Friday, August 31, 2007

Progress at last???

So, still in San Bernardino at the moment. Called Freightliner this morning and they said truck was ready. This is starting to sound familiar. So we go down and they say that they measured it and nothing was wrong. ARGH!! So, AGAIN we get the shop foreman out there to look at it. FINALLY we get someone that knows what he is doing. He looks at it and says that they measured the frame, which we knew, and that the frame wasn't the problem, which we knew. He said it was the cab (Newsflash....) and that the truck needed to go to the Freightliner BODY SHOP, not the mechanics shop, to get fixed. GREAT. We have been down since Tuesday night. So, we have them put on the work order that it has to go to the body shop to be repaired per the shop foreman, because I am beginning to think the people in Green Bay (Corporate) are going to think that we have lost our mind. At least we are finally getting somewhere. So we take the the truck over to the body shop about 10 miles away. We talk to someone there and tell him, and show him, what the problem is. He assures us that we are at the right place and that they can get it fixed. Thank goodness!! So hopefully tomorrow we will get a call from them telling us that the truck is finally ready!

Anywho, since we are stuck here with a rental car, today we went down to West Hollywood and found High Voltage Tattoo, from the series LA Ink. Tomorrow they are open to the public so we may go down there and see if we can get a tattoo without an appointment. During the week they are only open from 9pm-midnight because they are filming during the day. Then we drove up to the HOLLYWOOD sign and took pictures, then drove from there all the way down Sunset Blvd to Santa Monica and hit the Santa Monica Pier (Ocean Park) and killed some time. Did the complete tourist thing. But it was completely worth it. This has been the most relaxing day in AGES.......

Still no truck...

Here I sit at the hotel in San Bernardino,CA. Truck is still in the shop. Freightliner said that they looked at it and nothing is wrong. Apparently whomever looked at it is related to the same person in Dallas who looked at it. Then of course there are us plus 4 others that have looked at it and said something is wrong. This guy at Freightliner said he measured and it was only 3/8's of an inch off. Well, we already know that the frame is a little off. Already measured that. But that isn't the problem. The CAB is what is off. 2 inches off at that. Which we told them and if they had measured the CAB and not the FRAME they would have seen the difference. Also, if they had looked at the back of the truck they would have noticed that the passenger side airbag wasn't isn't inflated all the way and is twisted. Of which we also pointed out. Even the estimator at the Fontana OC told us it was a Freightliner issue since they have had that same problem with several other trucks in the 47 series. It is just really really frustrating. So in the morning we are heading back to Freightliner, remeasuring things and then asking to speak to a shop manager. Hopefully he has eyes and knows how to use them.

Because of all this we are at a La Quinta in San Bernardino,CA and paying WAY too much for it. It is race weekend here and the hotel the OC normally uses is booked up. Also all the surrounding hotels are booked. While we were checking in here today, we saw the semi carrying Kevin Harvick's car drive down the road to their hotel. So drivers are even staying out where we are. And prices are JACKED up for this weekend. I know this will be fun getting them to reimburse us for the motel.

Because we are stuck here, and they do not have a shuttle, we rented a car for a few days. It was really nice today though because we got the rental, checked into the hotel, took a nap, then drove down to Huntington Beach and watched the sunset from the pier. It was so damn relaxing. Headed back, went to Applebee's for dinner, had a great margarita and am now back at the hotel.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


