Seventy-five percent of our heating fuel is delivered in the short, cold, dark days of winter. As we all sit in our warm houses and offices we should take a moment to think of what it must be like to be a fuel-delivery driver:
It’s blowing and the wind is biting at your face. To stay warm, you’re dressed in heavy bulky clothes but they make it hard to move. In your big boots it’s hard to climb down the steps from your truck’s warm cab to the frozen ground below you.
You put the ticket in the meter and grab the hose for the long pull to the fill spout.
The average pull is 50-100’ from the truck. The hose is heavy but the fuel inside it is even heavier: oil weighs 8 lbs per gallon and the hose holds at least 30 gallons. The fill pipe is usually in the bushes, which are covered in snow.
You hook up to the fill and open the nozzle. You stand and wait as the truck pumps the fuel. You pull your chin down into the open neck of your coat in an attempt to stay warm.
When the tank is full you disconnect and pull the hose back to the truck. You get the finished delivery ticket and take it back to the customer’s door so they know you came and how much fuel you delivered. Finally, frozen to the bone, you climb back into the cab of the truck and begin the slow process of thawing out. It was the first delivery of the day … there’ll be about 24 more and the last ones will be made in the dark.
Next time it snows, think of your delivery driver. When you shovel a path to the front door or the bird feeder make a path to your fill spout of tank … you can only begin to imagine how much your driver will appreciate you. Thank you.