I really hate to start a brand new blog with a rant session, but sheez Louise! Like every job, trucking too, has it’s ups and downs. Today was one of those days that sucked from the git-go.
Here’s the deal; our truck won’t hi-idle. For you non-truckers out there, hi-idle is a feature on a semi truck that you engage when you are going to be parked a while. On low-idle, the engine doesn’t have very much oil pressure, which is fine if you’re sitting in traffic or you’ll only be idling a short time. Hi-idle bumps the engine rpm’s up enough to pump a sufficient amount of oil into the engine, effectively reducing engine wear and keeping our a/c or heater working.
Anyway, about three weeks ago, we put our truck into one of our company shops to fix this problem. The shop was backed up so we didn’t get in until the end of the following day. That’s when they tell us that their computer program that is designed to fix our problem had been out of commission for a couple of weeks. Ugggh!! Now why couldn’t they tell us that BEFORE we sat for two days. Now on to our current issue.
That was three weeks ago and we still haven’t made it to a shop yet. The problem is, I wasn’t going to be hosed again, so I called all of our shops to verify that their computer system was working. Unfortunately, only one shop (out of 5) could fix the problem. Our fleet manager tried like the dickens to get us to that particular shop, but as you might imagine, freight is slow due to the economy and she just couldn’t get-er-dun… until last nite, when we got within 5 hours of that shop (spitting distance for truckers). Then unexpectedly, night dispatch told us we had to take a load in the opposite direction. We tried to refuse the load and we pleaded our case, but they swore we were the ONLY truck that could pick it up on time. Yeah, right. We’ve heard that one before. Did I mention that we also have an 18″ crack in our windshield, a bladder-jolting steering vibration, wipers that turn off when they feel like it, and a piece of plastic hanging from the underneath of our front bumper? Well, I told them, but to no avail. Now I was as hot as a sauteed cayenne pepper, but I knew my boss would come through for me.
I was sure that as soon as my fleet manager got in this morning, that she would take us off that load, but as typically happens on crappy days, crappy luck ensued. Instead, she was working in another department (due to personnel cuts, also caused by the economy) and her fill-in cared about our problem as much as the night-shifters had.
Well, finally there is a happy ending to this saga of woe. Eventually, the company found another driver that was headed toward the shop we needed to get to and he traded us loads. So by tomorrow evening we’ll be within 100 miles of that shop. And at that point, if someone decides to send us off to the Arctic Circle again, well I just may need to borrow that machine gun after all. Preferrably something lightweight, so I can make a clean getaway.