Sunday, November 30, 2008


New England Produce Market.....Oh how I dislike thee......... I really truly dislike this place. It is hard to get to, tiny roads, roads that have potholes in it the size of the Grand Canyon and what seems like near impossible turns. Ok, the turns aren't that bad, but there are phone poles or electric poles on every freaking corner. And if you miss the turn like we did tonight, holy cow! Try getting turned back around. We have been here before, but it is raining and already dark so we couldn't see the sign. We ended up following Hwy 99 south and got turned around and came back north on it but it was an even harder right turn coming from that direction. But we finally made it! Now the bad news. We are about 6 hours early and they aren't open yet so after paying $25 at the gate for the priviledge of entering this decrepit facility, we are stuck here. I had sent in a message asking about my delivery time which showed 2359 hours and asked if that meant midnight or anytime today and they told me I could deliver any time today before midnight. So going off of that, we headed on in fighting with the holiday travelers headed home, with the intention of delivering this and getting a hotel for the night since we don't pick up our next load until tomorrow between 1300-1600 hours a short 42 miles away in Clinton,MA. That plan is shot to hell so I guess when we get unloaded here we will head to a service plaza or rest area and sit until tomorrow.

On a brighter note, when we came through Chicago we stopped at the Lake Forest Oasis and met Justin and his new girlfriend there. Him and Stephanie broke up. That is a long story.... But it was nice to get to see him and she seems like a really nice girl. Of course I told him we would be there at 0915 and he didn't show up until almost 1100. ARGH!!! Next time I am going to tell him to be there two hours before we will actually be there so that we don't have to wait. :) Maybe then he will make it on time.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Wednesday morning we woke up bright and early to drive the last 65 miles to our first pick up in Cashmere,WA. We took Hwy 97 north out of Ellensburg,WA to get there. This was our first time up in this area and we hadn't been on Hwy 97 before. It was a beautiful drive. A bit windy with curves and there was some ice on the road from the rain the night before. We mae it to our first stop about 10 minutes late but it wasn't a big deal. It was one of those first come first loaded places. There were two trucks in the only two docks and only one in line ahead of us. We only had to wait about 10 minutes before the first two were done and the truck in front of us and ourselves were backing up to the dock. It is a very small town and you have to drive the wrong way up a street to back into the dock crossing the street right in front of the warehouse. Seems the locals are used to it during their mornig commute to the coffee shop or work and they didn't seem to mind. Didn't even get a honk or a finger. :) After getting docked I headed inside since it was a driver count load. It wasn't too hard to count the one pallet we were picking up at this stop and within an hour of pulling up to the place, I was on the road again.

Our next stop was up in Orondo,WA which was only about 20 miles away. We called to see if they could load us early since we were ahead of schedule and they said they weren't sure but to come on up because they had plenty of parking where we could wait. It was a beautiful drive up there also along the bank of the Columbia River. Checked in about 2 hours early and within an hour they were calling me to dock. Sweet! This is a funny place to load at because if you get dock 2 it is in between two building and there is a roof between the two buildings so it is like driving through a building to get to the dock. You can bet I was careful not to hit anything when I pulled in! I got out and opened the doors and backed up then grabbed my gloves to remove the load locks from the first pallet. They had my load sitting outside ready to go so within a matter of about 10 minutes I had my 13 pallets from this place and was ready to go again. Lock up, grab the paperwork and I am off to my final stop before heading to Chelsea,MA.

