I would have thought by now, that we had been sent to all the places in the Tri Cities area (Pasco,Kennewick,Richland) of Washington that ship frozen french fries. What a surprise, when we were sent to yet another new place to pick up those carb laden beauties in Richland, WA. This time, right on the dispatch, we knew they would be headed to a Trader Joe's near some of you when we deliver them in Vernon, CA on Wednesday morning. On of the things you get used to in trucking is the dispatch that gives you all the time in the world to get to the shipper, but then makes the delivery time so tight, you barely have time within the legal limits to make it. Such was the case with this dispatch. After making our drop in Spokane, where by the way, I saw my Cousin's truck again making a delivery, we headed to the yard in an attempt to get a service on the truck.
Enroute, we received our next dispatch and saw that we didn't pick up until Monday afternoon at 1pm. Well, certainly enough time for the service, but they were backed up and a service tech was out on a road call, so we had to scrap the service. This dispatch required pallets, so we next hit up the trailer guys for a wash out, and then the yard guy to load 24 pallets into our trailer. With only 140 miles to the shipper, we decided to head out and stage in Pasco, WA where we made ourselves comfortable for the rest of the day and evening. We did enjoy a nice leisurely hot breakfast Monday morning before heading over to the shipper a few hours early. We were given a dock immediately, but then had to wait while another truck, which had been loaded before us, and was over the 80,000 pound gross limit, got his load readjusted. An added bonus to this load was that the shipper had on site free scales to use. With just under 43,000 pounds of french fries, and a few adjustments on the fifth wheel, we were off and headed towards California.
Normally, we don't have much problems with other drivers, but for some reason we had at least two drivers pull out right in front of us making turns in which we just barely missed hitting them. But the worst was another truck driver, near the Pilot in Biggs Junction OR, who decided to stop in the middle of the road and start backing up to pararelle park without ever looking to see what was behind him. No amount of blowing the air horn, or attempting to back up would stop him, and by the grace of God, he missed taking out our front bumper my the thinnest of margins.Fueled with an adrenalin rush that would keep us awake for hours, we powered on knowing we needed to get as far as we could in order to make our delivery. We made it to the little casino in Chiloquin, OR, where we took our mandatory 10 hour break. We are now almost to the California border, with two fuel stops scheduled for the day before we will call it a night in Avenal, CA. That should set us up nicely for just under 200 miles for our delivery in Vernon on Wednesday.