Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You can’t make this stuff up

What started out Tuesday as a script-ready sequel to “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was quickly rewritten to something closer to “Miracle on Interstate 40.”

Arrow Trucking left its drivers in a lurch all around the country when it ceased operations early Tuesday – with no warning.

Loyal drivers were left holding the bag. Some had fueled, but the company’s card wouldn’t pay the bill – leaving the drivers criminally on the hook for the bill. Other drivers were on fumes with no way to get home.

The insanity of the inhuman treatment left everyone connected to the industry outraged.

That lasted only minutes, though.

The offers for support, rides, meals, etc., began to flood into OOIDA HQ. The Land Line Magazine Facebook Fan Page started getting offers to help posted to it. The Twitter accounts of OOIDA, Land Line Magazine and Land Line Now employees were receiving offers.

In an effort to centralize these offers of generosity, we created the Support for Stranded Arrow Trucking Drivers - Coordinate Efforts Here page on Facebook.

That’s when the miracle started.

In less than 20 hours, more than 1,000 people had joined the page. The offers for everything from warm blankets to a ride home poured in. Drivers’ families jumped in. Dispatchers, mechanics, other companies – the list of people wanting to help is without end.

One stranded Arrow driver put up a request for help early Wednesday morning.

“im an arrow driver and dont know what to do im about 100mi in checotah,ok but dont know if ill have the fuel to get home any help would be great,” Joseph Marfia posted.

In less than an hour, Louis Long responded that he was only an hour away from Joseph and would be happy to pick him up.

The former Arrow trucker, who is now with Maverick, gave Joseph his phone number and that’s all it took.

“He was only 70 miles away from me. I wouldn’t have been a good person if I didn’t help him,” Louis said. “He put in that he needed help and he got help.”

That help came in the form of a ride, a hot breakfast, help cleaning out the truck and a ride to the bus terminal.

And that’s just one of literally thousands of examples of the giving, generous nature of the trucking industry.

In the days and hours that followed the announcement that these drivers were left high and dry, truckers, their families and pretty much anyone with a soul were combing the ends of the country looking for any Arrow driver in need.

What started out as a tragic situation has turned and given us all a sense pride and happiness to be a part of such an amazing bunch of people who refused to let Arrow trucking do this to our own.