Our third stop was in Wenatchee,WA and it was about 17 miles back down Hwy 97. I got the directions and it said to turn at the truckstop once I got on Alt Hwy 97 North. So I pulled in to the truckstop and called the shipper to see if they could load me early because now I am 3 hours early for them. I love being early! The nice lady said to come on over and check in and if our product was there, they would go ahead and get us in line to get loaded. I head over and check in and this is where the problems start. She tells me that the order number I have is not good. It is for a load going to NY. Hmmm Ok, head out to the truck to check the number on the Qualcomm thinking maybe we inverted some numbers when we wrote down the info for the load. Nope, this is the correct number they sent me. Head back in and let her know that the number I gave her is the one they sent me. While I am talking to her I am talking to Nick (Our FM John was out for the day and Nick was covering) and he said he would get with sales on it. I tell him to call me back because I am in the office. About 20 minutes go by and I call back and he tells me that sales should be calling them because that is right. He said we are supposed to take that order to MA and from the produce market there which is a distribution center it will then be taken to NY. OK. So I go back to the window and tell the lady this info. She in turn talks to another lady who checks on it. The other lady comes and tells me that it is wrong. The product for the order I am giving her is going to NY but it is loading at a different facility IN NY. She says they don't even have that order there. Yes, this is turning into a cluster! Call Nick back and relay that info to him. Tell him that product is in NY not here and that the number is wrong. Should I head out, since they insist I don't have a load there, or wait? He says to wait. Ok, about an hour later he sends a message that says it is a good number and they have talked to a Melissa at the location I am at and to talk to her because it is good and we should get loaded. Back I go to the office to tell them this info and ask for a Melissa. She isn't in that office but she is local in another building so they give me her phone number. I call Melissa and try to figure out what is going on. She informs me that order 398118 is indeed a good load and she doesn't know why I am having a problem or why the girls at the office I am at are telling me it is a bad load. Ding! Ding! Ding! It finally clicks. Someone made a typo entering the information into the work assignment. I show order 398113 not 398118. And when I talked to Nick he was also showing the same one I had. But sales, who get the loads, probably have the hardcopy with the correct number so they knew it was the right load, but they didn't know I had the wrong order number. WHEW!! Get that straightened out and I am FINALLY on the list to be loaded. Originally I was 3 hours early for my 1500 appt. Now I am 10 minutes early for it after wasting almost 3 hours getting this straightened out. They say they will call us when we are up. In the mean time, J has gotten up and I stay up another hour and a half and then I head to bed. It was around 1830 our time and 1630 local time. They finally call J to come inside at 2100 our time and he still doesn't get loaded and out of there until 2315. Turns out that our product was on the way but hadn't arrived. Why on earth they had him back in and then left him standing inside the cooler for 45 minutes is beyond me. He would have still been standing there if he hadn't got cold enough to go into the office and hot enough to raise some hell. The least they could have done was tell him before he went in the cooler that they were waiting on it to arrive and still had to load a few trucks first. He could have waited in the truck.

ANYWAY, 2315 he hits the road and makes it a whopping 45 miles before he is stopped by the fog. Fog was super thick and he couldn't see anything. He headed to bed and I got up Thursday morning around 0500 and headed out. It was still really heavy fog and it took me 4 hours to get the 136 miles into Spokane,WA. Of course when I woke up the fog was heavy, but the roads were icy and come daylight it started to snow. I stopped at the Petro in Spokane,WA for about 2 hours until things warmed up some and headed on out. I made it across Idaho and stopped at x33 in Montana at the St Regis Travel Plaza. I decided to call it a day there. I have only made it about 270 miles but it had taken me close to 9 hours to make it that far. There is a casino next door to the travel plaza that has a restaurant called Jasper's. They had a complete Thanksgiving dinner for 9.99 and it was pretty darn good. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, sweet potatoes, rolls, salad AND pumpkin pie. What more could you ask for at that price? It was yummy and we were on the road again.

I had hoped to make it into Bozeman,MT on Thursday so we could have dinner there. That is the same town that we were in last year for Thanksgiving when we were with Schneider and broken down. I will never forget the nice people who invited us into their home that day. That is another story, but you can look back at my blog for last Thanksgiving and the whole story is there. It was really cool.

