A bunch of useless crap
Published on July 26, 2011 By MasonM In Blogging

I am currently hauling a farm tractor and military trailer to Washington state. It's a wide wide due to the tractor axles. The tractor is going to a port where it will then take a slow boat to China. I'll be delivering the trailer to Ft Lewis.

I got started late Friday afternoon and made my way across Wisconsin to get close to the Minnesota line. Everything went well on Saturday until I was about 10 miles from Fargo, North Dakota when a trailer tire decided that it was tired of going in circles and blew out.

Although not exactly legal, I limped on in to Fargo as I figured that was the closest place to get the tire replaced. Turns out the truck stop wasn't a Michelin dealer so my shop started calling around to locate someone who could come out and replace the tire.

It took about four hours to track down a road service shop and get them out to replace the tire. At that point the day was pretty well shot so I located a cheap hotel and checked in for the night.

There was an excellent restaurant across the road from the hotel and I enjoyed a plate of ribs that were so tender the meat was literally falling off the bones. As it would happen the restaurant also had a bar so I was able to enjoy a couple of  cold beers with my ribs.

I got an early start on Sunday morning and made pretty good time despite all of the road construction going on across Montana. Around 2:00 PM I pulled into the Flying J in Rocker, Montana which is about 4 miles west of Butte. As is my habit I did a quick walk around of my rig to check the condition of the load securements and the rig overall.

When I got the back of the trailer I heard the distinct sound of an air leak. Great, just what I needed. After a brief investigation I found that the suspension air bag located next to the tire that had blown out had a cut in it. The only fix for that is to replace the air bag.

The shop made some calls and located a shop in Butte who said they could take a look at it right away so I headed over there. He confirmed the damage to the air bag but didn't have that particular one in stock. He located one over in Missoula, MT and said they would send it via UPS and it would arrive the following morning.

Nothing for it but to wait it out. I checked into the Rocker Inn. I spent some time in the hotel lounge chatting with fellow guests and some truckers who came over from the truck stop. One woman in particular was...entertaining. Due to some legal issues she is currently experiencing she asked me to not write anything she had told me that might lead to additional legal problems for a family member, and I promised to not do so. She did have some entertaining stories though.

When I called this morning they said they had received the air bag and the trailer should be ready to go around 11:00 AM local time. That also happened to be check out time at the hotel. I hung around until that time, checked out, and came over to the shop where I discovered they hadn't even started on it yet.

Well, needless to say I was more than a bit annoyed and let them know it. They immediately put a man on it, and I am sitting here watching to make sure he stays on it until the job is finished. As it is I am now a full day behind schedule and will have to order a new Washington over size permit as the one I have now expires today.

Getting the new permit is being made more difficult by the fact that the phone service is out at our office and they are having to do everything via cell phones. Without the phones and computers things are going very slowly. Not to mention they have no way to get the new permit as the fax machine can't function without phone service.

Just more fuel for the fire.

Hopefully the phone service will be restored soon and we can get back to business as usual. Time is money and I have already lost a bunch of it. I need to get this load delivered tomorrow so I can get on to the next one. It is what it is, though and there isn't a damn thing I can do to change it so I guess I'll just smoke another pipe and chill out.


on Jul 27, 2011

Hopefully you are now on your way to Washington.  Without any further problems!  Maybe one day you can tell us those stories too!

on Jul 27, 2011
Thanks, Guy. I am currently sitting in the Mt Si Tavern in North Bend, WA. I finally received the new Washington permit late this morning. Too late to make delivery today, but early enough that I can be there first thing tomorrow morning. It was a pretty uneventful ride here today. Beautiful scenery and moderate traffic.