Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year! -- Atlanta -- Changes to changes?

Happy New Year! I hope your new year has already gotten off to a good start. I spent the first day of the year driving from Knoxville, Tennessee (where I shut down last night) to Jeffersonville, Ohio, about 40 miles south of Columbus (which is where I have a live unload in the morning). Part of the day I drove through snow, and there is a chance for several inches to accumulate tonight. I'm glad I have only 40 miles to go in the morning.

Atlanta. Last time I wrote, I was in Atlanta, anticipating taking a loaded trailer to Tucker for a live unload at some electrical supply company.

I woke up early, did a good pre-trip on the truck, and drove in the foggy darkness up to Tucker, only about 20 miles from the OC (which is on the south side of Atlanta). The turn-by-turn directions I got on the satellite from Schneider and the route my GPS was taking me were the same, so I didn't anticipate any problems.

About 2 miles from the place I was going, I was supposed to turn on Old Norcross Tucker Road. As I peered through the fog waiting on the traffic light to turn green, I saw what every truck driver dreads: a sign that clearly indicated NO TRUCKS. I can't legally go down the road I am supposed to go down to get to the place I have to get to.

No problem. Ask my GPS to figure an alternate route. Okay. Go on up to Jimmy Carter Boulevard. I know that is a good road.

But I come back to the same street, only from the other direction. To get to the place I'm going, I must go down this street that says NO TRUCKS. What to do?

Well, when I used to drive for the local company in Georgia, I made deliveries to every kind of small place (including people's homes) you can imagine, and sometimes it involved going on roads marked with those signs. I also figured that if we have delivered to this company before or other companies have, trucks have to get there somehow.

So off I go. It was less than a quarter mile, it was dark, not much traffic, and foggy as all git-out (I'm from Georgia, remember; that's what we say there), and I felt like I had a reasonable explanation should I get stopped.

Got to the place with no problem. But the place was not what I thought it would be.

I verified the address several times. There was no other place it could be: I was in front of an elementary school, thankfully closed for the holidays.

Then I realized: the electrical company was doing some work at the school – it had to be it. No wonder the route was a little weird. But still, it was time for the load to deliver, according to the information I had, and no one was around.

I had a phone number for the customer, so I called it. It was an electrical company but they were closed, so I left a message.

Guy finally calls me back after a little while. This company ordered the product, but the guy doing the work at the school is actually a different company, and he gave me the man's number. Called the guy.

“ You're there already?”

“ Yes. I was told this was a live unload at this address – the school – at 7:00 am. I've been here about 30 minutes.”

“ Well, it's not a live unload. You're supposed to leave the trailer. We're going to be working out of it for several weeks.”

“ Oh. Okay. That's not a problem to drop the load.”

“ I'll come over as soon as my guys get in and I get them out to show you where to put the trailer.”

He got there about 8:00 am and I backed the trailer into the spot at the back of the school where he needed it.

Once everything got straight on what was going on, it was an easy delivery. I kept sending messages to Schneider letting them know what was going on, and everything ended up being okay.

I bobtailed back to the Atlanta OC since I didn't have my next load yet. On the way there, the satellite unit started beeping, letting me know my next load was coming in.

I was to go down to McDonough and pick up a load going up here to Columbus with a live unload appointment for 8:00 on the 2 nd , which is tomorrow morning as I write this entry.

I picked up the load with no problem, even though it was later than I would have liked it to be leaving Atlanta. Still, no major problems.

Since I had time on the load, I decided to shut down in Knoxville last night and do most of the driving today.

Driving both days was good, and I mostly occupied myself listening to satellite radio, mostly coverage of the primary pandemonium surrounding the Iowa caucuses coming up on the 3 rd . I'm enjoying all that. Like I've said before, I'm a political junkie.

Changes to the changes? Stay tuned for possible changes to what Terry and I are doing. Don't know much . . . can only say that we are going to have a long talk when we both get to Dallas. Terry called me a little while ago, and he is stuck in Chicago at the airport because of the same winter weather I'm looking at outside this window here at the Flying J where I stopped for the night.

I'll keep you posted.

More or less.

Until next time . . . keep the wheels rollin' . . .



Scott said...

Hey Allen where have u been. Need some info about your driving adventure. Are you on PD.com I am ORANGE24

Thanks Scott

Allan Mills said...

Scott . . .

I'm here. I'm actually in Dallas sitting next to Terry's truck (we are parked like you always see the cops parked talking to each other). More on all that next entry. I've just been too tired and cold the past few days to feel like dragging my laptop out.

I am on PD.com -- AllanfromGawja is my screen name on there.

More soon. Thanks for reading!