Saturday, January 31, 2009


Thursday morning found us waking up bright and early at 0215 so that we could get to our next load up in Westboro,MA by 0600. After the snow that they had in that area, the roads were pretty much a mess, but we made it without sliding off of the road. It took them forever to get me loaded but by around 1030 I was on the road. It was a high value load and I couldn't stop for 200 miles. Somehow I managed to make it to Pittston which is about 270 miles without stopping. But boy did I have to use the ladies room when we got there. :) As we pulled in they checked the trailer and determined that we needed brakes done, so we dropped the trailer in the shop, grabbed a bite to eat in the truck and about 2 hours later we were on the way again.

This load was a short 1000 miles that had us dropping in Pleasant Prairie,WI. I ended up and got there about 2 hours early and was finished before my actual appointment time. I love it when that happens. FM didn't have anything right away so I headed to the Petro about 14 miles up the road to wait. I got there and got a spot about 4 trucks from the front. I love it when that happens too! I chilled for a while and around 1230 I get a load that has to be picked up by 1300. Good thing I was only 9.5 miles away. J was still asleep through all of this and luckily this was a place we had picked up before so I knew where I was going. I got there and checked in, dropped my trailer and picked up a pre-loaded one. J finally woke up when he heard me banging on the bracket that holds the load locks. I couldn't get it open to put the load locks back in it that I had in the empty trailer. Don't know why I bothered since I found the loaded trailer and had to get them back down again to brace that load. LOL But he was up and dressed by this time so he put them in the trailer for me.

We now have yet another hazmat load. I swear we have had more hazmat loads this month than we have had non-hazmat loads. That is ok with me though. They usually pay a little better. :) Once we got the trailer sealed we headed to the Pilot to scale. We were heavy, but after moving the tandems one notch forward, we were good to go. This load is going to Laredo and isn't due until Monday morning. As I have said before, nothing happens in Laredo on the weekend as far as freight goes. All of the forwarding companies are closed. With that in mind, we knew we had tons of time on this load to go the short 1400 miles by Monday morning considering it was only Friday afternoon. So we headed back to the Petro at x333 on I-94 in Sturtevant,WI where we did laundry, grabbed a shower, had a nice meal and a nice night of non moving sleep.

I got up this morning and headed out around 0600. We figured we each only had to drive about 350 miles a shift and we would still be there by midnight on Sunday night. We will get there earlier though. I had a nice drive through the Chicago area this morning since it was Saturday. I love when there is no traffic through there. (Jim, I would have called but it was pretty early and I didn't want to call and wake you guys up at 0700 on the weekend!)

Anyway, so I was having a nice leisurely drive, going 55 mph trying to get good fuel mileage, when it happened. What happened? Well, I will tell you. With it being winter, there is snow and ice everywhere, right? And that includes on cars and trucks. You see them driving down the highway every day with snow blowing off of them. And chunks of ice falling from the top of the trailer or the bottom of the trailer. I had a DART truck come past me doing about 60. I flashed my lights for him to come back over into the right lane, and he did. He got about two trucks in front of me when chunks of ice started breaking free from the top of his trailer. I watched a few pieces fly off, but they were fairly small. Then comes the BIG piece. Not a "sheet" of it, but it was about an 18 inch square and litterally about 3 inches thick. It flies off, but I swear it stayed suspended in the air. The other smaller debris has flown off to the side. Not this piece. As I am watching it I say out loud, "oh shit!" I check my mirror super fast and there is a car in the left lane at the back of my trailer so I don't have time to change lanes. What can I do but brace for impact? That huge chunk of ice hit my front passenger window straight on. Shattered the window. Well, not shattered in the sense that you can't see out of it, but there are at minimum 40 lines running through that window. The break is in the form of an X with the majority of the damage in the bottom part of the X but some lines in the top part of it also. When it hit I yelled another bad word beginning with a F, poor Smokey bolts to the back and on top of J who is sleeping, who simultaneously yells "Are you ok? What was that?", to which I reply, "DART had some ice fly off his trailer and busted my f'in window!" At that point I had to decide between pulling over or trying to catch him. Of course I tried to catch him. I floored the truck and finally caught up with him about 2 miles up. I was praying the Illinois State Patrol wasn't around because I was doing 70 in a 55. I finally catch up with him but he doesn't have a CB. He finally figures out I need him to pull over. We pull over at the weigh station that is closed and he gets out and we talk and I let him know what happened. He came to look at the window and couldn't believe it. He was very nice and apologetic, even though it wasn't something he did on purpose. He called his company and I called ours and we ended up with him giving me his insurance info and we will go from there.

We were stopping in Springfield anyway tonight to have them check this trailer we have so we will have them check the windshield. It should be fine as far as DOT is concerned. I just don't want to stop and have it fixed in Springfield. That means giving this load to someone else to deliver, us getting stuck there while they fix it, and then getting in line to wait for a load out of there. I would rather deliver this load to Laredo and get it fixed there. I think I will take my chances getting a load in Laredo vs waiting on one there in Springfield. :)

So that was my exciting day. I was just telling J this afternoon that it isn't fair that EVERYTHING happens to me. I am the one that drives when we have to chain, I am the one that hit the deer, I am the one that had the bear run out in front of me, I am the one that had the car driving the wrong way on I-70 coming right at me, I am the one that had the steer tire blow and now I am the one that gets assaulted by the flying ice! He said it is because I am an angel watching over him and I take care of that stuff to keep him safe. Maybe he is right, but God definitely watches over us and keeps us safe. I can't take credit for that. But I will keep on letting him think I am an angel for as long as he wants. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


After a very fast paced week, we are finally out of the truck and tucked in nice and cozy at a hotel here in Middletown.

