We’re on a road to nowhere
Come on inside
Taking that ride to nowhere
We’ll take that ride
Actually that’s not quite true, we were on a road to somewhere and that somewhere at that sometime was Grenstein only we weren’t heading there at that exact time.
We’d just cleared the roundabout in Riverbend, when I say cleared it I didn’t mean we cleared it of whatever was on it, no, no, no, I meant we got the massive truck with the 155 tonne sub station on the back clear of the roundabout.
The good people of Riverbend obviously wanted their road back and the bloody big truck out of the way and we were doing the best we could to achieve that but some things take time.
Once Corey’s truck was clear of the roundabout and the rig was straight we pulled everything up. First and foremost our job was to check that what we’d left behind was in as close to the same state as it was when we arrived.
Just like when you rent a car they do an inspection of the vehicle before you leave and you agree to any damage that might be present, then upon return the same inspection is done and you pay for any new damage, that’s what we do.
Some inspections take longer than others, for instance we didn’t divert off the bitumen through town so the need for going back over every metre was barely needed. However with something like a roundabout, especially one with something as important as a cenotaph mounted in the middle of it the after inspection is as important for us as it is the township. Getting out of the truck also gave us a chance to stretch our legs a bit before the final run of the day into Grenstein.
While Trey, Phil and I walked back to the intersection, met someone from the local council who had been handed the responsibility of watching us move through town and looked at the path we’d just followed the other guys all checked the trailer and load.
I’m sure we’ve all heard those stories of council workers who are so bored in their work lives that they appear robotic and they spend their days just going through the motions. They get their cushy little jobs, jobs they really don’t have to preform well too keep as long as they turn up each day and clock on. Well the guy who the council sent to watch our truck was one of them, he’d turned up to work and done the same thing for so many years he was a lost cause. We did find out he’d started at the council thirty four years earlier, he was one of the guys they taught to sleep standing up while leaning on a shovel, the only difference thirty four years later was that he could sleep at a desk.
So what did that mean for us? Pretty much that as long as the cenotaph was still upright once the truck had passed it we were in the clear and there would be no penalties or hold ups. Not that we did leave any damage for them to pick up but it was good getting that little bit of a free run by not having a real bastard nit pick everything we did.
The good news didn’t stop with the lazy council worker either, the boys checking the trailer and load found no issues too. Not that we expected them but it’s one of those things, if you don’t check regularly problems creep up on you and often slam you in the face in large numbers. As I might have mentioned before, preventative maintenance always trumps waiting until it’s too late.
From the streets of Riverbend all the way to our overnight stop, a truck stop on the Grenstein highway bypass, we wouldn’t be needing walkers so within twenty minutes of bringing the big load to a stop we are all bums on seats and ready to rock.
Even the road out of Riverbend was wide and straight, unlike so many other small towns, and providing Pete kept the front pilot within sight of the load we didn’t even need an escort by the police or roads crew.
It was a left hand turn from the Riverbend road onto the Bachelor Highway but it was such a wide sweeping bend on such an open area that we barely had to slow down. For normal traffic, including trucks, the speed limit of the bend was eighty kilometres per hour, we wouldn’t be going that fast but we could take the turn at a reasonable speed without needing to walk the trailer around the bend.
In case you’ve been reading with your eyes closed, walking the trailer around the bend would mean we had to use the remote to steer each axle one after the other and let the wheels of the trailer push it around the corner rather than follow the tractor like a normal trailer would.
Once we were on the Bachelor highway things were about as cruisey as they were ever going to get. Wide roads, plenty of room for other vehicles to pass when we moved over, reasonably maintained roads and no peak hour to speak of made the travelling some of the best since we left home.
It was thirteen minutes after three PM when we arrived at the truck stop on the Grenstein bypass, seventeen minutes before our official curfew at 3:30pm. If we’d been in one of those reality TV shows you’d have been told for the last hour that we weren’t going to make it! Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t sitting back with my feet up relaxing in the driver’s seat thinking we had it in the bag I was watching the clock as well but with trip computers and GPS I was fairly confident we’d reach our rest stop in time.
Once the engines had wound down, the flashing lights all extinguished and the log books filled out I was finally able to climb down from the cab. I looked around the open dry parking area, it wasn’t much but it was home…well home for the night.
Previous Heavy Haulage story here.