Thursday, September 26, 2013

Digging thru old stuff and I come up with this...

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So I’m sitting in a small truck stop in north central Illinois.  I have a problem.
I picked up an excavator at the shipper in Rockford and it’s HEAVY.  I just scaled it and I’m 14 on my steer,62 on my drives, 54!!!! on my trailer tandems and only 26 on the stinger.  This is not good.
So….it’s time to shim.
I look up and there’s cop cars.  Lots and lots of cop cars.  Disco lights like in the seventies.
Not my problem. My problem is  I have to shim.  How do I do this?
So I drag out every piece of lumber that I have and build ramps in front of the rear wheels of my trailer. The goal is to get the trailer’s rear up in the air as far as possible.  Four inches would be nice….six would be better. That way I can “spread” the spreader bar.
After an hour or two of hot sweaty work I accomplish this.  It’s getting dark.  The disco lights have consolidated.  I managed to put about another inch of shims between my trailer and the spreader bar.  I lowered the ride height on the trailer neck to decrease the anticipated increase in weight there, as well as remove the overage that already existed.
Now I need to weigh. I really should wait until tomorrow to weigh.  The cops are swarmed all around the scale.  If I move I’ll probably loose my parking space  since the place is filling up.  But I won’t sleep a wink not knowing if I’ve got it right or not, and I really need to be able to leave at first light.
What to do?
A security guard comes walking over.  Now that I’m done working she comes to visit.  It seems that there has been Union Trouble in the neighbor hood.  She’s been hired to “watch the cargo” to prevent any union thugs from slashing airlines, airbags and what not.  The union thugs had been doing that.  It seems there is a windmill project nearby that the Union wanted a piece of so they were muscling in.  Unions do that.  Not a word about it on the internet or in the news.
AHA! I think.  The solution to one of  my problems.  I draft her.
“Guard my parking spot while I go weigh” I told her.  (you have to be firm….Security Guards  respect that)
After some hemming and hawing she agreed.
I pulled out and around and up to the scale.  The cops were still in the way.  They had this one dude spread eagled on the ground.
I gave the air horn a tug and they looked up.  I waved them away from the scale. You have to be firm.  Cops respect that.
They moved, I weighed, and pulled on back around to my protected parking spot, thanked the guard and went in to get my weigh ticket.
The weights were OK so I come back to the truck and went to bed.
Flash forward to today.  I’d delivered the load in Harligen Texas yesterday and was heading back to Houston empty.  I have to go thru the  “wetback check” on Highway 77 heading north.
Done it a million times, here or elsewhere.
This time was different.  It seems the drug dog alerted at my truck.
I was required to exit the truck, they patted me down, I was escorted to a holding area while they searched my truck.  All very polite and all but tense.  Very tense. This is NOT the time to be firm.  I don’t care about respect.  The guy has a gun and he’s nervous.
They didn't find any thing  naturally. My attempts at humor fell flat.  I went on my merry way.
Drugs.
I’m getting really tired of drugs.  I don’t use any drugs except caffeine (coffee and chocolate) , some ethanol(beer) , and some nicotine(ceegars).  All legal last I heard when used sensibly.  I could care less what other’s do.  I figure more people have died in Ted Kennedy’s car than…..well never mind.
I say we call off the “War on Drugs”.  Surrender and go home.  That’s what we did in Viet Nam and what were doing in the ‘stan  now, right?
Prohibition proved what works and what doesn't work.  We should learn from that lesson.
Doesn't matter if Mrs. Grundy doesn’t like it.  Tough.
Less nervous young boys with guns facing down annoyed truckers that way.

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I'm thinking about gathering up all of these old posts that I made for "life on the road" that I can find and bundling them into e-books'  Let's say eighty or ninety thousand words with pictures if available.

What do ya'll think?


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