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In the past couple of months, we have really had some odd freight and while this was not our typical freight we still had a lot of fun with it.  In expediting, as soon as we need to use our lift gate or hand load or unload the pay for the load reflects our efforts. 

We knew when we accepted the load with a four-wheeler that it was going to be a challenge to unload.  Besides the four-wheeler, we had several crates and other assorted freight.  The four-wheeler though had me concerned as soon as I saw how large it was.  We were not told that we only needed the lift gate for the various crates and not for the four-wheeler.  If I had known that small fact I sure would have slept easier.  Once we arrived at our destination and met the guys responsible for the load we knew we were in for a fun delivery.  While they were all very professional they were also a lot of fun and kept, us laughing.  This delivery I would put into my top five deliveries that was fun, profitable, and really hope we get to work with them again.  They know what they are doing and they are enjoying life.

Next was a phone call about what appeared to be a simple pickup and delivery with not too many miles.  Bob contacted the shipper and that is when everything changed fast as we were picking up pallets with no dock and no forklift.  The customer was also not happy with who normally picked up these pallets as they had not been there for a long time.  Bob and I took one look at the stack of pallets and could only say “WOW”.  In our typical fashion, we went about solving the problem and boy did this bring back a lot of memories.  When we had horses, we bought all of our hay from local farmers and often it was out of the field.  Our daughters learned to drive young as their job was to drive slowly through the field and either Bob or I would throw the bales at the trailer and the other would stack the hay and then once back at the barn we would throw the bales off of the stack at the other one to restack.  I will say I would much rather have bales of hay thrown at me then these pallets as they were heavy and awkward.  In no time though we had it figured out and the pallets loaded using our lift gate and we were off to our delivery. 

Next, we had a load offer asking if we could go unload a semi-trailer using our lift gate.  We have done this all over the country and one really sticks out in Bayonne, NJ as it was snowing hard and we were unloaded barrel.  It was awful as the snow was at least four inches deep on the lift gate before we were done.  This time though in San Antonio the weather was great, thirteen skids, about six thousand pounds’ total and delivering to a storage unit.  Our truck with lift gate extended was backed up to the trailer and then the freight was moved onto our truck.  Next, we went down the street to a pretty tight storage unit where we unloaded the pallets of freight.  Took very little time and the people we worked with were great. 

Both of us enjoy the lift gate loads partially as they can be challenging and we get out of the truck to exercise.  In 2005 when we first started our career in expediting we assisted another driver that was using their truck to move a company’s computers in Florida.  Their lift gate still gives me nightmares as it was a cheap lift gate and it was broken.  I decided at that time we would never have a lift gate as I could not handle the stress of the freight leaning at perilous angles as it was lowered to the ground.  Bob researched and we found INNERLIFT and while this is an expensive gate. Some of the features I really appreciate it that it is self-leveling and we use our feet to control the gate, which leaves our hands free to steady the freight. We have had three of these gates and we have been happy with all of them.

The variety of our business is what keeps us coming back for more.  From priceless pieces of freight to a load of pallets everything is treated the same, deliver the load safe and sound.  Bob and I prefer the challenge of freight and not the challenge of driving in the Big Apple or anything much to do with the north east.  I wish you could have seen our eyes when we saw this huge pile of pallets and knowing it was up to us to figure out how to get them loaded.  One of the joys of our job is solving problems and who would have thought a huge pile of pallets would be a problem we would have to solve?  Now we are waiting for our next challenge.

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About Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda have been team drivers since 2005 as expediters. They are leased to Landstar Express America. Bob was a diesel mechanic for twenty years before doing over the road and Linda worked in the courthouse.

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