Sunday, April 27, 2008


Currently we are sitting at the hotel here in Springfield. Got the truck in last night and got the APU installed. Then this morning J got up and went over and picked it up and took it over to Freightliner so they could look at the fuel tank. He left them our phone number so they should give us a call when it is ready. J is the sweetest and let me sleep in this morning while he went and took care of that stuff. Not that I got much sleep because Smokey heard everything outside the hall and was a big boy and barked and protected me. It was really cute so it was hard to get mad at him. He was just doing his job.

When J got back we went across to Bob Evans and grabbed us some breakfast. Now we are back at the hotel chillin out and watching tv. Actually I think we are going to take a nap. It is a lazy day and I don't feel like doing too much.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Well, only 280 more miles to Springfield and it is raining cats and dogs outside. Pulled over at a little truck stop here to let it pass. Checked the weather on my Blackberry and it looked nasty. Got stopped and fired up the computer to double check on a larger screen and yep, sure enough, it is nasty. Heavy rain, hail and strong winds. I guess I will just stay put for the moment and let it pass. Unfortunately, this is going to put us in even later than I had planned.

Yesterday we dropped the load that we had brought from Portland up in Cincinnati and Sidney,OH. While at our last drop in Sidney we got the next load which was going to bring us back to Springfield to get the truck worked on. We ran into issues at both drops because the load was short on product. Luckily the truck was Shipper Load Count so we didn't have to worry about it. However, it took them FOREVER to count and determine what was missing. We finally get finished at our last stop at 1630. Our next load is a live load at 1800 and it is 225 miles away. HELLO?? Anyone see a problem with this? Now, I am guessing that our FM thought we would be in sooner than we were and that we wouldn't have any problems with our drops and that this wouldn't be a problem when he pre-planned it. But here is my deal. We had plenty of time on the first load, so we stop and get a little non moving sleep at night. It would have been nice if he would have sent us a message early on letting us know when the live load was scheduled. We could have planned accordingly and not stopped that last night so we could get in first thing in the morning. All we knew is that we had to deliver by 1600 and that is what we did. Because of this, we had to drive the 225 miles and then park over night because they were closed when we got there and we couldn't get loaded until this morning. I am getting a little frustrated with our FM on some things. I realize that they don't hold your hand at this company, but a little more communication would be nice. I hate when I send in a question and get a one word answer. That really irritates me. But I guess that is a whole other topic.

So, it is roughly 2100 hours and I still have almost 300 miles to go. AND we are supposed to have the ACEII class in the morning. Well, I have a feeling we aren't going to make that. I'm not even going to make it in until close to 0300. Then we have to drop the trailer and get to the hotel. I can't function on just a few hours sleep. Maybe we can get it on Monday or something, or even Sunday if they happen to do it on that day. Probably be better anyway because we will have a few more weeks under our belts and more numbers to look at. Just a pain to get back through here. I guess we just let them know and they will get us back through when we need to.

So I guess I will close for now and check the weather again and see about getting on the road. Stay safe out there tonight!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Well, from the title it appears we have covered some ground since I posted last. I was going to post yesterday, but there was nothing to post when I got up because, well, all I had done since I posted before that was sleep. :) Then I drove and was worn out when I parked for the night outside of Rawlins,WY and my worn out ass didn't get up until 1445 today to start driving at 1500. Yeah, I was pretty tired. I can't remember the last time I basically slept ALL of J's shift.

Anyway, so J got me to just west of Lincoln,NE today and that is where I took over. Finished up the shift with 520 miles and stopped at a rest area just east of Peoria,Il. Looks like J will only have about 320 miles to go to our first drop tomorrow in Cincinnati,OH and then it is on 90 miles to our final drop after that. So it should be an easy shift for him. Although he does have to tailgatge both of the drops, but a little physical labor never hurt anyone. :)

When I took over driving today it was really windy outside. I mean, I had to keep both hands on the wheel to keep it on the road. I hate when it is windy. Suprisingly, there was no wind at all coming across WY last night. And if you have kept up with my blog, you will know that I consider that the HELL state because of the wind and snow. But, since we were in Portland heading to Cincinnati, that was the best route to take so I just sucked it up and drove. I was extremely happy that it was a smooth drive across there. Maybe I will have to reevaluate my opinion of that state. Nah, I will keep that opinion for the winter months. I will just have a different opinion for the summer months. Yeah, because I am a woman and we are entitled to have differing opinions on subjects. I am pretty sure it is written down in some book somewhere. Like Woman Law.

Not that this is very interesting, but I had a PB&J sandwich for lunch and it was delish. Picked up some milk at the Pilot in Des Moines and it was ice cold. Perfect combination of PB&J with milk. Then for dinner I cooked some ramen. Chicken flavor. I really like having the microwave in the truck and being able to eat out of here and not having to eat truck stop food all the time. I can't wait until we get the APU installed so we can get an actual fridge in here. Then we will be set!

