Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weatherford,TX-Happy Anniversary to Us!!!

At least I think that is where we are! LOL That is what I get for going to sleep and waking up in a different city!

I got a load out of Atlanta delivering in Garland,TX which worked out perfectly for us. J took off and headed that direction in the Suburban and I headed to pick up the load and take off that way also. The timing on the load was kind of funky, so I picked it up and made it to a Petro west of Birmingham,AL and that is where I called it a night. I left the next afternoon around 1630 and drove the final 606 miles into Garland,TX. By the time I got unloaded my 14 hour clock was up. Thank goodness J was in that area and he had to come drive the truck to a truck stop while I drove our burb. I couldn't legally drive the truck. We got it parked and headed over to Michelle's to spend the night. I couldn't drive until around 1800 that night and knew I wouldn't get a load till the next morning.

That worked our awesome because a friend of ours, Misty, was coming through Dallas and was going to spend the night at Michelle's also. Misty and he husband are moving to Jackson,MS and she was bringing the last load of their belongings down there. So we got to visit with her and Michelle both!

That evening, I got a call and they had me on a pre-plan to get me to Lubbock. Perfect! I was to pick up at the Sam's/Walmart DC down in Desoto,TX and deliver to the Sam's Club there in Lubbock. Since I have an AWESOME husband, he went and picked up the load and took it to Lubbock while I drove our burb. I figured since he has been off the truck for a month, he would need a short run as a "refresher" to remember how to drive the truck. LOL!! (Just kidding baby!! Love you!!)

The appointment was at 2100 in Lubbock and after he got unloaded I went and picked him up and we spent the night at my Mom's. Luckily she only lives about 2 miles from that Sam's Club. While he was getting unloaded, we also got our next load. We had to pick up in San Angelo,TX the next day by noon and drop it at a drop lot in Saginaw,TX. So we were up at 0700 and on the road by 0800 to go get that load.

Now for the life of me, I don't know what the rush was to pick this load up. First off, we were just dropping it in Saginaw,TX because it isn't due into Oklahoma City,OK until Monday morning. I know they had us drop it so that we wouldn't be sitting on a short low paying load all weekend. And second, when I got there, they were closed and the trailer was already loaded with the paperwork in the inspection door just waiting for us to pick it up. If I had known that, we could have slept in! But we got there and got it picked up and headed out.

Now since we didn't have any specific time to drop in Saginaw, I headed towards Abilene which was the closest scale that I could find and it was about 90 miles away. I got to the Wes-T-Go Truck stop and got scaled then sent a text to our friend Jaye that lives there. She got off work at 1600 and her and a friend she works with, Denise, came down and visited with us for a while. I love being able to see our friends while we are on the road! After visiting for a while, it was time to hit the road and get this load up to Saginaw.

I headed to bed and J drove the rest of the way and got us to Saginaw and dropped the load. He picked up an empty and then headed over to this Petro where we are to wait for our next load. As I stated above, I am THINKING we are in Weatherford. LOL That is the closest Petro that I know of so I am pretty sure that is where we are at. I got a call around 0730 giving me our next load info, then I got a message saying he was looking for something different for us. So now I am just sitting here waiting to see where they will send us.

Now for some REALLY happy news! Today is our 12th Wedding Anniversary!! Happy Anniversary J!!! I can't even begin to describe how great it feels to be doing a job that I love with the person that I love. I know I have said this before, but we actually like each other. So many couples love each other, but they don't "like" each other enough to be together 24/7. That isn't the case with us. We genuinely want to be together all of the time. I think that is rare. I know there are couples like that out there, but I would bet the isn't the norm. So to J, I love you and thank you for asking me to marry you! I would do it all over again without hesitation. Thank you for loving me and accepting me for who I am. You are the best and I would be lost without you. As cheesy as it sounds, but it is true, you complete me. I LOVE YOU!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Hello again folks! Whew, what a busy couple of days it has been. I won't go back and bore you with the details, but I will tell you I am extremely happy to be in Atlanta where J is at!

I made my delivery Thursday morning in Birmingham,AL and then made my way over to Atlanta to meet J. He had been staying with s cousin of his, but since I was now there with Smokey, we went ahead and got a hotel. After spending the night we got up and headed down for me to get a first look at the work he had done on the boat.
After trying to figure out the best way to work on the boat, J decided the best course of action was to start from scratch. He started demolishing the lower level of the boat and taking it down to the steel hull. He did an exellent job of getting it tore down and out to the dumpster that he had delivered. From there, he had to clean all the rust and debris out of the bottom of the hull and then sand down all of the metal floor joists. After screwing some wood strips to the metal, he was able to start putting down the plywood subfloor. After he got that done, he started putting the wall studs up.
When I got there to help him on Friday, we finished laying the floor down and were able to get most of the wall studs up. We also made a trip to Home Depot and got some joist hangers for the ceiling rafters. Unfortunately, during the day at some point, probably when he was drilling the holes in the metal for the wall studs, he managed to slip a disc in his back. He has done this before, and it is really painful. That put an end to our work that day and we headed back to the hotel so that he could soak in the tub and try to get his back in place.

