were so happy that all was intact. They gave me my letter and also wanted to give me $100. I said, “No, the letter is worth more to me.” They gave me their business cards and said that if I ever needed their help, just call them. I finished my coffee and I carried on. I still have this special document.