Navigating Challenges

Navigating Challenges

March 2024 vol. 4

Veering a bit off course from our typical newsletter format, John was inspired by the extraordinary circumstances described below to try his hand at a more literary approach. Though it reads like a novel, this account is purely factual.

Careening down the back country roads in the predawn darkness, hauling a trailer full of chickens and still nursing my morning coffee, I was eager to make it on time. This was my first trip to the DRR Processing, and I wanted to give myself extra time to navigate the route.

I was jolted into full consciousness when, as I approached the first major turn, my brake pedal went straight to the floor. Not fully coming to grips with the issue, I pumped the brakes a few more times with no response. The bend loomed large, but the speedometer held steady. I quickly dropped the truck into third gear and reached over and activated the trailer brakes, hoping that the trailer in tow would help slow the truck down enough to keep me out of the ditch. Fortunately, there were no cars in the oncoming lane, as both truck and trailer took the curve wide and fast.

Having conquered the immediate danger, I slowly coasted along looking for a safe place to get off the road. Half a mile and eternity later, I found a side street and pulled over. Now what? Three hundred chickens and a schedule to keep.

Assessing the situation, my options were few. I HAD to make this delivery – there was no way I was going to unload 300 chickens and I was doubtful I could get another processing date the following week. I couldn’t see how I’d get a wrecker to haul me to the house with the trailer in-tow. Besides, that would take forever, and I had a deadline to meet. I could get another truck to meet me and swap the load over, then have a wrecker haul the truck home. Or I could just turn around and drive back home – using the trailer brakes and the transmission to negotiate the journey.

Knowing my father-in-law was an early riser, I called Robert hoping he could help me out. Fortunately, he was awake. I made arrangements for him to meet me at the house, and I set off on the white knuckle, ten-mile journey back home.

I was quite relieved when I made the final turn into the driveway and crept to a stop. After sending a text message to Matt at DRR Processing advising him of my predicament. I unhitched the trailer and waited for Robert to arrive.

Using Robert’s truck, I completed my journey without any further issues – just 30 minutes late for my appointment. Back home, I determined that one of the brake calipers had failed. A couple hundred dollars and a few hours on Friday was enough to get me fixed up and back on the road – just in time to head back and pick up the packaged birds.

I intended to tell you all about our new chicken processing facility. But as my editor is telling me I’ve exceeded my word limit, and the presses are ready to roll, we’ll leave it here. Next week I’ll elaborate on DRR Processing, but I’m sure you’ll be as pleased with the results as we are.

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