The next morning, we got up and headed back up there with one mission. I was to finish the work we got started so that we could get it covered from the elements. I was able to finish screwing the subfloor down, get the rest of the wall studs up and the ceiling rafters up. I did as much as I could but I did have to have J cut five more rafters for me. I felt really bad. He was in pain and already felt bad for having to watch me do the work. But I didn't mind. I love doing this kind of stuff and he had already gotten so much done. He deserved a day off.

We had to make one more trip to Home Depot to get a tarp to cover the boat. You should see two people trying to manage a 30'x50' tarp over a 13'x53' boat that is about 4 foot off the ground up on stands. Too bad no one had a video camera recording of us. I am sure it would have been a youtube sensation.

Yesterday we met the cousin and his wife that J stayed with and treated them to lunch and then went back to their house to return a few of the tools that J had borrowed. After saying goodbye to them we headed over to J's other cousin to return the remaining tools and to have dinner at their house. They have a Great Dane names Pearl and Smokey had a great time playing with her. He was a bit intimidated by her size at first. I told J that now Smokey knows how Chuy and Stuart feel when he is playing with them at Michelle's house!

Today is our last day off and we are chilling at the hotel. I am available tomorrow at 0600 hours and J will be taking off and heading towards Lubbock. He is going to make a stop in Dallas and see Dr. Mike who is our Chiropractor. After he sees him he will finish his trip to Lubbock. I am going to try to get a load that will get me to Lubbock. That way J can drop our Suburban back off at my mom's house and then I will pick him up. That way we will finally be running team again. And THAT makes me really happy!

I am going to try to upload some pictures of the boat. I can't guarantee that they will post since I have been having problems loading them, but I am going to give them a try!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Here I am slacking once again. This solo stuff will wear you out I am telling you! I am on my second load since I posted last, so I will get you caught up.

As I was sitting at the Chex Truck Stop in Henderson last Saturday night, watching Milo & Otis on DVD, I finally get a load. After calling to make sure I could pick it up any time, I head to bed. My 34 was up at 0300, so I was up and on my way.

This load picked up in Southport,NC which was almost 200 miles away. It was a loaded trailer but the info said they didn't open until 0700, so I didn't have to bust ass down there. I did however have to find a fuel stop. I was supposed to get fuel at the Chex, but for whatever reason, there was a sign on the door stating that they were closed until 0500. Not sure if that is a normal thing or not, but I had to find another place to get fuel.

I found a Pilot a few miles south on I-95 where I crossed over it and got my fuel and continued on my way. Now I have been fairly lucky this time out being solo. About 3/4 of the loads I have gotten or have delivered have all been to places that I have been before. That makes it really nice when I don't have J and his extra set of eyes and ears here to help me. This place in Southport was one of the places I had been before, so it was easy to find again. Although, I am still wondering why, on a two lane road down to the shipper, they decided there was a need for a traffic circle. It looks pretty, but no where near large enough for trucks. I left some nice tire marks on the center of it, which is mainly concrete. Along with numerous other tire marks from other trucks!

After I picked up this load, I had to decide which way I was going to go to make my delivery in Chicago. I could have taken I-40 back west and hit I-77 north and then cut across Ohio. But last week I drove I-77 and it was a killer on my fuel mileage. My other option was to cut across the top of South Carolina and hit I-20, then from there I could take I-26 to I-40 to I-75 to I-74 to I-65. That is the route I chose to go. It was only about 50 miles further, but I could make much better time on it. Since I got up at 0300 and drove the 200 miles to Southport, I got another 350 in and then stopped for the night just south of the NC border on I-26.

The next day I drove another 550 or so and that put me within about 140 miles of Chicago. I got up early and headed out about 0230. I wanted to make sure I beat as much of the traffic as I could since I was delivering into Chicago, and not a suburb. I was going to have to watch for low clearances and my turns and figured the least amount of traffic to watch for, the better. I managed to make it to the receiver around 0630. One quick bathroom stop on the way and then some traffic, but certainly not bad. I was VERY happy to finally pull up to the place and set the brakes. Definitely could have used J that morning. Since the place wasn't open yet, I took Smokey for a walk and we saw some ducks and baby ducks. So darn cute!

