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When theWheels Stopped Turning
September 25 2008

   
 
 

When the Wheels Stopped Turning
Darlene Pharris


It was late fall when I stood and watched my world shatter. There wasn’t anything I could do to prevent it. Not only had I lost all my assets, I was left with a debit of $49,000.00, no job and no transportation to seek work. I have never been so shattered. I had worked so hard to earn my good credit only to loose it by no fault of my own. Somehow I had to find the courage to stand up again and fight back against the injustice of my disaster.
I am just a simple, hardworking country girl who believes that you are only as good as your word. I was so shamed to find myself in this position. I never sought wealth, only a descent income to support my family. I have worked in many aspects of the work a day world.
In 1991, I worked as an over the road semi driver. I was one of my employer’s top drivers. I trained all the new hires, but it was a very hard life. In 1994, I quit driving and returned to my career as an apartment community management. I was hired as the manager, but it wasn’t long until I was supervising the renovation and marketing for three HUD properties. This was a 24/7 job, so it wasn’t long until I was burned out.
My son, Rodney, was employed as a driver hauling cars throughout the United States.
I kept an accounting of his cost in relation with the income. There was a real potential if he owned his own rig. So Rodney and I decided that I would finance a double cab Ford F-350 dually, a 26 foot goose neck trailer, and we would contract to the same company Rodney had been hauling cars for. So together, we felt we could meet the payments and costs to operate if we both worked as drivers. We would be running around the clock, thus earning twice the income.
There was plenty of freight to haul, the contractor direct deposited out earnings to our bank account. So, we should have a good cash flow to cover all expenses. We had only been driving less than a week the price of diesel doubled. That was a lot more than we had budgeted to as a payout. This was a hard blow to our small company, and the cash flow was tighter than we had expected. That was only the beginning of unexpected expenses our young company would have to over come.
Most of our freight was in the upper states, so we seldom had freight taking us to the lower states. We hade a problem with our trailer, the tandems kept falling off,. Every time this occurred, we had to return it to the company where we purchased it, located near Dallas, Texas. We had to deadhead to Texas paying for fuel that was not offset by freight earnings. The trailer would be out of service for two weeks every time. Then we had to drive to the northern states again paying for fuel without freight to offset the costs.
We had another equipment failure problem. The tires on the Ford were Firestone, the treads began to tear loose and shatter the fiberglass fenders in the process. We had to cover the cost of the new tires while we filed a claim against Firestone.
All of these factures were more than our young company could overcome. We struggled trying very hard to be able to keep our commitments to the contract and to keep up the equipment payments. Finally we had to admit defeat. I delivered the equipment and my personal vehicle to the mortgage company due to the lack of ability to make our payments.
So, I stood looking at all my personal assets as I signed a release to the company, my spirit shattered. I stood in total shock that this had all happened in one year.
It is now 2008, Rodney has gotten married and is the father of five. He still drives truck and earns a good income. I am happily married, have written a novel, and I am looking for a project were I can do what I love to do, writing, Rodney and I have grown from the experience. We now know we can overcome any problems that we might encounter in life. We no longer face life in fear of losing, we know that turn failure can be turned into success.

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