Thursday, October 13, 2016

So Much Wasted Time

10 Days Away.
____ This trip's first destination is just one page away from the last trip. With a British type atlas, that would be sending me somewhere near North Carolina; but North American atlases are alphabetical and following N.C is North Dakota. A whole lot less miles as N.D is adjacent to Manitoba. This, however, keeps me out of the path of Hurricane Matthew; God's greatest gifts are un-answered prayers. Just four hours of cross-prairie driving to Valley City with a heavy load of flax seed. Then back into Canada; not home but to Winkler for an early morning loading appointment.

____ Better miles this time; Burlington, Iowa, with a light load of strangely shaped plastic diesel tanks. My bet is they are for combine harvesters. A quick tip at a "Just-in-time" warehouse before running north to Muscatine for a load of tomato ketchup. This time, not the quickest, waiting for a pallet to go on the trailer was like waiting for a drop of sauce to drop from the bottle. They needed a good shake-up. Eventually, up to Iowa 80 at Walcott for the night; where the World's Biggest Truckstop had taken delivery of a large selection of truck fridges. I bought the one I wanted for the Mack; then struggled to get the massive box in the cab and realized I was going to be living with it in the truck for nearly a week.

____ The ketchup went to a distribution centre in Leamington, Ontario, with an unloading time of 6 o'clock on a Friday evening. Promptly unloaded but with little chance of a reload. The Penner terminal at Mississauga also failed to come up with a pre-loaded trailer. I was stuck for the Weekend and stuck with a load of cardboard from Scarborough that could be loaded on Monday morning at 10 o'clock. Two waste days, but it could have been worse as the Monday was Thanksgiving Day and not many places were working. I split my time between the Flying'Js of London and Pickering. The highlight was a Sunday afternoon stroll along the shore of Lake Ontario and a pint in the Black Bear pub.

____ After loading, the run on the Highway 401 across the Greater Toronto Area was the easiest I have ever experienced due to the Bank Holiday. Truck traffic at the Ambassador Bridge was also light and from Detroit, I made it to Lake Station for a night in Indiana. This was the third time I had delivered to the Chicago suburb of Carol Stream and the reload was in nearby West Chicago. Only problem: yet another brake chamber decided to start letting the air show through. Clamp the pipe, cage the brake and poodle over to the Petro Stopping Centre at Rochelle; once I had got the reload.

____ The day was finished by the time the truck was fit to roll, effectively putting another day on the trip. Kieth Urban's Wasted Time playing in my head and a fridge getting in my way; I made it as far as Fargo and finished off the trip on Thursday morning. That is six brake chamber in just over a year. Four on trailers and two on the unit. I suggested to the boss that the others on the tractor unit might soon be going the same way. At $150, it is not an expensive repair but it is a lot of wasted time.

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