Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We FINALLY made it out of the rain! Monday evening J took over and got us to some small town in Maryland. I can't even remember the name of it off the top of my head. From there, I had a short 156 miles to go to deliver our hazmat load. Considering that I was on I-68 going through Maryland and the mountains in that area, I made decent time. I got there about an hour before our appointment.

I knew we had been there before because of the address, but I couldn't visualize the place. As soon as I turned off of the highway the road started looking familiar I remembered the place. It is a tiny warehouse and you have to blindside back to get to the dock. J was asleep and I was planning on doing my best without having to wake him up. I actually lucked out and did a pretty darn good blindside with only getting out once to look and two pull-ups. I was pretty proud of myself since it was a fairly tight spot.

They had me unloaded within 45 minutes and from there I headed down to the Flying J which was about 5 miles up I-81. After getting backed into a spot, I figured I better do our paperwork since it was due that afternoon. We definitely want to get paid. :) I managed to get that done and right at two hours after I got parked, our computer beeped with our next load.

From there I had to head about 280 miles over to Rocky Mount,NC to pick up a load at Hospira going to Santa Fe Springs,CA. It wasn't supposed to be ready until 2100 hours but I went ahead and headed that direction. I stopped in Ruther Glen,VA at a Petro so we could grab a shower, lunch and get the trailer washed out. After we got that taken care of, J took of and drove us the last 160 miles or to to get this load picked up.

We knew this was going to be a drop and hook from having been there before, and this time was no exception. They guard told us to drop our emty trailer and then go check in with shipping. Sure enough, our trailer was loaded and ready to go, but we ended up waiting for about an hour for the paperwork. With no scale close by, we headed south on I-81 from x145 to x106 where there was a TA that we could scale at. Just our luck the load was heavy for the California laws. By this time, it was about 2230 hours and we had no choice but to go back and have them re-work the load.

The trailer was in the 6th hole and for California, it can't be any further back than that. We were over by 600 lbs on the trailer tandems. We could have got it legal by moving the tandems to the 7th or 8th hole, but then it wouldn't be legal in California. Since we are taking this load to Dallas and then handing it off to another team, we wanted to make sure it was right. So as I headed off to bed, J turned around and headed back to have them rework it.

About four hours later, J is back at the TA again re-weighing and we are all legal. All they did was remove one pallet and just initial the change on the paperwork. So I am not sure why it took them almost 3 hours to get that done. Anyway, after J gets all that done, he lets me sleep till 0400 then I am up and on the road by 0500 this morning.

I could only legally work until 1300 hrs today because I only had 8 hours available. I managed to get fuel mileage just over 7.0 running top speed so I managed to make it to Atlanta,GA where we currently are. J can't drive until 1600 today so we are just chilling at the moment but we are about to take off. We only have about 770 miles to go into Dallas, so we should be there in the morning!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Yesterday I had to deal with snow in Wyoming, and today I had to deal with rain all the way across Kansas, Missouri and into Illinois. We are almost across Illinois now, and I am done driving, but it is still raining for J. Ugh! Isn't is supposed to be spring and sunny outside??

J did great driving last night and got me from Laramie,WY all the way to Salina,KS. We dropped down to I-70 in Laramie and had better roads, but more rain. But we saved on tolls, so that is worth it. When he woke me up this morning, he did so with a cheery smile informing me he had driven me all the way to the beginning of the storm. Isn't he the sweetest?? LOL

I have had a heck of a time today with the placards on the trailer. With all of this rain I lost the two on the front. I used the last two that we had so now we don't have any spares. J even lost one last night I think. When we switched in Effingham, that Pilot didn't have any so we are going to stop at the next truck stop we come across and see if they have any. Once it stopped raining for just a few minutes earlier today, I pulled in to a Petro and dried the area off around the palcards and put some clear packing tape on them to hold them down. It is helping some, but with all this rain, I am sure we will lose more so we have to find a place to buy some more at. We have corrosive and flammable which should be fairly common placards. We will have to see what we can find.

We were able to reschedule our appointment for 0900 local time tomorrow so we will have to be there by 0800 our time. They had us routed all the way across I-70 through PA to I-81 but I double checked and found the tunnel that we need to avoid and it is on that stretch of I-70. Instead we will take I-79 south just outside of Pittsburgh,PA and then hit I-68 across Maryland and hook up into I-81. More mountains that way, but we will avoid the tunnel. I wish I would have thought about that route last time when I ended up having to take US30 around the tunnel! What a nightmare that road was!

