Saturday, October 17, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fort Smith,AR

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 4, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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