Have you ever been in a conversation that started with a question or statement about the weather? It seems to be a common topic in my small town.

The weather is always something to mention as a person catches up with an old friend. The farmers have a special interest in the weather because it dictates a farmer’s livelihood, yet it seems appropriate for everyone to comment on the weather since it affects each one of us to some extent.

By comparison, our world is undeniably connected to the transportation industry. Almost everyone has or uses an automobile, and almost everything we own has been moved by way of car, truck, plane, train or boat. So as odd as it may seem, I’d like to suggest that we have a commonality between the weather and the transportation industry. We are routinely affected by both.

It should be noted that the weather doesn’t care about your weekend plans. It has no worry that the intense wind might uproot a tree in your yard. Weather is not concerned about your family’s livelihood. Weather is just part of our world.

Similarly, the transportation industry doesn’t really care about the individual. If the price of a commodity increases, the price will invariably trickle down to the final consumer. For instance, most of us just try to cope with the weather and the rise in gas prices with the same tenacity. But what if somebody was to combine these two unknown elements and give a daily report?

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I think it would be pretty cool for the 7 a.m. weather report to be given from the driver’s perspective of an automobile. Face it, if the weather person said it will rain today and that the cost of windshield washer fluid was on the rise, you’d probably grab a jacket and make sure you had an extra gallon of washer fluid, too. I think a report like this might even be called the Windshield Wiper Report.

So then, what topic would you want to hear about on today’s episode? Would you like an accurate weather report and an update of the microchip fiasco? Maybe, you would rather hear a report about local automobile repair shops and the anticipation of a hard, rapidly approaching winter?

Admit it, the idea of the Windshield Wiper Report is fascinating, isn’t? Since I am the author of this fairy tale report, you are going to read what I’d like the world to hear on an episode of the Windshield Wiper Report:

  • It might rain. Are your wipers and wiper blades ready for the rain?

  • Cooler mornings mean winter is coming. Has your car’s antifreeze been serviced this year?

  • Harvest has begun, the deer are moving. Are your headlights pointing out the deer?

  • Snow is just around the corner. Are your tires going to slip and slide you to work?

  • On damp mornings, does your car’s braking system squeak at you?

  • The sun is rising later and later, do you squint through a chipped or broken windshield?

Although a comparison between the weather and your car fails on many levels, it is clear to see that you can prepare for the weather and its effects on your car.

Whether we realize it or not, we are all paying for the transportation industry as we purchase our wares. The commodities we buy pay for the transportation industry’s maintenance and repair.

Weather remains fairly unpredictable, whereas vehicle maintenance and repair is very predictable.

In a small way, I am part of the transportation industry. My name is Doug Kleeberger, and I am an automotive instructor on the Jackson campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

The transportation industry is screaming for workers. If you or someone you know has mechanical aptitude, the industry would love to have you join its ranks. These jobs are more reliable than the weather.