Fix It Tickets

by kfrego

We finished our project in Beulah, ND and returned to Roseville, CA near Gates & Fox’s home office. The holidays were coming and everybody was happy with our successful project completion. Myself, Mike Janzeski, and Kenny Pruitt maintained equipment at our home office in between small local jobs. In the spring we were awarded a tunnel project near Silver City, NM. We made several trips to Silver City during contract negotiations with the Gates & Fox Cessna 421 airplane. Kieth Morrell was our pilot and drove the company tractor trailer when not flying.

Myself and Lee Boyd left the yard in Loomis, Ca with an old Mack water truck and a Ford Concrete Mobil truck. We were going to Silver City. The Mack truck had a platform water tank about 3 feet high. The tank had a full load of 4 inch pipe on top of it. We hit a truck scale between Loomis and Donner Summit on Interstate 80. We were red lighted into the truck inspection area for a normal Highway Patrol safety inspection. Lee’s Concrete Mobil passed in flying colors. The safety inspector got writers cramp before he finished with the old Mack. It didn’t have any serious deficiencies, just a lot of small items needing attention. As the inspector crawled around under the truck he chatted with us about mining, construction, and our jobs. He wrote two lists. One for fix it tickets and another for minor items we should take care of, but not ticketed. He asked who paid the bills for our company and I told him Wayne Dutra was our Financial Officer. Lee and I headed back down the mountain to Loomis. We wanted to clear the fix it tickets before proceeding to Silver City. We would also fix the lesser items noted during inspection.

When we got back to the yard everybody was surprised. We had only been gone a couple hours. I pulled out the tickets and we made a work list. After copying the tickets I took the originals into Wayne. He sat behind his desk reading the violations and asked me a couple questions. As I headed for the door he said, “Hey wait a minute. My name is on these tickets. How did my name get on there?” I acted dumb. “They asked who paid the bills at Gates & Fox. I gave them your name and title. That’s why we’re fixing everything right now. We don’t want you to lose your drivers license.” The rest of the conversation is best not written.

We fixed the truck, got it inspected, and left Loomis the morning of the second day after getting the fix it tickets. We hit the Boomtown Truck Stop and Casino just west of Reno about day break. We purchased Nevada fuel permits. We both made out Keno tickets during breakfast. We were laughing about Wayne’s reaction to the fix it tickets when a waitress handed me a little tray with $1300 on it.

Wayne paid the fix it tickets……….but he didn’t appreciate our bragging him up to the Highway Patrol inspector.