So here is the schedule for the next few days. Drop at two places tomorrow and be finished with this load. Then our FM is supposed to have us a load going back to Springfield. Since it is only about 550 miles from our last drop to Springfield, we should be in to Springfield sometime Friday, depending on when we can pick the load up. So I figure we will get in on Friday, try to get into the ACEII class on Saturday morning, check after that on getting the Smith System class, then the appt for the APU to be installed at 1700 on Saturday and on Sunday morning at 0800 we have an appointment at Freightliner to get the fuel tank problem taken care of. Also have plans on Saturday night to have dinner with a friend and her husband. When we were there last she mentioned a good cheap mexican food place they like to go to that has great margaritas. So that is what we will be doing Saturday night. Then TruckingTiger is supposed to be at the yard over the weekend, so we are hoping we can meet up with him.

That is my fun and exciting schedule for the next few days. I will keep ya updated on how things go. Crap, I forgot to download those pics of Smokey. I promise I will get that done. It may be over the weekend but I will get them posted.

Take care till then.....

Monday, April 21, 2008


Made it into Portland early this morning for our 0430 appt. Last night was treacherous. Coming across I-84 through eastern Oregon it started snowing. Then I hit road construction. Then the truck lost traction coming around a turn where the road was going down to one lane and I was headed up hill. SHIT! Well, I had no choice but to bring it to a stop. And of course we don't have any chains with us. I know, I know, but hell, it is almost freaking May people!! By the grace of God, and after basically screaming at J to wake up because I was freaked out, I was able to get rolling again. Of course the people behind me weren't happy because, like I said, I was just coming around a turn, so when I started out again, anyone coming around that turn was on my ass, but there was nothing I could do about it. Made it up to the top of the hill and pulled over. That seriously freaked me out. J drove us the rest of the way through the snow and down to Pendleton,OR which was about 30 miles. Then I was fine to take over again. I have done really well in the snow and ice, but losing traction like that, and it being dark, really messed me up. But I am all good now. :)

So, now that I have told you about that, I will tell you about our other problem we are having. For some reason, the passenger side fuel tank is not working. The tanks are set up to where you use fuel from each tank simultaneously and they drain at an equal rate. For whatever reason, the passenger side one is not draining. Something must be clogged or something. So we can go about 250 miles and it shows we are down to 1/4 tank because it is only reading the drivers side tank. Makes for a pain in the ass when you have to stop so often to get fuel. We were going to take it to a dealership here in Portland but we have to be in Springfield to have the APU installed on Saturday so we are just going to deal with the one tank for the rest of the week and then have them fix it while they are installing the APU. Smarter to be down one time instead of twice in a week.

Right now it is Monday night and we are stopped in Biggs,OR and are parked at the Pilot. Because of last night and the snow and the fuel tank situation, J didn't get much sleep at all. Actuall neither did I today. So we stopped and got a shower and decided to call it a night. We have about 2200 miles to go from here so that is an easy 500 miles each day the next two days for each of us and then J will only have about 200 miles to get us the rest of the way in on Thursday. We don't have an appt time yet, but we will be good to go. From there or FM has us a load waiting to come to Springfield so we should be in sometime Friday evening and that will work to get the truck in the shop for the fuel tank before the appt for the APU which is at 1700 on Saturday.

Smokey is doing really well in the truck now that he isn't traumatized anymore. He loves to sit in your lap on the passenger side and watch out the window. He also LOVES to cuddle on the bed and is a complete bed hog. He has done really good at peeing outside, but he has only pooped once. I am keeping an eye on him for that because I don't know if he just doesn't need to go, or if he is holding it for some reason. I take that back, he has pooped twice. Once in the truck :( but he is a puppy so that is going to happen. Did a little laundry today because of that....

Got some pictures of him today at a rest area and I think they are really cute. I will try to get the downloaded tomorrow. I am pooped and I an going to hit the sack.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Smokey's first day in the truck

Heading to Portland

Finally got a good nights sleep last night. Thank goodness! I feel like a new person now. We got into Amarillo around 2030 to our pick-up after stopping to fill up the reefer. Got in there, got the trailer washed out and dropped it with their empty trailers, picked up our loaded one, got our paperwork and we were off. From there we headed into Amarillo to the T/A which was only about 6 miles away and hit the scales. We were over on our drives, which we had a feeling we were because it was a heavy load, but we decided to park and call it a night and deal with it in the morning. From there we went inside, used the facilities and then hit the sack. We parked in Idleaire because we had this bright idea that we wouldn't idle and just use the Idleaire. Well, you can't use Idleaire with these mirrors they have installed on these trucks on the passenger window. So, looks like we will have to never use Idleaire or have the mirror removed. I am thinking we are going to have the mirror removed. I'm not even sure what it's exact purpose is. Hopefully someone can tell me.

Right now we are headed into New Mexico. Because J drove us in last night, he couldn't even start driving until 0700 because of his DOT break. But we didn't even get up until 0730. Then we farted around and took Smokey for a wal, finished up some paperwork, went and showered, filled up, slid the tandems and re-weighed. So all that took a little time. But we are finally off. Our first stop will be Clines Corners,NM because I am craving one of their Green Chile Cheeseburgers. YUMMY!!!!

Smokey is doing a little better in the truck today. He actually moved from the floor in the bunk to the floor in front of the passenger seat WHILE the truck was moving. So that is an improvement. It is just going to take him a little while to get used to the movement. I am going to post a few pictures of him in a separate post after this. They aren't really good because he is just laying in the back, but I will get some of him outside standing up.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Amarillo By Morning.....

