Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Back on the Interstates

Hello everyone! So I am behind again, and I apologize! But I had a WONDERFUL work-free week. We had a great time with the kids and went to a haunted house. That was a lot of fun. Not as good as the one we went to last year, but it had some good scary moments. Also went and looked at some trucks. Did I mention that in my previous blog? I don't remember. Anyway, that was a lot of fun. Have to go check out Volvo and International still.

So now we are back out on the road. We headed out Monday and picket up a JC Penny load which seems to be the usual routine for us when we leave the house. This load went to Breinigsville,PA which is a place we hadn't been to before. Then when we left there they sent us over to NJ to pick up a load going to Ohio. It is a short run, under 600 miles, but they said there wasn't any team freight in that area at the moment. Doesn't really bother me since I get paid by the mile, so it is all good. We should drop this load off around 1900 hrs then we are going to go right up the road to a Pilot and get a shower. Not sure where we will go after that. We told tjem we would be available at 2100 so we won't know till closer to that time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ahhh Home Sweet Home

I think I posted before that I love my bed. I just wanted to say it again. My bed rocks.

Well, we are back home after four weeks out. We got back Tuesday afternoon. I headed up to McKinney to get Bandit and J headed to the house. When he got to the house he found that we didn't have any electricity. While we were out this time I set up the electric bill to be automatically drafted out of our account. Well, they got it set up, but not until after the bill was due so they shut it off. When I called them, I had a ZERO balance, because they paid the bill in full, just late, but no one checked to see if they had shut it off. Needless to say I had to totally empty out the fridge and freezer and everything was lost. So Tuesday we went back towards town and got a motel for the night.

Wednesday we got up and went by Peterbilt and Kenworth to look at some trucks. Now we need to go by the Volvo dealership and look at them. We can finance through our company, a brand new truck, but we are looking at all our options. Do we finance through them on a lease/purchase option or do we buy direct from a dealer? Direct from a dealer we would need a sizable down payment and pay on it for 60-72 months and end up paying about $170,00 when all is said and done. Going through our company, we are stuck with them for three years, but the truck is paid off in 36 months and final price at payoff would be around $143,000. So we have to decide if we want to be stuck at the same place and them basically owning us, or do we want to have more freedom, but be stuck paying more for the truck over 5-6 years instead of 3 years. Way too much to think about at the moment!

Today is Thursday. We had to get up this morning and take Bandit to the vet to get spayed and get her shots. We will pick her up in the morning. Then we went and had to get a new pump for the septic. Then we found out that wasn't the problem and we returned it. Then I went and got my hair done. Then we went to Wal-Mart. Spent $486.00 there! Damn! But the kids are coming out this weekend AND I had to replace everything in the fridge and freezer so that is one reason it was so expensive. OH! We also bought a 4 inch memory foam mattress for the truck. That was not cheap. But I am guessing it will be well worth it!

Tomorrow, we plan on cleaning the truck and the suburban, then we are going to Justin's football game, then to the haunted house, then back here for the weekend. So I probably won't blog again until we are out on Monday. So everyone stay safe out there and have a good weekend!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A little behind.

Sorry! So now I have to play catch up. Ok, lets see. Well, got the laundry done in Laredo and after talking to several people, figured we wouldn't get a load out of there that night. Seems some had been there since the day before and still didn't have a load. So we headed to the truck and made some tuna melts and soup. As we were eating, we got a load. Figures! It was 2130 and I would have went to sleep WAY before had I thought we would get something. Well, that load was headed to Beech Island,SC. No problem. Decided to head out at dawn the next morning. So got up early on Friday and headed out. It was Joe's birthday and I was happy that load wasn't high value so we were able to stop at some BBQ place and have lunch. Got that dropped off in Beech Island Saturday around noon. That drop was at Kimberly Clark and we were able to pick up a load out of there heading to Romeoville,IL. I swear that is one of the funniest named towns. It just cracks me up. Got that dropped around noon today (Sunday) and they are sending us to Meridian,MS with a GP load. I sent a message earlier today and they said they would start looking for us a load back to Dallas since we have TAH starting on Wednesday and this is what they came up with. So I called and asked about it and they said we should get a load out of Mississippi to Dallas. I said "Should? Look, I'm not going to be happy if I am home late again after being out for four weeks." He responded by telling me they were overbooked in Mississippi so we shouldn't have any problems. Damn straight we better not!