So I have been talking about my troubles with Dallas Maintenance and our truck. We get up this morning and call and they say it is ready. Said they put a new leaf spring on thr right side that raised it up 2.5 inches and they put new seat bottoms in because the bearings were going out on the bottoms of the seats. Didn't know seats had bearings, but hey, whatever. We get to the OC to pick it up and it still looks like it is leaning. Get in the truck and the seat is straighter but that doesn't matter because the bottom cushion is the same cushion from the other truck which is all work down and the back of the seat is the same and it is worn and leans to the back on the right side. Now, if they had just completely replaced the ENTIRE seat 3 times ago when we asked, at least the seat wouldn't be an issue. It is so off that my left knee sits over an inch in front of my right knee when I am sitting in the seat. That is because the back right side leans farther back. And there is no cushion to be seen on the right side of the bottom of the seat, because I am sliding out of it and my leg is on top of the edge of the seat. But there is a good three inches showing on the left side of the bottom of the seat. Anyone notice anything wrong with this picture?? So we said screw it, because apparently the Dallas OC can't get anything right, and we headed to pick up the load we had been assigned. We are headed to Fontana,CA and when we get there we are going to put the truck in the shop AGAIN and we aren't taking it back until it is fixed and fixed right, or until they get us another truck. This is getting to be ridiculous. I am not a complainer, but when my left leg goes to sleep 45 miles down the road because the seat is so screwed up, we have a problem. Especially after asking 3 times to get it fixed. Hell, they had the truck a total of 5 days this time and still didn't get it fixed. I'm also going to see the Therapist in Fontana and have them take a look at the seat. I am at the point where they are about to start forking money out for Workmans Comp to send us to a chiropractor!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Well, we were supposed to go back out today. SURPRISE! We are back at home. So yesterday I told you about the lazy blind incompetent person that said nothing was wrong with our truck, right? Last night Jr, the only one there at the Dallas OC that seems to have a freaking clue, called and said we needed a new leaf spring. So he put the truck back in line at the shop to get the spring put in. So we call today and they say it is done. We get back to the OC and can't find the truck. We finally find it pulled up in front of the shop. So we proceed in to check on it. Estimator is helping us and then Jr walks over and wonders what we are doing there. So we tell him we called in and they said it was done. He got pissed. Truck hadn't even been in the shop yet. Then he looked at the work order and it showed on there somewhere that one of the shift leads said the truck was fine and road ready. NOTHING had been done. He had no idea why it had been cancelled. So he and the estimator on duty did another work order and put it in line for the shop AGAIN. Basically not a damn thing has been done and they have had the truck since Wednesday night. They did say it should be ready in the morning but we are going to call before you head back in. J was pissed to say the least. So tomorrow we are going to call our DBL and let her know what is going on and then talk to the TOM there at Dallas. We talked to someone in the shop office and he was no help. Just basically looked at the computer and saw that it was in line to be worked on and that was it. I don't even know if he is planning on talking to the person that didn't do shit to the truck. But he needs to. So another day lost to the shop.

Now I am sitting back at home watching Guarding Tess. Great movie with Nicholas Cage and Shirley McLaine. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day......

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It has been a few days but I have been enjoying my time at home! Went to the truck show on Thursday. What a blast!! Friday we did running around all day! Saturday I went and say John my tattoo guy and I got another tattoo! It is awesome!! Then Saturday night we went out with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday, a month late. LOL Today we have been hanging around the house recouperating. Dang hangovers suck the older you get!! Then this evening we took our little Bandit back over to Stephanies house since we are leaving in the morning again. We also stopped at the OC to pick up our truck that was in the shop. They said it was done but when we got there we found that they hadn't done a single thing to fix it. Really pissed us off. Some lazy ass didn't even take the time to really look at it. If he would have just opened his eyes he would have seen that there was something wrong. Well, the estimator that was working when we went in was really helpful and he pretty much figured out what was wrong right off of the bat. It was a problem with the airbags in the back. So we headed home and pushed our time out to come back at 0800 instead of 0600 in the morning. Then while we were at Walmart on the way home, they called back and said that it looks like the leaf springs need to be replaced also, that they are cracked and rusted. That doesn't sound right for a truck that only have 140,000 miles on it. I think something is wrong with the truck. Like maybe it was in an accident before we got it. It doesn't seem right that we got an 07 automatic with only 109,000 miles on it. Makes me think it was wrecked, fixed and then we got it. Hmmm I just want to know that it is fixed and safe to drive. That is all for now. More tomorrow. Hopefully we will be on the road with a truck that is fixed!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Made it home last night around 2200 hrs. Took a little more time at the OC because we had to clear it out so we could leave it at the shop. It is leaning to the right BAD so they are supposed to fix that and get us a new drivers seat. They have told us that the leaning is common in the automatics because of the torque. I just want it fixed so that I'm not falling off of my seat while I'm driving!

