So, I will now attempt to "let go" of the last week at work.
Recently, I was told the renegotiation of our contract with The Aluminum CO. was not looking so good. There are several other Trucking Companies in on the bidding and it seems our appeal is less than appealing at this point. So with that in mind, my current job may be at stake. The drivers have been assured that WE have lived up to our expectations, but The Aluminum Co is less than satisfied with the Corporate division of our Trucking Co. ( I can't say I blame them, we drivers are all less than satisfied with Corporate also!!)
The outcome will be revealed in a few weeks!! So for now, I will continue to do my job with no worries. FOR NOW!!
Occasionally, some things come up that make my job a little more difficult than it has to be. Simple things like what type of trailer my freight is loaded on, and how it is loaded!! This week was majorly affected by these two simple things... I have pulled bad loads before... And I have pulled bad trailers before... But the combination of the two make for a stressful week.
BAD TRAILERS.... In my mind there are only two types of trailers (doesn't matter what kind, box, flat, reefer) Good trailers have Air Ride.. Bad Trailers have Spring Ride.. To effectively illustrate the difference, I offer you this demonstration.
Take an ordinary Cracker and drop it onto a hard surface. Do this again and again and again, for 2800 miles... What happens, the cracker will immediately begin to crack and crumbled and eventually be reduced to a pile of crumbs!! Okay, now take another cracker and drop it onto a fluffy pillow... AGAIN and again....... What happened? Probably nothing!!
That is the difference between air-ride and spring-ride. While the aluminum itself is not fragile to the point of crumbling, the structure of the load is.. If there are any gaps in the load itself, the freight will begin to shift and separate!! Normally this is not much of a problem Just tighten down the load straps and ride!!! However, if all of the straps are attached to the same side of the trailer, this can complicate the situation.. Once the load is shifted and you tighten the strap, it pulls the freight into the direction of the ratchet you are tightening... Therefore you need your straps to be alternately tightened from opposing sides.
Well my spring-ride trailer only had straps on one side of the trailer... DAMN IT!! I had not even travelled 100 miles before the load began to shift!! Therefore I had to purchase detachable ratchets and straps and climb inside the trailer to mount them and thus pull the load back to center... My load only weighed 43k.... I am 5' tall and weigh less than a a buck and a quarter!! Tractor Trailers have been known to overturn due to heavy off centered loads! While this served its purpose for say maybe another hour, the load structure continued to deteriorate rapidly!! Needless to say, by the time I got to my first delivery, the tarp assembly was unable to be opened!! Although, it slides easily in its tracks, add 43k of pressure and it tends to not want to move, no matter how hard you push on it!! Solution- hand unload!! Once several bundles of metal were off loaded, the trailer was able to open a few feet. Allowing access to off load with a fork lift!
I had 16 deliveries in all. Every customer had to go thru the same process with me in order to get their freight off the trailer... Did I mention that while it was sunny and beautiful, it was still below 20 degrees the entire journey. Brrrrrrrrr.
The final stop took the cake!! The Customer had waited on me and all of his employees had left for the evening. He is 50+ years old and no bigger than I am... It took us 2 hours just to get the trailer open, after hand unloading 1800 lbs of metal. We used everything we could think of, but the tarp just would not budge. At this point it was only 6 degrees with a nice brisk wind!!
When it was all said and done, he assured me that he would be making a call to the Aluminum Co. No MORE SPRING RIDE TRAILERS!!! The roads in NYC will bounce the freight right off the trailer, if it wasn't strapped down.
He bought me dinner at a neighborhood restaurant and sent me on my way.. I finally thawed out about 2 hours later. I had not even realized how cold it was due to my frustration with the load.
Although I voiced my complaints and concerns to the Aluminum Co, I was told it was appreciated that I worked so hard to deliver the freight... They would make notes to not send spring-ride trailers up north again... However, my Trucking Co told me to basically GET OVER IT....
To further illustrate my point about how rough a spring ride trailer rides... When it is empty and you hit a bump in the road, the entire back end of the trailer with elevate itself off the road surface....
Thanks for Stopping By!! I feel so much better now!! 18 Stops next week. Lets hope it is not on a spring ride trailer!!!!!