Matlack, Inc. - Road Stories

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Pipeline on Wheels

Pipeline on Wheels:

Classic Matlack Stories



This page carries classic Matlack stories, or anything else you'd like to share.

Heading for Home

from Paul M. Gumbrecht (driver, Terminal Mgr)

One Friday night about 11pm on the Pennsy Pike, heading home to Jersey ,Me and Jim Tracy came upon an accident involving another Matlack Team, Joe Cucciara driving, Jack O'Malley sleeping, Joe rearended a steelhauler doing about 15 mph on the upgrade of Laurel Mt. they were MT going abt 50 Joe tried to get around him but mis judged as a 4wheeler ws right beside him and he smacked the A--end of the flat bed, when we got there the wind shield was out and O'Malley was on the back of the flat bed!

He said to both of us "it's more comfortable than that g--dam F model Mack and then asked us if we got his cigs off the dash and his log book. Ha. We then called Matlack, soon enough, we were talking to Bill Sickles, In charge of the region for safety at the time. Thank God no one was injured, but Bill told us not to take anyone with us, we argued that no one was hurt, in the meantime 2 other Matlack teams showed up, so we had plenty of support, the rig was demolished and had to be towed to a site, we finally talked Bill into takihg the 2 drivers to Carlisle, where he picked them up and drove them home to NJ Good man thatwill do something like that.
I probably have at least 20 more stories, all different and all true!


Running sleeper with an old coot

fron Joe Smith (driver)

I was 22 years old, running sleeper team with and old coot, mid sixtes, from Tennesee. Nearly illiterate. Never used maps, but had some bizarre and uncanny, photographic memory and sense of direction. I got lost, way lost, going thru Sante Fe. (entire town under construction). I finally gave up and woke my partner, who had been asleep for hours. He took one look out the window, and said, "what didja wanna come this way fer." Turn here, now here. Ten minutes later, back on track. This went down at night.

Another time I stopped to pee at a rest stop. He was asleep. Well, apparently he got out to bullshit with the other drivers, but forgot to leave his log book on the seat, our signal for bieng out of the truck. I got back in, assuming he was in the bunk, and drove for seven hours straight. His turn to drive, I pounded for him to get up. No Herman. Had to go back and get him. I almost fell over laughing when I finally got back, and he said in his southern drawl, now rapid and high pitched, "youdidthison purpose,youdidthisonpurpose.


Just air it off!

from Marilou Bircher (driver, Carson, CA)

My second week on the job, without a trainer and I was sent to a tar plant. I was told, "Nah, you don't have to use your pump. Just air it off". Well, I don't know if the tar had gotten cold or what, but when I hooked it up to air it off, nothing would leave the tank.

I called dispatch and they had a guy come to help me. He did something, what I still don't know. But there was tar coming out the top, overflowing the sides and pouring all over the asphalt under the truck. The guy said, "I'll go get you some absorbent to help pick it up with. He came back about an hour later, dropped off 2 - 55 gallon barrels and said "Bye". I said aren't you going to help me clean this up? He said, "No, I've put in my 8 hours, I'm going home." I was there until 10 PM, making my work day 14 hours.
Funny? No, not really. And certainly not something I will ever forget.


He did it!

from Donald Hill (Asst. VP - Sales)

The Dave Anderson version is better... on my last day at Lansdowne following my warning to Martin Heinz and then resignation to John Nelson to take a job as VP Traffic at Transport Service in Chicago. "John marched Donald down to the 1st floor, stuck his head into Martin Heinz's office and exclaimed "he did it!" The same in Frank Powell's office and the march continued over to Anderson's office in the "Eastern Region Building" next door. At this point in the presence of Dave Anderson my chevrons, buttons, and medals were ripped from my uniform, my sword surrended and broken in disgrace, and David was gven orders to accompany Donald off of the property! (Dave's version). Nevertheless, it was all for the best and I remain friends with John to this day and chat with him in Florida regularly. The company would have survived with John et.al. rather than the "meatball invasion" with no offence to my friend Joe Lomanno.



Overnight Shift

from Dean Budd (Operations Control)

Midnight shift..1988..0200....Lee Berman fell alseep and hit the ground so hard that the guys from RLC emergency roadservice came over. The next night a bicycle helmet was left on Lee's chair with a seatbelt slung on the side. Those uploads can get tiring. Must be a million Lee Berman stories, but as Jim Buckley says "the sun don't shine on the same dogs --- twice."
Bucklism could go on forever too.


Characters

from Matt McCunney (Corporate/Bensalem)

Sadly enough my memory is terrible (unless you need me to rember Matlack trailer #'s) so I do not have a specific story. But there are 2 people who kept me in stiches every day I worked at Matlack, Ray Custin had to be the funniest person I ever met, he should have been a stand up comedian. When we were in Faulkstone or when I visited him later in the Ivory towers he always made me laugh.

