The trailer I got from the Budweiser plant in Fort Collins was one of our older ones and by the time it came to a rest at the distributor in Omaha the product inside was knocked around pretty good. My load locks were on the floor along with most of the dunnage, including one of those neat inflatable bag things to hold everything in place. Thankfully, the product itself still stood on the pallets and nothing had to be restacked.
I noticed the very rear of the trailer where the metal met the oak floor was bent upward and cautioned the dock supervisor to let his workers know that it was looking sketchy. Then I plugged in a trailer breakdown macro and waited to be unloaded.
The unloading went on and on, more than an hour after the truck before me had left. Then there was nothing heard or felt bumping around in back for a while and I went off to investigate. This is where I found the entire trailer filled nose-to-tail with plastic pallets and separators that the Bud folks use to shuttle their beer on.
Soon enough the manager came out and explained that this trailer was going to be used for today's backhaul to Fort Collins. I mentioned that the trailer was a bit damaged and in need of some TLC and he wisely decided to not bother putting a seal on it, since our maintenance folks would have to immediately tear it off to repair the floor (and anything else causing a ruckus back there).
I was instructed to pull the trailer from the door and drop it on the far side of the parking lot. This is when I realized I was simply being used as a yard jockey and my long wait had been solely for the reason of moving the trailer off the dock once it was loaded. Just another priceless moment in trucking that reinforces my adage: "A trucker's time is only worth something to that trucker, and no other."
The nearby Sapp's truck stop was a good place to take a shower and I took full advantage. My dispatcher also called to get the 411 on the broken-trailer-being-loaded-for-Fort-Collins situation and that got settled. My flu symptoms were still bothering me so I told him as long as we were short on freight in the area let the other drivers go ahead for a bit.
Later, he offered a run down to Atlanta, Georgia but the hours were short and I pointed out that I needed to be home this Thursday for some important matters. He spoke with the Georgia dispatcher to see if we had any freight that would slingshot me home from there and that didn't fly, either, so I was taken off of that load.
The QualComm went off an hour or so later and I was ordered to our yard to pick up a trailer headed to Mondovi, Wisconsin. Only 420 miles or so and I could deliver it any time the next day. Very few details on the load screen though.
I get over to the yard and head in for the paperwork only to find out I'm taking a brand new empty trailer belonging to a company called Marten out to their HQ in Wisconsin. Never one to pass up a light load in the summertime, I hooked up to the trailer and split. I even treated myself to a 63 mph pace for most of the way!
The final couple hours were over state highways in Iowa and Wisconsin, right as night was falling. This place was so far out in the boonies I had to dodge not one but two cows standing in the middle of the road. Arriving in tiny Mondovi I find the address listed on the bills but it turns out they have opened a new facility a mile or so away in just the past month. Getting to it was a bit of a problem because the industrial park in which it was located was so poorly lit, but the buildings themselves were first rate (even nicer than CFI's when I worked for them, which says something in my book).
The head mechanic was out on break when I arrived so I had chance to drop the trailer and park my truck before wandering around aimlessly. Then, a flurry of paperwork and he checked out the trailer to see if everything worked and I was off to a nearby dead-end street where I passed an uneventful night.
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