Saturday, May 31, 2008


We are almost there anyway. We are going to switch over in about 30 minutes and I will start driving. First, we must get a shower! Then grab some lunch. Today is our 11th Wedding Anniversary! Congrats to us!! Didn't think I would have an anniversary lunch at Arby's inside a Pilot in Gary,IN but who cares? I'm with my baby!

We are headed to Oakland,CA for a Monday morning appointment at 0800. We aren't going to make it on time. Didn't get this load picked up, scaled and on the road until Midnight on Friday. And it is about impossible to go 2700 miles in 2 days. Especially when you consider the mountains, time to fuel and shower and the slow ass speed limits in some of these states. We will do what we can and update them on our ETA when we get closer. I figure after this load we will get one back to the east coast and then we will need to get back to Dallas for Justin's graduation on the 9th, which is a Monday and I find really odd. We are going to try to get in on Saturday so that we can get the rest of the house packed up. My mom is going to try to get down there with my brother on Saturday so with them there, we should be able to get the rest of the stuff done. I am keeping my fingers crossed anyway.

Oh, last night I drove from Strasburg,VA to the Somerset Service Plaza in PA up on I-70. I went I-81 north to catch I-70 west. That road is a windy piece of work. I didn't like it at all. You all know how I hate mountains at night, especially ones we don't drive a lot. That is a stretch I would rather drive during the day!

That's all for now!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Last I left you we were headed to bed after the power went out and a LONG day packing. Got to bed at almost 0100. Around 0515 am my phone rings. It is Prime. Sorry but I am exhausted and not answering it. About 2 minutes later I hear J's phone ring. He sleeps through it. Our alarm was set to go off at 0600 so I figure I will call back when we wake up. Around 0615 we are up and out of the truck and back in the house getting some coffee and I call back. They were calling wanting to know if we can head in early to pick this load up. Uh, no. I already talked to our FM about the load the night before and told him we could pick it up around 1100 because we rented a U-Haul that we couldn't take back until they opened at 0900 and it is 88 miles to pick the load up. I tell the guy sorry but it isn't happening. Apparently another team had the load and there wasn't an appointment set so they asked if you could drop the load, for whatever reason, and they said sure. Well, in the middle of the night, the customer called back with an appointment time of noon on Friday. So now they are scrambling to get someone to pick this load up because it has to go on a plane leaving from Washington Dulles located 1347 miles away in Virginia. And there is NO way that we can make over 1400 miles, starting from our house to pick the load up, and make it there on time. What I want to know if why they let them drop the load? If there was a family emergency or they were due home time, I can understand that. But they told me they dropped it because there wasn't an appointment time. We get loads all the time where an appointment has not been set yet and we don't ask to drop the load and let someone else finish it. And what is with them not having appointment times? I would think that when they bid the load that the customer would know when they need their product. Schneider always always had an appointment time already set when we received the load assigment. Maybe it is something to do with being refridgerated loads, but I don't understand why it would be different. Maybe it is just me. Anyway, now they are calling or sending messages every few hours wanting to know our ETA because the customer is getting antsy. Sorry, we will get there when we get there, We already gave you an ETA and is hasn't changed. We are even driving 65, which we never do because of the fuel prices, to get there sooner to make the customer happy. This has been a screwed up load from the start. I hate people calling pressuring me when they KNOW that we won't make it because of when they dispatched us on it knowing we were coming out from time at home. Ok, on to something else.

J's son Justing signed up for the Navy today. He is going in as EOD (Explosives) and is testing next month for SEALS. Now they have it set up that if you test and pass the test for SEAL's that you can go dirctly to SEAL bootcamp and training. We will see what happens with the testing next month, but he will be leaving in the next two months. I am really proud of him.

That is all going on here at the moment. Time to get some sleep. I didn't get near enough last night and only a cat nap this afternoon before I had to drive.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yep, one of "those" days....

Today we got up early and went and picked up the U-Haul as soon as they opened at 0900. Came home and started packing and loading things up. First trip we managed to get most of our large stuff. And by our, I mean mine and J's stuff. My mom had been staying with us and we have all of her stuff also. Got that unloaded at the storage facility and I had to run down and get my hair cut. Came back and J had the truck about half way loaded again so we finished with a bunch of boxes and the rest of our large stuff. Got back to the house and started in on Mom's stuff. She has a LOT of stuff here. More than any of us realized. We have been at it since 0930, the house is a complete and total disaster, it doesn't look like we have accompolished a single thing, it is 2345 hrs and the freaking power just went out in the neighborhood. Everyone is dark. Sheesh! We have most of Mom's stuff by the front door but we still have to move it in the morning, drop the U-Haul off by 0900 and be over in Justin,TX by 1100 hrs to pick up our load. I absolutely hate leaving the house like this, but there isn't much we can do about it. As much as I want this place to sell, I really hope no one looks at it before we get back for Justin's graduation on June 9th. I am hoping when we come back for that we can take another couple of days off and get most of this finished. We just can't afford to take a full week off right now since we have just started with Prime and don't have enough saved up to miss that weekly truck payment.

Anyway, it is now after midnight, we have to get up in less than 6 hours, so my ass is heading out to the truck to go to bed. Why the truck you ask? Well, our bed in the house is in storage and we were going to sleep on the couch before we load it in the morning, but now the power is out and that means no A/C in the house. That is unbearable here in Texas. It is HOT!

More later tomorrow when I am more coherent.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rain Rain Rain

Why is it that when we come home something always prevents us from doing what we need to do? We came home to get the mail and then decided to take two extra days off so that we could get some of the house packed up. And today it has been raining like crazy. We managed to go and rent a storage unit and get some boxes so we can pack the inside of the house while the weather is bad. We are hoping tomorrow that we can get some of the large stuff moved. We have a king size bed, two full size and a twin, two couches, two love seats, recliner, two dining room tables and two hutches, two refridgerators, dishwasher, washer and dryer, sofa table, two night stands, two end tables, a dressing table and a home gym. And that is all I can think of off the top of my head. We are planning on getting rid of a bunch of stuff like the entertainment center, all the televisions (they are old) two old computers, a big desk and a crap load of kitchen stuff. Not to mention TONS of clothes. We are going to take all of the clothes down and donate them to a thrift store here in town. I like donating my clothes because I always seem to have a ton of them, but I just don't have a need for them anymore since we are driving a truck now. About the only clothes that I am going to keep are the formal dresses I have, my wedding clothes and J's tux. Then whatever clothes we take in the truck with us.

We also found out that J's son Justin is talking to a Navy recruiter on Wednesday and is wanting to sign up and go in for SEAL training. His poor girlfriend is not taking this good. They had planned on going to college and now he ups and decides he wants to do this. He was previously looking at the military but changed his mind and had decided on college. So now he is thinking of military again and their relationship is in total khaos. Poor girl. We just love her to death and we really want them to make this work because they are wonderful together. But she is scared of leaving her family and moving to California where he would be based for a while. Which is understandable. She has dreams that she wants to follow and they included Justin but they did not include him leaving. She said that she always promised herself that she wouldn't change her dreams for a guy, and you have to respect that in her. But they are young. We will just take it a day at a time and see what happens.