Anyway, I am probably going to hit the sack pretty early tonight and try to get into a good deep sleep before he hits those mountains. I never sleep ood going through there, or any mountains for that matter, and I want a good nights sleep before I have to finish up the last bit of mountain driving in the morning to deliver. Everyone have a great night!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Will someone please correct me if I am wrong, but have I not said that I really really really dislike driving across I-80 in Wyoming? I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure I have made that clear! LOL So does it surprise anyone that as I drove across Wyoming today I had to deal with snow, freezing rain and high winds?? This is almost May, right? I am looking at the right calendar, right? I figured I was since I do my log book every day, but this sure doesn't seem like "almost May" weather to me!!

Let me back up some. Friday evening we made our way over to Pittsburgh,CA and picked up our hazmat load. We headed towards Sacramento where we had decided to stay the night since I-80 was closed for construction. We decided it wasn't worth taking the detour with a hazmat load that is corrosive and flammable. So bright and early Saturday morning, I headed out as soon as 0700 rolled around because that is when they were supposed to have the interstate back open.

We had already talked to our FM about getting the appointment changed to Tuesday, so we weren't too stressed about time. We have a friend in Winnemucca,NV that we have been trying to see since we started driving and haven't had the chance to meet up. It never fails that she is at work or we are going through around 0200 in the morning. Luckily this time she was off and in town to compete in a barrel race for an injured police officer. They were having it at the Winnemucca Events Center which is an indoor arena and there is a huge parking lot. We were able to pull right in and park and not have another vehicle for at least 50-60 yards. It was nice. We got to visit with her for a couple of hours and meet her youngest son and her husband. I only wish we could have had more time, but we had to head out because I had to get to bed.

After leaving there, we headed down the road about an hour and stopped and grabbed some dinner and I donated $25 to the slot machines. I was trying to help stimulate the economy there in Battle Mountain,NV! Leaving out of there I headed straight to bed. As it was, I knew I was only going to get about 5-6 hours of sleep.

J got us into our yard in Salt Lake City,UT where he woke me up at 0400. I had a heck of a time waking up but I made it and hit the road about 0500 after fueling up. I didn't make it very far my first try today. I made it up over Parley's Summit and to the rest area just east of where I-80 and I-84 merge. I pulled in and had to take a nap for about an hour. I felt a lot better after that extra hour of sleep.

Ready to hit the road again, I climb in the front seat and notice that it is snowing outside. Uh-oh! Not good! I boogie on out of there and get out of the snow just a few miles down the road. I made it into Wyoming and my phone rings and it is some friends of our. "Hey, was that you we just passed around the 150 mile marked?" I said, "Yep, that was me." Then the reply I get back was, "Hey, you're gonna hit some snow from around Rawlins to Cheyenne and they have the plows out on Sherman." (I guess that is the pass between Cheyenne and Laramie.) "Just freaking great! Thanks for the heads up!" I told her. Sure enough, around Rawlins I run into snow. Thank goodness it was just wet snow and not sticking to the road, but my wipers and the backs of my mirrors were all iced up.

I made it as far as Laramie,WY and said the heck with this and called it a day there. J woke up as I pulled into the parking lot, so it worked out well. We went inside and grabbed some lunch and now we are on our way again. As I type this, I am sitting in the bunk with the curtain closed. I am a horrible passenger, especially in bad weather. I have control issues. LOL Yes, I will admit it! Drives poor J nuts, but he loves me and puts up with me. Anyway, I figured it was better for me to just start out back in the bunk instead of him having to tell me to come back here!

We have decided that once we reach Cheyenne that we are going to cut down to Denver and take I-70 across. We were going to stay on I-80 but decided to go this way. It is only 100 miles further and that will only be about $50 or less in fuel. If we stay on I-80, we will have more than that in tolls crossing Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. And we can still deliver by 0800 on Tuesday morning. Or was it 0900? I don't remember, but either way, we can make it. That is an easy 550 miles each of the next 3 shifts. Joe tonight, me tomorrow morning and Joe tomorrow night. That will only leave me about 100 miles to finish up and get us to destination. Piece of cake.

So I am going to head to bed and hope that the shaking of the truck doesn't keep me awake. We have got to get this thing aligned.......

Friday, April 24, 2009

Santa Nella,CA

Boy, what a busy last 24 hours we have had! After J took over last night and after we had dinner at the Petro in Kingman, AZ I hit the sack. I woke up momentarily when J got us to receiver in Victorville,CA. From there he headed down to the TA in Ontario and again I didn't feel a thing until he woke me up.

When we got to the TA they were able to get us right in for a PM on the truck and on the APU. Unfortunately they didn't have all the belts and filters for the APU. Lucky for us we had some. But, that meant that J had to wake me up because they were under the bunk where I was sleeping. I got up for a few minutes and then headed back to bed once they had what they needed. Then J had to get me up again because the APU wouldn't start and he had to reset it. Of course the reset button is, you guessed it, under the bunk! Finally they got done and J found a place to park and I was out like a light!

