Thursday, December 24, 2015

Annacis Island Switch

____ It is 12 Noon when a trailer, coming from Ohio, arrives at the Steinbach terminal. I have wasted half the available day-light hours but at least the snow-ploughs have had more time to clear the 20 centimetres that fell in the last 24 hours. A long-haul to Swift Current on roads in varying states of slippery-ness. I have three days to get the load to the West Coast and by the end of day two I have reached Revelstoke.

The snow-shed on the way down the Coquihalla Pass.

____ A truck-driver can average 60 miles an hour on the Mid-West Interstates and it brings in a decent hourly wage. But in the mountains, in the dark, in adverse weather conditions; that average can be cut in half. There is no double-time for working on a Sunday. I am an experienced driver with all the skills needed to handle an 18-wheel-semi in any situation, on any road in the World. Here I am selling my services for less than the minimum wage. Next time I look in the shaving mirror; I will see an idiot. But on the plus side; the falling snowflakes will save on the screen wash.

Changeable conditions on the Coquihalla Pass

____ Fuel and food at Hope, after a chain-less descent of the Coquihalla, and I decide to doorstep the load at the customer. Annacis Island is in the heart of sprawling Vancouver, an early-morning arrival would be problematic. Surprisingly the island is almost totally industrial with no private dwellings. Enough industry for the office to find a reload on the island. Heading East, in the right direction, but as only a far as Calgary. A long 16 hour day ends at Golden, back into the Rockies in the dark. A  west-bound super-B grain-hauler jack-knifes at the summit of the Rogers Pass. The wrecker has yet to arrive, but I manage to squeeze past on the shoulder. No injury to the driver but the unit is a mess, a highway closure looks certain. Golden was a good result.

Annacis Island in the Fraser River Delta Area.

____ Calgary is a trailer switch but only south, to Lethbridge. Another switch with the back-end and eastwards again. Driving home for Christmas, but only as far as Regina. Unloaded, and I expected a message to send me back to Steinbach; but no. One final trailer change, a grain mill just north of Yorkton and a pre-loaded trailer for Etobicoke in Ontario. I just have to take it to my home terminal where another weather system from Colorado has just dumped another 20 centimetres of the white stuff. A White Christmas for me and Happy Christmas to you all.

Low cloud on the summit of the Coquihalla Pass.

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