Dec 19, 2010


Pennsylvania Turnpike

Not much on the ground, but this picture was taken at 3pm. Not a cloud in the sky!! That is pure snow blocking the sun.

Dec 18, 2010

Love Lost

If you read the last post, you know I finished out the day with a feeling of elation. After blowing through the Bronx at rush hour and securing a parking spot at the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza, I set about my evening in a peaceful state of mind.

There was one tiny little issue that was beginning to chip away at my serenity.

A few weeks ago, I asked the mechanics to check/replace my batteries. The truck seemed to have lost a little bit of cranking power and with winter setting in, it seemed like a good time to at least check them.

Tuesday morning finds me sitting in Fairfield, NJ. I was an hour early, so I had plenty of time to offload the 2 bundles and be ready to ride by the time the customer opened. But that was not to be the case. The crane did not want to work and it is powered by my 4 batteries. After checking everything pertaining to the crane itself, I determined the problem was simple. I was just not supplying enough power. I opened the battery box and was dismayed to find that all of my connections were corroded beyond comprehension. Serious green fuzz was taking over. I set about cleaning all of the connections and was beginning to show signs of utter frustration because had the mechanics checked the batteries, the corrosion would have been cleaned properly to begin with. I also found that the power supply line for the crane had multiple spots where the insulation was rubbed away and the cable was shorting out in several places. As I was cleaning one end, I noticed sparks coming from underneath the truck... The plugs themselves were corroded and the harder I worked to remedy the situation, the more negative emotions seemed to consume my mind.

It took me 3 hours to unload the 2 bundles. It was 12 degrees. My mechanics and boss were playing dumb and I was filthy from rolling around under the truck trying to clean cables. I could only get the crane to respond for seconds at a time. By the end of the ordeal, I felt like a small child who just needed to sit in some one's lap and be comforted. I was near tears.

Amazing how the job can be so perfect one day and 12 hours later leave you feeling so utterly helpless. Needless to say, I had no love for the job on Tuesday. After getting the crane secured back into its cradle, I decided to have the remaining 2 bundles dragged off the trailer at the next 2 stops. I was not going through that again !!

Dec 17, 2010

Welcome to The Jungle

Finally got a load back into the City, and normally this doesn't have any negative impact on my mood. But lately (the past 3 years) our load planner has been losing her mind. She is continually sending the wrong style of trailer to customers and routing the trips in very inefficient patterns. Of course, it will always be up to the driver to correct these "oversights"

As the week progressed, I was actually feeling a little anxiety about a certain delivery in Woodside ~ Queens, NY. The customer is located on the service road/ entry ramp to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. There are cars parked on both sides of the lane, leaving minimal room for motorists to travel towards the Interstate, and without proper notice there is absolutely no where to park 70' of tractor trailer.

The customer requests that their material to be loaded on the right side of the trailer because they have no safe access to unload if the material is on the left. It is a service road!! Notice the traffic on top of the wall in the picture. That is the BQE. My anxiety causing dilemma was based on the fact that I was not pulling a flatbed for easy removal of material. I had the crane trailer. In order to unload the crane trailer, I not only need room for my vehicle, but an additional amount of space to set the material on the ground behind me. There was NO WAY I was going to claim 100' of asphalt. Not on this busy thoroughfare. In the past, we have actually driven onto the sidewalk. I don't mean a few tires on concrete, either. I mean actually coming through the intersection and pulling all 18 tires on concrete and driving the truck next to the store front. That kind of freaks out the passersby. But the neighboring strip club decided to eliminate that option by placing a rather low canopy across the sidewalk. Grrrr!!

But before I get too far ahead of myself.... On the way to the customer, which I have not been to in awhile, I called AA and asked which exit number I was suppose to take. He assured me it was Exit 40. So like any brave little trooper, I dive off at Exit 40, into the side streets of Queens and find myself "lost". Of course, there is no reentry point at this ramp. But, I have been lost so many times in Queens that I no longer get upset about it. Fahhgetaboutit !! I did make a few tight turns and had the local police eyeballing me, but I found my way back to the Expressway in no time.

So, back to the customer. I now have to park in the ramp, four ways a~flashin, to seek instructions from the customer. Oh pleeeeeeaaase, no illegal parking tickets.. HURRY UP !!!! Aggggghhhh. They were none to pleased about the trailer and it didn't help matters that their material was 28' long, meaning I could not even sit the stuff on the ground with my crane. It only extends 12' out behind the trailer. But they were able to direct me to another location where I could unload. Oh Joy!! Nothing like site-seeing in the side streets.

The day turned out to be a breeze. I managed to get all of my Philadelphia, and New York drops off. There were no traffic delays as I made my way across Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens. The unload turned out painless and I blew through the Bronx at 4pm with out any heavy traffic snafus. WHAT??

No brake lights in Brooklyn !!

Corkscrew Interchange 95/87 Bronx, NY

Yep, you heard it right. I had a most excellent day!! Felt good to be back in New York. Felt even better to be kicking ass and taking names....

Damn, I love my job!!

NOTE: The second picture was taken previously, to give you perspective of my location. I know, that looks nothing like a crane trailer...LOL

Dec 9, 2010


Sometimes people really amaze me !!

This week somebody had this really brilliant idea on how to get rich quick, so to speak. Some time during the weekend an individual decided to sneak into our yard and steal a loaded trailer full of aluminum. I have no idea how they got it out of the neighborhood, but somehow they managed to. The neighborhood is hard enough to get a bobtail through, I couldnt imagine draggin a trailer through it. Of course they had to take the back roads to avoid security. After successfully stealing the load, they traveled less than a hundred miles and began to unload the trailer onto a less commercial vehicle and proceed to the scrap yard to sell it off.

Really ?? There is something about virgin aluminum that screams "this is stolen". Our plant was notified immediately and the most of the load was recovered. But seriously, if you are going to steal 40k of aluminum, do you really think it is wise to try and sell it immediately in the local vicinity of which it was stolen.

Yes, people continue to amaze me !!