Friday, July 24, 2009


Well, it has been a long week, but we have finally made our last delivery before vacation! We have taken Smokey to a kennel, picked up Jessica and are now in Galveston for the night waiting to board our cruise ship tomorrow. I am so excited I hope I can slee tonight!

I know I have been slacking on here lately, but just in case anyone has missed me, or missed me in the near future, don't fret. All is well and we are just on vacation. I will post once we get back and put up some pictures once we get back next week. Every one stay safe out there and safe travels. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This last week sure has been hecktic! After spending the night in Dania Beach,FL we got up and drove back down to Miami to Prime Floral for our first stop to pick a bunch of boxes of flowers. From there we headed down to Pierson,FL where we dropped those off. There are several trucks that come from Miami each day to Pierson. Once all the trucks are unloaded, they separate all the flowers into the different orders and reload them on the trucks to be sent out to actually make the deliveries. Around midnight Thursday night, we were loaded and on the way. We had a total of 3200 miles to cover and 12 different stops with our last being in San Jose,CA.

Early Saturday morning, around 0100 we made it to Oklahoma City,OK where we had our first two drops. Our largest drop was here with 658 pieces. Floral loads are all on the floor. Not on pallets. They are are also stacked floor to ceiling. The average size of a box, in inches, is about 8x12x36. Of course the sizes vary depending on the grower that packages them. But what this means for us is a lot of work when you have to hand unload every piece.

By o430 we were done in Oklahoma City and heading to Wichita,KS for our next two stops. J got a small nap while I was driving up there but then I woke him up to help me once I got there. The reason that I have to wake him up to help me unload all has to do with my height. Being 5'2", if I stand up really straight, I can't reach the boxes that are stacked on the top. The unloading isn't hard, other than repetitive and monotonous, I just simply am not tall enough to get the boxes that are stacked on the top. It was a long morning. We dealt with road construction in both Oklahoma City and in Wichita that had the exit blocked that we needed to take. So we spent a few extra minutes at each place trying to find an alternate route that was wide enough for us to get our truck down. After J only getting a small nap between Oklahoma City and Wichita, by around 1000 hours on Saturday morning, J was headed back to bed and I was headed towards Utah where our next stops were at.

I managed to drive until around 1530 when I called it a day. We grabbed a shower and a quick bite to eat and J took over driving from there. I hit the sack knowing that we were going to have to be up and at it once again when we got to Salt Lake City,UT. J got us to Evanston,WY where we switched. He hit the sack for about two hours until I got us to our first stop in Salt Lake City. We had four deliveries to make there. Finally got them unloaded, grabbed some lunch and J hit the sack again while I took off for Sparks,NV where we had our next two that night. I made it to Battle Mountain,NV around 1630 and we switched there. When we went in to use the restroom, I plopped $20 into a $1 slot machine. I won $42 so we had a quick lunch and headed out again.

We were both really exhausted at this point. I never even knew that J made it to our first stop in Sparks and unloaded it by himself. I didn't wake up until we were at the second stop but he said it was a small piece count and for me to go back to sleep that he had it. He is so awesome! He got those done and headed in towards our last two stops in the San Jose area. He stopped at the 49er Truck Stop in Sacramento where we switched and I drove the last 100 miles to our next to the last stop. The roads suck there and he woke up about 10 miles before I got there. Just a quick power nap is all he really had. We managed to finally get the last two deliveries made and we couldn't have been happier.

About 30 minutes after I sent our depart message, we got our next work assignment. We were to pick up in Mendota,CA and deliver in Dallas,TX. This was to be our load heading home for our cruise. We needed a trailer washout, so I headed to Santa Nella,CA where they have one at the TA. When I was done, we still didn't have an appointment time for our pick up. I sent a message in telling our FM to let me know when they had one and that we would head the last 50 miles at that point. After being completely exhausted from the pace of the floral load, I was going to stay parked so J could get some good quality uninterrupted sleep. Around 1700 we finally got an apointment time so J woke up and we went in for some dinner and a shower. From there we headed out to make our pick up.