Anyway, so this load we are taking to Meridian,MS isn't loaded yet. So we are sitting in the truck waiting for our chili to heat up to make a frito pie and then J is going to get some more sleep. He woke up when I entered the Chicago area this morning. Imagine that. Chicago roads SUCK!!! And they said the load wouldn't be ready until 1830. I guess that is good. J can get more sleep and the traffic should be lighter, even though it is Sunday, maybe everyone will be in church and not out on the road.

So that is all for now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Laundry in Laredo

That is what I am doing right now. Of course they only have one working washer which takes 60 minutes a load, and I have three loads. UGH!! in and delivered around 1230, went to Danny's to get something to eat, then headed back here to do laundry. We put ourselves available at 1800 so we would have time for laundry.

Yesterday was a good day. On our way through Santa Rosa County in Florida we were able to meet up with a friend who is a Deputy with their Sheriff's Department so that was really nice. Unfortunately we only got about 30 minutes before duty called and she had to go, but it was great that we were even able to hook up for a little bit.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sunny Florida

They really should call it Love Bug Florida. All these freaking love bugs freak me out. You know, the ones that are stuck together, two of them, and they fly around that way? Wierd. It is like they are doing it in the air and flying around throwing it in your face. As if they are saying "Hey, look at me! I'm getting some and your not." Little fuckers. So I showed them. I got some of my own last night! Take that little Love Bug Fuckers!

Ok, enough of that. Stopped in Brooksville,Fl and took a restart on hours. I would write more but I just did and the computer freaking erased it and I don't want to type it all again. ARGH!! I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Anyway, headed to pick up a load in Palatka,Fl and we are taking it to Laredo,Tx. First we have to stop at a Pilot with a Wendy's so I can get salads to go with the soup I am warming up. Also plan on getting one of the sandwich makers so I can make grilled cheeses it it to eat with the soups! Yummy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Called it a day early today.

J woke me up in Effingham,IL at 0300. I finally woke up around 0400 and got on the road around 0445 or so. I just couldn't ge my ass motivated. I get to the consignee in Plainfield,IN at about 0715. Drop the load, but I remain on property for another almost 2 hours going back and forth with second shift. They kept sending me messages on which trailer to pick up as an empty. I kept sending them back the ONE trailer that was available and empty at the location. Very frustrating. Finally I guess they realize that there may be a reason that I am only giving them one trailer number and they assign it to me. HALELUJAH! So, drive to my next pick up which is only something like 1.3 miles down the road. In the same commercial area. Get there and find out that what was supposed to be a live load with a wait time of 5 1/2 hours is actually a pre-loaded trailer! YES!!! So I drop the empty, hook up and book out of there. In and out in 30 minutes. I checked my paperwork and it said my weight was 40,040 so I figured I better scale it. I drove about 15 miles and hit a Pilot in Indy and hit the scale. Everything scaled good so I was off again. I make it abut 20 miles down the road and say the heck with it. I am tired, no rush on this load, and I'm hungry. So I pull into a Flying J, wake J up and make him go inside to the restaurant with me. He had been asleep about 6 hours so he wasn't too mad. Of course we ate, came back to the truck, and he went right back to sleep. A full belly does that to him. He says it hits his sleep button. Whatever. LOL. Also, I could only work 9.5 hours today and I only gain 6 back at midnight. So I decided to shut down until J starts driving. Shutting down early left me with 2.5 extra hours. Add that to the 6 I will get at midnight and that will be enough time for me to get us to Brooksville,FL after J drives and still have time to find a place to take our restart at. I think I am just worn out because this will be 10 days straight I think and it wears me out!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Long day....