Well, by 2000 hrs and up from Lubbock, not San Antonio. But it sounded good in my head. We are sooo tired today. Got a load last night leaving out of Desoto,TX from Walmart heading to a Sam's Club in Lubbock,TX. That worked out perfectly since we were wanting to get to Lubbock. Now remember, yesterday, after stopping at Texarkana, I got maybe 6 hours sleep total. Ok, so after getting up at around 0630 yesterday we drop that load in Lewisville, take the trailer and drop it off to get repairs and bobtail to Walmart DC to pick up the load heading to Lubbock. Because of an accident and being stuck on the highway for over 2 hours, we make it to the Walmart DC at around 1600. Get the load, head to the Pilot for fuel and to scale, and head out. We are talking it is now 1800 hours. Sheesh. No nap for me and I take off driving. Get into Lubbock at around 0030 this am and we had a 0130 appt. Stop at the Flying J for some coffee and the restroom and get to the Sam's Club about 0110. We can't get ahold of anyone to answer the door. As I start to call into dispatch, J finally gets someone on his phone. They have us back up to a dock and wait. I waited for a while but around 0230 I just couldn't hang any more. I hit the sack and since J had slept all the way there he stayed up until we were unloaded. Finally he pulls away and parks in the Sam's parking lot at 0410 and hits the sack.

Bright and early at 0730 my alarm goes off. That wasn't near enough sleep I tell myself. But we don't have a choice because my mom is expecting us. I manage to wake myself up enough to call her and she is about 3 minutes away at the Home Depot getting some stuff. So she comes over and jumps in with us and we head over to ThermoKing. Now I know you are wondering why we did that. Well, Prime doesn't like it's trailers to be parked anywhere unattended, even if they are empty. So they set it up with ThermoKing for us to park at their lot which is fenced in. But we have to be back to pick it up around 1630 because they close at 1700. Drop the trailer off and head over to my mom's house. She just moved back to Lubbock and is staying with a friend of her's so we were helping her move some stuff around and get the house in some sort of order. Her friend is a complete pack rat and not a really good housekeeper. Of course this gives my mom a "project" which will keep her busy for a year trying to get the house straightened up. Anyway, my brother comes over also and between him and J they get a bunch of furniture moved out to the garage and get some other stuff done. It was stuff that was just too big for my mom to try to move. It is always nice having muscles around. I guess that is what sons, son-in-laws and husbands are for. :)

Around 1545 we leave because now we have to go pick up the trailer and we are meeting my dad over at the Flying J for some dinner. Had a decent dinner, but the company was better. :) I sure miss my parents and don't get to see them near as often as I wish I could. I think maybe now it will be easier to see them though since we are more in control of our lives since we are in business for ourselves and have a little more freedom in where we go.

We did decide to drop Bandit off with my mom. I think that is for the best for her. Mom loves Bandit and this way Bandit can be more active. We brought Smokey with us and he isn't really sure of the truck. We got him in the truck, but once you set him down, he won't move from there. I guess it is all just new and he doesn't like the movement of the truck. But he is still a puppy so he will grow into it. I figure we just need to give him a few days to adjust to it. He has grown quite a bit since we found him in the house. He is filling out really nice and looks like he is going to be a good medium sized dog. The older he gets the more Pit we see in him. That doesn't bother us though. It is all in how a dog is brought up. We have had two Rottweillers in the past. Both of them over 160 lbs, and yes, you read that correctly. They were huge and from excellent bloodlines. They have a bad rap also, but they were both the sweetest dogs. Protective, yes. But vicious for no reason, no. But we will get some more pictures of both dogs as soon as we can and post them on here.

Right now we are headed to Amarillo and have about 50 miles to go or so. The run up to Portland is only about 1600 miles and our appointment is at 0430 on Monday morning, so we have extra time. Once we pick up this load, we are going to go scale it, take a shower, and call it a day. Then we will head out in the morning. about 12-16 hours sleep in the last three days just isn't cutting it for me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Where did I leave off? Ok, so we finally got unloaded in Louisville and got our next load. Picking up in Danville,KY and delivering in Irving,TX. Cool, gets us back to Texas and next if we can get a run to California, then we will be set to go through Lubbock and all will be good. Got to the pick up in Danville around 0030 hours. And let me tell you, in Kentucky, if you are looking at a map and it is a skinny red line for a road, but still shows that it is a designated road, don't take it. Unless you want to drive 45 the whole way. Two line windy ass road with absolutely no shoulder. UGH!! Anyway, get there and we don't have a pick-up number? Great. Call in to dispatch and Rex, bless his heart, he is fast becoming my late night friend I am calling him quite frequently, but he can't find one and says that we will have to wait till morning. Freaking great. Then the lady there tells me they don't even have a load going to Irving. They have one going to Lewisville,TX but not Irving. Now we are all confused. Oh, and her paperwork shows that prime is picking up the load. AT this point, I am 99.9% positive that is my load and that there is just a mixup the with the paperwork, but there is nothing we can do till morning. So we head down about 1/2 a mile to a TINY truck stop and get some sleep. 0700 we get up and call to find out what the deal is. Yep, that was our load and there was a mix up with the corporate office in Chicago that placed the order with Prime. So this makes two screwed up loads in a row. I'm pretty sure this isn't the norm, and our FM apologized, but I just want the next ones to be correct and hassle free.

