Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm back in the houston yard.

(click on any picture to enlarge)

I really need to keep this blog more current. I'm way too far behind right now.

Oh goes.

So...'bout a week to ten days ago I left the house sunday about noonish and headed on to Tulsa Oklahoma. Things went fairly well and I got there a little before dark.

I'd never been here before and was kinda curious. It's a new acquistion for the company. We're expanding.

Being a weekend no one was around so I let myself in. I'd been given the combo for the gate.

Pretty nice yard. Lots of room. My idea of a "nice" view is an AirCraft runway or taxiway. Preferably for C-5's, B-52's or 747's....that size. Lots and lots of acres of open space. Room to move around. Nothing to hit. This yard, unlike most...approaches that ideal.

Ooops. What's that on the trailer?

So I made some calls and it turns out that I'm supposed to deliver that Joe-dawg to the Houston yard....on the way to Galveston.

(A joe dog is a one axel jeep. See it sitting on the front part of the lowwer deck of the trailer?)

This cuts into my schedule. I'm supposed to be in Galveston first thing Tuesday morning to load. To do that...with this added complication....means I have NO spare time.


So I did that little thing. Logs and safety does NOT want to know how I did it. The way I figure if they didn't want me to do something then they shouldn't ask me. It's not like I can actually say no or anything. I mean yeah...they SAY it's "up to the driver"...and non-forced dispatch...but watch what happens if you say "no" a couple of times. Everyone "looses" your phone number and you don't get any loads. Sooooooo... like an old sarge I had once in the air force used to say. "you can't make omelets without breaking eggs.".........or in this case....the rules.

So I had a grand adventure at the Houston yard getting the Joe Dog unloaded. It involved mostly sitting around waiting for the yard man to come unload me. I waited until about five oclock after having broken nine kinds of rules to get there early ...and he went home with out telling me he was going. Yup....just left me sitting.

So....another driver and I commandeered a forklift and unloaded it ourselves.....maybe I shoulda done that to begin with?

Of course now it's rush hour traffic...the freeways are at a standstill.

It's after dark before I get to a truckstop to fuel up for way I'm going to find a parking spot in Galveston this late. After 9-11 trucks are no longer allowed to spend the night on I sit right there. About a hundred miles out.

I'm up before daylight....waaay before....and heading to Galveston. I got a "little" bit of rest. A little.

I get there about 6:30 and after telling the guard what I'm there for he tells me to find a spot and wait...."they don't usually get here until eight....or nine".

Be there at seven to load......right.

At least the cranes are here....and I see a few tubes.

Since I'm supposed to load a base section I might as well snuggle down between a couple of bases huh?

Time passes........other folks are busy too. I bet THATS heavy.

That's one of the things I like about some ports....lotsa neat stuff.

I dunno what that is but I can guess. I'd say it's some kind of a vessel used in the oil and/or gas industry ....maybe at a refinery. What ever it is it's heavy. I can't even count the number of axels that "go-hopper" has..

I get the trailer all set up and ready to go and about three pm (get there at 7am to load....... riiiiiiiight)...the riggers come over and tell me where to get set up.

After some problems (there are always problems) we "get er done".
Ready to roll.

Tomorrow....too late today.

I'd ordered permits as soon as I got an idea of the dimensions....and the escorts had been notified. First thing tommorow we'll leave.

And so it transpired.

To make a long story short we prevailed. It was tough. Leaving from Galveston being almost seventeen foot tall was hard.
Heavy too....
..........climbing that was fun.

The way it'd go was I'd speed up to...oh....thirty miles per hour?....then the front escort would chirp...

"hit a wire...that big black one....high on the right."

And I'd hit the brakes...slowing to almost nothing.

The rear escort would come back...

"clear on the right"....

THEN I'd swerve to the right...or the left as the case might be.

We made almost two hundred miles the first day....only took eleven hours to do it.

But we did better than some.....this guy needed front and rear escorts AND a bucket truck.
.........course he didn't come out of Galveston. We met him way outa town.

We made four hundred miles the second day....more country, less city.

We logged almost 1200 odometer miles in Texas and traveled over sixty different routes.

Eventually we got there.

On a Saturday.

Thirty miles out in the sticks. Nobody here.

Those are all company vehickles. All pov's are gone.

I cut the escorts loose.

Now that's gonna leave a mark.

Somebody boo-booed.Glad it wasn't me.

I went to town....thirty miles away in Wyoming.

Be back monday morning.
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