Friday, December 25, 2009

Elm Creek,NE

Merry Christmas everyone! I wanted to get on here real quick and say that to everyone. I hope each and every one of you out there has had a wonderful day with family and friends. And if you are like we are, stuck in a truck stop somewhere, I hope that you at least are safe and warm and were able to talk with your family today.

We took that load out of Denver and delivered it and then got another load going back to Denver. We dropped that trailer at our yard there and then were dispatched to Schuyler,NE to pick up our next load. Last night around midnight or so the high winds had J pulling off the roads into the Bossleman's here in Elm Creek. Along with the high winds came snow and now we have been here for close to 24 hours. We knew we would spend Christmas out on the road, but we didn't plan on being stranded in a blizzard!

We are supposed to have this load picked up by 0800 in the morning but that isn't going to hapen. Although we only have about 130 miles to go, we aren't going anywhere until the wind dies down and we have some visability. So today we enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner that included a tuna sandwich and Fritos. YUMMY! Ok, I love tuna sandwiches, but not my ideal Christmas dinner. But I can't complain. I got to spend the day with the person I love the most in this whole world. What more could a girl ask for?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oak Grove,MO

Yay! We made it out of Denver after a false start. Yesterday morning we were available at 0700. Even though we were fairly sure we wouldn't have a load right then, we went ahead and got up and got the truck loaded and headed out from Colorado Springs up to Denver. Since we had the truck in the shop, we didn't have a trailer, and we knew that we would have to go back to the yard in Denver to get one.

We got up to Denver around 0930 and still didn't have a load so we headed to one of our favorite restaurants, McCoy's, to have some breakfast. Yummy Huevos Rancheros with green chile. Delicious! About the time we were done my phone rings and it is our FM asking if we had an empty. I tell him we don't but we are only about 3 miles from the yard and are about to head over there. He tells e to let him know as soon as I have an empty so he can dispatch me on a load. It is starting to look good for a load so we book it over to the yard, hook up to an empty, send in a message letting him know what trailer we have, and we wait. And wait. And wait.

Finally around 1400 I get the load assignment. We desperately needed fuel, so with a current trip number in hand, I stop at the TA to get fuel and then wake J up to let him know he is about to start his shift. He gets up and I drive the remaining 5 miles to Safeway where we are picking up, which is there in Denver. I checked into the gate and start heading around towards the back to the shipping office and my qualcomm beeps. Wouldn't you know it? The message says that our load was cancelled. Just great! Off we go back to the yard to wait on another dispatch.

It only took about an hour and a half but we finally got another dispatch. We had to deadhead 300 miles over to Kansas for a load going 600 miles to Montgomery City,MO. This load was supposed to be on a pre-loaded trailer so J takes off to KS and I hit the sack. J managed to get the load picked up and get scaled then he parked so I could get a few hours of non moving sleep. This load wasn't scheduled to deliver until 0500 on Wednesday so we knew we had extra time. Once I got up and got on the road today, I got a message from our FM saying that we can drop this load anytime. That works for us, so I told him our eta would be 1900 tonight.

I was quite surprised when around noon we got a message for a pre-plan. We don't get those a lot. But I think with Christmas right around the corner, a lot of places are loading up all the trailers they have so they can afford to take the day off. The plan is for us to drop this then head over to St Louis to pick up another load that is going to Aurora,CO. Now for the bad news. Have you been watching the weather? Major snow storm hitting the mid-west and that means we will have to drive right through the middle of it on I-70 to get back to Denver. YUCK!! And to think we have been pretty lucky so far this winter not hitting snow but once! I guess we will just take is slow and take our time, as we usually do when we hit bad weather. Keep your fingers crossed that we make it safe and sound!

I did ask our FM about a load out of Denver. The pre-plan we have delivering in Aurora delivers on the 24th, Christmas Eve. I was worried about delivering and then getting stuck there until the 26th when people are back to work. He didn't seem to worried about finding a load. There are a lot of drivers going home for Christmas so he thinks we should be able to get a load off of our yard or get another load that is pre-loaded somewhere. I hope that is the case so we can keep moving. We have plans to go to Lubbock on the 29th to have a late Christmas with family, so I don't want to be sitting for two days the week before we go home!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Denver,CO

We have been running fairly hard and have had some problems with the truck since I posted last. On top of that, I have just been in a funk and haven't posted lately. I apologize to you guys and wanted to let you know that we are indeed alive and well.

Too much has happened since I last posted so I will give you the short version. Our of Pittston we got a load out to California. We delivered on a Saturday, got our next load Sunday afternoon. Got to our first of two pick-ups on Monday morning for our scheduled appointment time of 0800 and they didn't have the produce for us until 2300 Monday night. That meant we couldn't get our second pick-up until Tuesday morning. Managed to get that and we headed out to Kirkwood,NY. This was the weekend that Flagstaff and Colorado and the Great Lakes region was getting tons of snow. We ended up and went the long route and made it to delivery on time with about 30 minutes to spare.

From there we drove down to Pittston to get our trailer an alignment. No freight in the area so we dropped the trailer and bobtailed to Indiana to pick up a new trailer from the Wabash factory in Lafayette. Then drove back to Ohio to pick up a load going to Atlanta. Delivered in Atlanta and it took FedExalmost 12 hours to get us unloaded. From there we picked up in Atlanta but we took that load to a drop lot for another driver and then went back to the same place and picked up another load that we took to Sterling,IL. From Sterling we drove up to Sturtevant,WI and picked up a hazmat load that we delivered down to Brownsville,TX. Delivered that and then we had the air dryer go out on the truck. Road assist sent someone out that by-passed the air dryer so that we could keep going for the moment.

From there we got an overnight load up to Garland,TX. Delivered that and then they sent us up to Waldron,AR to pick up a Tyson load going to Grandview,WA. Unfortunately at this time we were out of hours and couldn't make it all the way to Grandview,WA and be ontime. What we did was take the load as far as Denver,CO were we dropped it at our yard. Since we were out of hours this was the perfect time to put the truck in the Freightliner shop to get the air dryer fixed. We have a friend down in Colorado Springs, so when we dropped the trailer last night, he drove up to Denver to pick us and and we have been at his house since last night.

About an hour ago we found out that the truck was ready so J and Kevin just took off to head back up to Denver to pick up the truck and head back down to the Springs. I at the moment am finishing up our laundry so that we can load the truck back up when they get back so we can head back out in the morning. We said that we would be available around 0700 in the morning except that we aren't going to have a trailer. We will probably have to drive back up to Denver in the morning to get a trailer, unless they can find us one somewhere down here in the Springs. But if we waited until our laundry was all done, that would be too late for Kevin to take us back up to the truck since he has to work at 0600 in the morning. Meh, we will deal with finding a trailer in the morning. LOL

So that is where we stand at the moment. We will only be back out on the road for about 9 more days before we go to Lubbock for a late Christmas celebration with family. Then we will keep our fingers crossed that we can stay busy through the slow season of January through March!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pittston,PA

Hello there from a nice comfy hotel room here in Pittston. We have been pretty busy since Thanksgiving and running ourselves ragged so I haven't posted. I will give you the shortest rundown of what we have been doing.

After my last post, we continued on to our drop that load in Lewiston,ME. We made great time and J was able to get us there a few hours before appointment time. He got us docked and then woke me up so that he could head to bed. Around 1000 hrs local, I was unloaded and headed out except that I had half a pallet of persimmons that they rejected. After placing a call in to our claims department I headed down to the closest truck stop to wait for word back on what they wanted me to do with the product. It took several hours but they finally told me to dump the product and sent me our next load. Unfortunately, getting rid of that many cases of persimmons is easier said than done.

Luckily we didn't have to pick up our next load until 2200 hours that night (Sunday) so we had some time to figure out what to do. I let J sleep until around 1500 then we got up and figured out what to do. Where we were parked would not let us dump them in their dumpster so we had to move on to find another place. We found a service plaza in Kennebunk,ME and the attendants there said that we could dump them in their dumpster so we lucked out.

As soon as we did that, we headed to Haverhill,MA to pick up an overnight load going down to Jersey City. This was a nice easy load with only 266 miles to run overnight. On the down side, J ran out of hours before midnight so he had to park for a while. He got me up the next morning and I drove the last 90 miles or so into Jersey City to make that delivery. We got there on time, even though you know how much we hate going into that area, and we made it to a dock in pretty short order. It did take a while to get unloaded, but once I got my paperwork back I found out that this load also had product that was rejected. This time is was 68 cases of Pillsbury busquits. Only a few of the cans had exploded but they refused all the cases on that pallet. Soooo, here we go again. This is one of the reasons that I don't like picking up pre-loaded trailers. When we do that we don't know what condition the product is in.

Anyway, once I called claims, yet again, they tell me to take the product to a Salvation Army in Perth Amboy,NJ. Talk about some small streets and low clearances! We even had to park in the middle of the road blocking traffic with cars having to go in the oncoming lane to get around us while we were unloading. But it was worth it to know that at least this product was going to people that could use it instead of having to throw it in a dumpster. When we left, we managed to follow our directions, which were wrong, and had to turn around at the entrance to an apartment complex because the road dead-ended. Whew, that wasn't fun! But we got turned around and from there we had to go find a trailer wash.

