I’ve only been driving for two years, yet the job has become almost totally routine:
- Drive to Point A
- Pick up a load at Point A
- Drive to Point B
- Deliver load at Point B
- Rinse and repeat at a different Points A and B
I had picked up a load in Milwaukee (Point A) and was on my way south (which other direction can you go from MILWAUKEE). A mile or so down the road I felt a ripple in The Force and reached across to the passenger seat (carefully) for a peak at the Bill of Lading. The load assignment had said I was to deliver the load in Nashville (Point B). Danged if the BOL didn’t say Atlanta.
This was a first. I ALWAYS (normally, usually, from time to time) check the BOL to ensure that everything is in order. One of my personal trucking nightmare scenarios is getting to a receiver (Point B) only to discover that I grabbed the wrong trailer at a drop & hook.
Since I was still pretty close to the shipper, I could get back to the dock pretty easily, but I decided to pull over and call in first. I found a nice deserted church parking lot and pulled in. I managed to actually get through to my fleet manager and laid the discrepancy on her. I was somewhat concerned that I would have to drive back to the shipper, back into the dock again (which was kind of a mess), wait who-knows-how-long for a new load, then get back on the road just in time for a Milwaukee rush hour headed south to a worser Chicago rush hour.
After a few minutes of swapping emails with customer service, it was decided. I would take the load I already had to Atlanta. Evidently there was no load to Nashville, so I was able to get back out on the road and beat rush hour. A mistake had been made but it was a mistake in my favor since I was getting a longer route.
So on this occasion I picked up a load at Point A and got to deliver it to Point C. C for Cool.
I was on my home after about 10 days on the road. Getting home is usually a pain. It seems there are rarely loads going to Houston when I need to be home so I end up limping back to town in a series of 200 mile days. Not good.
This particular return from the midwest was shaping up the same way. I got a load from Chicago to St. Louis (just five blocks from Barack Obama Elementary School). After the better part of a day I got a load from East St. Louis to Garland, Texas. Probably another half day would be spent twiddling my thumbs (anybody out there remember that saying, or even better, that act?) waiting for the final load back to greater Houston.
Imagine my surprise when I got a preplan for a load before I even got to Garland that picked up in Garland . Even better, it would be at the same facility to which I would be delivering which was a large warehouse complex that served numerous companies.
It gets even better. I would be delivering and loading from the SAME COMPANY. You wouldn’t think it could get even better …
BUT IT DOES!
Checking into the shipping / receiving office (you may recall the place where I was jerked around by a clerk named either Maria or Marion) I encountered Jesus (cue celestial music: Ahhhhhhh!!!) Seriously, the clerk looked just like Jesus. And this Jesus performed a miracle.
He arranged things so I could back up to the door and be unloaded, and then be loaded at the SAME DOOR! I would have bet a month’s pay (no big deal, I admit) that I would have had to pull away from a receiving door and then back up to a shipping door. NO! Jesus lifted his staff and (Ahhhhhh!), I would be unloaded and then loaded without having to move my lazy a$$. This was HEAVEN (you should excuse the pun).
This was even slicker than a drop and hook with a loaded drop and a loaded hook from the same vendor, which come to think of it, I pulled off in Indianapolis not long ago.
Of course, this was even better since it was a live unload and live load, I didn’t have to crank down the landing gear, unhook from the trailer, then hook to another trailer. The only physical work I had to do was open the trailer doors before I backed up to the door and then close them after I pulled away from the door.
Double cool. Two memorable firsts.