the load to the middle of no where!




Spruce Mt.,Nevada

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I n my last days of trucking I worked in the heavy haul part of the industry-I done that through much of my trucking life in one way or the other like in construction locally I hauled everything,steel to bulldozers…and the timber woods-same thing,except it was logs and always moving the equipment from one forest to another. So wide loads and heavy stuff fit in-besides,it was regular days on,nights off…it took a long time. The buildings like the one in the photograph took days to move. They weighed several tons-the truck grossed at 110k,the usual legal load is 80k. And all the loads fairly much cooperated,not like cattle-they were unpredicable.
In the heavy haul end of the industry one can pretty much expect to be alone more than other truckers-I liked that part. Alone? The loads were always in an isolated place-or going to an isolated place,sometimes both. A lot of the heavy equipment I hauled was at some location-sometimes at a mile marker on the interstate somewhere…and Id load it and haul it across country somewhere and unload it and never see a soul. It took a lot of imagination because often times I was sent to pull a piece of heavy equipment and had no clue how to operate the thing-and thered be nobody to help…hmm,a secret-any piece of heavy equipment is capable of starting with the same key-John Deere has a key-Catapiler has a key,Komatsu has a hey-one kind of key,so a heavy haul; driver usually has all the keys to crank a machine. But-no matter if you dont-there are other ways to crank a machine with out a key…but Im drifting.
I was always used to hearing the load was going to the middle of nowhere-we often joked and called them a Super WalMart construction site because WalMarts seemed to be every where regardless of population,so my dispatcher told me this building was going going to a true WalMart construction site she was telling the truth….this building went 30 some miles into the desert to the base of Spruce Mountain,about 20 miles south of Wells Nevada-perhaps,I dont remember all the details,I just remember following the lead vehicle driven by an old man who was an employee of the rail road-whose tracks we had to follow to get to where this building now sets.
I hauled this all the way from Bessemmer Alabama,I hope I spelled that right-I hated hauling them because they were so heavy and it always seemed we had to cross one or two good and steep mountain passes-and they were a real pain when it snowed because they made you get off the highway and wait-for days…sometimes good,sometimes a royal pain.
But the again,it was always interesting where these things ended up.
The best part about heavy haul loads is the work-my job was to see it loaded properly and chained-moved and removed,of course-the chains had to be moved around and binders put back on a rack-that was a job,but no hand loading anything like in general frieght at a crowded warehouse in New Jersey somewhere like in Bergen County surrounded by several hundred other trucks and drivers. No-my loads required me getting it there in one piece-and they did the rest. So like this load,I strolled up the base of the mountain a few hundred yards and watched the view.
It was typical-once I hauled a crane from a construction site near the Louisiana state line to Texas-and I hauled it across Texas to a gate in the middle of nowhere-I was instructed to call my dispatcher when I got close to that gates location…which was in the boondocks of all boondocks and still in the pay phone century,so I found a pay phone and the instructions included-be careful of the cattle??!! Of course-I was okay with cattle since I hauled them and worked around them,but I needed some clearer kind of warning….what do you mean-be careful of the cattle?
Some herds are okay-some kinds of cows are agressive in a herd…and there is no reckoning with them. The warning was…this was a rough bunch and further instructions were that I had to locate this gate somewhere near the tenth oak tree that was next to the chewing tobacco sign that had shotgun pellet holes in it-well,the gate was down near the left by the broken tree and it had a red ribbon on it-then the crane had to be hauled through three huge pastures to a construction site.
You probrebly dont know this about cattle…they are nosey and true busy bodies and this is magnified when a vehicle is concerned-they think its got feed in it so they dont hesitate to surround the vehicle. First gate-thats what happened. I had about a hundred head of of cows all grouped around the rig…all of them thinking this big huge truck must have lots of feed…and me having to become an acrobat to figure out how to climb around on my rig to get back inside again.
Each pasture-same deal….new gate,goodbye old group of cows-hello new field full…three times. And-I had to go back out again,same deal…cows are too stupid to remember.
But I loved it-the peace of it…being alone like that,no one to screw with your business and get you hooked into something ….who knows what,its just always that way with people.

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