We managed to find the trailer wash and get that done and then we headed over to Tropicana where we were told to drop our trailer. Finally! We were getting a few days off! Well, only because we had to put the truck in the shop. LOL So we drove to Pittston,PA where we have a yard and put the truck in the shop. We were having problems with the air compressor. When we got here we found out that we couldn't get the truck in until this morning, so last night we checked in to a hotel and this morning J took the truck up there and waited while they got it fixed. Not knowing when we checked in how long it would take to get the truck fixed, we had gotten the room for two nights. So instead of heading out this afternoon when the truck was ready, we decided to stay until in the morning. This way we both will get a restart on hours and we needed a rest.

Now we are all rested up and ready to go back out until we take a few days off right after Christmas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Flagstaff,AZ

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there! This has been the third year in a row that we have spent Thanksgiving out here on the road. It really isn't as bad as you may think. I would much rather spend Christmas with my family so that is the holiday that we try to get home for.

For those of you that haven't been reading my blog for very long, Thanksgiving is a really unusual holiday for us out here on the road. Thanksgiving of 2007 found us stuck up in Bozeman,MT where we had blown the transmission in our truck. We were stuck there and the people that worked at the hotel invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner at one of their houses. That year we were especially thankful for the kindness of strangers inviting us into their homes to share the holiday with them. If you get a chance, go back in my blog in the archives to November of 2007 and read the entries around Thanksgiving. It is way to much to type on here, but it is worth the read. They were extremely nice people that I still think of till this day.

Thanksgiving of 2008 also found us in Montana. This time however, we were about 100 miles west of Bozeman. I was going to try to make it to Bozeman so we could eat there, but I ran out of time. At that point I was beginning to think that we were about to start a tradition of spending every Thanksgiving out on the road in the state of Montana!

This year however, we ended up eating our Thanksgiving turkey dinner in Flagstaff,AZ. We stopped at Little America and had a wonderful turkey dinner. We have eaten there before and knew that they had great food. It did end our streak of spending Thanksgiving in Montana though darn it!

This year I am thankful for a lot of things. I am thankful for my husband, my wonderful step children, my family, our friends, our jobs and even my blogger friends that post on here and keep up with our travels. You really make me smile when I see a comment on a blog entry. :) It has been a tough year, financially, as it has been for so many people. The economy is in the toilet but I am hoping that things are starting to look up. Even with the economy the way it is, this past year we have been able to take two wonderful vacations and we purchased our houseboat that we are working on when we have the time. And money. LOL Eventually that will be our residence so it is a project that we have put a lot of time and love into.

This year our son has finished his schooling in the Navy. He is on break now but he reports to his permanent Naval Base the first week of December. Our daughter graduated high school and has started college with the hopes of getting into a Nursing program. We are so proud of them, as any parent would be.

I hope each and everyone of you out there has taken this time today to reflect on this past year and let those around you know how thankful you are that they are in your lives. I hope you had a wonderful day and I will update you more on our progress. As for now, we are off to Maine!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menomonie,WI

Another day down! Still not feeling really well, but I am feeling a little better, so that counts for something.

Last night we delivered our top secret load to the airport and then headed to the Flying J just south of Milwaukee,WI to spend the night. We got our next load right after we dropped at the airport and we saw that we were able to sleep in a little this morning, so that was great news.

Knowing that I could get some extra sleep, I set my alarm last night to wake up this morning at 0700. We went ahead last night and idled the truck since it was quite cold outside. We have the auxilary heater in the truck, but it is extremely hard to regulate that thing. It goes straight to about 95 degrees in nothing flat and then it is just miserably hot. Since we both haven't been feeling better, we decided to idle so that we could control the temperature in the truck a little better and get a good nights sleep.

With that in mind, I headed to bed at around 2130 last night and woke up feeling a little more refreshed. My nose was a little more stuffy this morning, but I felt better than I did the day before. I ran inside to do my business and grab something to drink then came back out and took Smokey for his morning walk. Since we were parked at the Flying J, and they aren't a fuel stop for us, I had to drive across the street to the Pilot to get fuel. By 0810 I was driving out and hitting the highway.

The load we picked up today in Menomonie,WI had an appointment time of 1430 and it was 267 miles away. I ended up and arrived there at about 130o and they were able to get me right in to a dock and they started loading me. It was a tiny place in that there wasn't a lot of room in front of the docks to maneuver around. They had a big grassy area about 15 feet wide that went to the road with no curb around it. It sure would make it easier for us trucks if they took out that grass and paved that area. It took me several tries to get the truck straight with the dock because I didn't have much room up front. I was thinking that maybe it was just me having a hard time until the next truck came in and had the same problem. It wouldn't have surprised me if it had just been me since you never seem to be able to do anything 100% when you aren't feeling well. So either it was just a hard back, or the other driver wasn't feeling well either. haha

Anyway, we got that loaded, went and scaled and grabbed some lunch. We were a little heavy on the trailer tandems so we had to slide the tandems one notch to get legal. We didn't have much leeway since we are going to Victorville,CA with this load and we can't have the trailer any further back than the 6th hole to begin with. But we got it all set and took off.

As soon as we hit the road I pulled up the National Weather Service website to check the weather. We were routed to drop down to I-80, then take I-76 into Denver, then I-70 over to UT and from there hit I-15 down to Victorville. When I checked the Colorado website there was snow up on I-70 and it was not looking good. The road around Eisnehower Tunnel was snowpacked. Not good. So I look at an alternate route, taking I-80 all the way over to Salt Lake City,UT and then hitting I-15 to go south. It was only about 70 miles further but there was snow, icy roads and high winds across Wyoming. Ok, that doesn't look good either.

Well, I decide to check my last alternative which was to hit I-35 in Minneapolis,MN and take it all the way down to I-40 in Oklahoma City,OK and then hit I-40 across to I-15. This route is about 120 miles further. However, there are less mountains, which means much better fuel mileage, and no bad weather. We still may spend a little more on fuel going the extra miles versus what we would spend pulling the mountains in Colorado or Wyoming, but we decided we would rather do that than to have to fight the snow.

Now that we have a plan, we are pointing the truck in that direction and off we go. We are currently trying to see if we can drop this load around 1500 on Wednesday there at the receiver in Victorville,CA or if we are going to have to stay with it and wait until the appointment on Friday morning. Our hope is that we can drop it on Wednesday and that we will be able to get something out of CA that evening so that we won't be stuck somewhere over Thanksgiving. We really want to keep moving until Christmas or New Years. So we will see what happens. We may get there and deliver and not be able to get anything until Friday so we may be stuck anyway. But I guess it is better to get there and be ready for another load just in case we luck into something.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Franklin,IN

Haven't posted in a few days because I have just been feeling icky. I have been arguing with a cold for the better part of 4 days and so far the cold seems to be winning. I have been running a pretty low graded fever for about 3 days and that just zapps all your energy. Thank goodness it hasn't gone into my chest yet. I always seem to get upper-respiratory infections so I seem to be holding that off at least.

When I last posted we were heading to Tolleson,AZ which is a suburb of Phoenix. We made that delivery and from there I went to Yuma,AZ to pick up a load of lettuce that we delivered in Springfield,OH. Now we are on another load but I can't tell you where we are picking up or where we are going because it is another one of those high value top secret loads. :) Needless to say, people will be happy though when we get this delivered!

From what Michelle posted on my last entry, my old bosses daughters funeral is set for today. It is going to be an extremely rough day for her and all of my old co-workers. Thank you for those that have posted and to those that didn't but have had that family in your thoughts and prayers. It is appreciated.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brazil,IN

I covered some ground today! I'm worn out!

Ok, so after Iposted yesterday, I sat for a while there at the receiver, US Cold Storage in Bethlehem,PA while my travel agent, aka Dispatcher, decided what he was going to do with me. Since they didn't have any empty trailers there, I was stuck until they emptied one or until dispatch sent me somewhere else to go get one.

Finally around 1000 hrs, I get a message from dispatch to go about 60 miles to pick up a trailer, preferably an older one that still runs when the back doors are open, for a load he was looking at giving me. As soon as he sent me that message, the yark jockey came over and let me know that door 46 was empty and I could have that trailer. Sweet! So I go over and hook up to the trailer, do my pre-trip on it and pull out away from the dock and parked next to the curb in their yard. As I was parking there, I got my new work assignment. They wanted me to go about 720 miles for right at $600. I sent a message saying, "Under a $1 a mile???" to which I get a response of "That is the normal rate from this shipper".

I decide to run into the restroom before I commit to the load because I am seriously debating refusing that load. On top of the crappy pay, it is also a hazmat load. When I get back to the truck I am about to send a message a message refusing the load and I get a message back saying "Hold tight. Don't leave yet. Checking on another load". Good thing since I wasn't going to take that one. LOL

A few minutes later I get a new work assignment picking up at the place I am currently at, US Cold Storage, at 1400. THAT is more like it! It goes 2300 miles to Phoenix,AZ and pays about 4.5 times as much as the first one. Momma is happier with that now. :) So I send in a message accepting that load. After I do that I go find the yard jockey and tell him that I don't need the trailer anymore since I am picking up the trailer that is being loaded in dock 49. He has me go drop it and then as soon as I pull away from my empty I see that he has told another Prime driver, who was also waiting, that he could now have that trailer.