Yesterday after I made our second drop, we headed out and got a shower and a hot meal. From there J took off driving and got me to a Service Plaza a mere 24 miles away from our third drop in Wilmington,MA. After heading inside for a cup of coffee and a quick restroom break, oh, and taking Smokey out since he was quite demanding, I was off. Of course with morning traffic, it took me about 2 hours to get the 24 miles. LOL! Having been to this particular place before I was able to find in pretty easily. They have a small parking lot, but luckily the truck that was in one of the docks was leaving as I was checking in so I had room to maneuver around. A short 30 minutes later, I had the doors locked back up and was on the road to our last drop.

Off to our 4th and final drop we go. This is also a place we have been to before. Last time we had a hazmat load out of Pittsburg,CA we had 5 drops. This time we only had 4 but three of the 4 were the same places we went when we had the 5 stops. So were were on familiar ground. I found the place and got a dock right away. It took about 45 minutes to get unloaded but I made good use of the time. I found a hotel for the night! And one that will take Smokey.

Now our last drop was up in S. Portland,ME and we are now in CT. So I am sure you are wondering why we would drive all the way down here and not just stay there. Two reasons actually. First, we were wanting to see Justin who is stationed up here in Groton,CT. And second, there was no where up there that we could drop our trailer. So our FM found a place down here in Middletown,CT that we could drop the trailer and it is a short 45 miles away from Justin. We were just going to stay up there in Maine, but they have a storm coming in that is supposed to drop quite a bit of snow, and our FM said we don't get much freight out of there and he would probably have to send us south anyway. They only bad thing is that as we were driving down, we talked to Justin and he has class all day and watch tomorrow evening so he can't get away. I guess we will just hang out and be lay and just enjoy being out of the truck. We have been running pretty hard since we came out the day after Christmas, with the exception of being down the two days while the truck was in the shop.

Speaking of running hard, I hear drivers complaining of no miles and things slowing down. I hear rumors of companies going out of business or laying off half of their fleet. What is odd is that we have been busy. I think January is going to be our most profitable month since we have been with Prime. And January and February is supposed to be the slowest time of the year. Thank goodness for high value and hazmat loads! I would haul those all the time if we could. Except even after just two of those back to back, you need a break because of the rules. One person has to stay with the truck at all times. That means separate shower times, no sit down meals, basically just go, go, go. That gets olds. But I am still enjoying the profits from it!

So we are going to enjoy our time out of the truck and just kick back. Then Thursday morning we will be at it again hoping that February will be as good as January.

Monday, January 26, 2009


What a day! I am completely worn out. We have hauled ass the past few day to make it to our first delivery on time and we made it with 20 minutes to spare. So far the weather has held out and the roads have been clear. Oh, there have been some snow flurries, but nothing that made the roads wet.

J woke me up this morning in Lima,OH where I had a short 89 miles to go to our first drop. I came in from a different direction than how the Qualcomm directions were written so I was a little confused. Once I finally pulled over and got the map out and got my bearings I was ok. Once I got off the interstate though onto the state road, I found my turn off of the Qualcomm directions, but the GPS was telling me I had something like 14 more miles to go. Hmm That isn't making sense. Trusting the Qualcomm I took the right turn and realized it was the right road but also realizing why the GPS was trying to take me a different direction. Straight ahead of me is a weight restricted bridge. Ah-ha!! Maximum on 30 tons and 40 tons if a combination. Well, after pulling out the rusty math skills, I realized that we were a little less than 60,000 when we weighed so I figured I should be good. I made it across the bridge without it collapsing, always a good sign, and then realized things were looing familiar. We had been to this place the last time we had a hazmat load out of Pittsburg. Except last time J drove us in and I was just awake once we arrived.

As I pull in, people are just getting in to work since I arrived about 20 minutes till 0700 local. I knew which area I needed to be in so I just parked there until I started seeing people come out, meaning night shift was leaving and day shift had arrived, and then I headed in with my paperwork. The guy told me to go ahead and back on it so I gave him my paperwork and went to it. After fighting the padlock which was cold, ice covered and covered in a layer of salt, I finally got it open and backed in. With only two pallets being dropped off here, I was in and out in no time. By 0745 I was back in the drivers seat punching in the address for my next stop.

My next stop was in Winchester which was only 158 miles away and I had an appointment at 1400. Here I go again, down the road. Now, the directions they sent us were I-70 East to us 522 south. Well, I have news for you, if you have a hazmat load, YOU CAN'T GO THAT WAY!! You would think they would send me correct directions. But I guess it is just a machine, and not a person, so it probably didn't know I was hauling hazmat. Thankfully I was paying attention and saw the sigh that said HAZMAT EXIT NOW. After getting completely turned around in a one horse town, even though I was following the GPS (I think it was confused too) I finally make my way north to US30. Well, THAT was an experience! Beautiful drive, in a CAR!!! Nothing like seeing a sign that says "TRUCKS 20 MPH 9% GRADE NEXT 6 MILES USE LOWER GEAR". Oh crap. I had heard people talking about this road but we have thus far managed to avoid it. But with the hazmat load, I didn't have a choice. Small little two lane road, maybe 2 passing areas for 30 miles. I know the people behind me weren't happy. I was dropping down to 6th gear for some of those hills, going up AND down. I'm talking 18-20 mph. After what seemed like an eternity I finally reached Breezewood,PA where I was to connect up with I-70 again. Thank you Lord!! After a much needed restroom stop at the Petro, I was once again on the road and able to do the speed limit! YES!!

