It’s the Cheese

Bad things can happen when a truck parks on railroad tracks. Fortunately this time the bad things did not include dead bodies or injured, only a totaled tractor and trailer and a few scratches on the Amtrak train.

It was 2 AM when I got the call. Our driver had been carrying thousands of pounds of Monterey Jack that were now spilled all over the scene at the railroad tracks. I got there just after the CHP had arrived and stopped the train passengers from looting the cheese.

This cargo could be saved if I could get it refrigerated fast enough. The cargogods were with me – I was less than a mile from a major truck stop. I whipped over there, leased a reefer trailer from a guy who was just finishing up pie and coffee. I also talked several truckers into leaving the restaurant and helping load the cheese into what I had just leased.

The guys did a great job handling the load and we preserved almost all the cheese (ultimately it would be delivered on time). But there was one problem. While the trucker with the reefer agreed to bill the insurance company, I had to come up with something quick for the labor component of this solution. I didn’t have any cash and couldn’t get any to the scene fast.

But I did have one thing that I could exchange for a few hours of lifting and sweating, and my trucker/laborers were happy to get it. Yes, it was the cheese. I paid them all off in Monterey Jack and each considered himself satisfactorily compensated.

California Cargo Specialist

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