Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
Last week after delivering a load to New Hampshire, I started looking for loads back south. My 53′ step deck with ramps once again provided another good paying load in the midst of a slow economy and a region of the country not known for a lot of freight. A Canadian ambulance company with plants in Quebec and New York provided the load of ambulances back to Durham, NC which is about 45 minutes from my house.
After a snowstorm blew in 6″ of snow, the snow plows quickly went into action and had the interstates in good condition for my deadhead to Plattsburgh, NY. Upon arrival in Plattsburgh, I looked for other ways to load the ambulances, but no docks were to be found. Once all other options were eliminated, I set up my heavy ramps. I don’t use them much so they were hard to get out of their frozen mounts and covered in road salt – which means I was soon covered in road salt.
There was another driver there loading for the same destination as there were 5 ambulances in all to be transported. He was having trouble chaining them down as they aren’t an ideal vehicle type for chain securement. I had some extra wheel straps that I let him use and told him to just leave them there for me if he delivered in Durham before me.
I went around the toll roads south which added 100 miles to my trip. However, the tolls would’ve been around $115 so that was easy math. My fuel costs are around .28 per mile, so taking the toll roads wouldn’t have saved me in any money. In fact, it would’ve been a net loss.
When I got to Durham to deliver, my wheel straps were already waiting for me because the other driver had just delivered. Drivers helping drivers; I like that! I could tell that he must’ve taken the toll roads as his ambulances were much cleaner than mine and we both picked up at the same time. I got caught up in another snow storm in Binghamton, NY on the way down. He must’ve gone around this storm by taking interstate 95 to the east.
I’m sure these vehicles will help a lot of citizens in this community when operated by the capable hands of skilled medics. I’m proud to have played a small part by actually transporting this life saving freight from the frozen north country. If you have it, a trucker brought it!