A Lesson In Patience, Brooklyn, And Chinese Takee-outee Moped Delivery.

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Turtle's Comment
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Recently I was dispatched on a load to Brooklyn. And not just anywhere, but to 40th St. & 15th Ave., a tight residential area with narrow one-way streets, double parking, bikes dogs and little chilrens running all over the place. This is definitely no place for a sleeper cab and 53-ft flatbed. Yet there I bravely went.

This was by far the most nerve-wracking, close calling, near missing, gut checking, and curse swearing trip I've been on to date. I'll spare you the long version, but there were some key moments I want to share:

My appt was Tue 0800. I called ahead the day before to get accurate directions. This is Brooklyn after all, and my first time there in a big truck. I was taking no chances. I let him know that I could be there as early as Mon afternoon 4-5pm to stay on site if possible. Through broken English and spotty cell coverage, I clearly heard him say 4-4:30 would be the best time to come "for overnight". Perfect, I'm on my way!

After fighting my way there, I was within a block of 90 by 1605. Up ahead I could see the little store, and I knew something had gone horribly wrong. I'm on a one-way street, cars are lining both sides, and there is absolutely nowhere for me to park! This is one of those "What the %#&! do I do now?" moments. I hit the hazards and set the brakes. Cars are lined up behind me, honking, glaring, cursing. You all know how patient New Yorkers are...

So the dude inside sees me and comes out. Again, in heavily accented English "I said to come 4:30 in the morning." Uh, no that's not what you said. But it does make sense.....now.

O....M.....G..... "ok how do I get myself out of this?"

He tells me of a place a couple blocks away where I might be able to double-park long enough for him to open up a place for me to park. Those couple blocks were the longest of my life. Stopping, checking the map, writing directions down, stopping again, basically being hyper careful not to drive myself into a dead end or a bridge. I'm sure I enraged scores of drivers during that time, judging by all the yelling and horn blowing I heard behind me. But I tuned it all out, focusing only on what I needed to do. I simply didn't care about them.

Finally I find a place to double park, sticking halfway out in the road with the 4-ways going. That's where I learned that double parking is as normal to these people as walking down the street. I kept waiting for somebody to hassle me, but it never happened. I didn't even have to move to let anybody out that I was blocking. Even the cops just drove around me without paying any attention. I may have been able to stay there all night. I sat there for almost 5 hours before finally getting the call to come park. So I had to run the one-way gauntlet to the receiver again. Good times. Mucho credit to the guy for staying way late to open me up a spot.

The rest of this story went relatively uneventful besides more traffic fun while getting out of Brooklyn the next morning. But there was a little side story:

I was double-parked in front of a tiny Chinese sidewalk takeout restaurant. The delivery guy used a moped to get around. It was brilliant, he could navigate through all the traffic without a problem, weaving in and out of cars, pedestrians, cops etc. Most of his deliveries took less than 5 minutes, and as soon as he would come back there would be another order ready to go out again. He probably averaged 15 runs per hour. It was impressive, and he's probably making a killing in tips.

So that's that. I could go on about this trip, but that's the gist of it. It was truly an experience I'll never forget. In the end I made it out alive without hitting anybody or anything. That's a win. I did learn a few things about Brooklyn however:

1-Traffic laws are merely suggestions in Brooklyn. Speed, lane control, even parking laws are optional, all in full view of the police. They want you out of the way just like everyone else.

2-You must be patient, but assertive while driving. Remain calm, do not let emotions take over, while at the same time thrusting yourself where you need to be. If you hesitate, you will be given no quarter or mercy. They will run you slap over.

3- Take out delivery drivers are making bank!

4- The residents of Brooklyn must be taught at a very young age how to swear, yell, and honk their horns. Because they are all very proficient at it! No offense to any of y'all, just saying.

Well, I guess this did turn out to be a long version...


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Phishtech's Comment
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That's exactly why I live in the South!!

Old School's Comment
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That's a great story Turtle!

I'm glad you survived to tell it. rofl-1.gif

I am curious though... What in the world were you delivering? Not too many flat-bedders venture into Brooklyn.

Turtle's Comment
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That's exactly why I live in the South!!

I'm from the south, and live in the north, but I drive everywhere.

I am curious though... What in the world were you delivering? Not too many flat-bedders venture into Brooklyn.

Iron pipe and crates of fittings to a small plumbing supply store. I guess we go there about once a month or so, but this was my first time. As with anything, next time will be a whole lot easier now that I know the deal.

Old School's Comment
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next time will be a whole lot easier now that I know the deal.

I hear you on that! Since my flat-bed career changed to running loads for a dedicated customer I often go to places I'm familiar with. That feature alone makes this dedicated gig very profitable. Planning and time management become so much more easy - surprises and delays are much less frequent. I still get new customers all the time, but there is definitely a base of customers that I will see multiple times throughout the year.

Voyager's Comment
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My company only delivers freight in the NE area. i'm just waiting for them to say " your heading to brooklyn". i feel like its close...i keep getting NJ and getting closer to the city border everyday! shocked.png

LDRSHIP's Comment
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I enjoyed my trip to Brooklyn. A lot of the honking I received was just attention grabbing. I'm passing you, come over, etc... the New Yorkers mostly got out of my way. Hit my signal and watch them scatter. It was kinda fun to just double park on the street. You are right though. They pay you no attention once your mostly out of the way. They just zoom around you, like you didn't exist.

Turtle's Comment
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I enjoyed my trip to Brooklyn.

I agree. Now that it's over, I can say I definitely enjoyed the experience. The thrill of a new challenge is always kind of fun for me. Testing my skill and nerves, as well as learning new routes, was worth it. But in some of those moments, I was seriously questioning the sensibilities of the people who sent me there. Especially when you consider the load I was carrying could've fit on a 20-foot straight flat.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Great story Turtle!

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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That was GREAT!!

I guess coming from Jersey/Philly area i take some things for granted. mopeds and bikes are for food delivery, triple park where possible...and expect people to yell and honk horns. Thats a way of life here lol.

You now learned why we have a Macro 57 to confirm or reject loads huh?

My FM knows any NYC load is getting a big fat NO! hahahhaha i dont even drive across the GW. screw that.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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