So, get the load and head out, we stop at a rest area in Texarkana,TX because we have time on the load. We were also going to stop by our house this morning and get the stuff to make the house payment because I left the info at home. Stop at Walmart first to get a new Microwave and I try the other one just for the shits and giggles, and it is working. WTF? So we decide to run with it and see how it does and we just run in and grab a few things. Then we head to the house and park on the side of the road and J runs to the house to get the stuff we need. Gets done and we go to turn around in a small restaurant parking lot. Now, mind you, I have turned around in this parking lot before, in a semi, but this time, for whatever reason, the power lines were lower. Actually I think it was a telephone line. Thank God I was watching out the passenger window when I saw it and I screamed STOP!!! The phone line was down between the truck and the trailer. Whew! We didn't rip it off the line! J goes and gets a broom and stands on the catwalk and pushes it up as I pull forward ever so slowly, and we make it out of there without causing any damage. The lady wasn't real happy and told J she didn't know why semi's keep turning around in her parking lot. He explained to her it was the only place large enough to turn around. And she says "but it's a private drive, this is my house" and he says "So what are these people doing in your kitchen eating and you are charging them? This is a business so it is open to the public." She didn't really like that but the patrons at the restaurant got a chuckle out of it. He then politely explained to her that if she didn't want semi's turning around, she needed to post something outside so that we would know. But, the point is that we made it out unharmed and without causing any damage. That was a good thing.

So now we are headed to our delivery. Should make it on time. It will be close, but it is 0900 now so hopefully traffic will have dies down some and we won't get stuck in it. If traffic works with us, will will make it on time.

That is our adventurous morning. Hopefully the rest of the day will be uneventful!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


What a mess. Apparently when they set up this load, the person here in receiving that they spoke with and made the appointment didn't write it down. So we get here and it shows that we don't have an appointment. And they are very strict on being on time for your appointment. So I ask him what I am supposed to do with the load, but I asked very politely. I am not sitting here for two days till the delivery time when we already have another load waiting on us. I guess we will just have to wait it out and see what happens.

Our next load gets us back to Irving,TX which is a help. Hopefully from there we can get something going to CA or something and that will allow us to get through Lubbock like we are wanting to.

Really not a lot to write about today. Got up at noon, sent in paperwork from payroll, grabbed a bit to eat and then J finished the last leg of this run and here we sit waiting.

Massachusetts Mahem

I'm going to try to make this short because it is almost 0400 and I am pooped!

Here goes.....

OMG the people back east are freaking crazy! Here is the deal. Sunday I get up at about 1300 and visit with J a while as he is driving then I take over around 1500. Midnight I make it into Boston and stop at the last service plaza on I-90 EB. I get J up because I am headed to a produce market in downtown Boston and figured it was best if we were both up. Ok, get him up, take off, drive through downtown Boston which is all UNDER GROUND basically and make it to location right on time. Find my consignee and back in only to be told go to the back side. ARGH! This place is a zoo, I am parked and they want me to move. Ok, whatever. Head around to the other side, get unloaded and off we go to our 2nd consignee. This one was at the same produce market just in a different building. Head over to that one, find out where they want me and J gets out and guides me back in. I had to do a 90 degree back in a VERY tigh place because there are semis and box trucks everywhere. This place is a freaking zoo. But I must say that was the most beautiful 90 degree back I have ever done. Had it almost perfect and only had to pull up once. Yeah, for those of you watching, I am a chick driving the truck that just did that beautiful backing job that you were admiring. ;0)

Alrighty, those appointments were at 0200 and 0400. About 0430 we head out to our 0600 appointment in Warwick,RI which is basically Providence,RI. J takes over for day shift and drives us there. Get that done and head to The Only Truck Stop in RI, which is coincidentally the name of the truck stop AND I think it IS the only truck stop in RI. Go grab some breakfast, which I have to say was wonderful. Some of the best biscuits and sausage gravy I think I have ever had. Got a full belly and now I can go to sleep. It is now 0800 and WAAAYYY past my bedtime.

1000 hrs I hear J start the truck up because we got our next load and it has to be picked up by noon local which gives us one hour to get there. Made it there picked that up, which was a place north of Boston, then we head back through Boston and find a place at the second travel plaza to park and get some sleep. Both of us are freaking loopy at this point. When he took off to pick this current load up at 1000, it woke me up, so I had been going on 2 hours of sleep. We park up front along the curb of the 4 wheeler parking because it was packed in the back. Head in to grab some lunch before we hit the sack. We get our food and are just sitting down at the table when I notice some guy walking around our truck. We are the ONLY truck parked out front so it couldn't be another driver walking to his truck. So I tell J to go check it out. J puts on his cop face and heads out there. Luckily, before J was able to do any ass kicking, the guy introduced himself and it was none other than DrZebra. What a coincidence that we ended up at the same travel plaza. He said that he noticed our truck number and thought it was ours. Then he ran back to his truck and got online and checked another site that we frequent to verify that it was indeed us. So he was trying to find us to say hi. It was really cool to get to meet him and visit for a while. We already apologized on the other site for being so loopy since we were exhausted. And of course we needed a shower, and he caught me with my hair in a baseball cap and no make up. Which isn't a big deal, but a LITTLE makeup would have been nice to hide the giant zit that had decided to make an appearance. But what the hell. He's married. He knows how us women are. :)

So we took a nap and got up at 1900 and headed out. We decided to take I-90 over and drop down through Ohio to our destination. It was actually a little shorter but of course it cost us more in tolls. But I think it will be worth it. This road is MUCH better that I-80 is.