The other one was Jim Kinnevy, my dispatcher at Bensalem who I eventually brought over to Trimac with me. For those of you who do not know, Jimmy is a 40yr old going on 16. He is still single and would have a story every morning about who he hooked up with or how he got home at 6am only to be sitting at work at 8am with blood shot eyes. He was also the most dependable person I ever met, I can not even count the numerous times we were solving problems at 2am over the phone, only for me to find out the next day he was talking to me from the side of a stage because he was playing in his band and stopped between songs to call me because I paged him.

Matlack had a way of finding really good people if only they could have done the same for the people running the company it might still be around.

Dedication

from Mike Dailey (Bensalem/Swedesboro/New Castle terminals)

This Matlack story is not just funny but I look at it as a sample of the dedication that many of the people had for the company.

After the first terrorist attack [1993] at the World Trade Center, Matlack was given the job of delivering the first load of refrigerent gas to re-charge the air conditioning systems. Starting the day at 1am, I rode up to the Big Apple in the truck with Ed Wilbraham. We got to the WTC at 4am and we were told to wait until the day crew got there.
There was no place to park so we just parked right in front of the towers. At 7am the site supervisor said he might get to us by lunch. At 1pm we were told to bring the load around the to the side contractors entrance. How Ed got the unit through the pedestrian and car traffic without hitting anyone was amazing. When we started down Church St. I got out and walked in front of the tractor to keep from running over pedestrians. Well we finally got onto the site and then we strung out the 300' of discharge and vapor recovery hose. Of course neither the electric or gas pumps would work on Elf Atochem's trailer so we did a little p! lumbing job and used the stainless steel tractor pump to unload with.
Finally we got empty at 7pm and it was time to start home. While going across the Bronx-Queens Expressway a steel plate came up and tore one of the landing legs down. So now we are dragging a landing leg and the noise is deafening. Ed pulled the truck onto the 6 foot shoulder and I got under the trailer and got the landing leg back up but we had nothing strong enough to tie it in place. I then took off my belt and used it to strap the landing leg to the trailer. Once we got back into Jersey, Ed asked what we should do about his log and we both agreed that we were not going to layover in Woodbridge. WE finally got back to Bensalem at 10pm, with a lifetime memory.



Service Award

from Bennie (Atlanta, GA #079)
24YRS OF EMPLOYMENT MEANS QUITE A FEW FUNNY STORIES, BUT WHEN I MADE THE 15 YR MARK, ATLANTA WAS UNDER ATS. THERE WAS NO 15 YEAR PIN, SO I WAS AWARDED A 10YR PIN ADN A 5 YR PIN AND TOLD TO DO THE BEST I COULD WITH IT. I DID. I GAVE IT BACK!



Playing the Game

from PAUL (BUTCH) GROTHE (Muscatine, IA #010)

WHEN I FIRST STARTED WITH MATLACK, I PURCHASED THE BUILDING THAT WE HAVE HERE. MATLACK WAS TO PAY RENT FOR OFFICE ROOM. THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH A/P TO GET THE CHECK OUT. KENNY RINKUS WAS MY OP AT THE TIME AND HE CAME TO VISIT ME. I TOLD HIM THAT THE RENT WAS BEHIND ABOUT 3 MONTHS. HE CALLED CORPORATE AND TOLD THEM THAT WE LOCKED OURSELVES OUT OF THE BUILDING AND HE SET UP TEMP OFFICE SPACE IN THE TAVERN ACROSS THE STREET. CORPORATE DID NOT SEE THE HUMOR IN IT THAT WE LOCKED OURSELVES OUT, BUT THE CHECKS CAME EVERY MONTH ON TIME SINCE.


Mystery, Intrigue...

from Linda Steenberg:

Governor Wise's new task force has received a rumor that this LINDA has gotten word of the intense investigation being done by the NITRO POLICE and has decided to split, once again, in fear that they will find her in Delaware! After friends and family where questioned, the police and the task force have reason to believe that LINDA will try to flee the State of Delaware some time this week.

Aston Travel was contacted in the newly purchased Penske Building and confirmed the next destination is Atlanta, GA but would not divulge the dates, flight information or the LINDA's vital statistics. An unidentified source has told police to look for a BLUE CAR at the ATLANTA airport. The driver, believed to be another woman, may be LINDA’s contact there. Interviews will continue with employees of the Penske Building to determine more information as well as to see whether the chop shop ring believed to be running out of the basement is an effort to obtain 54 million dollars by February 15th. Some task force members believe these strikes have increased dramatically over the past month in an attempt to save her company, job, and co-workers jobs. This martyr syndrome personality, as called by police psychologists, will not hamper police efforts to nab her though. Press releases will continue as the drama unfolds.



Matlack





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