There are days in trucking, as in all other fields of endeavor, where you just want to go back to bed and pretend like it didn’t happen. Today is one of those days!
So we make our delivery about 7 hours early to FedEx in Georgia and WHOOSH! We immediately get a new pre-assignment. Fantastic! Wish it always worked this well. We review our assignment and note that though the pick up at MeadWestVaCo Corporation is a scant 136 miles away it is conveniently a 24/7 operation but the delivery in Loredo, TX is not. Boo. So there is a whole lotta wait time involved in the ETA’s at the other end.
That’s not really that bad because if we deliver early, Schneider might let us drop the trailer in the OC yard and pick up a new load, letting a local driver deliver this load the next day. Now we also noted in our pre-assignment that this MeadWestVaCo Corp. was very strict in their acceptance of trailers. No older than 10 years, no light showing in trailer, yada, yada, yada. Well, my experienced truckerman husband checked the one and only empty trailer at FedEx for us to take and said it was fine. Famous last words.
Well, naturally, when we arrived, at 2:25 p.m., the security gaurd of said MeadWestVaCo Corp. went inside of our empty trailer and had that Truckerman of mine close the doors tightly. Wouldn’t ‘cha know it? The guard found a one inch strip of light coming in at the front of the trailer on the floor. Trailer refused.
They had us drive to a distant lot, drop this bad, bad trailer in the “bad trailer” section and return to report to the shipping office. There we were politely told that had we brought in a good trailer, we would have been ‘live loaded’ and sent on our merry way in an hour. But alas he had no empties for us to use.
So we bobtailed to a nice quiet spot, called our 2nd shift and explain our dilemma. Well, they kindly figured out we could go to a WalMart Distribution Center (DC), a mere 53 miles away, but we had to go get the empty first. So la dee da, dee da, dee da, we go get the empty and we drive the hour and a half to get to the WalMart DC, (oh did I mention there was mucho activity in the town so we had to go at a crawl to get thru it?)
Well VIOLA! We make to the WalMart Distribution Center and lo and behold what do they say to my Truckerman? Why kind sir, thank you for coming all this way to visit us but alas, we do not allow you to swap an empty for an empty, no siree bob! We don’t. (Ok, so maybe they weren’t that nice, but you get the gist.)
Again, we find a nice quiet place to park, call our 2nd shift, relay our tale and are told they will call us back when they find a resolution. Funny thing, tho, no call is received. We suffer through a massive influx of Qualcomm messages, deletions, reinserting, and whew, we finally figure out, we must take this rejected trailer that is quite fine to ANOTHER WalMart Distribution Center only 83 miles away! Huh? Aren’t they going to just turn us away too?
Ok, ok, not being one to buck the system, (HA!) I gently and soothingly calmed my Truckman down (HA!) and we journey the next two hours seeking the new oasis of acceptable trailers. (Did I mention I was supposed to be sleeping this entire time to get ready for my shift of driving?) Once there, much to our surprise the gal at the guard gate had NO problem letting us enter and exchange an empty for an empty. She was so helpful, she directed us to one of the very pretty new trailers, which amazingly enough looked grand hooked onto our new chariot. I shoulda taken a picture.
Then, my Truckerman had me lock him in the back of the trailer so he could ascertain its readiness for the grand pubah of inspections and HORRORS, after teasing him that I was going to leave him in there, I couldn’t open the door! After a mighty struggle, and looking around for help that never came, I was finally able to wrench him out.
Another two hours drive on a two lane, twisting, back country, goat trail, (where does that Naviwench come up with these directions?) we finally make it back to that monstrosity of a factory and they accept said new trailer. WHEW, and it is only 10:30 p.m. Sheesh! Now on to the live load and I’m going to try to get a couple of hours sleep. (Did I mention my Truckerman never fed me this entire ordeal?) So I made us a couple of sandwiches, finished this post and am off to bed.
Oh, and if you hear my Truckerman pounding from the inside of the trailer, ignore him. 🙂