After we finished with Coors we indicated we needed a 12 hour break to catch up on sleep. I pointed out that because of the crappy suspension in this truck neither of us could sleep while it was rolling. We got told to take it to the terminal in Richmond, VA to get it looked at. We arrived in the evening and the shop was closed but got in line before it opened in the morning. Turns out they had one guy doing maintenance and he never got to us. Since not rolling is not earning we left to get our next load and said we would try another terminal.

When we got to the paper company they decided the stain on the trailer floor was a bad thing and sent us up the road to drop it at a shop for washing out. A seemingly simple process that two other company trucks had already completed that day. The process is supposed to be that we call the company, they give us a reference number that the shop bills against and we leave the trailer. We even had a tag from the shipper to hang on the trailer with a place to write the number.

I called and was told the company would advance me the money and the I could pay for it. I said that this is not what shipper or shop expected. I then reviewed the notes for the trip and saw that we should call OnRoad, the company repair folks, for the reference number. They refused to supply it for a wash out. Back to the DM who also refuses. In the end we used the advance process but since I had never done that before that also took more time than it should have.

Finally we head back to the shipper and get a trailer full of kraft paper. We need to move the tandems to balance the load but the arm you pull on is so badly bent I can’t move it. We notified OnRoad again and since this is a broken trailer we immediately get a reference number and instructions to go back to the repair shop. When we get there it is 1:00 and they are closed for the weekend. OnRoad is confused because “They are always open.” We got lucky and one of the guys pulls up and when we explain what is going on he gets out a blow torch and fixes the arm.

This took over three hours and even with the problems we should have been out in less than an hour. What pissed me off was that two trucks before us used the expected procedure but we couldn’t.

Today we receive a preplan instructing us to pick up in Memphis tomorrow evening and deliver north of Boston by 9:30 Tuesday evening. With a truck in which we could sleep this would be hard but doable. I turned it down because we can’t sleep in this truck. Company drivers have few options on turning down loads and I was questioned about this. I suspect there will be hell to pay Monday.

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