So J takes over driving and I head off to bed. He makes about 450 miles and stops for the night, well, about 2 hours anyway, in Billings,MT before he wakes me up at 0400. Once again I am up and off. I made it 400 miles today to Mandan,SD where I stopped about an hour and a half early at 1330 so we could grab a shower and grab Subway. We only have about 1800 miles to go and today is just Friday afternoon. This load delivers anytime on Sunday before midnight, or so the work assignment says, so we aren't in a super huge rush. And Montana takes FOREVER to drive across and there are a ton of mountain passes to get over. And when you are in 6th gear going abou 15 mph going up one, you don't make good time! So we are just enjoying this nice Holiday Weekend load and taking our time. We do plan on taking time off for Christmas, but with us recently taking time off for J to go hunting and then seeing Kevin up in Colorado Springs, we need to keep moving for a while. I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends, and if you were on the road, I hope you were able to talk to your family on the phone and at least stop long enough for a decent meal.

Be safe out there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Back on the road! With the exception of Saturday night, we had a great time.

We got in to our friend Kevin's Friday afternoon and chilled out until he got home from work. Poor guy really messed himself up a little over a month ago when he wrecked a dirt bike on the street in front of his house. Someone should tell him that a 41 year old man should be more careful!!! So he has finally graduated to a cane after being laid up completely for several weeks and then having to use a walker the past few weeks. I was planning on cooking that night but he had already bought steaks for the grill so I let the men do their work outside and I handled the alfredo noodles and the ice tea. We had an awesome dinner and then just chilled out at his house. His girlfriend came over and we had a little too much of the adult beverages, but hey, we were off!

Saturday morning we got up and I made sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast, which was delicious (I was worried I was going to lose my knack for cooking being on the road too long!) and then we headed out to catch a matinee. J and I have read the Twilight series so we really wanted to see the movie. We really enjoyed it. Of course it was like the book, in the sense that the beginning of the movie was a little slow just like the book, but it sped up after that. I can't wait for the next one to come out. I have heard them talking on the radio that they have the go ahead for the next two books to be made into movies. YES!!

Anyway, after the movie we headed home and I cooked again. Breaded pork chops, real mashed potatoes and green beans. OMG it was so good! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We were chill that night and watched The Bucket List and had some cookies and milk for dessert. My stomach was starting to get upset so I headed to bed. Then it happened. I started throwing up. I was up 8 times between around 2300 and 0630. I have no idea what it was. All three of us had the exact same thing to eat and drink Friday evening and during the day and evening on Saturday. It was horrible. I finally got to sleep around 0700 and made it up around 1300. That evening I was able to eat a grilled cheese and that was it. I was worried about heading back out on Monday morning because I just wasn't sure how I was going to feel and if I was going to need to be near a bathroom. Luckily Monday morning I felt better and we decided to head back out. After J being out of the truck for a week and a half and me solo for the week and taking a couple days off at the end, we really needed to head back out and start making some money.

J headed out to start the truck and we already had a load waiting for us. We picked up at the Denver yard and delivered to Walmart here in Grandview,WA. We cut it close on time. To the point of when I got into the office with the paperwork to check in I had about 5 minutes to spare. I had J let me out to check in while he went and docked the trailer. If I had waited they probably would have marked us as late. And no matter how late you are to Walmart, whether it is a minute or an hour, if you are late, you get put to the back of the line and they work you in when they can. So we were lucky this time.

As I was driving this morning we got a preplan sent to us. We are picking up in the morning in Cashmere,WA at 0800 and delivering on the 30th in Chelsea,MA. Don't have a time on the delivery yet though. I have a feeling they are going to send us to the Chelsea Produce Market. I hate that place. UGH!! It is super tight in there and busy, busy, busy! I guess I will just hope for the best. Once we depart Walmart, whenever they get through with us, they will send us the next load info.

Now all we have to decide is where we are going to have Thanksgiving dinner at. Hmmm So many choices in several different states!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Dad and I finally made it to Denver. Yesterday afternoon around 1230 we got a message that our trailer was on the yard there in Springfield. We checked out of the hotel and headed over to pick it up and head out. We got there and we looked all over and couldn't find it. Finally after checking in the wash bay I found the trailer in the shop. The previous driver was getting messages on the Qualcomm that the trailer was disconnected, even though it wasn't, so they were checking the electrical lines. We got that straightened up and around 1500 we headed out.

