Sunday, October 28, 2012

A few days I would like to forget…


I am not really sure where to exactly begin on this post.  We have been through so much this past week.  But before I begin with my story I need to bring you up to date with what Irene and I have been working on. 

I have to admit that as of late, I have been very negative.  For some reason I just assume the worst is going to happen.  So Irene has decided that I need a big dose of “positive thinking”.  She felt that if I start looking at things in a positive way, then we would have a better outcome at the end.  So I thought, why not, anything is worth a try.  So the following paragraphs to follow are the results of my “Positive Thinking”.   

So now for our past few days…we were running a load from Lyon Station, PA down to Laredo, TX.  We then received a message on our Qualcomm to drop that load in Lancaster, TX at our terminal and then pick up a trailer at our freight terminal in Dallas that would be headed to Blythe, CA. No big deal really until we found out that it was a dedicated route and we had to cover it for 3 trips… that was problem #1.  So it was out to California, back to Dallas, then back to California, back to Dallas then back to California…boring!  We like to see different country everyday…not the same old same old.  Problem #2, on our last run out of Dallas we took a stone chip to the windshield that made about a 6” crack. I called our road service department and they advised us to bring the truck to Joplin (our main terminal) for repair ASAP.  Dispatch would work on routing us to Joplin. The entire time I am thinking “positive thinking”, I need to practice “positive thinking”. Problem #3, when we arrived in Blythe, California to drop our final loaded trailer we found out that there were no empty trailers available. Dispatch advised us to bobtail to Los Angeles to pick up an empty trailer and then head to Oakland, California for our next load. Problem #4, that’s 580 miles, our windshield is broken and we need to go to Joplin. Dispatch said they were heading us in…yeah, the long way. So off to LA…220 miles later and guess what? Problem #5, no empty trailers there either. So dispatch sends us over to Santa Fe Springs to another one of our yards and finally we have an empty. So off to Oakland we go…and at 5am the next morning we are finally loaded and on our way to Kansas City, KS. This “positive thinking” has to kick in here at any moment now.  As we leave Oakland it is 53 degrees and raining.   Ok, I’m thinking nothing has gone right so far with this “positive thinking” crap Irene, but oh well I will try to focus really really hard on it.  About 30 minutes later and with me behind the wheel we encounter problem #6.  I crest a small hill with a curve on I-80 and 3 cars are spun out with 2 cars against the guardrail and one car in my lane sitting with his 4ways on. I had all I could do to get the truck slowed safely and quickly as possible without crashing us as well. I thought for sure Irene was going to roll out of the bed and be lying on the floor next to my seat with how fast we slowed and weaving to avoid a collision with the other cars. After several deep breaths and a few choice 4 letter words we rolled on…I guess we could have crashed, but we didn’t. ”Positive thinking”, “positive thinking”. 
Ok, so maybe my luck is really changing. NOT! I noticed the temperature was dropping and the radio was saying snow in the mountains but I really didn’t think much of it. As we approached the base of Donner Pass which is an 8000’ summit that you pass over on I-80 we found the road was blocked by DOT. The mandatory chain law was in effect, which is now problem #7. Temps were in the 30’s and it was snowing. Irene and I do not have our winter clothes in the truck yet. After a few more 4 letter words I installed the tire chains and we spent the next 30 miles or so at 25mph heading up and over to the base on the east side where they allowed us to remove our chains. I was soaked from head to toe and as I climbed back into the truck I asked Irene where is the positive side to this problem?  She replied with “it’s heating up in the microwave right now”…chicken noodle soup. It did really hit the spot. So once again we are rolling and back to normal heading into Nevada…where problem #8 arrives…another stone to the windshield. This time it’s a 1” crack…no sense on calling in this one cause we are already headed in. Next stop Utah, where we made it through without any drama but a while later as we were heading through Wyoming I found myself passing another 18 wheeler where problem #9 arrived…a dead mule deer laying on the edge of the passing lane and nowhere for me to go…oh well it’s already dead so it won’t feel anything…sorry mule deer…I only ran over the legs so don’t everyone freak out on me…lol
Onto problem #10…we run an additive in our truck called DEF that we fill whenever we stop for fuel…not all fuel stops have this and we have an info sheet in our truck which tells us who does and does not carry it. So we chose our next stop for fuel and upon arriving there is a sign saying “ NO DEF”…are you kidding me…we fueled with diesel and I told Irene that we would have to stop at the next available place on our sheet to get DEF. When we got there the place had only 3 pumps working and there were about 10 trucks waiting for fuel…a few more 4 letter words and we left knowing that if our next location didn’t have it we were going to be in trouble. I couldn’t help but ask Irene how that positive thinking is working for us now…(she explained I was not using the positive thinking correctly). I didn’t realize it came with directions…lol  I told Irene I was done with the "positive thinking" crap.  Well the next stop had our DEF plus they also had a McDonalds…COFFEE YEAH!  

Well we delivered in KC and I said to Irene that looking back at the past couple of days something needed to change…it seems as though bad luck has hit us at every turn, even though we were trying to stay positive. Well they dispatched us to our next load in KC going to Springfield MO. and then onto Joplin for repair. (Finally)  When we arrived at our pickup they asked us to back up to dock #7…lucky #7…as the warehouse guy was ready to load us he said I will have you loaded in 10 minutes. I timed him and it was 7minutes…lucky #7 again. After receiving our paper work we noticed the weight was 44, 634…pretty heavy and also that we needed to be at our delivery before 3pm or they would not unload us until the next day. I wanted to scale the truck to make sure we were legal but we were short on time…the smart (and right) thing to do was scale it…but hey we have the lucky 7’s working for us. There was only one scale that we would have to cross so I crossed my fingers and when we got there it was closed…and guess what, it was on route 7…that’s right…lucky #7.

Oh yes our luck has changed! Oh the power of "positive thinking" you ask?  I don’t think so…LOL.  I will keep you all posted!