Word from HQ was to boogie up to Independence, Missouri for a load of boxes to be dropped off in Macon, Missouri. About three hours drive time to get to the load and another two-and-a-half to run it. Afterwards, boogie back to Kansas City, Kansas for a load heading up to Omaha for the night. It sounded remotely possible when I got it (670ish miles, depending on the route) and I kicked Ole Bessie into top gear as I headed up from Springfield.
I would be loading at an underground facility I’ve been to many times before. The docks are a bit difficult to get into but once you know a trick or two it makes them uncomplicated. See, here is my truck at one of the normal docks that I’ve been to before:
(This is my old company truck before I switched over to my leased truck)
What this picture doesn’t show is the area in front of my truck that I use to turn around in. This isn’t a great shot but suffice it to say there is a dock similar to the one I’m backed in to across the “street” from where I park that I first pull in to nose first then back across the “street” to get into that dock:
It is nicely lit, the “street” is a bit narrow but it works, there is room to work with.
When I rolled up last night outside the caves I called in, as is custom, and they told me I would be at a different set of docks. The instructions were illuminating: (various turns) then “You’ll have to turn the wrong way, ignore the ‘No Trucks Allowed’ signs and back down this street about 75 yards to the docks. Good luck.” Oh baby.
Eventually, I back down the correct street and find the docks I’m supposed to be at. Only, the width of the street in front is about 75% of what you see above and worse, there not only is no dock facing my dock that I can use to pull up in to, the way is blocked with low clearance signs hanging from the ceiling:
I know the image is blurry (my hands were still shaky), but note the yellow hanging sign in the foreground and how narrow the dock area itself is.
What I had to do was a standard alley dock but in extremely close quarters, beginning from where I took this photo:
And a better view:
It was such a tight back that I was completely jackknifed on the turn to barely eek out enough room to pull forward a few feet up to the hanging sign in the first blurry pic to get lined up. This took almost 20 minutes of backing-and-filling and even though I’m an experienced driver with a strong clutch leg, it was like spaghetti at the end.
Let the record reflect, however, that I hit nothing on the way in or out.
What, pray tell, was my hollaback girl doing this entire time? Watching my blind side? Helping me out with soothing advice or a nice cup of chamomile tea? Noooo, she was enjoying the 90-95 degree heat in her slum condo:
The load was only 22,600 pounds, a rarity and it was easy enough to run up to Macon, Missouri and drop off, only to find there weren’t any empty trailers there. Orders came through to bobtail back to KC for my next load and away I went.
The shop recently replaced my load leveling valve and I have a new set of tires and Oh Baby, my truck drives like a Caddy again!
By the time I reached Kansas City, Kansas it was nearly midnight and I had been working without pause for almost 12 hours. I had a quick snack when I had my original trailer washed out and a few personal need breaks here and there but otherwise it was door shut and hammer down. Unfortunately, I needed another hour or so to complete a run up to Omaha that didn’t have enough time on it to fit in a break so that trip got canceled.