We stopped a few miles back and now J is driving and I am about to take my wore out rear to bed. When we drop this load tomorrow, I will try to get a picture of Bandit in the truck so you can see her while we have her with us. Probably dropping her off with my Mom when we can get through or near Lubbock and then we will pick Smokey up.

Take care everyone and I'll be back later!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today we are in Pennsylvania

Heading east in this nasty rain. It has been raining , misting or snowing since Wisconsin. Yuck. I am assuming that their memo must have gotten lost along the way, because I am pretty sure I read mine correctly that said it was SPRING and not winter.

Last night I drove us into Indiana. I got to a Service Center on the east side of North Bend. I started driving in Hudson,WI which is right on the border of WI and MN. We stopped at a TA there and grabbed a shower and did laundry. That ate up 2 hours real fast. So I hit the road around 1700 and drove till 0315. Only made it 488 miles in that time, but I was going through Illinios, Chicago in particular, where it was snowing. Only stopped twice also. Once for the bathroon and once for fuel (and of course the bathroom again.)

It seems that our fuel mileage is really sucking. We are doing everything that I can think of to conserve fuel. We are driving between 58-60. Sometimes around 63 depending on the terrain. We are shifting at 1300 rpms, trying not to get the rpms up much above that except if we are going up a hill and downshift. I guess I need to just chalk it up to being up north and having to deal with these hills and mountains. Coming from WA to MA doesn't leave much of a choice in what route you can take. You have to stay up north. Hopefully the next run we will get will be something down south where we can make up some mpg's and do a little better.

Our first delivery on this load is at 0200 local time. And our second is at 0400 local time. Luckily they are both at the New England Produce Center in Chelsea,MA. So that will be nice since they are close. One is at 91 and the other is at 110-122 so they should be almost next door to each other. Then our next stop is in E Providence,RI at 0600 and it is only 60 miles away. Should be able to make that since the first two are at the same place. Then we will see where will go from there. We only have 384 miles to go and it is ust 1437 so we will be a little early. It says that we can not park there overnight, so since we will be a few hours early, I found there is a Service Plaza on the I-90 Turnpike so I will stop there I guess until it is time to drive in. It also says that we have to pay cash for a lumper and that they will not take a Comcheck. It would be nice if I knew how much they were going to charge for a lumper so I would know how much to get. Hmmm I guess we will just take the advance off the Comdata card and hope it is enough.

So that is it what we are doing and where we are at today. We still HAVE to find a Walmart so we can exchange our Microwave or buy another one. They are dirt cheap now and you can get them for $35. But since our brand freaking new one broke, we are spending more money eating out. And the whole point of the microwave was to save money! Maybe we will find one while we are cruising through PA. We shall see......

Friday, April 11, 2008

Leaving Washington, finally!

Wow, what a long day yesterday was. As you know, we made our first pick-up on Wednesday but couldn't make the other two on time and they were rescheduled for yesterday. It worked out nice because by the time we got the first drop picked up, it was after 1800 so we drove down to the Gearjammer Truck Stop where we grabbed something to eat and spent the night.

Got up yesterday morning, showered, got fuel and headed out to our first appointment which was at 1830. For anyone that may be going to CPC Intl in Tieton,WA, MAKE SURE you take N 40th St South to Summitview and go that way. DO NOT go the other route they give you which is Hwy 12 West to S Natches Rd. That bitch is steep and has hairpin curves. I'm talking we had to downshift to 4th gear to get up it and some of the turns are marked 15 mph. And if there is another truck, let alone a 4 wheeler coming around the curve at the same time, you are screwed. Just a bit of advice. Go the other way!!! Ok, so we get there, get in line, wait about 25 minutes and get to a dock. We get loaded and take off back to the Gearjammer to weigh. According to the bills, counting the first stop, we already had on 37,000 lbs plus on there and quite a bit of room left at the back. We were worried that we would be heavy. Got to the scale, and sure enough, we were over by 700 lbs on our steers. No problem, slide the tandems. I needed to move them 3 holes to get legal, but we could only move 2. We were all the way forward. It helped, but we were still over by 200 lbs when we re-weighed. Couldn't move the 5th wheel either because it was all the way back. Moving it forward would move the 500 lbs forward that I just moved back. Sooo, off we go back to the shipper to have them re-load it. Get there, get that done, go scale again and it worked. It moved 1400 lbs back so we are good to go.

Then we headed to Basin City,WA to pick up 5000 lbs of onions. This will put us at a gross weight of about 78,500. We are heavy. They closed at 1700 and we got there at 1650. Whew, barely made it. Having to mess with re-weighing the 2nd stop and having it reloaded really messed with our time for the day. But we get there and J goes in to help the lady load it because they had to shrink wrap them, and pack them with something then cover them because they needed to stay a little warmer than the rest of the load. She was really nice and when she came out to seal the load she gave us a bag of onions. I thought that was really nice and we like onions. I actually have two in the truck at the moment that I have to take away from Bandit sometimes because they are yellow and she will pick one up and bring it to me thinking it is her yellow tennis ball. It is really funny. I can tell when she has been in the back playing with it because she will come up front and smell like onion. Phew!!!

