I got up this morning with a plan. A fine plan, involving delivering my load then taking the rest of the day off to rest and recuperate. It would be about six hours from where I stopped last night (the very last parking spot at a crowded T/A near Jacksonville, Florida) and that would be enough.
I was running long before dawn and made it to my drop in Columbia, South Carolina by 1100 local time. It was a single dock that some numbnutz had surrounded with tight cinder block walls but I made it in with one dinky pull up. The warehouse guy was on the ball and got me unloaded in a half hour or so and I’m thinking great, time to hit the truck stop and call it a day.
Run over to the nearest one and turn the truck off and am about to enjoy some soup when my satellite beeper goes off. Goes off with the sustained beep that I know means I have either a long form message or a new dispatch. Boom… I’m dispatched about an hour northwest to Laurens, South Carolina to a Michelin tire plant I’ve been to before.
“Can I pick up the trailer tomorrow morning instead of today?” I asked my fleet manager. No luck.
So I run an hour north, drop my old trailer, get the paperwork for the load then run around and find the loaded trailer. It is one of the newest in the fleet with the white and blue Conway logos, super-single tires, everything. Oh, and a heckuva oil leak coming from the back axle. Something that would have been obvious to the idiot who dropped the trailer there as he was STANDING NEXT TO IT WHEN HE SLID HIS TANDEMS BACK.
So, I call in to Road Service and wait. And wait. And wait. I wait about ten minutes on hold and finally someone answers and gives me the phone number to Duck Pye. I kid you not, there is a trailer repair joint in Greenville, South Carolina named Duck Pye.
Getting there is an adventure as it is located in the boonies and if your trailer doesn’t have a tire or suspension problem before you get there, the last turn you make and the road that follows is nearly certain to jar something loose.
The mechanics are quick and have me in and out in under an hour and by then it is about 1530 and it being the east coast, it is time to decide where to park. I know that a few miles away is a Pilot that I’ve been to before so I rush over… and get the next-to-last parking spot. The guy behind me took the last one next to my truck.
The load I’m on could have been a good one, were it not for the timing. I have five days to get it to Nogales, Arizona, a distance of 2,000 miles. Since the folks there don’t work weekends, I can’t deliver before Monday so I will just slog it through.
Oh, then I got beeped as I was leaving the trailer repair place. A certain “Tim Townsend” is tied for 5th place in the current recruiting contest. Lucky bastard.