At the end of last week, I loaded in Huntingburg, IN with a load of particle board being shipped from the MasterBrand cabinet plant there, to another MasterBrand plant in Martinsville, VA on Monday morning, allowing me to stop in Frankfort for some home time along the way. It was kinda cool because, I used to haul for MasterBrand almost exclusively back when I worked for Werner as a company driver. I had been to both plants before, actually. I left mid-afternoon on Sunday and was in Martinsville a little after 1am. The next morning, I was empty by 10am and ready for a new load.
I sat for a while that morning, as is typical with this company. It's the thing that I dislike the most about my current line of work; their logistics sucks resulting in really long days. Sure, I don't do anything for those 3-4 hours I sit through the morning and early afternoon, but I've been up since 7-8am, and when I DO finally get a new load, I have to go get it, secure it, and tarp it. By then, it's usually 5-6 in the evening and I'm looking at a 7-8 hour drive still.
So anyway, this is what happened on Monday. I was ready to roll with my new load around 6pm; a load of plywood going from a Georgia-Pacific plant in Gladys, VA to an 84 Lumber yard in Columbia Station, OH - a little southwest of Cleveland. That's quite a haul, but I had until 4:30 the following afternoon to get there. I drove until maybe 3am and got some rest. I realized that, to make it there safely before the appointed time, I was going to have to fudge my logbook by about an hour. Not a big deal, I could catch up to it later, so off I went.
Uncharacteristically, they pre-assigned me my next trip; a load of roofing shingle going from Medina, OH to Louisville, KY. For the record I love roofing shingle loads; they're easier to secure and don't have to be tarped. Thing is, even with the time I was allowing myself, unless everything went perfectly, making it over to Medina before 5pm was going to be tight. So I told dispatch this, because I wanted to do the right thing and not have one of customers in a bind because I couldn't make the pickup appointment time. As a precaution they removed me from the load and I presume they began looking for another truck to go get it.
By 4pm, I was empty at 84 Lumber and Medina was only 25 miles away. I had 60 minutes to make a 40 minute trip, so I called dispatch to let them know. However, they had indeed found someone else to take the load so now here I was without a load and only an hour or two left in the day. Naturally, I got stuck in Columbia Station for the night. I parked in a nearby strip mall and spent the night eating pizza and writing my Heroes recap.
So this morning, I awake to a message on my Qualcomm. I'm to pick up some steel plates over in Youngstown and take them to Knoxille, TN by tomorrow afternoon. Away I go, stopping briefly at a service Plaza on the toll road for lunch. I get to Youngstown at 12:30 in the afternoon only to find that there's been some mistake and the load that I've been dispatched with has already been picked up by a different truck. In short, the load fell through. And with it being this late in the day. . .
. . .you guessed it. So I'm currently sitting at a truckstop outside Youngstown. Dispatch is on Central time, so they'll be in the office for another hour and a 20 minutes. However, I'm in Eastern time and most of the plants' offices are either already closed or they're going home in the next 20 minutes. Do you think that the next time I have a load assignment, especially one that is: a) easy and b) going near my house that I'm going to open my big fat mouth about maybe/possibly not making the appointment time? You bet your sweet bippy I won't.
So, I'll probably hang out in the truck for a little while longer to make sure I don't get assigned something, then I'm going to get a much needed shower and have dinner. There's a Quaker Steak and Lube just up the street which I may do. There's also Club 76 across the street: a strip club with a restaurant, or vice versa depending on how you look at it. As tempting as that is, honestly, I could go for a bucket of QS&L right about now.