One day in 1978 I talked to a man about trucking and his reply was that it was great and “did I want to buy his trailer.” I bought his trailer that week and then started up a new trucking company. Now the proud owner of a transportation company I had to learn very quickly on how to obtain work and deal with shippers/receivers.
I started operating with a 32 ft. trailer, so when I was asked to move a 20 ft. long pipe from Calgary, Alberta to Fort McMurray, Alberta, both in Canada, a distance of 463 miles [745 km] it seemed a nice easy load. A deal was struck. When I went to pick it up I was awe struck at what it turned out to be. It was 20ft. long but the other dimensions were not what I expected.
Its diameter was
large enough to drive the truck and trailer through! Also it was not one pipe
but two. I had already had made a deal so I was committed to take it. This
was a very unstable as it had a very high center of gravity and was at my
maximum weight allowance. It was delivered safely after many nervous moments.
This turned out to be the most dangerous load that I ever transported
in all my life.
Not long after the above load a friend of mine called me and asked if I could pick up his Ford truck that was broken down in Red Deer, Alberta about 90 miles [145km] north of Calgary then take it to his shop. “Sure no problem” I replied, thinking that it would be an easy load. Boy was I wrong! When I arrived at his Ford truck it was not a pick up truck like I thought but a large Ford hi-way tractor weighing 22,000 lbs. I winched it up onto my trailer with much trouble breaking four of my deck planks in the process. It was delivered safely also. [I would not unload it until the next morning for I wanted the photo enclosed, as nobody would ever believe me what had been done.]
Photos by Duncan Smith
From the above deals I quickly
learned to inquire about exactly what the loads weight and dimensions were
before agreeing to anything.
Twenty-five years later I was working for a large trucking company relying on the dispatcher to know all about the loads he was giving out. I was transporting a couple of mining equipment skids when the dispatcher called me and was told to pick up four grain augers screws. I arrived at the customer to find out that the auger screws would be too high to put on top of the load. As not to disappoint my dispatcher I devised a way to hang the augers from the bottom of the trailer. [To this day I have never seen this done.] It worked out well. When I returned back to the dispatcher’s office he told me that he had heard what I had done to protect and haul the load, I was rewarded with a financial bonus.
Photo by Duncan Smith
|Created 18 March 2002||
Last updated 8 February 2003