We drove us Hwy 13 to get us to Hwy 71 and from there headed north into Kansas City but we first stopped at the Flying J on 71 for a quick sandwich and a restroom stop. Hitting the road again we hit 435 and headed around west to hook up with I-70. We hit the Kansas side and made it to a rest area on the west side of Topeka where we called it a night. I had only gone about 250 miles but I was worn out being off of my normal schedule. We called it a night there and got up this morning around 0500 and were on the road by 0600 to make it into Denver. After several pit stops we stopped in Colby for a quick lunch and were on the road again. It is nice having a load with plenty of time on it and being able to stop when we want for as long as we want! But I was excited to meet back up with J in Denver. I sure have missed him!! We pulled into the Denver yard around 1730 or so and about an hour later J met us there. After hungs and kisses all around we headed out to find a hotel for the night.

After we found a hotel, Motel 6 because we are cheap (haha), we went and grabbed some dinner and then headed to Walmart to pick up a duffle bag for my Dad. It seems he has accumulated more stuff while out on the road with me! Frome there we headed back to the hotel where I could blog and we are headed to bed. We will get up in the morning early enough to get my Dad directions back to the airport and then we are stuck here until Friday morning at 0600 when this load delivers. After that we are headed down to Colorado Springs to see a friend and then we will head back out on the road on Monday morning.

It has been a great week with my Dad and I am sorry to see it end. But I know he is ready to get back home and I am happy to have my baby back on the truck with me!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Well, here we are again. This morning we were available at 0800 so I woke up and called to see if we had a load. My FM told me to check with Drivers Lineup so after getting the direct number from him I gave them a call. It looks like there were over 60 drivers on the yard waiting for a load over the weekend. Today was Monday morning and they were still trying to get the last 8-10 drivers from Saturday out so they still had the drivers from Sunday to work through before they could get to me. I took a chance and decided to to ahead and check out of the hotel on the off chance they may get to me.

We headed to the yard from the hotel and made a quick stop at Waffle House for lunch. When we got to the yard around 1300 I checked in and I had made it up to #22 on the list. Sweet! I was making progress. We chilled out in the truck and finally went to grab some dinner around 1800. At 1900 I checked in and TaDa! They had a load for me! The bad news is that it won't be here at the yard for me to pick up until sometime early tomorrow afternoon. The good news is that it delivers to Denver, where I need to get to, and it doesn't deliver until Friday. So even though I need to be there Wednesday night so my Dad can catch his flight on Thursday morning, we won't be rushed. Now that we know for sure we have a load, we have headed back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep. No sense in hanging out for another 18 hours or longer in the truck when we can be good and comfortable in a hotel.

This has been a really good week though so far on a personal level. I have gotten to spend some really good quality time with my Dad and we have had some great talks. It is just important that he knows that I am always there for him and that whatever decisions he makes in life, I will support him. I only want him to be happy and I love him very much. LOVE YOU DAD!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


We made it back to Texas around 1930 hours on Wednesday night so J was able to make his flight out of Amarillo on Thursday to go hunting. I talked to him today and he hasn't got anything yet but has seen quite a few does and bucks. The scope was mounted a little crooked on his rifle so once he got that fixed they went and got it sighted in right so he should have good luck in the next few days.

I picked my dad up on Friday morning in Lubbock ready to have a fun week together. First order of business was to go to Plainview,TX to pick up an empty. I get there and could only find one empty. I get hooked up to it and realize there is damage to the left front and there was no way I could load this trailer. After calling road assist and reporting the damage to Safety they have me take that trailer BACK to Lubbock to a Wabash dealer and drop it off. Get that done and head back to Plainview in hopes that they now have another empty. Luck was with us and they had one so we hooked up and headed north. Of course the trailer was dirty so we had to stop in Amarillo at the Blue Beacon to get it washed out. By this time it is around 1930 hours and we decide to call it a day. The load we were assigned could be picked up anytime after 1500 on Friday and before 1330 on Saturday. Since we had till the next afternoon we decided to stop there for the night. My dad has a bad back (degenerative disk disease) so we got a really nice spot right up front since I have a handicapped placard for him. Guaranteed the closest I have ever been able to park to the main building of a truck stop. It was really nice when I had to go to the restroom around 0100!!