So that is what is going on here. Time to log off and start packing some things up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sulpher Springs,TX

Sorry I didn't update last night. I stopped for the night around 0315 at a rest area in Ohio right before the Indiana state line. I cooked me some taquitos and had some chips and was reading a book. I got all involved in the book that I didn't even log on the computer.

I woke J up around 0430 and he wanted another hour of sleep since we weren't rushed on this load but Smokey wasn't having any of that. About 0500 J decides he better get up before Smokey full out play attack mode. He drives us to Charleston,MO where he wakes me up and I take over. At 0245 in the morning and 528 miles later I call it a night in Sulpher Springs,TX. Stick a fork in me I am done! One plus side I have found to going slower is that I get MUCH better gas mileage. We have been having a hard time keeping the MPG up over 6.0 and once we moved the position of the fifth wheel we have been getting about 6.3-6.5. After driving through OH at 55 and seeing the better mpg I was getting, I decided last night to keep it at 55 mph and see what I got. After the miles I drove, when I stopped for the night, my average mph for that leg of the trip was 7.19 mpg! Hell yeah!!! And we had only been driving about 58 so what does it matter if we slow down 3 more mph? You aren't going to really notice that time wise through out the trip, but you WILL notice that you are using less fuel and that my friends is money in MY pocket. Now, I realize that the MPG we get depends largely on the terrain and every trip won't be this good. But is a good enough for me to slow down just a tad more if we can keep up the better mpg because of it.

One thing that I really love about this job is that we get the chance to see family and friends that we normally wouldn't get to see. Example. When J graduated from high school he spent the summer with his cousins Gary and Marty back in Indiana before he went to basic training. He has kept in touch with them periodically through the years but he hasn't seen them. A few days ago he called Gary out of the blue only to find out that Gary was working in Indiana,PA which happened to be only about an hours drive from where we would be passing through. So when we picked up this load heading to Waco, he gave him a call back to see if he could come meet us for dinner. Sure enough, he was able to get away, and bring a friend of the family that he was working with that J was familiar with, and they met us for dinner at the Flying J in New Stanton,PA. These guys haven't seen each other in 23 years and it was awesome for them to be able to see each other again. And it was really nice for me to meet someone from his family back east that I have heard so much about. It is things like this that we really enjoy about driving a truck. We have had dinner with friends in Nebraska, Minnesota and Florida because of this job. People that we would never get to see if we weren't doing what we are doing. I just think that is really cool.

When we drop this load in Waco we are going to bobtail back to the house and we should get there around 0900 or so this morning (Monday). We have decided we aren't going to go back out until probably Thursday so that we can spend Tuesday and Wednesday trying to get some of the house packed up. Since it is up for sale and since we have had the break in we just decided to go ahead and get a storage unit and get as much as we can put in storage when we have the chance. That way when it does sell, we won't have as much to do and it also eliminates the chances of getting broken into again and them taking something of value. So even though we are going to be home for a few days, they will be spent working our asses off. I have a feeling we will be ready to get back in the truck Thursday just so we can get some rest.

That is really all for now. I'll update while we are at home!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Well, I made it here! Finally! The load from hell is complete. Right now I am sitting outside of Redner's Warehouse in Blandon,PA waiting for 0300 to roll around when they start receiving. I was worried that we would get stuck up here in the East since it is a holiday weekend and most things come to a stand still and won't be back operational until Tuesday. But we lucked out and got a pre-planned load. Once we finish here we are heading about 50 miles away and picking up a load heading to Waco,TX. Once we drop that we will bobtail back to Dallas. I am guessing that we will get in to the house Sunday evening some time. Everything will be closed Monday so we will head back on on Tuesday. But we can check the house and grab the mail so this works for us.

I'm still not driving very fast. I think that close encounter the other night really did a number on me. Day driving is fine. It is just the night driving. I am going to give it a few more nights and see how I am doing. If I can't get over freaking out when another truck trys to pass me, then we may switch back and let J drive nights for a while. I know it is just a mental thing so it will just take a little time.

I have complained before about how sucky some roads are, especially the ones in Oklahoma around OKC, but I have found one that is WAY worse. I-78 here in PA absolutely SUCKS from about mile marker 15 to 29. We exited at 29 so I don't know how much further the road sucks, but sheesh, I was about thrown out of my seat and J about thrown out of his bunk. They really need to do something about it. I am curious to see what this load of produce in the back looks like. We have load locks to secure it, but I wouldn't be surprised if they collapsed! Nah, I am sure they are fine, but seriously, major disaster of a road.

Ok, it is almost 0300 so I am going to shut down and go inside and see if I can get a dock. More later....

Friday, May 23, 2008


After a 14 hour day, I called it quits and pulled into the rest area. Granted during that time we spend about 4 hours in Springfield doing laundry, grabbing a bite to eat and visiting with TruckingTiger. It was awesome to meet up with him. I started driving today in Vinita,OK and pulled into Springfield around 1630 and then sat at the gate for almost 30 minutes before I could get in. While we were sitting there J went ahead and grabbed the laundry and headed in to get it started. Once I finally got into the facility I was pulling the trailer back to where you park the trailers, out in BFE, and actually ran into TruckingTiger (TT from now on because that is a lot to type) as I was pulling back there. So he swung around and met me when I parked the trailer and gave me a ride back to the building. I ran in and J and I grabbed a shower while he went to get his laundry and then we had dinner. After that we went back to finish our laundry and then he gave us a ride back to the truck so we didn't have to haul all that crap a freaking 1/2 mile! As we were loading the laundry into our truck we realized we were missing a sleeping bag. J went back and the thing was gone. Missing. Someone freaking stole it out of the laundry room. Not that it was expensive, probably $20 at Walmart, but it is the principal. Basically a fellow driver, or employee, of our company swiped our sleeping bag. That just sucks ass. Anyway, we gave him the five cent tour of how our truck is set up inside since MrsT will be joining him out on the road here shortly. Hopefully he got some good ideas from us on how we have things set up. By no means is it perfect, but it is working for us. And of course we are always finding ways to fine tune it or changing something that just isn't working out as well as we thought it would. Hopefully we will run into him out on the road again sometime soon when he has MrsT with him and we will get to meet her. He is a super nice guy and it seems like we come from the same background. We have a lot in common. We're looking forward to seeing him again when we get the chance. Also met ReeferDriver and Tiny for just a few while we were there. It was a great day to be there to get to meet a couple different people from which we frequent.

Tonight was a wierd night for me to drive. I just couldn't get comfortable going over 55. And this was in Missouri where that is actually below the truck speed limit. I think I know why though. A few days ago when we were heading west through New Mexico, a Swift truck about ran me off the road. He went to pass and got the truck past me and then decided to come on over. And he still had the whole 53 foot trailer that needed to clear me. I don't know if he was talking on the phone and not paying attention or suffering from Head Up Ass Syndrome or what but it scared the shit out of me. Thank God I was paying attention. Pushed me onto the shoulder and of course I couldn't honk or anything until he was past me and I was back up on the highway because my hands were a little busy. As soon as I got it back on the road and wasn't fishtailing anymore, I got on the CB and said some things to him that would make a sailor blush. He either didn't have his CB on or was ignoring me. But that really freaked me out and I think that is why I couldn't get up to speed so to speak last night. It was actually that way the night before also but I was coming across AZ and NM and it is flat on that stretch and there wan't much traffic out. Last night there was a lot of traffic and it was hilly with lots of curves coming through MO and it was dark so I think that is what bothered me. I would grip the steering wheel for dear life when someone passed me. But I will get over it and get my confidence back up. Day driving doesn't bother me a bit, even after that incident, just the night driving when I can't see good and can't see who is passing me because of their lights.

