Friday, April 3, 2009

Musical Loads

So we were supposed to pickup a load in New Jersey going to Delaware.  We arrived sharply at 0600 for our 0630 pickup time.  We were pleasantly surprised to see some friends of ours in the other truck we were going to load with.  After a dicey blindside back into the building (inside dock), we all stood around chatting and catching up with each other till the dock people showed up to load us.  When everyone finally arrived for work we opened the doors and bumped the docks.  2 hours later we pulled out only to find out we were way over loaded on our drivers.  We were pushing over 60 pounds of psi on the drivers and are in a sunken dock!  When we checked in with the loading dock we were told that they had (we aren't allowed on this dock while being loaded) nose loaded us with 36400+ pounds!!  
Now a little history on this load...yesterday they kept offering out this load with no piece count or weight listed so we kept turning it down.  Finally after turning it down for the 7th or 8th time I called in to ask what the story was.  I was told who the customer was and that their loads never went over 12000 pounds, but no they only had the piece count, no weight on this load.  I agreed to do the load "IF" they would cover us by emailing the customer our weight restriction (we can only scale a little over 32000lbs).  I was further informed that there would be 3 of us loading, so the other 2 trucks should be able to take any extra if necessary.
Of course the customer was never notified of our weight restriction and the other 2 trucks turned out to be 1 other truck and another reefer with just about the same weight restriction as us!  Are we having fun yet?  The dock guy didn't want to unload the entire load, he just wanted to remove a few pallets from the rear to reduce the weight.  So we had to do the go around and explain to several people what it meant that we were over weight on our drivers.  They would have to move the entire load more to the rear of the trailer as well as reduce it, in order to shift the weight back to the trailer axles and reduce our gross.  Of course there were lots of suggestions from everyone else as to how we could avoid the scales (including driving half off the scales to avoid showing how heavy we were!!!) and the theory that once we were on flat ground the weight on our drivers would lift!  We had to explain that we don't run illegal, some one would notice if we tried to only put one side of the trucks axles on the scale and that once we pulled out the hole the dock was in more weight would be on the drivers, not less.  Of course they didn't believe us and left to decide what to do.  They came back a little bit later and asked us to move both trucks down to the other end of the building and put them into two docks there.  Then they would fix the weight issue down there.  Sure enough when we got onto flat ground, the psi on the drivers was almost at 75!!! For those of you unfamiliar, the drivers are usually just a little over 40 psi.
So after we get into the docks at the other end of the building we get calls from dispatch asking us if we want to do a little 11 mile hop loading from these same docks.  They had decided to off load us and bring in two dry boxes to haul our load.  Which was no problem for us, expect remember what the customer had said about fixing the load?  Apparently their idea of fixing the load was to completely unload us.  I guess that they just didn't want to break the news to us.  Like we would care.  So now we are waiting around for them to unload us and then reload us.
In the meanwhile 4 other trucks have showed up.  The first 2 get loaded right away and leave.  Then the other 2 try to hit the docks next to us.  Neither of them can drive for SH*T!  The idiot trying to hit the dock right to our left has to be the worst driver I have ever seen (that is saying alot)!  There are at least 3 truck lengths of open space in front of us and we in the dock.  Should be no problem to pull up straight in front of the dock and back straight in, right?  NOT!  He tried to hit our truck numerous times to being so far off he was headed for 4 docks to our left! It took Randy and 2 other drivers over 45 minutes to get this moron in the dock!!!!  I was sweating the whole time, thinking if he hits my truck or trailer I am going to skin him alive.  Since he didn't speak English I would have to because yelling at him wouldn't have accomplished anything.  I don't care who you are, if you can't handle a truck you shouldn't be in one.
Well after they loaded and sent these two morons on their way, the customer told us that something was going wrong with our loads again and they would be out to explain in a few minutes.  So there we all sat for another half hour waiting.  Finally the manager came out only to explain that we had in fact both been loaded for some time, but since someone had decided not to release the loads there was no paperwork and they were going to have to unload us.  Oh Boy...
So we spent 7 1/2 hours in their parking lot, bumped 2 docks and were loaded, unloaded, loaded and unloaded.  We filled out 4 bills of lading and got paid for 2 dry runs.  All without driving even 1/4 of a mile!  But we did get to spend a great day with our friends!
It was interesting to note that the customer continually acted throughout the day like we were going to bite their head off every time something went wrong.  It wasn't til the last 1/2 hour or so that they finally understood we weren't upset by all the commotion.  I mean we get paid whether we move the load or not.  What's there to get mad about?  We basically got paid $450 dollars to spend 7 1/2 hours catching up with friends.  Not a bad day in my book.

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