Coming from Vancouver, I had just crossed the border into Washington, and about five miles later, I stopped at a rest stop to use their facilities. I parked my truck and went in, and did my thing. When I came out, two guys were standing by my front wheel. I walked up to them and asked if they were waiting for me. They said they were because they wanted to ask me something. So I said, “Go ahead, and I’ll see if I can help you.” One guy was middle-aged, the other in his early twenties. The elder of the two said, “This is our truck beside you, and I think we may be overweight.” I replied that the way to find out was to weigh the truck and trailer, and then they would know. Then he produced a scale ticket and said, “We weighed in Canada, but it’s in kilograms, and they use pounds down here.”
I told them to convert it to pounds and that the gross weight in Washington is 80,000 pounds. They asked how to convert it, so I got out my trusty calculator (paper and pencil) and figured it out. According to their scale ticket, they were over 80,000 pounds by about three or four hundred pounds, and the drive axle was well overloaded. I told them they would have to slide some axles to get their weights as close to legal as possible. Then I told them that if they only half-fill their tanks, they would probably get away with it. I told them there was a truck stop with a scale about seven or eight miles down the road where they could stop and get their weight sorted out.
They both looked at me as if I had just spoken a foreign language. That was when the elder of the two said that he had just got his class one license, and this was his first trip, but he added that he knew how to drive a truck because he used to drive a gravel truck with a class three license. He said the younger guy had just got his class one license and had never driven a truck before, and this was his first trip. Then he asked me if I would go to the scale with them and show them what to do!
Folks, that’s when I lost it. I said do you mean to tell me that the owner of the trucking company lets people (not drivers because they obviously weren’t) like you out on the road? And I have to compete against outfits like yours? I can compete in every way and beat you in everything except one thing, and that’s probably the rates he charges to move Freight up and down the road, and I’m not going to stoop that low!
With saying that, I got into my truck and drove off. Would you have handled it differently? Should I have phoned up the trucking company? Should I have phoned the police, the licensing department, or the DOT?
Every time I come across situations like this, I think, “Humboldt hockey players,” and the ones that didn’t get to live a life.
P.S. It’s not the string that’s wrong – it’s the person pulling it.
P.P.S. It doesn’t matter what you get in life - you have to pay a price.