Yet Another Lesson Learned

I loaded at AK Steel in Rockport on Monday. The last time I was there I picked up one coil on a skateboard. This time I picked up 3 coils on a step-deck.

On a regular skateboard there is a mark on the deck where your center point is. Or if that is worn off you just count 13 stake pockets from the back to find your center point. So, let's say I picked up the load I have now and had a skateboard. Each coil weighs just under 14K. The difference between them was only 80lbs so, they basically weighed the same. So, ya put one in the middle, put one between the front of the trailer and the middles one, and the third one half way between the middle and the back. Make sense? Basically dividing the trailer into thirds.

On a step deck it is different. On the beams underneath the deck it has a sticker that says "Place center of single coil here". Well, what about 3?? Well, I treated it like a skateboard in a way. Basically, all three coils were centered on the whole trailer if you take the step into account.

I was all f'in happy with myself. Got them chained down and tarped nicely. Than I went back to Owensboro, KY to scale. They scale us at AK steel, but just give us gross weight. They don't give axle weight. I even asked.

I scaled and had 41,480 on the trailer. SHIT! 1,480 over. Went back to AK steel, and there were about 35 to 40 trucks in line waiting to check in. I parked and went to the scale house and told them of my dilemma. Well, they told me once we leave the yard it's our responsibility and they don't re position the loads. Just friggin great!!!

My division manager told me to send a breakdown message for a wrecker. So, I went back to the truck stop to do that. There was way more room, plus I didn't feel like being stared at when a wrecker showed up at AK Steel.

As I was waiting on the wrecker I figured I could get legal by just moving the front coil as far forward as possible while still catching the anchor points I needed.

The wrecker showed up and I told him what I needed to do. They lifted it just high enough for me to back up about 3 feet and than set it down. The dude asked about putting it on the step. I said not no, but hell no. I have never seen a coil on the step of a step-deck. Not to mention AK steel made me load all three suicide. **Suicide means the eye of the coil faces the rails of the trailer. Thus having 3 14K lb rolling pins. It is called suicide because if you have to slam on the breaks and the chains break, that coil is still moving at what ever speed you were going and rolls right through the cab.** Suicide isn't that bad on a step-deck though as you have the step there to stop it.

Sorry, where was I? Just wanted to explain that as I know some were saying WTF is that?

Oh yeah, so the coil is re positioned and I told the wrecker guys that I was gonna just throw two chains on it and go re-weigh. SCORE!!! After re-weighing the trailer now weighed 40K even!!! Perfect, as long as a bird didn't land on it while going over a scale.

I am happy to report that I got the green light on all the pre-pass scales, and the ones that don't have pre-pass, I rolled right through.

The shitty part of the whole deal was the little mistake cost me time. My delivery time was for 0800 this morning. Last night I sent a late call and said I could make it by noon. So, I got rollin at 0430 this morning and halfway to Charlotte I get a pre-plan. Couple of minutes later the Qualcomm goes off again, than again, and again. DAMNIT!! So I pull over at the next rest are to read the messages.

The pre-plan had me picking up in South Carolina and delivering to Elk Grove Village, IL, which is in Chicago! I'm all excited until I read the next message. "They won't unload you today, unload in the am". SONOFABITCH!!! The next two messages were just the updated load assignment changing the delivery date to tomorrow between 0600 and 0900. My ass will be there at 0530 waiting on them though.

Basically, I lost the load to Chicago. Unless they were able to move the pick-up and delivery back a day. Won't know until tomorrow though.

So, I have been sitting at a hole-in-the-wall truck stop in Charlotte off I-75. About 10 miles away from my delivery point. Parking is a premium in Charlotte too. Both Pilots were packed at 3 in the afternoon, but luckily I found this place, which is now packed.

OH almost forgot!!! So my route had me taking I-40 across Tennessee into North Carolina. Anyone wana take a stab at what is on that route? The Gorge… 21 miles of curves, grades, and 2 tunnels. Trucks are banned from the left lane and guess who's ass was leading the parade headed East today. I gotta tell ya though, the guys behind me were patient and nice as hell. When we got out of it, I thanked them for their patience and not heckling me. I went on to tell them that was my first time through there solo. There were about 6 trucks behind me and I head 4 different voices come back saying not a problem, we all started somewhere, and that I did just fine. Than one guy said if I ever go through there again and someone starts shit, just turn the damn CB off and handle your business. Than they all waved as they passed me. LOL. It sucks being governed at 62 sometimes. 🙂


Sent from my Sprint® BlackBerry®

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