J woke me up at 0215 in Texarkana,AR. I started driving at 0300. Drove to Roanoke,TX where we dropped this load. Picked up another one in Haslet,TX that is going to Plainfield,IN. Drove as far as Checotah,OK and called it a day at 1530. I am worn out. We should be in Plainfield in the morning by 0900 and then we already have another load ready that will take us to Brooksville,FL. That load isn't due until the 17th, but we will drop on the 15th and do a restart on our hours. This has been a long week. That will put us at 9 days straight so a 24 hour break will do us good.

We only have about 10 more days total to run before we take time at home. J's birthday will be this week but we are going to have the kids out and celebrate when we get home. Also going to the haunted house. So it should be lots of fun!

Well, we are about to pull into Big Cabin,OK for a restroom break so I'll close up for today!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sleeping in is awesome!

After J picked up our load in Amherst,VA last night, he drove down a little ways and called it a night. So I wake up, realize the truck is stopped, and wonder what is going on. I must have been exhausted because I never heard him pull over or stop the truck or get in bed. Dang! And it is about 0615 and light outside. Turmns out he had set the alarm for me to get up at 0630. There is no rush on the load, and we have until Monday at 1600 to deliver. Granted we will deliver on Saturday morning, and still get another run before payroll cutoff on Monday, but he decided to let me get some sleep since it was 2200 when I got to bed last night. He knew me getting up and driving at 0300 wasn't near enough sleep for me. So I got up and started driving after a really good nights sleep. Drove as far as a rest area between Knoxville and Nashville and now J is driving. It is about 700 miles or so from here so I will get there mid-morning tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My apologies.....

to anyone that may have been driving east bound down I-40 around mile marker 246 early this morning. If you drove through my path of destruction, I sincerely hope you weren't traumatized. I know it wasn't a pretty sight. Unfortunately, Bambi was in a feisty mood this morning and wanted to play chicken. Bambi lost. Amazingly enough, there was absolutely no damage to the truck. A little blood and hair on the bumper but other than that, no damage at all. Not even a dent in the grill or bumper. I have NEVER in my life ran over anything. Thank goodness I didn't swerve, I did let up on the gas and I just kept it straight. I do think I closed my eyes at the moment of impact though. LOL!! But we were on a straightaway and not a curve. No way would I close my eyes on a curve! But it was just aweful feeling the thump and then the bump bump of running over Bambi. I think I may be traumatized. Maybe I need therapy? hahaha nah......

So other than that mishap this morning, here is what went on today. Got up and hit Bambi after driving only 6 miles. Made it to Statesville, dropped that load, picked up an empty. Then picked up a cigarette load. Brought that back to the OC and they will have someone else deliver it. It isn't due until Monday and if we take it, we can't relay it. That means that we would be stuck in LA until Monday afternoon after arriving there Saturday afternoon. Just too much time on it so they have another load for us. We are picking up in Virginia and heading to Roanoke,Tx. Probably pick the load up around midnight tonight. Right now we are still at Charlotte while J takes a nap. But I am going to wake him up now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Little Past Little Rock

And that is where we are now. Dropped last night in Dallas, went to the OC and did laundry and showered. Got a load to Virginia and then they pulled us off of that one to give us another that needed to be in north Carolina by 0930 in the morning so that is where we are headed now. Going to Statesville and we have been there several times so this will be an easy trip. Hopefully we will get something back to Calfornia after we drop this one. Not much else going on....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Citymouse, I'd love a microwave...

