Guest blogger: Fran … Part III


This first trip south was pretty uneventful… I was new to the reality of long distance trucking, but it didn’t seem like anything to worry about. It was a motor vehicle, (big I’ll admit) but you just adjust to the size and take as much room as you need, and pay attention. To everything.

I was told by Jimmy to stop in DC at the DC truck stop and unload the overload on the back end of the trailer. It was the potatoes that I picked up on Long Island for Gastonia, NC. But I found a large cluster of straight trucks along the outer perimeter, and he told me to pay the free driver (he gave me the amount in cash,) to pay the driver to take my overload through Virginia to just over the NC state line where I would pickup this overload again. They actually had a guy who ran a business of carrying overloads of road drivers across the state of VA so as not to get fined.

Now this calls for a bit of explanation, because loading and load handling are a significant part of a driver’s job. Each state uses the scales  (you’ve seen them on the roadside I’m sure) but back then only NC and VA were really into weighing loads. Here’s how it went.

A truck is loaded from front to rear  with say a line of potato bags across the front on the floor about one rack high. The next line is two bags high, then three and four etc, til eventually it all loaded right up to the top of the large rear exterior door. A cutaway view of the trailer would show a long ramp-like structure of the product, the top of the ramp ending at the top of the door.This gives the loaders the ability to load heavily on the twin tandem axles, and light on the frontal ones. There was a max gross weight for  trucks of a 42-foot body length and in those days if  I recall correctly, it was max 32,000 lbs. They also allowed about 2,000 lbs over as a SOP to the carriers but IF you went over the MGW (max gross), you were fined not just the amount of the overload, but they also rescinded the allowance so that you were fined the full amount plus. These were some of the reasons that truckers carried significant amounts of cash with them.

Jimmy had a separate leather carrier on a chain that the driver carried chained to his belt. Worn in his pocket. Also the lading statements when delivering to a site. This system also held true for crates of citrus fruit as loaded by the growers. So the over loaders would parcel out the correct amount by weight, load it into one of their straight jobs, and then meet us just over the NC state line at Slim’s truck terminal. Reload the rig and away we went to sunny Florida with no further ado.

It may sound more complicated than it is, but it was part of the normal routine. You learned the ropes early and totally. (If that still goes on I’m not aware of it. Nowadays you will find massive trailers some 53 feet long… max length back in those days was a 42 foot box.)

Jimmy had two Trailmobiles and two Stricks.  Both are still in business if my memory serves me, but the newer Great Danes were being seen coming from the west coast…now they’re very common around here.

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  1. Good morning, boneheads!
    Another good one, Fran.

    Hey, I was walking the dogs. Could anyone else start the thread! :-)

  2. Get packing ILB! Enjoy your vacation!

    Fran, very interesting read, but you’re stringing us along here….what happened on that last trip that scared you so much? You’re killling me!

  3. Packing? Forget it! It’s planned for tomorrow morning. Today our big family is celebrating my father’s 85th. I’m lucky to have my both parents around. My dad has a great memory, and every so often he comes up with a jaw-dropping, Fran-like story from his past. He loves telling these stories to me and my older brother. Usually from his war experience. I’ll tell you, sometimes when you hear some of his stories you start realizing how good we have it these days. Yet, we are still complaining. Big Rangers fan, watches every game. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, he’d go to MSG with me. Not often, he doesn’t want to leave mom by herself. My most favorite games is when he and my son join me. I hope it’ll happen more often this year since my son just started his residency training in NY.

  4. Good morning everyone, not sleeping. Hey, ilb. Happy Huge 26 to your father! Knowing you now (and it is just a part), I can surely tell, that he can be justly proud of his life and results and with your proven love and skills for organizing big events, I can only imagine the scale of celebration. Give him warmest greeting from all RR community and mine personal (I have huge soft spot for older, wiser folks). Again, have a hangoverless, nice and safe trip. Oh and BTW, you can pack, while waiting for the car service to drive to the airport.