This morning my phone rang at 0800 and it was our FM telling us to head towards Bakersfield and they would load us out of that area. So I get up and head inside to get ready and run into another lady that also drives for Prime with her husband. She has another FM but she got the same call telling her to head towards Bakersfield. After we both got rounded up, we headed out to Bakersfield together with me following her. We took a route that was about 30 miles further, but we completely avoided Los Angeles rush hour traffic and got there about an hour or so faster than we would have if we would have had to deal with the LA mess.

While we were enroute up there, we got our load assignment. We were to head 430 miles north to Pittsburgh,CA to pick up at General Chemical and deliver to Winchester,VA. I didn't really want to drive 400 miles for a load but since it is paying over $4k I decided it was worth it. LOL

We will pick up this load tonight between 1600-1700 local time. We are supposed to be in Winchester,VA at 1100 hrs on Monday but we aren't going to make it. We found out that I-80 is closed nightly through the summer from 1900-0700 hours. We won't make it there before they close it. They do have an alternate route, of which they are taking trucks over in groups of 10-12 where they have a DPS escort. Fleet message today informed us of this, but it is a windy hill with steep grades and they have already had one roll over on it. I have decided that there is no way that we are taking this load over that road since it is a hazmat load. We will pick it up and head over to the 49er Truck Stop in Sacramento and head out in the morning. Our FM said that he thinks we can get the appointmen at the receiver changed from Monday morning to Tuesday morning, so that will be a huge help.

Since we were able to get the PM's done, now we just need to get an alignment done and possibly a new shock on the right front. The right steer tire is cupping pretty bad and I'm pretty sure that is from a bad shock. We will see if we can get through Springfield this week to get it done after we deliver this load. We need to be in Dallas on the 2nd for Jessica's prom so we will see how the schedule works out. But we definitely need to have it fixed and sooner rather than later!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


What another gorgeous day today has been! J woke me up in Santa Rosa this morning and we only had about 830 miles left to go to our destination. I hit the road and made my first stop at a rest area just west of Clines Corners. From there I made it into Albuquerque,NM where I had to stop for fuel.

After fueling I headed out again, going slow since there is a big upgrade coming out of Albuquerque going west. This is where I had an "incident", although no one was hurt, I am sure another truck driver is somewhere up ahead of me still cussing me some 9 hours later! Coming up the big hill it is two lanes and then there it splits into three lanes, with another lane added on the right for slow trucks. I was in the right lane, where it was two lanes, coming up to the truck lane. I put my blinker on so I could get over and get out of the way of all the other trucks and traffic. As soon as I had room to get over, a 4-wheeler SUV swerves behind me into the right lane to get around me. Apparently, he didn't see the blinker that has been on for at least 10 seconds, since I had it on before the truck lane started so people would know I was going to get over and get out of their way. I saw him and waited for him to get around me and then started to come over. Big mistake. Another billy big-rigger behind me that ALSO apparently didn't see my blinker, and didn't have the patience to wait the whole three seconds it would have taken me to get into the slow lane, decided he was going to pass me on the right also. Now, I conceed that it was COMPLETELY my fault, I did not see him coming up behind me. And I would never have gotten in that lane if I had seen him. So I am at fault. But on a hill like that, the general rule, is that you let the slow truck over and pass on the left. Especially when my damn blinker had been on at this point for at least 15 seconds. People like that irritate me. Thankfully, I did see him and cut back into my lane. Granted I got the air horn, the utility lamps flashed at me, and although I didn't see it, I am sure I got the finger! I did get on the CB and apologized but he didn't say anything back, so I guess he was running with his CB off. But that was my almost accident for the day, and I still feel really bad about that.

After that episode, I made it as far as Grants where I made another bathroom stop, then another bathroom stop at the NM/AZ border and yet another in Flagstaff! Thankfully, I stopped for the day in Seligman,AZ because I had to go to the bathroom AGAIN! I don't know what my deal was today, but I had to make a ton of pit stops. I guess I need to lay off the liquids!

When we stopped there in Seligman, we were going to grab something to eat but they didn't have anything other than the usual hot dogs and nachos. We decided to head on down the road to the Petro up in Kingman which is about 60 miles further. They have the salad bar and that is what I am wanting. They have a good one.

From there we should only have about 250 miles to go to destination. J will get us there around 2200 or so tonight. This place is a drop and hook so I imagine we will head over to the Pilot in Hesperia for the night where we will wait for our next load. Pretty much guaranteed that we won't get anything until tomorrow sometime.

