Goodaye all, here I am in downtown Griffith, can’t unload till tomorrow morn, but it could have been worse. I had to deliver to Bourke loading out of Brisbane Friday and was told they did not open till Monday. As you might imagine, it is bad enough getting here last night and sitting till Monday, let alone sitting in Bourke for nearly two days and then not getting into Melbourne to load tomorrow. So I made some phone calls and explained my request, normally no problem but boss was away for week-end and would see what he could do. He rang back and said the best they could do was 3PM Saturday. I said thank you that would be very much appreciated and it was and I left there are arrived here about 10.30PM.
There is of course a backstory to this, and it started loading Monday for delivery to Shepparton Tuesday morning, two drops there then into Melbourne. Got to Shep just in time to do my spot on “Nightshift”, then later in the morning up and in to unload, got to gate and lady walked out and said, “You have to go in the other gate”, the sign I had passed said TRUCK ENTRY then in smaller letters 6 PM to 6 AM. We discussed this and she said ”Will you be able to back out?” I suppose we will find out as I backed the b-double back out onto the street, lucky it was not a busy spot. Seems she has not and does not want to see the sign as it is.
Then into the next gate and walk around for a bit till I find another small sign, ring this number for deliveries, so I did and they turned up. A compliment on the rig, unload, a copy of Owner Driver and off to the next place. In, have to take two pallets off and test product, yes I can sit in the lunchroom and have coffee after I sign in, OK thanks. An hour or so later I wander out and they have nearly unloaded me, all good, but the driveway out is an angular downhill and turn nightmare, but by running over a bit of the garden, no damage, just use the mulched bit, got out no damage.
Noticed a tyre doughy, stopped to put some air in to get into Melbourne as no weight on it and enough air to get me there. I had only driven 4 meters in the yard in Dubbo before I went to load and picked up a wall screw from some new work. I had picked up 40 for that reason, but this one I missed and it too could have been worse.
Off to Melbourne, go to last place I delivered with the address on our paperwork, no one home, ring the place, no we haven’t used that for months, Oh thanks, back to other site just down the road so all good there and new warehouse all done and even has a cover so we can unload in the rain now without getting wet, bonus. So then round to tyre place and got it repaired and to yard, but can’t load till tomorrow, so tea and an early night.
Wednesday morning, Plan, A, then B, then C and we are off to load, then to top up and made an effort to get into Dubbo to get trailers serviced and few jobs done. Had been told I would be adding a third trailer for the leg to Toowoomba/Brisbane or Gatton pads as such, but after getting my trailers done and some extras, asked about the other trailer. You have to go and load it, OH!!! No one mentioned that.
Find it, check it over, put some gear in it, rush off to load, broken gate nearly took out two fingers and then the pole fell out of the curtain, I doubt my steel caps would have saved my toes if it had hit on the end. Ring and inform workshop, back soon with work for you, how long 45 mins? Back to yard, organize repairs, put some more straps on as I had to double stack some pallets, hook up and no clearance to the second trailer. The dropdecks just don’t like others in front, talk of transhipping, but in the end by now getting late, leave it for now and go as is. But then have to clean turntable from the trailer I loaded and then skidplate from my A after greasing the loaded trailer turntable, having greaseless is good most of the time.
So out late, a quick shower at Moree and into Toowoomba. Up to unload in the morning there, in to Brisbane depot to unload as won’t make timeslot and then get to load. Off to load and after about 15 minutes discussion about the weight of the product, I was wording up my next column for Owner Driver. You know how you try to help people and they will not listen.
Paperwork lists product as being 1100kg, but three times previously I have explained, complained and weighed product before. Paperwork is correct I am told, no it’s not, so we will go and look, yes please. We check the container, no weight listed, we weigh the container, 1400plus KG! The clerk goes back to the office and I detail again to the forkie. He goers off to explain but finds a manager who then comes and asks me to detail issue and I do, for which he thanks me and says will be fixed.
I raised the issue for two reasons, the first is what if a driver comes in and loads a full load of this product, based on their paperwork, then goes out very overweight and has a crash and kills someone. The supplier will be in the shit, and very deep. The second is they are being ripped off for cartage and so is everyone else. It should not take three times to get it fixed and I should not have to virtually hassle people to be listened to, particularly when the info I supply is confirmed.
My column would have been, why must it be so hard to help people, now it will detail what we go through to be heard. I may save a driver from a fine or a crash and this company from a major and very serious COR breach, yes I got a thank you, but it was the third time I had raised it and was the problem the last two times, that I am “just a truck driver?”
So an interesting week, trailer airbags stay up now, save lots of time building up air, got a couple of shockies done and have even asked workshop manager to write me something, the roads are killing them. In our submission for the shock, hidden request for comment on rego rises, I commented that they are asking us to pay more for less, the roads are not being built or repaired properly, we must get better value before we pay more, then the roads wreck the trucks, let alone the driver and then we get pinged for worn out trucks. What a vicious circle and it is our lives on the road!
I got most of the tar off the truck while sitting, another bloody problem with their lousy repairs, so now back to the truck for tea. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.