A Tale from our driver:" Why I hate drop and hook loads?

Not all drop and hooks are quick and easy. Sometimes the trailers are hidden behind other trailers and
you need to wait for a yard dog to move the ones in front. Other times the trailer you need might be
sitting at a different location so you have to wait for a yard dog to transport it the main yard.

Drop and hooks are also physically more demanding, especially when you have a heavy load or a trailer
with a difficult dolly handle that won't turn. Beer and meat loads can be extremely heavy, and this can
cause turning the handle, even in low gear, to seem impossible. There have been times when I leaned
on the handle and put all of my body weight on it to try to move it and nothing happened. Other times, I
have kicked the handle trying to get it to move.

Although many yard dogs are willing to help you lift the trailer to assist you, not all customers even have
yard dogs. When backing into a door, there are usually other drivers close enough to help you back in
you have issues. However, in large lots, drivers may be spread out throughout the yard, so there may
not be any drivers close by to ask for help.

Despite what some may say about being a woman in trucking, sometimes it makes life easier. Often
times men will offer to help me when they see me struggling. It's made me wonder if they do the same
for men who are struggling? Personally, I think dealing with that landing gear is the most physical part of
my job.


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Drop and Hooks Can Be Time Consuming

One example of a time-consuming drop and hook that was supposed to be ready before I got there was
a meat load in Minnesota. My company gave me the trailer number and a pickup window of 12:00 to
18:00. I got there are 12:00, dropped my empty, and headed to the security gate.

As I checked in I saw a yard dog pulling an empty trailer, and it was the trailer number I was supposed to
be picking up. When I inquired, the guard snidely stated, “Obviously your load isn't ready yet.” He told
me to return at 18:00. I did and searched the lot for my loaded trailer, but it was nowhere to be found.

I returned to the guard shack and he gave me a different trailer number. Once again that trailer was
nowhere to be found. I messaged my company and was given yet another trailer number. Finally, I
demanded a supervisor who informed me the prior numbers were incorrect. He assured me the correct
trailer was in the lot and ready for me to pick up. It wasn't.

I called dispatch who was able to pull up a satellite view of the trailer which showed it was still in the
dock door at a plant across the street where trucks were not permitted to go. As sweetly as I could, I
asked a yard dog to go get it for me and he did. That drop and hook took over 8 hours. The average live
load takes about two hours.

On another occasion, I arrived to find that my loaded trailer was later unloaded so the product could be
used for other orders. This forced me to back into a door to get live loaded, but since I didn't have an
appointment time for a live load they worked me in five hours later. Sometimes customers who are
normally dropping and hooking facilities do not have enough empty trailers, and because they do not
convey this to the carrier, drivers arrive to find that the drop and hook have become a live load.

Even when it seems all went well, you could pick up a loaded trailer without incident, head to a scale,
and find there is no way to make the load legal. This happened to me at a shipper where we have a
dedicated account. The closest certified scale was 35 miles away, and the trailer tandems weighed
35,500.

I returned to the shipper, backed into the door, and after two hours I headed back to the scales. This
time the ticket read 36,200 – still overweight. At that point, I insisted they take two pallets off the load,
which they did, but the shipper wasn't happy. After going to the scale a third time, I was finally heading
down the road. However, thanks to the 14-hour clock, I didn't get far.

However, in our company we are paying the driver by the day on the road, so they don't need to worry
if they will wait for live loading/unloading 🙂

NBG logistics LLC wish you a nice trip!

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