I spent yesterday at the ThermoKing and Volvo dealers getting various parts of my truck and APU serviced, fixed, repaired, greased, examined, spindled and/or mutilated. My complaint list exhausted, the fine folks at the Volvo place even pointed out an indoor wash bay down at the end of their facility that I was welcome to use. It even included a heated power sprayer! Needless to say, I spent about 15 minutes getting the hang of it and washing off most of the salt, sand and other road grit off of my truck.
This morning I met with Ross C., head of operations to empty my spleen over that trip back on December 1st. The one where I had to wait eight hours at the shipper then another twelve at the consignee. Apparently, since no one called them about detention while I was at the shipper we (or should I say, I) am entitled to squat. We went over the particulars and he has sent out some feelers to others in our organization to see if there isn’t something can be done, as they say in the south.
I’m glad I went in to talk to dispatch and the planners, as my dispatcher had me off until tomorrow which would have been nice for the laziness factor but not so nice for the paycheck.
Soon after yacking with the locals at HQ a trip plan was sent out over the satellite. The instructions to get to the shipper were telling: (paraphrased) “Go west along a state highway from Omaha about 100 miles. Turn left down a gravel road. Go 6-7 miles and the shipper will be on the left.”
Making things ever-so-much-more interesting, the weather report for today is grave. A frosty ice storm is due to blanket much of the region starting in the mid-to-late afternoon. I departed Omaha as soon as I could grab an empty trailer.
The directions were actually pretty accurate, and a few hours later I arrived at a place I describe as The House on the Ass-Edge of Civilization:
I’m pretty sure if you were to follow that road around the bend there you would fall off the face of the planet or something. We’re talking the serious boonies here.
As is so often the case with these ad-hoc business locations, the dock situation borders on the ridiculous. Basically, you have to make a left turn into the property, thread your way between (live) power poles, avoid missing a shack on one side and a house on the other, then pivot backward around a stack of pallets obstructing your view to the dock while missing the one pole that other drivers haven’t seemed to be able to miss. To wit:
The house you see in the middle of the picture behind the trees has been converted into the office for this place. It is very homey, with a few cats and dogs underfoot.
Here’s a shot towards the dock (see how clean my truck looks?) and the poorly placed power pole:
It was 17 degrees when I arrived and there were snow and ice flurries flitting about when I left, plus a lot of fog. I boogied as fast as I safely could to the south to try to stay out of the worst part of the storm, and mostly succeeded. As I headed south into Kansas the temps slowly started to creep up until I arrived in Dodge City, Kansas and a balmy 42 degrees.
This load is due any time Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona. If I knock out 600-650 miles tomorrow I should be able to roll into Phoenix noonish or so with some hours left over to head out to the next load with.