Got up today and went in to the truck show. We had a really good time. Chrome Shope Mafia had a booth there and several of the rides they had tricked out were there. NICE trucks. And of course had to by some shirts and stuff from them. Got a BB cap and CB was there and he autographed it. We are going to give that to Justin. Bought Jessica a shirt. I actually got me a shirt the same as the one we got her. But we had a blast. J kept asking for all the free stuff. :) We met a really nice man who was standing by the OOIDA booth when we walked by and he paid for a years membership for us. We weren't going to get it, but he told the lady that he would pay for ours and he did. Just goes to show that there are people out there that will do random nice things for people that they don't even know. He was very sweet.

After the truck show, we went and got something to eat and then headed over to pick Bandit up. Man she was happy to see us. And dang I miss her so much!! We will take her back when we go pick up the truck on Sunday night.

Tomorrow we have lots of running around to do. Got some stuff to do at the courthouse, gotta get my hair cut, maybe color it. I've been blonde for a while so I'm thinking of going brunette. Gotta get my nails done and I'm thinking a pedicure is in order. I drive a truck for a living so I feel the need to be girlie once in a while. We also have to get the motorcycle over to Justin so he can get it to the guy that is going to do some work on it. Saturday we are supposed to go out with friends for a late birthday party since we were on the road last month for my birthday. Sunday will be a day for recovering and getting laundry done and stuff packed to head back out Monday morning.

It's after midnight so I'm thinking it is time to go to bed. I should have gone to bed when we got home. I am at home dang it! I should spend as much time as possible in my California King pillow top bed. It is luxurious compared to that bunk in the Freightliner..... yeah, I'm heading to bed now...... :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Out of hours

Yep, on our way home and I ran out of hours. GREAT. So we had to stop in W.Memphis at the OC to kill 6 hours until J's 10 hour break was up. But we are back on the road now headed home. Should be there around 2000 hrs tonight I am thinking, I am so ready to see Bandit. She is our dog (Blue Heeler) that our friend Stephanie is keeping for us. As soon as we drop the truck off we are going to go pick her up. We have heard thru the grapevine that they are going to be changing company policy and start allowing pets in the trucks. That will be SO nice. But if not, that is just another reason to get our own truck. Hopefully we can get some good info at the truck show this weekend.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heading Home

Well, we are finally heading home. Been out 3 weeks this time. J has a doctor appt Friday and the truck show is in Dallas and we wanted to go check that out.

Yesterday was a complete cluster. Haul ass Sunday and J gets us into Swedesboro,NJ about 0300 hours. I get up about 0730, get dressed and go check in with the consignee. They aren't a 24 hour business so they were closed when we got there. I talk to one of the dock guys and he says he doesn't have room but if I could take and empty from there, I could put the trailer where the empty was. So J is up so we unhook our trailer, hook up to the one on the dock, move it out of the way, re hook to our trailer and start moving it to the dock. Well, the manager comes out and says we aren't supposed to have that load there until Wednesday. Well, our paperwork says Monday 0800 hrs. And it was a High Value/Expedited load which meant we just drove 2600 miles from California to New Jersey NON STOP, except for fuel. So we are just a little tired. Well, he calls our customer service, who are the ones who messed up, and they decide to send us with the load to one of our Operating Centers (which we will call OC's from now on). No problem. OC is 123 miles away. SO... we head there, get there and drop the trailer, grab some lunch and a shower and await our next load. Get done with the shower and lunch and we have a load to Dallas. Thank goodness. That is home! Of course they send us to pick up an empty to take to the consignee and when we get to that location, the empty is being loaded for another load. Call customer service back, again. So they send me somewhere else. Finally find an empty at that location after finding the place. No surprise that they gave wrong directions. So I send a mesage telling them that their directions suck and let the know how the directions should read so the next poor sap doesn't get lost like I did. Head to shipper. Get there and find out it is a live load. We were told they were supposed to have a trailer already loaded and we would just hook up and go. Not. So we wait while they load it. Head out of there and decide screw it, we are going back to the OC and heading out in the morning. We stop at the Flying J to eat and scale the load. Of course the load is 2000 lbs too heavy so we have to slide the tandems back to the 14th hole from the 6th hole. Big difference on turns. Crap. Oh well, headed home finally!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rain, rain and more rain!!