J took over a little whiole ago, around 0500, and we only have about 700 miles to go to destination. I am wondering if we are going to get a load out of PA once we drop this because it is a holiday weekend and most places are shut down for the long weekend. We may end up spending 24-36 hours just sitting. I hope not, but I have heard that on a good day if you don't have a load pre-planned before you drop on the east coast on a weekend that you will probably be stuck there until Monday because freight just doesn't leave on the weekend. I guess we are about to find out.

The sun is coming up and I am going down. Worn out you could say. I'm off to bed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


That is as far as I made it tonight. Some trips everything falls into place and others are just a cluster from the get go. Like this one. First the problems with the trailer. Then really high winds in California last night had me all over the road. Then this afternoon when I started driving I had dust storms and wind gusts all the way across Arizona and New Mexico. All last summer we managed to stay away from the dust storms but I got a taste of one today. Those are nasty and visibility is very limited. So tonight I only got 456 miles. Sheesh! And to top it all off, this cute dog of ours decided to take a shit not once today, but twice on the covers of the bed. We have two sets so after getting a severe ass chewing from J the first time, we put the covers in the launry bag and got the others off the top bunk. Then he goes and does it again on those covers! WTF!?! He has been so good the last two weeks or so. I guess I can really only blame us for not taking him out the last time we stopped before he did it each time. So now we don't have any covers except for a blanket that was hanging down from the top bunk as a curtain for the lower bunk. What all this means is that we will be another 3 hours or so late because we HAVE to stop and do laundry when we go through Springfield tomorrow. Our FM was already a little pissy this morning because we were going to be late but how is that our fault when we got the load late again, at 1300 local time and they wanted us to make all three pick-ups by midnight and there was 450 miles between each of them? Hell, we made it to the first stop on time at 1600 local but didn't get loaded out of there until around 2300 I think. Tell me how we are supposed to make two more stops and cover 300 miles and get those loaded in an hour? Then the next morning we make it to the second stop on time, get loaded, get to the third stop, get loaded, then have to take the trailer to be looked at again, then go scale, then go back to the third stop and have them reload it because we are heavy and by this time it is midnight again. I take off and drive until 0530 and make it to Ludlow where J takes over. Maybe it is just me but I tend to get pissy when people get pissy with me over things that are out of my control. The only portion of being late that I will take credit for is the couple of hours it will take to do laundry because of the accident Smokey had.

So, now that I have that off my chest, J is now driving and it is 644 miles from Tucumcari,NM to Springfield. We will be there Thursday afternoon doing laundry. TruckingTiger, when you get out of class, come over to the Millinium building and find us. Give us a call and we will meet up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It was bound to happen....

Finally, after a year and a half on the road, I feel complete as a truck driver. Last night we had a lot lizard knock on the door! :) Because you know you aren't a "real" driver until that happens. LOL J, bless his heart, is not the nicest of people when you wake him up. She didn't bang on the door, just knocked, so I figured that is who it was knocking. A driver will actually bang on the door, not a timid little knock. He peeked out the curtain and saw who it was and told her to get lost. He said if she had been half way decent looking he would have been nicer. But in his words, "she looked like a beaver and was about 300 lbs" and when she pointed at the "goods" and asked if he was sure, then he told her to "f'ing get lost." It was hysterical! Now that I am pretty confident that the timid little knocks are going to be lot lizards, I think I will greet the next one and explain that my man doesn't need some skank ho to keep him satisfied. He has a wife, who by the way is much better looking than a 300 pound beaver if I do say so myself, that can keep him happy on the road! :)

After the lot lizard incident last night, we got back to sleep at that little Pilot and J got up this morning and took off to Cutler which was our second stop. I felt him arrive there but never felt him leave. I was tired. I woke up while he was on the way to our third stop. I asked him if he remembered to send in the trip sheets so we could get paid and he said "SHIT" which means no. Haha So we stop at a Flying J only to find out they don't have that service. We were able to fax the stuff to our FM who is supposed to get it scanned in there for us. We will see if we have a check this week. We freaking better and he better make sure he gets it scanned. I hate when people say they will do something and then don't.

We are currently sitting at our last pick-up and we are still having problems with this trailer. We keep getting an Alarm Shutdown A13 alarm. The unit has shut down 3 times on us so far and the last time, when we pulled into this shipper, it took 4 tries to get it running again. Now after we are loaded we have to take it to a Carrier rep here in Bakersfield to have them look at it. I just got off the phone with the guy and he said worst case scenario is they would have to send us to a cold storage place to have all the produce off loaded so they could get to the inside of the trailer. NICE. But that is worst case so I am hoping for better news than that. He said that code means it is over-charging the system. Maybe too much freon he said but of course they wont know anything until he can take a look at it. They close at 1630 local and I don't know if we can make it by then since we are still being loaded. They do have after hours that can take care of it, but of course that will cost an arm and a leg. Thank goodness it is the Trailer and Prime will take care of that bill. What irritates me is that they had it in the shop yesterday and found nothing wrong with it. Either it has gotten worse since then ot they didn't know what they were doing. Regardess we will probably have to change our delivery appointment because of this. We have almost 2700 miles to destination and 57 hours as of right now to do it in. We shall see. At least the Carrier rep is real close to where we stopped night before last so I can run grab a shower while they are working on it.

More on the trailer saga to come as the story unfolds.....

Monday, May 19, 2008


Last night we had a great nights sleep. I was so tierd that I didn't even hear our reefer kick on and off while we were parked in IdleAire. We got up around 0700 and headed out. Made it to Kraft right on time. Well, actually 4 minutes late, but that was because our FM sent us a message saying our trailer temps were out of range and wanted us to pull over and get a pulp temp. The trailer seems to be having intermittent problems. Not sure what the deal is. But we made it there and only had to wait about 20 minutes to get to a dock. We got unloaded pretty fast, I was surprised.

While we were sitting there we got a message from Road Assist for us to take the trailer up to Fresno, about 45 minutes away, to a trailer repair shop and have them look at the reefer. That worked out pretty well because while we dropped the trailer there to have them look at it, we headed up to Walmart to restock supplies. Poor lady at the repair shop gave us absolutely horrible directions. In the end it wasn't a bad thing because we passed by a place that we decided to go back to after Walmart so we could have lunch. Man, I just love little hole in the wall mexican food places. This little place was called Lola's Ricos Tacos. It is on Kings Canyon in Fresno and it is west of Peach about a mile maybe a mile and a half. It is a ping building with dark pink trim and there is no dining room. You walk up to a window outside and they have three picnic benches out front you can sit at. Of course we chose the comfort of the truck with the A/C. Anyway, we both had the chicken taco plate with rice and beans and ordered three more chicken tacos and a large coke. Came to under $11. And it was awesome. Freaking authentic mexican food. Soft corn tortillas with the meat, lettuce, tomato, onion and cilantro and a slice of lime to squeeze on it. OMG it was to die for. I wasn't happy about having to take the trailer to get fixed, but this little find made it completely worth it. If you are bobtailing you can park around back. It is a small place, but you can park back there by the dumpster. But you have to go out of the parking lot through the entrance because the exit has a drive thru that the truck will NOT fit under. Or of course you can go through the business parking lot next door. That was the way we came in. But I am happy we made that detour.

