The Magical, Mystical “Hot Load”

by Pappy

One time my boss 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 were 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."


What's a barn broke horse? That's a horse that's gotten use'ta hangin' out at the barn, 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 try to dislodge you from its back. Also it will ram into other horses in an attempt to make the other horses kick you or bite you. I mean, come on, the other horses must know that you are the reason for disruption of "barn brokenness." That the horse you're riding doesn't always have that thing on its back. Right? Sooooo...If you do mange to get the barn broke horse away from the barn, it has no other agenda than to get back to the barn. God help you if you drop the reigns. That beast will use its tongue to push the bit between it's teeth where it can hold it and prevent you from turning its head into the direction you wish to go. Once it gets the bit in its 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 4-wheelers, 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 getting on 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 broke 4-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 on ramp. 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, I thought to myself, "Self... this ain't so bad. As long as none of them 4-wheelers gets any crazier ideas than this, I should be able to make this run in no time."


What runs through the minds of most people is beyond me. I guess that them 4-wheelers 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 stupidest thing happened. One idiot decided he was going to take the "front door" on the convoy.

I remember my asshole biting into the seat so hard it took a pry-bar to pry it loose.

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 occurred. There were some damaged fenders and some cars had to be pulled out of the ditch, but all in all, 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 4-wheeler, I would have been there hours ago.

He stared at me with a blank look on his face. Then he asked me, "Are you stupid or something?" He then told me, "This load really ain't supposed to be here until tomorrow at noon".

I was dumbfounded.

Over the years, and after many so called "HotLoads," I began to realize the "Hot Load" ain't 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 a movie out of one of 'em. It was called Smokey and the Bandit.

I don't think you're a hero if you risk lives 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.


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.


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


Operating While Intoxicated


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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