Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Been a Bad day....but nothing's broke.

Except for my patience.

I suppose it could have been worse. I suppose.

I got up before daylight and made coffee. STRONG coffee cause it was gonna be an eventful day. After I drank about half a pot I wandered on over to the Plant. Got there just before they officially opened.

Lotsa trucks there already. End of the month and they're trying to get everything shipped. Did I mention that I wasn't hauling a baby 'vator?

Nope. Scott called yesterday and told me they had a Big Boy going to Texas. Good deal. I was to be over at the Plant first thing....and they'd unstack and load me as they got time....it might be a while.

So....I did...and they did. It went supriseingly well actually. I was outa there ...permit in hand....all paperwork signed ...before ten.

It went downhill after that.

I went back to a TruckStop up the road that I knew of... that I could
(relatively) easily get onto their Cat Scale. It was still a chore but I
managed. Being 86 foot long, 12 wide and not able to back up easily made it more fun. Not to mention all the rookie van haulers who parked where ever it suited them.

(Park in a Parking space?.....we don't need no stinking parking space!!!!)

It was an obstacle course. I barelly managed to get on the scale. Then I followed the directions of the CatScale-representative that my Beautiful Bride (tm) had procured for me.....and walked up to the call-box.

Now I'm no midget. I'm just about 6 ft tall but even so it was kinda hard to reach up and press the call button. ....barely touching it with my finger tips. It's designed for drivers sitting IN their trucks...not standing on the ground. But to do a split weigh I had to leave the truck back yonder and call from on the ground.

Wait...wait...wait....no answer.

The call button was one of those "new" types. No tactical feedback.

Not being able to really tell if I'd pressed it or not the first time I
pressed it again.

Wait....wait...wait.....no answer.

So I did my Basket Ball player imitation. Hoop shot. Jump up (big jump...ha...three inches?) and slap the call button.

Got an answer...

"Will you STOP it?....I'll get to you when I'm ready!!"

So I got in the truck and drove off. Kinda ticked.

At the Wilco Hess at exit 320 on interstate 75 in Georgia. They'll get to you when they're ready.

So....I went on back down to exit 306...there's at CatScale at the so called "All American Truck Stop". It's quiet a bit harder to get onto. I manged....barely.

"First weigh or re-weigh?" The girl operating the CatScale answered.

I told her I was doing a Split-weigh cause I was too long for the scale
and that it had to be done in two parts.I told her that after she got THIS weight I was going to have to go back and move the truck and then we'd weigh it again...

OK?

Yup....ok.

Got it?

Got it.

So I went back and moved the truck and then came back and pressed the button again.

"First weigh or reweigh?"

(sigh).........(count to ten....)

"Do you recall just a minute or two ago ..think back now....that you and I had a lovely technical discussion concerning the specifics of a split-weigh ?" I asked.

"Huh....what?....oh yeah...sure....I got it". she said.

I bet she did.

Not feeling any too confident about the situation I parked the truck
....avoiding all the rookies ......

(park in a parking space? what parking space?....we don't
need no stinking parking space!!!)



................and went in to get my scale ticket.

Not going into any details...but it was ugly. No...she didn't "get
it". I don't think she could .........er....nevermind.

I left. Didn't get weighed.

I needed to be going anyway....my escort had called and was enroute. With any luck she'd get to the Alabama/Georgia line about the same time I did. With any luck.

No luck.

Atlanta was Nutz. Why do people have to drive like that?
.............and about the time I got onto 85 out of Atlanta heading to
Alabama I encountered construction.

That only made the experience more interesting.

The best was yet to come however...just at the most appropriate time....while I was in heavy traffic....narrow shoulder....construction.....truck passing me on the left and a broke down four-wheeler on the very narrow right shoulder ahead...

(Are we all gonna fit thru there?....you'd think someone would "give" a little?...I gotta slow down to almost a stoooooooooooop...)

............................The phone rang.

Dispatch.....Alabama wasn't issuing me a permit.

Wonderful.

And the escort is sitting at the line.

Great.

It just keeps getting better.

So....to make a long story short. I pulled into the Georgia D.O.T. Weigh Station just east of La Grange Georgia and asked the nice young fellow if he'd weigh me.....and tell me what the weights were.

This startled him just a little but he complied. (Weigh you?...at a weigh station?....DUH!)

Everything was peachy. All the axle weights were acceptable as was the gross weight. I pulled on into their parking area and called
dispatch.

We discussed alternate strategies. Not too many available..have to reroute...and dispatch said they'd order an amended permit.

That was at ...about one-thirty pm eastern.

Come five pm. eastern still no permit. I left the Weigh Station and
went to a truck stop. Right now I'm watching a Schnieder National trainer TRY to teach a trainee how to back that big ole 53foot trailer into a parking space. It'd be embarassing if it wasn't so scary.

(park in a parking space? what parking space?....we don't need no stinking parking space!!!)

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