  5. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Great writing Fran. You should complie a series of these stories into a novelette….happy b-day to your dad ilb…. Cherish these moments with him.

  6. Good afternoon all! fran, I’m with BlueBlood…..what happened!!!

    happy 26th to ilb senior!

  7. fran- Keep on Truckin’ , were those taters flown in to JFK?
    Happy Birthday to ilb Sr. Enjoy the day with your family.
    As far as the packing, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow is what I always say.

  8. Not a single hockey related tweet all summer by Andyogs (Andrew Yogan). Can we trade him? ;)

  9. Wait a minute! The (navy) blue seats are now in the lower bowl? Am I in bizarro world! What next, the reds move upstairs? I can’t breathe….

  10. E^3^ I know this isn’t exactly up your alley but can you possibly help me here.

    Betelgeuse is around 640 light years away expected to go Supernova in the next million years. Is there any way of detecting when (or if) it has done so ahead of time, if nothing can travel to us faster than light itself?
    Could it have gone supernova 639 years ago and we don’t know it? I hear it should only match the suns radiation but should I stock up on Coppertone while it’s still on the shelves? Prust askin’

    I don’t know, but I could really see this things screwing up our SC celebration some how.

  11. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Dde – as soon as my head stops spinning I will try to give it a go… However, should my feeble mind come to no conclusion, I have some theoretical and experimental physicists friends that will take your question and it’s classical mechanic’s applications and turn it into a comprehensible answer…. Till then may the force = ma be with you..

    Mama-San – feel free to call me whatever your precious heart desires…. I be not picky…

  12. Then I shall dub you, e3….I like the lower case better.

    All, from now on and hence, the bonehead known as Eddie triple shall be called e3. Be it so decreed by mama!!

  13. Thanks Mama but this is for real:

    I had a dream about 10 days ago about some sort of celestial event – a big boom and then there was a this second sun. No carcillo.
    About 2 days later I became aware of Betelgeuse. In my dream, I was down the Jersey shore. I immediately headed home, double time, passing through each bar or club along the way. I couldn’t believe the complacency. I finally realized the seriousness of the situation and swam across the river. While everyone else was was getting down with Snoop Dogg, I was doggie paddling to safety.
    I only share this so that others might start swimming.

  14. :) It’s funny how a dream can create such emotion, so real, so precise, one that words could hardly describe especially coming from me. More exciting than any movie for sure.

  15. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Dde – that is some killer stuff you are inhaling, my brutha…. I have a white frosted brownie that enables me to have similar visions if I eat too big a piece



  16. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    … The doggie paddle should be an Olympic event… When i swim in the ocean that is my favorite stroke…

  17. e^3^ lol to tell the truth I took some aspirin about 2 months ago for the first time in I don’t know how long and I caught a buzz.
    I’ll tip back my share and then some, but I do like to do some leg pulling too. :)

  18. My dreams make Dali paintings and Elm Street combined seem like sunny days on the beach….yes, I am that complex and forbidding :)

    Ta my funny men, ddeb and e3…mama love.

  19. Nice words for JT Miller: “Another forward who looked good was 2011 New York Rangers first round pick J.T. Miller. Miller had a thunderous first period controlling play, forcing the issue offensively and pressuring Finnish defenders on the forecheck. While Miller did pick up a pair of penalties, one that Blais described as a “momentum killer” his abilities as one of the new guys on the team will help make Team USA a better squad in Edmonton at this year’s championships.”

  20. Fran, for all III Parts:
    “A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book”.
    Ernest Hemingway.

  21. lol the only Hemingway I think I’ve read is The Old Man and the Sea, but he did come to mind

  22. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Dde – I am more of an Ibuprofin kindvif guy, but prefer nature’s finest to cure whatever ails me (or doesnt ail me for that matter).

    Much love back at you mama-San

  23. a wicky….Lowell, what’s with all this hockey talk? :) I’m still waiting for someone to explain the Bell signing.


  24. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Good part III Fran but i’m with blogmama & the rest what happened next at the end of part II?

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