A cool customer I won’t talk about

Phil Madsen | March 19, 2012

I learned today that the company we delivered freight to this morning is recognized by local business organizations and national industry organizations as an innovative and groundbreaking player in its industry. Learned by reading the magazine articles mounted on the reception area walls.

Diane and I drove overnight on a run that began on Saturday in Austin, Texas and had the first of two stops in Reno, Nev. Yesterday’s driving was not easy and Diane was happy to hand the wheel over to me when shift change time came this morning at 1:45 local time.

The first thing I noticed when I came forward out of the sleeper was stars in the sky. That was a relief. It meant I would not have to fight dust and rain and snow and hail like I did yesterday. The time of day meant there would be no traffic to worry about. The silence outside told me the winds were calm.

While I was glad for all of that, I was also thinking that Mother Nature owes us a few days of favorable tailwinds. The cumulative fuel economy number displayed on the dashboard was depressing. You accept loads based on their price and your costs. Sustained headwinds reduce your fuel economy and thus your profits. If you let it, that thought will eat at you all day long as you listen to the wind howl and watch that number fall.

My driving shift was more pleasant than Diane’s but I still hit light snow a couple of times while driving over mountain passes. It was nice to arrive at the delivery a few hours ahead of time and turn off the truck. Big sigh. The rotten weather is behind us. Today’s driving will be much better, the forecast says.

• One of the many things Diane and I like about our work as expediters is learning about the customers we serve. The freight gets us involved with all sorts of interesting people and places. This was one of those times.

Our delivery time was 8:00 a.m. but our contact was not there. People were just coming to work so I waited in the lobby. That’s when I started reading about this company. While unloading the freight, I asked our consignees more about the company and learned a bit more.

I’d go into more detail but this company is unique. To say more would be to identify the customer, which is something I do not do in this blog or any other place I write (rare exceptions).

• With the delivery complete and having some time to get to our second stop, we went to the Reno TA truck stop for a nap and showers, and then to a truck wash to get the Texas dirt, Arizona sand and Nevada road spray off the truck.

Our journey continues overnight tonight. We are driving a clean truck on dry roads under clear skies; a most-welcome change from yesterday’s crazy weather.

• With this post, my blog is back up to date. I fell behind in the last several days because Diane and I have been either busy or tired. We’ve covered a lot of ground and made some very good money. My apologies to my readers who I know read the blog regularly, but when there is money to be made, that trumps the blog.