21.8 C
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Jim was putting on the tarps on his truck and trailer, but I called him over-By Sabik Singh

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, two other trucks were with me and we were going to Keremeos, loaded with salt, for the Ministry of Highways. Out of no-where, a big buck (deer) jumped over my truck’s hood. I quickly took a picture of it, not believing what I had just seen. My wife, Janice, who was with me, said, “Oh, what a close call. We could have had an accident.”
Janice and I would always be together on a lot of these trips. One time, we were coming home from Birch Island, late at night, when we noticed that a truck had its 4-way flashers on. I stopped and asked if he needed any help. He replied, “I lost all my air and I can’t move.” After looking further with a flashlight, I noticed that the airline had a crack in it, from which the air was leaking. We had two options: tape it and put a clamp on it or use a vice grip to hard pinch the airline to stop the leak. After hard pinching the line, I followed the driver until he reached home.
Friday night was always a welcome and it was nice to get home from working all day and part of the night. The Hope – Princeton Highway is unique and something always happened there. One time, while coming down hill, we saw some lights flashing. We stopped and noticed that it was a truck and the trailer unit was a car hauler. “Are you okay, driver?” I asked him. He told us that he had run out of fuel and had been stuck there, in the cold, for over an hour. Since there was no way to get fuel from a station, I thought of another plan. I unhooked my tractor from the trailer and Mindy parked behind my trailer with the lights flashing, so nobody would run into us. I pulled my tractor alongside his, pulled out an air hose, and siphoned some diesel into his truck. He had enough to get to Hope, but just to be on the safe side, we followed him until he got to an Esso station. The driver thanked us sincerely and we went on our way.
One time, a hired trucker, who was quite sharp in his own way, but never-the-less a good trucker, was sent to Princeton Mining to haul ore concentrate to the Neptune Terminal at North Vancouver. On the way up to the mine, he stopped in Aldergrove to pick up a female friend and took her along to the mine. At the mine, the concentrate to be loaded was in a warehouse so it wouldn’t get wet.
When loading and weighing the trucks, you would pull onto a truck scale, and a small scale would weigh the truck and trailer separately to ensure that everything was loaded evenly and legally. This fella, Jim, got fully loaded, pulled out, put the tarps on and strapped everything down, ready to go. About a half a block away, on the hill, Jim stopped at the security shed, at the mine’s entrance, to get his paperwork. While waiting at the security shed, Jim heard the phone ring – the voice on the other end was the plant foreman, who instructed the security guard to hold the truck.
Some time later, the foreman came into the security guard’s office and talked to Jim. He explained that there was crushed rock mixed into that shift’s crushing of ore. Jim asked, “Okay, so now what do I do?”
The foreman made arrangements with a couple of men in the shipping department and said, “Fellas, put a big tarp on the ground. Driver, could you please dump your truck and trailer on top of it because the ore concentrate is contaminated.” At this stage, Jim was furious to be wasting time and for having no load. The foreman said to Jim, “You make out a charge bill, I’ll sign it and we’ll pay you for your time.” Jim agreed and then asked when he could pick up the load that was now on the tarp. The mine foreman told him to come the next day at 1:00 p.m. Jim was now even more mad for having to wait a day to pick up the load. His lady friend was also mad because she couldn’t return home. Since nothing could be done, Jim and his lady friend decided to stay at a motel near Princeton.
The mine foreman then phoned the G.H. office and said, “I want three trucks up at the mine at 10:00 a.m. Also, one of the truckers must be Sabik Singh.” Next thing you know, I was headed to the mine. Even though there was sand on the roads, the roads were still quite slippery with ice.
At 9:30 a.m., I arrived at the mine and was greeted at the guard shack, where I had to get the paperwork and bill of landing. The foreman said, “Sabik, load the other two trucks up. Send them to the mine warehouse and then on their way. But I want you to stay behind for a little while.”
We loaded the two trucks and sent them on their way. The foreman then called me into his office and said, “Sabik, I have a problem. Your trucker is due here around 1:00 p.m. I’ll talk to you then.” Some half later, I saw Jim come into the mine yard. I said to Jim, “Park your truck. The foreman wants to talk to us.”
As Jim and I are walking to see the foreman, I asked him, “Jim, you came last night – didn’t you get a load?” Jim replied, “Sabik, I had a load on, but the foreman told me to dump it on a tarp on the ground, saying that it’s contaminated.”
The foreman came out of his office and said, “Sabik, let’s go for a walk.” So, Jim, the foreman, and I walked over to the dumped, covered material. The foreman asked Jim, “This is where you dumped last night and this is the material, right?” “Yes. It is the same,” Jim replied. The foreman called on his 2-way radio and asked for a loader. He then said, “Jim, pull over here to load up your truck and trailer.” Jim agreed, but made a note to the foreman, “But you told me this last batch of ore was not ready to ship.” The foreman replied, “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” After getting the truck loaded and tarped, the foreman asked Jim asked to re-weigh so that it would have that day’s date on the weigh slip.
After the truck was weighed, Jim was told to get the weigh ticket, which he did. The foreman and I were standing on the platform near the truck scales. The foreman said, “Driver, have you got your new weigh ticket?” Jim said yes. The foreman then said to me, “Sabik, this is the weigh slip with yesterday’s date and this is of today’s date. What do you notice?”
Jim was putting on the tarps on his truck and trailer, but I called him over.
I inquired, “These are yesterday’s slips and these are today’s. What happened with the weight?” Jim said, “I don’t know.”
I looked at the foreman and asked, “What do you think happened?” The foreman turned to me and Jim and said, “Jim, you are not telling the truth here. Yesterday, as you were loading your truck, you put in one bucket of ore in you truck box. Then you asked your lady friend to look at the scale, and in the meantime, you put the bucked into the truck to make it look like you had more weight. Then, you deliberately punched in the wrong phony weights. Then, Jim, you did the same thing with your trailer load. After getting your weigh tickets punched, you proceeded to the guard shack to get your bill of loading. Luckily, one of my employees saw you put the bucket in your truck box and push it down so it seems like you have more weight. That’s when he called me. If he didn’t notice that you had done this, you would have left with less weight than you claimed you had, which is not right. Then, Jim, tell Sabik what happened next.” Jim said, “Sabik, I was told to dump the load over here.”
I was already mad at this stupid thing Jim had done. So there I was, looking bad because Mindy and I had a good working relationship with Arrow and Newmont (Princeton) Mining Company. The mine foreman looked at me and said, “Sabik, what do you think?” I then made a decision. I said to JIm, “Sorry, Jim. Dump this load here in the warehouse and you go without a load.” The foreman thanked me and I proceeded to get loaded and left. Oh, boy, this mistake could have caused my company’s reputation to be tarnished, but thankfully this guy’s deceit was caught.