Encounter With A USX Driver

I had an encounter with another U.S. Xpress driver tonight. I don’t know if it was trainer/trainee or another team, but it started at Baxter. They had one of USX’ new Peterbilts, and we waved and kind of checked out the Pete. They just stared at us. Fine. No big deal. That’s the reaction we get from most USX drivers when we try to be nice.
They pulled out of the yard before we did. When we came out they had pulled off to the side of the road. I started to go around them and the s.o.b. pulled out in front of me. Again, no big deal. I just chalked the guy up as an asshole. So we came down 226 toward Marion behind this guy. I kept gaining on him, but every time I’d start to go around him he would speed up. I finally took the hint and just let him go on up ahead of us and kept my distance.
Well, we reached the light at the bottom of the hill at SR-70 in Marion. We started up the hill behind him. It was clear that I was having better luck with the hill and so I started around him. I got just about even with him and he sped up. I realized that he was just being a prick and could pull away from us at any time. When I would speed up, he would speed up. When I would slow down, he would slow down. In short, all he was doing was making sure that we couldn’t get back over.
Fine by me. I’d already decided that I’d rather miss my exit than drop in behind this motherfucker. But when I saw our exit coming up I decided to stop acting like a child and let him have it. He surged ahead, apparently in the thrill of his victory, but then he noticed the exit, too. I had backed off already. He hit the turning lane but was going too fast for the exit (which is a loop). He wisely skipped back out onto the road. Good thing, too. I have no doubt that he would have rolled his truck over if he had tried to take that loop that fast.
For my part all I can say is that I’m constantly amazed by these assholes for whom every maneuver is a schoolyard contest. I’m out here to make a living; not prove something. And I hope that I’ll always have the presence of mind to pull back when things get out of hand and allow the children their victories.
Although I have to admit to taking no small satisfaction in the fact that he missed his turn because of his childish behavior, and I did not miss my turn because I decided to act like an adult. So who won this contest in the end? As I said to Mara in my defense, the situation he found himself in was entirely of his own making.
I still giggled, though. What a dumb-ass.

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