Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baton Rouge,LA

Some things never work out the way you think, no matter how hard you try or you plan. This load is a perfect example of that.

As you know, we picked up this load from another driver there in Heyburn,ID. I wasn't sure how they expected us to get it down to Louisiana by 0500 on Friday, and actually knew it was impossible. But after J woke up, we headed out with the intention of getting it there as soon as possible. This was on Wednesday evening and J made it as far as Rawlins,WY. Considering he hit snow and rain again, he did great!

When I got up I took off and made it a whopping 58 miles before I had to pull over and wait for the sun to come up. You know how I detest driving across Wyoming in the winter and of course the part of the state that I needed to drive through had roads that were completely ice covered. I messaged in and let them know that I would be taking off again once the sun came up. It isn't so much that I mind driving on the icy roads, but I refuse to do that at night when I can't tell if the road is wet or icy.

Around 0700 I see that the sun is coming up so I take off. As luck would have it, I manage to make it about 10 miles down the road and the roads are clear. Now I start thinking I should have toughed it out and kept going so I could make more miles for the day since we were short on time to get this load delivered. But I figure it is always better to be safe than sorry!

After a quick stop in Laramie,WY for fuel I am off again. In Cheyenne I headed south on I-25 and that is where things got worse again. I passed no fewer than 4 of the big DOT signs stating "HIGH WIND ADVISORY. HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES USE CAUTION." I knew this was going to be bad when I started passing exit/entrance ramps that were lined with trucks. Like a dumbass I decided to keep going but at a much slower speed. So I made the trek all the way down into Denver doing between 40-45 mph. And I was still getting blown all over the road. Luckily I was at 79,100 lbs so I knew that unless the winds were up close to 100 mph that I really wasn't going to get blown over. I just had to take my time. I can't even tell you how happy I was when I finally got to I-70 and started heading east again so that I had a tail wind! After all of this I decide I am calling it a day in Limon,CO where I had only made a little over 300 miles. Not good for a 12 hour shift!!

From there J takes over and does and outstanding job of getting us into Wichita Falls,TX where he gets me up for my shift on Friday morning. We had told dispatch from the moment that J started driving in Heyburn that we should make it by 1500 hrs on Friday. So, with me taking off in Wichita Falls, I had about 620 miles to go by 1500. Since the weather was good, I went ahead and kicked the speed up. Normally we only do between 55-60 to get good fuel mileage. But since this load was already late seeing as how one of the shippers made us wait a day because they didn't have the product yet, I figured better haul ass and try to make that 1500 appt time. So most of the day Friday I did between 65-70. It felt like I was flying! But I was actually just doing the speed limit for once. LOL

By 1100 hrs I had made 500 miles and knew that I would make the appt on time. I made a stop around 1200 in Breaux Bridge,LA to get fuel. (Thank you Michelle for letting me know which direction to go!!) J had woke up at that point since I-10 completely SUCKS and is super bumpy. After grabbing Arby's to go when I got the fuel receipt, we were off again.

About 45 miles down the road we get a message about our appointment time. I figured it was just letting us know that it was at 1500. Duh! I knew that. I had J check the message and it was a new appointment time of MAR 3 at 0500. WTF?? I have been telling them for 2 days that we would be there by 1500 and they wait until I am 75 miles away to tell me that they can't get me that day and that I have to wait until the 3rd???? I wouldn't have haulled ass and thrown my mpg out the window if I had known that!!

First thing we do is pull into a truck stop to call and find out what is going on. Our poor FM. Joe gets on the phone and the first thing out of our FM's mouth is "I know! I am working on it. I'm going to see if we can drop or have another solo sit on the load." It isn't fair to another solo to sit on the load when we have ran the money out of the load getting it this far. As of 1800 last night, John still hadn't come up with anything so we tell him we are going to bed and let us know when he finds out something.

This morning I get up around 0630 and I waited until about 0720 to send in a message asking what he found out. Turns out that John isn't in today, and he normally is, so I end up gettin Eric whom is covering his board. I explain the situation to Eric. J and I talked about things and decided that we didn't mind sitting on the load until Tuesday morning. Would we rather be somewhere else sitting for three days, yes. But we are in New Orleans and the weather is really nice compared to being stuck up in the north. Heck, it was 81 outside here yesterday when we pulled in. We have been running hard since right after Christmas and the only time we have had off was the one night in Victorville and the 2 or 3 days that we were down in Springfield when we were getting the windshield fixed. So we are pretty worn out and ready to get out of the truck. We figure we will only make enough this week to break even to cover our fuel and truck payment, but that is ok with us. We have had a good January and February so far, even when we were in the hole that one week.

So you know what, an unexpected mini-vacation isn't all that bad. You have to make the most of things and go with the flow. Maybe we will see if we can rent a car and go check out New Orleans while we are here. Too bad Mardi Gras was last week and not this week. But it would be fun to go check out the French Quarter and Burbon Street and all that stuff. On the other hand, we may be completely lazy and not leave the hotel at all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I think yesterday has to have been one of the longest days I have had in a really long time. As you know, I blogged yesterday morning while I was waiting for my appointment at 0700. When the time came, I headed over there and was unloaded pretty quick. From there I headed back to the TA to scan our bills to get paid and to wait for our next load.

