I awoke to someone pounding on my door a few hours before my alarm was set to go off. Groggily, I climbed down from my upper bunk (it is about six feet off of the floor of the truck and even includes its own ladder!). At the last moment I noticed a potentially disastrous sequence of moves one can make lowering oneself from the perch which could, in an extreme circumstance, perform an immediate and most likely unwanted vasectomy.
Anyhow, it turns out to be a security guard for the underground installation I was overnighting at (outside in the parking lot, of course). He just wanted to know if I was making a delivery inside that night, to which of course I mumbled “you-horse-maggot-I’d-like-to-gouge-out-your-eyes-no”, stressing the final part. He seemed satisfied, or perhaps it was intimidated by my presence and left me be.
Alas, I could not get back to sleep after this so an hour later I did my pre-trip and headed out. I stopped at the Lamar, Missouri Wal-Mart to stock up now that I am fairly confident my refrigerator manages temperatures well. Too well, as it turns out: three hours later most of the water bottles I had placed inside were half ice. So I turned it down a notch.
One of the really nice things about having this APU is that it has a setting that leaves it off but in a monitoring mode. When it sees the batteries running low, it starts up and charges them, then shuts back off. Same with the engine fluid temperatures which lets the big diesel start easier. Anyway, it means I don’t have to run the APU all the time in order to ensure power remains on and my cold stuff remains cold.
money some reason I was taken fifteen miles out of route to fuel at the Pilot in Joplin instead of the Flying J directly on my route on the other side of town. The company saves a buck or two, but I’m stuck with the driving, which isn’t a good deal for a company driver in my book.
Anyway, I eventually make it down to a ConAgra plant in Russellville, Arkansas and drop off my fully loaded trailer. They don’t have any empties so my new fleet manager helpfully asks if I had checked the Americold facility nearby. No, I had no idea they were in town or we had any trailers there, so he pretty please sent me directions. Turns out they had an assortment of empties there, so I grabbed one.
The second pre-plan I got yesterday had me retrace my steps back to Fayetteville, Arkansas to a Tyson plant to pick up a load headed to Arlington, Texas. After I arrived at the plant, was strip searched and patted down by an overly-enthusiastic grandmotherly type, I was allowed to fill out some forms, collect a reflective garment and enter the plant. Only to find out that the 30 pallets of whatever I was supposed to grab this afternoon won’t be “produced” until 0600 tomorrow at the earliest.
I phoned in the news and our people and there people jawjacked for a spell, while I cooled my heels. Eventually, I decided to head over to the only truck stop in town and wait it out. It is a smallish Pilot with parking for about two dozen trucks tops but I managed to grab the space from a truck that was pulling out right as I was entering the parking lot. Took me a while to get what should have been an easy back done properly; this Volvo is easier to back in some respects but I haven’t yet absorbed the different turning rates and viewing angles to make my life easier.
Finally, consensus was reached and the galaxy can continue on its path again. I will get loaded at 0600 (“it will be ready by 0600”, I’m told) then run it over to Texas to be delivered a day late. Sunday morning, instead of Saturday morning.
Such is the life.