Both Friend and Trucker

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From the top of my head, I worked in logistics at least 20 years I suppose if you included all facets of the job.  And in the process, I made some very good friends.


I was the Vice-President of Operations for a small company that my brothers and I owned and ran.  I dealt with the truckers on a personal level.  One family who owned their own business became good friends of mine.  My friends ran a vacuum truck service.  They hauled clean water, water from landfills and sludge before hauling our liquid polymer.


Liquid polymer is a product used to clean sludge from water.  It is also very slippery.  Police even use it against rioters, not that we sell that form of it.  You cannot walk on it. Sewage plants like liquid polymer because it is loaded directly into tanks with no spillage.  Since the plant workers don’t have to mix it themselves from dry product, the workers don’t fall and get hurt on any residue that may get on the floor from dry product that gets wet. 


The company we had used at first to haul our liquid wanted to charge us a clean out fee of $500 for the few gallons that remained in the tank when they were done transferring the product.  Mind you, a few gallons of this product may be slippery, but not toxic.


My Dad, the founder of our company, contacted my soon to be friends.  They recognized a chance to make money.  You’re allowed so much liquid in a tank when you are hauling depending on how some companies are with regulations.   Therefore, if the truckers hauled landfill water after a polymer run, they could take it back to the sewage company and when they shot the landfill water into the dumping area, the left over polymer mixed with the landfill water would give the sewage company a little cleaning bonus. 


This kind of commonsense was not evident everywhere.  We picked up oil for an emulsion we were making from one company that would not fill up our tanker truck that we sent because it had a few water drops on the side of the walls in the interior of the tank that you get from a clean out.   I had to get out of bed at 3:30 in the morning and fax this company an OK on company letterhead I only kept at the warehouse. 


The oil company went out of business because who will buy under these conditions?   If a buyer like us uses a trucking company, the trucker isn’t making money if he has to wait for a fax from me instead of hitting the road driving.  I wouldn’t buy again either because I don’t mind losing sleep to make money, but I won’t lose sleep because of stupidity.   


At any rate, it takes about 2 hours to load a vacuum truck with polymer when we are shipping it to different sewage plants so the municipalities could process sewage.  So in this time period, I talked with the truckers.  I found out what kind, decent people they were.


They came from a little sleepy Pennsylvania town.  It is beautiful where they live. The values they had and their way of life was really more from the 50’s than now.  (Don’t get me wrong, they are modern, but I am talking about the culture of unlocked doors and honesty).


We became true friends.  The last I heard, their biggest competitor got tired of competing with them and bought them out.  Good for them.  


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