15 March, 2008
Thank God, the worst of the winter is over. Winter is a very busy time for a heavy duty truck shop. Heavy duty diesels do not like winter weather at all. The trucks need to have the engine heaters plugged in, the fuel needs to have anti-gelling additives put into it, plastic airlines become brittle and break easily, the list goes on. The last time I was on call, the weather was very cold and I was extremely busy doing after hours service calls. Sunday nights and Monday mornings are the worst. Morons will forget to plug their trucks in or sometimes they'll shut them off and leave them for a day thinking it will start when they come back. At one of our accounts, the drivers will be written up if they don't plug their truck in at the end of the day. If we have to go and get a truck started, we have to note whether or not the heater was plugged in. The last Sunday I was on call, I had to go out around noon on the first service call of the day. I was out until around 20:00. The next call came in a few hours later and it was non-stop the rest the night and into Monday. I didn't come off the road until 06:30 Monday morning when the first people of the morning shift started coming in. All I was doing was starting trucks and getting frozen trailer brakes to release. All night. I made a lot of money on overtime, but the trade off was not being able to sleep. Before I was at this job, I had no clue as to the true meaning of "exhaustion" and "cold." It made for a long week. The temperatures stayed around 0 degrees until just a couple weeks ago. I'm so glad it's warmed up and the snow has been melting. Everyone in the shop was hanging by a thread because we'd been so busy. Everyone put in lots of overtime. When we (the mechanics) are out running service calls, the two shop foremen and the shop's owner are out in the shop working on trucks. Since the owner and foremen are out in the shop, the three people in the office have to cover more jobs, too. Work that had been scheduled gets put on the back burner for a day or two, so when the road calls taper off we're still busy catching up with the scheduled jobs. But, it's over until next winter. I'm sure we'll get snow again, but the temperatures won't be so damn cold. It won't be long and we'll have the shop doors open again. We're all white as ghosts from not getting any sun.