Monday, August 22, 2011

This Week's Travels (late edition)

Hello readers I hope all is well with each of you. This weeks blog is a little late, but it's here none the less. I'll try to do better in the future, but no promises:-)
Well if you caught last weeks post, you know that I ended up leaving my truck at Fleet Maintenance & Compliance Center in Woodworth, La in order to get my front right airbag replaced and have a full PM done on my truck.
I paid my bill ($712.00) and headed out.
I picked up my first load for the week at Chopin, LA. It was a load of plywood destined for Newton, MS. I didn't leave there until late that evening, so I didn't get unloaded until the next day. I think it was at this time that the universe got altered somehow, because the rest of the week turned into a nightmare for me (btw, my 18th anniversary was Friday, so you know things are gonna go bad;-))
I delivered it to Newton a little late, but luckily they were running low on the very plywood that I had on my truck, so they unloaded me.
Dispatch quickly put me on a load in Beatrice, AL going to Alexandria, LA. I delivered it on Tuesday, then turned around and got another load from Chopin, LA to Newton, MS again.
After my second Newton run they had a couple of hours worth of trouble finding me another load. This is the first time that I have had to sit any amount of time waiting for a load since I've contracted with Protected Cargo.
The load that they found was in Philadelphia, MS. it was a lumber load going to downtown Chicago, IL. After loading this load, I made it all the way to the MO scale at Steele, MO. I was selected for a random DOT inspection. They checked all my paperwork including my logbook. They checked it hard! The only problem they found was that I did not have my IFTA permit, but I did have my stickers. That didn't matter to them. They said that I could buy a temporary permit for $10 that was only good in MO. I only had $5 in cash and they would not take a check. Thank God for good Samaritans! There was another driver, whose name I did not get, that gave me $5 to cover the permit. I then went to the next truck stop and parked until morning, and had my company fax me another permit. THANKS DEE DEE!
So the next day I'm rolling up through IL and I call my receiver to find out what time they stop taking loads. Would you believe they stop receiving at 230pm?! WHAT THE HECK?
There was no way that I was going to make it in time, so I parked 30 miles out of the city, got up early and unloaded the next morning.
It is now Friday, my 18th anniversary. The day that I wanted to get home and take my wife out-of-town for the weekend! I am 1000 miles from home, but I can still salvage a good chunk of the weekend, if I can just get loaded and not have anymore problems LOL!
My next load is 200 miles away in Terre Haute, IN. Upon arriving there they tell me that since all of their employees are TEAMSTERS, and they don't want to pay them overtime, I'll have to wait until the next day to get loaded. I was fuming mad. I offered a couple of "the teamsters" $100 to load my truck. They agreed, and I headed home. By the way, the load was going to Ringgold, LA by way of my house.
Well, I'm heading down Interstate 57 through IL and I noticed that a few trucks flashed their lights at me. I didn't think much of it since I had my CB on and no one was trying to get my attention on it. Crossed the Mississippi River into MO, pulled into the scale, stopped and got weighed, pulled back on the Interstate and called my bride.
Before she even answered the phone I looked in my mirror and realized that I had a problem. It looked as though I didn't have any trailer lights. I hung up the phone, took the next exit, and checked things out.
Sure enough, no lights! I had just gone through a DOR scale in MO without a single marker light on my trailer.
Long story short, I went to bed, finished the ride home on Saturday, and spent a few hours with my wife and kids.
My settlement for week 4 is coming up in a few minutes, so be watching for it!
Be safe and God bless!!

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