When I got back to the truck stop, J woke up and was hungry, so we decided breakfast was in order and I could get all the paperwork ready to scan while we ate. Having a full belly we walked back to the truck stop next door only to find out that their scanner is broken. Not a good thing since the truck stops in that area are pretty scarce. Now we do have a scanner in the truck, but the particular bills that we had are the kind that my scanner won't pick up. My luck, right? I called in to talk to my FM and he was at lunch so I got the guy that was covering. He told me that his payroll person won't accept faxes. I ask to speak to my payroll person and she tells me the same thing. They have to be scanned. Ok, tell me something. They don't get the originals anyway, we keep those. They also have the scanning machine there. So why can't they walk their lazy butts over to the fax machine, pick up the fax, and scan it in? I know it wouldn't happen very often because it cost us money to pay for the fax. $3 for the first page and $1 each additional page. And I had close to 30 pages to scan. So you can see it would have been expensive, and drivers wouldn't do that very often, except in a situation where there was no scanner. But I wanted to get paid. It was very frustrating.

While we were in there, we ran into another Prime driver that was needing to scan also. He was on the phone with his FM who told him of another place about 30 miles down the road. As we were heading out to the truck we just decided that if we didn't have our next load, that we would head down that direction to get them scanned. As it turns out, when we got to the truck, there was a message to head towards Prosser,WA for our next load. That worked good for us. It was only about 1230 and there was a Pilot right on the way about 100 miles down the road. So I knew that I could stop there and scan.

I made my way back to that Pilot in Biggs,WA and before I went in to scan I sent a message asking if we were going to pick up that night (Tuesday), or if it would be the next morning. Prosser isn't a big town, so if it was going to be the next morning, I was going to stay parked at the Pilot. When I got back to the truck, I had a message that we would be picking up that night. The problem is that the load had way too much time on it for a team so he was trying to work something out so we could pick up the load and then meet a solo and give that load to him. The solo was picking up a load that was a team load and he couldn't get it there on time as a solo. So that all worked out. Kinda.

Ok, get to Prosser and get loaded. I pull up and go to their scale and find out that I am at 81,900 lbs. Now I can't be over 80,000 lbs legally. So I go back and back up to the dock to have them remove about 3,000 lbs. I had told them from the beginning to allow an extra 1000 lbs because I only had 3/8 of a tank of fuel. They removed 3,000 lbs and we headed into the actual town of Prosser about 25 miles away to get scaled.

As we pulled into the truck stop in Prosser, the first thing we did was scale, and then we went in and parked. Time for dinner and a shower. We walked in and got the scale ticket and it was showing us over by close to 500 lbs on our drive axles. We wren't too concerned with it at the moment because we knew that we could slide the tandems all the way forwars and that we should be fine. So we took our time with the shower and had a nice meal at KFC and then we went out to slide the tandems and rescale. Uh Oh! We get the rescale ticket and we are still over by 60 lbs and we STILL need to get fuel. Definitely not a good sign. By this point it was 2130 hrs and I had been up since 0230 that morning. I was exhausted. We tried everything we could think of. The tandems were slid as far as they could go and we even slid the fifth wheel and that didn't help at all. It just made it worse. And we slid it forward and backwards just to make sure. We ended up scaling something like 5 or 6 times. We had even called our FM and told him what was going on, and we had about decided that we could have to go back the next morning to get it re-loaded and shift some weight around.

Then, in my delirious stupor, I had a brainstorm. We keep our chains in a milk crate sitting on the catwalk of the truck. I ask J how much they weighed and he said at least 60-80 lbs. So I figured why not take the chains and put them in the back of the trailer and move that weight back there. Good thing we didn't have a seal on the trailer! So J goes back there and moves them and we reweigh yet again, and guess what. That does the trick. We ended up moving 120 lbs to the back of the trailer. We were finally legal. Of course we had to stop for fuel about every 100 miles and only put a little in to keep us legal. But whatever works, right?

So this morning J gets me up to drive and the plan was to drive into Salt Lake City and meet the other driver there to switch loads. I get a message telling me to meet him at the Love's at x211 in Idaho because he still has one stop to make and we can just make that pickup for him. Ok, cool.

I pull in and the first thing we do is fill up with fuel. I wanted to make sure that when we scaled with the load he was giving us that we had a full tank. After we got everything straightened out, and remembered to get our chains back out of the trailer we gave him, I went and scaled and we were still overweight on the drives. However he had it in the 10th or 11th hole so I knew I could shift some weight and wasn't really worried about it.

Once everything was switched over and taken care of, I headed up the road about 6 miles to the last place I needed to pick up at. I got there and about an hour and a half later I am loaded and headed back to the Love's to get a final scale. I had already moved the tandems so when I got the scale ticket, I was pleased to see that we were completely legal. YAY!!

Now, I have to figure out how they expect us to get to Harahan,LA by 0500 on Friday morning. Yeah, I know, that isn't going to happen. Best I can figure the absolute earliest we can get there will be around 1500 on Saturday. This load was supposed to head out yesterday but the pick up that we made today, was supposed to have happened yesterday, but they didn't have the product in from the fields, so it had to wait an extra day. I am hoping that the place we are delivering is open and receiving on the weekend. If they aren't, then we just traded one load with too much time on it for another load just the same. I am hoping we can find something out here in a little while when I send it our projected arrival time. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it is good news!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


As I figured, I couldn't get a signal last night in Montana. So here I sit at the TA in Troutdale,OR killing a little time until my appointment at 0730. I called to see if I could get in early but the recording says they don't even open until 0700 so I have to sit here till about 0715 and then I will head over.