So yesterday we both got up at 0600 and made the decision to switch shifts. Since we figure will will deal with more shippers and receivers in the reefer business during the day, we decided to let J deal with them. If the produce is bad or something and we don't want it on the truck, I may not be forceful enough with them and J has no problems with that. :) So starting yesterday I started driving afternoon shift starting at 1500 and he is taking the day shift starting at 0300. We will see how that goes. I know I had a LONG day yesterday though. Finished up the day at 0045 in Haugan,MT. There is a place there called 10,000 Silver Dollar Saloon and Restaurant. It is at exit 16 if you are ever that way. Pretty good restaurant and the bar is really cool. It is old, but when people come in, they give the bar tender a silver dollar, and he has them all over the wall, laid in wood with the persons name and date I think, and maybe where they are from, and then it is sealed in with polyurethane or something. But the walls are covered with the silver dollars. Last time we were in there, not yesterday, they told us tehre was over $14,000 in silver dollars on the wall. Pretty cool. Anyway, stopped there around 0045 got out and took Bandit for her walk and then hit the sack.

Set the alarm for J to get up at 0500. He couldn't legally drive till then because I took over at 1900 yesterday so 0500 was his DOT break.

Oh, forgot to mention that the brand new microwave that we bought went on the fritz. We just bought the damn thing last Friday in Springfield. So we are going to have to return that at a Walmart when we get a chance and get another one. We have done really well eating in the truck having that and have only eaten out twice this week, once with friends in Clines Corners and then when we spent the night at the Gearjammer. So I really want it fixed, or a new one, so we can keep eating better. It is also good having Bandit with us because we have to get out and walk her so that gives us a reason to get out and walk some.

Speaking of Bandit, she is liking being in the truck with us, but we are thinking of letting my Mom take care of her and us taking Smokey with us. My mom really misses Bandit and now that she is moving back to Lubbock, she will be able to keep her. So that may be what we do. Besides, with Smokey being a puppy, it may be better to raise him in the truck so that will be what he is used to.

Someone asked about getting enough miles. I think it was Heffard. We are having to readjust our thinking when it comes to miles and money. When you are running off a percent of the revenue more miles doesn't necessary mean more money. For instance, this run we are on now is about 3200 miles counting all the stops. We will use about $2000 in fuel. But the run pays $4500 to us. So we are looking at a $2500 profit. Now keep in mind that with this run and the one before it, we will have to make our weekly truck payment of $950. But we should still have a good week as far as profit goes. I think anyway. We will know on the 18th because that is when we will get paid for these two runs.

It is all still really new so we don't know how the heck it is going to turn out. But it is looking good and we will just play it by ear.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive

Here it is folks! A pic of our new truck!

I'm Back!!!

I was having serious withdrawls not being able to get online and blog. I think I have become a blogging addict. I wonder if they offer any kind of Bloggers Anonymous? Maybe that is something I should look into...

Ok, boy, I have a LOT to catch you guys up on. We finished the Prime orientation last Thursday, a week ago today. We stayed at the hotel again because our first run didn't leave until Friday at 1800. I'm glad it didn't leave until then because we had so much to do to get ready to leave. When we got to the hotel Thursday night, we looked over the leasing contract and did laundry. Then Friday morning we got up and headed to Prime. Went over to leasing and returned the signed lease after getting our Fleet Manager (FM) to sign his portion. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack at the young age of 37 when I handed that over knowing that I was committing to WEEKLY truck payments of around $950. YIKES!! That means we have to run our ass off. Anyway, the rest of Friday we spent going to walmart and getting a few supplies, picking the truck up and getting our stuff loaded in it. Then we grabbed some lunch and headed back to Prime to get the stuff we would need for running reefer. We had to get stuff like load locks, pulp thermometers, log books, permit book, comchecks, etc. Got all that, got fuel and then checked with Drivers Lineup to find out what empty we were supposed to take and to get them to send us our first load over the Qualcomm. Man, we were so busy trying to get stuff ready. We wanted to make sure we did everything right and didn't forget anything. Got it all done and headed over to our first pick-up.

Our first pick-up was at Kraft there in Springfield,MO and we were delivering in Fort Worth,TX. This worked our really well because it enabled us to go by our house. But I will get to that in a minute. So we head over for our very first pick-up in the reefer division with Prime. We weren't really sure what to expect, because we thought it was going to be a live load. We both head in to the Shipping office since this is all new to us and we both need to learn how this side of shipping is handled. We get in there and find out that our load is on another trailer loaded and we just have to drop the empty that we had. SWEET. This is starting off good. So we drop the trailer and back up to the loaded one and wait for them to tell us it is ready. Get the green light, pull up, shut the doors and head back around to the office for our bills. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, or maybe I did in another post, but since we have never worked reefer, we were really stressing over the actual reefer unit. We have never worked one before and nothing was ever actually shown to us during orientation. But once we actually picked one up and got to physically touch it, it is really very simple. One less thing for us to stress about. LOL. Ok, get the load and head back over to Prime to scale it. We are really close so why pay for a scale when we have a free one at the yard. J takes off driving and gets us to McAlester,OK where we stop for about 2 hours to sleep. We had both been up since 0600 and were exhausted. I had hit the bunk earlier, but he just didn't have it in him to go much further.

