Friday, July 16, 2010

How Much?!

I am no longer on my way to LA.


Herein is the lesson:
When someone tells you "No problem, don't worry about it."
It WILL be a problem. Worry about it.

Practical Application:
Last week-
SL: It'll be no problem... I've done the math- it'll be below 26k.
Yours Truly: You're sure...? I don't have a Class B...
SL:  No worries. It's all cool.
YT: Ok... It's all you.

Truck is packed full of event equipment- everything from portable airconditioners, bins of cheeseboroughs, videowall modules, iron structure pipe, cables & tools...

I look inside that truck and think to myself. "Nofuckinway."

Search out SL and brace him regarding The Truck
YT: You're sure? Looks like 50 pounds of shit in a 12 pound bag.
SL: I told you before- I've done the math. It's within spec.

Who am I to doubt a professional equipment wrangler?

Little voice in the back of my head: "Go get the truck weighed before departing."

I go home to pack.

Thursday 6:30 AM-
Preflight exam.

My key for the padlock on the truck door doesn't work.

TXT to Hamster: I need your key for the truck. Mine doesn't work.
Hamster: I'll be there in a few minutes.

FYI - Those high-tech discus locks- even a wrong key will turn in the keyway, it just doesn't throw the bolt.
When you check to see if the key works, make sure it really opens the lock, not just that the key turns in the cylinder. No charge for that one...

8:00am - On the road. - I-95 to I-10.

This truck has a governor on it... 65mph. Period.
I could get it up to 66.5...going downhill . With a tailwind.

The engine seems to be working extra hard...
The needle on the Water Temp gauge is flipping back and forth between 185 and 200...
The needle hits 200 then the auxiliary cooling fan kicks in for 20 seconds and gets the temp back down to185.
It's OK for about 40 seconds, then the temps is back to 200.
This could be A Sign.
It's 85 degrees outside.
I wonder how bad it will get as I drive across West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Death Valley.

10:30 AM

I'm sitting on the scale platform, waiting  for the light to go green... It's taking longer than usual.
I have a bad feeling.

A grandmotherly lady in a FDOT uniform and an FDOT patrol officer come out to the pad.

Grandma: "Kin ah see your registration?" she drawls.
YT hands over truck registration.
Grandma: "You jus a leeeetle overweight." (insert joke here.)
FDOT Officer: "Pull over here by the building and exit the truck with all your papers. I need your manifest, license, insurance, medical card, DOT ID, rental agreement and any other paperwork you've got.
Once I finish with you you can come see here about the weight problem." (Again, insert joke here.)

YT: "Yessir. No problem sir."
(I have learned through painful experience that regardless of your guilt or innocence, arguing or getting an attitude with an officer or any type is A Bad Thing... When I get tagged - regardless of circumstance - I am Joe Cooperative... When you're 6'5 and 300+ and you start copping a 'tude, LEO's start thinking about the Tazer vs .40 Cal option in order to ensure their personal safety.
That's why I'm "Mr Nice Guy."... It push comes to shove, my attorney will argue the finer points of  the case while I sit in the chair and try to look like the chiorboy that I am.)

Officer Friendly goes to get his car, long enough for me to grab my folder with all my paperwork and to send a quick text.

TXT to SL: "I'm going to KILL you."

Officer Friendly reviews all my paperwork, credentials, and logbooks...we discuss the finer points of log books, DOT medical certification and the fines that I might encounter should I choose to push onward.
Basically- Cargo overweight for that class of truck, truck overweight for my rating. Fines are graduated for offense, additional fines for out-of-state vehicles - especially in NM and AZ.
Probably be better to crossload to a bigger truck if it can be done in time and still make the delivery deadline in LA.

He wrote up an inspection citation, then I went to face the music about the weight.

Grandma: "Honey- that truck is runnin' at about 33 thousand...I'm gonna have to issue you a little fine..."

33,000 pounds? And it shouldn't be over 26,000?!

TXT to SL: "Truck is 7000 lbs over. WTF?"
SL: "Did they weigh it without *you* in the truck?"
YT:  "Yeah-- I forgot and wore my depleted uranium underwear."

I got my paperwork (including the citation for the fine for the truck being over the limit) and headed back to Jax.

1:00 PM
At this point a minor miracle occurred-
I arrived and pulled into the loading dock and there were 10 or 12 event staff waiting...
As the door went up it was all asses and elbows...
We unloaded that truck in less than 30 minutes.
We had a 36k truck standing by and cross loaded to that truck in about 90 minutes.
This is, as we say in the business, Pretty Fucking Amazing.

The pro-driver showed up at 5 and the truck headed back out the door...
I'm going to start studying for the next level of CDL certification...I've put it off long enough.



Bug said...

Nice math... did he forget to add the weight of the truck itself? Glad he's not our CFO.

I had a similiar experience 15 yrs ago in a Penski that turned out to be 5000 lb overweight. It drove ok but didn't want to stop very well. Thankfully that brand new Geo Metro was there to help me stop it.

Dixie said...

I'm laughing at the "depleted uranium underwear" bit.

DoT always seems to have two settings-- let it slide and bust your balls. Yeah, totally doesn't cause resentment from drivers. (End sarcasm)