Finally they show up and start getting me unloaded. I was done by around 0930 and had sent my depart macro. I asked which way I should go out and got good directions from them. Seems if I would have headed out to the right I would have gotten stuck at the corner. Not enough room for the trailer to make the turn they said. So I headed out the way I came. Sure enough, I drove past the other end of the block as I was leaving, and they weren't kidding. No way I would have made that turn.

With no new load info, I decided the best course of action would be to head to one of the service plazas on I-294. I headed to the O'Hare one since it was the closest. I guess around 1140 I received my next load. I was pickin gup at Cargill in Beardstown,IL which was 240 miles away and delivering to Birmingham,AL. YES!! This is my load back to J territory! The only problem was that I didn't know if I could make it to the shipper before my 14 ran out at 1630 hours. I headed that direction, but I knew it was going to be close. I HAD to stop for fuel, no getting around that, but I managed to do that in just 15 minutes. Back on the road, I pulled into their gate at 1640. A few minutes over, but that was the best I could do.

I was able to check in, and of course my load wasn't ready. My work assignment said that I could pick it up any time before 0200 on Wednesday morning. This was Thursday afternoon when I arrived. They had me give them my name and truck number and said they would come get me when my load was ready. I knew I couldn't legally drive until 0230 so I figured I was going to get some good sleep. I made a few calls and by about 1800 I was sound asleep.

I actually got come decent sleep. Their knock on my door at 0140 is what woke me up. That gave me about 7.5 hours of sleep so I was ready to roll. After finding the trailer, scaling and getting my paperwork, I was headed towards my baby!

I am stopped for the night here in Decatur,AL. I only have 77 miles to go from here to the receiver which is Associated Grocers in Birmingham. From there I am guessing I will just deadhead to Atlanta,GA and drop the trailer in a drop lot we use. From there I will head north and spend a few days with J and see what I can do to help him!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Here I sit in Henderson,NC at the Chex Truck Stop getting a 34 hour restart. Not what I had really wanted to do, but that is just the way it happened. I guess I deserve a rest though after the last week that I have had!

I guess I don't really have much more to post on what I have been doing, so I guess I will update you on what J has been doing.

While he has been in Atlanta, the plan was for him to start remodeling the boat. When he got there and started pulling the inside walls down, he realized that there was mold. Not a good sign. So instead of pulling the inside paneling down and putting new up, he decided to gut the whole thing. And really, that isn't even right. Gutting would imply removing everything inside and leaving a shell. He didn't even do that. He removed the walls and everything. I mean, there is just a bottom to the boat and that is about it! But this seemed to be the best course of action. This way we are removing ALL of the wood and getting rid of the mold.

Next step is to get the outside walls back up and get a roof on. That will protect it from the weather. Then we will do the wiring on the inside and water lines before we finish out the interior. He has a guy coming out on Tuesday to clean out the waste water tank. This is turning out to be a bigger project that we had anticipated. But in the end, it will be worth it because it will be all new and just the way we want it. It will just take a little longer than we had hoped.

So that is it for me right now. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I get a decent load out of here tomorrow! Until next time....

Friday, May 15, 2009


Boy, I have been several places since I posted last. I got stuck on a night schedule and that has me all messed up. When I have parked at night, all I have wanted to do is sleep!

