Saturday, September 25, 2010


____DAY 1: Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the effort when I telephone a customer to tell them about their delivery. Many are not bothered about when you get there or what you are bringing, but there are times when it is helpful to the driver. A 4-drop, 1100 mile trip to Alberta with sleds and quads, the first dealer says he will take delivery on Sunday; great, the third dealer is closed all day Monday; not so good. So Saturday is a false start but I'd rather sit at home than outside a closed-up showroom.
____DAY 2: From Steinbach, Manitoba to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Land of the Living Skies, and today they are alive and well. Full of  geese, as they make their way slowly southwards, stopping at stubble field after stubble field. A driver asks me if I know the reason why the flying Vee formations are never symmetrical. Then he enjoys telling me that it is because there are more birds along the longer side. Who says Canadians don't have a sense of humour? But that's probably as good as it gets.
____DAY 3: The first dealer is two miles off the black-top, down a wet and sticky dirt road. The truck is now beige, fading into green. The second dealer  also sells John Deere machinery and it looks like someone has dragged a harrow around the yard; now the truck is muddy inside and out. Onto Red Deer and a night at Gasoline Alley, a stretch of the main Highway 2 that connects Calgary to Edmonton. South of the town, two service roads have a multitude of gas stations, hotels and restaurants plus RV showrooms and my ATV and snowmobile dealer.
____DAY 4: The first snowfall of Fall, early, too early for the farmers who are halfway through harvest. Two inches lies on the swathed Canola [oil seed rape]. The roads are clear which is a shame, as running through a snowfall cleans up the paint work better than anything. Cochrane delivered and the reload is from Calgary, an old favorite, small bags of sand and cement for a DIY superstore in Winnipeg. Then, as so often happens nowadays, BEEP, something else to put on the back and drop off on the way. A mobile cattle chute, used for loading the animals into the livestock trailers.
____DAY 5: The 12 pallets are for delivery at 22.00 hours, after the store has closed, so to keep the log book legal I have to start late in order to get unloaded before my 14 hours daily allowance has elapsed. Starting at ten in the morning lets me go through to mid-night. The cattle chute is for Broadview, Sk which gets dropped off at just after three. It's a wet and windy day but the sand and cement are unloaded in a dry window, thankfully, I'm in bed by midnight.
____DAY 6: I stayed in the 'Peg overnight, for a reload of grain bins to Westby, Montana. My first trip to Montana this year; although Westby is only a couple of hundred yards over the stateline from North Dakota. Tarped and away by 1 o'clock, I ring the customer; Montana has had 4 inches of rain in the last week and he's not sure where he can unload his bins. Not my problem, I'm on my way; he says he'll sort something out. He does; he cancels the load with the salesman and I am diverted to Fargo, ND.
____DAY 7: The grain bin manufacturer's US parts warehouse  gets me unloaded a lot faster than on any farm site and the BFS office are quick off the mark, finding me a reload  of cement; back to Winnipeg. It had rained non-stop, all-night, and the only dry tarps are my huge lumber tarps. They'll keep it dry; practically double tarped: of course it doesn't rain at all. Reloaded on a Friday, every drivers joy; but now with only 210 miles, I want to deliver this one on a Friday too. I'm in the gate at the builders merchant's before they close and they soon understand I'll only be leaving with an empty trailer. They put four forklifts on the job and I'm still folding the lumber tarps when they have long gone. Next job; 1442 miles, Brandon to Ontario for delivery on Tuesday. A pre-loaded trailer that I have just enough time to fetch back to Steinbach. That's tarped two, un-tarped two, all in one day; I hope my fingers are still good for ttyppinng.
____Overall Distance:- 4191 kms.

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