Yesterday J got me up in Mandan,ND and I made it as far as Belgrade,MT. Only about 560 miles, but there are some pretty good hills in there to cross over. From there J took over and made it to Pasco,WA where I took over this morning. J had the really big mountains last night and he hit every kind of weather possible. Rain, fog, snow. I sure am glad I was asleep through all of that!

When I started driving this morning the weather was fine. Unfortunately that didn't last for long. About the time I crossed over into Oregon the rain started and continued the rest of the way in. I-84 down by the Columbia River is a beautiful drive. Probably one of my favorites. Too bad I drove it at night and couldn't see the beautiful scenery. And if anyone with the Oregon DOT reads this, (Yeah, right) could you please re-stripe that road!?! You can barely see the lines to know where your lane is let alone where the shoulder is. It is bad enough when the weather is good, but when it is raining, they all but disappear!

So that is what is going on at the moment. Later today I have to call our VP at Carnival and take two of the girls off of the list and add two other names. Then I have to book another cruise for October 31st. Last year we did a girls cruise and this year we are going to do a couples cruise. And it is CHEAP in October! So that is what is on my agenda for the day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


You know that nap I was thinking of taking on Saturday morning, I never got to take it. Just as I laid down, my phone rings and it is our weekend FM calling with a load. It is 0830 and they need us to pick up the load at 0900. Unfortunately since the shipper is 190 miles away, it isn't going to happen. Not to mention that it is still snowing and the roads are horrible. I tell him I will make it there as soon as I can and I take off.

Boy, I am not kidding when I say the roads were horrible. Most of the time I was managing to go between 35-40 and a few times made it up to 50. I finally pulled into the shipper at about 1345 hours. They were glad to see me because she said they were going home as soon as they were done loading us. About 1515 I am done and pull out. I head over to the Petro, scale and go park then go inside to get my scale ticket. Uh-oh. I am 240 lbs over the 80,000 lb maximum. I call my FM and tell him and he tells me to head back to the shipper. I have to remind him that they left as soon as they were done with me since they were staying late just to get me loaded. Crap, he says. Ok, he tells me to stay put and he will get with sales. A little later he tells me that we will have to figure something out Sunday morning when they are hopefully back in the office.

That sounded good to me since we had planned on parking for a while anyway to let some of the storm pass over. Now, when I weighed I only had 3/8 a tank of fuel and the scale was covered with ice. It got me to wondering how much the ice on the scale weighed. But there was nothing I could do about that.

We got a good nights sleep and woke up this morning with a plan. First, go eat breakfast. Priorities, folks! Ok, next, fill up with fuel because when we scaled again, I wanted the weight with full tanks. Then, while we were in the fuel aisle, we knocked as much ice off the trailer as we could. And believe me, there was a LOT on there. Ok, go scale again and we are still over by 300 lbs. Oh, and we scaled at another place that we found that didn't have as much snow and ice on the scale. Ok, 300 lbs. Now we decide to go and get the trailer de-iced figuring that the ice on there had to weigh at least 300 lbs. The load we picked up was only a little over 43,000 lbs so there was no way we should be overweight. Unless they loaded an extra pallet on there by mistake.

We head down to the Blue Beacon, after making sure there were no DOT scales on the way, and get the trailer de-iced. We then head back to the scale to scale again. Ta-dah! We are now legal. Would you believe that the trailer wash alone washed off 900 lbs of ice!!! It was crazy how much ice we had under there. All of that thanks to the snow J drove in on Friday night and what I drove through Saturday morning! Finally we were able to hit the road!

Funny thing is that this load is a "HOT" load and they wanted it there by Monday at 1100 hours. Now we are about 24 hours behind so it isn't going to get there until sometime on Tuesday morning. But we will do what we can to get it there as soon and as safely as possible. Who would have thought that there was that much ice under the trailer and that it would have weighed that much. I mean, I know ice is heavy, but 900 lbs, not counting what we knocked off with a sledge hammer and chisel, is a crapload of ice!

Now that you know we are under way and where we are headed, I have a random thought for you. Up here in Wisconsin some of the roads are letters. Like County Road F and such. Missouri has the same thing and they even have the letters doubled. Like, you have County Road D and then County Road DD. Now, I know I am not the only one to have ever thought this, but evertime I pass by a road like that I just laugh. Especially if it is a road with the double letters like DD. Does that sound like a bra size to anyone? I mean, are there standards that you have to meet if you live on that road? Pre-requisites that you have to have a certain "build" to have an address there? Maybe it is just me, but I can't help but laught when I see those roads.

There is your update and random thought of the day. If I can get a signal tomorrow in Montana after I am done driving, because that is where we should be, I will get on and give another update. If not, it will be Tuesday afternoon when we get to Portland. Surely I can get a signal there.

Oh, also, wish us good weather crossing through Montana and down across Washington into Oregon. You know how my luck with the weather is. I need all the help I can get!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


After spending a nice relaxing night in the hotel in Victorville, it was time to hit the road and start working again.

While at the hotel we got our next load to pick up Wednesday evening and deliver in Tomah,WI at 0300 on Saturday. We checked out of the hotel at noon and headed up to the Pilot to kill a few hours. After a nap and a late dinner, we headed back to pick up an empty and then headed down to Colton to pick up our load.

We got in to get loaded and were loaded really fast. J said there were three guys loading the trailer and it was loaded in less than 10 minutes. I would say we were in and out of there within an hour, which is pretty darn fast for a live load. From there J headed out and got us just across the Nevada state line where I took over on Thursday morning. It really was an uneventful trip this time, for the most part. I made it to Green River,UT and J took over and made it to the Nebraska state line. From there I drove into Des Moines,IA where we stopped for dinner and a shower. AT that point, J only had 320 miles to go to the receiver.

