January 3, 2009

Another Run In With The Law

We were bad. We were very very bad. I'll admit it and he admits the guilt too.
BUT....we were only going two miles to our next pick up! And we got CAUGHT!
Maybe I shouldn't have been bragging about the great safety rating. I was bragging after all....just a bit. But barely an hour after I had finished typing all that little story up, we got pulled over. Mr. Super Trucker didnt' have his seat belt on and got caught. But like I said we were going maybe two miles if that.
Oh, the drama! The guy was kind of gruff to start off with and gave us the "seatbelt" speech, and scared me by telling us that under federal law commercial truck drivers went to jail for not wearing a seatbelt and he was within his rights to take Malcolm in and I'd have to drive over to...where ever....and bail him out. Yikes!
Strike two....the medical card. He was disgusted with Malcolm for not having the medical card, and disgusted with the officer in Las Vegas for letting it slide. Another mild lecture.
"Are both of you drivers?"
"I need to see her license, medical card, and log book also. Do you know why?"
"Yes sir, I do. Because I was in the cab of the truck."
Strike three....I was sitting up front while we drove over to the next stop. Who wouldn't be, and I'll be honest. We brake this law ALL the time, because its DUMB. If I'm in the cab, I have to be logged, whether I'm driving or not. Well I'm sorry, but who's going to sit in the sleeper half the day. For one, its uncomfortable to sit back there, and I'd never get any blogging done! So I told him I wasn't logged, hadn't been logged since the 31st because thats the last time I did anything.
He looked at my loggs and tisked...and now I need to give a little explanation.
Our computer logging program carries the line over to the next day everytime we change duty status. This is hard to explain without a picture to illustrate, but none is available. Anyway, because I hadn't done anything since I went off duty at 5:00pm on the 31st, thats where the line stopped.
Mr. Arizona Officer Man said that was a 7 day log violation because I wasn't up to date. He was going to shut me down for 10 hours.
By this time I was near tears, and he told me not to start crying. Ok, like I have control over that at this point. It was just too much. And he was being nice about it, and he was impressed that we knew the things we knew, like that I wasn't supposed to be in the front seat. Apparently other driver's don't know that, or claim ignorance.
Anyway, he took all our papers, and Malcolm back to his car. And I waited and waited and finally Malcolm comes back and gets in and hands me a stack of papers. Turns out the rough exterior was covering up a nice guy (plus he saw our safety rating). He wrote Malcolm a ticket for $28 for not having a seatbelt on. He also wrote up the medical card and log violation in his inspection report, but didn't write a citation for it. What a relief. The whole thing only took an HOUR!
And then Malcolm went to start the truck to leave and....it was DEAD! Could this day get any worse! Don't know what was up with that, but he was able to hook some jumper cables to the reefer unit on the trailer and then to our batteries and get her rumbling. And we were out of there. And since then I've been cowering in the back, and occasionally sitting up front with my logg book showing me sitting up here, wasting my hours, and fussing at Malcolm for not putting his seatbelt on right away cause I figure the guys out there lurking around watching for us. We were, after all, the 5th truck he'd pulled over that morning and we were going to be the third one he shut down.
Just so you know....
we are sticklers for seatbelts. We've seen too many accidents, and too many BAD accidents where the drivers walked away ONLY because of seatbelts. The ONLY time we don't wear them is when we're going between stops that are just a few blocks apart...and sometimes on the roads around the ranch, cause its just different somehow. So don't send me a dozen emails lecturing on seatbelts. We always wear them. He just caught us on a bad day. Seriously...the guy could have met his monthly quota just on us and been done for the month of January just on the second day. He was REALLY nice and forgiving!

1 comment:

Meagan said...

Whew! What a day! Glad it all worked out okay.

Hey, I like the addition of the slideshow, but who are the random people?