Friday, August 01, 2014

A Job For A Four-Star General

Waiting to load at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  This is a partial photo of the trucks in line in front of us, a mix of flatbeds and step-decks, at least fifteen of them when I last counted.  We were even there early, but as soon as I saw this lineup, I knew it was going to be a long day.  

Sometimes when we're at a military base getting loaded, the disorganization is so monumental, I'm shocked.  This is the military.  They're supposed to personify precision.  The have drills and shit.  They march in lockstep.  Things are supposed to run like clockwork.

Yet they very often do not.  They're the nicest people, these soldiers and personnel we work with.  Always "Yes, ma'am" and "Yes, sir".  Very polite.  There's only one place we've loaded out of where the guy in charge was an absolute jerk, and apparently he's like that all the time since the people we were loading with said he's been that way for years.  That's the kind of guy you just have to shake your head and write off as a lost cause.

But honestly, I don't know anyone in my circle of trucker friends who has ever told a "we were in and out of there in no time at all" story when it comes to loading (or unloading) at a military installation.  The disorganization experience is not unique.  And this day's loading procedure was a cluster, we were there for hours.

When I see some of the head-scratching that goes on just during the loading of the trucks, I'm actually surprised we win wars.

They must follow orders to shoot much better than they follow orders to load trucks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Colorful Nights, Rainy Days
2012: These Coco Girls Are Not Reading Rare Books
2011: Imagine What These Bird Droppings Look Like
2010: Is It Just The Girlie Bits That Make Us The Cry-Baby Sex?
2009: Who Would Have Thought Cheese And Tarheels Were Such A Perfect Complement?
2008: First Friday Fill-In. Say THAT Five Times Fast!
2007: Another Year Of Life In The Pink
2006: Can You Hear My Happiness?
2005: Alis Volat Propiis


Belledog said...

That surprises me. Logistics is key, and what a nice promotion awaits someone, anyone who comes up with a more efficient system.

You'd think they'd want you OFF their base, driving their stuff around, wouldn't you?

What does Marine Ed have to say about this?

Dave Sanderson said...

Okay here goes my 2 cents. I just delivered a m-1068 twice (deadhead back to deliver another one). I just told both ends how much I like doing these types of loads (Military) how they almost always have their act together. I was loaded or unloaded in 20 thirty minutes. They actually helped undo the chains! this was a national guard training two week deal. Now years ago when I pulled an end dump trailer and was on a super fund govt. clean up site all bets were off (they did pay detention tho). The only hassle I have had is the checkin process-go here show your license open up everything-close everything call p.o.c. to tell/escort you to where you need to be. But that is what I call "safety first" like I am going to take over the base with my laptop and pocket knife.
So all this to say 99 % of the time I have a easy time with these loads.

The Daily Rant said...

DAVE: I think the most confusion comes when we're part of a load that's moving an entire company or troop or whatever it's called. When there are Humvees and tricons and crates and equipment. It's very unorganized and I think it should be otherwise.

But, we've also often experienced what you're talking about - when we go in for a particular piece of equipment, something important, something of high value, something they REALLY need, then it does seem to go smoother. They expect us, they load us and we're gone.

Also, Ed has has the same experience with the guys helping to strap or unstrap (or untarp, when we used to have the flatbed).

And I agree that the paperwork/checking-in part is usually where you get the most hassle.

So I've changed this post to say "sometimes" when we go to these locations, they're clusters. That's a little more accurate. :)

And I'm so with you on the laptop and pocketknife takeover! LOL WTH?!