Actually we have a change of plans. Instead of going to the Pilot in Hesperia, we are going to go ahead and head to the TA down in Ontario. We need to get a PM done on the truck and they can do them there. Plus I am betting that when we do get a load, it will be down that direction.

We also need to get the truck down to Freightliner when we have a little extra time. The bunk a/c isn't cooling like it should. And we also keep getting a low voltage beep, even with the APU. So that will all be warranty work. Road assist said that the TA can do the a/c work, but they have a habit of just saying it is low on freon and charging the system and not checking the lines. They said we would be better off having Freightliner doing the warranty work. I am going to put that off as long as possible since we are on a decent roll and I don't want to have the truck stopped if we don't have to.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Your daily update!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


What a beautiful day today has been. I woke up this morning in Jackson,TN and took off driving around 0330 in the pitch dark. It was a little cool when I headed out and I needed a jacket when I stepped outside. Somewhere between Memphis,TN and Little Rock the sun finally made it's way up over the eastern horizon.

I made a stop in North Little Rock at the Love's so that I could grab a fresh drink and take Smokey for a walk. It was still just a little cool. But I could tell it was going to turn into a nice day. Beautiful white clouds outside today which is a welcomed change after driving in nothing but clouds, mist and rain for the last few days.

I finally called it a day here in Okemah,OK. After I got parked I opened the door to take Smokey out and WHAM!! I was assaultede by 94 degree weather! Holy Moly Batman! That is like opening the oven door compared to the temperatures that we have been in lately. Heck, it was less than a month ago when we were shut down in Amarillo with the blizzard! Well, I definitely didn't need the jacket while I walked Smokey. After our 10-15 minute walk, even he was panting like crazy and walked right back to the truck, the shaded side of course, and wanted back into the cool A/C inside!

From here J will be taking over and he will get us as far as he can. We are headed to Victorville,CA and should be there sometime tomorrow evening. Probably between 2100-2200 is what I am guessing. We only have about 1280 miles to go.

Today I was able to finish up paying on the cruise we are taking Jessica on at the end of July and I also booked another cruise for the end of October. The one in July leaves out on the 25th, my birthday, and the one in October leaves out on the 31st, Halloween! They are having a special on the one in October on the balcony rooms so we were able to get a balcony for $1200 for both of us. And that is another 5 night cruise. Darn good price! And we haven't had a balcony before so that will be a lot of fun. I just have to remember not to lean over the edge if I have had any adult beverages! LOL

That is what is going on with us. It sure is nice to see everything turning green again. Spring is finally here again!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Let me start off by saying once again, I AM SO HAPPY!! I felt like a life line has been cut away when we didn't have our aircard. I finally feel whole again. LOL!!

Ok, so yesterday we picked up a super top secret load up in Illinois. Of course we had to drive 400 miles to get there! We picked it up and headed out of there around 1800 last night and we had to deliver to an undisclosed location in the Knoxville,TN area at 0800 this morning. It was a short overnighter, but it made this payroll.

I am kind of bummed because I think we may have had our first service failure in over 2 years. We left out early and were purosely driving slow because we couldn't park at the receiver because it was gated. So our plan was to get there right on time. J stopped a few times to kill time but unfortunately, the receiver is on east coast time and we didn't realize it. So instead of being right on time, we were an hour late. I did notify our FM and apologized profusely for the mix-up, and did the same to the receiver once we got there. Thankfully the receiver didn't seem too worried about it. The truck that had a 0900 appointment got there early so they unloaded him in place of us and then when I got there we took his 0900 appointment. I can't say for sure if we got a service failure or not, because I imagine I would have received a call from my FM chewing me out or something. LOL Or at least a message about it on the Qualcomm, but I didn't get either. So I guess we will have to wait and see. We did notify them when we realized our mistake and that was when we switched drivers at 0300. At least we let them know so they could communicate with the receiver instead of us just showing up an hour late. Either way though, I feel really bad. We are always on time, unless there are circumstances beyond our control. So to be late just bums me out. At least I care enough to be bummed, right? :)

Once we got unloaded I headed over here to the Petro in Knoxville at x369 on I-40 so we could get a trailer wash. J woke up in the process, probably because I about popped the clutch pulling in. (It is on an uphill slope, my bad!) As with any guy, or any guy in my family I should say, the first thing he is thinking when he wakes up is food. So after I got the trailer washed out we headed into the restaurant to grab some lunch.