We pulled out of des Moines around 1900 giving us 8.5 hours to get the 320 miles. It was plenty of time, and J still managed to get us here early, but we hit snow. Lots of snow coming down up here in WI and the northern part of IA on I-35. Roads are completely snow packed and of course in the middle of the night, there weren't very many plows out.

As J was finishing the delivery, I woke up and when he was done we headed down to a truck stop 2 exits down. It is a KwikTrip but there is lots of parking. They also have a restaurant called the Hearty Platter. Darn good food and lots of it. And probably the cheaest place we have eaten in a long time. Too bad we don't get up this way very often, but I am going to have to remember this little place.

Now I am sitting here chillin in the truck thinking about taking a nap. It is still snowing outside and we don't have a load. And it is Saturday. Not looking good. But we told dispatch to call us if we get a load because we are going back to bed. Since we are tucked up in here nice and cozy, the only thing missing is a fireplace!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I couldn't get online again yesterday but I am in Victorville,CA where I am able to get a signal now.

After we left West Memphis,AR, J drove us across to Oklahoma and almost to the Texas state line. I got up yesterday morning and drove from there to Acoma,NM. The last couple of days we have found a lot of old friends on Facebook and found out that one of our High School friends is living in Flagstaff. So when Joe took over in Acoma, our plan was to get to Flagstaff where we could meet up with Keele, our friend, and visit and have some dinner. I knew that I would need a nap before we got there so I headed to bed for a while.

Around 2015 hours we made it into Flagstaff where J woke me up and we headed in for a shower and then called Keele to meet up with us. We stopped at Little America and had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. It was so nice catching up with her! She is a crazy girl! And still as pretty as ever if I do say so! Unfortunately we had to hit the road. As we were walking out and saying our goodbyes, we realized it had started snowing. Now, wasn't is just snowing the last time we were through Flagstaff about a week ago? Yes it was! Well, we take off and J drove through some really nasty conditions, everything from a white out to snow and ice covered roads and the plows hadn't made it out yet. Seeing as how I was a nervous wreck (I am a horrible passenger in bad weather) and I was exhausted, I headed back to bed to hide in the covers so I wouldn't see what was going on outside.

This morning, J woke me up in Kingman,AZ. He made it that far and finally made it out of the snow but was exhausted from dealing with it. Since we could deliver this load anytime today before our payroll cutoff, I got to sleep in until 0600. That was nice, but I still wanted more sleep!

I made it to our delivery around 1130 this morning and from there we headed to the Pilot down the road to scan in our trips so we could get paid this week. That is VERY important! While I was heading over to the Pilot though, I ended up taking a side road to get to there and I found a Motel 6 you couldn't see from the highway tucked behind a Holiday Inn. And two important things about Motel 6. First, I think they all accept pets. Second, this one was newer, had inside rooms and had a big sign advertising the "Bar & Grill" inside. Now have you EVER seen a Motel 6 with a restaurant inside, let along a bar? Now, we had talked to our FM and he said it would probably be tomorrow before we could get a load. This worked for us because J needs a restart on his hours. So, as soon as I finished up at the Pilot, I headed back over to the Motel 6 and checked in.

Right now we are checked into a really nice Motel 6, kicking back chillin, and watching TV. Smokey is sound asleep at the foot of the bed and we are contemplating when we are going to head down to the bar and grill and grab a beer and something to eat. Life is good at the moment!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

West Memphis,AR

I have had another few days where I couldn't get online on the laptop. I really don't know now if it is my aircard or if I have just been in areas that don't get a good signal. But I have a signal now so I am going to make the most of it while I can.

Now, where did I leave off? Last I left you I was sitting at a service plaza in Kennebunk,ME waiting to go pick up our next load. I got a call from John our FM who said that the load was ready and for us to head out to pick it up. Also said that there was too much time on the load so they rescheduled the appt for 1800 on Friday. Well, thanks for moving it up after I already made plans to meet up with friends from Schneider and for it to be a nice leisurely trip! LOL After a call to our friends that we couldn't meet up, we headed out to pick up the load and we were off.

I'm not sure what the hurry was since it was a drop and they weren't waiting for us to get there to unload it. But we got there on time and dropped and headed over to the TA about 20 miles up to get a PM. We bobtailed up to get that done since they said we could come back anytime for an empty. And we also figured we wouldn't get another load until the next morning sometime so there was no use in dragging around a trailer if we didn't need to. We made it to the TA and grabbed a bite to eat, J got the PM done while I headed to bed. Before I went to bed I sent in a message for them to call us if we got a load since we were both going to be going to bed before too long.

I got a good nights sleep, but of course I woke up at 0600 thinking I had overslept. Stupid internal clock! LOL So I got up and went inside and grabbed a cup of cappucino then headed out to the truck to wait for a load. I didn't even drink the cappucino because I was still so lazy and decided around 0700 that I was going back to bed. The heck with it! I figured they would call if we got a load.

Around 0930 or so the phone rings, and it is John with a load for us. He is so funny sometimes. I answered and he said "Hey this is John. I have a load for you. It pays good, is a drop and hook on both ends and you can deliver before payroll cutoff. So do ya love me?" I just busted out laughing and said "Of course I love ya!" Well, the load could be picked up anytime on Saturday before 2200 hours so we had time to fart around. We got up and grabbed a shower, ate breakfast, did laundry and J replaced a mud flap on the truck that mysteriously disappeared. I mean, you would think you would know if you hit something and ripped one off. But it was gone. Very wierd.