We found the place quite easily and pulled in. J went to go check in and it took forever. Finally he got back to the truck and said that they would call when they had a dock for us. A little after midnight, they called saying they were out of product and that they would load us in the morning. Now it is morning, I have checked in and am still sitting here waiting for them to call us so that we can get a dock. I guess I am getting a little impatient because I know that this is the load that is taking us home. I am ready to get onboard that cruise ship and do NOTHING for a week. Well, nothing except swim with the dolphins in Cozumel and consume fruity mixed drinks in cups with umbrellas!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dania Beach,FL

Although I didn't get a lot of sleep last night, I got good non-moving sleep. After J took over driving, I stayed up with him until we got to our first stop in Miami. We knew that we had our last drop today at noon, so I knew that I would be able to sleep in.

We found our first drop, Florida Mushrooms, fairly easy. It was in an older part of Miami with some small streets, but not as bad as the last place we delivered to in this particular area. We also arrived around 2100 which meant traffic on the side streets was pretty light. Once we got checked in, we were told that we could spend the night there in their lot. That helped us out tremendously since there is practically no where in the whole Miami metro area to park a semi. While we were getting unloaded, I headed to bed.

Even though we didn't have an appointment to deliver until noon today, I still went ahead and got up at 0430 this morning. After using the facilities and brushing my teeth, I went ahead and headed up to our last stop at Publix. I figured that if I left early I would beat the traffic and I also thought that I may get lucky and get unloaded earlier than my actual appointment time. I arrived at around 0530 (0630 local) and was rewarded with a dock about 30 minutes after I arrived. Yes!

It did take a while to actually get unloaded, but a few hours later, I was unloaded and had sent my depart message. I pulled back around to the staging area to wait for our next dispatch since I didn't have anywhere else to go and wait that was close. About an hour later, we got our next load. It doesn't pick up until tomorrow, but it pays good. We could have left today with a Tropicana load but it would have paid crap and we would have had to deadhead 250 miles. Instead, we now have a floral load that picks up tomorrow here in Miami with a second pick up in Pierson,FL. Then we will have a final delivery out in California. Not sure how many stops we will have. We will find out the stops once we get to Pierson.

Knowing that we had a night to kill, we went ahead and headed to Prime Floral and dropped our trailer. It makes it easier for us to bobtail around. I plugged Motel 6 into our trusty Maggie (GPS) and found one up here in Dania Beach. Of course there were places closer, but Motel 6 is one of the few that accepts pets and is affordable. AND, as a bonus, we are less than a mile or so from the beach. :) I am hoping that either tonight or in the morning we can go down to the beach. It would be a nice relaxing walk and I know Smokey would love to play in the water.

So that is what we are up to. Just going to hang out tonight and then get back to work in the morning!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Another non eventful day in trucking land has passed! After finally getting our load picked up yesterday in Avondale,PA we made it down to the Petro in Elkton,MD to get scaled and grab a bite to eat. From there I headed to bed and J headed south.

After them cancelling the first load we were dispatched on yesterday after being unloaded, we picked up this load of mushrooms bound for Miami,FL. It was originally just one stop but while enroute to the shipper, they added a second stop for tomorrow at noon up in Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of our first stop in Miami. Right now we have about 270 miles to go and 6 hours to get there.

It has been raining for the last hour or so. When we stopped at the TA to switch out and send in our trip sheets, I saw the radar on television at the fuel desk. It had lots of reds and yellows on it. Yuck!