We got up around 0500 and headed out by about 0600 or so and headed to our pick up in Cactus,TX at the meat plant. We lucked out with a preloaded trailer! While we were in Lubbock before we left out, I had bought a pair of waterproof boots and they came in handy at this meat plant. Where I had to park the trailer had about 4 inches of standing water so I pulled out my new boots and decided to find out if they were indeed waterproof. Turns out they are! I got the trailer parked and then headed over to find my loaded one. Hooked up and then had to take Smokey for a walk. Unfortunately he wouldn't go to the bathroom because I spent more time pulling out those thorns out of his feet than we did actually walking around. I figured we would try some other place. We pulled around to the gate and I had a bad seal on the trailer that wouldn't stay sealed so I ended up waiting another 20 minutes while they had to go to another building to have the paperwork reprinted with the right seal number on it. It just makes sense to me that the guard shack would have a computer hooked up to the main building that they could just go in and make the change and print off a new copy for me. But of course that makes sense and would be too easy so of course they have to do it the hard way. :)

Finally got everything in order and pulled out and headed about 2 miles down to a scale. Ended up and were about 350 pounds heavy on the drives so I pulled up and they 2 guys working the scale said they would slide them for me. I thought that was nice but it was all part of the service. I watched them do the same for the truck in front of me. Regardless it was appreciated! Ok, done and we head out. I get to Amarillo and fill up with fuel and decide to go ahead and rescale on a CAT scale just to make sure. I was good on weight and we were FINALLY able to actually head out of Texas, something we had been trying to do since around 0900 the morning before!

The load we had doesn't have to be in Shelbyville,IN until Tuesday at 1800 so they were having me drop this load off in Springfield,MO since there was so much extra time on it. Since I was in no rush, we stopped in Chandler,OK (or is is Candler?.. Anyway....) and spent the night. They have a little place there in town called the Lincoln Motel and there is a little lot behind it that has room to park a semi. We stopped there around 1730 for the night. We ate at a little mexican food restaurant right across the street for dinner and it was pretty darn good. Came back to the room and watched the last part of Alvin & the Chipmunks, a little news and then hit the sack.

At 0500 we were up and on the road by 0600. Made a few stops along the way. Stopped at Big Cabin to get smokes since they are cheap and have no tax there at the Smoke Shop. Also stopped at the McDonalds in Vinita for a small breakfast and just because it is a cool place that goes over the highway. We finally made it in to Springfield at 1200 but had to wait about 30 minutes to get into the facility. One of the other drivers was telling me they only had one tire guy working and three bays open so that was holding things up. After getting in and dropping off our paperwork, we took the truck and trailer through the wash bay and headed to park the trailer. Got that done and bobtailed around and went inside and showed my Dad around and treated him to a cheeseburger and fries at the cafe.

As we were walking out and I was opening the door to get in my truck, the guy next door hollered at me and it turns out it was Launchpad and Jokester from I hadn't met either of them before so it was nice to visit for a few minutes with them. Luckily Launchpad recognized my truck number and then new for sure it was me when he saw Smokey! From there we made a quick stop at Walmart and then headed over here to the Campus Inn to spend the night. There are a lot of trucks at the yard waiting for a load and I knew we wouldn't get a load today. And since we have to have one to Denver I don't mind waiting. This week is really all about getting to spend time with my Dad. As long as I make enough to cover the truck payment, that is all I care about. So a nice easy week is perfect for me!

Not sure what we are going to do from here. Currently watching the Ford 400 at Homestead and then I think we are going to go have some dinner. He hasn't eaten at a Ruby Tuesday's before so it is either that or the BBQ place down on the corner that is supposed to be good. But a steak does sound really good and I think the best bet for that will be Ruby Tuesday's! Decisions, decisions.....

Saturday, November 8, 2008


YES!! We are out of the Ohio area. I must say that we have been really luck since we came on with Prime in April as far as not having to sit without a load. I guess it was just our time to have to sit.

