Monday, October 18, 2010


One of the greatest things about trucking, is that truckers are so willing to pass on little gems of knowledge to one and other.  We were the recipients of one such trucker driver's wisdom when it came to picking up a container at the Tyson Meat Plant in Wallula, WA.  Craig had checked in at our appointment time at 6am, and was told not to expect the loaded container for at least 3 or 4 hours.  Doing the quick calculations in our heads, we knew that 10am was basically the cut off time for us to make it to Seattle by our 3pm appointment time.
Long about 9am, we walked into the office to use the facilities, and another TWT driver was standing outside.  He inquired if we were waiting on a load going to the Port in Seattle, to which we replied "yes".  Come to find out, he is on a designated fleet of three drivers who do nothing but take containers from Tyson to Seattle.  We had all kinds of questions to ask him, having never been to the Port of Seattle before, and he was more than willing to fill us in on all the nuances of delivery such a load.
It seems our hold up on getting our load was the USDA inspectors that had to inspect the product prior to it getting loaded, and as the hours ticked away, our window of delivering on time was quickly closing.  However, the other driver did say, it had happened once before where he had received the load late and was able to stage at the Port until morning when it was dropped for loading onto the ship.  So when noon rolled around, and we finally saw movement with the containers being released, we knew that it was looking like a night at the Port for us.

We made an agreement that we would follow him, since he was so familiar with the best way to get into the Port, and where to park to stage, and as we quickly fell in behind him, after scaling, we went about relaxing and enjoying the drive, that is until the QualComm started beeping.  Simultaneously, we both received the information to call into dispatch, so we zipped into the company yard in Pasco to make the calls.  We were told that the ship was leaving by 6pm, and there would be no way to make it there in time, so the next best thing was to beat the ship to it's next destination in Oakland, CA.

We parted ways at that point, with new assignment details in hand, and we headed south, with a new appointment time of 8am on Wednesday at the Port of Oakland.  Since he was a local driver, his load would remain at the yard until another driver could be found to relay it to California.  There are a couple of things I have noticed about this container versus a reefer unit.   It is much quieter when running than any of our reefer, and the overall length is much shorter than when hauling our normal 53 foot long trailer.  I can't say that we would look forward to another one of these container loads, but it's nice to add a new experience to our trucking resume of different loads we have hauled.


Pat said...

If you don't beat it to Oakland, do you have to beat it to the next port?

You might have to put floaties on your truck.

BTW: love the pictures.

Creative_Wheeler said...

My husband was telling me about your blog post. I grew up working on fishing boats and my husband grew up working in trucks. All I have to say about this misfortunate event is something my dad used to tel me, "Time and tide waits for no man."

Creative Wheeler


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