Since we have been driving, we have gotten to see all sorts of wildlife. Deer, elk, bears, badgers, bunny rabbits, skunks, opossums, and hawks. The few times that we have been through Florida, I have been wanting to see an alligator. I mean, we have driven through Alligator Alley several times and have not once seen an alligator. But I saw one today! I was so excited! Too bad the one I saw was on the side of the road waiting for the road crew to remove his poor dead body from the shoulder. :( But to make up for it, a few miles down the road, I did see a rather large turtle that was just crossing the last few feet of the highway. For a turtle, he was moving. I checked in my mirror as I went past and saw that he made it to the shoulder safely. It made me smile. At least one little creature was safe for the day!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Sorry folks, I'm getting behind again! This morning J woke me up at the next to the last service plaza on I-76 in Pennsylvania. Our delivery was this morning at 0700 at Costco in Monroe Township,NJ. As a rule, we really dislike going into NJ but this had to be the easiest place to find yet that we have been sent to in NJ.

We got there about 30 minutes early and went to check in. After getting checked in, we got a dock and were unloaded by around 0745. From there I just pulled out and parked inside the facility next to the curb to wair for our next load assignment.

Finally about 45 minutes later, we get our next load. I need to head to Atkinson Truck Lines in Bensalem,PA to pick up a hazmat load bound for Louisville,KY. Being the airhead that I am, when I pull out onto I-95 heading south, I completely missed my turn. So what should have been a 40 mile drive, turned into a 120 mile drive. ARGH!! I ended up staying on the NJ side and didn't make it over to the PA side where I needed to be. I am sure some of the bridges going over to PA would have been fine, but I don't like getting off onto the small state highways when I haven't travelled them before. So I went the EXTREMELY long way, that I knew was ok for trucks, and finally made it into Bensalem.

I checked in and was told that my loaded trailer wasn't there yet, so I could just drop my empty and park with the bobtails to wait for it to get there. I did all that and sat there about an hour when I get a message from our FM that he is taking us off that load and putting us on another one. It is a better paying load, but it goes to Florida. That means we will get a shitty paying Tropicana load coming out of there. Well, gotta do what we gotta do I guess.

I head back in and hook up to my empty that I had brought in, and took it through the trailer wash that they have there, and off I went again. It was only about 60 miles down, so it wasn't bad, but the last 20 or so miles was through towns and on a tiny two lane road. PITA is what that was.

But I have made it here and managed to get backed into the assigned dock. Now we are just playing the waiting game for them to start loading our mushrooms. And no, not the kind that make you halucinate. At least I don't think so..... Maybe I should go find out. :) Nah, it is a produce load, not a pharmaceudical load. No funny mushrooms here!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Acoma Sky City,NM

I had a nice easy day today! Only 455 miles. :) Yesterday after we picked up our load, J headed out and made it to Havasu City,AZ. We did some figuring on the timeline since we will have lots of extra time on this load. We decided we wanted to be able to stop in Springfield for laundry but we didn't want to get there right in the middle of J's sleep schedule and mess him all up. Therefore, we decided to stop for the night in Havasu City around 2100. I was able to get some good non-moving sleep and it would get us into Springfield,MO tomorrow right around the time we switch shifts.

After we get our stuff done in Springfield, we will only have about 1100 miles to go to our destination in NJ. We should get in sometime early Sunday evening, even with stopping in Springfield. So you can see that there is plenty of time for us to be lazy.

I must say that traveling yesterday and today has been much nicer than the two days previous. Having an A/C travelling across the southwest is a lifesaver!

I did however hurt myself today! It was stupid really and it shouldn't have happened, and it wasn't even work related! I was taking Smokey for his morning walk and fell. I was at the rest area just west of Flagstaff on I-40 up in the mountains. There is a lot of rock on the ground between the truck parking and the highway, where I was walking Smokey. It is slightly slanted, the ground, so as we were walking down incline, the rocks just moved under my feet. Small rocks, like gravel I guess you could say. So I slid in a really funny position and my left foot ended up under me. My ankle is pretty sore and is actually a little swollen. But nothing popped, and I can move it, it is just pretty darn sore. J is always telling me not to wear my flip-flops, and he is probably right, (shhh, don't tell him I said that) but I would have fallen even if I were wearing tennis shoes because of the way the gravel moved. Don't worry though! My swollen ankle doesn't effect my fingers, so I can still blog!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Los Angeles,CA

When it rains, it pours, right? We finally got loaded in Henerson with our ice cream load. It was so incredibly hot that we were just miserable. Our A/C just couldn't keep up. We figured it was just the fact that it was over 110 degrees outside. Once we finally got loaded, we headed back to the TA to scale and decided to park for a few hours till my shift started. We were hoping that since it was now dark, that we would finally cool off.