After filling our bellies, we headed back out to the truck to find that we had a load waiting on us. YES!! It definitely seems like things are starting to pick up. We are picking up at Mars in Cleveland,TN anytime today before 2100 hours and delivering to Victorville,CA. I like these loads to Aspen Distributing there in Victorville because they are always a drop and hook. That means we don't have to wait for them to unload it. We just drop our loaded trailer and hook up to and empty one and head out. Done deal.

Since J woke up, Or I woke him up, in the middle of his slee schedule, we are still parked at the Petro. I am going to let him sleep till around 1500 then we will go inside and grab a shower and then head out to pick up our load and be on our way. Oh, we do have to get fuel first and send in the last trip we dropped today by 1600. Must do that!

On the way down here today, I came own I-75. It was such a beautiful drive. Especially from Lexington,KY down into Knoxville,TN. Tons of mountains and beautiful green pine trees. Other varieties of trees that are all different shades of green. And some exquisite tree that had purple buds on it. Probably just some ordinary tree, but that color purple amid a sea of different shades of green was just mezmerizing. Also this part of the country has tons of rock bluffs. It again amazes me how trees can grow on a rock ledge or out the side of a rock bluff with what appears to be no more than a few inches of dirt. That is persistence my friends. Or maybe that is just God. But it was truly a beautiful drive.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chicago,IL - I'm Back!!!

I AM BACK!!! I am so excited!! We made a stop at a truck stop today and they actually had a Verison Kiosk and I was able to upgrade and get a new aircard. I feel complete again! I had major issues getting the aircard activated and working correctly on my computer, and had to spend over an hour on the phon ewith Tech Support, but it sure was worth it.

I'm not even going to try to catch you up in detail on where we have been the last week or so. I will say that we left Lubbock and swaped out loads with a solo in Amarillo and took that load to Carson,CA. From there we got a load to Springfield,OH. After delivering around 0400 on Sunday morning, we went down the road about 20 miles and spent all day Sunday at the TA in London,OH. Got a load out of there but we had to deadhead 400 miles to pick it up and we are only taking it about 600 miles. Oh well, at least it delivers on Tuesday morning so that means that it will make payroll cutoff. Momma likes that!

I wish I had more to write at the moment, but after that hour on the phone with Tech Support, I am wiped out. And it is already my bed time. I hope everyone has been doing well and I have missed conversing with you. But I am back in the saddle again and ready to blog!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It seems like we were just here. And actually we were right at two weeks ago. Last time we were here is when we blew the turbo on the truck and it was in the shop up in Amarillo. This time we were down here again for a much more sad reason.

On our way to deliver up in MA, I found out that my Aunt had died. Actually she was my second cousin, but her and he husband are my parents age (my Dad's actual cousin is her husband) but I always thought of them as my Aunt and Uncle. She has been in poor health the last few years but I don't think anyone expected her to pass away. It definitely happened suddenly. She passed out at her house after a doctors appointment and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. This I believe was on a Wednesday afternoon. And she passed away on Saturday. She was one of my favorite people and I tried to get by to see her when we were in town.

When we found out, we got a load back this direction so we could make the funeral. I got to see her son, my cousin Jon, and his family, which was really nice. Jon and his brother and my brother and I all grew up together. We had move to Colorado when I was 11, but they would come up and spend summer vacation in Colorado. We had so much fun as kids out in the mountains. But of course as you grow up you drift apart because you start your own families. We decided that we are not going to keep meeting every 10 years at someones funeral. So we have decided to start a Cousin's Reunion so we can all get together more often. Who knows when we will get this started, but I am hoping for sure by next summer. Times like this makes you realize that you only have one family, and one extended family, and you really have to make the most of the time that you have.

We arrived in Lubbock EARLY Monday morning and the funeral was that afternoon. Today is Tuesday and we are trying to get laundry done and get ready to head out. Our FM called and he has a load for us in the morning. We are going to repower a load from a solo up in Amarillo and deliver to Compton,CA on Thursday morning. That will set us up good being on the west coast so we should have something that will carry us over the weekend. And hopefully pay decent.

We are still having problems with our internet connection, but hopefully we will be able to find a Verizon store somewhere so we can get a new card. Until then, I will post as often as I can get this card to work. And remember, family is so important. Don't put off calling someone in your family. You never know when you may lose them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone!

Hi everyone, this is Joe, better known to you as J. I snuck in here because I like to shout out in parking lots and restaurants that "I LOVE THIS WOMAN!" and thought, "hey, I can shout to the world in cyber too!!" so, I wanted to tell you our story from my point of view. Bear with me, Im new at this and Im trying to get it done before Tnet cathces me on her blog....

