I’m sitting in the truckstop from hell in Greeley, Colorado. Its Christmas morning and I still don’t have my load—its time to start calling the shipper.
“Hello my name is Steven Connolly; I’m a driver for Central Refrigerated Service. I’m requesting a status on load number 777 *** ***. “
“Your company needs to do a better job in bringing empty trailers into our facility.” says a terse female voice.
I’m not sure whether she is talking to me specifically, I don’t think the tapping on glass incident qualifies for trailer delivery but at this point in time diplomacy is the important word as the female on the other end of this line has exactly what I need: the load. “I’d be glad to pass this along to the fleet manager.” I say and then quickly add “I’m running short on the 14 hour clock and any information would be most helpful.” Truck drivers are allowed 14 hours on-duty time with 11 of those hours being physical driving, I’ve been sitting for some seven hours leaving me in the area of nine hours to drive before I have to stop for 10 hours rest period. The load is due in Springfield, Missouri tomorrow at 2130 Central Standard Time. Getting across Kansas is at least eight hours.
Trucking like politics is about time.
“I’ll call you back.” she says.
Believe me when I tell you this but it is the small things in life that count, especially from an overworked female shipper at Christmas. My Tracfone LG rings not moments later “It’s ready” she says. “I’ll be right there” I reply already thinking about connecting the air lines and the reefer setting and getting on the fuel to make my exodus from this place called Greeley, Colorado. “But night again is rising, the time is right to depart from here we have seen all.”- Inferno, Canto XXIV.
Driving across Kansas for the lack of better words, is incredible. At least for me. It’s a flat state with not much to see, except working farmland and signs commerating Dwight D. Eisenhower and the birthplace of Bob Dole and Arlen Specter. But try driving during sunset to VNV Nation, a well balanced load and some incredible jokes from fellow truckers on C.B. Channel 19 create reasons to become a trucker: independence, freedom, a great country and a paycheck with over 2500 miles.
Try doing this as a State Representative in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
VNV Nation Fricka.