June 13, 2018

Driver guards cargo at crunch time

Trucker never touched his load when the chips were down.

By DC Velocity Staff

One of the prime directives given to truck drivers is to safeguard your cargo. Most of the time, that simply entails following safe driving practices and remembering to lock up the vehicle at rest stops.

However, an Oregon trucker went above and beyond expectations when he recently became lost in the woods outside Pendleton, Ore., for four days after an errant GPS led him off course. Despite being stranded in a remote location without food or water, the driver never touched his tasty freight—a load of potato chips, according to published reports.

Truck driver Jacob Cartwright's adventure began in April when he was forced to abandon his truck after it skidded dangerously close to an embankment, according to the reports. Figuring it was unsafe to try to move the vehicle, Cartwright, a 22-year-old employee of La Grande, Ore.-based Little Trees Transportation, got out and walked.

Over the next three days, he trekked 21 miles through the woods, sleeping on the ground and crossing mountain peaks to reach the nearest major road—Interstate 84. Once he reached the highway, he was able to hitchhike home. Cartwright's truck was later recovered with its load intact.

Asked by his boss why he didn't eat some of the chips for sustenance, the driver said he relied on his upbringing. "That stuff's worth something, that's the load—I'm not gonna touch it," trucking company owner Roy Henry said Cartwright told him. "That's the way he was raised, that stuff's not yours, you don't touch it."

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