Glad Hands

Yesterday’s delivery went well, and I had no trouble getting to my pick-up spot this morning. Things were going smoothly, and I was happily truckin’ along… until this morning. At the pick-up location, I was instructed to drop my empty trailer and pick up a loaded one. Easy peasy. I’ve done this plenty of times. Except this time, I got distracted after dropping the landing gear, and I forgot to disconnect the power cable and glad hands (which connect the tractor’s air hoses to the trailer). As I pulled out from under the trailer, I looked in the mirror, then hit the brakes, struck by terror as I saw what was happening: the hoses had been pulled taut, and if I had driven any further, they’d have been ripped apart. If they’d snapped, I wouldn’t have been able to make my pick-up, and I’d have had to make an embarrassing call to our breakdown department and waste time getting repaired, not to mention having to inform dispatch that I wouldn’t be able to pick up my load.

Fortunately, I caught it before this happened, and I backed up to release the tension and disconnect the cables and hoses. Crisis averted!

Unfortunately, one of the two springs that hold up my hoses and cable was stretched to the point that it wouldn’t retract, and the whole mess would now be dragging on the catwalk as I drove – which would likely result in a ticket, if I was ever inspected by the authorities. So I spent the next hour rigging the hoses securely so they wouldn’t drag but would still be able to stretch as the truck moved. I hoped to replace the busted spring as soon as I could, but in the meanwhile, I had to make do with my MacGyver’d solution until a suitable spring could be found. (The ones at the Petro cost about $40.)

I finished my pick-up and got back on the road, and despite my early-morning kerfuffle, I still made good time and had a good day. I listened a good bit to a few wonderful podcasts, continued listening to Wives and Daughters, and kept myself in generally high spirits. After all, today was a learning experience. I’ll never make that mistake again. And, things could always be worse…

Yesterday, I met another driver with my company who was still going through Phase 2, and was seeking another partner. Apparently, while he and his prior partner were in Arkansas, his copilot had scored some heroin and shot up while driving (all while the other driver was asleep in the back). So the sleeping guy wakes up to see his copilot swerving all over the road, seatbelt off, standing up, not holding the wheel as he’s taking his shirt off because he’s too hot. And he’s got blood running down his face because he’s been scratching too much. So the sober driver called dispatch, let them know what was happening, called the cops, and demanded the guy to stop the truck. By the time the cops arrived, the driver was passed out on the steering wheel and they couldn’t find any paraphernalia or anything, so they weren’t able to charge him with anything. But the dope user was put up in a hotel while the other guy drove on. Likely he’ll lose his job, because I guarantee he’s going to get drug tested after that.

So yeah, it could always be worse. I busted a spring out, but at least I wasn’t busted strung out.

Remember kids: don’t do heroin. And if you do use heroin, don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle while you’re high. Don’t let your shitty decisions ruin other people’s lives.

In other news, I’ve plotted out when I’ll next be taking home time! I’m excited to say that I’ll be home in just a couple weeks, at which time my wife will be joining me on the road, so she can learn the ropes before going to get her CDL. I look forward to this opportunity, and can’t wait to travel the nation’s highways with her! I’m also eager to get home and see my friends and family. Soon, soon!

Well that’s all I have for today. To my dad, and all the other dads who read this: Happy Father’s Day!

Love you all. Keep being awesome, and don’t touch that dial!

3 thoughts on “Glad Hands

  1. MacGyvering is just another tool set for over the road drivers. I remember coming out of NY city in a heavy rain and of course the drivers side wiper stops working. With the load due the next morning in Western PA so having the mechanics at the next truck stop fix it is out of the question. McGyver, aka me, finds a pin, (actually a box of tooth picks), and jury rigs the wiper…. After I dropped the load and made it to Carlisle PA our home depot it took three hours for the shop to fix the problem properly. Sometimes we gotta do with what we have on hand. Safe roads my friend

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