I woke up yesterday morning and headed out around 0330. I picked up an empty trailer where we were supposed to pick up the day before and headed the truck towards Gary,IN. I got about 30 miles south of there and found a Gas City with truck parking so I parked to wait for a load. I got there around 1000 in the morning and we finally had a load come across around 1345. Head up to Oak Creek,WI which was 141 miles from where we were and be there by 1800 to pick up a load going to Laredo,TX. No problem. That gave me 4 hours to get there. Of course we hit rush hour traffic and at one point it litterally took us an hour to go 2.3 miles. I messaged in and told them we wouldn't make it by 1800. They said just get there by 1900 because that is when they close. Nothing like pressure. We were sweating because we thought it was a live load and we just didn't know if we could make it by even 1900 with the traffic the way it was. Well, it finally cleared out and we made it to the shipper at 1910 hours. When we checked in we were lucky enough to find out it was a pre-loaded trailer so all we had to do was drop and hook. Sweet! We found our trailer and were off to get scaled and hit the road.

I had also talked to our fill-in FM quite a few times during the day. He was trying hard to get us a good paying load so he pre-planned us on a load out of Laredo heading to CA. Our actual drop time is Monday morning in Laredo but they said we can drop it with the forwarder there after hours and early and just give the guard paperwork. So they now have us preplanned on a load heading out of Laredo on Sunday evening heading to Los Angeles,CA with a Tuesday drop at 1400. Problem is that we need to be in Amarillo by Thursday morning for J to catch his flight to go hunting. We were hoping to get into Lubbock on Wednesday afternoon but that isn't going to work. Best we can hope for is to get a load out of the LA,CA area and get into Amarillo late Wednesday night and drop it off to another team to take it to it's final destination. That being the case, it looks like my mom will meet us in Amarillo with our Suburban so J can take it to the airport and then my mom will ride back with me to Lubbock. We have to have the suburban at the airport there in Amarillo because that is where my dad is flying back into when he is finished riding with me for the week and he will need transportation back to Lubbock. Anyway, I think we have it figured out. I am just hoping that we get a load out of LA early so that we can get headed back.

Right now I have stopped in Gurdon,AR where we are going to grab a bite at the restaurant and then head back out. No big rush at this point. Only 660 miles to Laredo but we can't pick up the other load until after 1700 tomorrow. I figure we will get this load in around 0800-0900 in the morning so we will have some time to kill.

On a side note, have you seen that big storm that hit the Dakota's and Nebraska?? I talked to some friends of ours that drive for Schneider and they were stuck in a rest area up there in South Dakota from Wednesday night until this morning! And they only had some chips, cokes and cookies with them. They happened to pull into a rest area with another Schneider truck and the lady was a trainer and had some extra food and was nice enough to share some of what they had. She said she is DEFINITELY making sure they have an emergency food supply in case this happens again. We always have extra food, it is just so essential because you never know when something like this storm could happen! I am just really thankful that they made it to a rest area safely and that they made it through ok. I talked to her this morning and she said the first order of business was to get fuel then a shower then some REAL food to eat!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


If you look at a map you will see that we are only about 5o miles away from where we spent last night. We aren't really happy about it, but not much we can do. And it isn't our dispatchers fault so we can't complain about him either. So here is what happened....

Last night we dropped our load and they gave us another load that left out tonight. I think I told you about it. So last night we spent the night on the west side of Columbus,OH to kill some time. Got up today and had breakfast, a nice hot shower, went and got the trailer washed and headed to Hebron,OH for our pick-up. We got a message this morning that they would load us early, so we got there about 3 hours early. First thing when I get there I realize the place is packed with trailers so I park and walk around to find the Shipping office. I go in and give them my information and they say that our load has already left. Excuse me? What? They seemed a little confused and told me to go find the yard guy and find a place to park the empty then to come back in and we would figure out what is going on. Well, that took about 45 minutes because they had me to to a yard across the street and then we had to wait for them to move other trailers out of the way. Finally get the trailer dropped and head back over. I had called dispatch and told them what was going on and they gave me another order number to give them when I went back inside. When I got inside I gave them that number and they said that it had already left. To make a long story short, apparently it was a fairly small load and they combined it with another load that was going out and gave it to the first Prime driver (that had the other load) and just had him make two stops instead of his original one stop. Now, this wouldn't have been a problem, but the shipper failed to contact Prime and let them know what they had done. Therefore, Prime (and us) thought we still had a load. Prime didn't know that the other driver had both loads.