After my divorce I was in a bad place. I was thinking about starting a He Mans Woman Hating Club with me as president.... I prayed alot about it as my mother taught me to do... I was fresh out of the Army and living with my terminally Ill mother at the time. I prayed about forgiveness for my thoughts and about guidance for the future... mostly I asked HIM about "who's out there for me? who can I share my secrets with and trust them with them?" Well I fugured out later that HE had used the one person in my life I could really trust,,, my mother. By this I mean she smacked me in the head and told me to "go to Texas and get her daughter!" So I did.... we were married just months after my mother passed... You see, HE doesnt speak to you in a voice you can recognize all the time... Sometimes he opens the door and stands back and lets you do what HE made you to do. Choose! Which brings me to why Im in here telling you this..

I know GOD loves me. I asked HIM for someone to share my life with and HE "told" me, I hear your prayers and watch over you everyday Joe. But at best son, your a mess!! So I'm sending you an angel.... I named her Tracy. You can tell her whats in your heart. Let her help mend your pains, she will teach you to laugh again. Through her you can reach me, for that is what I made her for, YOU!

I picked today to tell everyone who reads this on HIS day of "rising" again. HE hears your prayers people, and HE gives you answers!! But your the ones who have to do that which HE made us for and put us on earth to do, make the right CHOICE!

We all have angels to help us. Mine is named Tracy, but I just call her honey......

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Around 0130 last night the other driver showed up with our load that we were taking from him. When they called it woke me up because J was listening to his I-Pod. Didn't phase me too much because I was out of it. I just answered and handed the phone to him. :) Then I cuddled back up in bed and went back to sleep.

After J got the trailers switched and hooked up to our new load, I guess he stayed up for a bit but before long he was crawling into bed. He said he had the alarm set so I would know when to get up and get moving. Poor Smokey has had an upset stomach so about 0545 he woke me up whining and I knew I had to take him out right that minute. Turns out J had the alarm set for 0600 so Smokey woke me up at a good time. After taking him to do his business I figured I better get myself ready. But let me tell you, today was one of those mornings where I just couldn't get motivated! I finally got my lazy butt in gear though. By the time I got rounded up, looked on the map to see where we were going, scaled the load and got my logbook done, it was about 0730. Like I said, I was moving slow. haha

This load is taking us up to Marlborough,MA and we have an appointment at 0900 on Friday morning. According to the GPS it is only 845 miles. So we have over 24 hours to make it there and that is PLENTY of time. I figured since we have all this extra time that I was going to drive 55 the whole way and see what kind of fuel mileage that I could get.

Around noon or so J wakes up. I am still toodeling along at 55 and I had only covered right at 200 miles. Including a stop for fuel along the way. I manage to make it past Cleveland and got on to I-90. We are still driving along talking when I notice a sign that said "Ashtabula County" and something in me clicks. J has an Army buddy that lives up here. So I tell him to call Scotty and tell him to come have lunch with us. We thought we weren't going to hear back from him, but he finally calls. He had just gotten off work and was on his way to pick up his daughter but he would be happy to meet us.

J and I walked across the street to this little place called "Kay's Place Restaurant". It is at x235 on I-90 in Ohio. REALLY good food. It is right across the street from the TA. We sat there for about 30 minutes waiting for Scotty and Charlotte to show up. Once they got there we had a great lunch and got to visit some. Since we have extra time at the moment, J went back with Scotty to his house to visit for a while and I am sitting in the truck. I would have went with him, but this load we have is a Hazmat load and I don't want to leave it. It is one thing to get out of the truck and go across the street for lunch and an entirely different thing to get in a car and completely leave the load! But that is cool, because I need to get some sleep anyway and J will have a chance to visit with Scotty for a while. You know, I am sure they will talk about guy stuff. LOL

We only have 558 miles to go. If J can at least get me 350 miles or better then we will be set and I can make it to the shipper on time. We decided it was best to wait the extra time here instead of closer in because there are very few places to park the further east we go. And what places there are will be crowded by the time we would get through there.

I would like to mention how beautiful the weather is. It seems that we are finally starting to see Spring. It was definitely cool outside today, and it still is, but it is sunny! And again, I am seeing all sorts of baby animals, like horses, cows, goats, sheep. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The whole cycle of life is amazing to see when you are driving across the country. It is things that so many people take for granted when they do their same old thing day in and day out. I was one of those people before I started driving a truck. Being able to see the country and experience the changing of the seasons in every state is an eye opener. I thank God each day for this wonderful life I have and this world that we live in. It is certainly beautiful!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Yes, we have covered another 2000 miles since I posted on Monday and here it is only Wednesday!

After getting unloaded on Monday morning in Carson,CA I headed back towards Ontario,CA to get the trailer washed out. Actually it is in Fontana,CA which is just across the interstate from the TA's that are in Ontario. Anyway, I got the trailer washed out and as soon as I was pulling out of the bay to the street headed to the TA I hear the Qualcomm go "BEEP!" Wow, that was fast for our next load. I was expecting to sit for a few hours.