And I am in Oklahoma and Hurricane Dean hasn't even made it to the states yet. What the hell?? Well, at least J is driving again. I already mentioned how I HATE driving in the rain! Now I love the rain if I am at home, chillin out on the couch with a good book, just as long as I'm not driving in it!!! I think I need to go get hypnotized or something so that it doesn't bother me. I also told J it would be good for me to get hypnotized to work out my control issues. LOL! Of course he didn't really comment on the because he knew whatever he said would be the wrong answer. God I love that man! But I have learned, since we've basically been living in a truck, that I DO have some control issues. Of course J just tells me to go in the back and leave him alone and let him drive. :) I'm not a backseat driver at all in our personal car, but I certainly am in the big truck. I guess because it is still new. Guess I will get over it eventually. Well, we can hope anyway.

Not much to report today other than the above. Got an e-mail from a friend who is over in Iraq. If you read this Ron, take care honey!

That's all for today.....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back to the East coast

Well, since the last time I wrote, 5 days ago, we have been from LA to Ardmore, OK, then down to Ft Worth,TX with a load to LA and now we are heading out of LA with a load to New Jersey. Busy busy..... After this load weshould get a load back to the Dallas area for our TAH. Gotta get the truck in the shop since it is leaning and I think that will be a Freightliner issue. Not sure if it is the suspension, cab mounts, airbags...who knows..

Found out we are getting the raise. Up to .39 cents starting September 30th. Sweet!

Not much else to say today. It is 6:15pm which is past my bedtime. I start driving WAY early in the morning. And my laptop battery is about dead. So I am going to call it a day. I will try to write more tomorrow.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Thank goodness J is driving in it and not me! I really don't like driving in the rain in a semi. Actually I don't really like driving in the rain at all whether it is in our semi or our suburban. I got caught in a hail storm about 13 years ago and I really kinda freak out in rain or hail. The car I was in was almost totalled from the damage and the windows caved in on me from the softball, yes softball, sized hail. I can manage through it, and I am better than I used to be, but I still don't like it.

This morning I woke up in McLean,TX and drove to somewhere in Arizona. 573 miles today. This morning about 0830 I had to pull over. I had driven about 230 miles at that point and just couldn't keep my eyes open. I know when to pull over and this morning was one of those times. I was just too tired. So I stopped at a TA in Santa Rosa,NM and took about an hour nap. I felt much better after that but it killed me on miles! We will deliver this load tomorrow in the LA area and then head back to our OC. There we will do some laundry and kill some time. They are having some Driver meetings tomorrow and I want to go to one of them. They are implementing a new pay package and if it works like they are saying, that is an additional 7 cents a mile for us. That averages to about $385 extra each week. So it will make a huge difference considering the miles that we are driving!