When we got back to the trailer, of which they could find nothing wrong with but charged Prime $105 to let us know that, we headed up north a few miles to a truck stop to wait for our next load. We pulled in and washed the windows and were going to park when we got the next load. We have three pick-ups here in California. The first in Salinas, the second in Cutler and the last in Arvin. We got the load at 1400 local time and they wanted all three picked up today. Not happening since we had to drive 145 miles to the first stop, 185 to the second and another 105 to the last. Right now it is 1836 and we have been at the first shipper for jus over two hours and we don't even have a dock yet. First come first serve. Although I am a little pissed because I have seen trucks arrive after us get a dock before us. I think J is about to go see what that is all about though. So even if we got loaded right now, we would have a hard time making it to the second place by 2200 which is when they close. We called our FM and he moved the next two pick-ups to tomorrow. When we finally get finished here we will head over to the Pilot just up the road and call it a night. Then get up in the morning and head to the second pick-up. They don't open until 0900 so we can leave here around 0600 our time and still get there early and hopefully be towards the front of the line. We deliver in PA which will be 2600 miles from our last pick up so we will have to pretty much go straight through with no major stops. It will be an easy trip though. We only need to average about 525 miles each to make it on time. Piece of cake. And as I am typing this, we just got a dock so hopefully we will be out of here before too much longer. I am glad because I have a huge headache and am ready for some good sleep. Even though we got good sleep last night, it just wasn't enough!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Reminds me of that song that Buck Owens & Dwight Yoakum sang. Anyway, made it here around 2100 tonight. Our appointment is in Tulare,CA in the morning at 0700 and it is only about 60 miles from here so we stopped here for the night. We saw the IdleAire and figured it was a good place to stay since they have these stupid no idling rules here in California and they are out and about writing tickets for people that are even using their APU's. This state has some dumbass rules. I would really love for the lawmakers that make these rules to come and live the life of a truck driver for a week and see what it is like when we aren't able to idle. I would like to see them sweat their ass off in the 100 plus degree weather and see how comfortable they are. One night isn't enough. They may be able to make it one night, but how about a full week. I would like to see how fatigued they are at the end of the week working the hours that we do and not having a single good nights sleep because it is too damn hot. It is simply ridiculous for them to think we can do it and then drive safely. I would love to see a solo driver offer to take someone out that was very Pro Anti Idling. We couldn't because we are a team. But a solo driver could do it. First I imagine that not a single lawmaker would take them up on that offer. And second, if by some chance someone did, I can just see them making up some excuse on the second or maybe third day so that they would get out of having to do it for a full week. They expect us to deliver every single damn thing that they use but yet by having no idling policies, it makes it to where the working conditions are no better than people working in third world countries or in sweat shops. And don't even get me started on the insane speed limits of 55mph for trucks when tour buses, Greyhound, large RV's and every other passenger car can go 70 mph. Tell he how that is safe. It isn't safe for us to go 15 mph slower than everyone else. Especially when cars are going at minimum 75, which puts them 20 mph faster than us. Ok, sorry, said not to get me started on that......

Anyhoo......Once we got in here we got another window adapter from IdleAire to fit the truck since we have the top mirror on the passenger side window. Got a TV from them and I cooked dinner. When we were at Walmart I picked up a box meal for $10.99 that had two 8 oz steaks, two twice baked potatoes, veggies and a mushroom garlic sauce. So I grabbed the George Foreman grill out and cooked the steaks. Then threw the rest of the stuff in the microwave and viola! Completely wonderful meal in about 15 minutes. I know I have said this before, but we are loving having the APU to be able to cook.

I was thinking earlier today about how much fun we have been having while we have been out here on the road. It is still hard to belive that we up and quit careers in law enforcement to come and drive a truck but I wouldn't change it for a thing. We get to spend quality time together, we get to see the country, we get to see so many things that other people don't get to. It isn't easy, especially having your own truck. I am finding that we have to be constantly on top of things, but I still wouldn't change it. We are so happy doing this. I guess I have a little bit of nomad in me. We both must. Enough about that, just thought I would share.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Smokey's first bath. And he wasn't happy...


Made it to the yard this afternoon. We were going to stay for the ACEII class tomorrow but it is an all day deal and I don't think we will have time for that. If it was a half day we could probably swing it, but a full day is pushing it so we aren't going to take the class. We will get is some other time. We are going to spend the night here though. We went ahead and did laundry and grabbed dinner which consisted of steaks which were delicious at the cafe. Also checked out the showers upstairs (which we will use in the morning) and also watched a movie in the theater. Very nice. I feel totally spoiled here. I have to say that Prime has an excellent facility here. We are going to crash here and leave in the morning. Only about 1650 miles to go and over 48 hours to do it in. Piece of cake.

Something else we did tonight was make use of the dog wash. It was Smokey's first bath. He wasn't real happy at first. But then the water got warmer and he relaxed. The dryer was a whole different story. He definitely did NOT like that. Decided it was better to towel dry him. I took some pictures and I will post them here in a few.

Nothing else going on with us. TruckingTiger, we will be leaving in the morning and taking I-40 all the way across. When you get your next load, if you are taking that route, get with me and we will see if we can meet up somewhere. It would be great to meet you. You have our number so let us know.


Finally got loaded last night around midnight. Since J hadn't slept much, and my shift was technically almost over, we decided to just hook up to the load and stay there in the parking lot until this morning and head out. So we headed out around 0530 or so. I thought this load was due on the 18th, but it is actually not due until 0730 on the 19th which is Monday. I called today and they are closed on the weekend so it won't do us any good to haul ass to get there. I guess that works out though because now we can stop in Springfield and take the Ace II class. They have it on Saturday so we are going to get that done and head out right after that and go the last 1600 miles. Should give us plenty of time considering California is also 2 hours later than we are so we gain those extra 2 hours to travel.

J drove us into Ashtabula,OH today and we stopped for a while there. He has an Army buddy that lives there that we haven't seen in about 7 years. It was really great to get to visit with him for a while. Got to see his daughter that is 5 that we have never seen. He also brought his dog, not knowing that we have Smokey, and his dog is a 16 week old chocolate lab. So we let them play and Smokey had a blast. Finally someone that he can play with! Ok, so it was only for a little while, but they were so damn cute playing together.

Right now I have stopped at the rest area on I-70 just west of Indy. Since we have that class in Springfield on Saturday morning, and it is only Friday morning now, no need to rush to get there. It is only about 430 miles from here. Super easy drive. May as well stop here and let J get a really good nights sleep. I was really surprised when I pulled in here that there was a spot open. Trucks were parked on the entrance ramp out to the highway but I thought I would give it a shot. Even if I couldn't have parked, I had to go to the bathroom. But I lucked out. And the one was right smack in front of the bathrooms. Can't ask for better than that.