It was so nice to see the exit sign that I needed off of I-81 for my stop in Winchester. Of course to get to this place I go down teeny weeny roads, old town roads I should say, and I make my way to our drop in Winchester. Problem was, I couldn't figure out where I needed to pull in. Luckily there was a huge parking lot across the street with a few other trucks in it so I pulled in and called. He told me where to enter from and once I got back there I ended up doing about a 20 point turn to get in the dock because the place is small. They got me unloaded faster than I was able to back in. I was in and out of there in less that 30 minutes. Now, if just every single stop I were to ever have from this day forward could go that fast, minus the difficult back, then I would be one happy girl.

Upon finishing there, we headed down to grab a shower and a sit down meal at the Flying J and now we are on our way to our first drop in the morning. That is Wilmington,MA and we don't have to be there until 1000 local. Sweet! I get to sleep in. After that we are headed to Portland,ME and then we are taking a day off. We will deliver at our last stop on Tuesday at 1400 and we are gonna come back out on Thursday morning. We are going to head back down to Middletown,CT and drop the trailer at a customers while we are off so we can bobtail around. It is about 200 miles south from where we are delivering, but our FM said that we probably wouldn't get anything out of Maine so we should be safe to head south. We don't know anyone there, and don't have anything planned, other than to get out of the truck for Tuesday night and Wednesday night. That will give us both a restart on our hours. And I think Smokey is getting cabin fever so it will be good to get him out of the truck for a while. But come Thursday morning, who knows where our next adventure will take us!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Whew, what a day! As you know it was raining on Friday in the Sacramento area when we delivered our last load and picked up our current one. J headed out but only made it as far as Sparks,NV before calling it a night. It wasn't very far, but traffic was horrible and it took forever to get up and over Donner Pass.

I woke up and was on the road by 0330 Saturday morning. I wish I could tell you that the rain had stopped, but I would be lying. I even had to deal with fog until around noon. Even had a little snow on one of the passes in Nevada. I managed to pull into the yard in Salt Lake City,UT around 1430 having only covered 500 miles. This meant that we would each have to cover 600 miles each shift until we arrived at our first stop if we were to make it on time.

J heads out of SLC and wakes me up around 0230 this morning as he is pulling into Big Spring,NE. I get up and get dressed and open the curtain and what do I see? SNOW! I asked him who the hell ordered that! LOL!! Somehow he managed to cover 600 miles though. He said the snow didn't start until around Laramie,WY but that it was a dry snow and the road was pretty good just a lot of blowing snow that wasn't sticking. I am just glad I was asleep through all of that. I would have been a nervous wreck if I had been awake watching him zip through that stuff! However, I did managed to sike myself up for the long day of driving ahead of me through winter conditions and off I went.

The left lane was snowpacked all the way until the Iowa border, but for the most part the right lane was just wet. After I crossed into Iowa both lanes were just wet and by the time I made it to Atalissa at exit 265 on I-80 both lanes were dry. I even managed to cover 619 miles to get us there. It was a fuel stop so that is where I was aiming for. Since I managed to get that far, we only have about 680 miles to go to our first stop. If J can cover at minimum 550 miles, then I will be able to do the last part before our 0600 appt. (0700 local) Our second stop is only about 150 miles away and we have to be there by 1400. After that we have a little over 500 to go to our third drop on Tuesday morning and then a mere 98 miles to the last one at 1430.

So now I am about to hit the sack for the night and hope that the weather hold out so that we can make it into the receiver in the morning without any problems!

Friday, January 23, 2009


It has been a few days but we were on another one of those hurry and get there loads. We picked up in Rocky Mount,NC on Tuesday evening and had to be in Tracy,CA first thing Friday morning. After a couple of 1150-1200 mile days, I made it to the receiver this morning about 40 minutes early.

We only made one lengthy stop enrt and that was yesterday in Flagstaff,AZ. Some friends of ours that drive for Schneider called and they were about 20 miles west of the CA border on I-40 headed to NY. I was about 20 miles east of AZ on I-40 headed west. They had a few miles further to go than I did, but I made a stop to walk Smokey along the way. As luck would have it, when I took the exit where we were meeting, I made a left to head under the interstate, and as I came under, there was a Schneider truck waiting on the light to turn and it happened to be them. We couldn't have planned that kind of timing! We spent about 2 hours there at Little America in the restaurant visiting and the we headed back out to make our appointment time this morning.

J stopped in Bakersfield last night. He made good time and since I didn't have to hit the road until 0500 to make the appt, he had a few extra hours to spare. So being the awesome husband that he is, he grabbed the laundry and went in and did it while he let me sleep. The girls in there were jealous he said because he was letting me sleep while he did the domestic chores. They wanted to take him home. LOL One of the girls said that she has been married for 14 years and the only thing her husband makes for her is a mess! Luckily he wasn't pursuaded by their charms and around 0445 he came and woke me up so I could get going. I didn't even feel him stop the truck last night, or get in and out walking Smokey and doing the laundry. I put in a long day yesterday.

This morning when I took off it was super foggy. I drove through fog, at points extremely thick, for the entire 232 miles that I drove this morning. I was so happy to see the sun come up for the last 30-40 miles just to make the visability a little better. At one point, when I was coming through Bakersfield on CA58, I was stopped at a light. It turned green and I started to go but heard a siren and looked to my left and an ambulance and squad car were coming running code. So I stop to see if they are going to turn or go straight. Because the last thing I want is to pull out and have an ambulance t-bone my truck or trailer. At the same time, I looked up in my mirror and heard a horn and there was another semi swerving to get around me. I knew why I was stopped but he didn't and I am sure he was cussing at me. But I mean the light had been green for all of 5 seconds when I determined the emergency units were turning so I took off. I caught back up with him and he had slowed down and put on his hazards. I wasn't sure if it was because of the fog or if he was looking for something. I never run with my CB on but I decided to turn it on and sure enough he was calling me. It seems he was looking for a turn and couldn't find it with all the fog but he was telling me to go around him and that it was clear. I say sure thing and apologize for being stopped back there. And you know what? He actually apologized to me. He said it was his fault and he didn't see the emergency units and he was sorry about that. I thought that was really nice. I got around him and told him to have a good one and he said the same back to me and I took off.

