my home on the road…and how I miss it!




praxair load

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I found myself on a crew that hauled vessels-which required specialized handling because they were over 100 feet long and somehow seemed to be srtatigically set in the middle of a city somewhere like the one in the photo…it came from down in the depths of Chicago.
Now-its a gaurantee that if you went somewhere to deliver one there was going to be one waiting to be removed. Its an all day ordeal. A crew has to be sent to loosen everything up and then a crane crew has to be there to pick the thing up and move it and set it in a temporary cradle-that has to be brought by a seperate semi truck and taken off by the crane as well. Then you get the one you hauled removed which takes several hours because everything has to be repositioned to load to return vessel.
They hold nitrogen…I think,sounds good anyway-but whatever they hold it is used to be the refrigerant for a huge building which is a huge freezer where a variety of Americas frozen dinners are kept..
Hauling something like this is a piece of cake as long as you are going straight down the road-but turns are tricky,and being in a city makes this an extreme challenge because its like driving a hook and ladder fire truck with out the rear driver-or the sirens,and when a turn is required you have to take every lane by swinging way over into the left lanes to grab as much turning space as possible. Imagine that in a city.
All cities are different-policies I am talking about. To haul these things one has got to have a permit-the city hands that out and the frequency of the need to write a permit for this kind of thing comes once in about every two or three years so the guy in charge of that job also keeps the lawns mowed in the cemeteries or some odd job like that and it is always the one which is hardest to catch up with …always,almost as if it is planned.
A permit is like an act of God if you are trying to get one from a city.
So-often times one trys to over ride the system and tests fate by pulling on out with out the proper papers. Like sneaking across borders.
Now street cops-on foot…then patrol units in cars and much of the time they are’nt awre of the permit part and if things are good you can get some help stopping traffic…..but then,there are times things werent at all going smooth and a guy in an overlength semi truck can really piss off a lot of people fast.,yet Ive had a blast pushing them back with the big truck-always winning because the size over rules.
In New York City we were supposed to stop at the foot of any bridge and there was this telephone box that rang at some precienct station somewhere and IF somebody decided to answer after the ten thousanth ring you might be lucky. We were supposed to call and wait for a cop to come and lead us across the bridge with his lights flashing and for a fee of a hundred bucks. If you were ever able to get somebody on the other end of the phone line to answer the thing you’d still wait hours before the escort cop came.
The sign they placed to advise green horn truckers they needed to phone ahead was so small no one could ever see them…it was meant that way.
A seasoned driver drove on across-it was better this way because they stopped you at the toll booth on the other side and gave you an ass chewing for being so stupid and then they phoned the cop-who came right away with his ass chewing and his fist out for that hundred bucks plus the fee for him-an extra thirty,a fine. It was worth it and the way of life in the city-palms out.

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