I did run into some rain tonight. I hate freaking driving in the rain. Luckily it wasn't bad at all and didn't really bother me. Also, coming through Indy on I-70, the speed limit is 50. I haven't driven through Indy much on I-70 because it was under construction when we first started driving and shut down. And the other times we have had a hazmat load and had to take I-465 around. Well, I have been through it once, so I was actually going the speed limit coming through there tonight because it was raining and I wasn't real familiar with the road. Good thing I was. This DotLine truck passed me going probably 60, not super fast, and he gets about 1/4 mile in front of me and a trooper pulled him over. I saw several others working that area too. I bet they work it pretty good because the speed limit is so low and most people speed through there. So a word to all you out there, don't speed through Indy. Do the slow ass 50 mph that is posted or they will pull ya over!

Guess that is all that is happening. I think I am gonna hit the sack for a while.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Funny pics of Smokey sleeping


After I posted this morning I headed to bed and J got up and finished with the drop at the Walmart DC there in Johnstown. After we finished there we headed up to the TA back on the Interstate, fueled up and headed out. to pick up our next load. We are picking up in Walton,NY and delivering to CA. Our pick up window was something like 1600-1900 or something like that. Well, with nothing better to do, we headed here hoping that maybe they were running ahead of schedule. We got here around 0930 and they are runnin behind. LOL That is our luck. So it is now 1900 and we have been here all day waiting. No biggie. I slept most of it. Nice non moving sleep. Yeah, I crashed big time. :)

Got up and made some beans and sausage with a salad for dinner. Now I'm just kicking back waiting for them to come get us and let us know the load is ready. They guy in there really apologized for running late. But it isn't a big deal since we were technically really early. But he said he would come knock when the load was ready so we didn't have to keep checking in.

That is it. Not much to write about since I haven't done much today other than eat and sleep. :)


0315 hours and I am actually a lot more awake than I was last night when I posted. I got up and started driving about 1530 today. I had 548 miles to go to destination for an appointment at 0330 hrs (our time, 0430 their time). Piece of cake. Actually got in here around 0245 so I made pretty good time. Wasn't a bad drive actually. I'm still not fond of driving roads I'm not familiar with at night, but I am getting better. We have driven I-90 a few times, but not enough for me to be comfortable. I still kept it at 63, so I am getting better.

I think I mentioned on that we moved our 5th wheel. We, for some reason, thought it was in a different hole. After we took a good look at it, we realized that we needed to move it. Now we are in the 3rd hole back, which is about right in the middle, and things are going better. I think that was the problem with us being overweight so much. I also noticed that we got pretty darn good gas mileage coming up here. Well, good compared to what we had been getting. And I just pulled 76K across I-90 through northern Ohio, part of Pennsylvania and then about 300 miles of New York state which is pretty hilly. Closing that gap between the truck and the trailer definitely helps. So right now I am hopeful that things will start going better. I mean, they are going good, don't get me wrong, I am just really tired of dealing with weight issues. Now that we have the 5th wheel moved, I think that may be the last of those problems. Now to get the Qualcomm charges under control and we will be in business!!

That is really all that is going on today. Just sat here and ate some soup. Damn I love having a microwave and fridge/freezer in here! The soup just now and yesterday I broke out the George Foreman grill and cooked some chicken breasts, rice and salad. Delicious. Smokey is doing really great in the truck. No more accidents since him and J had a come to Jesus meeting over the last accident. Which really, considering he is a puppy, he only had 2 accidents in the truck and he is already potty trained. And, even though it sucks, both of the accidents that he had were on the bed, so we just had to wash the comforter and we were good to go. I was smart and bought a plastic liner for the mattress since I knew we would have to potty train him. But when he went he didn't even go enough to soak down to the mattress. We were lucky with him. Bu boy has he been in a mood tonight. Sometimes I swear he acts like a cat on catnip. He gets what I call crazy ears, where his ears are back and he looks psycho, and he just goes nuts. Starts running around the cab and jumping from seat to seat and running to the bed and jumping off and doing it all over again. I just laugh so hard at him that I think I am going to pee my pants. Sometimes I just have tears streaming down my face because he is so comical. He is loads of entertainment and I am really glad that he got locked in our house. It was meant to be.

That is all folks. Time to wrap things up and head to bed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Overweight again? The truck that is...

After the prom, we headed over and got a PM done on the truck and headed to sleep. The next morning we get a load out of Amarillo. So we deadhead out of Dallas up to Amarillo to pick it up. At first it goes good. We get there, pick up the load, head to scale it and find out we are overweight. At this time it is midnight and they tell us we are second in line to get reloaded. Come 0400 we are finally reloaded. Originally we were at about 2000 lbs over on our drives. So we hook back up to it, go back to scale his again, and we are still overweight by about 220 lbs. ARGH!! Head back to them again. Second in line to get reloaded again. We finally get out of there around 1100 am when we got there at around 2100 the night before. Not a good day at all. And we are at just a little over a 1/4 tank of gas. We got to Springfield and I HAD to get gas. After talking to another driver we realized that our 5th wheel wasn't where we thought it was. Just tired and didn't realized it. So we got it moved and hopefully that will help some of the overweight problems that we have been having. Maybe we will be more balanced now.

Anyway, I am exhausted and don't know if I am making sense. I'm gonna go and wake J up and tell him it is his turn to drive. OH, we are currently at a rest area just west of St Louis,MO and we are headed to Johnstown,NY. I'll write more when I am more coherent. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Prom 2008

The kids went to Prom and we got some pictures. Justin (J's son) is the tall one with the teal vest and tie. His girlfriend is Stephanie in the teal dress. Jessica (J's daughter) is in the mint green dress with dark hair and her date is Aaron. Aaron is just a friend of theirs, not her boyfriend. J says she can't date till she is married. LOL He wasn't going to go and she harassed him into going, because that is what friends are for. (Plus she is a Junior and really really wanted to go to Prom. Haha) Good thing Aaron is a good friend. :)

Pictures of Sunsets I took

Things happen in threes....

So I am really hoping my run of bad luck is over with. Three days and three things happened. Ok, I already posted about losing the phone and spending a crapload of money to get that replaced. You would think that would be enough, right? Wrong...

The phone incident was on Thursday. Friday morning we wake up to find the spare bathroom has water all over the floor. Do some digging and we think the hot water is leaking. The hot water heater is right behind the A/C unit. The A/C unit is freezing up and then thawing out and we originally thought it was that. It is humid here and we had the A/C set to heat and when we came home we switched it to A/C. Well the heat was set on 85 and the A/C was set on 70 so it just froze up from working to hard to cool it down that far that fast. So it was determined it wasn't that. Called a plumber out and he did more digging and the back side of the water heater had blown out. Definitely need a new hot water heater. Now we have water standing in the bedroom closet and a lot of the carpet in that bedroom is wet. $598 later we have a new hot water heater that doesn't leak. Nice. Combine that with the lost phone and it is getting expensive.

You would think that was enough, right? Wrong....

This morning we were getting ready to head out the door. We bought some D-Con for the mice and J was setting those out. That was the last thing we were doing and we were headed out the door. Truck was already packed and ready to go. I bend over to unplug the computer and see that Smokey has gotten ahold of one of the boxes of D-Con and is eating it. SHIT!!! Call the Vet, he says get up there. Get there and pump Smokey's stomach, give him a shot and have some pills to take twice a day for the next week. That was around $200. Does some higher power think I am made of money??? Now we are headed to see the kids before prom and take them to lunch and the girls to get their nails done. Of course all this was planned before we had to spend a shitload of money. But how can you tell them no after you already made the plans. I mean, this is for Prom, and Prom is a MAJOR deal. So right now we are dragging our broke asses along with our sick dog over to see the kids. :) Because at that point J said to get in the F'in truck before anything else goes f'in wrong!

