One of the very best things about trucking is the uncertainty of just how weird things are going to get each day. This could also be considered one of the worst things about trucking. However you look at it, nothing is ever the same from day to day, except for the potholes on I-69 through Oklahoma – and even those change from time to time – they get bigger and deeper.George has hauled dry van for most of his trucking career. He did a short flatbed stint, but soon went back to dry van, mostly because the flatbed company he was driving for considered a “regional” route to have about a 3,000 mile square radius. This is an exaggeration, of course, but they did run the crap out of him and he hated it, so he went back to dry van. He likes dry van, and the variety of things he can haul are sometimes incredibly interesting.
He’s hauled his share of regular stuff, paper products, candy, liquor, flat-screen televisions. We once hauled a load of Coors beer from Colorado to Virginia, and while it’s not Texarkana to Atlanta, you better believe I sang “East Bound and Down” enough to annoy George, which means I sang it enough to break through his “I can’t hear my wife” barrier, and that’s a lot.
Taking medical supplies to a cave in Kansas was pretty neat, but I think George’s favorite load so far has been equipment for a sports event to the floor of the Dallas Cowboy’s stadium – he got to drive the truck right on to the field and that was pretty dang neat.
Since he’s been at Landstar, we’ve been able to pick and choose what he hauls. I always look for the interesting loads. He looks for the light ones that pay well. It’s fun to just search the board and look at all the strange things going from place to place. He searches the board for light loads that pay well. Did I mention that? He’s pretty indiscriminate about what it is.
“Hey look – here’s one that’s 18,000 lbs. – let’s see what it is.”
“Where’s it going?”
“Wait – look – it says ‘novelties.’ I wonder what kind of novelties? It has to be something light — maybe it’s those little fake mustaches – it would be cool to haul fake mustaches.”
“I’m not going to New Jersey for that kind of money because you think it would be cool to haul fake mustaches.”
“Well you take your happy ass down and get a CDL and haul all the fake mustaches you want.”
“Well I will. And you never know, ‘novelties’ could mean anything from fake mustaches to rubber weiners. I’ll haul novelties all over the place, and I’ll make people happy everywhere I go.”
“Did you just say ‘rubber weiners’?”
“Yes I did.”
“So you’re going to haul rubber weiners around and make people happy?”
“Yes I am.”
“Well good luck with that, ma’am.”He knows I won’t get my CDL — I’m too much of a chicken about the big trucks and I reeeeaally hate to drive. He also knows I probably wouldn’t haul rubber weiners – not because I have any moral opposition, but because I’m terrified I’d die in a fiery crash hauling a load of adult entertainment items and I couldn’t stand to leave my kids with those headlines.
It’s nice to be able to choose what you haul.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.