After getting that straightened out, and me actually trying to calm our fill-in FM down because he was pissed that we lost the load, we decided to head to the TA which was 3 exits down to wait for a new load and to grab some dinner. While we were in there he sent us a message back saying there was basically no freight in Ohio, Michigan or Indiana but for us to head to Gary,IN which is right on the IL border to wait for a load in the morning. We called and told them we would head that way around 0300 because now it it too late to try to find a parking spot. There aren't many truck stops in the Chicago area and that is basically right northwest of Gary,IN since it is right on the border. If we left now we would get in around midnight or a little after. So for now the plan is for me to get up and head out around 0300, after going back to the shipper that our load got cancelled from and picking up an empty trailer, and get in around 0900. This way the truck stops will have cleared out some and if we don't have a load by then, I have a better chance of finding a truck stop to park at and wait.

Not really happy, but you know what they say. Shit happens. Gotta roll with the flow some times! So, I'm rollin........

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


As you can see we apparently made it out here from Salinas,CA. :) It was quite an uneventful trip but both of us felt a cold coming on so it was a long couple of days. I actually started feeling a little bad after we dropped that last flower load in Chicago. I think it was getting in and out of the reefer doing the unloading at night when the temps were in the 40's. Anyway, I got some Dayquil for when we were driving and some Nyquil for at night. It seems like we caught it before it turned into a full blown cold for either of us so we are thankful for that. The last thing we wanted was to get sick when J is going hunting next week and while I will be driving solo with my dad with me. I wouldn't be much company sick and I definitely don't want to get my dad sick!

We ended up with about 12 hours of extra time on this load and we were routed through Springfield,MO so it was a perfect time to get our TWIC stuff done. This is a new Homeland Security program. Anyone entering any water port has to have a Transportation Workers Identification Card. I even noticed a few weeks ago a sign in Baltimore (I believe or maybe it was Boston....anyway) but the sign said "As of November 8 TWIC cards required for entry to Port". And from the sounds of it other companies are looking at this as an industry wide type of identification card and will be requiring it for admittance to their plants. Not that Homeland Security can enforce it in that manner, they can only enforce it on the Ports, but I kind of think it is a good idea. So many places we deliver want some identification, and they won't accept our company ID, so we have to give them our drivers license. I am thinking that if this identification card becomes industry wide, they will start accepting that as ID and not requiring our drivers license. Coming from a law enforcement background, I have issues with giving some random security guard or company worker my drivers license. Do you know how easily your identy can be stolen??

Moving along.... We got that done last night there at Prime and from there we only had 586 miles to go and an appointment at 1730 today. So we ate dinner there and spend the night. I got up and headed out around 0330 this morning. I managed to get us to the Petro at the Indiana/Ohio border where we grabbed some lunch and then J took over driving to get us the last 59 miles. We made it here right on time. Luckily we had been here before so I knew right where to go. While we were sitting here they already sent us another load. I guess things are slowing down a bit because this next load doesn't pick up until tomorrow evening at 1800. When J was looking at it he was hesitant to accept because I mean, really, 24 hours to be reloaded? I know things are slow, but come on. But after looking at it, it pays like $1700 and is under 700 miles. So we decided we didn't mind waiting for that. It will be a quick overnight delivery. Pick up at 1800 and deliver by 1100 the next day. That also puts us in a good area to get something that we can hopefully deliver back to Texas for our time at home. Or at least drop off to another team there in Texas so they can take it to the final destination.

So, for the moment we are just sitting here getting unloaded and then I think we are going to head about 20 miles up the road to a TA that is at exit 70 on I-70 here in Ohio. Then we will just kill some time until our pick up tomorrow evening. Plus they have a truck wash there and I am sure that we will need it after they unload this lettuce we are carrying.

