The last couple days have been a perfect storm of bad timing. Yesterday I took the newly-acquired trailer to make the pick-up I was supposed to have done on Wednesday, then proceeded on my merry way to make the delivery. However, the fates had other plans. Due to the delay of the previous day, there was no way I’d be able to deliver by the 3am appointment this morning. I informed dispatch that this was the case, and let them know that the earliest I’d be able to arrive would be 6pm. Their new delivery appointment was 3pm, meaning I’d still be late, so rather than have my load arrive late, they decided to have me swap with some team drivers, who would be able to get it to the customer by the new appointment time.
After reaching the swap point, I acquired the load the team drivers had previously been hauling, which was bound for Florida. The appointment was for 7am this morning, but I had picked up the load at 2pm, and it would be impossible for me to deliver by that time, even if I didn’t stop for restroom breaks, weigh stations, food, or any other reason. The storm was causing massive back-ups on I-10, and I would be lucky if I was able to reach my destination by 10:30am. To accomplish this feat would require me to spare not even a minute.
I had to stop for three weigh stations and encountered some heavy traffic during a particularly heavy downpour, but I was able to make it to the customer with five minutes to spare. I made it by the skin of my teeth, but I made it nonetheless.
After making this delivery, I was assigned another load, to be picked up in Georgia at 7:30pm. Once again, time was of the essence. Since I had started driving so early in the morning, my 14-hour clock would expire at 7:45pm, only 15 minutes past my appointment. I drove hard and arrived at 5:30pm, a full two hours early, hoping perhaps they could load me early and I could reach a truck stop before my clock expired. Once again, fate was not in my favor. The appointment was strict. I docked at 5:45, they began loading me at 7:25, and they hadn’t finished loading my truck until 9:30, nearly two hours after my clock had expired. By that point, I could not legally drive, and was technically not even supposed to be working either. But I could not sleep docked to the shipping facility, so I had no option but to drive.
Fortunately, the shipping location had a trailer yard at their facility, and I was granted permission to sleep there overnight. It was close enough that I didn’t have to change my log to show I was driving, so I was able to avoid an hours-of-service violation. I found an out-of-the-way place to park, and shut down for the night.
There is some good news to follow this folly: my load isn’t due in Tennessee until Monday, and I’ve only got about 11 hours of driving to reach the destination, so I will have plenty of time for sleep, laundry, grocery shopping, and relaxation this weekend. I am grateful for this reprieve, after all the craziness I’ve dealt with this week.
The day of my return home draws ever nearer, and I eagerly anticipate seeing my wife, sister, cats, family and friends. They’re never far from my thoughts, and it will be a joyous reunion.
In other news, I’ve been enjoying the audiobook production of Wives and Daughters greatly. I’m nearly finished, and can’t wait to see how all the myriad plots resolve themselves. I’ve grown quite fond of the characters in the novel, even the ones you’re supposed to hate! (Though these I love for how well the author conveys their abrasive personalities.) While it’s a good deal slower than many contemporary novels I’ve read, it has been wholly engaging and immersive. I am glad I chose this book at Half Price Books last time I was in town.
Well, it is late, and I ought to be in bed. Goodnight, my friends. Stay safe, and make good choices! I’ll once more be with you all soon.