Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Another Day in Trucking Paradise

I've mentioned that the company I drive for manufactures and delivers steel and fiberglass tanks used in a wide variety of industries, most notably oil and ag. I've hauled tanks to water treatment plants, chemical manufacturers, biodiesel and alcohol plants. My company isn't the only one selling our tanks, though. There are several companies that sell our tanks as part of an integrated storage and containment solution, for instance. The customer tells them what they want, and the reseller contracts the tanks from us.

Which is all fine and dandy most of the time. However, it is one more link in a chain that can break. Yesterday and this morning, I was under the impression that the tanks I am hauling were destined for Princeton, IN - a small town in the extreme southwest portion of Indiana. A call from my boss this morning set that myth to rest - the salesman had screwed up and told us the wrong frakking state! Turns out I'm to go to Princeton, KY - luckily not all that far from the original destination.

But, it meant my permits were all wrong, so back at headquarters, our crack staff had to apply for new permits to get me to my new destination. My permits going through Illinois were correct up to a point, so I was able to keep traveling while the permits were received. A phone call to me, a truck stop with a fax machine, and voila - back in business.

Except not so much. The actual destination is a small town near Princeton KY and it's easier to get there a different route than my permits show. Sigh. Plus the customer really doesn't want me on site until around noon tomorrow. I shut down at 2pm today in Paducah because of the lousy conditions on site. Winter has struck this area as it has most of the Midwest. I wasn't really all that upset to quit early today - freezing drizzle was turning my truck into an ice sculpture, and law enforcement personnel have a dim view of oversize loads moving in this sort of stuff.

So, I'll go out to the site tomorrow morning and gamble that after I get unloaded, I'll be able to leave. If I have to, I can chain up, and this truck has both the interaxle differential lock and the less common differential lock, so it will spin all the wheels rather than just the "kitty corner" ones. Might be testing that feature out for the first time. This is also the first time I've been to Kentucky - too bad it's in the glum dead of winter.


Frank W. James said...

Yeah, it's slick. Coming home today from Lafayette on I-65, north bound just after US 25, I saw a 3 car spin-out in the mirror behind me. A semi behind them almost collected the last of the three. I'm sure someone somewhere in that mess needs a change of underwear. Minor damage, but Major action for a moment.

Stay Safe.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Farm.Dad said...

"and this truck has both the interaxle differential lock and the less common differential lock" Let me know how that works out lol . It sounds good , and could be usefull pulling loaded trucks out of the field if it works , but i have not seen it yet .

Jeffro said...

Heh. On a sheet of ice it spun all eight instead of just four....

On uneven ground where one corner it unloaded the combo has worked pretty well, but I don't know about serious mud.