A Road Service truck came around after a few hours (they were busy) and had the recalcitrant trailer brakes operating shortly thereafter. One of the things I had tried before calling in for service was to take my regular-sized hammer to the brake drum with a few taps to see if it would pop open. The service guy came with a mini-sledgehammer and knocked the crap out of it and the brake gave up in short order. Must remember to add one of those to the truck soon.
The dispatch came. Not a preplan (what ever happened to those lovely preplans?) but a plan at least. Head east twenty miles to pick up at a Nestle plant then run it down to Springfield, Missouri for a morning unload. It meant a long afternoon and evening drive where the temperature never rose above 16 degrees but the load was moderately heavy so traction was good. I did manage to stop at the Pilot in Troy, Illinois to grab a hot Crispy Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich at the Arby's followed by an epic life-or-death struggle across the frozen parking lot to the Dairy Queen next door.
I swear, the only reason I risked life and limb is that this DQ makes THE BEST blizzard I've ever had. Consistently. Plus, the cups they use are about one size larger for each portion than anyplace else, so if you get a medium blizzard there you know the tummy is going to end up happy.
Arriving in Springfield before midnight I went through three truck stops that I'm familiar with on the east side of town but no luck. I even tried the lot next to a Waffle House that had truck parking, but the only thing available there was a very sketchy ghetto parking spot and I wasn't that desperate (yet). I cruised by the consignee, a food warehouse with fairly strict rules, and knew I couldn't get in until just before my appointment. I settled on a parking lot a few blocks away of a store of some sort that went out of business and who's dock area was converted into some kind of trucking operation. No one was about, the lot was large and I parked off on the side.
I admit it, I left the truck idling last night for the first time since last summer when my APU was broke. When I started it yesterday morning the sights and sounds were unpleasant. Not completely unlike the sights and sounds of this trucker getting up on a very cold morning.
I have now completed six full quarters of my lease-purchase. The most recent quarter's numbers are here. Previous quarter's can be reviewed with these links: (Year 2, 1st Quarter), Year 1: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. My first fiscal year-end review is here.
I have posted a spreadsheet with detailed information on every load I touched and every settlement I received over my first year. This post gives some useful background on how it is organized.
You might be interested in viewing my previous blog covering my 16 months at CFI, which is now Con-Way Truckload. I have some pictures and videos online you might find educational or entertaining.
Where did I start my driving career? At Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri. If you are in the process of beginning your career I would highly recommend contacting them.
You might wish to contact the author. To do so, first read this post. The first batch of responses can be found here and the second here.