Around 1500 or so we headed back to where we dropped the night before and grabbed an empty trailer and headed to Cleveland,TN to the Mars Factory where we picked up our load. OMG that place smells so good. It is like chocolate flavored air. :) From there we headed up the road to a Love's to scale and grab some dinner. While we were there, we decided to spend the night and just head out this morning. J was getting short on hours and we have until the 19th to deliver this load. But of course we are going to drop it off Tuesday morning for payroll a whole two days early, but we had plenty of time to stop for the night.

This morning I set my alarm for 0600 and got up and got ready. Around 0715 we were rolling out of the parking lot and hitting the road. I managed to make it to West Memphis,AR by 1500 which is where J took over. Didn't make my usual 500+ miles, but then again I started late.

I also found a houseboat online today that I want to buy. We have been talking about getting one for a while and I found one that is on a lake there in Ft Worth. It needs a little work, but the owner is in bad health and selling it for dirt cheap. I mean cheap enough that I could pay cash for it. So I sent an e-mail about the listing and we will see what happens. It was last updated in January, so I don't know if it has already sold or not. With my luck, it probably has, but I still have to check!

I will let you know more when I find something out. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Guess what I woke up to this morning? You guessed it! More rain with a little fog mixed in just to make it messier. This is how my day started.

J woke me up at the Service Plaza between Kennebunk and Lewiston,ME. He did so good last night and got me just short of 23 miles from our destination. Seeing as we were delivering to a Walmart, I knew we could be an hour early, but no more, so I went ahead and got ready and headed on in. Thankfully this was an easy place to find. When I took the ramp off of the tollway, there was a sign that pointed right indicating the Walmart DC. I love places that do this. It makes it so much easier to find.

Once I got there and made the turn into the actual Walmart DC, I realized it was a good thing I left when I did. There were about 5 trucks in front of me waiting to get in. Unfortunately, Walmart is not the quickest places to get in and out of. We were probably in line for about 15 minutes before I finally made it to the front of the line where I could get out and check in. By that time I had counted 9 trucks that were back behind me. Yep, good thing I got there a little earlier. See, Walmart is funny about their deliveries. They consider you arriving once you have got in the gate, parked your trailer and checked in at the office. When you actually arrive at the gate with the guard doesn't count. I personally think that is stupid. Since that is actually the time you arrive there. And there have been times where we have waited in line close to 45 minutes to even get to the guard shack. I can remember one time, although I don't remember which Walmart it was, but by the time we got through the gate, backed into the dock that they assigned us at the gate, unhooked and parked, and walked the paperwork in, we were 3 freaking minutes late. And you HAVE to dock the trailer, unhook and park BEFORE you check in or they won't take you. That one time they considered us late and put us to the back of the line. Said they would get us unloaded whenever they could fit us in. Now tell me, is 3 freaking minutes really worth all of that when we sat at the gate trying to get in for almost an hour? You can best believe I gave that lady a piece of my mind. LOL I only wish J had told me he had done the same thing while I was in the restroom and I wouldn't have said anything. But since he went to the restroom after I came out and didn't tell me, I had to let her know what a crock of shit that was. I told her that if they could get competent people working the gate to get trucks in and out faster, this wouldn't be a problem. Not my proudest moment, but I was pissed. At least I didn't cause a huge scene or cuss at her like I have seen other drivers do. But I definitely let her know how I felt about that.

Anywho..... I got checked in and then went back out to the truck to wait. J finally headed to bed after we had a bowl of soup and I chilled and read a book. I know, soup for breakfast? Well, it was his dinner and I was just hungry. Besides, all the rain outside just made it a soup kind of morning. I would have rather have had some hot oatmeal, but I didn't have any of that with me, so I settled for some pretty darn good vegetable beef soup!

I kept hearing them call people on the CB but I never heard them call me. Finally, I went in and checked and sure enough, I was ready. They said that they had tried to call me but I didn't answer. My CB is a piece of crap and it only gets reception when it wants to so it didn't surprise me when I didn't hear them call. I headed out to the truck, sent my depart, hooked back up to the trailer and headed to the gate.

After I stopped at the gate to let them see that the trailer was empty, I shut the doors and got back in. That short 2 minutes that I was out of the truck is when we got our next load assignment. No one was behind me, so I stayed there for a sec checking out our next load.

I know being up in Maine means no freight and I knew we would have to go south to get something. Turns out that I don't have to go far though. I am heading 116 miles south down I-95 to Methuen,MA to pick up a load going to Murfreesboro,TN. The load doesn't pick up until 2000 hrs tonight though. I decided to go ahead and drive a ways down and park at the service plaza in Kennebunk,ME and just chill out here. From here, itis only 64 miles to the shipper. This way J can get some really good non-moving sleep today and he can even sleep in. I figure we don't have to leave here till around 1800 to give us plenty of time to get down to make the pick-up. And this is a nice little service plaza. They have a Starbucks, Burger King, Sbarro's and a little convenience store. So I am set. Now if they only had laundry facilities, I would be estatic! But, given that this load is only going 1081 miles and doesn't deliver until Saturday afternoon, we will have time to stop tomorrow or Saturday and do laundry.