I go ahead and go to the TA and park and then look at the work assignment. I was picking up in Ontario in less than an hour and taking the load to Hamilton,OH. I punched the address into Maggie (the GPS) and I lucked out and was less than 3 miles away. Awesome! I wrote all of the trip info down, took Smokey out for a walk, and headed over to Americold to pick up our load.

Once I got there, I parked and headed into the Shipping office to see how long it would be and where they needed me. I lucked out and got a door right away. Two and a half hours later I was loaded and on my way to scale. It would have been sooner, but their lunch break fell in that time frame so I had to wait for that. It worked out though because the roach coach, aka catering van, came by and I got some awesome tacos for J and I.

After I scaled at the TA I headed to the fuel aisle to get my scale ticket. Thank goodness I was about perfectly even on my weights and I didn't have to mess with sliding the tandems on the trailer. J had woke up and since it was almost time for him to drive, he went ahead and took over there.

This is one of those runs that was TIGHT on time. We had to bump the speed up if we were going to make it on time. With the exception of CA and OH, we ran 65 the whole way out here. I woke up this morning in St Louis,MO and I made it here with just over an hour to spare. To me that is cutting it close. Just stopping to go to the restroom can take 20 minutes if Smokey can't decide which area he needs to mark. He is picky about that. :)

Once I got to Interstate Cold Storage, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were going to just let me drop the trailer and I didn't have to wait for them to unload me. Sweet! But then, just as I was getting unhooked, another Prime truck bobtailed into the lot and snatched the trailer from me! Darn thieves!! LOL Deciding we were in desperate need of a shower before anything, I sent in a message saying that we were going to go get a shower while we waited for our next load and that when we were done we would go back to Interstate and pick up the trailer I had just dropped off. They had actually started unloading it before I unhooked, so I knew it would be empty when we came back.

We headed up I-75 to a complete dive truck plaza. I wanted a shower so bad that I really didn't care. But it certainly wouldn't get any blue ribbons for the cleanest shower facilities. While we were in there, our FM called and said he had a load for us. No one was getting loaded today because freight is slow. But there is a solo driver passing through on I-70 who won't be able to make his appointment in Massachusettes on Friday and he wanted us to take that load and get it there. Well heck, sure thing! So we gathered our stuff up and headed north to Eaton,OH where we are supposed to meet him. He won't be here till around 0300-0400 so we came in and ate and now J is inside doing laundry while I am supposed to be out here sleeping. But I found I could get a signal and wanted to update you on where we were and what we were doing.

Since we will be delivering on Friday morning up in MA, I am really hoping that he finds us a load back to CA to be delivered before payroll cutoff on Tuesday. Shouldn't be a problem as long as there is a load to be found! So keep your fingers crossed for us. We have a graduation cruise to pay for and a houseboat to remodel. So we need the money!!!! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009


After I posted last Friday, I headed inside to grab some lunch and kill some time. I came back out to the truck around 1400 to find out we had a load. It picked up Saturday morning at 0400 at Anheuser Busch in St Louis and was delivering in Ogden,UT. Since it didn't pick up till the next morning and was less than 90 miles away, that meant we got to kick back and take it easy the rest of the day.

Around 1600 my phone rings and it is our FM. He wants to take us off of that load and give us another load that a solo is picking up in Indiana. It seems that where he was getting the trailer loaded at didn't know what they were doing and he had been back twick to get the load re-worked to get it to a legal weight. Enough time had passed that there was no way a solo could get it to California on time. Heck, even a team couldn't get it there on time now, but we could do it faster than a solo. Around 2200 that evening, J takes off and heads east to meet up with the driver at a Pilot in Levenworth,IN.

J manages to get there right around 0300 so I get up and get ready to drive. We pick the load and paperwork up, go scale and take off. That day I managed to get us into Springfield,MO. This was Saturday around 1400. We had to stop there and have the trailer looked at. The front axle brakes were grabbing, a tire was low and the light for the reefer unit wasn't working. After about two and a half hours, a cheeseburger and a shower later, we are done and ready to roll.

J takes off from there and gets us to a rest area just east of Amarillo,TX. He had a heck of a time making it that far with the winds blowing like they were. I took over and made a stop in Amarillo for fuel and a quick stop at the Freightliner to see if they had our paperwork ready (they didn't) and then I was off again. I managed to make it to the NM/AZ state line where J took over once again with the goal of getting me as close to the receiver as he could.

