Warehouse B
No Time To Stop
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Those Trucker Bombs On The Side of the Road


By James Donahue

July 2006


We noticed a news report about a littering problem described by the various state transportation departments concerning “trucker bombs” collecting along the sides of major U.S. highways.


It seems that truckers and other long-distance travelers are resorting to empty plastic water bottles to collect their urine. They are tossing the bottles out of their windows as they continue driving non-stop across the country. Now highway workers are complaining about the health hazards and cost of having to collect the bottles.


The problem has gotten so bad that in Utah alone, the UDOT says its maintenance crews pick up over 20 thousand urine bottles a year along the state’s highways. In addition to these, they also are finding ziplock bags filled with urine, feces, drug paraphernalia, used needles and even blood.


It is, indeed, a sign of the times.


I knew a trucker who logged a lot of hours on the highways and did long cross-country hauls. He used to laugh about the “pee bombs” and said it was common practice for truckers everywhere.


And there was a reason for this. Truckers are always driving against the clock. They are required to get their loads delivered as quickly as possible if they expect to make a profit out of the trip, but by law they also are required to restrict their road time and have to keep logs of their driving hours.


They don’t have time to pull those big rigs into truck stops just to urinate. And on long hot hauls in summer heat, even in air-conditioned cabs, truckers have to drink a lot of water, coffee and soft drinks to stay awake and keep themselves hydrated. That means frequent urination, especially among the older drivers. And drivers under the gun don’t like to stop so they resort to using empty plastic bottles.


I have never driven a big truck, but I have personally logged long hours of driving across the United States and understand the problem. Sometimes those “rest stops” seem a long way down the road. Some states do not offer the convenience of toilet facilities so drivers are forced to find a bush or rock for some degree of privacy. The plastic pee bottle used by truckers is a natural solution. I wish I had thought of it.


That they are tossing their waste out of the truck windows and cluttering the sides of our nation’s highways is a shame. The least the drivers should do is dispose of the bottles properly at truck stops. They all have to stop those rigs at some time, to fuel up, get food and sleep.


That some drivers are also tossing needles and drug paraphernalia is scary. That means they are operating those big rigs while under the influence of drugs, which puts us all in jeopardy when we have to share the road.


How a driver can deficate in a plastic bag while still operating his vehicle is a bit of a mystery. We can’t defend it and can’t understand why it would ever be done. But then who can explain the thinking of anyone willing to pollute the environment by tossing a plastic bottle full of human urine out of a truck window?


This whole picture is pretty disgusting.


Over the years we have developed a lot of respect for most truckers. I have found them to be good and courteous drivers. That some are resorting to such disgusting practices and disregarding our mandate for loving the Mother Earth, makes us very sad.