The Magical, Mystical “Hot Load”.

by Pappy

My Boss, one time,told me that what I was about to haul into town was a "Hot Load". He told me, "Don't be screwin' 'round now...that load should've done left hours ago," and with a hardy, "Hurry up driver," I began my epic adventure with the "Hot Load".

As I left the terminal , I noticed that most of the other drivers where coming back in. It was late afternoon and about 10 minutes before "Idiot Hour", more formally known as 'Rush Hour'. It was unusual to be going out that time of day because the traffic would make a normal 15 minute run last 2 hours or more. Seems that when them 4 wheelers are turned loose from their corrals downtown, they all tend to act like 'Barn Broke Horses'.

over_the_road_driving.jpg

What's a 'Barn Broke Horse'? That's ahorse thatsgotten usetahangin' out at thebarn, where all its needs are met. Then when you take it out for a ride, it wants to do everything it can to get back to the barn. This includes running into fences to trytodislodge you from its back. Also it will ram into other horses in an attempt to make the other horse kick you or bite you. I mean, come on, the other horses must know that you are the reason for disruption of 'Barn Brokeness'.That the horse you're ridingdoesn't always have that thing on it's back. Right? Sooooo...If you do mange to get the 'Barn Broke Horse' away from the barn, it has no otheragenda than to get back to the barn. God help you if you drop the reigns. That beast will use it's tongue to push the bit between it's teeth where it can hold it and prevent you from turning it's head into the direction you wish to go. Once it gets the bit in it's teeth it will bolt back to the barn. You will suffer many things on a ride like that...that is, if you stay in the saddle.Yes, them horses, unlike'4wheelers', are smart. Thus, you get the ol' sayin', "Horse Sense", which is a compliment.

Where was I?

Oh yeah! So there I was, my happy little truck drivin' self, just gettingon the Interstate when I look back over my shoulder to see if I could merge into traffic. All that filled my line of site was "Barn Broke4 Wheelers" stampeding along with every intent of being the first to arrive. My ol' Detroit only had 200 ponys and it just could not get the load up to stampede speed before the end of the onramp. I was runnin' outta options real fast. My last and most crazy option was to make my own lane by using the Emergency lane. Which is a huge "NO! NO!"

As I trucked along in my own lane, Ithought to myself,"Self... this aint so bad. As long as none of them"4Wheelers" gets any crazierideas than this, I should be able to make this run in no time."

red_pete.jpg

What runs through the minds of most people is beyond me. I guess that them"4Wheelers" saw I was moving at a more rapid rate than they were. Sooooo...I therefore must be going to win the race to the barn. They started to fall in line behind me. I had a convoy of about 200 cars, and steadily growing. Then, the stupidist thing happened. Oneidiot decided he was going to take the"front door" on the convoy.

I remembermy asshole biting into the seat so hard it took a pry-barto pry itloose.

In fact I never did get that cone-shaped, pucker mark massaged out. Every time I sat in that seat I got reminded of how stupid I was.

Unbelievably, no one was hurt in the pile up that occured. There were some damaged fenders and some carshad to be pulled out of the ditch, but all inall, I was fortunate.

I got the load to the destination, and the rest of the way there I thought I would be fired cause the "Hot Load" was late. When I arrived I told the warehouse manager I was so sorry that I was late. I told him of the extraordinary tactics I used in order to make sure his "Hot Load" got there before it was too late. I told him if it wasn't for that stupid "4Wheeler" I would have been there hours ago.

He stared at me with a blank look on his face. Then heasked me, "Are you stupid or something?" He then told me, "This load really aint supposed to be here until tomorrow at noon".

I was dumbfounded.

Over the years, and after many socalled"HotLoads", I began to realizethe "Hot Load" aint as'HOT' as it's made out to be.

Let me clue you in on something. Being told you have a "Hot" load is a ploy to make you think it needs to be there fast, and you'll wind up taking extraordinary chances to get that "hot" load there for nothing. I have known truckers that specialized in "hot" loads. They made amovie out of one of 'em. It was called Smokey and the Bandit.

I don't think you're a hero if you risklives to get a load from point A to B. If you want to make a dollar by "Shakin' Trees" and "Rakin' Leaves" then don't let me know about it. I will drop a dime on you in a heartbeat. What's"Shakin' Trees" and "Rakin' Leaves"?

Thats another story.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

by Brett Aquila

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