I talked to our friends that drive for Schneider today. They are picking up in Kearney,NJ tonight and headed down I-81 to South Carolina I think. Or was it North Carolina? One of the Carolina's. Since we will be heading down I-81 also to get to Tennessee we are going to probably meet up with them somewhere along the way tomorrow and have lunch. I am guessing somewhere in Virginia. They are in no rush on their load so they said they can take all the time they need. They are just dropping it at a drop lot since it doesn't deliver until the 18th.

They also told me they found another carrier to go and work for. They got the call last night saying they were hired. They just aren't getting the miles they need. She said there have been times they go two weeks without a paycheck or more. They just can't find freight for them. That was one of the reasons that we left Schneider. We weren't getting loads. But the outfit is based close to where they live and mainl y runs freight lanes from the Dallas/Ft Worth area out to California and back. And the best part for them is the trucks they have are Pete's that have automatic transmissions. She can drive a 10-speed, that is what she was taught on in the school. But she is much more comfortable in an automatic. And they are currently in an automatic with Schneider so I know she doesn't want to go back to the 10-speed. I can't blame her! When we left Schneider we had an automatic and LOVED it. I definitely took us some getting used to when we had to go back to the 10-speed. Oh, and the company is a reefer outfit. I know he really wasn't wanting to go reefer, but dry van obviously can't keep them busy right now. As I have said before, people aren't buying the stereos and clothes right now with this economy, but they still have to eat. So the reefer side of the industry is staying steady.

I guess here in a little while I am going to have to call Carnival and give them some more money for the cruise we are taking Jessica on for graduation. Then I need to book an RV for April when we are taking my mom on vacation. There are some places she wants to see in California, like the Hearst Mansion, the Winchester Mansion, Gilroy Gardens and the Redwood Forest, so we are going to rent an RV for a week and take her. I will say that one of the nice things about driving a truck and not having a house is that you can really save money. No way we could take her and Jessica on vacations like this if we were still working for the police department and sheriff's department. Not only would money be an issue, but getting the time off would be an issue also. Now we don't have to worry about that. It is really nice running your own business and being your own boss!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Rain Rain Go Away Come Again Some Other Day!!!! That has been my mantra the last few days. When we arrived in California last Saturday evening, it was raining. It was raining when we picked up our load on Sunday evening after dropping the one we had on Saturday evening. Then we had snow on Monday through Arizona. I saw the sun for a few hours Sunday afternoon, once I made it east of Flagstaff, but by the time I hit the New Mexico border and J started driving, it was cloudy and there were snow flurries again. When J took over last night in Rolla,MO it started raining on him after I went to bed. That would be somewhere around St Louis or maybe right after he crossed into Illinois. When he woke me up in Columbus,OH this morning, it was yet again raining. And now here I am in Syracuse,NY at the end of my shift, and it is STILL raining. I love the rain. When I am at home, cuddled up with a blanket and a good book and sitting in front of a fire. But not when I drive completely across the USA and it hovers above me!

These storms are pretty bad that are moving across the US. I talke to some friends of ours who drive for Schneider this afternoon. They were in Tennessee and getting pounded by rain and wind. They said they had been dealing with it since they left the Dallas/Ft Worth area last night. Another friend of ours, who works for Richardson PD, has his fence blown down from the storms. He lives over in Garland,TX and if you have been watching the news, Garland was making national news from the storm damage along with the tornado or two that touched down in Oklahoma City and the surrounding area. Actually I think it was just one tornado. Regardless, it has been some nasty weather.

Right now we are about 434 miles from our delivery up in Lewiston,ME. I am thinking that J will get us to the service plaza in Kennebunk,ME tonight. From there, it should be a short drive for me to the receivers in the morning. First though, after J takes off driving here in a few, we are making a stop at x28 on I-90 here in NY at the TA. Time for a shower and a meal that comes on a plate and not out of a wrapper.

I also think that once we get finished with this load, that we are going to have to give this truck a good cleaning. Smokey likes the mud and water puddles a little too much. And there is only so much that I can do to get him cleaned off before he jumps up in the truck after I walk him. A cleaning is definitely in order.

As usual, I am not sure where we will be headed tomorrow. Both times we have delivered in Maine, they have sent us back south to pick up our next load. I am just hoping that this storm passes or something before I have to drive back south in it tomorrow. Anyway, time for me to chill out for a while before we stop up at the TA. I am off to be lazy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here we are in Rolla,MO. I have been having problems getting online and I am beginning to suspect that it is my air card. It doesn't seem to be getting a good connection to my laptop. Could be partly because when we set the laptop on the steering wheel it pushes it up some. Well, not could be, that is probably the problem. LOL Now I just have to figure out if it has damaged the air card or the connection in the computer.

We made it in to Carson,CA and killed a few hours at the truck stop before our delivery at 1900 local time. From there J headed back to the TA where we spent the night. I was so tired when we left the shipper headed back to the truck stop that I didn't even notice the crappy California roads. Also didn't notice when he pulled in and parked, got in the back and gathered up the laundry, left or came back to the truck. Good thing no one tried to steal the truck because they would have stolen me right along with it! I was beat!

I woke up the next morning, Sunday, to the Qualcomm beeping asking when we would be ready for a load. Umm, as soon as you send me one? The weekend guy said that he would try to get us something asap. I decided I would head in and grab some coffee then come back to the truck to sit and wait. Turns out I didn't have to wait for long. As I was walking back out to the truck my phone rang and it was him calling to tell me he had just sent me a load and to go over the live-load call stuff we have to do. The load didn't pick up until 1900 Sunday night so we still had all day Sunday to kill.