After I got that all figured out, I headed over and backed under the trailer in door 49 and sat there to wait for them to get it loaded. Since they knew I was there waiting, they got it loaded pretty quickly and I was out of there a good two hours before my actual appointment time.

I headed out with plans of stopping in Carlisle,PA for J and I to switch. He woke up a bit before we got there and we came up with a plan. We went in and got a shower, ate dinner and did laundry. Then we decided to stay there the night. We are both low on hours. We figured if we stayed there the night, he would get a restart on his hours. Then hopefully when we deliver this load, I will be able to get a restart on my hours then we will be good to go for a while.

Having made that decision, I got a good night of non-moving sleep and got up this morning at 0230 and by about 0330 I was headed out. We stopped and switched in Brazil,IN which gave me a 590 mile day. I could have made 600, but I really had to go to the restroom! :)

Currently the weather is rainy and dreary here on the eastern side of IL that we just now crossed into. I need to go check the weather and see what is in store for J tonight while he is driving!

Also, not that anyone that reads this will know this person, except Michelle, but I would like to ask for prayers, thoughts, well wishes, whatever it is that you do. I found out from Michelle this morning that my old boss, Brenda, lost her daughter last night in a traffic accident. I believe her daughter, Allison, has just graduated or was about to graduate, from college. It looks like she swerved to miss a deer and lost control of her vehicle. She was driving alone and a passerby saw the wreck after it happened and called 911. Brenda is single, this was her only child and she lost her mother this past year. I just ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I can't even begin to imagine what it wouold be like to lose a child. Especially your only child. This has been a very tough year for her and she has so much more to go through. So thank you in advance.

As a side note, because of what happened to her daughter, DO NOT SWERVE to miss an animal. NEVER do that. Hit the animal. I know it is reflex or instinct to want to swerve and not hit them, but don't do it. Your car insurance will replace or repair the damage to your car. Your life insurance will NOT replace your life. Once you are dead, you are dead. That is the cold hard facts. If you are ever in that position where an animal runs out in front of you, take your foot off the gas pedal, apply the brakes GENTLY, aim for the opposite lane if it is clear and you are able to, but don't jerk the wheel. If you see that you are going to hit them, just hold steady, lock your elbows if you need to so that you don't swerve, and just continue to slow down at a steady rate. You don't want to slam on your brakes because you have to remember there may be traffic behind you. I have hit a deer before, I felt so bad, but I just plowed the poor thing over. There was only going to be one of us survive that encounter and I was going to make sure that it was me. Ok, end of my preaching. Just don't swerve!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bethlehem,PA

After sitting for a few hours at the Pride Truckstop in Chicopee,MA on Saturday afternoon, we finally got a load. We considered refusing it, but since it was a Saturday, if we refused that one we probably wouldn't get loaded again until Monday. So we went ahead and took it.

We had to deadhead all the way up to Easton,ME which was about 450 miles. UGH! We headed out from the Pride Truckstop around 1700 hours. By around 2045 we had made it to Kennebunk,ME where we stopped for the night. The rain that was hitting the NE had made it to Maine and we were right smack in the middle of it. There were cars all over the road. The road is also that really black asphalt with faded pain so it was really hard to see the lines. Since we knew the trailer was preloaded and not due at the destination until 1900 on Monday, we decided to just stop and I would take off Sunday morning when we could see.

I got up and hit the road about 0530 (o630 local) and it was just starting to get light outside. I wouldn't say the sun was about to come out because we didn't see it all day. Pretty much like the past two days. I got about 10 miles up on I-95 and they had two of the three lanes shut down due to water being over the road. A good 4 inches from flooding. I would bet that at some point Saturday night they completely closed that road due to high water. Probably a good thing that we stopped.

Around 1230 local I made it into Easton. I checked in and was told where to pick up the trailer. But first I had to go to Danny's and get a trailer washout for the trailer we were dropping. Super nice guy but he lived down a dirt road. For a few minutes I was wondering if I had missed a turn and was lost! But I topped a hill and there was his sign. It is a good thing that he only does washouts, because if he did truck washes, the trucks would be dirty again before you could hit the highway!

Got that done and went back and dropped the trailer and headed back towards I-95 to get scaled. I was at an even 79,000 lbs and had to slide the tandems back two holes to get legal. It was all good so we were ready to roll. From there J took over and off we went!

J got us to a Service Plaza in CT about 15 miles north of the NY state line. I took over there and had J stay up with me until I got through The Bronx and Newark and managed to get on I-78 without getting lost. It is such a cluster through there! I haven't actually gotten lost going through there before, but I did have to take the exit for US-1/US-9/I-78 and if you read my blog, you know that anytime I get near that stupid US1/US9 that I will take a wrong turn and get lost!

I made it through though and made it to our receiver, US Cold Storage here in Bethlehem,PA around 0600 this morning. As it turns out, they do not have any empty trailers here. I was told that as soon as they get them empty that they are reloading them to go back out. But one Prime bobtail that I was parked to had a yard jockey come tell him about a trailer that was empty that he could have. So I don't know what the deal is. Dispatch told me to stay here and we an see if they can get us a load coming out of here, which would be nice since I wouldn't have to go hunt down an empty. Or the other option is that the yard jockey may come tell me when they get an empty and I may take it and run. Maybe we will just have to see which comes first?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hatfield,MA

Boy, what a dreary rain filled morning I woke up to today! UGH!!! After a week on the cruise I am NOT liking this weather! LOL

When J took over last night he only had 567 miles to go to our receiver. I sent off for directions and wrote them down for him so that he would know where he was going. The directions also said that we could park there overnight so we didn't have to worry about finding a place here in Massachusettes to park since we knew we would get there long before our 0700 appt. As it turns out, J got us in around 0230, even though he had to deal with driving in the rain the last 150 miles or so.

Around 0700 they had him back up to a door and since he couldn't hang anymore, he woke me up and he crawled into bed. C&S Wholesale Grocers, where we delivered at, is a busy little place. I don't think they even started unloading me until around 0800. But by about 0915 they were done and I went in and got my paperwork.

Since I figured we wouldn't have a load right away, I pulled back around the building to the staging area and sent my depart message and then took Smokey for a walk. I waited about an hour with no message from dispatch other than sales was trying to book some loads. So after that hour I decided to move about 25 miles south down to the Pride Travel Center off x6 on I-90. The directions to the receiver said the lot was only open till 1300 so I knew I would have to move before then. I figured the sooner tha I moved, the better chance I had of getting a parking spot as close to the truck stop as I could. Normally that isn't a big deal, but when it is pouring rain outside, I want as close as I can get.

I probably do need to go do laundry, but I am just not motivated to get out in this rain! Maybe I will get around to it if the rain slacks off here a little later. It is about 1230 local time, on a Saturday, so I am really beginning to wonder if they are going to find us a load today. Or over the weekend for that matter. I hope we aren't stuck here until Monday. Yuck! Keep your fingers crossed that we get moving soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Girard,OH

Folks, I don't have much to report today! J got me to a rest area about 50 miles west of the IN state line just outside of Chicago and that is where I took over.

We have plenty of time on this load, about an extra 30 hours. Yesterday our fill-in FM said that he would try to get the appt moved up for us. Finally around 1200 today we got a message saying that they will take us at 0700 in the morning instead of having to wait until 0500 on Sunday morning. So that makes us really happy. Right now it is about 1540 hours and we only have about 550 miles left to to so it should be a breeze. The directions say the yard is open and we can park overnight so we are going to head on in and see if by some chance they can even unload us early.

The one BIG thing I do need to report today though is that our son Justin graduated from his final class in the Navy before being assigned to his permanent submarine. He graduated from Nuclear Missle Tech school, meaning that he will be working on the missles on a submarine. He will have some much needed time off to spend with family and his fiance before he reports to his base on December 9th up in Bangor,WA. I can't even begin to describe how proud of him we are. For those readers that are ex-military or have children in the military, you know exactly how we feel. He had grown up and matured so much in the last year and a half since he joined. He went in as a boy and we have watched him become a fine young man. It is amazing to watch that transformation in your children!

So that is where we are right now. We are going to be out on the road until around Christmas and then we will take about 10 days off to spend with family in Lubbock and then go to Las Vegas to ring in the New Year with our friends there. IF we can get a load to Vegas that is in between Christmas and then. If not, then we will just either hit the road again or stay in Lubbock. We don't want to drive that far unless we get paid to!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Greenwood,NE

Sorry it has been a few days but as soon as we left out the damn charger for the computer went on the fritz! UGH! It was torture not being able to get on the laptop. Luckily we both have the internet on our phones, but you can only do so much on a phone. No way would I try to blog from it! LOL

Time to catch you up. After making the local delivery we got a pick up in Fort Worth at Kraft going to Denver. We picked it up on Monday evening and off we went. It had a Thursday delivery but it is only around 700 miles to Denver. No way we needed all the time they were giving us. We were able to get them to move our appointment up and we made it into Denver around 1230 on Wednesday.

I sent our depart and we headed to our yard there to grab a shower. While we were enrt they sent us a message to deadhead to Salt Lake City,UT and they would load us out of there. So they got a nice message back from me saying that we weren't deadheading that far without a load assignment. They like to deadhead us there and then try to find something once we get there. I'm not driving 600 miles without a load. Plus, I want to make sure it is worth it to drive that far just to pick up a load. When we came back out from our showers, they had given us a load up to Rexburg, ID to pick up the next morning.