I will post more later. Sorry I haven't been as religious with this as I used to be. Some days I am just so darn tired! But I will try to get better for you guys. I know some of you guys follow this, and I am really glad that you do, so I will be more diligent for you!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Sometimes this seems like our second home we are here so much! This load that we just delivered this morning in Sacramento is a load that we picked up in Bedford,Park,IL. There wasn't much time on the load and even going 65-70 the whole way we only made it 20 minutes early. Usually the way our schedule works I am the one that drives down Donner Pass and into the Sacramento area because we usually have a morning appointment to unload. This time we had an appointment at 2330 hours so J got to drive down it. And I am glad he did! He said it was raining like crazy, water running over the road along with mud coming off the hills AND when he was at the top, it was snowing! Yikes! I do believe that winter is making an appearance. Anyway, when he got there and got loaded, we still had not received our next work assigment. Since FedEx was closed basically, except for inbound trailers being dropped, there was no one there so we decided to stay parked there for a while. A little bit later our next work assigment came across but there was no appointment time and they couldn't set an appointment until morning when the businesses opened. Therefore, we decided to stay parked there for the remainder of the night. The drivers lounge was unlocked and we had access to a restroom so that was all we needed.

Around 0700 I got up and headed towards Salinas where we were picking up at Dole. I still didn't have an appointment but figured I better head that way in case I had received a message with an appointment right when they opened. When I was about 50 miles away from the shipper I received an appointment time of 1200. That was good and gave me a few extra hours. My first stop in Salinas was at Valley Truck Stop where I had hoped to get the trailer washed out. It was fairly clean, but you never know how picky they will be on a produce load. Turns out the truck wash was closed. So much for getting it washed. Then I proceed down the block and across the street to the Pilot where a much needed shower was to be had. I woke J up and asked him if he wanted to get up and shower and he said he would shower after we picked the load up. Inside I go and about 30 minutes later I come out feeling much better!

Now I head over to Dole and figure I will wait until our appointment there. They are usually busy with trucks lined up waiting to get loaded. I was surprised to find only one other truck, a Prime truck, there at the facility. Not a single other truck. And I was there an hour early. At the guard shack she gives me a door and tells me to go on in to get loaded. Awesome! At noon, which is when the actual appointment time was, I was done and pulling out of the dock. Slid the tandems, hit the scale and headed back to the Pilot for J to get his shower and to fuel and scale on their CAT Scale.

I pull into the fuel aisle happy to see that there is still plenty of parking spots. As I was fueling a TrailLiner truck pulls through and the lady rolls down the window and asks how we like Prime. They are thinking of switching companies when her husbands contract is up with them. We talk a few minutes and then decide to go grab a bite of lunch and keep talking with them. So we headed across the street to the Taqueria and had a really nice visit with a really nice couple. I hope we answered all of their questions, but I am sure they will have more. They are doing the right thing though and talking to everyone they can about Prime. I gave them our information and phone number though so they could contact us if they have any further questions. I hope they call and keep in touch. We really enjoyed visiting with them. And they have the cutest little dog named Tucker that Smokey liked. They played for a while but we didn't let them off their leashes and they got tangled up a few times. Tucker is a Bijon and Yorkie mix. He is adorable!

Right now we are headed south on the 101 and will be cutting over to Barstow so we can take I-40 over to Springfield,OH. I-70 is shorter but they want us taking the southern route. We are also going to stop in Springfield,MO at the yard and get this TWIC stuff taken care of. I have to call in the morning and have our FM set up an appointment so we can get that done on Tuesday afternoon. Luckily we have some extra time on this load and can get it done.

That is what is up with us. Just a little less than two weeks until J goes hunting and my Dad rides with me for the week. I am so excited! It will be a lot of fun getting to spend some quality Father and Daughter time together. And he can see what J and I do for a living and then I can impress him with my ability to drive one of these huge monsters without the aid of a phone book to reach the pedals and without wrecking! :)