When I got back into the truck J had woke up so I told him about the load and then we went in to grab some breakfast. With nothing else to do after that, we came back to the truck and decided a nap was in order. It was raining there so that was the perfect weather to be lazy in.

We had talked to another husband/wife team that is with Prime and they were going to be to that same truck stop around 1300 so we figured we would take a nap and get up at 1200 so we could grab a shower. Of course when we got up and were getting ready to head in for the shower, they pulled in. Figures! But we still grabbed a shower before we had lunch, and I am sure they apreciated our efforts. It was nice to get to visit with Chuck and Lori. We ended up getting to visit until around 1700 local when we both needed to hit the road. Us to make our pick-up and them to make their delivery. So after saying goodbye, we both hit the road.

This pick-up they had us on was to a place we had been before and it was only about 18 miles from the truck stop. The appointment was for 1900 and by the time we got loaded and back to the truck-stop to scale it was around 2300. J made it to the last rest area in CA on I-40 where he called it a night.

We had heard Flagstaff was supposed to get snow on Monday, so I get up and head out right at 0300. The roads between Kingman,AZ and Flagstaff,AZ were a compelte disaster. I passed two Fed-Ex truck, daycabs pulling doubles, that had both lost traction and were stopped side by side blocking both lanes. Two state patrols were on scene and after downshifting to 3rd gear I was able to crawl by them on the left shoulder without having to stop. A little farther up the mountain on the westbound side, there was a semi completely off the road and on it's side. I FINALLY made it to the east side of Flagstaff where the sun was shining and not a flake of snow on the ground. I was really really really happy to see clear roads. I stopped at the AZ/NM border where J took over and drove all night to get me to the TX/OK border.

This morning I woke up in Erick,OK at the Love's at exit 7 or 8, I don't remember. Anyway, took off from there and made it into Springfield,MO right at lunch. Another driver that we know was at the yard there with his dad who was taking his CDL test, so we were able to meet him for lunch. This has been a week of meeting up with friends. I love weeks like this! We were at the yard for about 2 hours and I headed out at 1400. I went ahead and drove until 1600 today so J could get a nap since I woke him up for lunch. When I stopped, I stopped at the Love's in Rolla where we switched out.

While we were in the Love's, I was watching the Weather Channel to see what kind of weather we would run into on the rest of the trip up to Maine. It looks like from here on out we will skirt around the top of the store that is headed towards New England. What surprised me is what was BEHIND us. I drove through Oklahoma City around 0630 this morning. While I was watching the Weather Channel they were saying that Oklahoma City had a major tornado touch down. Lots of buildings were damaged with roofs collapsing or completely being pulled off of the houses. I am so glad that I made it through there when I did. It is a nasty looking storm cell that is running from OK down through North Texas and the Dallas/Ft Worth area. We have definitely encountered some wierd weather this trip. I am hoping the rest of the trip is smooth for us as far as the weather is concerned.

Not a lot else going on. I figure J will make it up to the Chicago area or somewhere up in IN tonight before he calls it a night and then I will take over from there. I will let you know tomorrow!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I tried to post yesterday but was in an area that I could not get a signal at all. So I will make up for it today.

Yesterday, Sam was nice enough to leave me a comment telling me that my blog was in the February issue of the Pilot Challenge. Of course the next Pilot I saw I had to pull in. I made a beeline for the rack and pulled one off. Sure enough, there it was! There was a great article in there about trucking blogs. At the end of the article there were several blogs listed. Sure enough, mine was on there. Isn't life strange sometimes? I started this blog initially just to chronical our life out on the road. Along the way it happened that I was actually helping some people make the decision on whether to become an OTR driver. I guess that is because I just tell it like it is out here. It isn't all roses but it certainly isn't all bad. The good FAR outweighs the bad. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it is the right career for a number of people. Although I am wondering how people actually find blogs on the web. I guess they fall into certain categories based on content or something. I guess I will leave that up to the blogspot people since it its out of my range of expertise!

When we picked this load up in Kalamazoo,MI we need we would need to hustle to get here on time. J had a couple of long days, as did I. But today I managed to pull into Barstow at the end of my shift with only 124 miles to go for an appointment time of 1900. That means after grabbing a sandwich from Subway and heading out, J is going to get us to the receiver about 3 hours early. Scratch that. I just remembered where we are going and we can't park there. crap! That means that we will have to stay at the TA until a little over an hour before we are due and then we can take off.

That is one of the really bad things about delivering out here in CA. There is NOWHERE to park. The truck stops are very limited in comparison to the number of drivers out here on the road. And then you have warehouses like the one we are delivering to that have absolutely no extra parking. You have to pull up on the street and check in. And if there are too many trucks inside, you have to back into the parking lot off of the street. That is always fun. That is the way it goes out here though.

I am not sure where we will be heading next. I checked with our weekend FM and he said it would probably be tomorrow morning before we get a load. That means that after we drop this load tonight, we will head back to the TA in Ontario,CA to spend the night and see what tomorrow brings. You never know though, he may surprise us with something later tonight. Now we will just play the waiting game!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Battle Creek,MI

Oh my goodness it is COLD! Truck is reading 21 degrees outside but the wind is blowing. It just cuts you to the bone. It was cold in Springfield while we were there and I don't feel like I have been warm in over a week. A nice hot shower helped earlier but as soon as I stepped back outside, there comes the cold again.

