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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Morning folks. As you can tell by the picture below, I'm in the mood to go truckin'. So hop in, sit down, hang on, and shut up, because we've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

Today I'll tell a story about how, no matter what line of work you're in, you've got to be aware that there is always someone around that will screw you over if you're not careful.

I had unloaded a load of newsprint in Santa Fe NM and when I called in empty was told to head for Galveston TX, as hard as I could, for a load of bananas to bring back to Vancouver. So head down, ass up, I did my raped ape act.

Made it down there in record time, loaded the monkey pickles right off the ship, weighed the truck, and signed the paperwork. Whether it was from being super tired, or just particularly stupid that day, that's where I almost made a financially fatal mistake.

First a little history. Bananas will not ripen until they have been gassed. They have to be maintained at 58F, or 36F if they were gassed on board ship for delivery to stores that don't have a warehouse.

My mistake was made when I asked what temperature, was told 36F, and didn't make him write that on the bills.

All the way up I faithfully defrosted the unit, as the chart showed, every 4 hours. Made it up in good time, and was standing on the dock at the warehouse when the receiver said "I hope you like bananas, because we can't accept this load". I knew almost immediately I'd been set up.

They had been held at that low temperature for so long that they were beyond ripening. You can imagine where my stomach was by now. Now the fun starts.

Luckily the insurance adjuster believed me, because the company was going to charge me for 44,000 pounds of bananas. Their attitude was, prove they told you that, and my attitude was prove they didn't!

Working with his counterpart in TX, the adjuster learned that there had been a couple of our drivers in there that had mouthed off and made asses of themselves, and believed the shipper was teaching us a lesson. WHEW! But a good lesson learned. Oh, and that was the last load I hauled for that @#$ company. To show what jerks they were, when I applied at the next company they gave me a glowing reference. It was all about keeping their insurance rates down.

Hope this didn't bore you out of your gourd, because I'd like to get back to these kinds of posts, and get away from the health issues.

Trucker Bob Image hosting by Photobucket blogged at 3:27 AM

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