I get up the next morning and get us in to Fort Worth about 45 minutes before our appointment. Figured it was a good thing to be early for our first run and not late! I get there and we get unloaded. Then we dropped that trailer there so that we could go to our house and pick up the rest of our stuff and get our dog Bandit. Boy was she happy to see us! We get to the house and start getting the truck set up like we wanted it. It litterally took us like 5 hours. We got the microwave set up, got the cooler packed, got the mattresses in here (our memory foam ones), took a shower, got the food and other misc stuff in here. It was a long process and we weren't done till about 2000 hrs. And I had been up since 0300. At this point we head back and pick up our empty trailer and head out.

Now it is Saturday night we are headed to our second run. This one is picking up in Amarillo,TX and has two deliveries. One in Fife,WA and the other in Renton,WA. Both are suburbs of Seattle,WA. We head out from Fort Worth and J drove till about Wichita Falls,TX and we stopped again for a few. Neither of us had yet to get much sleep since we were trying to get the truck ready. Anyway, he stops and I get up Saturday morning and get us in to Amarillo for our pick-up at 1100. Get loaded and head to the Pilot just down the road to scale the load. Total weight is just over 70,000 lbs so we are good to go. We also took this time to scan our info from our previous trip, the one we dropped in Fort Worth, so that we could get paid. I know I totally screwed it up, but I figure they are used to it with new lease operators starting each week. haha (But I did call in before I sent in our second one to make sure I was doing things right). The way it works with Prime is that when you finish a trip, you scan all your documents and bills at a Transflow location and then we keep the originals for our files. It is actually pretty cool.

Ok, get that done and head out. I drive until Santa Rosa,NM and get J up and he takes over. He drives a whopping 57 miles or so to Clines Corners, NM and we stop for the night. Now I know what you are thinking. We aren't going to make any money if we keep stopping, right? Well, we couldn't deliver our first drop until Tuesday at 0800, so we had plenty of time. We also talked to another couple that we know from SNI and they were on the other side of Albuquerque headed East and we were headed West, so we stopped there and met up with them and had dinner. They are contemplating becoming lease operators so we are letting them know all of our experiences and our numbers so that they can make the decision for themselves. They are a really nice couple and it is always good to meet up with them on the road. Of course, when we do, it always turns into a 4-5 hour lunch because we can't quit talking. :)

Ok, Sunday morning, get up and head out. I make it to Green River,UT and J takes over and gets us into Ogden,UT. Fuel up and stop for a while. Monday morning I get up and get us into La Grande,OR and J takes over and gets us to Ellensburg,WA. Now we had plenty of time to get on in, but we didn't know how much room was at this receiver so we decided to park there for the night and go the last 140 miles in the morning so we wouldn't be trying to find a place to park over night in Seattle. Because they places to park a truck there are few and far between. I get up and head out Tuesday morning and get us there about an hour early. Get unloaded there and we are off to our 2nd receiver. Get there and we have to get a lumper. This was a first for us. So we called in to make sure we were doing it right. It wasn't as hard as we thought it was going to be. But I think when you are new at something, you stress over every little thing until you actually do it because you don't want to do something wrong.

Ok, get that taken care of and are ready to head out and we get our next load. THREE pick-ups and three deliveries. When we originally got the work assignment it showed our first pick-up before 1700, not a problem, but our second pick-up was before 1400, which IS a problem. We left Seattle at 1200 local time, had to drive 178 miles to our first pick-up, which put us there at 1530 local time. See where this is going? How can we be to the 2nd stop by 1400 when we can't even make the 1st stop until 1530. So we called and had them re-arrange the appointment times. We picked up the first one yesterday and then we are picking up the 2nd and 3rd ones today.

Now, we just picked up our second delivery and are headed back to the Gearjammer Truck Stop to scale this. We have about 15 ft of space in the back end of the trailer and already have 37,000 lbs loaded. I'm hoping that we aren't too heavy on the front. I guess we will find out. So that is where we are now. Now that I have a connection again, I will be able to keep this updated. I am also going to load a few pics of the new truck here in just a few. I gotta do some paperwork first. :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

computer problems

We are having problems and all I have is my BlackBerry. Too much typing to post from it so I will update this as soon as we figure out what the problem is. I haven't forgot so keep checking in.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Prime Day Four

Well, we are ALMOST done! After we finished our classes today we went over and picked up our contracts. All we have to do is get ours signed and return it in the morning. The truck is ready for us to pick up. When we sign the contract in the morning we will pick up our key. Then we will have to get the rest of the stuff that we need from Drivers Lineup, go to Walmart and get a few things, come back to the hotel and get the truck packed, and then we will be ready. We have our first load already. It is picking up at Kraft here at 1800 and then we will take it to Fort Worth. That works out good for us because we will be able to pick up Bandit and get by the house to pick up the rest of our stuff. We will figure out the particulars later. LOL!

