Up at 0300 (0400 my time) and running this morning. Zipped through Phoenix along the 101 and out to the west. State route 85 to the south, then I-10 east all the way to the California border, where I (and every other truck I saw) was pulled in to the scale for a full-blown inspection.
License, medical card, truck registration, turn your head and cough. Left turn signal, right turn signal, high beams. Blah blah blah.
My truck was fine but the inspector found that one of the four brakes on the trailer wasn’t working properly. It looks fine on a pre-trip, mind you, but it doesn’t work when the service brake is used. Trailer gets written up, I get a fix-it ticket and a kick in the butt and I’m running the final few miles to Calexico to get the load delivered.
I always realize about five seconds too late when I’ve turned into a business that I have no business turning in to, in a big rig. In my own defense, I thought there was a way through to the other side of the L-shaped building but I was wrong, and there wasn’t enough space to turn around to hit “dock 3 or 4” that they wanted me to. What followed was a squeaker of a blind-side u-turn then backing up a ways before setting up for the final 90 degree turn into the dock. The smarter truckers (read: the ones that had been there before) that followed after me drove past the entrance on the street then backed in, as I should have.
Afterwards the wait began. After the hour you’re supposed to wait before pestering, I pestered my dispatcher with a short message. “Still waiting,” he replies. No, really?
An hour or so after that I called, but got his voice mail.
A while after that I called and he gave me the cheerful news that there are several other drivers in California that are waiting on loads.
I’ve noticed that it is tough getting a load on a day where you finish up with only four or five hours left to run. I would think that they would just have you deadhead for a load the following day, but it doesn’t appear to work that way most often.
My GPS located a small truck stop about six miles north so I moved up there and, as of now, plan on parking for the night. Hopefully a load will present itself in the morning.