My first load with the new truck was the standard KIA load which I haul every week. There was very little challenge to where the cars fit, but with learning a new trailer it took me 6 hours to load. Of course, a lot of that was spent positioning the straps and figuring out which levers moved which deck in which direction. Then was the fact that EVERY car is now driven through the posts, so I have to be a bit more attentive. With the sterling, there was nothing to hit loading the top of the truck. With the Pete, I have at least a dozen opportunities to rip off a mirror or side swipe a fender. So far, so good! Another excuse for the slow load, was the fact that several of my car-hauling acquaintances were in West Point that day, so there was plenty of socializing as well.
Each week, after delivering my KIAs, I typically head to one of the auctions for my next load. These loads are always mixed with a variety of units. You have seen some of my big trucks, as well as the tiny cars. And with each load being a puzzle, I knew the Pete's first auction load would be that much more difficult. However, I did not expect it to be as difficult as it proved to be.
When I picked up the new truck, I had mentioned to the terminals managers that I may need a few weeks to get adjusted, so please, no overwhelming loads to start. Everyone smiled and agreed to give me that time. How foolish I was to believe.
My first auction load had me picking up in 2 different locations. Naturally, everything I picked up at the first auction was going to end up riding in the trailer. Essentially, I had to load, unload, and reload. It took me 2 days to get everything situated. And the end result, was that the load was really too big for the truck to begin with. But once again, my determination got the best of me. Even as frustrating as it was, I did manage to somewhat learn how to stack the headrack... And with all the learning and frustration, the only thing the load paid extra was experience. I think the thing that infuriated me the most was the fact that there were 7 loads coming out of those auctions that week, with mine being the most difficult and with me being the least experienced with this type of trailer. So much for the promises of a grace period.
The benefit to being challenged so soon, is that the normal smaller loads will seem a whole lot more manageable in the future.