Monday, May 14, 2007

#5 on Site

I wouldn't say this has been the load from hell....not quiet. Almost but
not quiet.

It started off bad from the beginning. Old Screwups (TM) come back to
haunt me.

I recall once I was told that if I didn't have enough time to do it
right the first time then howcome I thought I'd have enough time to fix
it later? Truer words were never spoken.

Way back when....when I took that Lydell trailer back to Houston....and
swapped it for this sorry piece of anal excretion..er....I ment to
say.... lovely example of engineering excellence......I noted that one
of the pins on the rearmost pin-on axle wasn't "right". What they had
not done was put a washer between the clip and the trailer "dog-ears".
(technical terms). Not enough room....wrong pin...too short.

Well I argued the point with the trailer guys in Houston. I lost.

"Just take the trailer and get outa here...we don't have time to do it
over...and we don't have another pin." they said. "It'll be all right".

Not their exact words...but the meaning came thru. The sub-text being
"you stupid driver....we know better than you ...if YOU knew anything
YOU wouldn't be driving a truck....you moron". All unsaid....but clearly
understood. I run into that a LOT.

So....having no choice in the matter I took it....and left.

It actually held together for four rounds. This last round I lost the
pin. The keeper clip sheared and the pin fell out....along with all the
shims on that side.

So....I was bumpty bump on into El Paso .....didn't discover the
situation until I was preparing to load.....musta come out in the last
leg between Socorro NM where I spent the night and El Paso.

Soooooooo...I got on the phone with home base and "discussed" the
situation. I was informed that a "makedo" solution would work for one
round while they fed-exed another pin for me to use on subsequent
trips. The "makedo" soulution was to put a smaller pin in the side that
was missing one....since I had a smaller pin. (I hadn't been thru
Wyoming you see....I still had "stuff")

Oooookaaaay.

So....about four or five hours in the El Paso sun later..(putting in the
makeshift "stuff".repairing what was broke and missing...etc.) ..I was
ready to load....got loaded.

We headed out the next morning (Friday)....before sunup. The advantage
of this being less traffic and cooler going over the mountains.

Friday went smooth as silk. We got all the way to Dalhart Tx before
dark....got fueled up. I was really suprised in that my fuel consumption
was significantly LESS than other times. About $50 less.....compared to
the other trips.

Floyd and I had a good meal at a local eatery and hit the sack early.

Next morning (Saturday) we boogied early again.

Everything went fine. We met up with our Oklahoma escort a little after
dawn. He carried us across Oklahoma to Kansas and we toodled on. We
were significantly ahead of previous times and it looked as if we might
get to Grover early enough to get unloaded. Imagine that.

It all went into the toilet when we got on Ks96 heading west. Road
Construction....one lane road.

NARROW one lane with a lot of slope to it....bad JuJu.

So I stopped. A little guy from the contractor who was doing the
work....Brown and Brown it said on his pickup....rolled up and got all
huffy with me.

I showed him my Kansas permit authorizing me to be there....that took a
little of the wind outa his sails.

He then said that I had to sign some kind of a liability release before
he'd allow me to go thru the construction.

Nope....ain't gonna happen....signing the release I mean.

So.....we sat there for a few hours. All the time we'd gained just
evaporated.

Eventually they got done and the road was clear....we took out.

At Tribune we turned north again on Ks27. Good road. All went smooth
(bad sign) until we got to Goodland Ks.

The bridge where I-70 crosses Ks27 is marked at something like
15'4".......I was 16'll"....wouldn't fit.

Floyd and I fiddle around there for a while....eventually deciding there
was nothing for it but to turn around and go back....which we did.

About fifteen miles back up the road we ran into a cattle drive.

Honest to Pete.....several hundred head of cattle were being herded
across the road.....and the cows were NOT being cooperative. Floyd and
I sat
there and watched a regular rodeo..calf roping...wanna be bull
dogging....some wild bronc riding......everything but the clowns. One
little calf took off for "out yonder"....he just bout circled my truck
......with half a dozen cowboys (on horseback) hot on his heels. It was
a hoot.

But it took up time.....time we were running out of.

To make a long and tedious story short.....we eventually wound up in
Sterling Colorado....about six hours later than we had expected too.

Oh...did I mention that the "makedo" didn't?.....didn't work that is.

Nope....it come loose. In a relatively exciting manner too. In such a
manner as to elicit shouts of alarm and disbelief over the CB. Something
about
my left rear trailer tire showing daylight between it and the pavement.

Oh well...I'm just a driver....they said it'd work so this must all be a
figment of everybodies imagination....including mine. I'll just pretend
everything is
OK and carry on. "It'll be allright".

It was actually. I didn't hardly tear up toooo much. Nothing time and
effort can't fix.

We parked in Sterling saturday night and left out Sunday morning "not
too early" on the final stretch.

Not too far out of Sterling there was this nice young Colorado D.O.T.
officer set up on the side of the road...."all trucks exit here".

uh-oh.

I can just imagine what he's gonna say when he get's a look at my boo-boo.

Nothing I can do. I park on the shoulder and send Floyd ahead to see if
he wants to see us....since getting off the highway into his "Lot" is
gonna be a big
deal I was gonna wait until I knew for sure.

Lucky us...he waved us on.

We stopped at Herford for a lovely visit with the locals and some
breakfast...and on to the JobSite. It was shut down as expected....and
crowded with dropped trailers. Maybe ten...maybe twelve tower sections
there....more maybe...

I cut Floyd loose...did some paper work....un hooked from the trailer
and headed for Pine Bluff Wyoming.

There I met up with the Ragin Cajun...Special Ed....Corn Cob....and a
BUNCH of other drivers. We made a "night" of it at the Bar..(since
EVERYTHING else in town was closed....mother's day don't you know...)
and had a pretty good time.

This morning we all had breakfast then took out. About twenty trucks
bobtailing back to the WindFarm.

So.......here I am at the Pad Site...

Sitting here watching the wind blow. It's blowing pretty hard too. I
wonder if were gonna get unloaded today?

EvMick

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