After I got unloaded this morning I headed to the truck stop in Tracy,CA. J had woke up as I was pulling out of the dock and that is a good thing because it was shower time! I didn't complain too much about the shower because I wanted one so bad, but it had to have been one of the dirtiest showers we have been in. On the bright side though, they make burgers there and they had really good burgers and onion rings.

While we were inside the store, our FM called and he had a load for us. We are currently sitting in Pittsburg,CA at General Chemical picking up a hazmat load with 4 stops. We love hauling out of this facility because it pays awesome! And this time, we won't have to run 70 to make delivery ontime like we had to the last time we pulled a load out of here. Our first drop is Monday morning at 0700 in PA and it is 2562 miles. Should be pretty easy. If J can get 300 miles tonight, then we only have to do 550 each shift and that would leave me about 62 miles to do on Monday morning by 0600 our time. Piece of cake! And the 4th and final drop is before 1430 local time up in Maine on Tuesday. So that means that this load will go on our paycheck next Friday! WooHoo!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Darn it is cold in Henderson! We were watching the news earlier and the only part of the country that is under a winter weather advisory and expecting 3-5 inches of snow tonight is where we are at. Figures huh?

We ended up and busted ass to get to our drop here in Henderson,NC this morning and made it here at 0930 for an 0615 appt. Now this is the load that we have been telling them that was going to be late and they, our sales department, just kept saying to get there as soon as we could. I pulled into Henderson and found the Walmart DC with no problems. As I was pulling up to the gate there was a truck that was turning around and heading back out. Hmm Odd. So I stop and get out with my paperwork only to have the very nice lady tell me they were done accepting loads for the day. I really wasn't upset because I had a feeling that this would happen. And I thought, well, we will get out of the truck for the night and get a hotel and just come back in the morning. Well, the lady at the guard shack called someone and they told me to come back so they could look at my paperwork and see if it was anything they needed right then. If so, then they would unload me. If not, then I would have to come back tomorrow with a new appointment. After looking at my paperwork they decided to go ahead and unload me. Cool!

I finally got out of there around 1200 and headed down the road about 8 miles to the nearest truck stop. As I was pulling in, J woke up so we went inside to grab lunch and a much needed shower. This little place that we stopped at is on I-85 at X220 in Henderson,NC. I will have to check the name again but they made the best bacon cheeseburger EVER. It was a hand pressed patty, fresh meat! Not a frozen patty. And it had 5 full strips of thick cut bacon on it. OMG I thought I was in heaven!

After the shower and the full belly, we waddled out to the truck to find that we had our next load. I had to send a message to make sure I was reading it right. Today is the 19th and we got the load assignment around 1430 hours. This load picks up a short 89 miles away at 2100 hrs tomorrow, the 20th. So, once I confirmed that, we checked the GPS for a close hotel. After making sure they had truck parking and accepted pets, we were off. The only bad part is that it is really cold outside and this room is not heating very well. The heater is warm, but not hot and we had them bring us a space heater and my feet still feel like ice cubes. I figure around 0300 it will finally get warm and then we will want the a/c turned on. LOL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Little Rock,AR

What a day! J got us to Amarillo last night and I got up and was on the road by 0345. Not long after that I started getting messages again about our ETA. I swear I would have put my hands around the sales departments collective necks if I had been close. They are seriously working my last nerve. So instead of getting super mad, I took a deep breath and kicked up the speed. With having to haul ass to appease them that means no shower today and it will have to wait until after we deliver tomorrow. That does not make momma happy. We should be there around 1100 local time. I managed 597 miles today with the speed kicked up. I told J he would be my favorite employee if he could get me at least 650 miles closer tonight. Oh wait, he is my ONLY employee. LOL That would leave me with only about 250 miles to do in the morning and put me in good shape to get there even a little earlier. As far as work goes, that is all that happened today.

On a more personal note, I got a call from my mom and she received a book that was sent to her house that I had been waiting on. A gentleman that I have been corresponding with is a writer and it was the book he just completed. He has been corresponding with me and several other female truck drivers about some of our experiences out on the road. The name of the book is 'Hoot N Holler" so if you see it, you should pick up a copy. I honestly am not sure where it is at since I am out on the road, but maybe check Barnes & Noble or maybe Amazon. I know he reads this blog, so Tom, if you could maybe put a plug in here for your book and where people can pick it up, you may get some more books sold! Oh, and I didn't put your last name on here, but if you want to on a comment, it may help them find it. The only rule is that if anyone picks it up, you can't tell me about it! I have to find a way to get a load through my Mom's house to get it so I can read it for myself!

That is all for today folks!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We managed to get out of Springfield and had a load that we brought to Riverside to deliver. After playing tag with another couple that drives for Prime, we realized that we weren't going to get to meet up. They were several hours behind us headed to the Los Angeles area also. We tried but there is always next time.

We managed to make it into Ontario,CA around 1300 local on Thursday and our appt was at 2130 so we had some time to kill. Took a shower and a nap, or at least tried, but then our FM called and needed a "favor". You never know if that will work in your favor or if you will get screwed. LOL Turns out it wasn't a big deal. There was a truck that was broke down and they needed to get the load delivered because it was a FedEx load. Our FM had a guy that could go get it, because he was a day and a half early for his appt and was just sitting there in Ontario. (Or somewhere close.) Problem was his load delivered Friday morning so he wanted us to deliver our load Thursday evening then go pick his load up from the drop lot in Ontario and deliver it to Irvine at 0600 Friday morning. He said that sales promises we would get a good load out on Friday morning after we deliver. We figured that we would be sitting overnight and not be loaded till the next morning anyway, so being a good ole gal, I decide we will help him out.

