Corey and I were over our log book hours for the day by the time the sub station was off the trailer. I think I’ve told you loading and unloading, even if we aren’t in the truck, count as driving hours? If not I have now. So with driving hours and waiting around for the load to come off we were definitely not legal to go anywhere even if we wanted too.
Despite not having any intention to leave town that night we did still technically break the law by doing what we did while the sub station was being put in it’s final resting place, but because of where we were, in the middle of nowhere and with no one was watching, we figured, fuck it!
What am I talking about? I’m talking about spending the last hour and a half of our day preparing ourselves for the trip home the following day. If we got ourselves a good head start on the morning we’d have a good shot at making the return leg the day and a half we wanted it to be,
What did preparing ourselves entail? Firstly it meant making the trailer smaller, back to the 3.2 metres wide most other loads on the road were. Then we hooked the dolly to Corey’s tractor and he reversed it up onto the trailer, a prick of a job at the best of times given those dollys always seem to have a mind of their own, but Corey did a stellar job of it. Then once his truck was on the trailer we tied it down and secured it.
In all it took us about an hour and a half to prepare ourselves so that we could leave at sparrow’s fart the following morning. Have I explained sparrow’s fart? No? Yes? Maybe? Well for those that forget…Farting is the first thing many people do when they wake up, sparrows are no different and if you’d gotten up early enough in your life you’d have heard them. If you haven’t heard a sparrow fart, and they are quite distinctive, you haven’t been up early enough!!
So being able to do a bit of extra work when our log books weren’t being checked was part of the reason for our extra time setting up the trucks for the following day but the hour we could leave was another part. And since I’m sure you wont tell anyone about our little effort I think we’ll be safe!
The following morning as the sun rose in the east and we sat around the truck having breakfast it was hard not to look at our convoy as a mere shadow of what it had been for the last five days. The two Ford F250’s were parked at the front of my truck and both had their “Wide Load” signs down, because they wouldn’t need them for the run home, and where there had been a 155 tonne power substation was Corey’s tractor and the dolly from the trailer.
Corey’s tractor was parked backwards on the trailer, because it made sense to have the heaviest part of the load on the rear axles of the trailer not the fifth wheel. Not that Corey’s tractor was overly heavy for the trailer, but it still made sense to load any cargo in such a way. An added bonus of such loading is that you sometimes get to play with people’s minds. If a driver comes up on the truck from behind unexpectedly, as in on a blind corner or similar, being confronted with a truck seemingly coming towards them can be a real kicker, especially if it happens at a hundred kilometres per hour.
By 7am and with one final check of the load and all the paper work we were back on the road and heading home.
We were barely forty clicks out of Tank before someone asked over the CB whether we were going to push it for a one leg journey home or stopping over night. Between Corey and I we could easily handle the semi and remain in our driving hours, and there was no restrictions in the pilot vehicles, but with so few kilometres under our belts I wasn’t prepared to give the guys false hope. It was that sniff of home that prompted such a thought of course, and we all got it at some point, but there is nothing worse than thinking you’re on the homeward run and having to pull over for the night.
I could give you a blow by blow, kilometre by kilometre account of our trip home but honestly it was just like any other trip. There was some kind drivers, some patient drivers and some down right decent drivers, who were all over shadowed but some complete dickheads, but in the end it was just another day on the road really. Besides this story was about a heavy haulage and with the signs down we were no longer a heavy load.
In the end it was 9:17pm when we pulled into the yard. We were all tired and the thought of another night camped out didn’t fill us with elation, so at 4:30pm we decided to push though and make home base our evening stop. It meant we could park up the trucks as they were in the yard, leave them over night and unload them in the morning. It was one of those situations where the pull of seeing our families and of course our own beds was just too strong.
So there you go, one trip down and I’m going to sleep. Goodnight!