However Schneider will not let company drivers have anything above a 180 watt inverter in the trucks. That is just about enough to charge the laptop and that is it. That is another one of the big reasons that we want to get our own truck. We can hardwire a larger inverter directly to the battery and then we CAN have a microwave or small fridge. It will be so much easier to eat healthier when we have a little more room (we hope to get a little bit larger sleeper) and when we have the capability of more power in the truck for the microwave. So for now I will just dream of a time in the future when that will be a reality!

Oh, also, about team freight. Not sure what the deal is. We have picked up in Illinois before. Some states are just bad for freight. I have heard Colorado isn't great for freight, and neither is Washington. But who knows. They pay me regardless of whether I am pulling an empty trailer or a loaded trailer so I don't mind too much. It is frustrating sometimes when you are hunting down empty trailers to take, but that doesn't happen too often. Also, I think some states send stuff to neighboring states (for example) and that would be more solo freight than it would be team freight because it is shorter mileage. And that is just a guess coming from someone still considered a rookie in this field. That was the first time in six months that we have been sent to another state to find freight.

Last night, J picked up the empty trailer and we finally got a load leaving out of New Berlin,WI with a pick up time of 0700 today. So I called in to find out if it would be ready or if they would be loading it overnight and that is why it said 0700. Well, turns out it wasn't going to be ready until 0700 today. So after J picked up the empty, we drove to a Pilot at the border of Illinois and Wisconsin at Exit 1 on I-43. Got there about 2030 hrs I guess and we just stayed the night there. I got up at 0500, fueled up and headed up to FedEx in New Berlin for our pick up. We had been there once before and that always is nice because you know where you are going and what their routine is. Anyway, got the load and headed out by 0800. I went ahead and drove until 1700 today instead of 1500 because J didn't get to sleep until late. I guess it was just one of those nights where he couldn't wind down. We just switched at a rest area on I-44 about half way through Missouri. I still got in 504 miles so he is half way to Dallas where we are dropping off. He should get there around 0300. Just in time for me to take back over. But we are going through Oklahoma and their roads suck so I hope that I can get some sleep through there.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Well, yesterday I got up and made it to PA and picked up the Kimberly Clark load. Freaking PA backroads again. ARGH!! Anyway, got it picked up and headed out. Stopped on I-76 at a service area and J took over driving around 1800 hrs. I didn't sleep for crap last night since we were in the PA mountains. Got up this morning when J hit the Indiana border. I drove us to Indy where we got fuel and a shower then got us in to Sterling,IL where we dropped that load. They didn't have any empty trailers for us so we ate medican food at a place called Willy's. It was really good. Finished up there and they are having us bobtail to Rockford,IL to get an empty trailer and then sending us to Milwaukee,WI. There is no team freight in IL so that is why they are sending us up there. Don't know what we will be picking up but they are telling us to go that direction, so away we go.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

NB through Virginia on I-81

So yesterday I wasn't feeling real good. I finished up my shift, ate dinner and went to bed. I felt like a cold was coming on. Itchy swollen eyes, throat hurting, ugh! Took some Dayquil during the day and then went to bed. Woke up at 0430 in W. Memphis today and felt better. Had the same feeling one day last week when we were heading to Los Angeles. Anyway, at least it hasn't turned into anything yet. And hopefully I can keep fighting it off. With the exception of during training, neither one of us have been sick since we have been on the road and I don't want to start now!

I just finished driving my shift and now J is driving. We stopped on I-81 at Mile Marker 13 which is a truck only rest area. I had heate3d up some Chili in the Lunchbox stove. We had some Frito's and cheese so we made Frito pies. Man were they yummy! Except now I am burping chili :? (TMI right? sorry....) We only have about 275 miles to go to deliver this load. We already have our next load. When we drop this off, we will head to Chester,PA to pick up at Kimberly Clark and head to Sterling,IL. I wasn't happy when we got this run because it is under 900 miles. But because we were stuck in LA and had to do a restart, I think Tonya (our DBR or whatever she is called) set us up with this one so that we could deliver before payroll cutoff and this will put us over 6000 miles for the week. She actually thinks of us drivers. So when I look at it that way, I'm happy with the load. Plus, we will probably deliver Sunday which gives us Monday for the next payroll as an extra day on there. And the load is not high value or expedited so we aren't pressed to rush it there.