OK, now for something more positive. Our friend Jaye came to see us! She just moved back to Abilene and since it is only about 4 hours from our house, and we were home, and she was off, this seemed to be the perfect time to get together. I am so glad she was able to come down and see us because I have really missed her since she moved to Colorado several years ago. We didn't do much but hang out while she was here. Went to the lake and got some awesome pictures of the sunset. I will post some of them here later. Also had us some drinks, an awesome green chili chicken baked potato for dinner and then watched Borat. We had never seen that and laughed our ass off. It was hilarious. A little disturbing, but a riot. :)

That is what I am doing now. For some reason the computer cord isn't showing that is it charging. Wierd. I hope it isn't broken also. OH, I forgot to mention that the Suburban wouldn't start after being gone that long also. But that makes four things going wrong and I just don't know how much more I can handle!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, finally made it home after a trying day. Actually not work related so that was a good thing. Delivered this morning and then we dropped the trailer at Walmart. Headed up to Richardson to have lunch with some friends and introduce them to Smokey. I walked around to the passenger door to get him out and when I did, I laid my phone on the step of the truck. Then, after all was said and done, I drove off with it there. As soon as I realized I didn't have it, we turned around and went back. It wasn't there. Checked both restaurants that share a parking lot and they had not had anyone turn it in. Followed the same route back to the point I realized it was missing. Still no phone. Damn. Well, stupid me did not have insurance on it because in the 8 years that I have had an account with Verizon I have never lost or damaged a phone. Until now. My pink Blackberry Pearl, at a cost of $450 was missing. And so we had to go and get a new one. Shit that hurt having to fork that much over for it. What the hell, who needs to make a car payment this month, right? Guess what I did though? I got insurance on this one. :) And yeah, I think J wanted to kick my ass for losing it. But he is such a doll and just said that it happens and we will deal with it and just get a new one. I love this man. I think he is getting him some tonight. :) :) :) I have lots of making up to do on this one.

We are back at the house and I have a question for anyone that reads this and may have some input. We live in the country and have developed a mouse problem since we are gone all of the time. Anyone have a good way to get rid of them. We tried mouse traps last time but they are just too smart. Some people may thing that is nasty, but hey, it is a fact of life. You live out in the country, and you are going to deal with mice. When we had a regular 9-5 job it wasn't a problem because we were here every day. But with us being gone 3-4 weeks at a time, now we are having issues. I don't see them, but I see proof they have been here. You know what I mean. Little mice shit. Anyway, if anyone has ideas, I am all ears.

Tomorrow we have a friend coming to visit us that I met when we worked in Lubbock,Tx. It is going to be great to see her. We have only seen her once in about 4 years but she just moved back to Abilene,TX and that is just a few hours from here so she is gonna drive up. Thank God she grew up in the country and a mouse won't bother her. LOL!!

Saturday we have to go see the kids in the morning. Gonna take Jessica and Justin's girlfriend to get their nails done and out to lunch and then we will see them when they are all dressed up for Prom. We are taking the truck so we will just go to a movie or something when they leave for prom and then spend the night somewhere and be ready to go first thing Sunday morning.

Guess that is all for now. I'll update ya more later!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's all a test, I just know it is....

You know how you have "one of those days"? Well, I am having one of those months! I swear nothing can go right. I just keep telling myself that it is all a giant test and damn it, I am going to pass!

You just read about us getting in last night and them not being able to unload us until this morning. You also just read that they told us we would be first. Nope, didn't happen. J went in twice and nothing. So I wake up around 1030 and we still were parked in the yard. What actually woke me up was our FM calling to find out what the deal was and I told him we weren't even to the dock yet. So now that I am up, I decide to go in and raise some hell. J said he had been in twice and that didn't accompolish anything. Step aside and let Mamma do the talking mister. :) Went in and very politely asked a lady who appeared to be in charge when they were going to get to us because we had been sitting out there almost 12 hours waiting and we were told last night that we would be in first because of what we were carrying. She got this look on her face and said "You have been out there for how long?" And I told her we got in at midnight last night and it is now 1100. I also told her what we were carrying, and there is a sign posted right there that if you are carrying "minors" that you get first priority. I have no clue what the hell is considered "minors" but they guy last night looked at my bills and said that is what I had and that I would be in first. When I explained to her that the overnight guy wrote it all on the dry erase board so day shift would know, and that apparently day shift erased everything up there and re-wrote it but left out some information, mainly what we were carrying (because that is why the note was on it to let them know to get us first) she got on the radio and had a guy come to the front office. And the office girls didn't look too happy that they had messed up and it was caught. Needless to say that within 45 minutes we were unloaded and pulling out. Which is all crap because our FM said that we wouldn't get detention pay for that. But that is a whole other story that I just don't feel like going into right now. If you read I posted about it in the Drivers Lounge under the heading "Appointment times and detention". I just don't feel like typing it all out again.

Well, we get that cluster taken care of and get our next load. Deadhead 229 miles to Southport,SC to pick up a load going to Grand Prairie,TX. I make it in and see that there are 3 trucks lined up waiting to get in tomorrow morning because they are closed. Freaking great. So I get security on the CB and ask what to do and guess what? It is my lucky day. This load is actually a drop and hook so he lets me in so I can get my load. All the trucks waiting outside were going to be live loads in the morning. Hell yeah! Made my night. But don't worry, you know I have some drama for you. He has me scale going in. I drop the trailer, hook up to the new load and scale going out. I go in to pick up my paperwork and I am 180 lbs over gross weight!!!!! How can this be happening to me???? Again???????? This is 3 out of 4 runs that we have been overweight. And we have 1/4 tank of gas so we really need fuel. We debate a while on it and decide that we either take off or get in line and be 4th on the list for them to deal with in the morning. I hate doing it, but we decide to run with it. Oh, forgot to mention, that 180 lbs over is NOT including me in the truck. So we are actually heavier than that. I would tell you what we were actually over, but then you would subtract that from 180 and get my weight, and that is something a woman doesn't discuss thank you very much. Snap! :) Anyway, I head out and check the maps and no scales before our fuel stop. Decide to definitely scale it and see how much we are over according to a CAT scale. Get weighed with both of us in it and the CAT scale shows 78,280. YES! So we fill up and re-weigh and we are at 79,180. Hell yeah! Their scale at the shipper was off. I am in a much better mood now because we are actually legal. And it saves me from having to call in to our FM tomorrow and having a "talk" with him. Both J and I are really relieved so this will make it a much better trip without the headaches of wondering if we are going to get called into a scale.

We only have 1100 miles to go and we have until 0900 on the 8th to get it there so we are stopping for the night at the Petro here in Florence and leaving in the morning. J hasn't gotten to bed yet except for about an hours nap and he is just exhausted. No way is he going to start driving when his shift starts in three hours. No way Jose.

So sweet dreams everyone and I'll be back tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bessemer City,NC

OMG! You will not believe the last two nights that we, or rather I should say, I have had. Ok, lets start with Sunday night.

