Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Murphy's law...

At the time I'm working for Bison Transport, It's september 2008 and I'm on my last stateside run before I start city driving in Edmonton, what could go wrong?

I pick up my load of french fries in Taber,AB destined for Fullerton,CA. I back up to the trailer, set the brakes and get out only to see that I'm going to have to drop the trailer 2 feet in order to hook up, so I start cranking and the handle breaks off! I am able to use the remaining part in slow gear to drop the trailer, using my fingers to turn it (took 25 minutes :( ) Call the shop and get the OK to buy a new handle along the way. Hook up and the signal lights on the back of the trailer ar'nt working, go back to the cord and wiggle it, that does the trick. I enjoy hauling these loads because its always the same weight and your gross is usually 78,000 lbs. So I go scale on-site and my weights are 11,400 , 36,000, and 31,500. And my trailer bogeys are already all the way up! aghhhh! For those of you that dont know, 34,000 lbs is your maximum allowable weight on your trailer and tractor tires, prodiving they are both tandem, which I was. So I go back to the office and they rework it. 1 hr later and new paperwork because of the new seal I am now 11,400 , 33,800 , 33,700. PERFECT! My bridge is legal for California and I make the two hour trek to the border. I cross into Sweetgrass,MT around 1900 and I shut 'er down at the rest stop in town.

Next day making good time drive 640 miles to Willard Bay, UT fuel up at the J, take a shower and off to bed. Lots of parking for some reason!

Next day near Summit,UT I blow a trailer tire, 1/4 mile before the Summit truck stop, so I drive her into the lot and there is a tire truck right there! I call the shop and they give me a P.O, I ask the guy if he can help me, he takes a look and says he'll be back in 15 minutes, I also ask him if his shop would happen to have any dolly crank arms, he does! 1 hour later and I'm back south again, I make it to Barstow tonight, In 13 3/4 hours. Phew! Top up the tanks at the J, have a shower, and start my 36 hour reset (Canadian resets are 36 hr, so it's company policy to take 36 off)

Monday morning 4 am I leave Barstow, scales are closed veer off onto hwy CA60 west towards CA 57 south to CA 91 west. Take Brookhurst Street exit and turn right. And here is where the alarm starts going off, all my gauges are fine, so I keep on trucking, after all I'm only 3 miles from delivery, and there's no shoulders on the street. I get to my destination and back the truck in, they need the bogeys all the way back, this trailer dos'nt want to co-operate as It takes me 15 minutes just to slid them back. Call the shop and they tell me of a place that I can take my truck to. 40 minutes later I'm unloaded, slide tandems (easily) back to legal and am able to head north on the I-5 towards Sante Fe Springs to get my truck looked at. I call them up and ask if they have room for a trailer, answer is no but they suggest I park it on a nearby quiet industrial street. I'm weery of this as I dont have a pin lock but I go ahead and drop it. Turns out air is leaking thru my valves inside truck (parking brakes), they go up to the Freightliner shop in Whittier and 9 hours later they are back and have it installed. Its at this time that they notice I have a leaking brake pot as well, so its back to Whittier in the morning and its across the street for me to a hotel room. Next morning they have the brake pot and 2 hours later I'm out the door with no air worries and off to pick up my trailer. Where is my trailer!!! I call the police and ask If its been impounded or towed, no luck, so an officer comes down and I fill out a report. The call to the office was not a pleasant one... If you can imagine. I get rerouted and I bobtail up to Wheeler Ridge and get an empty out of IKEA. Then north to a salt factory in Corcoran,CA. Get loaded and spend the night in Fresno.

Three days later I drop the trailer off in Edmonton,AB and my stateside work is done. Nothing else happened back north but Murphy is always alive and well.

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