So Thursday evening we head over to our drop and once we are docked I hit the sack. It was already around 2230 our time and we got there an hour early. We got unloaded pretty darn fast, but it took almost 3 hours for them to count it and get or paperwork. Finally I feel J pull out and off we go to the Ontario drop lot.

Now if you remember, I have posted about this lot before. It is situated right between two feed lots. And it smells like shit. And I mean like actual cow patties. I was asleep but I knew the minute we pulled in because the smell woke me up. The only thing about a bad smell is that if you smell it long enough, you don't notice it. Anyway, that place was packed so J had to unhook out trailer, hook up to the one we were picking up and move it out, unhook and hook back up to the empty we brought in, back that in the spot that he just moved the loaded trailer out of, unhook and finally hook up to our new load for good, the one going to Irvine. We knew that it would be all but impossible to find a spot at either TA at that time of night, so he just stayed parked there until I had to get up around 0400 local.

0400 rolls around and I groggily get out of bed, hit the port-a-potty, which I must say that considering where it is, it is one of the cleanest I have ever been in, and then I am off. Thank goodness the appt was at 0600 and I didn't have to fight rush hour traffic. We find the place and J hits the sack. He had taken a small nap, but got back up with me to make sure I found the place. I check in at 0530 and a little after 0600 they start unloading me. Again, they were don unloading by 0645 but I didn't have my paperwork until 1000 hrs. It is irritating when you are unloaded that quick but they can't seem to count that fast. And the whole load was roasted peanuts. It was all the SAME! Sheesh!

After I get the paperwork I head around the the staging area to send in my depart and walk Smokey. This is the point where I am sending good vibes towards our sales department so that we get a good load out of there. Just as I get in the truck and am reaching for a breakfast bar, BEEP! I have a load! And it is going to NC! Yay! And it pays good. It didn't load until 1500 so I head back over to the TA to kill a few hours.

Upon getting to the TA I decide I am hungry and I start considering how hungry I am. I mean, do I really want to walk all the way up to the main building? Or should I take a chance and check the parking up front, just in case. Things were going my way because I got the third spot from the front! I saw it and said out loud, "Hell Yeah!" I threw my 4-ways on and backed in. I made it in without a pull-up, but a lot of people were watching me. Now I am worried that I parked in a handicapped spot or something. I am slightly crooked, so I get out and walk back behind the tractor and am looking at the ground to check for handicapped markings. NOPE! Ok, get in, so a small pull-up, back in straight and set the brakes. I am feeling pretty good at this point. Yep, I guess I will treat myself to Burger King.

I tell Smokey to be good and that I will bring him some french fries, (he loves those) and I head in. People are still staring at me. Ok, maybe I am self conscious. Or maybe they just haven't seen a small woman with blonde hair, tank top, capri pants and flip flops that has the backing skills I do. LOL!! Or maybe they were staring at my tattoos? Who knows? It was kinda wierd though.

Back to the french fries. I save half of them for Smokey and am walking back out to the truck. As soon as I get to the door, I am reaching for my key and I driver stops me. He was a Covenant driver that was parked next to me. He was asking a ton of questions about Prime. I bet we talked for almost an hour. He actually said he was on the phone with a recruiter when I came walking back out and told her he was going to talk to me and that he would call back. He seemed to like what I had to say because when we left a short time later, he was on the phone. Maybe I will get a referral out of it!

Ok, I killed enough time so off we go to pick up our load over in Colton,CA. After deciding the directions are screwy, we find the place, check in and get a dock and then it is bed time for me. I only had abut 4-5 the night before so I was worn out. Our appt was at 1500. At 2000 hrs we are pulling into the TA to scale. It took quite a while there. Yet again, we were loaded fairly quickly, but the paperwork took forever. What it is with the paperwork lately?? Well, this load didn't have an appointment set yet and J wasn't feeling really well because of the tacos and hot sauce he ate, so we decided to stay there for the night and I would head out this morning. J sent in a message to sales and told our night FM that I would start driving in the morning because he wasn't feeling well so they needed to set our appt for Monday after 1600 hrs to give us time to get there.

0400 again and I am up and at it. This morning as I was driving I get a message with an appointment time of Monday at 0615. Now I am wondering what part of the message that we wouldn't be in until 1600 they didn't understand, or if they didn't get the message. I message back that we won't be there by then and I get a message back that they only accept produce in the morning. Okay... regardless, I still won't be there by then so they may need to set up the appt for the next morning. Then my FM sends a message saying he is showing that we have 2117 miles to go and what is the soonest we can be to the receiver. Ummm, 1600 local time. Is anyone here seeing a pattern of them either not understanding my us of military time (which they use) or are they not reading my messages? At this point, I haven't gotten any other messages from them. So, we will be in around 1600 on Monday, LOL, and I don't know where we will go from there.

I am bummed about this weather situation though. I was wearing a tank top for crying out loud, and now I am going to have to go back to my winter coat and boots! :(

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Springfield,MO - But we are leaving!

I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get out of here. But we are finally about to leave.

Sunday night they called us from the Freightliner dealership and told us the truck was ready. We were surprised because the appt wasn't until 0100 and they called around 2200 to let us know it was ready. We went ahead and stayed at the hotel and the next morning we got up and headed over to get it. We weren't in a big hurry because we had to get J's TWIC card and we couldn't get it until after 0800. Once we got the truck back, we headed to the hotel but the check engine light was coming on. Not a good sign if you just picked it up from the shop. So we headed back over there and they put it on the machine and cleared out some old codes and we appear to be fine now.

