My unload in Arlington, Texas included the run-of-the-mill issues that plague many loads. My truck wasn’t allowed past the entry gate right at the street so instead I had to use a call box next to the gate. There wasn’t a door available at my appointment time so go wait another ten minutes then come back and ask again. Ten minutes later, same drill. Eventually, I was given the secret handshake to get me through the gate and unloaded.
Except this isn’t like most other places we unload at. The consignee tells you what door number to take but you aren’t supposed to back up to the door fully. Instead, get it in the general vicinity and break the seal, taking it and the paperwork up to the receiving department at the other end of a long building. Or, in my case, walking back and forth a number of times to get these steps coordinated.
Then you are given a paper you put in the back of your reefer for the warehouse jockeys to use as they unload, THEN back up to the dock and chock your wheels. By this point I was tired of the games, a bit irritated and I rolled right over their stupid chock and by golly, it was in place in front of my tires right after. A bit flatter too, but that is so not my problem.
SMALL PHYSICS 101 NOTE: My combined truck and trailer weight, empty, approaches 18 tons. Chocking one or more of my wheels with a 6″ tall rubber mallet thing is about as effective as going to stop a rampaging elephant with a nerf bat. When I bump your dock and don’t want to move, nothing you have is going to change that. Conversely, when I pull away from your dock, no freaking chock is going to make any difference whatsoever. That is all.
It was a food warehouse so the entire place runs on what I like to call a relaxed schedule. They get to you when they get to you. Several hours later I got the paperwork and sealed everything back up, though one of their dock guys moved the chock before I could try my luck at running over it on the way out.
The street around this facility is basically a big square, entirely marked no parking. Despite this, trucks were lined up ten or fifteen deep the previous night and others during the daytime, as I did. The consignee certainly knew this when they built their warehouse there, and the police certainly are aware of the issue but no one cares. Waste of money on signage, in my book.
For a change our crack planning team hadn’t arranged a pre-plan so I waited and waited. Called in a few times, they’re getting right on it, yada yada. Around noon (six hours after my appointment time to drop off the previous load) the buzzer went off and I was to go about ten miles away to pick up a load of appliances headed for Kansas City, Kansas. Load information said it would be ready in about two hours, so I hustled over to drop off my trailer and start moving for the day.
It turns out the load planners hit the wrong button or something because, while it was a legitimate pickup number, the load wasn’t going to be ready until after midnight. So instead of picking up the load yesterday afternoon and running it to Kansas City last night, I had to do so first thing this morning and I’m a day behind.
The shipper told me I could park where I was in their bobtail parking area, since I had dropped off the trailer to be loaded. I slouched back out to the truck, rigged up my curtains, turned the APU on to max cool to handle the heat and spent the afternoon napping, watching TV, et cetera.
About 1800 the guards changed and the new guy knocked on my door. I answered by rolling down the window and he asked what I was doing parked in that spot. I told him the shipping folks said I could, to which he harrumphed and said that wasn’t his understanding of the parking situation. I replied that if he found out otherwise, I would move and he went away.
Thinking no more of it, I eventually went to bed and at 2000 the guard was at my door again. “Yes,” I growled.
“Its okay for you to park there, just wanted you to know.”
“Thank goodness, now I’ll rest easy. I’ll grab the trailer first thing in the morning if that is okay.”
It was and he went away. Until 0130 when again he banged on my door. I was groggy and mostly unclothed and I think I shouted a bit when I asked him what in the name of creation he wanted now. “Your trailer is ready!” he answered.
“Great, see you in the morning.”
He knocks on my door one more time and I’m going to hogtie him and see if his cute handheld radio will fit into any of his orifices.
Luckily, he left me alone and by 0415 I was on my way. Except for a 90-minute break at Lamar, Missouri to get a Blizzard and fill up my on board food supply at the Super Wal-Mart, I drove straight to the consignee. The freeways and side roads I needed to use to get to the consignee according to the directions were completely blocked off but my Germin routed me around with a minimum of fuss (“Recalculating!” again and again).
HQ messaged me to say there will be loads tomorrow but they are waiting on trailers so don’t hold my breath.