J and I are still talking a lot about getting our own truck when our year is up. We know we definitely want to do it, but we don't know what truck to get. We really like the old style but the gas mileage is no where near as good as it is on a newer more aerodynamic one. One mpg difference can mean up to $712 dollars difference a month based on 5000 miles a week, gas at $2.70 a gallon and either 5 mpg or 6 mpg. So you wouldn't think 1 mpg would make a difference, but it really makes a huge difference. So we are going to do some looking around and keep checking out all nof our options.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

We had wanted to go to the Casino after we finished up with the consignee on Tuesday, but I didn't have enough time to drive us to the casino so we just went to the hotel there in Ontario. It wasn't bad though. Took a nap, got up and went and ate, and came back to the hotel and went back to bed. I was pooped! J finished up with his restart so we left the hotel to go eat some lunch (Hooters) and were involved in a little fender bender. We were in the left turn lane (bobtailing) and the arrow turned red. We were stopped out a little in the intersection. Joe backed up about 3 feet and there was a car right on our ass that neither of us saw. So the police came out and didn't even take a report because the damage to their vehicle was below the $750 limit that would be needed for the police to make a report. Kinda sucks because there goes his bonus, but the important thing is that it was minor and no one was hurt. We ate and then headed back to the OC and finally got a load. WE had to pick up in Torrance (LA Suburb) and deliver to Winchester,VA. It was around 1600 local time when we got the load and we had until 2330 to pick it up so we decided to take a nap and head out around 2100 so we could miss five o'clock traffic. Once J picked up the load, he just headed back to the OC because his 14 was almost up and I couldn't drive for another 6 hours. So we stayed at Fontana, got up around 0800, grabbed a shower and some breakfast and then took off. This load isn't due until Monday by midnight, but we will still deliver sometime Saturday afternoon so it wasn't a big deal to sleep in this morning. It actually felt really good! So right now we are headed east through Arizona.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Frustrating Consignee

So here I sit, since 0730, at Aaron Thomas in Garden Grove,CA and I am still waiting to be unloaded. Haven't even made it to a dock yet. There is a Swift here and two local drivers that have been here just as long. And of course now they are all at lunch. I called our DBL and she said that we would definitely be getting detention pay, and hell yeah we will be, but it is frustrating. We are supposed to take a restart after this and it is just pushing us out farther. ARGH!!!! Anyway, I may post more tonight when I find out how long we are going to have to be here.

Ok, so I finally got finished up at that consignee around 1500 local time. SHEESH!! We had planned on going to the casino to do our restart on hours but couldn't do it because I didn't have enough time to drive out there. Damn it! So we are at the hotel at Ontario Airport instead of the casino. Depressing but there is always next time I guess.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Los Angeles

We are back in LA. We are headed to Fontana to spend the night and then we will deliver this load at 0700 tomorrow. It is an appointment for a live unload so we can't drop it early. After that we are going to take a break. We can only legally work no more than 70 hours in an 8 day period and we are almost out of hours so we have to take a mandatory 34 hour break per DOT. So we have decided that we are going to take our break at one oy'sf the casinos in the LA area. Maybe I will get lucky on the slots or maybe I will try roulette again. Besides, all the casinos have truck parking so that won't be an issue. So we should have fun. Our miles are only at about 3000 for this week. Mainly because this 2500 mile run we are on didn't deliver by 1700 today (Monday) to make it on to Friday's paycheck. But they will carry over to next weeks paycheck so next weeks will be great considering when we are able to run again on Wednesday morning, we will have five and a half days to run AND we already have 2500 miles to start with. Cool.