Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Helga Needs Surgery

Our next pickup was in Beaufort, SC, to deliver the following day in Detroit. I don't know what we did to please the weather gods, but we didn't encounter any major snow along the way. Yay!

I loved driving I-77 as the sun came up, with half-mile dropoffs just beyond the guardrail and huge, looming mountains at every turn. Helga did quite well, despite the steep grades and the 4 tons of cargo. At one point, the most I could get out of her was 35 mph, but she still ate up the pavement without a hiccup.

Vic, I came soo close to calling you to see if you wanted to meet us for breakfast. We drove right through your hometown, but we really couldn't have visited much longer than an hour, so I decided to wait for another trip through your area.

Detroit was a clusterfark. No surprise there. The delivery went well, though.

We crashed at a truckstop south of town for the night. We had our first truckstop showers - actually, it wasn't so bad, although we need to invest in flip-flops or another form of shower shoes.

Early in the morning, we got an offer for a load from that same area to Miami. O rly? Miami? You betcha. Unfortunately, Brother Unit is in Chicago, else we'd hang with him for the weekend.

Since Helga's DOT inspection was coming up on Saturday, we stopped at a dealership near Cleveland to have an inspection done on our way out of town. This was not the best timing. Helga has apparently suffered an oil leak for quite some time, and needs a new seal. Major work. Crud.

The dispatchers are in a panic. The shipper is in a panic. After a few hours, it becomes apparent Helga is out of service for several days, the load will most definitely be WAYYYY overdue, and we're stuck in Ohio.


Enter Mindi, our boss and Helga's owner. Despite being in the midst of very stressful personal business plus dealing with her mom who was suddenly hospitalized and very ill, Mindi directed the dealership's repair plan, arranged for us to transfer the cargo to another trucking company for delivery, then hopped in her car and drove to Cleveland - to deliver keys. Knowing we were stuck without transportation, Mindi offered us the use of her spare car to drive home until Helga is ready. The problem was that she had the keys with her in New York. She immediately jumped in her car and drove 7 hours to give us the keys to her spare car. Unbelievable. She's really a wonderful person.

So, we packed up what we'd need and drove back to Syracuse for the next several days. It's nice having free time to get things done around the house, but I'd much rather be driving and making money.

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