Here is what is irritating. If we had just driven to Salt Lake we would have gotten there and then maybe been assigned this load. However, we would have driven about 200 miles out of the way to get there. So I am glad that I told them we werent moving until we had a load picking up that direction. What could have been about a 770 mile trip ended up being only a 580 mile trip. Roughly. You have to be smarter than the average bear when dealing with dispatch and sales. I know they are just doing their jobs, but my bottom line isn't their priority. But it is mine.

We headed out and J got us into Rock Springs,WY where I took over. We headed up US191 then took US89 over to Alpine,WY where we hooked into US26 that took us into ID and our destination. It was an extremely windy road for about a third of the way. I figured it was a beautiful drive, but it was dark when I passed through there so I couldn't tell.

I was about 30 minutes late to my first pickup because I had run into some ice on the road over in WY and had slowed down some. But I made it there by 0730 local time and was loaded pretty fast. From there I drove the 14 miles to our second and last pickup and repeated the process. I was talking to a Stevens Transport driver while getting loaded and we were both headed back to the East Coast. He wasn't familiar with the area and mentioned that as soon as he was loaded that he was going to figure out how to get out of the area. I knew where to go since I was backtracking the route I had driven in. Once I got scaled and had my paperwork in hand, I hollered at him on the CB and he followed my lead. I know I looked smart leading the way, but really, it is easy when you have just driven that route. Oh, and a GPS is nice. :) LOL I did lose him somewhere along the way because he pulled over in the mountains. Probably had to take a break for the restroom or something. But we stopped in Alpine,WY to get a coke and I saw him make the turn onto the right road. So I felt good that I had at least helped him get to the right road.

We really enjoyed the drive back through that part of ID and WY. The portion that I missed that morning was beautiful drive coming back during the daylight. I wouldn't mind living up there. The road we were on followed the Snake River and we drove right along the Palisades Reservoir and Palisades Dam. Beautiful, beautiful country.

I had been up since around 0130 on Wednesday morning to drive us into WY and by the time we got back to Rock Springs,WY (J was driving by this time) it was almost 2000 hrs. I was exhausted. We stopped at the Flying J and grabbed some dinner and then I hit the sack.

J woke me up this morning in Sydney,NE where he had stopped at around 0300. He stopped at a Walmart and had went in and was able to find a charger with the right connection for the laptop. YES!! Then he chilled and watched a movie and let me sleep in. He got me up at 0600 and we meandered around Walmart doing some grocery shopping. By 0720, we had the truck loaded back up and I was pulling out of the parking lot.

Since I hit the road so late this morning, I only managed a mere 363 miles. Yep, I was slacking! But we have been driving 55 mph since we picked up this load because it is heavy. Our fuel mileage has sucked since we got the 8 new tires. I really wasn't sure if it was the new tires or the winter blend fuel. Or maybe just a combination of things. But going 55 mph now, we are averaging 7.52 for the whole trip since we left Denver to go pick it up. So I don't know what the deal is. But I am happy!

Today I stopped at the Greenwood Travel Plaza in Greenwood,NE on I-80 at x420. From here we only have 1409 miles to go to our destination in Hatfield,MA and this load isn't due until Sunday at 0500. Sheesh. This is Thursday. We could easily be there by around midnight tomorrow night. That is FRIDAY night. We are going to see if we can get the delivery appointment moved up. If not, then we will head on in and we will both be able to get a restart on our hours.

That is where we stand folks! More to come tomorrow!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fort Worth,TX

We FINALLY made it back out on the road today! We got up this morning and were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Which makes me wonder. Has anyone actually ever seen a chicken running around with it's head cut off? Hmmm

So we were up and on the road at 0640 this morning to go pick up the truck from our storage facility. Once I dropped J off there he headed to pick Smokey up from the kennel and I headed back to Michelle's to finish rounding our stuff up. J got there about 30 minutes behind me and we got everything back in the truck and we were off. Our first stop was over in Saginaw,TX to pick up a loaded trailer so we could make a local delivery. We made it, just barely, but then sat for about three and a half hours while they unloaded us. That is one of the longest unloads we have had in a while.

As I was sitting there we got a pre-plan which has us picking up at Kraft here in Ft Worth tonight at 1800. It is only about 3.5 miles away so we will start that direction in about 30 minutes. This load will be going to Denver,CO and we will deliver it tomorrow afternoon at 1400. It is nice to get a short run out of here because it will make our payroll cutoff tomorrow afternoon. After that, who knows where we will be going!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cruise Pics 2

Progreso,MX



One of my favorite pics of the sunset


No mas Tequila!!


Acting like tourists LOL Cozumel,MX


Taken from Senor Frogs in Cozumel,MX





Cruise/Halloween Pictures

Joe looking all groovy....Love the wig!


Our Cabin. We upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. Super nice.


Another view of bed and sitting area.


Michelle, Joe and Me. Rocking the disco look!



Standing out on the balcony before we left Galveston.





Allen,TX

I have COMPLETELY been slacking! But I have been thoroughly enjoying myself. We just came back from a cruise and I'm so relaxed it isn't even funny. I think if I stood up right now that I would just fall down like a wet noodle. And I'm not kidding!

I am going to post some photos that we took while we were on the cruise. We left on Oct 31st so there were a ton of people dressed up for Halloween. We went with friends and we decided to go with the 70's Disco as our costumes. OMG they were hilarious! I think you will enjoy those pics when I get them on here. I will probably add another post with just the pics.

Tonight we are going to go to the Guns N Hoses fights. They have it annually here in Mesquite,TX. It is boxing between the Police Departments (Guns) and the Fire Departments (Hoses) in the area. If anyone is in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, it is at Resistol Arena I believe in Mequite. It is always a lot of fun. I will also get to see quite a few of my officers that I used to work with that I haven't seen since we have been out on the road so it will be great seeing them and getting to catch up. I also know of one of my officers that is boxing so I hope he kicks some serious Fire Department ass! LOL!!

We are planning on heading back out on Monday. Last time we went on a cruise we were ready on Sunday morning but the didn't have any loads over the weekend. We figured no since in getting all ready just to sit and wait so we decided to be available on Monday. I will let you know on Monday where we are headed!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It has been a while. With everything we have going on right now, I just keep forgetting to get on here and keep my peeps updated.

Ok, so after we delivered in Fort Smith, we had the privilege of deadheading 500 miles up to Crete,NE for a meat load. Nice. We hit some awful rain around Joplin and pulled it over for a few hours. We didn't make it there by the time they wanted us there, but it was a pre loaded trailer so it didn't really matter when we got there. But we managed to get there and get it picked up and then headed out for the Los Angeles area. We had three stops on this one. One is Barstow and the other two in Vernon. We even had an extra 24 hours on this load.

Normally I don't like having all this extra time, but it did allow us to stop and see our friends in Las Vegas and spend the night with them. They have an empty lot right outside of their subdivision that we were able to park the truck at, so that worked out really well. Plus, Smokey got to play in their pool again and he REALLY enjoyed that. LOL

Once we got unloaded in CA, I headed to the TA in Ontario to wait for our next load. Finally around 1500 we got a load but didn't have to pick up until the next moring about 300 miles away. So we went ahead and stayed the night there so that J could get a restart on his hours. We had 4 pickups on this load. I headed out around 0400 local towards our first stop in Livingston. I got there and we got loaded then J took off for the next two over in Salinas. Finished up there around midnight. I headed out again at 0300 for Lamont for the last pickup of the load. Lamont is right outside of Bakersfield so I went up to Bruce's Truck Stop to get scaled and then off I went! I made it to the TA in Barstow where I had a PM done on the truck and had them fix a light on the trailer. From there J took off.

J got me to Holbrook,AZ that night and I took over and got us to Amarillo,TX. When J took over he got us into Springfield,MO to the yard. We had about 12 hours extra on this load so while we were in Springfield we had 8 new tires put on the truck, all except the steer tires, and had them install a security pad for the ignition. Since J got a restart on his hours in CA, I was able to get a restart in Springfield and then J headed out again last night.

We are headed to Albert's in Chesterfield,NH with a variety of organic produce. I am actually really excited about this load! We have been driving for over two and a half years and we have never been to Vermont. Because of the way we are routed and where Chesterfield,NH is, we will FINALLY be going through Vermont! Granted, we are only going to Exit 3 and then crossing the state line over into NH, but the point it that we will physically be in Vermont! Now we will be able to say that we have been to ALL of the lower 48 states! I'm loving this!

Now, if they would only build that bridge to Hawaii..............

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fort Smith,AR

We made good time on this current trip and were very lucky with the weather as we drove out of the northwest. The pears that we picked up in Yakima were headed to Fort Smith,AR to the Gerber plant where they were destined to be mushed up and packaged for baby food.

After stopping yesterday afternoon on I-35 on the north end of Oklahoma, J and I switched places. We grabbed a shower and some BBQ and hit the road with him only having about 250 miles to go. Our appointment wasn't until today at 1100 but we called and they said that they could take us the evening before. We ended up and got there around 2100, after passing the entrance gate the first time. It wasn't wel lit at ALL and luckily on the second pass, J saw a Tyson truck back in there so we figured this was the place that we needed to be.

