OK, see the AAAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!! post for part one.
Got my truck back from the shop in Philly, went up some litle town to reload and headed for AK Steel in Middletown OH. Didn't have any trouble on the trip back.
Got there, went back and left the truck idling while I pulled the chains of the rails that I was carrying so they could unload. Got everything put away, hopped in the cab, and realized that the engine had stopped.
Tried restarting it, but all it did was crank and crank without firing. Checked the various repairs they had made in Philly, didn't find anything wrong, so I tried again. This time it fired, but the motor was idling horribly, stumbling and racing, so I shut it off and called the shop. After trying a couple things, they called a service truck for meand one of the workers gave me a ride up to the guard shack to wait for the service truck.
Well the guard and I got to talking and BSing for awhile, she was pretty cool and didn't have much else to do. About half an hour later I get a call on the cell from the service guy letting me know he was on his way, from Dayton, the better part of an hour away.
So, back to BSing with the guard. About 45 minutes later, this courier van shows up and the guy has his wife along. Now AK has a policy of no passengers unless they work for the same company, so the guard tells him that his wife would have to wait at the shack for him to do his delivery and come back out. Also the guy doesn't have the hard-hat, safety glasses and hard-soled shoes that are required to get into the plant, so the guard has to dig out lender hat and jacket, and these nasty instep-guard boots for him to borrow so he can make his delivery.
Now, right inside the guard shack, there are several sets of rails they use to move material around the plant, and right then there are three trains getting ready to cross, so they have to wait there. ight about then, the service truck pulls up behind them and I walk out to talk to the guy, only to realize he'* got his KIDS with him. Now, I just said they have a no passengers policy there, so kids are obviously a complete non-starter, so they turn the service guy away. Well, as the service guy is leaving,the train clears out, and the guard raises the gate, but realizes that the courier guy'* wife is still in the van, so she stops him and goes out to tell her to come in.
I've started dialing my mechanic again, to try and get another service truck out, and the next thing I hear is a woman'* voice yelling,"Don't even talk to me right now!!"
And see the courier guy'* wife walking toward the guard shack with tears streaming down her face, half hysterical. WTF?!
Turns out that while they were waiting for the train to go through, she got a call from her sister-in-law that her brother was going into surgery in the moring to remove a tumor form his brain
, and she was throwing a hysterical fit at the guard.
So now I'm on the phone trying to explain to my mechanic, while the guard is dealing with some hysterical half-psycho. Top it off, the guy gets lost in the plant and takes nearly twenty minutes to get back. He'* pissed off, she'* hysterical again, and he yells that he'* never coming back to that plant.(BTW, his company delivered to that plant regularly, so he damn well knew about the no-passenger thing, and the safety stuff is the same at any large industrial plant.)
So, now the security patrol truck shows up and the guy asks me to step out so he can talk to the guard about "the incident"
, so I step out and call my mechanic again.
He tells me that they're just gonna get me a tow-truck to bring the truck back to our terminal, about 60 miles away. He'* going to pick up another of our trucks and tow it out with him, so we can swap, and I can use the other truck to bring back my trailer.
I hang up and listen to the muffled voices from the shack wrapping up their conversation. The patrol guy walks out, gets in his truck and drives off, so I go back in the shack and ask the guard if everything'* cool. She says yeah, just a weird situation all around. I let her know what'* happening with my end, and we go back to BSing again.
A little while later, this red Maxima pulls up to the wrong gate, the truck entrance, while the guard is out of the shack clearing a train. The chick behind the wheel realizes she'* not at the right gate, so she backs up, and then turns into another open gate off the side before the guard shack, and I spot that SHE has two little kids in the back. Guard comes back, asking if the car had just gone in through an open gate, or opened the gate to go through. I told her it was open to begin with. The maxima comes rolling out, and the guard catches her and talks to her for a minute, then comes back and the Maxima drives off. She tells me that the chick told her that someone said she could just come in that gate and look around, take the tour, kind of thing.
Finally, my the tow truck shows up with the other tractor on the back, and they get hard-hats and we figure out the sign-in/out process for our situation and go on back to get the trucks swapped out.
Once we get the replacement truck unhooked, they go over to hook up to my truck and yank it out from under the trailer while I start the replacement.
Turn the key, rrRRrr-clunk. rrRRrr-clunk. SH*T!!
These MORONS at the shop had these wreckers bring out a truck with DEAD F-ing BATTERIES!!! We start ;looking around for jumpers, they don't have any, I don't have any, I thought there were some in the sideboxof the replacement POS, but it was just the weather-stripping from the passenger door. Finally wee just pull-start the damn thing. Let me tell you, chump-starting a semi-tractor is an experience. So, we've got the replacement running, and they go to hook the other truck and get it ready for towing while I hook to the trailer. I get backed in under, get out and connect the air and electrics. Well, when I hook in the electric plug, nothing happens. No markers, no turns, no brake lights. I do have 4ways, however. So, I talk to the tow truck guys, and end up driving sixty miles with my 4ways on, with them following and making sure nobody got behind me when I have no brake lights.
Oh, yeah, did I mention that the replacement was the truck I started in at this company? Ask me how nostalgic I was...
I love my job...