Let's see, I got up the next morning in Saginaw,MI and headed up to deliver in Alpena. I got there about an hour and a half early and they were able to get right to me. By my actual apointment time of 0800 I was unloaded and waiting on my next load.
Finally around 1000 hrs, I got my next dispatch. I was to head over to Reed City,MI to pick up a load of Yoplait yogurt and take it to Murfreesboro,TN. This was on Tuesday. I headed over to Reed City and got there about 1400 hours for a 2100 appt time. I had to get there early because my 14 hour clock was going to run out before the appointment. I told them just to come wake me up when it was time and they said no problem. Then the guy said if I wanted I could just drop the trailer in their empty lot and go to the truck stop to get my break in and they would have it loaded and ready when my break was over. Sweet! So I dropped the trailer and headed over to the Marathon to grab some zzz's.
With my break being over, I woke up around 2200 and headed over there. My trailer was loaded and ready to go. I hooked up and headed back to the Marathon to get some fuel. It isn't a normal stop for us so I had to get authorization for a Comcheck. But my fuel light was on and we have very few fuel stops in Michigan. After getting the fuel and cleaning my windows, I was headed out to Murfreesboro.
I had 641 miles to do and I knew I was going to be close on time. I was having to gain hours back at midnight to be able to run legally. I was able to make it to Smith's Grove,KY before running out of hours. From there I only had 109 miles to go. Before I headed to bed, I ran across the street to Donita's Diner. Pretty darn good food and yet another place with wonderful red beans and cornbread. With a full belly, I headed off to sleep.
At midnight I was back on the road to make my last 109 miles. I barely managed to make it. I pulled in at 0157 for a 0200 appt. Nothing like calling it close! This location was a drop and hook so I dropped my loaded trailer and went in search of an empty. I found the only one that was empty and hooked up to it. While doing my pre-trip inspection I found a flat tire on the left inside rear axle. I sent a message to road assist to have someone come fix it and they told me they showed over 20 trailers there. I checked the list they gave me and sure enough, all those trailers were there. But they were still loaded! I guess they were running a little behind! They give me another location to check and it had a trailer but the gates were locked.
By only other option was to go to Cleveland,TN which was about 50 miles round trip out of the way. I decided to check back at Americold and see if they by any chance had gotten another trailer unloaded. It was my lucky day because there was now one more trailer that was there empty. So I hooked up to it!
I had gotten a preplan and was to head to Rockmart,GA to pick up a load delivering in Henderson,TN. I had a 1000 hrs appointment and didn't leave out of Murfreesboro until 0600 thanks to the trailer search. I had 200 miles to go and knew it would be close. I managed to make it there about 10 milutes late, but I notified my FM that was the case.
When I managed to make it there, I checked in and found out that this was also a drop and hook. They were loading my trailer so all I had to do was drop my empty and hook up to the one they were loading. I got hooked up and ran inside to use the restroom. As soon as I got back in the truck, the were telling me to pull out and that I was done. I pulled up and one of the guys sealed it for me. After running in to grab the paperwork I was ready to roll again.
Because I had been running such wierd hours, I couldn't work past 1500 yesterday and my appointment up here in Henderson,NC was at 1515 hours. I knew I was going to have to plan my break accordingly and leave just in time to drive the 463 miles and arrive for the appointment. That would leave enough time on my 14 for them to unload me and give me time to find a place to park for my next required 10 hour break. I figured I didn't need to leave until 0300 so that meant I could take my break there in Atlanta. That meant I got to see J!!
I was so excited to see him! It is hard for us being apart. We are just the type that really like each other and we don't get sick of each other. We actually want to be together all the time. I called him and told him the good news so he headed down to meet me at the Petro. We got to spend some time together and went to a Five Guy's and had a burger and fries for lunch. I had been up since 2300 the night before and finally at 1600 hours, I had to make him leave, even though I didn't want him to, because I had to get some sleep. I was exhausted!
I got a really good nights sleep last night, thanks to getting to see J, and I was up and on the road this morning at 0300 to get up here to Henderson. I made it here about an hour and 45 minutes before my appointment. I had to sit outside along side the road with quite a few other trucks to wait to get in. Walmart will not let you in any earlier than an hour before your appointment. After killing 30 minutes talking to J on the phone, I noticed trucks were starting to pull into the gate. I guess all of us had the same appointment time!
So here I sit inside the Walmart DC in the bobtail parking while I wait for them to get me unloaded. From here I plan on heading down to Chex Truck Stop up at X220 on I-85 and taking my break. I will get some hours back at midnight so depending on when I get out of here, that will determine when I can start driving again. I will probably have to get a 34 hour restart over the weekend at some point, but I am hoping I can squeeze one more short run in before I am forced to do that.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This is a first for me. I don't think I have ever been up this far on I-75 before. And J isn't here to share it with me! Not that there is much to see up here. LOL It is kind of flat and windy and cool. But still.

I managed to get myself up today, or should I say last night, at 2330. I had my alarm set for 0100. Again, I forgot that Ohio was on east coast time! Good thing I woke up on my own an hour and a half before my alarm was set to go off. But since I did, I had time to get rounded up and walk Smokey before we set out for the Shipper.

It was a nice drive and I only had about 45 miles to go. Thank goodness the directions were good because I hate trying to find places in the dark. I got there and checked in and the guard told me to check in with the shipping office. After checking in with them, they said my trailer was being loaded and to go drop my empty and pull up with the other bobtails to wait. I was worried that I would be waiting forever, but about 20 minutes later the yard guy was letting me know I was done and pulling my trailer out for me.

I managed to get hooked up to the trailer, but not without problems. Not really problems, just the landing gear was near impossible to crank. And I had to lower the trailer so that I could hook up to it. My back is burning at the moment. It will probably be pretty sore in the morning,. I don't think I really hurt it, just worked some muscles that I'm not used to working. I usually have J around to do the hard manual stuff. :) I managed to get it lowered though.

I headed out from there and went to the Pilot up on I-70 to scale. I was legal, but had a 5,000 lb weight difference between my drives and my trailer tandems. I was in the 5th hole and I moved it to the 10th hole. I figure that should get it pretty even. Then it was time to hit the road.