It was interesting the way that they unloaded us. The pears were in the floor, loose, just piled in there, not in bags on pallets. We were thinking that they would have us unhook the trailer and raise it up on a lift to dump them out. Turns out, they just had us back up, open one door and then they flooded the trailer and put a conveyor ramp next to the door and they just flooded out onto the conveyer belt. It was really pretty cool.

After that J headed out and we went back to a Pilot a few miles down the road where we parked for the night. I woke up this morning around 0900 and we didn't have our next load yet. Boy it sure felt nice to sleep in! I passed the morning playing on the computer and finally around 1330 we got our next load. The bad thing is that we have to deadhead almost 500 miles up to Crete,NE to pick the load up. The good thing is that it delivers in the Los Angeles area on Monday. That means it goes on this paycheck AND it puts us back in a good freight lane. So hopefully we will get something from there back to the east coast that will give us a good start for next paycheck.

We have hit some storms as we have been heading north to get to Nebraska. At the moment we are in Joplin,MO where we are getting a trailer washout and we have decided to stop and have some lunch and see if some of this storm will pass over us. The rain has been really heavy and we have already passed one accident due to the wet roads. I have sent a message to our FM asking if the shipper is open 24/7 to load us because we probably won't make it on time with this weather. And, as it should be, our lives are worth more than this meat load we are scheduled to pick up!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Evanston,WY

So far so good! We have been lucky and had really great weather.

After we picked up yesterday, J drove us to Baker City,OR where he stopped for the night. I went ahead and got up this morning and got us into Evanston,WY which was only about 515 miles. I had a little bit of gloomy weather across the southern part of Idaho, but not snow or rain. Just some yucky looking clouds. By the time I popped out of them close to the UT border, the skies were sunny. That made me extremely happy! It looks like the weather will hold and we will make it with no problems.

We don't deliver this load until Thursday at 1100 in Fort Smith but we will be there tomorrow evening. We only have a little over 1200 miles to go from here. If we are feeling lucky, we may call the consignee and see if they will unload us early. If not, then we will get a good nights sleep tomorrow once we reach Fort Smith and get parked somewhere.

Not much else going on. My friend Michelle sent me some pics of the Halloween stuff they bought to wear on the cruise. We decided to go 70's disco. The clothes they got at a vintage shop are a riot! And they are getting platform shoes to go with them. When we come back from the cruise that we will be on over Halloween I will have to post some pics of all of us dressed up. J and I still have to go get ours when we get to Dallas though. The shop they went to is HUGE and Brian said there was no chance of them running out of clothes. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will still have a great selection when we get to town!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yakima,WA

Well, a load out of the north today just wasn't meant to be. After I posted this morning, I headed out to get to our drop over in Hillsboro. I got there about 40 minutes earlier than I intended to. Being out on the road you really get your days mixed up. Here I was leaving early to miss the morning rush hour traffic and it was Sunday! Oh well. I guess it is better to be early than late.

This is a place that we had delivered to before so that made things go smoothly. Although because of the way they had the trailers parked that were not in the docks, it made it really tight for me to get backed in. I am sure I cleared the front of my truck with a parked trailer by no more than maybe two inches. But I managed to get backed in without waking J up and they had my measley load of four pallets unloaded in about 10 minutes.

Knowing that we wouldn't have a load right away, I took my hazmat placards off and headed out to the TA on I-5 at x292. It was either there or go back to the TA in Troutdale. The one on I-5 was maybe 10 miles closer so that is the one I chose. Of course after sitting there about two hours I got our new work assignment and it had me heading to Washington so I had driven the wrong way. Just my luck!

As I headed out of the parking lot, J woke up wondering what was going on. I told him we had our next load. The bad thing is that it doesn't pick up until tomorrow between 0800-1600. The good news is that I drove us all the way to Yakima,WA today so J will get a restart on his hours since he won't have to work today. And then tomorrow, he will pick up the load since we have until 1600 and that means I will get tomorrow off and I will get a restart on hours. So even though we have to wait to pick the load up, it works for the best.

OH! Something I forgot to tell you. I think. Did I mention that we went in and volunteered for them to put us on electronic (paperless) logs? We did this a few weeks ago and I absolutely LOVE it! I can see how it could be hard for a solo driver to get some loads delivered "legally" given the time constraints that we sometimes have, but for a team it is wonderful. I am really glad that we went in and had them switch us over.

Now the only thing we have to worry about tomorrow is what the road conditions will be like. I heard that Idaho was getting so much snow that it was white-out conditions. I am going to have to get online and see what part of the state is getting hit. With our luck, it will be the exact part that we need to go through! Welcome to Winter!!

Troutdale,OR)

It seems that we just left Summer a little over a week ago and welcomed in Autumn. I was looking forward to the cooler weather and the changing of the colors. What we got instead was WINTER! Holy cow!

After picking up a high-value load in FL that I couldn't talk about (haha) and getting that delivered, we picked up a hazmat load that we are delivering up here in Hillsboro,OR this morning. I am about 3 hours early so we are stopped at the TA here in Troutdale to kill a little time.

As J was driving last night through Oregon, on the eastern side of the state, he ran into snow. A lot of snow. So much, that he was stuck behind snow plows for about 20 miles. Isn't that completely crazy?? So much for Autumn! We just plunged head first into Winter. I am wondering where we are going to head out to next. There is a big snow storm up here in the Northwest that is going to be dumping between 2-4 feet of snow. I hope we get out of here soon before the weather gets bad. Maybe if we are lucky we will get a load to deliver down in Southern California. Then we can get a produce load out of there headed back east. At least that will get us down to the souther half of the US and out of the path of the snow storms!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Longwood,FL

Good morning everyone! What a beautifu day it is down here in sunny Florida! I was lucky enough to get to sleep in until 0500 today so I am in a great mood!

Yesterday afternoon we finally got a load out of GA. I had to bobtail about 125 miles to a Walmart to get an empty trailer. You would think that would be easy enough, but you know me. It had to be difficult! When I pulled in, there were two other Prime bobtails that pulled in behind me. I checked in with the guard and he said they didn't have any Prime empties at their location. So I tell the other two Prime trucks and we headf bak to the small truck stop on the corner to call in to our FM's to see what the deal is. Turns out there is a communication problem between their shipping/receiving office computers and the computer at the guard shack. They sent all of us back and told us to go look for our trailers on the lot. I never did find mine, but I did find another empty which I was able to hook up to.

At this point, it is 1730 and J takes over and we head west across GA through some tiny roads to get to Perry,GA where we are picking up at Perdue Farms. We let them know that we would be a little late since we had issues finding an empty trailer. Seems that they already had an empty Prime at the location that they backed up to a door so they could start getting our load ready. That works for us since we won't be holding them up. I guess this place is usually a drop and hook anyway and we didn't know. We got there about 30 minutes late but still had to wait over an hour for our load to be ready so it all worked out for us in the end.

This was a short run from Perry,GA to Orlando,FL. We made our delivery up here this morning and now we are just sitting here at a rest area waiting for our next load. We are hoping for a flower load so keep your fingers crossed for us!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Atlanta,GA

Back out on the road tomorrow but first to catch you up to date!

We have spent the last week here in Atlanta working on our houseboat. We were so worried about all of the rain they had last week. We were wondering if we were even going to be able to get any work done. Since it has been a few months since we have been here to do any work, the tarp was not still completely covering the boat. It did help quite a bit, but the inside still got wet. We had previously put the new sub-floor down and cleaned the bottom inside of the hull. That helped water drain out which meant that the new floor was not standing in water. YES!

The first day we got here we just checked in to the hotel and chilled. By the time we dropped our load, fueled the trailer and dropped it off at a customers, then got to the hotel it was mid afternoon. Too late to get started by that time.

Friday we were up and headed up towards the boat to get started. We didn't do much but clean up from the storms. Friday night our son Justin came in so we were able to have his help on Saturday and Sunday. We were up at the crack of dawn on both days this weekend working our asses off! We were able to get the plywood up on the roof, most of the plywood up on the walls and about 4/5ths of the roof fiberglassed. We really wanted to get the rest of the lower deck roof done, but we were just too worn out to get it finished. That and we just flat ran out of time and money. LOL So we just put the tarp back up, added extra covering and called it good enough for now.

I'm not sure when we will be able to get back here but it is nice to see things take shape. This is only the second time we have been down since we bought the boat. The first time we completely gutted the whole lower level, got the sub-floor, wall studs and ceiling joists in. Now this trip getting the roof and walls done. Definitely making progress. Next trip we are going to try to replace the ceiling on the upper level where the deck, helm and living room is and then connect the new addition on the lower level to the remaining upper level that we didn't tear down during demolition. We have had a lot of fun on this. Hard work, but fun. We love working on projects. I can't wait to see the final finished product.

I sent a message to our FM today asking him about our lease. Our lease is a 3 year lease or X amount of miles. I can't remember the mileage and I don't have our copy of the lease with us. When our lease is up, we have 59 days to decide if we want to sign a new lease on another new truck. We also get our lease completing bonus. We are thinking that we will hit our mileage limit next summer. If that is the case, we are hoping to take close to the 59 days off and use the lease completion bonus to finish the boat and get it moved. Of course we are still going to try to get down here every 6-8 weeks to keep working on it. But you all know how much easier it is to finish something when you have the time and the money. And both at the same time!

So that is our update. Back on the road tomorrow! I am not sure where we will be heading from here, but we shall see!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vernon,TX

Wow, how time flies! Let me see if I can catch you up.