I woke up around 0230 this morning and he was about 18 miles out of Barstow. Excellent! That only left me about 130 miles to go. We stopped at the Pilot there to switch and we were off again. I made one more quick stop at the TA in Ontario for fuel and then made the last 50 miles to our receiver.

After finding the gate locked, I finally found someone to let me in. They had me back to a door and wait until they verified the seal and stuff before they had me open the doors. Turns out the seal number on the trailer didn't match the one on the paperwork. Uh oh! Of course this was from them re-working the load twice and using a total of 3 different seals by the time they were done. It is something that I should have caught when we picked up the load from the other driver, but I assumed he had verified it when he picked up and did his depart call. Of course, I do know what they say about assumptions.... Anyway, the receiver didn't seem to worried about it since it was sealed and both doors were padlocked the entire trip. He said they will just have to wait until their QA guy comes in before they can ship it to their customers. But he said I wouldn't have to wait, so that is good.

They are unloading me now so it shouldn't be too long before we are ready to roll again. Unfortunately, they will have me done just in time to enjoy the Los Angeles morning rush hour traffic. Hopefully I will be going the opposite direction of most traffic since I am down south of LA in Carson. I will be headed north when everyone else is trying to go south.

I guess I will head back to the TA and wait for a load there. I imagine I will have to wait a few hours unless by some miracle I am surprised with a quick reload. We shall see!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Our air card is acting up again so I apoligize for not having any entries in a couple of days. Well, ok, almost a week. :)

After getting the truck to the shop in Amarillo in the middle of a spring blizzard, we tucked ourselves into a hotel for Friday night. Saturday afternoon we got the dreaded call that the new turbo was in place in the truck but the actuator on it wasn't working and they would have to order that part. Since it was Saturday, they couldn't order the part until Monday and they would have it in Tuesday around noon.

With that bad news, and not wanting to stay in a hotel another 3 nights, not counting Saturday night, I placed a call to my Mom asking her to come get us the next day. Luckily Lubbock is only about 120 miles south of Amarillo and my mom is off on Sunday. So Sunday morning around 0930 my mom shows us to take us back to her place where we can wait in comfort.

We had a good visit and got some real home cooking, which is always a bonus. We also went to two of my nieces baskeball games. If you haven't seen 9 year old girls play basketball, you are in for a treat. These girls are serious when they play. And they even get fouled! One of the funniest parts though was watching the big referee trying not to laugh when he was calling the game. It was so funny. He would call a foul or call travelling and he would do so while he was trying not to bust out laughing. And of course at the beginning of the second half, he had to make sure the girls knew they were now shooting at the opposite end of the court than they were on the first half. It was an absolute delight to watch them play. They were in a tournament and got third place. They beat the 4th place team something like 13-6. Then the next night they played again to see if they would go to the finals. They lost that game 5-6 I believe. But they got medals and everything so they were happy.

Tuesday evening we called back up to Amarillo and the truck was done but they had to wait for the mechanic to come back in Wednesday morning to get the paperwork all done. We decided to go ahead and get up Wednesday morning and get rounded up and head back up there. Again, we were lucky because my mom is off on Wednesday and Sunday so that worked out perfectly for us. After stopping for an early lunch while we were on the way, we made it to the truck and had said our goodbyes to mom around 1230 or so.

After getting settled back into the truck and letting John know we were ready, we finally got a load assignment around 1500. It picked up at Tyson there in Amarillo, so that was nice that we didn't have to deadhead several hundred miles. We headed over there to pick it up but it wasn't ready and he said it would be a while because they were still behind from the snow storm the previous weekend. With that in mind, we headed back to the Petro to wait for the load to be ready.

Finally, around 0100 on Thursday morning, the load was ready and J headed over to pick it up. He then headed back to the Petro to scale and then he parked. We had plenty of extra time on the load, so he let me get a little more sleep. He woke me up at 0500 and guess what I woke up to? More snow in Amarillo!! Luckily this didn't amount to anything, but the winds were really kicking. After heading in and grabbing some breakfast, I took off.

I made it about half way to destination, and that half way point was Tulsa,OK. J took over there and was going to get us the rest of the way in. We had to make a stop in Springfield for fuel and they decided they needed to do our annual inspection on the truck and that they also needed to fix something on the trailer. About four hours later, J was finally back on the road.

He managed to drop this load around 0300 or so and then drove up to a Flying J here in Warrenton,MO where we are currently at. He got me up at 0530 and we headed inside for breakfast and a shower. I was hoping that when we came back out that we would have a load, but we weren't that lucky. Now it is just a little after 1000 hrs and I am still waiting. On the bright side, it looks like it is going to be a beautiful day. I will take that considering the way the weather has been this past week!