As I entered into Michigan, I sent a message to my FM asking him if the receiver would take me today instead of tomorrow morning since I could be there around 1400. No go since they stop receiving at noon. Oh well, it was worth a shot. Since they wouldn't take me, and there aren't really any truck stops once I get off of I-75, I decided to park at the TA here at x144B for the night. I still have about 150 miles to go in the morning, but that isn't a problem. I will head out around 0330, which is 0430 local time. At least it gave me time to do laundry and grab a shower.

Now I am headed to bed. I was wondering why I am so darn tired, and then I remembered. Duh, didn't I just post I got up at 2330 LAST NIGHT? That would be the reason! So goodnight everyone! Holler at yall tomorrow...

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Do you ever do something, then after you start doing it, realize that it was stupid and just want to kick yourself in the ass? I had one of those moments today. I set my alarm for 0700 to get up so that I could see if by some miracle I had a load assignment yet. I didn't. So I headed into McDonald's grabbed breakfast then came out and walked Smokey. After that I got back into the truck and chilled for a while. Talked to my Mom since it is Mother's Day. Also got a call from Justin, my step-son, although I am sure he and Jessica got a text from J reminding them what day it was. LOL Jessica sent me a text since she was at work. Then I talked to J for a while.

After all that, I decided I better get all my trip sheets filled out so that I could send them in to get paid. As I was working on the last one, my Qualcomm beeps. Awesome, I have a load. It loads at 0300 Monday morning and delivers up to Alpena,MI at 0800 on Tuesday. Double awesome because that will go on this paycheck.

Now I have to sit and figure out when I need to leave to pick the load up since it is picking up really early. I decide that I will go ahead and head that direction and find a place to park that is fairly close. That way, when I get up, I can get the load and get most of the driving done since I stopped early enough to get a 10 hour break in before I picked up. Now this is where I want to kick myself in the ass.

I headed out and got maybe 30 miles down the road when it hits me. If I would have stayed until at least 1930 hours tonight, I would have gotten a 34 hour restart! So I just screwed myself! Even if I had left at 1930 and drove the 150 miles to pick the load up, I still would have had time to get half way there, take another 10 hour break and still be able to deliver on time. ARGH! I am so mad at myself! This is going to come back to bite me in the ass later in the week when I will be forced to sit for 34 hours and not make money when I could have accompolished that today. It is frustrating. This is the part about driving solo that I don't like. All the planning. I know solo guys do this all the time, but I am just not in that frame of thinking since I am so used to running team.

So here I sit at the Pilot in Marengo,OH. I am going to head to bed in about 30 minutes then get up and be on the road by around 0130 to drive the last 46 miles to the shipper. I am hoping for a preloaded trailer so that I can drive the majority of the way and stop at the last truck stop before the receiver. That way I can get a good nights sleep and then drive in Tuesday morning for my 0800 appointment.

This is Tracy with her head up her ass signing off for now.......

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I made it here! Last night I settled in for at the Pilot in Caldwell,OH and decided to get up and get an early start today to get this load delivered. I got up around 0400 and grabbed a shower and then hit the road.

I only had 125 miles to go this morning so it was an easy drive. I made one stop on the way and that was for Smokey. After walking about 25 minutes, he finally found a place he considered worthy of leaving a deposit. LOL We also ran across a snake. I hate snakes! It was a little one, but still. Gross!

Back on the road again, I made it to the receiver around 0915 local time. It was a drop so I dropped my loaded trailer in their unbelievably muddy lot. Then I proceeded to the other side of the building to pick up an empty in an even muddier lot. I finally got hooked up and pulled around the front to do my actual trailer inspection and to send in a message that I had picked up an empty. I also wanted to find out if I would be getting a load out of there or if I should head somewhere else to wait.

While I was waiting for a response, I walked Smokey again and talked to another Prime driver. He let me know of a McDonald's just down the road that had truck parking. I am glad that he did because I would have gotten back on the turnpike in search of a place to wait. After getting a message that he didn't know when I would get a load, I decided to head on down to this McDonald's to hang out.

I got here right at 1000 hrs so I was right in time for lunch. Perfect since I wasn't in the mood for breakfast. Then it was time to take Smokey for a walk again. I swear I feel like that is all I do lately! See, he will get in the passenger seat and whine when he needs to go out. And he has been doing that a lot this week since I have been driving solo. But when I take him, he may pee one time and be done. Then we get back in the truck and 10 minutes later, he is whining again. I know he was kinda constipated when we got him back from the kennel, but that has passed. So I don't know what his deal is. I think he realized I am driving alone and Daddy is missing and he is just bored. I think he just wants to get out of the truck and play.