After our foray into the NJ area, we got a load headed out to CA but we ended up dropping it at our yard in Springfield,MO. You got it, the A/C went out again. We ended up being there for 2 days but I have to say, a week later, the A/C is still working!!!

When we headed out of there we got a load to Amarillo,TX. We had to make a stop in Lubbock to pick up our snow chains so we were able to see family. After we delivered in Amarillo, we took a load from another driver that was broken down and made a delivery to Casa Grande,AZ. Out of there we deadheaded to Vi ctorville,CA and picked up a load and delivered it to Waco,TX yesterday afternoon. This morning, after playing the "find an empty trailer" game, we headed up to Vernon,TX which is where we are currently sitting. This load goes to Atlanta,GA where we will spend the weekend. We are hoping to work on the boat but they have had an unbelievable amount of rain so I don't know what we are going to be able to get done, if anything. Either way, Justin is driving over from Kings Bay Naval Base where he is stationed so we will get to see our son. That will make it all worth while!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jersey City,NJ

Once again, here we are in our FAVORITE state, not! Well, J got me to the NJ state line this morning and that is where I took over at. I only had a short 59 miles to go and after checking Google Earth yesterday, I felt confident that we could make it to our destination without getting lost.

So I took off this morning feeling good about where I was going only to have my good mood turned bad. The directions were good, but unfortunately the bridge that we needed to cross was closed for construction. Now, don't you think it would have been a good idea for someone to let us know that a few miles before it was shut down instead of right at the bridge? ARGH!!!

So we exit as directed only to find that we can not go much further because there is a bridge clearance of 13'4". Now since we are 13'6" this is going to be a problem. :( Well, I stop and throw my hazards on (thank goodness I was paying attention and noticed the bridge clearance) and tried to figure out what the hell we were going to do. Luckily I could turn left and pull into a small parking lot. There were some people showing up for work I guess and J got out and asked them where we needed to go. After getting some help with our directions, J directed me so I could back out on the street and turn around. So back the way we came.

Luckily when they sent directions to this location, they sent them for coming in two different directions. One was from I-280 (which we were on) and the other was from I-78. So we headed back to I-95 via I-280 and headed south to get to I-78. From there we were able to hit US 1&9 and approach our destination from the southern end. Luckily after we decided to do this, I knew where we were going. Last night I had looked at directions on Google Earth and we had decided to come in on I-80 instead of I-78. Going I-80 we saved a ton on tolls. To get to I-78 we would have had to take I-70/I-76 through the southern part of PA which is a toll road and has a lot of hills. Going I-80 was less than 30 miles farther but well worth it in the money saved on tolls and fuel going over the larger mountains.

So since I had checked the route out for the last bit coming off of I-78, I had a feel for the layout. We were able to drive directly to our destination. We got here about an hour ago and dropped our trailer but they didn't have any MT's for us to take. So now we are just chilling here. They are in the process of unloading two our our other trailers that were here so they should have one emptied here in a few hours. Since it is a Sunday, and Sales isn't in yet, I didn't figure we would have anything waiting on us anyway. Once we do get an MT there is a small truck stop down at the end of the street. That is a rare occurance here in NJ, to have a truck stop, so I will head down there to wait when we get an MT trailer. I noticed a spot that was open when we drove by and I am thinking that when a few more drivers wake up and take off there will be a few more spots. Plus, it is Sunday so I am hoping that it won't be too busy there. Hopefully anyone that needs to park for the weekend is already there and I can grab a spot from someone that leaves.

So that is our daily update! Here is to hoping we get a load and don't get stuck here until tomorrow!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Lisbon,IN

Problems Problems Problems!!! ARGH!!! I swear I want to shoot this damn truck! Ok, so over the past 4 weeks, we have had the truck in the shop 3 times. Barely managing to make any money because without a truck, we can't work. The A/C is still not working correctly. We have to shut down in the afternoon and sometimes the evening for close to an hour for the lines to thaw out, because they are freezing up. But since we jut can't afford to put it back in the shop, we are having to deal with a temperamental A/C.



This past Wednesday morning we delivered in Ontario,CA. After sitting for a few hours we got a load picking up in Colton,CA going to Johnstown,NY that paid $4200.00. Finally a good paying load and it was only for 2700 miles. We were to pick up that night at 1900 local. I had headed to bed and J went to go pick it up. I woke up the next morning at 0600 to find out that we were back at the truck stop because they had cancelled that load. So I wait, again, and we get another load, same amount of miles but only paying $3200.00. Now, I know you are thinking, "Damn, that is still good money!" And it is, but because we lost a day, we will deliver this load on Sunday morning on the east coast and most likely will not get another load that will deliver before payroll cutoff of Tuesday. If we even get a load out of there on a Sunday. So when you figure around $1200 in fixed costs, then fuel.....well, it will be a paycheck, but not a great one.



AND, last night when J stopped in Springfield,MO to get fuel at the yard, he had to have them look at the truck AGAIN because we were losing air pressure. It was the truck that was losing air, not the trailer, and we lucked out that it was simply an airbag on the cab and was a very easy fix. But if you want to consider that time in the shop, that makes four times in four weeks. I am getting a little depressed here folks!! But I know this is the nature of the beast. And all the work up until now has all been warranty, so we weren't out of pocket any money, just the lost revenue. So I guess it could be worse. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Franklin,IN

We made it up to NJ to drop the FedEx load off. This is the same place that we have been to once before where we got REALLY REALLY lost. I do believe this place may be the reason that several months ago I went off on a tangent about how much I dislike the northeast. :) Somehow we ended up with different directions this time, and with the help of Google Earth, I was able to drive right to it. Yay me!!

While we were enroute there, our damn A/C went out, AGAIN. We ended up getting a load back out of that same FedEx delivering to Dallas where we put the truck in the shop at Freightliner. That was this past Monday morning and we got it back and headed out on Wednesday morning. We ended up picking up a loaded trailer off of our drop lot in Saginaw and making two drops. One in Knoxville,TN and the last one in Dillon,SC. Wouldn't you know it? As soon as we made it to our last drop in Dillon, J wakes up and informs me that the back bunk is not blowing again. I swear I am going to run this truck off of a cliff!

Ok, so I call John, our FM, and he tells me to get with Road Assist. I do and find out where I can take the truck to. I give them a call, this was on Thursday, and they said that they couldn't get to it that day but they could on Friday morning. The only problem is that if they don't have a part to complete the repair, that it would have to wait until Tuesday, because they are closed over the Holiday weekend. Well hell! While we are trying to figure out what we want to do, the A/C decides that it is going to start working again. We then decided that instead of possibly being stuck over the whole weekend, that we will keep running and see how it works.

After we made our drop yesterday, our next pick up was about 120 miles away up in Laurens,SC at a Walmart and this one is going to Mt Pleasant,IA. We should be there tonight around midnight. Our FM hooked us up with our next two loads already so that we won't be sitting over the weekend. After we drop this tonight, we are going about 211 miles up to Mason City,IA to pick up a load in the morning that is delivering Sunday morning in Springfield,MO at the Kraft Caves at 0900. Then we are picking up a load at the same caves that is going to Ontario,CA to be delivered at 0400 on Wednesday morning. Because of the holiday week, our payroll has been pushed back to Wednesday afternoon so that means all of these trips will go on this payroll. YES!! Finally something that is working to our advantage.

Now if only the A/C will continue to keep working. It was starting to get warmer, the air out of the A/C as I pulled in here in Franklin. Last time it started working again after the truck sat turned off for a while. Dallas Freightline said that what they found was that the temperature was reading a constant 200 degrees so the A/C was running all the time and freezing up. It seems to be doing the same thing again. They said they replaced the sensor or whatever it was. Maybe they replaced it with a faulty new sensor. Sheesh! I just hope it works long enough for us to be able to run and make a little money before we have to put this piece of crap back in the shop!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fort Worth,TX

What a crazy week and a half it has been. Freight has been extremely slow and we are having problems with our A/C again. We had a TA look at it and they thought it was just a clogged filter for the back bunk but it turns out that wasn't the problem since we are still having problems.

We had a load out of California that picked up last Saturday and delivered in Santa Fe on Monday morning. A solo driver could have taken it and gotten there on time. But they said they were 50 loads short when the day started so I guess if we wanted a load we couldn't be picky. We spent Sunday night in Albuquerque and then I drove up to Santa Fe on Monday morning to deliver. Tom, if you read this, I REALLY wanted to get in touch with you and see if you wanted to meet for lunch or something! But with the A/C problems, we had to get back to Albuquerque to have it looked it. We didn't get a load until Tuesday night and then didn't leave until Wednesday morning because we had until midnight to get to Plainview,TX. We left Albuquerque around 0600 on Wednesday and got to Plainview around 1130 but the load wasn't even ready until 2100! Sheesh!

That load we dropped off in Dallas and they have us now picking up a FedEx load tonight leaving at 0100 going to Newark,NJ. So that means we will have been in Ft Worth for about 21 hours by the time this load is ready to leave. We have had a lot of sitting and it is getting really really frustrating.

