It seems I'm always out working in the snow.
And I've driven in some crazy snow storms in the past.
Even when NY City bans ALL traffic, I'd be there, hauling gasoline or food.
Once in a while a cop would stop me, during the traffic ban, and it's always a rookie.
No Biggie. I'd stop right in the middle of the highway. I'd sit and wait for HIM to approach me, yelling at me to pull over onto the shoulder piled high with snow. "NOPE! I've got an emergency load to deliver. I can't be getting stuck on the shoulder with a load of fuel just because YOU say so."
Usually, a few words and the passing cars nearly killing the cop is enough to make him go away.
Normally what happens, when it is about to snow, the big trucking companies shut down all their trucks. These days, there are so many drivers with barely any road experience to begin with, they would rather loose out on work then wreck a truck.
So, Mobil, Sunoco, etc, would park all their trucks.
And my company would take on the extra work load. Me, being an owner operator, I'd only accept the best paying deliveries when it was snowing.
They call and say we got a LOT of extra work. I'd say "What stations?" They'd say "We have a LOT, we really need you." I'd say "Nawww, it's too dangerous to go out. BUT, if you get any Mobil stations, Gimme a call, I'll come in for those."
The dispatcher would call the terminal manager, and the terminal manager would call me. And I'd explain it to him. "I won't risk an accident for a crappy paying load. But I will, for a great paying load."
And my phone would soon ring.
I always made 3 times my normal pay when it snowed. The worse it snowed, the more I made. And I'd work until the roads were cleared. Some days, I'd sleep on the steering wheel while waiting to get loaded with gas. Someone behind me wake me up. But if I could not actually pull up under the loading rack, I'd rip the guy waking me up a new asshole. (BTW: Don't ever piss ever me off when I'm really tired.) lol
So this week, all the big trucking companies cancelled loads, as usual. And my boss began accepting work like crazy, hauling heavy loads of juice and water.
He called me, asked me if I wanted to do any of them. I said, "Is it paying ME any more?"
I replied "Then NOPE! I am NOT at all interested."
So, the Boss ran the loads with a couple of new guys, they all ran together in 2 foot deep snow at some spots.
And I was all happy, snuggled up with the dogs in my house.
Then, at the height of the snow falling, 2 to 3 inches an hour, he calls me and tells me there is an Apple load that NEEDS to get loaded.
I'm a bit surprised. I said, "And you JUST found out about it NOW??"
He said he forgot about it.
UGGHHHH! He could probably hear me rolling my eyes.
I said "I'm gonna need a little extra money for this stupid shit."
( I don't know what the fuck is wrong with this guy! I mean, how do you forget something like that?!)
So, I went out to the yard to go load the apples.
I arrive and find there are two trucks in yard. One, the Key is not there. Turns out the Boss had it in his pocket, so no one could drive his prized Peterbuilt.
BUT, it was hooked up to the only 53 Foot trailer left in the yard. I can't use that trailer, which I really needed.
And the other truck, the old Volvo, I fired it up, it ran for 25 seconds, coughing and spitting, and then it died.
Uggghh! I spent an hour taking off fuel filters, heating them up with a propane soldering torch, and then draining the frozen fuel out into a bucket, and refilling them with fresh diesel fuel, after having to hike 300 yards back and forth to get tools and a can of fuel, then luckily I had my own can of starting fluid in my jeep, because his supply was empty.
I tried it again, and it barely started in the 18 degree temp, but it did sputter to life. It was barely running. A white cloud of smoke was spewing out of the exhaust stack. It was over 5 minutes before I could relax my foot on the accelerator pedal, and let it warm up on it's own.
By the time I left, my fingers were completely numb. I did not bring big heavy winter gloves along, because I assumed I'd be driving the truck, not fucking around in wind and snow for an hour. The leather work gloves I had are fine for like 5 minutes in the cold, not an hour.
So, I go to first stop, 20 minutes away, I'm out in cold and snow and wind again, on a forklift, loading the pallets on the open dock. Metal dock plates in snow and bald, solid rubber tires on a forklift...well, that's a whole other set of skills. It's not something you want to do when it's snowing hard. But I got it loaded.
Then when I was leaving, the truck and trailer are on a steep incline at this old farm's loading dock. It got stuck. I had to dig the snow out by hand from under the wheels. I had wisely brought along my own tow chain. I laid it in a snakey form under the drive wheels and the truck rolled right out. But it was more messing around in the snow for my already frozen hands.
Then I had to drive to two other farms.
It was almost 90 minutes of me sitting on one hand or the other before ALL the feeling finally came back to my fingers.
And because I only had a small trailer, I had to load the SHIT out of that trailer.
I got all of the apples on, but getting them off was going to be a lot of extra work.
I called Boss and said, "Okay, it's all loaded. There is one spare inch at the back doors. And BTW, I'M not going to deliver them."
Hey, if I had the 53 foot trailer, it would have been fine.
So, I'll let the boss fuck around with it.
I'm sure later today, I'll hear ALL about what a horrible job it was to pull them off.
Anyways, it was just another day for me.
And...side note: Boss said he would deliver the load, but instead he sent the new driver who has recently been doing ALL the loads I normally do, for a lot less money then I charge. And usually, after the new guy does one load, I never get that particular load offered to me again..unless I want to drop my price a whole bunch.
Welp, I've been getting that fucked up Apple load offered to me constantly lately.
I guess the new guy had a horrible time unloading it. HA!