Anyway, where was I going with that? Oh yeah. So I get him out of the truck after I had lunch and take him for another walk. What did we see? Another snake! What is up with the snakes?? We see all these signs at the rest areas in New Mexico and Arizona to watch out for poisonous snakes and insects and we have never once seen a snake. Then I come to Ohio and see two in one day?? And on top of that, at the rest area where we saw the first snake, I picked up a tick! NASTY!! That little bugger was trying to get in my ear! Thank goodness I felt him. I thought I just had something on my ear, but when I pulled it away and saw what it was, I about freaked out. Now mind you, I am not afraid of them, and I don't have a problem pulling them off the dog, but I don't want to be pulling them off of me. And on top of that, I was driving. Damn glad I didn't wreck trying to get the critter flicked out of the wing window! Then for about an hour after that I kept thinking I had others crawling on me. Whew! Glad I didn't have nightmares about invasions of the ticks when I took a nap!!

Speaking of naps, after I walked Smokey, I took a well deserved nap. Before I did that however, I talked to two other Prime drivers that are in the same parking lot as I am. Both have been here since last night. One had just gotten a load that picks up tomorrow and the other still didn't have a load. Now there are 6 of us in this parking lot and 4 more across the street at the old Walmart. I sent in a message and the one I got back said to get comfortable for the night and that it would be in the morning before I would get a load. Great, just great! Why couldn't I be stuck somewhere that the weather is nice instead of here where it is cold and misty?

After I took my really nice nap, I headed next door for dinner. But I had breakfast. See how I had lunch at 1000 hrs and I had breakfast at 1700 hours. I think I am a confused individual! But it was yummy and I had leftovers that I brought Smokey. He was appreciative of the ham and sausage I brought him. :)

So here I sit waiting until tomorrow to get a load. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I don't want to be stuck here until Monday!!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I was really tired yesterday and had planned on blogging this morning while I was getting loaded. Of course, I get there and it is a pre-loaded trailer, so alas, no time to blog! But I will catch you up now.

Yesterday morning I headed out from Mason,TN and finished my journey to Gaffney,SC. I had about 542 miles to go and I knew it would be a long day. I got up and had a quick shower and was on the road by 0415. I made a few stops and finally pulled into the receiver around 1645 hours. It was a drop and hook so that was nice. I dropped my loaded trailer, went and picked up my empty, took Smokey out and then headed back to the Pilot for the night. I got back to the Pilot at 1800 with just 15 minutes left on my 14 hour clock. That was close! I even managed to find a pull through facing the fuel pumps so I was right up front.

After taking Smokey out again, because he wouldn't do his business at the receivers, I decided I was hungry. When I was walking him, I noticed a mexican food restaurant right next door. Hmm I love mexican food so I decided to give it a try. I don't remember the name of it, but it was really good. It is at x90 on I-85 right next door to the Pilot in the little strip shopping center. I contemplated having a beer but knew I would be up all night going to the restroom if I did, so I had to pass. But it was tempting!

Once I got back to the truck, I talked to J for a while and we were trying to figure some things out on the boat. Finally it was time to go to bed. I had lucked out and already had my next load to be picked up at 0700 today at Nestle which was right across the street from where I delivered. So I set my alarm for o545 and started to crawl into bed. Then it hit me. I was on the east coast which meant east cost time not central time. Oops! At least I remembered it before it was too late. So I had to reset my alarm for 0445 so that I could be there at 0600 my time!

0445 came entirely too early this morning, but the show must go on. So I got up got ready and headed out. Boy was it foggy this morning. Some of the worst morning fog I have seen in quite a while. I couldn't see but maybe half a truck length in front of me. As I said earlier, Nestle was right across the street from where I had delivered the night before, so I knew where I was going. I just couldn't see far enough in front of me to see where the turn was. I was going about 15-20 mph and there happened to be a sign stating Nestle Shipping/Receiving Next Right. Awesome! I turned in and checked with the guard shack. Good news is that I had a pre-loaded trailer! Bad news is that it was across the street at Millard, where I delivered the night before.

Ok, I head in and turn around and then come back out the gate. Now my problem is seeing to cross the 2 south bound lanes, the center turn lane and the 2 north bound lanes without hitting anyone and without anyone hitting me since visibility was about 50 feet. It looked clear to the left so I pulled out across the south bound lanes and pulled into the turn lane. A minivan about had to slam on its brakes so it wouldn't hit my trailer as it came across those lanes. I figure if she had to hit her brakes that hard then she was going way too fast in that fog.

Now my next challenge is to get across the two north bound lanes so I could make my turn into Millard. It looked clear, and Smokey was helping me look, so I had to convince him to get off the seat so that I could see for myself that it was clear. He was just trying to be helpful. I finally make my move and made it without incident across those two lanes and into Millard. I checked with the guard, dropped my empty, picked up my loaded and was off!

