8 am: I'm at a truck stop in a small town in Ohio. I woke up about an hour ago in my cozy bed tucked away in my big rig, and I have a delivery to make soon. My 53-foot trailer is currently filled with 23 tons of raw honey! And no, thankfully it's not all pooled on the floor. The honey was carefully loaded into my truck in large barrels, 200 gallons each, 600 miles away in New Jersey. After grabbing a quick breakfast of fresh fruit, I set off down the road for the small processing plant that the honey is destined for. I don't have far to go and soon I'm backing up to one of the docks of the facility. After checking my load in, I settle back into my truck to wait.
Before I know it, I hear the dock door open, the dock plate clank down, and I feel my trailer shake as the forklift goes to grab the first of the honey barrels. The shaking continues as the little forklift moves in and out and then... silence. "They can't be done yet!" I think. My curiosity gets the best of me and I go inside the small ware-house where the honey barrels are being stacked. I come in just in time to see the young forklift driver walk out of my truck with a mop. He sees me and says, "Sorry, ma'am, some of the honey spilled. Someone filled a barrel too full." I see his shoes, already sticky, leaving tracks across the floor. I wait and watch as the forklift grabs barrel after barrel from my truck. Then, in goes the mop again. Another barrel had leaked some of its sticky contents. Now the forklift is leaving sticky tracks. By the time my truck is free of barrels, there is a thin coating of honey covering nearly the entire floor of my trailer!
I pull away from the dock and take a good look inside. Along with the honey, there are now nearly 30 honeybees milling around inside! "How am I supposed to grab my next load?" I wonder. It's a shipment of corrugated cardboard and the shipper specifically requested a clean, dry trailer. After contacting my dispatcher, we decide that a trailer wash is in order. First though, I leave my trailer doors open and drive around the small lot several times to lose some of the bees that are already becoming drunk on the spilled honey. It works; now there are only 5 or 6 groggy bees left. I head for the truck wash and request that my trailer floor be cleaned. Four guys with power washers climb inside and spray down EVERYTHING. My trailer is now honey-free, but sopping wet! I grab some large rags and try to soak up as much of the water as I can, then leave the doors open to hopefully air-dry the rest. My pick-up appointment is fast approaching, so I cross my fingers and head on over.
As I reach the guard shack, I see a trailer inspection is in order! I open the doors and bite my tongue as the guard ambles over. At least there's no water visible anymore! Still looks a bit damp, though. But the guard just gives a cursory glance and then looks at me and says, "YOU drive that thing?" Even though it was obviously me hopping out of the driver's seat a few minutes back. I smile, nod, and tell him that not only do I drive "this thing", I ENJOY driving it! He seems flabbergasted but smiles and sends me on my way. I don't completely relax, though, until I feel the familiar shaking - a forklift, going in and out of my truck. Success!