I guess that is all for now. I'm gonna go up and talk to J for a while since he is driving.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Woke up this morning at 0300 in Charlotte,NC. Picked up our trailer at our OC there, got some fuel and took off. Arrived in W Memphis,AR at 1445 hrs. Drove 621 miles today and only stopped once. Man I had to pee when we got here! So we hopped out, got a shower and something to eat. Fueled up again and now J is driving. He should get us through Arkansas, Oklahoma and probably to Amarillo,TX before his shift is over. Then it will be 0300 tomorrow morning and my turn all over again. I'm too tired to write anything else. I'll add more tomorrow. OH, I will say that we ran into Marshall at W. Memphis. He was in our class at Dallas STA where we learned how to drive one of these big trucks. It was nice seeing him. He seems to be doing good and enjoying it. He drives solo and gets a lot of runs on the east coast. He can have those. I'll take the west coast any day. Better roads and they are bigger. Easier to maneuver one of these things around in.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Ok, so this morning I wake up in Birmingham,AL. J got us here around 0100 last night. Well, the consignee couldn't take us until 1100 today. No biggie. That means we get some good sleep with the truck not moving. Fast forward to 0845 this morning. Somebody is banging on the door. Luckily it was one of the yard dogs telling us we can move and go park in bay 12. Awesome. They are getting to us early. So we thought. Now is is 1310 hrs and they STILL aren't done. AND they only need to unload part of the trailer. The rest of the stuff is going to Rural Hall,NC. I have a feeling they are unloading all of it. Man, that would be a cluster. Because then they will have to go back and reload the truck. I don't even want to think about it! Well, we should have been done here at 1200 hrs so we could get to the NC stop. Luckily after we drop that off we have already got our next load. We will drive to Charoltte,NC and pick up a load of cigarettes that have to be in San Bernardino,CA (a LA suburb) at 0900 Monday morning. So we will get it picked up around midnight tonight and then drive 2300 miles straight through to the LA area. The only thing I don't like about the cigarette loads is that you have to drive 300 miles straight when you pick it up before you can stop. That is a long way to go without going to the bathroom! YUCK! All part of the job I suppose.

Today I sent out bulletins on myspace and e-mailed a bunch of friends reminding them of my birthday party. Already getting people e-mailing me back. I feel loved. :)

I am also hungry. Hopefully we can find a truck stop somewhere close when we leave so that we can get something to eat. We were going to go to Wal-Mart after this load and restock on food, but we aren't going to have time now that we already have that next load. The only bad thing about eating at truck stops, other than it being expensive, is that they don't have a huge selection of healthy food. Now I am no health nut by any means, but my expanding ass is telling me I need to start cutting down on the cheese burgers and french fries and that I need to start eating more salads. Fine. I will listen to my ass, this once. Mainly because I think it is right for once....

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Random ramblings of first time blogger

Have you ever wondered what America looks like through a windshield? A really big windshield? Say, the windshield of an 18-wheeler? A semi? It is beautiful. You can see so much more than what you see out of the windshield of a car. Everything seems so much more vibrant and colorful and just larger than life. I have seen a LOT of the United States in the last 4 months. The only state I haven't seen in Vermont. There really isn't an interstate that goes through there. You actually have to have business IN Vermont to go there. Maybe someday we will get a load through there and can have some of their famous maple syrup. OMG that sounds so good right now.

Well, a little about me. I am married to a WONDERFUL man who I will call J (you never know who reads this and I don't want to give out too much personal info) and we have been married for 10 years. We both quit stressful careers to go drive a truck. I know what you are thinking if you are reading this. "Why would you become a trucker if you had a good career?" right? Well, sanity for one thing. What good is a career, no matter how stable it is or how well paying it is if you lose your sanity doing it? The answer to that question is that it is no good at all. Sometimes you just have to start over and get a fresh perspective on what is really important. What was important to me was my husband and my sanity. Driving a truck, I have both of these back. I get to be with my husband 24/7 and I feel normal again. And YES, I actually do drive one of these big trucks. My husband and I team. We were hired on by a large company that trained both of us and now we are in our own truck (company truck) and we are LOVING life.

So this is my first atempt at a blog and I have no idea how well I will keep up with it. I may do really well or I may totally suck. But I am going to give it a shot anyway. If anyone is interested in actually reading this, I will try to post where I am and what I am doing. I may wake up in California and go to bed in Oklahoma. It is never the same from day to day. But it will be fun to keep track of where I am and where I have been. Plus I can jot down some random thoughts if I feel inclined. OH! Like my birthday party! It is coming up Aug 24th. My birthday is in July but we were out on the road and couldn't be home to celebrate it with friends. So we will be doing that in a few weeks. It will involve friends, beer and nekked women. I mean, I am a woman and where do you go if you want all of your single male friends to come to your party? You take them where there are nekked women! LOL! I have this one figured out. It is kind of a tradition. We go the the nudie bar every year for my birthday. It's a good time. :)

Well, first post and I am done. I drove 641 miles today and it is time for me to get some sleep. More tomorrow.....