The unload at the Wal-Mart DC took a few hours but that wasn't unexpected, and I got the trip I was expecting out of Colorado: head a few miles up the road to the Fort Collins Budweiser plant and take a load heading to Grand Island, Nebraska for the following day.
I brought my empty trailer to the facility, dropped it and got weighed bobtail, then went back in to the trailer lot and rummaged around for the one I was looking for. There were probably 300-400 trailers there and mine was one of the very few on the back portion of the lot away from the main bunch.
The trailer itself was old. As in, doesn't even have an air suspension. Everything seemed okay with it after I hooked up and inspected it, so I went to move the trailer tandems forward from their back position and couldn't. The pin release lever itself worked and the pins kinda sorta moved back off the track but not far enough for them to disengage. Plus, the parking brake s-cam was so wimpy it wouldn't hold the trailer very well. I played with it for several hours (!) before giving up.
Our crack team at HQ decides that I'll do another run instead: head over to nearby Greeley, Colorado and make two pick-ups then head down to Texas and make two drops. I'm first sent over to the south side of Greeley but when I arrive the plant in question is locked tight, shut down for Labor Day and our trailer is nowhere to be found.
I decide it is time to issue some over-the-phone smackdown to the weekend staff, but when I call a familiar voice comes on the line.
"Luuuuke. I... am... your... father."
"Noooooooooo!" I sob.
My old dispatcher Ross is back, and now working nights and weekends.
I ask what is the deal with the trailer and he promises to get back with me via my satellite unit after he gets it sorted out.
After more than an hour, I'm sent directions to the second stop in Greeley which I don't need because I was there before for a very long time. Yes, that same damned Swift meatpacking plant.
Apparently, someone had already moved the trailer over from the first stop in Greeley to the Swift plant and hadn't mentioned it to the driver. Since my divining ability was on hold out of respect for Labor Day, it never occurred to me.
So, I bobtail over to the Swift plant and as I'm heading into the parking lot I see the trailer number that I was looking for at the other place. Great, already loaded. There's no stopping me now!
I chat with the guards. I sign in. They have me pull the trailer up. They do their walk around with the paperwork and seals in hand...
Oh, wait. The trailer number doesn't match the paperwork. I am pulling trailer 579144 and the paperwork has it down as 57914. Yes, some dodo dropped the last digit. That won't do, I'm told.
I suggest penciling it in. Heck, use pen if you like. I mean, who gives two craps about the number on the outside of the trailer? Particularly if the shipper seals said container with their own seals before it departs the premises.
But nooooo, this is not the way things are done. So I'm told to wait in my truck which is at the exit of the lot. The nose of my tractor is almost to the street. I sit. And wait.
Eventually I get tired of waiting so I go back to the guards to find out what is up. Well, it turns out that since it is Labor Day the data entry people are enjoying themselves at home and the (alleged) supervisor is unable to rouse any of them to come in and fix their mistake. No paperwork, no load, me no move.
Since they don't come back in until 0600 tomorrow, I back the trailer up to a convenient parking spot, drop it and head down the street to the small mini-mart that I got used to the last time I was there.
The bottom line is, I spent almost all day running around, grabbing trailers, messaging HQ, burning fuel, and actually doing nothing constructive. Such is trucking sometimes.
READY, AIM, FIRE - Where we live, we are surrounded on all sides by National Forests. Craig has been longing to go exploring and find a place to do some shooting. So last ...
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