April 27, 2008

The Power of the Coffee Break

I havn't officially announced this yet, but I guess I am now, because I have a story. We bought this hopper trailer we're pulling about two months ago, knowing it was an older trailer, it had some defects, but it was a decent deal and the right weight, and weight was important. The lighter we weigh, the more product we can haul, and the more the load will pay us since we are paid by the ton.
So this trailer had a few hairline cracks in the welds and we had to put a new tire on it, just one, and a few other things that are kind of irritants, but we decided to live with them, for at least a year or so before we bought a newer one. Then, while looking at TruckPaper.com, Malcolm ran across a beautiful all aluminum spread axle hopper trailer for a great price. He called on it, but someone had already bought it, or at least they were waiting for the financing to go through. So with dissapointment, Malcolm said thanks anyway, and yeah, sure, give me a call if the deal falls through. (OH...we just passed a field with a dozen tiny new colts all stretched out in the sun napping!) He never expected them to call.
A week later the phone rings and its the dealership and the guys financing didn't work out, and they wanted to know if we still wanted the trailer. So, long story short, Malcolm told them we'd take it, we put together the financing, and are supposed to pick it up next week or sometime after.
Now....here's the story. I have been slightly hesitant about the whole thing, as I always am because I can't stand to spend money, except on yet another pointless toy for my girls that doesn't even get played with because like all kids they have their favorites and prefer kleenexes and boxes and my fingers and whatever else isn't officially "their toys." Getting off subject again, but my girls play into every story. I knew the trailer was a great deal. I knew this one has been less than optimal for what we were doing, and I knew we were going to get one eventually anyway. But I still hate spending money. Anyway, something happened a little while ago to make me VERY greatful that we are buying a new trailer. We stopped at this little town in Oregon on hwy 97 to grab a coffee and take a break. While Malcolm was waiting for me to get my shoes on he got out of the truck and walked around checking tires like he always does. (He's such a responsible truck driver.) I got out and he called for me to come to the rear of the trailer. And there, on the side of the rear hopper, was a fine trickle of dust, coming out very fast, and already turning the ground white beneath us. Ok, first reaction is "umm....how long has that been coming out." Second reaction..."what do we do now?" Third reaction....."HOW LONG HAS THAT BEEN COMING OUT!!!!"
Because you see, as I mentioned earlier, we're paid by the ton, so an ounce of stuff on the ground is an ounce that we don't get paid for, and if we weigh significantly less at our destination than we did at the shipper, then WE pay for the product that is "missing."
My quick thinking husband grabbed his laquer(I have no idea how to spell that) thinner and a roll of duct tape, swabbed down the sides of the offending area, and plastered the crack with about a dozen pieces of tape. Now we're just keeping our fingers crossed that it holds up for two more loads and that the product we'll be hauling won't be as fine as this pearlite that we're hauling now. And we won't know till we weigh in at the reciever if we lost a handfull of the stuff, or a couple hundred pounds. Hopefully it had just started seeping through.
If there is one lesson to learn from this, I think its this:
Never under-estimate the power of the last minute, unplanned for, coffee break. They can prove very valuable....figurativly and literally speaking.

1 comment:

Meag said...

YIKES! Let me know how that one turns out! Glad y'all weren't hauling something toxic! lol... just kidding, I know you have to have special stuff to do that! Hope you're able to get your money back out of this trailor and that your new one turns out as well as you expect! Good luck with the rest of this load and the next couple too!