We made a quick stop at Wal-Mart and from there went and checked out of the hotel. We headed over to the yard to let line-up know that we were ready for a load. He told me that we would probably be waiting till Tuesday morning, so we decided to get comfortable and take a nap. As luck would have it, our FM calls while we are trying to sleep wanting us to take a load that is being dropped off here at the yard and deliver it to Springfield,OH the next morning. I asked him how freight was out of there and he said not good. I also heard that storm is hitting OH so I told him we would pass and take our chances on waiting for something better.

Realizing that a nap was going to be out of the question since the phone kept ringing, we headed in to grab some dinner and to rent some movies. We came out to the truck and wouldn't you know, now they have another load for us, except this is a load that is a good one. We went to lineup to see if we needed to pick it up tonight or if it could wait until this morning. It was a preloaded trailer from the Kraft Caves over here and it was ready on the 11th so they wanted us to go ahead and go pick it up. Ok, take down the curtain and get the truck moving time. Luckily this place is no more than a mile and a half from the yard. So we made it over there and back pretty quickly. We dropped the trailer and then bobtailed back over to park closer to the bathrooms for the night.

Now it is around 1600 on Tuesday and I am about to wake J up so that we can get the truck washed and head out. This load isn't due until Thursday evening at 2130 in Riverside,CA so we could even leave tomorrow morning and still get there early. With plenty of time on this load, we aren't in a real rush. And knowing that we are delivering to a Wal-Mart DC means that we can't deliver more than an hour early, so why hurry? But it will get us set up for a good produce load out of the area and we should be back in a coast to coast routine.

I was a little worried about the weather last night. When we went in to eat it was cold, but when we came out, it was snowing! It was even snowing this morning when I woke up. But it was nothing but flurries and didn't amount to anything. It didn't even cover the ground. Thank goodness because I really don't want to deal with anymore snow. I realize that it IS winter, but I can definitely do without the snow when we are driving!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Springfield,MO - Still

Boy was today a lazy day! It sure was nice. Last night we went out with some friends to dinner and then went to a pool hall and played pool for a while. We haven't played pool in forever and I was quite surprised at what a pool shark J is. We had a good time and made it back here to the hotel around 2300-2330 or so.

This morning we slept in and then went across the stree to Bob Evans for a really good breakfast. After eating we came back to the room to grab a shower and then our friend picked us up and we went to the movies. We enjoy going to the movies and it is hard to do that while we are out on the road. Today we went to see Valkyrie. It was pretty good but I told J that next time I get to pick a chick flick instead. Haha We came back and picked up the truck at the hotel to drop it off at Freightliner and then came back to settle in for the night. It looks like tonight is going to be a movie night because we just finished watching Mr & Mrs Smith and now we are watching The Devil Wears Prada. Oh, and we pigged out on pizza and hot wings. You have to love delivery!

Hopefully the truck will be done in the morning and we can hit the road. First we have to stop by the yard though and pick up J's TWIC card and then we can be off. So keep your fingers crossed that we have luck tomorrow and can get the heck out of to speak.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Well, now I can tell you where we are at! Stuck in Springfield,MO for the moment. When we picked up the load we talked to our FM about getting us an appointment for a PM which we HAD to get done asap. He set us up with an appointment this morning at 0700 at the TA in Strafford,MO. Our shop here at Prime is backed up so that is why they set us up somewhere else. We have had work done here before when the shop has been busy. Anyway, J got in around 0245 and dropped our trailer at the yard and then headed over to the TA to wait for the appointment.

This morning I woke up at 0600 at the TA and I was surprised that I has slept through J going through the yard. So after I got up and ran into the bathroom and then to grab a coffee, I headed back to the truck just in time for them to pull us into the bay to get started. Unfortunately they found a few things wrong that we needed to get taken care of asap. Our oil pan is leaking from the top, we are using more coolant than we should be, our front left steer wheel seal is leaking and there is something wrong with the air compressor. Yesterday it got to where it kept coming on abut every 30 seconds which is definitely not right. Regretably we had to give the load away so that we could get an appointment with Freightliner to have the truck looked at. And the bad part is that it is now Saturday afternoon and we can't get in the shop until Monday at 0100 so we are stuck here for 2 nights. We thought about continuing on and and getting an appointment when we got to our destination but the service tech advised against it. And since I'm not a mechanic, I'm not going to argue with him. He knows what he is talking about.

Being a little bummed about losing this load, because it was a good paying load, we headed back to the yard to break the news to drivers lineup. I asked Paul who was working the desk how many trucks were waiting for a load to which he replied, "a lot". I told him I was about to make someones day because I had a load I had to drop off. When he looked up our load and saw that it was high value and hazmat, he said, "I doubt it" and we laughed. From there we headed over to get our padlocks off of the trailer and go grab some breakfast. Then it was off to the hotel to get a room. We lucked out when we got to the hotel and got one of the FOUR rooms that they had left. And it was only about 1000 hrs. I guess quite a few trucks waiting on a load had decided to get a room. Hopefully Monday morning when we are done over at Freightliner, the trucks that are waiting on loads will be gone and we won't have a very long wait.

So, since we are here, we called up the friends we have that live here and we are going to go out to dinner tonight. So that will be fun! Lambert Cafe is here and we are debating between that place or the BBQ joint down on the corner which we have heard is really good. So either way, we are here for two nights and will try both places, it is just a matter of which place we will try tonight and which place we will try tomorrow.

