Two keys to operating a successful trucking company are efficiency and reliability. As a driver, I try to do my part by making my deliveries safely and on time. However, on some days, things simply don't go according to plan. Here's one of those days.
I had picked up 22 huge bags of cattle feed from a small town in Wisconsin and hauled them over 1500 miles away to an even smaller town in Idaho. Winter had finally started to show its colors and my journey west had been slower than usual as I navigated snowy and icy roads. I would be glad to make my delivery and grab my next load which was headed south to warmer temperatures. I had traveled down several small country roads after exiting the Interstate and was now greeted by my Rand McNally navigational system telling me that I was approaching my destination in a half of a mile. I looked around expectantly but saw none of the large, commercial structures that my deliveries were normally meant for.
My Rand McNally spoke again, "You have arrived at your destination." I pulled my truck over onto the road's narrow shoulder and reread the address that my dispatcher had given me. Yes, it matched the road I was on and the building number that I had stopped in front of. Problem was, the building number was etched onto a cute red mailbox and stood in front of a two-story house.
I grinned as I imagined myself backing my 63-foot semi-truck down the small driveway, right up to the one-car garage, and ringing the doorbell. "Hello? I need you to sign for 22 tons of cattle feed, please!" Obviously, this was the wrong location. I left a message for my dispatcher explaining the mix-up and then googled the company that was expecting the freight I had on board. I found that it was a dairy farm which had a facility only 5 miles away. Off I went.
In 10 minutes I had arrived. This was more like it. There were several sprawling buildings surrounded by huge stacks of hay and mounds of a not-so-pleasant-smelling substance There was just one problem: nobody was in sight. After banging on a few locked doors, I wandered over to the hay where I thought I had seen some movement. Sure enough, a man rounded a corner carrying a small hay bale. His eyes widened in surprise upon seeing me, and I quickly explained why I was there. He told me that I was still 25 miles away from the company's second facility, the one that my load was meant for. After informing my dispatcher once more, I set off yet again, hoping that I wasn't on a wild goose chase. But as I approached the new location, my eyes and nose told me that I needn't worry. Cows and calves were everywhere! Some workers were milling around as well. I was directed through a gate and down a winding dirt road right through the midst of the cattle. They looked on interestedly as I maneuvered my big rig carefully around them. A few mooed as if in greeting. One fuzzy little calf followed after my truck for a ways until its mom called it back. I drove down a hill, thinking how glad I was that the ground here was frozen solid. I wouldn't want to be tasked with making deliveries in the springtime when the dirt road would probably be more of a muddy swamp! I rounded a bend and gave a big smile as I pulled up in front of a low building with a sign reading "Deliveries". I had finally arrived!