From August to January I was employed as an Over the Road (OTR) Truck Driver for the Salt Lake City, Utah based Central Refrigerated Service Inc. During this time I literally covered thousands of miles across geography, markets, individuals and what I believe is a direct correlation to New Hampshire politics. This is my story…
So the Spanish looking security comes to the slider and opens it just a crack, she’s 5’7”-5’-8” slightly overweight, she has really nice dark eyes but her face is a little pudgy. “Hi” I say, over the idle and the reefer of my truck behind me “I’m a driver for Central Refrigerated Service here to drop a load and pick up a pre-load for Springfield, Missouri.”
I should have said something about Christmas, I didn’t. My bad.
“Did you read the sign?” she says with an expression on her face that says “You fuckin moron, you truck drivers are all the same.” “Ah, no I didn’t, sorry about the glass.” I say, “No” she rethorts and points to a large sign to my left I start reading it and she says “are these your bills?” They are. Well, the sign isn’t important: it’s the same stuff every shipper uses basically telling the driver to shift his tandems to the rear and don’t remove the seals on the locked trailer until told to do so. I don’t think trucking is a hard job but there are lots of rules that have to be followed, it they aren’t there can be immense consequences. So by now the pudgy one is typing away on the computer I’m looking forward to this load, as it’s a pre-load meaning I pull into the yard, drop my loaded trailer hook onto the pre-load and leave this is also known as a drop and hook load. I’ve been doing a lot of live loads which means that the driver has to wait at the facility for the trailer to be loaded or unloaded and this can take hours.
I look in and the Spanish pudgy is still typing away and now talking on the phone she hands me a clipboard with instructions at the top to enter my driver’s license and trailer number, she quickly closes the slider reminding me that it’s cold out here! By now an elegant looking black Peterbilt 379 EXHD with a refer trailer has pulled in behind me the driver looks like an authentic Western cowboy sans the Harley Davidson logos on his brown leather jacket. “Don’t tap on the glass” I tell him. He already knows this.
“Your load isn’t ready” she says taking the clipboard, “Drop you load in slot A-17, set your reefer to 34 degrees and then bobtail down to the truckstop we’ll call you when it’s ready.” Santa Claus doesn’t have it this good, “Do you have an idea when this might be.” I respond having an ominous feeling that this is Christmas who is working that would be loading a trailer on this date? “No I don’t.” she says.
So I dropped my load and headed for the truckstop, the place is a real dive I don’t dare drink the coffee and the counter is littered with cheap no brand cigarettes and a huge rack of porno magazines; the cashier speaks very little English. I’d end up sitting here for at least nine hours.
To Be Continued…