For the next 36 hours at least we will be chilling here in Springfield. I figure we will get the laundry done and do a whole lot of nothing. :) We have had a good week so far so even though we lost this load, we will still have a pretty darn good check. And since we should head back out on Monday, that will be a good start to the next week since I doubt whatever load we get on Monday will deliver before payroll cutoff on Tuesday. So we are sitting pretty!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Still Somewhere,USA

We made our super top secret delivery today, and wouldn't you know it, we get another one. So I still can't tell you where we are!

Wierd thing happening though. Our air tanks keep doing wierd things. About every 30 seconds the valve is blowing. It is losing just a few pounds of pressure and then refills. Because we have another high value load, we can't stop yet and check on it. I am thinking that it is the trailer. Either we have a bolt on the compressor loose or maybe we have a flat on the trailer and it keeps trying to fill the tire. The light on our Tire Max system keeps coming off and on periodically so that is why I am leaning towards it being a problem with a tire or with the system. All the tires were fine when we left but here in another 70 miles or so we will be able to stop and see if we can see anything obvious. We do have an appointment in the morning at a truck stop along the way to get a PM done on the truck so we will have them check that also.

Really not much going on today. I had to rush to make this delivery we just dropped and I had about 15 minutes left to run and that was it. I have ran out of hours for the week and will have to do a restart. I don't get any hours back tomorrow so I will get a shift off! YAY!!! About time it was me getting a day off instead of J! Haha!

I didn't even see anything exciting happen along the road today to report. Sad huh? Usually I see something going on, but it was a quiet day. I guess that is a good thing though. Maybe I will have something more exciting to tell you about tomorrow. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Yep, we have another top secret load so I can't tell you where we are, but I can give you an update on the last few days!

On Monday J was able to get us into Sparks,NV where we spent the night. I got up bright and early so that I could get to our first drop on time. Coming down Donner was an experience because the overhead signs said snow and ice on roadway, so I slowed down, but never came across any. What I did come across was FOG, and lots of it. Thicker than pea soup! Even though I allowed an extra two hours for travel time, I was about 7 minutes late to our first drop. But I called in and let them know so it wasn't a big deal.

Here is where the fun begins. I get backed into a very tight dock, and when I go to chock the wheels, the guy unloading asks me if I was his first stop. I thought it was a silly question since the trailer was obviously full. Of course you are my first stop. It turns out that they loaded the trailer backwards from what the paperwork said so my first stop was at the nose of the trailer and my last stop was at the back of the trailer. He says he has to check with his boss to see if they want him to unload it to get to theirs and reload it or if they want me to come back. Hmmm I tell him I can come back but I won't be back until Wednesday since my last drop is 380 miles away and it is due Tuesday at 0900 meaning I won't have time to get back to them on Wednesday. That would mean a Thursday delivery for something due on Tuesday. As I figured, he came back and unloaded it and reloaded it. He was real nice about it and they just charged the shipper for him having to rework the load.

So, what should have taken 30 minutes or less, it was only 3 pallets he needed, took about 2 hours. This made me about 15 minutes late for my second drop of the day. But again I called and they were aware I would be a little late. I finally make it to the second drop and find I have to back off the street, through a fence and then a slight blindside doen to the dock. Think a backwards "S". With my headset on and J outside to guide me, I backed in the dock PERFECTLY, without a single pullup! Now, if only I had stopped to open my doors! HAHA So one pullup to open the doors then straight back in. We were done there in about 20 minutes. Sweet.

Now our next stop is down in Santa Ana, in the Los Angeles area, so I take off and plan to drive about an hour and then J will start his shift. This load was a hazmat load with two placards and I hadn't had any problems at a scale, UNTIL I hit the scale on 580 in Livermore,CA. I got pulled in. We had some tape on the placards because they keep blowing out and that is a violation if the border is covered. Whatever. <<>> They can see plainly what the placard is. Also, and this is our fault, we flat forgot to put the padlock back on. We know better, but in our rush to get out of there, we forgot. That alone is a $3200 fine. YIKES!! And the page listing all the hazmat material was the second page of the paperwork, and it is supposed to be the first, even though I had it folded over to the top. You know though, some days it pays to be a female and to be nice. The Trooper told me I was going to get citations, so I said no problem. I didn't argue with him or anything and was nothing but nice. After he looked at all my other stuff and saw that I had the current documents I needed, we went inside and he told me to have a seat and wait. After about 10 minutes, he brings my stuff back to me and says that he isn't going to issue me any citations, but to get the tape off the placards and get a lock on there. Of course when I got to the truck it was already done because I was texting J while I was waiting and he got it all taken care of. So in the end, after 30minutes, I walked out with a warning and a piece of paper to send in to Prime, which just shows that being nice and cooperative pays off. And being a good looking chick, according to J, doesn't hurt! :)

Ok, J makes it to Ontario,CA where we spend the night and I get up and make our last drop with no problems. That morning it was actually really pretty there in LA and the haze wasn't noticable yet. The mountains were really pretty with the sun shining on them and having snow on the top. Ahhh It was quite gorgeous.

We already had a preplan to pick up so when we were done there, I started heading to it. Then I get a message that the shipper had changed. Same load, but shipping from a different place. I finally figure out where I am going, get turned around and head to that shipper. That would be the load we have now that is top secret. So I can't talk about it. But needless to say we are somewhere in the USA and save and just travelling along! Happy trails!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Battle Mountain,NV

It has been a few days, but we have been pushing it hard to get to California in the hopes that we would miss some of the bad weather. We picked up this load on Friday afternoon, and by the time we picked it up and scaled, we decided to call it a night since we do have a little extra time and there were some snow flurries there in PA where we stopped. I got a pretty good nights sleep, although cold, and then I was up and on the road at 0300. I managed to get us to the OH/IN state line, well actually the first service plaza in IN and from there J took over. I had an easy day with no real bad weather. He didn't have much bad weather either but he had a lot of wind.

