The Truck Stops Here

It has taken him almost five hours, but Arnold Schinkel and his 50-ton truck have finally reached the front of the line at the Germany-Switzerland border, past the customs and passport controls and the gridlock in the parking lot. Now there's one last hurdle: the red-haired Dutchman needs a receipt from a Swiss machine the size of a soft-drinks dispenser that wants to know the weight limit of his truck, its exact mileage — and his credit card details. "How does this thing work?" Schinkel asks in frustration, looking over his shoulder for help.

The number of heavy...

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