I headed down to the Pilot to scale first. When I picked up the loaded trailer the tandems were slid all the way back so I had to move them before I hit the scale. I slid them before I left the shipper and I lucked out and got them in the right hole before I scaled. So once I did scale, I was legal and good to go.

This load is going up to Streetsboro,OH and I would be taking I-85 up about 25 miles and then hitting I-77 all the way up. Best I can remember, I have only been on one part of I-77 before and never the whole stretch. It is an absoultely beautiful drive! But I NEVER want to drive it again! The road winds around, long grades and it seems like I spent more time in 7th gear climbing than I did in 10th. And when I was in 10th, I usually had the engine brake on because I was coming down the backside of the hill I just climbed. It was an exhausting day. I was hoping to make it all the way to Streetsboro today, but it wasn't meant to be. It is only 533 miles and I would have had the time, but it was slow going through VA and WV. So I decided to call it a night here at the Pilot in Caldwell,OH.

Tomorrow morning I will get up and grab a shower and be on the road around 0500. It is only 125 miles to the receiver. I should make it in there around 0900 local time and then I will play the waiting game and see if I can get a load out of Ohio on the weekend. Who knows if I will be stuck here or if they will end up and deadhead me somewhere. We shall see...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


It has certainly been an adventure so far, that is for sure!! When I stopped last night, I was exhausted. This running solo is actual work! I liked it better when J was with me and all I had to worry about was driving the big truck. LOL

I set my alarm to get up at 0300 this morning so I could be on the road by around 0330. It was still raining when I got up and headed out. I managed to make it a whopping 3 miles down the road before the bottom completely fell out. The wind was howling, rain was horizontal and the lightening show was unbelievable. It wasn't an occasional lightening strike, it was a continuous light show. I was half afraid the lightening was going to cause me to go into a seizure! Not that I suffer from seizures mind you, but they say blinking lights can cause an epileptic to go into a seizure. Or maybe that is an old wives tale. At any rate, I was worried about it. I had slowed down to about 20 mph with my hazards on and only a few trucks passed me. The majority of them were staying in line with me. They figured it was bad also. I was just at the point of trying to find a place to pull over when I finally punched out of that storm cell. Boy was I a happy girl!

I continued along only making two quick stops, one for me and one for Smokey, and I managed to pull into the gate and check in with the guard at exactly 0930 which is when my appointment was. I was able to get right to a dock and by 1030 I was finished. I sent a message to my FM asking if he had any idea which direction I should head, but he didn't, so I just took off. Of course, leave it to me to pull out from the receiver the wrong direction! Thankfully I found a Walmart a few miles down that I could turn around at.

Once I got turned around, my Qualcomm started beeping. Sweet! Less than 30 minutes and I had a load! I had to backtrack to Arkansas and go pick up in Jonesboro. It said the appointment was at 1230 and I told my FM I couldn't get there in time. It was 128 miles to the shipper and it was 1130. I can't do that in an hour. He sent a message back stating it was a preloaded trailer and I could get there anytime. That worked out good because I needed to stop in W. Memphis,AR and get a trailer washout.

I made it to the shipper there in Jonesboro around 1400 and by 1430 I was headed back out the gate. The nice lady at the guard shack gave me directions to the closest scale and after checking my weight, I was off! Two loads in two days. This running solo just may work out. :)

This load delivers in Gaffney,SC and has a drop time of 0100 on the 8th. Which is basically tomorrow night. My FM said I could drop any time since this was a drop and hook location. I decided I would drive to Mason,TN tonight and that would leave me just 540 miles tomorrow. I plan on getting my 10 hour break in and then leaving at around 0400 in the morning. That should put me there around 1700 local time and still leave me time on my clock to get to a truck stop for the night. Maybe tomorrow I will get some laundry done.

Anyway, it has been interesting to say the least. I don't like all this thinking and planning I am having to do!! LOL It is definitely much easier running team with J. And I miss him like crazy. But I think we have talked at least 5-6 times each day along with texting all day. Thank goodness we have unlimited texts!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Here it is folks, Day 1 of me driving solo. Last night I spent the night up in Anna,TX at the Love's. I got up this morning and headed out around 0530 to head to Justin,TX to grab and empty trailer. I was available at 0500, but didn't figure I would have a load until around 0800 so I left Anna at 0530 to make the hour drive to Justin so I could beat the traffic.

I made it over to Justin and as I figured, there were no empties. I sent in a message to my FM and after about 20 minutes, he tells me to head over to FedEx to pick one up there. It was right down the road so I was in posession of one empty trailer rather quickly. I still didn't have a load at this point, so I headed to the Pilot at x65 on I-35W to wait for a load assignment.

