I knew Henry wouldn’t need the footage until the following morning so dinner was my main priority. I left my phone plugged into the charger, opened the door and began to step down from the cab. Once on terra firma I shut the door and followed my nose to the smell of dinner, which was only a few steps away but I think my nose was definitely leading me.
“Where’s me dinner?” I asked with a smirk.
“In the fucking fridge, the same place ours was before you went back to the truck for a Nana nap!” Phil replied.
“Geez it’s nice to have mates that are willing to look after your well being.” I said.
“I was looking after your well being, I was letting the old fella nap so he doesn’t fall asleep before he finishes his meal!” Phil fired back at me.
“And to think I was just on the phone to Henry suggesting you deserved a pay rise for all your hard work and effort today.” I said.
“You were not!” The look on Phil’s face as he spoke the words hinted that he didn’t think I was telling the truth but he wasn’t sure enough to doubt me verbally in case I wasn’t.
“You’re right, I wasn’t but after the fridge comment next time he rings I’m going to tell him to dock your pay 80% for being a smart arse and not pulling your weight!” I responded.
“So I’ll only be getting paid the same as you monkeys?” Phil was quick with his come backs.
“Gotta make it home to be paid.” I said, obviously the rest of the crew were happy to let this conversation go forth uninterrupted.
“Yeah that is a big risk, I’ve seen your driving, but as long as I stay on the road I should be safe from you hitting me.”
“You’re within punching distance right now!” I said, everyone around us knowing there was no seriousness in my comments.
“Okay, you win, I’m not picking on you after your Nana nap when you’ve got your childlike strength back.” While he was speaking his statement Phil stepped up to the portable fridge, opened the lid and pulled out a cold drink, the handed it to me. “Here ya go mate, snags will be ready in a minute.”
And just like that the conversation was over, both of us had had our fun, made a few shit stirring comments and had a bit of a laugh at each others expense. It was conversations like that which kept us all mates.
In the time it had taken me to have my conversation with Henry the boys had managed to cook two rounds of snags, bacon and bumnuts on the smallish grill plate and the third round was being cooked for Trey, Millie and myself.
I sat down on a low point of the trailer, beside where the dolly and trailer connected, and opened my the can of Coke that Phil had handed me. I’d have loved it to be an ice cold beer but I think I told you early on that none of us drink alcohol on the road, even with the rig parked up for twelve hours, so soft drink it was.
“So what did Henry want?” Corey asked half way through a bacon and egg sandwich.
“Client doesn’t want his delivery any more and he’s calling us home?” Pete said.
It might not have seemed all that funny to some one not in our situation but to us such a comment was funny. The logistics of such an idea made it impossible to begin, none of our permits would allow us to just turn around and come home. But what was even funnier, to us, was the thought that a client would just turn his $5mill purchase around because he’d changed his mind. Some days that felt like the kind of luck we had, but things hadn’t been that bad since we left the depot.
“Nope, white is not his colour, he wants the thing in pink!” I replied.
Again it might not be funny to everyone but we had ourselves a chuckle.
As I was being handed a couple of pieces of bread with a few snags, two rashes of bacon, a bumnut and some tomato sauce between them I told the boys why Henry had called.
“Oh shit! I thought you must have called him while we were dealing with the guy.” Jimmy said confirming what I’d discovered earlier about our confusion relating to who called the boss.
“Oh well in the end the dickhead in the Commodore saved us both the effort!” I said with a smile.
I went on to explain why Henry had called, how the dickhead driver wanted to sue us, the high chance that the expert lawyer and panel beater where one in the same person and that Henry wanted copies of the footage from our dash cams.
“Can’t wait to hear how much he thinks it’s going to cost to fix the damage to that shit box he was driving. If the bill is more than $20 it’s worth more than the whole car!” Jimmy said.
Being a little more tech savvy than the rest of us Angus waited until the end of the conversation then excused himself and went of to get the data Henry requested from the camera in my truck, the camera in the lead ute and the camera on the front corner of the load.
Thirty minutes later we were all standing around the laptop screen that was sitting on steel guards over the dual drive axles of my truck watching the videos Angus had downloaded and cut the highlights from.
Looking at the footage there was no mistaking what happened and who was responsible for what happened. There was no footage of the actual accident given that it happened after the front of the load went past and Corey’s dash cam picked up nothing but the dust of the car tail sliding in the dirt, but we didn’t need it. The footage leading up to the point where the car went past the front corner of the load was more than enough evidence to prove we were not doing anything wrong.
“Send it. Let Henry deal with the dickhead and his delusions about who should pay for his car.” I said.
Previous Heavy Haulage story here.