I spent the night at a brothel.
Well, not inside the brothel, but parked outside. The Area 51 Travel Plaza in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, just off US 95, has a brothel attached to it. And from what the sign said, they have free tours. Support Nevada businesses!
I wasn’t supposed to stop there. I was supposed to be much farther north. But my trip was delayed by a mudflap. One stupid mudflap.
This is, for me, the worst part of this job. I can do this job, I know it. I can keep the truck inside the lines, mostly. I can hook and unhook trailers. I’m doing better on my trip planning. The individual elements of truck driving are, honestly, not that hard. If all I had to do were those basic elements, then I’d be a rock star. And I might still be a rock star.
But it’s more complicated than that.
All I had to do was drop off an empty trailer and pick up a loaded trailer. It should have been simple. But it wasn’t.
“Your trailer should be over there, that’s where all the loaded trailers are.” After walking up and down the row of loaded trailers, I concluded that my trailer was, in fact, not there. I then walked over to where the empty trailers were parked, and saw my loaded trailer. Halfway through a quick walk around, which I do every time before I hook up my truck to a trailer, I saw the driver’s side mud flap lying nice and neat on the ground at the back.
Was it ripped off while on the shipper’s property? Probably. Did the trailer arrive that way? Possibly. Either way, I had no proof, and no clue what actually happened.
It should have been easy. I was supposed to just hook up to a trailer and be on my way. Easy. Easy peasy. But no, now I have The Mudflap Issue to deal with.
Trailers need two mudflaps, it’s a DOT violation without them. I can’t just throw the flap in the truck and go. I need to deal with this.
I call Schneider Emergency Maintainance. This is one of the perks of being a company driver, something goes wrong, there is a full support team there to help out. “Yeah, there’s a truck shop not far, we’ll set up an appointment to get that sorted.” Perfect. I hook up and finally go.
And stop. I check into the shop, they let me know it’ll be a few hours. A few hours? All I need is one mudflap attached.
Let me deal with what you are thinking right now; couldn’t I have just bought a mud flap myself and put it on? Yes, probably. I actually tried to take off the bolts on the bracket, but they were mostly rusted on, and after a few minutes using my meager tools I knew I would cause more problems than I would solve. Besides, it’s not my truck. There are weird written and unwritten rules about company drivers working on company trucks. I’m still figuring those out. So, yes, if I had the right tools, and this was my own truck, this would have been a very different scenario. C’est la vie.
I sat in that shop for seven hours waiting for someone to take twenty minutes to attach a mudflap.
Guess where I am now? A different shop. I made it Oregon, after being delayed those seven hours, and after putting the pedal to the metal I made my appointment. I was a rock star yesterday. Today, I’m back in the shop.
I was supposed to just hook up to a trailer and be on my way. That was this morning. Different load. Different trip. However, this time, instead of simply picking up a loaded trailer, I was going to have to wait for them to load an empty trailer for me. I didn’t budget any time for that, but what can you do? Oh, and then as I was backing up to the dock, I got a “STOP ENGINE!” light. Not just a regular “Check Engine” light, but a full on, fire-engine red light that said, “STOP ENGINE!”, complete with loud ringing throughout the cab. Holy shit, what did I do now, I thought.
I call Schneider Emergency Maintainance. This is one of the perks of being a company driver, something goes wrong, there is a full support team there to help out. “Yeah, there’s a truck shop not far, we’ll set up an appointment to get that sorted.” Perfect. I get loaded and finally go.
And stop. I check into the shop, they let me know it’ll be a few hours.
I knew I wanted to get another blog finished soon, but I didn’t want it to happen this way. Not like this.
Not like this.
C’est la vie.