Midmorning I recieved a message asking if I could repower a load headed to Brownsville,TN. It was only 541 miles from the Pilot where I was so we made arrangements to have the driver bring the load to me there. He finally made it there around 1130-1145 and after fueling and doing my pre-trip, I was on the road around 1230.

I had noticed that morning at the Love's in Anna that I had a headlight out. After I left Ft Worth with my load, I stopped at the TA out in Rockwall,TX since they had a shop. There I was able to get a new bulb for my headlight. Being Mrs Independent, I headed out and changed the bulb myself and was on the road again. Although that stop did take about an hour.

I had a nice drive up until Texarkana where the weather started turning bad. I made it to x63 on I-30 in Arkansas and there I decided to call it a day. After all, it was 1730 by this point and my body was screaming for me to stop since it is used to stopping at 1500!

I have stopped at the South Fork Truck Stop here for the night. It was raining cats and dogs when I got here. Major bad. I decided that I was hungry enough for a bowl of their red beans and cornbread that I would brave the puddles so I could get inside. I must have been REALLY hungry, because my trip inside consisted of me walking through what I thought was a shallow stream of water, but turned out to be about a foot deep. I was soaked up to my knees. These two older truck drivers were standing outside deciding the best way around the water and about fell over laughing when I walked through and they realized exactly how deep it was. Hell, I was cracking up too. We all had a good laugh about it. :)

I did manage to have a nice supper inside and now I am in the truck getting ready to go to bed. I can leave at 0300 in the morning and I have until 0930 to get there. With 271 miles to go, I should make it just fine. I just hope I can get through Memphis rush hour traffic without too big of a delay. We shall see.....

Monday, May 4, 2009


What a great few days off we have had! We made it in to the Dallas area around 0900 on Thursday morning and handed off the load bound for California to another driver. Then we were officially off for a few days. Our first stop was to take Smokey to the kennel. From there we headed to Garland to pick up a rental car and then headed to Dallas Freightliner for tires and an alignment. After getting our stuff out of the truck and dropping it off we headed up to Allen,TX to Michelle's house where we spent the first night.

We had a nice nap when we got there and then headed out to see Michael, whom I used to work with, and Mai and Matt, some other friends of ours. Friday was a lazy day and we spent most of it getting laundry done and just hanging out.

Friday evening we headed down to Burleson,TX where Jessica lives. (J's daughter) We got a hotel there for the night because Saturday was a girls day. Since we were back for Jessica's prom, we spent Saturday getting our hair done, getting our make-up done, doing lunch and a little shopping. After all that was done, we headed back to her house so she could get dressed and we could take pictures of her and her date. She was beautiful! I can't believe she was just in elementary school and now she is all grown up and graduating this year. The 17th of this month will be her 18th birthday. Where does the time go??

After pictures and seeing them off, J and I headed back up to Dallas where we got a hotel for the night. We were going out with some friends and when we go out, we prefer to get a hotel so that we don't have to be drinking and driving. Aren't we smart?? LOL We had a great time with some friends of ours and stayed out way to late. But what the heck, we are off!

Sunday morning we got up and checked out of the hotel at 1100 then spent some time running around and killing time until Michelle got off work at 1430 so that we could head back to her house for our last night in town. We ended up going to dinner and the movies with friends and got home and hit the sack around 2300 last night.

Today is starting a new adventure for me. J took me to pick up the truck and then he headed to the airport to drop the rental off and catch a flight to Lubbock. He is picking up our Suburban and heading to Atlanta where he will be working on the boat for a few weeks. This means I will be running solo. I haven't done that before and I have to admit, I'm a little apprehensive. I'm not so much worried about doing my job, just the fact that I am a female and I will be out here and alone. But I have Smokey to protect me and I know to be cautious, so I know I will be fine. Still doesn't help with the jitters though! LOL

Freightliner didn't have tires so they couldn't do an alignment so this morning when I picked up the truck, I headed down to the TA in Dallas to get the work done there. After they finished up I headed up to pick Smokey up with a quick stop at Walmart to stock up on supplies. I sent a message to my FM and told him that I had been up since 0600 and could be available around 1500 after I picked Smokey up. I also asked him if it would be better for me to wait till tomorrow morning to head out so I would be fresh on hours. He said that would be better. So I am currently sitting at the Love's in Anna,TX until in the morning. I am available at 0500 so at that time I will head over to Justin,TX where he said I could grab an empty. If there are any there. Something tells me I will end up having to go down to FedEx to get an empty.

But that is what is going on with me. Since I have to stop every night as a solo, I will make sure and keep everyone update on how my adventure is going. I hope I don't screw anything up!!