Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shit Happens

Well since my last post things haven't been going so well.

After spending the night in Denver I was tasked with doing some local work around the Denver area shuttling trailers. That in itself wasn't too bad, I get paid by the hour for that kind of work instead of by the mile.

Once I was done I headed up to Fort Morgan to pickup a load of beef heading back to Texas. Which in itself is a good thing, needed to take care of a few things including paying the all mighty evil bills.

Unfortunately, this trip took a turn for the worst once I got loaded and headed out, I had an accident leaving the Fort Morgan Cargill plant.

Now let me preface by saying that I wasn't hurt, and it really wasn't an "accident" but an "incident" which the state and my company are calling mechanical failure, because basically that is what it boils down to.

As I was turning the corner from the road that leads onto the service ramp of I-76, a guy in a pickup truck ran the stop sign and cut me off causing me to hit my emergency brakes to keep from hitting him. The unfortunate side effect was that my kingpin lock on the tractor's fifth wheel disengaged and dropped the trailer off the back of the tractor into the road.

Now, unfortunately this is a known problem with the current series of fifth wheels from Freightliner I was told, and they have been recalled several times to be fixed. Mine alone has been in the shop twice to advance correct the problem. As well, I was also told that this was the third or fourth trailer the company has lost this way in two months.

The trauma of the incident alone was rough initially till it was proved that I did not do anything wrong, and that helped me out a long way.

Statistics show that three out of five new drivers have an accident of some sort in the first six months, guess I'm now part of that statistic and at least I wasn't one of the one in three who were involved in a fatality.

Once the Colorado HazMat team has cleaned up the diesel spill from the damaged reefer fuel tank, a wrecker reattached the trailer to my tractor and I took it back to Cargill to be unloaded.

Once that was done, the company had me dead head back to Texas (800 miles) to bring the trailer back to our yard.

After I got back I was told that I would be moving into a new Tractor as the insurance company wanted to return mine to Freightliner, my new one is much nicer than my old one and in better condition. And even has an aftermarket ergonomic drivers seat with lumbar supports, which is infinitely more comfortable than the factory installed seats.

[Miles Driven Since Last Post: 1093]

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