When J woke me up this morning, we were at a rest area 14 miles from our delivery. I got rounded up and headed in and got there about 45 minutes early. There were 2 trucks in front of us that also had 0600 appointments but there were only 2 docks. I finally make it in to a door around 0730 or so and by around 0900 I am done. I messaged our FM and he didn't have a load yet so I headed up the road to a small truck stop to wait.

Turns out I didn't have to wait for long. Once I got there I went inside and grabbed some breakfast from the McDonald's and when I got back to the truck we had our next load. We are picking up in Kalamazoo,MI and delivering to Carson,CA. Finally we are back to the coast where we can get in a good freight lane. When they first sent the load assigment we had a delivery time of Monday at 0600. That was a lot of time on that load and I knew we would make it in sometime Saturday evening so we would have a whole day to kill. I decided to go ahead and take off and head towards Kalamazoo and as I was driving I got another message with a new appointment time of Saturday at 1900 hrs. Well, so much for taking our time on the load. With the new appointment time, we will have to book it to make it there. They have us routed across I-80, to I-76 to I-70 and then down I-15 into the Los Angeles area. We have decided we are going to take the southern route and cut down to I-40 over to I-15. It is right at 100 miles further but we will make about the same time by not having to cross all the mountains in Colorado and Utah. Not to mention that there is always the possibility of snow when you cross I-70 in Colorado because the altitide is so high.

I made it to Battle Creek,MI which is a short 34 miles to the shipper and that is where I called it a day. J got up around 1400 and we headed in for a shower and lunch. After that J walked Smokey while I figured out the route and how far each of us will need to go each shift in order to make it there on time. Now that we have that all figured out we are a short 15 miles from the shipper and we are ready to roll!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Did you notice where I am? Springfield, ILLINOIS! Not Springfield,MO! Yay, we made it out of the Freight Black Hole!!

Yesterday afternoon around 1430 we finally got a load. We almost had a load to Canada, and we were actually going to take it since we hadn't been before, but it was still in Laredo,TX and wouldn't be there for another two days. So instead we ended up getting assigned a load that was dropped there at the yard and is delivering to Imlay City,MI. So it is back up to the frozen north for us. It was only 777 miles to deliver so we had plenty of time. We knew that we would get there extremely early if we left yesterday, so we went ahead and stayed at the yard and headed out this morning. We got up and got breakfast, picked up the trailer, went and washed the truck and left a little before 0900. This is going to be nice and easy trip so we are taking our time.

We are currently travelling NB up I-55 in Illinois and I just looked up and realized where we are. About 5 miles back is where my windshield got busted on Saturday. You can bet we are being super careful when trucks come by that have any ice or snow on them!

Anyway, not much else going on today. Hopefully tomorrow we will get a load heading to the east or west coast again so we can get back in a good freight lane.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Yep, we are still here. On the bright side, we got the window fixed and the lights fixed. Now we are just waiting on a load. We got back to the yard from the hotel around 0830 this morning and we were #3 on the list of teams waiting for a load. Now it is 1315 and we are still waiting.

Another friend of ours made it to the yard this morning and we got to visit and have breakfast with him. J headed to bed after that and I was able to get him to help me figure out this i-Pod stuff so I could download songs for J onto his i-Pod Nano that we got last night. I have an mp3 but am having issues with it so I was going to return it and get me an i-Pod Touch but of course they were out of them. Pooh! I will have to try another place. At least the i-Tunes store is much more user friendly than the other places that I was using for my mp3, which was NOT an i-Pod.

Oh, and the friend that we met has a puppy with him. It is an English Bulldog that is only maybe 9 weeks old and it is the cutest puppy ever!! He named him Diesel (how cute is that?) and the poor puppy is already driving him nuts. He is trying to get rid of him already and if I had the money to buy him, and if I could take J into it, I would scoop him up in a heartbeat! He said he would even take payments. Unfortunately, an English Bulldog is going to get fairly big and there is not going to be enough room for both him and Smokey in the truck. So I will have to pass on him and keep my Smokey.

Speaking of dogs though, last night when we got back to the hotel from Walmart, there was a guy out walking his Rottweiller. OMG that dog reminded me of our Rottweiller, Harley, that we had to put down quite a few years ago. He had cancer. Man I miss that dog. That was truly the best dog we have ever had. All 165 lbs of him.

Not much else going on here. Just sitting and waiting on a load. I'll update more later when we actually do something!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


It appears that we are stuck in Springfield once more. Yesterday when J took off driving, his plan was to get to Springfield to have them look at the trailer and the windshield and for us to then head on out to Laredo. As we all know, things don't always go according to plan.

J made it to Springfield and found the guy in the yard that he needed to take a looka t the trailer. He was working on another trailer and had J unhook the trailer we had so he could get to it next. I guess as he was unhooking the trailer, he realized that our front passenger road lamp, headlight and marker lights weren't working. Thinking it was just the bulbs, he went and got bulbs from the shop. Not wanting to replace them at that moment, he went to park to wait for the trailer to be finished. About two hours later, he went to check on the fixed trailer and to hook up. When he was doing so he replaced the bulbs only to find out that when he took them out, they weren't broken and weren't out. Hmm Seems that we have some kind of electrical problem. He talked to the guys in the shop about it but they are backed up and besides they said that they don't do electrical work. Therefore we are stuck here in Springfield to get this stuff fixed and are now in the freight black hole.

On the bright side we will get to watch the Superbowl AND see all of the commercials. This is the first Superbowl I have seen in several years so I am excited!