Scared to death… over nothing!

This morning I got up at 3 AM and ran my load from Waco, Texas to Laredo, Texas. It was originally due in Laredo at 0600 this morning but I know that almost none of the brokers we use are open 24 hours a day, and if they aren’t they almost never open before 0800 or 0900 so I had the delivery time bumped back to let me run down here easier. I arrived at our terminal for the trailer inspection in the eight o’clock hour and by nine I was in front of the broker, fourth in a line of CFI trucks waiting to get in. Naturally, they don’t open until 0930.

Eventually the broker folks arrived and got things sorted out and one-by-one the drivers dropped their trailers and drove back over to our terminal. When I returned and finished my paperwork I went by dispatch and wouldn’t you know it, they already had my trip home to Joplin waiting for me. I figured it was some load that a bunch of people had already passed on but as it turns out it is very light and the trailer is solid. Lucky me.

So, after taking care of a small issue with one of the trailer lights I refueled and pointed my rig north along I-35 and cruised up to New Braunfels, Texas which lies halfway between San Antonio and Austin.

I’ve been driving my truck for just under 100,000 miles at this point so when I enter a truck stop I have a routine I follow when I’m looking to park. I keep my eyes peeled for any easy backing situation (a pull through, a straight pull in, a slot with a lot of space in front of it, etc.) as I mosey through the lot then circle around and grab the best I can find. This time it was a spot on the end of a line of trucks where the parking lot changes a bit so there will be no truck parked next to me on one side. There was a bunch of space in front of my spot, with two trucks facing me and an open spot between them I could use to get aligned before I made a straight back.

So, I turn away from my spot and move the cab of my truck between these two trucks and come to a stop, preparing to put my rig in reverse. All of a sudden, my truck seems to lurch in reverse and no matter how hard I stomp on the brake pedal I can’t slow down!!!

It turns out that one of the trucks that I was positioning myself between decided to help me out by backing up a bit to let me make my turn and setup easier. From my perspective, though, it looked like I was suddenly in reverse and moving quickly, despite being out of gear and my foot on the brake.

Jim’s backing mastery: 0
Fresh pair of Fruit-of-the-Looms: 1

Sigh.

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