So Sunday afternoon, I take over driving in Clines Corners,NM. Got a good nights (days) sleep so I am feeling good. I am cruising along making good time. Told J that I would make 600 miles. Actually only got 597 because of where the Flying J was that we stopped at. Pissed me off because I wanted the 600. I should have just passed the exit and taken the next one and came back to it so I could say I made 600. LOL! Anyway, like I said, I am cruising along, kicking some ass on miles. Made it the rest of the way through New Mexico on I-40, made it across Texas and now I am in Oklahoma. Ok, we know these Okies are crazy, but boy, let me tell you what. I make it to mile marker 112 where I am jamming out, singing at the top of my lungs (thank goodness J sleeps like a log) dancing in my seat when I see headlights that appear to be in my lane. Well, that gets my attention. Now you know when you are coming around a curve and the traffic across the highway going the opposite direction looks like it is in your lane? Well I thought for a split second that was what I was seeing. Until I see the car up ahead of me, oh about 300 yards, slam on his brakes and head for the shoulder. Well Hell!! That car is definitely NOT on the other side of the highway and definitely IS going the wrong way. Shit. So I let up off the gas and start hitting the brakes. I am watching him wondering if he is drunk or just maybe confused. Whomever it is appears to be driving straight and not swerving, but you can never tell. I keep heading for the shoulder and REALLY hugging that white line, waiting, just waiting, for the second that I have to jerk the steering wheel. See, I didn't want to hit the rumble strips if I didn't have too. For one thing, it would wake J up. And the second reason is because if the person driving the car coming towards me IS drunk, drunk drivers tend to follow lights. Have you noticed how many drunks hit cops that have people pulled over? It is because they are attracted to the lights. So I didn't want to make any sudden moves if I didn't have to. At this point, I had not gotten on the CB yet because I wanted to have both hands on the steering wheel incase he did something stupid. He makes it past me and I am all over that CB because looking in my rear view mirror, there are two trucks and one is passing the other coming directly at that other car. I don't know what happened, or if there was a wreck, but I say one go towards the shoulder and get back on the road, so I think it was ok. But damn that scared the hell out of me!

Made it to Checotah,OK (home of Carrie Underwood American Idol 2005.....according to the sign coming into town) and we stopped at the Flying J and grabbed a shower and hit the road again. I hit the sack because it was J's turn to drive.

Fast forward to 1500 hours and we are in Lebanon,TN at the Pilot. I get up and hit the drivers seat and we are off. I only have about 360 miles to go to destination. But we know it is going to be the longest part because TN and SC and NC have some hills and windy roads. I cruise through Knoxville and pass the I-81 and I-40 split and it gets dark. Of course it gets dark when I hit the mountains! So we are still on I-40 and I am driving along the stretch where it is really windy. If you drive, or know this area, then you know maximum truck speed is 50, and that is even too fast at times. AND it says no trucks in the left lane for over 20 miles. They have re-surfaced this area so the road is pitch black with the new stripes on the road. I am in front going about 45 and there is probably 15 trucks behind me. I know they have to be pissed because I am going so slow, but screw them. :) I don't drive fast at night on roads that I am not real familiar with, especially when there are so many curves. I have driven that several times before and I don't even go that fast during the day. Ok, so I am cruising along, and there is a concrete divider between the east and westbound lanes. I see something out of the corner of my eye jump over the divider. For a split second I thought it was a dog because of the shape. I knew right off it wasn't a deer. So I let off the accelerator for a second and that is when it ran in front of me and I actually saw what it was. It was a freaking BEAR!!!! I said HOLY SHIT out loud, to no one in particular, because I couldn't believe a BEAR just ran across the road in front of me. I am talking less than 20 yards in front of me. There was no doubt that it was a bear. Unbelievable!! I wanted to wake J up so bad, but it wouldn't have done any good because the bear was already gone! But when I told him later, he couldn't believe it either and thought it was cool. He said "Nothing ever happens to me at night when I am driving. I don't see anything cool!" I told him to be glad because the bear was cool, but the car was NOT cool that was coming at me!

Well I made it into our destination and am parked waiting to get unloaded in the morning. They don't start unloading until 0600. Would have been nice if I had known that and I wouldn't have pushed it through the mountains. They told me I had a 0100 appt. On the bright side, since this load was originally supposed to be here yesterday morning, we will be put ahead of the other two trucks that are already here because they need this product first before whatever is on their truck. It sucks and I would hate to be them, because I wouldn't be happy if I was on the other end, but it happens and I am just glad I am getting the good end of the deal this time.

TruckingTiger, I waved at every Prime I passed! Maybe it was dark when we crossed paths.

Mark, I didn't read that until it was too late! We probably passed you! I will write down your truck number also so I can keep an eye out for you!

That has been our exciting two days. Don't know where we will be headed next. Won't know that until we finish with this load. Holler at yall later!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Yesterday morning we made it to our pickup in Soledad,CA. Were supposed to be there at 0500. Then changed it to 0800 then changed it to 1000 local. What a mess. So apparently the load we took to Carson,CA was in a 48 ft trailer. I didn't even notice it was a shorter trailer. But anyway, we had to have a 53' one for the load in Soledad. So after we unloaded in Carson, we drove back up to Fontana where there is a Secure Truck Parking place and we dropped the 48' trailer there and picked up a 53' one that was already there. By this time it is 0400 in the morning. And we weren't farting around. We went straight there from Carson, it just took them a while to get us unloaded. Ok, have a 53' trailer but it is dirty. Whomever dropped it off, didn't bother to wash it out first. This is going to go on my list of pet peeves like DrZ's pet peeve of not topping off the reefer when you drop it. (That is fast becoming one of mine also) Drove over to the Sisters Truck Wash there in Fontana and they are closed. Decide to head out because there is a TA on I-5 which is on the way and we can fuel and wash the trailer there. Get there and the truck wash is closed. Tried a couple more on the way and they were all closed. We knew we needed to have it cleaned because we were picking up lettuce. Well, because we were trying to find a trailer wash, and so was dispatch, that put us behind. We never found one and had to sweep it out best we could. Dole, where we picked up, didn't say anything about it, so I guess it was clean enough.

Now, when we were looking at the dispatch information, it said not to bring any pets into the facility. Hello, we have a dog. We were worried about that but when we got there, they didn't have anything posted about no pets, so we just made sure he stayed in the truck and out of the seats so he couldn't be seen. All in all, he was in the truck almost 8 hours without a bathroom break, and he did so good. We stopped at the first place we came to when we left, and boy did he have to go! But he didn't go in the truck and I am so proud of him. He is learning that the truck is NOT the place to go to the bathroom.

Ok, got that load and we are off. We pulled out around 1600 on Saturday and they wand this in NC at 0730 on Monday morning. Not going to happen. We have driven non-stop, except for fuel, since we left and we still have 1586 miles to go. And it is 1330 on Sunday already. We are going to try, but I don't think it will happen. Besides, we ARE going to stop for a shower. If that makes us later, so be it. I'm not driving stinky! LOL!!

At them moment we just passed through Albuquerque and are headed towards Clines Corners. Should get there and switch drivers and grab some lunch then head out again.

