Mr. Man’s Fifth Wheel Adventure

2009 March 19

If you aren’t a driver, you may want to go back and read this post first. It will tell you everything you need to know about hooking a tractor up to a trailer. That will make it easier to feel superior and laugh a lot later.

Last month I started writing about the boobery that went down for three days when we tried to pick up a load in LA, but then my computer died and I couldn’t post the pictures that went with part of it. Now I have the pictures, but can’t remember all the other boobery that took place so I’m just going to focus on Mr. Man who was picking up a load at the same place we were the second day.

I had backed our trailer into the dock, dropped it and moved the tractor across the parking lot. Most shippers will let you stay hooked to your trailer while they load you but some require that you drop the empty for whatever reason. At this particular joint there was so little room to maneuver it would have been really hard to hit a dock around trailers with tractors still attached so I didn’t mind dropping since it made it easier on all of us.

Once I got the trailer dropped and had moved the tractor to the bobtail area, I went up on the docks to give the shipping office my pick up number so they could get started on our load. There was a little tiny building there on the dock with a great big sign over an open window that said, “Shipping Office” and underneath it another smaller sign that said “All Drivers.” At least it was easy to find where I needed to go.

When I got to the shipping window there was a line of about three drivers in front of me. No big deal. First guy got his stuff finished and moved on. Then second guy left. About that time Mr. Man comes rushing in from the dock area. He got in line behind me and stood there kinda twitching and sighing and craning his neck to look around in all directions. Then he shot off down the little tiny office building peeking in all the closed windows.

Finally the guy in front of me was done and I stepped up to the window. I gave them my pick up number and while I was waiting I noticed that Mr. Man had managed to knock on a window and get someone to answer him. So he was getting taken care of the same time I was. I guess he was just too good to wait in line at the shipping window like the rest of us. Whatever. Finally I was done and turned to go.

It had been raining all morning and the dock area was pretty slick so I was walking slowly cause I am not the most graceful of drivers. I had just reached these narrow little metal stairs down to the ground from the dock area and was stepping onto the top step when Mr. Man came flying up behind me. He grabbed me by the shoulders and literally pushed me to the side so he could go down the steps first. All without saying a word. Of course my feet slid out from underneath me and I ended up on my ass on the wet dock. He never even broke stride and was around the corner of the dock before I managed to heft my big old ass back up. I didn’t figure I could catch him to tell him off, so I just stomped back to the truck muttering under my breath about rude-ass drivers.

Then Mr. Man’s tractor ripped around the corner of the building  –  driving far too fast for the conditions  –  and he hooked up to one of the trailers sitting in the dock. I was just about to get out of my truck and go give him a piece of my mind when he finished hooking up and started to pull out of the dock. He pulled out about fifteen feet then started to turn left to head toward the exit and that’s when this happened:

Muwahahaha!

Muwahahaha! Idiot!

You’ll notice that arrow number one is pointing to where his tractor should be if he had properly hooked to his trailer. Arrow number two is where his tractor actually is! It’s kinda hard to see back there behind the landing gear, but that’s because the tractor turned left toward the exit while the trailer  –  that was NOT secured to the tractor in any way  –  kept going straight about five more feet forward.

Now I have seen this happen about a dozen times since I’ve been driving. For whatever reason the trailer didn’t get hooked properly and when the driver pulls out and starts to turn the trailer ends up sliding off the fifth wheel onto the tires of the tractor. But that’s only if you are moving reasonably slow. If you are flying like Mr. Man the tractor drives too far out from under the trailer so that the trailer skids forward along the ground. You’ll notice at arrow three that the right side landing gear is on the ground even though it is cranked up. When fully retracted, landing gear are usually about fifteen to eighteen inches off the ground.

Arrow four shows the tractor of some other driver that Mr. Man’s trailer damn near slid into. Arrow five would be innocent bystander driver from arrow four truck going to give Mr. Man a piece of his mind. I think every driver on the lot except us got out in the rain and stood around scratching and wondering how he was going to get that trailer back up onto the fifth wheel. I mean they all stood around out there FOREVER! My god I thought I would laugh myself into a fit of some sort.

Nice work boys

Nice work boys

About an hour later, they finally figured out what to do. The shipping manager came out and brought a couple of his fork lifts to lift the trailer high enough so the yard dog could get his tractor under it. Once the yard dog’s tractor was secure under the trailer, they cranked the landing gear back down so Mr. Man could try to hook up again. You’ll notice Mr. Man’s brake lights at arrow one. Just shows how far out of position he really was  –  only the very left edge of the trailer was sitting on his tires. Also, at arrow two you’ll notice that innocent-bystander guy got his tractor completely out of that area once he heard what they were going to try to do with the forklifts.

So… Mr. Man saved a little time by avoiding standing in line at the shipping window like all of us ordinary drivers. And he gained a little more time pushing the fat old lady out of the way on the stairs. He probably even gained a little time ripping through the parking lot far too fast. But rushing on hooking up to the trailer… man… that seriously cost him some time. Also, I found out later when I was back at the shipping office that they had called his boss at his trucking company to report the incident and to inform them that Mr. Man was now permanetly banned from their facility. Ouch!

I was still laughing about it hours later when we were back over at Hooker Alley eating our favorite Thai food for the second night in a row. I know it shouldn’t be so damned funny, but if anyone deserved what happened I’m pretty sure it was Mr. Man. :)

5 Responses
  1. 2009 March 19
    Belledog permalink

    Mr. Man needs to explore another profession.

    The panic and haste and pushing Hedon out of the way — makes me wonder if MM was concerned he would be fired for being habitually late (or with that pretext); maybe he was on his last chance with his employer for other idiocies.

    Hope it does not turn out to be personal turmoil, but he’s a threat and could have injured Hedon.

    Funny story and a good way to remember to always take care hooking the trailer.

  2. 2009 March 19

    Don’t you just LOVE karma???

  3. 2009 March 20

    Ahhh, someone beat me to the karma thought! lol. What a bonehead. (Mr. Man, not the above commenter! lol)

    I guess his momma never told him to wait his turn. Much less to never push a lady. Jerk. But atleast you got a good laugh and post out of it!

  4. 2009 March 20

    iwould love to comment on this post but first i will have to pick myself up off the floor where i have been rolling around laughing till i damn near peed my pants!…..this is just too good!!!..
    after reading your posts for awhile now tho i can’t believe you didn’t deck the sob when he pushed you out of his way!!…..revenge is sweet tho…..wet jeans trumps crapped-in jeans just about any day!….i don’t know where these drivers come from, but they’re out there…and some days it seems like they’re all parked near me!…..

  5. 2009 March 20
    michele permalink

    Whoo whoo, I love the karma of trucking!

    What a jerk!!! He deserved that and more.

    Hedon, I am glad you are OK and also wonder how you refrained from decking him.
    xxxooo, michele

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