On the bright side, we have came up with a business idea for our boat. We have been doing a lot of planning and research about that this past week. We are thinking that once we get it finished and moved down here to the lake in Texas that we may charter it out. There are lots of pontoon boats to rent but basically no houseboats, at least not on the local lakes. So that is something that we are seriously looking into. I don't know if the demand is there, but we are going to see. I would work really well also since we are thinking about possibly getting local driving jobs once this lease is up. That way we would be home more often in case the idea of chartering it out takes off. Heck, maybe it will really take off and I can completely quit work and just deal with the boad. Wouldn't that be nice!

Anyway, that is what we have been doing. I didn't want anyone to think that we had fallen on the planet or that something had happened to us. We are here, just been preoccupied with other stuff!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pageland,SC

Been a few days again. But here I am! We managed to make it to California and we had a load before we got there. We picked up the next morning in Carson,CA with a load headed to Pageland,SC. We were initially supposed to have two drops but we ended up with only one which was nice.

So Friday morning I got up and got over to pick up our load which turned out to be a drop and hook. I had to wait for a while before they let me know, but once they told me my trailer was ready, I dropped my empty and hooked up.

J still didn't get a lot of sleep so once I got hooked up I headed over to scale and then parked to give him some non moving sleep. We had time on the load to do this and I know he appreciated the quality sleep that he got. Once he got up, he headed out and we were on our way to SC.

They initially had us routed taking I-40. I did some research and found that if we took I-10 it would have only been 30 miles further. AND, we would have less mountains to cover meaning that we would get better fuel mileage. Another plus also was that from I-10 we connected to I-20 and went through Jackson,MS where our friends Misty and Riaan live. J was very tired, but when I got there, Misty came and got me and Smokey and we went to her house for about two hours for lunch. And Smokey got some quality play time in with her three dogs which he really enjoyed! J did get a doggie bag that I took back to him though.

I drove a little further after that and we switched out right across the AL state line. We hit some really bad weather in Birmingham,AL and I finally had to go to bed so that I didn't freak out. LOL I was happy to wake up though this morning to find that J had got me to a truck stop just 5 miles from our destination. He let me sleep in some also. YES!!!

This morning he woke me up and we went inside to the restaurant and grabbed a BLT for breakfast before we started out the day. Then it was off to deliver this load at the Walmart DC just down the road. I ended up sitting there for about 4 hours before they finally got me unloaded. After that, I headed back to the truck stop that we had started the day at to sit and wait for our next load. Now I have been here for about two hours and still nothing. There is another Prime driver next to me that has been here since yesterday. That doesn't give me much hope. But he is running solo at the moment until he can get a load to pick up his team partner that is on home time. So maybe they are looking for a solo load for him. I just hope that we get something fairly soon and don't have to sit here overnight. UGH!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Carson,CA

We made it to our drop in Nogales,AZ with no problems. J had stopped for the night in Tucson,AZ the night before and I got to sleep in. We were going to be early for our appointment and they didn't open until 0800 so I got some extra sleep. It was nice! When I got there however, no one was there. I sent in a message and they told me to give them about 30 more minutes that they didn't always get there on time. Must be nice! They finally showed up a little after 0900 when they were supposed to open at 0800. Oh well. Since I only had 4 totes I got unloaded pretty quick.

I pulled away from their dock and removed my hazmat placards and then headed up to the Pilot to wait for our next load. I was there for about an hour before I got another message from our FM. It seems that there was no freight to be found in that area at all and they wanted us to deadhead to Ontario,CA. That is 500 miles. Ugh! But, we knew we would probably be heading to CA because we were aware of the freight situation where we delivered.

I headed out and started towards CA stopping in Avondale,AZ at the Pilot for fuel and then hit Danny's behind them for a trailer wash out. I made it all the way to x1 in Ehrenberg,AZ where I stopped for the day. J is low on hours so we just spent the night there last night so that he could take the night off and could get a restart. By this time, we already had our next load, loading in Carson,CA this morning, so I knew we had plenty of time for him to take the night off.

This morning found me getting up around 0530 and heading out a little after 0600 to drive the last 175 miles into Carson. I got here about 30 minutes ago and now I am just waiting for my phone to ring with them calling me to tell me which dock to head to. This load will have 2 stops. One in MS on Sunday and the last is in SC on Monday. Even though we will only have two trips for our check next week, they both paid good. A little over $7,000 in revenue for the week so we should have a decent paycheck after all of our expenses. Maybe things are starting to pick up!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Santa Rosa,NM

Wow, I have now posted two days in a row. Maybe I can get back on a roll again! Unfortunately I don't have much to post about today. LOL

After switching in Effingham yesterday, J took over and I managed to stay awake until we came into St Louis. I couldn't hang anymore at that point and I headed off to bed. J got us to Tulsa which is where I started my day today. I ended it here in Santa Rosa after covering 543 miles. We can drop this anytime tomorrow and from here it is only about 640 miles, so we are in no rush. I am thinking J will make it about 560 miles to Tucson,AZ where he will stop for the night. Since we can't deliver before 0800 in the morning, 0900 our time, I will get to sleep in some and then get up and drive the last 70 miles or so in to deliver. Then we will play the waiting game for our next load.

I was talking with Picabo today about our cruise in October. We set sail on the 31st which is Halloween so we are trying to come up with costumes that we can wear that night on the boat. The best idea we have had so far is to go as characters from the show Reno 911. She has found the uniform for Lt Dangle (lol) and one of the females on e-Bay. The only problem is that if we get them and they don't fit, then we are screwed. So we are trying to figure out what we should do. She even found a wig for them. It could be so much fun, I am just worried about the costumes not fitting. Maybe we can get lucky and find something locally at a costume store. We will keep looking though!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Effingham,IL

I talked to Picabo972 today and she graciously informed me that I am slacking yet again. And I have to admit that she is right! After heading back out after our cruise, I am finding it hard to get motivated. Especially since in less than 90 days, we will be going on another cruise. This one will be with Picabo and her man and no kids though! YES!!! Oh, and of course J is going! LOL

So, let me catch you up real quick without going into too many of the boring details. We made it in to Salt Lake City and ended up and dropped our load at the customers as opposed to our lot which was our original plan. They didn't have any empties there and they said it would be the next morning before we got a load (we dropped around 2200 hours) so we headed back to the yard to get a good nights sleep.

I woke up the next morning and called in after 0700 and we still didn't have a load. J woke up and was hungry so we headed down to the Sapp Brothers to get some breakfast then headed back to the yard to wait. J headed to bed and I headed inside to watch some TV. Around 1100 we got a load but it didn't load until 1900 that night. I chilled the rest of the afternoon inside and then went to wake J up around 1600. After finally finding an empty on the lot that had just came out of the repair bay (the only empty that was there) we hooked up to it and headed up to Logan,UT to get loaded.

I headed to bed and J took care of getting us loaded. We had extra time on this load, so after J scaled the load, he parked for the night. It was a really short work day for him, the lucky guy! He knew that we would be heading over the mountains to get out of the Salt Lake area and he knows I don't sleep good in the mountains, where he can sleep like a rock through just about anything. Although that could be because when he is driving it is like Mario Andretti on a road course so I am getting thrown aound in the back, where as I am more like a Grandma out for a Sunday afternoon drive. Ok, so he isn't really that bad, but he figured I would get more sleep if he just parked, and he was right. :) So the next morning I got up and headed out.

That load delivered right outside of Dayton,OH on Monday night. J managed to get us in there and then headed to our next pick up which was up towards Cleveland. When I had went to bed, we had our next work assignment which was to pick up anywhere between 0800-1500 hours today. So when J woke me up at 0230 this morning, I was a bit confused since he said he was almost to the shipper and needed the extra eyes to find it. After giving him a strange looke, he informed me that we had a different load to pick up, not the one that we had when I went to bed. Oh. Ok, now things are starting to make sense. I guess he mentioned to our night FM that the load we were originally on basically sucked as far as pay goes. Our night FM looked at it and agreed and then found us another load that had the same amount of miles but paid $1500 more. Now THAT is what I am talking about.

Now that I was coherent and knew what was going on, we proceeded to look for our destination so that we could pick up our next load. Turns out our directions were COMPLETELY wrong. We followed them THREE different times, back tracking to see if we missed something. Nope, those directions put us right in the middle of a cemetery. Of course we didn't turn into it, LOL, but we knew it was wrong. We called in to our night FM, looked up the address on Streets & Tris and on Google Earth and finaly found where we needed to be.

We got there around 0400 this morning and got loaded and by 0500 we were on the road and are now headed to Nogales,AZ with a hazmat load. The nice thing is that it is light. Only 4 totes weighing about 16,000 lbs. Currently getting 8.34 mpg. WOOHOO!!! Anyway, we should be in Nogales,AZ on Thursday morning and we will deliver as soon as we get in there. From there I am hoping we will get a decent run back to the east coast. I am thinking that a produce load to Florida wouldn't be bad if we can get a floral load coming back out of there!

So, my apologies for slacking. I will try to do better. If only I could get out of my Carribean state of mind. But it is such a nice state.......

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rawlins,WY

Yes my friends, we are once again in my favorite state (said with just a hint of sarcasm) heading to Salt Lake City,UT. Thank goodness it is still summer and there is no snow on the ground. Although I can still see the white tipped mountains up at the higher altitudes, I am happy to say that there is none down here and the wind hasn't even been a factor so far this trip. Hallelujah!!

After sitting for several hours in Duncan,SC we finally got a load. We had to bust up the road to pick up a load heading for Streetsboro,OH. It was a drop and hook and that made it nice. Once we picked it up, we noticed some nasty clouds coming in, so we decided to park for the night and let the mess pass us by.