So we are exhausted but tired. We still haven't seen an actual reefer trailer. I have to say that I feel that the training is really lacking in that department. For those of us that have no idea about pulping product, setting temperatures, covering the holes in the trailer when you have a freeze load and other stuff that only reefer drivers would know, it is really necessary that we are trained to operate these things before we leave. I feel that they dropped the ball on this and that it could be greatly improved. Tomorrow one of the drivers from our class that used to be a Prime Trainer (he just came back) has offered to show us how to work these. I will admit that the people are extremely nice, for the most part, and that we have been lucky with the ones that we have dealt with.

Oh, looking at our contract, our fixed cost will be $943 a week I think. I added it up but didn't write it down. It was right under $950. I do remember that because we were doing all of our figuring at $1000 a week so I was happy to see that we were definitely under that amount. We met with our Fleet Manager (hereafter refered to as FM) and he seemed nice. Showed us some things on his end and how he handled things. Said that he tries to get teams 2 coast to coast runs a week with a short 1000 mile run or so at the beginning or the end on one of the coasts. That will work for us. He also showed us a comparison on his computer of two of his drivers and how one is getting 4.84 mpg and how the other is getting 6.27 and then he was able to show us from the report how much time they are spending at what RPM's and at what speeds they are running. Very cool to see that. I believe the info he showed us is what they will pull off of our truck once we have been out for 5-6 weeks and we come back for the ACEII class. I like that they have that access on hand so we can just call and see how we are doing. He said that those reports are pulled weekly. (Not sure if I heard that correctly though.)

We are really excited and ready to get started. We are finishing up laundry right now and are then going to head to bed. Next time I blog, it will probably be from our new truck! We keep forgetting to get pictures, so we will make sure and get them tomorrow when we pick up the truck and I will get them posted!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Prime Day Three

But first let me say that even though I don't know the vast majority of the people that follow my blog, I just want to say that you guys are truly the greatest and I really thank you for following us in our travels and sending prayers and good thoughts our way. It means a lot to us.

Day Three was one of the longest so far because of the idiot that kept turning on his truck right outside of our window last night. J hollered at him out the window at a little after midnight and they guy was a smartass so we called security to come have him move. Don't know if they showed up or if they called his room, but about 15 minutes later his truck was gone. He has been turning off and on his truck AND running his APU unit both nights and he parked right below our window. Our main problem with this is that we are at a HOTEL. If you are going to be up all night in your truck with it on and/or running the APU unit, then you need to go park at a truck stop where all the other running trucks are at. You don't need to be at a hotel where people are wanting it quiet and trying to sleep.

Today was our next to the last day. We are almost through with all of this though. I would post more, but honestly, we are wiped out again from no sleep last night. I will probably have more to post tomorrow after we sign our lease and after I recover from the heart attack I am sure to have once I realize I have signed a contract for the most expensive weekly payment I have EVER had...... and without a dime to our names......yet...... :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prime Day Two

Another early start, but then again, that is how this whole week will be going.

Back in class at 07oo for day two. This morning we covered Introduction to Business, Success Leasing, Financial Terms and Tax Preparation. This afternoon we covered How to get paid, Hazmat, and the Vorad system. Then they called some names who went to get their trucks today based on how many vehicles they had available. We were lucky and they called our names! It meant that we had another late day, but we were able to get a truck and tomorrow will be a normal day for us.

We were able to get a new truck. A 2008 with only 1004 miles on it. We only had 4 to choose from being a team. They were all the same price so the really only difference was color. We ended up with one that was Woodland Green. We didn't really like the Emerald Green, cuz it was a little too bright, and the other choice was a brown which we didn't like either. We had to race another couple to the Leasing office to get the keys. Thank goodness we were younger! :) LOL But we were able to do a truck inspection on it and get that turned in. But what can you find that needs to be done on a brand new vehicle? We are going to have them add the left hood mirror and get an inverter hardwired into it. At the moment, there is a 2 month back up to get an APU so we are going to wait on that. We are going to want one, but we aren't going to be able to get it right away because of that back up. I need to find out how large of an inverter we need to run a small microwave. We can only install a 1000 watt one right now. The APU comes with a larger inverter though when we get it. So that is the only thing the truck is in the shop for right now. Also what I thought was wierd is that there is no curtain for the front window. There isn't even a track installed for one. I find that strange. Also the Qualcomm bracket where it hangs is on the back of the top shelf behind the drivers seat, next to the bunk. I find that a wierd spot also. Some small things that we are going have to get used to, but that will come with time.

I have to admit that the truck payment is SCARY, and we haven't even signed anything so I don't yet know what our fixed cost will be because we still have to add on the insurance and all that other stuff. They did give us a sheet so I am going to go back and look at it and plug our payment into it with the other fixed costs and see what we end up with.

When we went over our, well they call it our ACE1, class today, they broke down how very important your fuel mileage is. OMG, I had an understanding of it before, but it makes SO much more sense to me now. And you can really really make or break your business depending on how you do with your fuel mileage. It makes so much more sense to slow down and get better mileage. That is just money in our pockets! So I am excited to see how well we can do on our own, in our own truck with us in charge. It is going to be a challenge, but one I feel we are up to.