Zero degrees. And there I am, lying under a semi trailer in a foot of snow, rapping on brakes with a hammer. And with every tap of the hammer, more ice, frozen mud, and snow is falling into my hair and face. Oh, the joys of trucking in the winter!
The driver next to me was loudly cursing as he attempted to deal with his own frozen equipment. He said he’d tried to find a trailer that wasn’t frozen but hadn’t had any luck. “Yeah, at zero degrees, I think they’re all pretty well frozen by now,” I said.
After freeing all four brakes on my trailer, I went to help the guy and in just a few minutes, he was ready to roll. “How do you do that so fast?” he wanted to know.
There is a bit of a trick to it, but instead of sharing my “secret” information, I simply said, “Think warm thoughts.”
The driver gave me a dubious look, probably thinking I’d been out in the cold too long and lost my mind. I repeated my advice and then added something about tomorrow things would be better. The guy didn’t argue but I could tell he thought the chances of the weather warming up were nil. (I must admit, at that point, I agreed with him).
The next day, when I showed up at work, it was still cold. I saw the same guy out in the yard, again struggling to get his trailer rolling. After a trip into the office for some coffee, I figured I’d be joining him and was prepared to hear his profanity-laced tirade about how I’d been wrong—things hadn’t gotten any warmer. But...
When I went into the office, the dispatcher said I needed to pick up a certain trailer and take it to another terminal for repairs. One of the mechanics had just parked it outside, I was told. I did my best to not laugh but did smile a little to myself. If the mechanic had just parked it that likely meant the trailer had been in the shop for several hours, which meant it would be clean, dry, and warm—with no frozen brakes!
Pretending it was summer; I went out and hooked up—just in time to see the other driver pulling up beside me. Apparently, he’d seen the mechanic bring the trailer out and had enviously watched as I by-passed all the usual winter rigmarole of hooking up a trailer.
“How’d you get so lucky?” he grumbled.
I shrugged. “By thinking warm thoughts!”
Merry Christmas! ~