That covered Saturday so Sunday morning J woke me up in Des Moines,IA. Unfortunately he didn't get me out of the wind and I had to deal with it most of the day. I managed to get us to Big Springs,NE where we stopped at the Pilot and switched and off J went. He did great and got me to Evanston,WY. He said there was some black ice and some parts were snow covered and blowing snow, but he managed to get me where he needed to. I can always count on him!

When I got up there in Evanston this morning, it was COLD. My temp on the truck showed -22 outside. HOLY MOLY that is freaking cold. I lucked out and didn't have any problems with the roads between there and Salt Lake City where I stopped to get fuel at our yard. Quick bathroom break and fuel and I was on the road. My plan was to get to Winnemucca,NV by the end of my shift because we have a friend there that we wanted to have lunch with. It turns out that it didn't happen. As I left Salt Lake and headed west, the skies started looking bad, like snow. Sure enough, I get about 30 miles into Nevada and it is a major snow storm. The first pass that I get to at about mile marker 380, and that is a complete guess, states that the chain law is in effect. And this after I have been driving on packed snow and ice for about 20 miles. Great! I hate waking J up but I need his help getting the chains on. I managed to get one of them on, but I can't get them tight enough. With the chains on, I take off and make it another 30 or so miles into Well,NV where we pull into the Flying J for a breather. We grab some lunch and I call 511 to see how far I am going to have to go with chains. We were stopped at mile marker 351 and chains are required to mile marker 280. Great, only another 70 miles to go!!! With a full belly, I pull out of the parking lot and continue west. I imagine I went another 40 miles or so when the sun came out and one lane was just wet and not snow covered so I took the first exit I could find to get the chains off. Finally barefoot again, without chains that is, I was back on the road. J finally was able to get a nap in for a while. I managed to drive till 1645, which put me exactly at my 11 hours, because J didn't get much sleep with having to get up to chain and he needed a little more rest.

With basically dry roads, I pulled into the Flying J and woke J up so he could take over. He has a pretty easy day. He only has to go about 240 miles tonight to Sparks,NV. We are going to spend the night there and I will drive the last 240 to the first receiver in the morning. Our first appointment is at 0800 local, or 1000 our time, so if I hit the road by 0400, with a shower at 0300, then that will give me 6 hours to do the 240 miles and that should be no problem. Our second drop is a short 50 miles away at 1100 then our last is down in Santa Ana,CA on Wednesday morning at 0900 local. Looks like we will get another good night of non moving sleep tomorrow while we wait to deliver our last drop. If anyone is stopped somewhere tomorrow afternoon or evening anywhere on a direct route from Newark,CA to Santa Ana,CA let me know and we can have dinner or something!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!

Yesterday was January 1,2009. WOW! It is hard to believe that we have been driving now for almost 2 years. It is amazing how time goes by so fast when you are having fun and really enjoying what you are doing.

2008 was quite a year for us. We finished a year with Schneider in March and in April we decided to make the jump to Prime where we are now lease operators. It was definitely a scary jump at the beginning, not knowing if we would fail or succeed in running our own business. I am happy to report that we have done extremely well with Prime and couldn't be happier. I know that I could be a little more organized with the business and that is my resolution this year. We have seen all of the lower 48 states with the exception of Vermont. I am wondering if we will ever get there. You would think in two years that we would have been there at least once! We also had our first taste of putting on the chains on the truck last January/February. Boy, that was an experience! We have seen the trees blooming in the spring and the beautiful colors of the leaves changing in the fall in New England and in the western states as we have made our way across country. We finally made it to Miami this year, although we didn't get to stay and do anything, and I got to drive across Alligator Alley in Florida. I have to say I was disappointed though when I didn't see a single alligator!! We had our first floral load with Prime that had 14 stops on it. We got great fuel mileage but we were worn out after hand unloading that one! I went on a cruise with some of my best girlfriends, J went hunting with a friend and I got to spend a week with my Dad out on the road. That was a great week. We also found Smokey and made him our official truck dog and our little Bandit is now with my Mom where she has room to run around. Oh, and we did determine that Smokey's birthday is January 1st, based on how old the vet said he was when we got him, so yesterday was his birthday and he is officially a year old. Justin graduated from high school and joined the Navy and we went to Great Lakes to watch him graduate from basic. I got my 4th tattoo while we were there and J got his 3rd. haha Justin broke up with his girlfriend of over a year and a half and now has a new one, which is a really nice girl, and we finally got to meet a boy that Jessica is dating. She will graduate this year. I am sure there is more that is important, but this is what I can think of off the top of my head. We have been blessed to have had safe travels this year and to meet some really nice people while we have been out on the road. I can only hope that 2009 is at least as good as 2008 was to us. I know that as long as I am on the road with J that is can't be bad. There is nothing better than doing a job you love with the person you love.

Right now I am sitting at the hotel and J is still sleeping. Smokey is in his place on the king size bed right in the middle as if to protect me from daddy. We pick up this afternoon between 1500-1700 about an hour from here. I am sitting here watching the weather channel and looking at the snow that we are going to have to deal with on I-80 and I am really wondering if there is a way to go around, which I know there isn't, and I am hoping the roads will clear up before we get that far, which I know they won't. I do think though that we are going to need another set of chains to be legal in all the states because I don't think we have all that we will need. So I guess it looks like we will be making a stop somewhere along the way to pick more up.

Everyone be safe out there and I hope that you have a great 2009!