So now I have a bitch. I may have complained about this before, actually I am pretty sure I have, but I will do it again. What is it with people, truck drivers and 4-wheel drivers alike, that cause them not to see a turn signal? Driving along with a turn signal on trying to get around a slower truck, and they just keep coming. I know they don't HAVE to let you in, it is just a polite thing to do. And when it is another truck driver behind you that pulls out when it is clear and then doesn't let you in, after following behind you for miles watching that turn signal go blink-blink-blink. That is either someone that doesn't need to be driving because they are blind, or they are just an asshole. And 99% of the time, they are just an asshole. End rant.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Well, yet another cluster led us to Carson. Let me break it down for you. :) When I last left you, we were stopped at a rest area in Rimrock,AZ on I-17. We got up that next morning and headed into Chandler,AZ for our last drop. Made the drop and actually they took us a little early. Cool. So after that we headed to the Pilot over in Avondale,AZ (just a few miles down the road) to grab some lunch and a shower. Now earlier that morning our FM had told us that he had been looking for us a load out of that area but that it was looking like we would have to deadhead to So Cal for a load. Then he sent us a message saying another team had broke down in Flagstaff,AZ and could we pick up the load heading to NJ. Figured the math and it was paying $1.82 a mile. Hell yeah we will take the load. So, finish our shower, drop the trailer we had at a drop lot there in Phoenix,AZ and we bobtail up to Flagstaff to pick up the load at the Freightliner dealership.

This is where it gets interesting. We make it to Flagstaff around 1900 hours. Hook up, find the paperwork and notice there isn't a scale ticket and there are no weights at all on the bills. And the previous team had picked up from 3 places and were dropping in two places. Soooo, it feels heavy and we never drive not knowing what we weigh, so we backtrack to the Pilot at the 185 just on the west side of Flagstaff so we can use the CAT scale. Scale it, go inside and get the ticket, and it is showing a gross weight of 80,950 lbs. Well hell. This isn't looking good. Call Rex who handles us after hours and he gets the previous team on the phone. He said he scaled it but the paperwork is at the Freightliner shop in his truck. He is in a hotel there in Flagstaff and says he will meet us there and get them out of the truck so he can give them to us. Cool deal. He said he got it legal so we figure something must be wrong with the scales and that they need re-calibrated. We meet him and he has about 5 different weigt tickets. The first one shows 80,450 gross. Then the following ones show 79,310, 79,300 and 79,450. I can see that you can change your weights on your drives and steers and tandems, but you can NOT change the gross weight. You can just shift it around but your gross weight is your gross weight. Best we can figure is that he put his steers partially on the pavement and off the scale to get it to show a legal gross weight. But even at that, his drives and tandems were still showing overweight. And he was in the 8th hole which is illegal in CA. Now if someone wants to drive illegal like that, then that is their business. But we do not drive illegal. So we decide to go about 65 miles east to a Flying J in Winslow,AZ and re-scale in case something was wrong with the other scales. (He used some mom and pop place.) So around 2145 I get the the J and scale. Nope, definitely overweight. Call back into Rex and explain that is it just illegal and won't work. Then he says that if we could burn off about 100 gallons of fuel we would be good, since we were at full tanks. Ok, has anyone noticed the price of fuel lately?? At $4 a gallon, there is no way I am burning off 100 gallons of fuel. Then he says that he talked to sales and they said that I wouldn't get pulled into the scale coming into New Mexico. Since when does their sales department have any say with NM DOT on who does and does not get pulled in? So I tell them that if they send me a message saying that Prime will pay any and all overweight tickets because they want me to continue, then I would continue. Well, no go. Imagine that. They won't do something illegal but expect me to. Now I am sure that they do this because they have drivers that will do it. And that is fine, but not me.

Well, he says he will try and find another truck but it will probably be the next morning. Ok, fine I say. I am tired of dealing with this and am going to bed. Keep in mind this is the 2nd overweight load in a row that we have had. Now I do realize that our APU added about 400 lbs, but that is all. Well, finally around noon the next day, he gets another team there and we switch loads. We take their load that is 40,300 lbs and bring it to CA and they take our good paying load to NJ. Shits. And we had to come into CA in the 10th hole because we only had 20 lbs to spare on our tandems.

So that brings me to now. Right now we are sitting at General Mills in Carson,CA waiting to be unloaded. After they do this, I have to go to a truck parking lot in Fontana and switch this 48' trailer for a 53' trailer. Once I do that, we have to book to Soledad,CA for a 0500 live load (Saturday morning) which is going to Bessemer City,NC for a 0730 appt on Monday morning. 2500 miles in 48 hours. No problem.... We should make it, but it will be one of those where we come rolling in right on time. And we won't be able to do 58 all the way if we plan on making it there on time. Hopefully we will get a good tail wind so our gas mileage doesn't suck from us driving faster.

One good thing about this is that we came into LA around 2100 local time which makes it nice and I didn't have to fight traffic. And we will get out of here at a good time too. So that makes me happy. I guess that is all for now. Hopefully this next load won't be overweight........ I would hate to go redneck on someone......

Thursday, May 1, 2008

More pics of Smokey


Well, let me catch you up. When I last left you, we were going to take a nap. So, FINALLY got the APU installed and got the truck back from Freightliner. The fuel line was clogged. The guy that actually worked on it said it looked like a piece of clear plastic covering that was peeled off of the tank when they were installing it at the factory. Well, if that is what he found, then it sure as hell better be warranty work because that isn't something that we did. That is something that got messed up on the production line. If they end up charging us for that, they will have a fight on their hands. We will see what happens though.

That was Sunday afternoon. Monday morning we took a class on the Smith System and got a nice little certificate showing that we completed it. Then we were going to be ready to leave out early Tuesday morning and our FM found us a load but it wasn't going to be at the yard until around lunch. Another team was bringing it from PA. It is hazmat and paying $1.60 a mile so we figured we would take it and didn't mind waiting for it. Well, it finally arrives around 1600 hours on Tuesday. We pick it up, get the paperwork, get the missing placards put on it and head out the gate. Paperwork is showing 38,000 lbs and there is no scale ticket on it, so we decide to scale it there at the yard. Good thing we did. It was 3000 lbs over on the steers. Sheesh. Our 5th wheel won't move any farther, we get the tandems all the way forward to take as much weight off the drives as we can, and we are still 900 lbs over. Major ordeal but we end up taking it to the trailer rebuild shop, break the seal, and have them re-work the load to get the weight legal. We finally pull out of there around 2000 hrs. It is just frustrating because I know that team had to have driven with that load illegal from the minute they picked it up. I don't know why they didn't scale it. Just pisses me off because this is yet ANOTHER load that is screwed up because of someone elses laziness.

Anyway, get that taken care of and roll out and head west. Our first delivery is in Albuquerque at 1400 hours on Wednesday which we made with no problem. Our second and final delivery on this load is tomorrow at 1000 hrs in Chandler,AZ. It was only 430 miles between stops so we are at a rest area in Rimrock,AZ for the night. If I drove much later, I wouldn't find a place to park so we decided to stop here. J will get up in the am and drive the last 115 miles to deliver.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned this in any earlier post, but since we got the APU installed, we went down and got a fridge that actually has a separate freezer. Very cool and nice to have in the truck. That along with the microwave, toaster, sandwich maker and George Forman grill.....I am all set!