With only 549 miles to our destination, I got up the next morning and made my way north on I-81 a few miles and then hit another favorite road of mine (not) I-77 which would take me north through the mountains of NC, VA,WV and into OH. I made it just about 40 mile short of our destination when my drive time was over and I woke J up. He told me that was the worst sleep he had ever had in the truck on that road. Yeah, it sucks. The road condition itself isn't bad, but the mountains and the curves make it pretty near impossible to sleep since you are rolling around on the bunk!

After J made it to our destination, we bobtailed down to the McDonald's that had truck parking. I was familiar with this area because back in May when I was driving solo, I had delivered to this same place and had spent the night in this McD's parking lot. We actually went to the Denny's next door and got something to eat. By the time we got back to the truck, we had our next load. We were picking up a short 20 miles away and dropping the load off at our terminal in Salt Lake City.

Our information said that we didn't load until 0300 which was about 9 hours away. I called and they said that they could get us in early if we wanted to come on over. So we headed back to where we originally delivered that moring and grabbed an empty trailer and then headed to pick up our new load. They did get us loaded early, by about 45 minutes. J was about to spit bullets he was so mad! The problem was that they shouldn't have told us to come over if they weren't going to load us until almost appointment time. We were nice and comfy where we were with food and restrooms close by. But he managed to get out of there and get us about 45 miles down the road before he woke me up to start my shift.

I headed out yesterday in Ohio and made it to Walcott,IA where we switched and got a shower. Believe it or not, it was the first time since we started driving that we actually stopped there and actually went in to the actual truck stop. When we have stopped before we were always in a hurry and only went into the smaller building where we get our fuel receipt. I am sure most of you know, because I think a lot of you that follow this are fellow drivers, but for those that don't, Iowa 80 Truck Stop is the largest truckstop in the world. This place will hold over 800 semi trucks in their parking lot. That is HUGE! And they have just about anything you would want or need for a truck at the store inside. Along with a gift shop, a Verizon kiosk, DQ, Pizza Hut, Orange Julius, two other fast foods that I can't remember, laundry facilities, showers, barbershop and I can't even remember what else. It is extremely cool.

After our little shopping foray, we once again headed out with J at the wheel and he got us to Elm Creek,NE this morning. I took over there and headed west stopping in Ogalalla,NE at 0700 to have breakfast with our friend Chad. Unfortunately his wife and the kids were still in bed when we came through, but hopefully we will get to see them next time. I kept on trucking and made it in to Rawlins,WY where I woke J up and told him it was time for him to take over.

Now we are cruising across the rolling hills of the western part of Wyoming and we should be into Salt Lake around 2100 tonight. Depending on what stops we make between here and there. I am hoping that they will have a load on the lot there for us to pick up and head back out with. The load we have right now doesn't deliver until the 11th so that is why we are just dropping it there. I am hoping for a quick turn-around so we can get back out on the road. I'll let you know how that goes!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Duncan,SC - Back on the road!
















As much as I love what we do, I sure hated coming back to work! It was hard to get back into the swing of things after spending a week doing nothing but catching rays, looking out at the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, getting extremely sunburned and hanging out with J and Jessica. There are some pictures that I have posted, so I hope you enjoy!
We are currently sitting in Duncan,SC after making our delivery this morning in Simpsonville,SC. We picked this up last night after delivering yesterday morning in Hammond,LA. The load we delivered to Hammond was picked up in Dallas when we came back out of the house.

We were originally scheduled to come back out on Saturday but they didn't have anything for us. We ended up and got to visit with my cousin and his wife since we were there an extra night and that was really nice. They are a lot of fun and I haven't visited with them in YEARS. So that was great catching up.

I am not sure where we are headed from here. We are waiting on our next load. We don't have anything planned other than our cruise in October, so we are planning on staying out on the road until then. Sure, we will take a night or two off here and there, but no extened time. We need to save up and make as much as we can so we can get more work done on the houseboat. That is our goad. We really really want to have it finished by next summer, but we need some money to meet that goal. That means we will have to work our asses off!

We are also giving some thought to finding local driving jobs. Just toying around with the idea right now. Once the boat is finished and we have a place to live, it would be nice to get back to a more steady schedule. We love driving, so if we could find a dedicated route or something that is drop & hook and more regional where we could be home every night, we would have to take a hard look at it. Does anyone know anything about Central Transport? Their trucks are yellow? My cousin works there as a dock supervisor I believe. He has been there over 15 years. I don't remember exactly how long. I was checking out their web site and it lists OTR jobs that are 3000 miles a week, distribution center to distribution center, drop and hooks, and no nights or weekends. Still looking at long days if you are running 550-600 miles a day round trip. BUT, it does have the advantage of being in our own bed at night. Anyway, just something we are thinking about for the future.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Galveston,TX

Well, it has been a long week, but we have finally made our last delivery before vacation! We have taken Smokey to a kennel, picked up Jessica and are now in Galveston for the night waiting to board our cruise ship tomorrow. I am so excited I hope I can slee tonight!

I know I have been slacking on here lately, but just in case anyone has missed me, or missed me in the near future, don't fret. All is well and we are just on vacation. I will post once we get back and put up some pictures once we get back next week. Every one stay safe out there and safe travels. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mendota,CA

This last week sure has been hecktic! After spending the night in Dania Beach,FL we got up and drove back down to Miami to Prime Floral for our first stop to pick a bunch of boxes of flowers. From there we headed down to Pierson,FL where we dropped those off. There are several trucks that come from Miami each day to Pierson. Once all the trucks are unloaded, they separate all the flowers into the different orders and reload them on the trucks to be sent out to actually make the deliveries. Around midnight Thursday night, we were loaded and on the way. We had a total of 3200 miles to cover and 12 different stops with our last being in San Jose,CA.

Early Saturday morning, around 0100 we made it to Oklahoma City,OK where we had our first two drops. Our largest drop was here with 658 pieces. Floral loads are all on the floor. Not on pallets. They are are also stacked floor to ceiling. The average size of a box, in inches, is about 8x12x36. Of course the sizes vary depending on the grower that packages them. But what this means for us is a lot of work when you have to hand unload every piece.

By o430 we were done in Oklahoma City and heading to Wichita,KS for our next two stops. J got a small nap while I was driving up there but then I woke him up to help me once I got there. The reason that I have to wake him up to help me unload all has to do with my height. Being 5'2", if I stand up really straight, I can't reach the boxes that are stacked on the top. The unloading isn't hard, other than repetitive and monotonous, I just simply am not tall enough to get the boxes that are stacked on the top. It was a long morning. We dealt with road construction in both Oklahoma City and in Wichita that had the exit blocked that we needed to take. So we spent a few extra minutes at each place trying to find an alternate route that was wide enough for us to get our truck down. After J only getting a small nap between Oklahoma City and Wichita, by around 1000 hours on Saturday morning, J was headed back to bed and I was headed towards Utah where our next stops were at.

I managed to drive until around 1530 when I called it a day. We grabbed a shower and a quick bite to eat and J took over driving from there. I hit the sack knowing that we were going to have to be up and at it once again when we got to Salt Lake City,UT. J got us to Evanston,WY where we switched. He hit the sack for about two hours until I got us to our first stop in Salt Lake City. We had four deliveries to make there. Finally got them unloaded, grabbed some lunch and J hit the sack again while I took off for Sparks,NV where we had our next two that night. I made it to Battle Mountain,NV around 1630 and we switched there. When we went in to use the restroom, I plopped $20 into a $1 slot machine. I won $42 so we had a quick lunch and headed out again.

We were both really exhausted at this point. I never even knew that J made it to our first stop in Sparks and unloaded it by himself. I didn't wake up until we were at the second stop but he said it was a small piece count and for me to go back to sleep that he had it. He is so awesome! He got those done and headed in towards our last two stops in the San Jose area. He stopped at the 49er Truck Stop in Sacramento where we switched and I drove the last 100 miles to our next to the last stop. The roads suck there and he woke up about 10 miles before I got there. Just a quick power nap is all he really had. We managed to finally get the last two deliveries made and we couldn't have been happier.

About 30 minutes after I sent our depart message, we got our next work assignment. We were to pick up in Mendota,CA and deliver in Dallas,TX. This was to be our load heading home for our cruise. We needed a trailer washout, so I headed to Santa Nella,CA where they have one at the TA. When I was done, we still didn't have an appointment time for our pick up. I sent a message in telling our FM to let me know when they had one and that we would head the last 50 miles at that point. After being completely exhausted from the pace of the floral load, I was going to stay parked so J could get some good quality uninterrupted sleep. Around 1700 we finally got an apointment time so J woke up and we went in for some dinner and a shower. From there we headed out to make our pick up.

We found the place quite easily and pulled in. J went to go check in and it took forever. Finally he got back to the truck and said that they would call when they had a dock for us. A little after midnight, they called saying they were out of product and that they would load us in the morning. Now it is morning, I have checked in and am still sitting here waiting for them to call us so that we can get a dock. I guess I am getting a little impatient because I know that this is the load that is taking us home. I am ready to get onboard that cruise ship and do NOTHING for a week. Well, nothing except swim with the dolphins in Cozumel and consume fruity mixed drinks in cups with umbrellas!