Saturday, October 30, 2010


We received a comment yesterday from Michelle and Kendall over at the Plum Trucker blog.  She mentioned how it can be a challenge for them to handle multiple drops, and in her words...."you guys always seem to handle them with such grace".  To that I say, that grace comes from experience, and sometimes even with that, it can be a challenge for us as well.

I know we owe 90% of our success rate to meticulous planning, and the other 10% to just plain old luck, but sometimes you get a load that is so tight, and leaves you with your hands tied and no escape route. Take for instance Craig's latest assignment. 

He was given the load a little before 7am on Friday.  Drive from Toledo, WA to Wallula, WA to pick up a load of meat by 1pm.  The load has three deliveries, one in Newark, CA, one in Daly City, CA, and the last stop in Santa Clara, CA all on Sunday morning starting at 5am.  When given such a load, the human calculator (Craig), starts figuring miles versus hours of driving, and when I'm in the truck, I start inputting the data into my mapping program to be able to give him the distance to and from any particular spot on our routing.  With me out of the truck, Craig either has time to do it on his own, or he will call me, as he knows my computer is never far from my reach, to get the information he needs.

With the amount of time he used to drive to Wallula, he knew that it would be an extremely tight delivery with his 14 hour clock in jeopardy on Sunday.  With a start time of 1am in Corning, CA  he needs to get to his first drop at 5am, and then ending with his last drop at 3pm.  Already most drivers have figured that the 14 hour clock will run out at the last delivery.  Our only hope is that the first two deliveries run ahead of schedule, that there are no traffic issues driving into and out of San Francisco on his second drop, and that he will be able to get to the last drop way before the 3pm appointment, get unloaded, and find some spot in the Bay Area to if there are any spots to park in the Bay Area.

With all of that being said, even with all the planning that is involved in thinking we have this under control, we are still going to need a hefty shot of that 10% just plain old luck, and a lot of grace under fire, to survive this assignment.

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