Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fort Worth,TX

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 17, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 14, 2009


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Santa Rosa,NM

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 7, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Duncan,SC - Back on the road!

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

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

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

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

I hope you enjoy the pictures!