This is a true story as told me by a friend in the trucking biz yesterday… and a good reminder of how close to disaster most small trucking companies are on a daily basis, when just one bad breakdown or a little bad mojo can spell catastrophe.
My friend was about 3 states away with his hot shot rig and the truck hauling his 40′ trailer started overheating on him on hills. He started stopping atop each long hill and letting the truck cool down, not great for making time, but the truck is older and he was babying it along to try and make it home.
At the top of one of the hills (these are big hills now, actually the Rocky Mountains) he pulls off the side to let it cool down again, hears a loud “POP” and smoke begins billowing out from under the hood.
To make a long story short, the darned truck caught fire and despite two fire extinguishers being emptied on it, the truck ended up burning to the ground, a total loss. My friend was able to salvage some of his property before it went up in smoke, and his trailer is alright, but he was left stranded on the side of the road about halfway between two small mountain towns. Not a nice place to be.
Luckily he was able to get a friend to come get him and the trailer. Unluckily, that same friend was to deliver his load this week, but the friend’s truck threw a rod right through the oil pan of his new Ford truck.
Now, my friend wants me to take the load on to the final destination and although I won’t risk pulling his trailer, if he can manage to have the load shifted onto mine, I may do it.
Although I have to confess I’m hoping like hell he finds someone else to take it as it would cost a fortune to have it craned over onto my trailer. Anyone else would suit me fine…
Now it’s not that I’m unsympathetic, because I do feel bad for him! I know as well as anyone that losing your truck is about the worst thing that can go wrong in trucking (short of bodily harm) and I know the insurance money he’ll get won’t cover a new truck. Which makes me feel for him.
But… that load has already knocked out two trucks in as many days. I’m not normally superstitious, but today I’m feeling it.
I’ve got a bad feeling that this is just one darned unlucky load, and I can’t afford my truck to break down… so maybe I’ll just hang some garlic from the rear view mirror, hide under the covers, and pretend I’m out of town in case he calls back.
Not very friend-like, I know, but dang!