Saturday, June 7, 2008

SPINNING MY WHEELS, FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING

Temple, GA ( a point enroute to New Jersey)

Not home again this weekend. Actually, I could go through Knoxville, but considering the distance from there to my destination and the ridiculously early delivery appointment time on this load (1 A.M. on Monday), why even bother?? Not really out of route -- there's more than one way to get from Texas to New Jersey -- but a waste of time to go that way, since I would only have a few hours at home before I'd have to leave right back out again. Not enough hometime to even bother with at all. The Interstate 20 to Atlanta, I-85 to Petersburg, VA, I-95 to NJ route I picked was the easiest and most practical, so here I am.

I sat two entire 24-hour days in Robinson, Texas, just south of Waco, after delivering a load to a customer's new warehouse in Waco, Wednesday morning. No load was forthcoming, and it was no surprise, since a quarter of our fleet seemed to be at that place at any given time of the day. As I said, it was a new warehouse and we were all delivering the "wares" that would be stored there, my company and CFI seemed to be the dominant trucking outfits rolling in and out of the place.

I counted one, two, three, four, eight, ten, fifteen of our trucks, in and out of there, while I unloaded. At least five were lined up at the gate, waiting their turns to dock, and a local-yokel driver, hauling shuttle trailers in and out of there, told several of us that it was worse on Monday, with more than twenty-five of us there that day. "Oh, crap!" I thought. All these company trucks here at the same time equals no load for awhile. And, sure enough . . . I got the expected "No Load" message as soon as I sent my "Empty" message in. I wasn't under any illusions at all, unlike one new driver, who was napping in the parking lot, awaiting a load which wasn't going to come for quite some time. He'll learn, just like I did. I headed a few miles south, to the Pilot in nearby Robinson.

The problem at hand was a simple and basic one:  With so many of our trucks in one place at the same time, it overwhelmed my company's load board, bigtime. Not the first time this has happened, by any means, andit won't be the last. Here's the equation, if you're into math:  20 trucks, minus 10 loads available, equals 10 trucks left stranded empty. This is an example only, but it should explain the simple principle. It's a simple matter of too many trucks and not nearly enough loads. It's supposed to go by who got there first, as to who gets the first load outta there, but it doesn't always work that way. In typical trucking company fashion, it usually depends on which dispatcher can get which load to which truck the fastest. If your dispatcher is slow on the draw, you can wait awhile. It takes patience, on the part of a driver, to understand and deal with these things.

But drivers are human and patience has its limits. I was almost at the end of mine, Friday morning, when the Qualcomm finally beeped three times in succession, indicating a load. I was on the phone with mom at the time, and I cut the conversation short, so I could write everything up and get the heck outta there at last!! At that point, if they'd have sent me to Istanbul, I'd have been plotting fuel stops in mid-ocean, while on the way!! Desperate. Wanted a load. ANY load. And I finally had one. And that's how I got here, writing this.

I'm not even bitching about going to Yankeeland this time!!!

10-7

2 comments:

jeanniebuggz said...

 All you can do now is Think  August  when you won't need a load.

dougdee23 said...

Where there's a will there's a weigh -  not always true!  You had the will but not the weigh. Good luck as you go.