Pissed Off: The Problem with Trucker Bombs

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There are lots of things you shouldn’t keep bottled up–emotions, feelings, and definitely not urine. However, trucker bombs might not always be the best solution.

But when you gotta go, you gotta go, right? This is what brings me to the nasty topic of “trucker bombs,” a truly repulsive phenomenon. Basically, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s the slang that has been coined to name plastic jugs of urine that get thrown out of windows of vehicles when the driver isn’t willing to make a stop at a real toilet. Truck drivers aren’t the only folks guilty of doing this. However, a large blame gets put on the transport industry for many reasons.

The Truth About Trucker Bombs

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The Proof is in the Pissing

Even a decade ago, NBC covered a story about the trucker bomb problem. According to Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association at the time said, “[urine jugs] are an indicator of how much stress and pressure drivers are under.” Drivers are under a lot of pressure to get their miles in, especially for those who are paid by how many miles they can rack up in a certain time frame. This means that any detour, even for something as simple as taking a leak, could deduct from their earnings. Pretty much “being gross” improves their gross income.

In 2006, as many as 20,000 urine bottles were found alongside the roads in Utah. The cost of cleaning these up is staggering. It could be as much as $3 million a year and that money is directly affecting the taxpayers. Plus, the smell of emptied out containers of urine at truck stops creates a terrible odor that’s just plain nasty. A recent Facebook post from the California Highway Patrol went viral that detailed the numerous containers of waste discarded along the highway. Not only is it a littering issue, but it also poses a health hazard for animals or anyone walking along the highway.

So who is really to blame for the “trucker bomb” issue? Is it the lack of rest stops along long stretches of highways, the strict driving schedules or regulations, or just disregard for safety and the environment? With new ELD regulations coming into play, it will be interesting to see if this is giving drivers the free-time to go to the restroom.

Urine Trouble: Paying the Price

In Washington state, fines for general litter are about $100. However, in 2002, they created a new category for improperly disposing of human waste which they referred to as “dangerous liter” that would carry a fine of over $1,000.  This category would include these jugs of urine as well as diapers, syringes, and feces-covered items. Similarly, Colorado raised their littering fine as well, because they were finding that the containers of human waste thrown by drivers were exploding when they were mowing the grass along sides of the highway. Plus, they also can explode in the heat. Yuck.

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However, even with a hefty fine at risk for throwing out these containers of bodily fluids, it may seem like the only option for a driver that desperate has to tinkle. Drivers who pullover to urinate outside run the risk of becoming a sex offender. After all, indecent exposure is a sex offense.

An Industry of Pee

Entire companies have capitalized on the trend of people relieving themselves within their rigs such as “GoPilot.” Their tagline is “a portable handheld urinal system for when you need to go.” They’ve even been featured on CNN and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Truckers who don’t want to stop might want to consider this trending item.

Are you one to use trucker bombs? Or, do you make time for the restroom? What do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!


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