Since I didn't get to sleep till almost midnight, I slept in until 0530 and we were on the road by around 0600. J managed to get to sleepand I headed up out. I cut across south out of Las Vegas on US 93 and hit I-40 in Needles,CA. The sun was already up and my A/C was blowing hot air. Now, since it was early morning and the temps were in the low 90's, I knew there was a problem with the A/C. I made it into Kingman where I stopped at the Petro and decided that I was going to have them check the A/C.

About 4 hours later we finally had an answer. There was a leak in the condensor. Yay! We know what the problem is. It is warranty work so I was ready for them to fix it so I could get back on the road. Well, that wasn't going to work because they didn't have the part. Shit. I called our FM and the only thing we could do was have another team take our load to give us time to get this worked out. So when the other team arrived, they took our load and we took their load that was delivering in Los Angeles at 0800 the next morning. That worked out perfect for us. But I really hated giving up that load because it was a damn good paying load.

From there we knew we only had about 300 miles to go for our delivery the next morning back in LA. So we hooked up to IdleAire for the A/C and got some rest then heade out around 0200 Wednesday morning. Our stop was at Tyson which is in a very old part of LA. The street they are on has no room to turn the truck around. So you have to turn on to their street, get the truck and trailer straight, then back down the road to their docks which are right on the street. They had a guy out there waiting on us so he could guide us back down the street and guide us into the dock. Super tight place, but the gentleman was extremely impressed with my baking skills. I got it on the first try, missed a car by about 3 inches, and had to jump the curb with my left front steer as I was backing, because that is the only way it could be done. He told me that I did an excellent job and even remarked to J how impressed he was. He said most drivers can't get it on the first or even second try. Of course I did have J guiding me on one side, so it was teamwork that got me in there. But I think J was impressed to. As a team, we rock!

Anyway, got unloaed and headed to a drop lot to drop the trailer off and then off to Freightliner we went. Since the place in Kingman,AZ couldn't fix it, we headed to a dealer figuring they would have the part in stock. It is first come, first serve. So even though we got there and got in line at 1100 hours on Wednesday, it wasn't until this morning before they even got the truck in the shop. They said last night it would be a while, either later that night or this morning, so we headed to a hotel. They had flyers on a board for a Red Roof Inn that had rates for truckers and allowed pets AND they had a shuttle service. I placed a quick call and within 10 minutes, before we could gather all our stuff up, the shuttle was there.

We made it to the hotel and got comfy. Boy was it nice to be in a room with cold A/C!! Wd had been sweating our ass off since Monday when we picked up the ice cream. We ordered from Boston's and they delivered. Great bacon cheeseburgers! After that we were lazy and watched TV for a while before calling it a night. I was really tired. The heat will do that to you. I went to bed and slept almost 12 hours last night. I felt really refreshed this morning.

The shuttle service at the hotel doesn't run from 1100-1400 so we were up and ready to go by 1100 so we could catch the shuttle back to Freightliner. There was a mix-up with the paperwork or something, but after about 20 minutes, it was straightened out and they figured out that the truck was indeed ready. Thank goodness! We need to be back on the road making money!

We are currently on the way to Vitorville,CA to pick up a pre-loaded trailer that we are taking to NJ. Thank goodness we have a good FM and he got us a great paying load knowing that we had been down with the truck in the shop. This load is set to deliver on Monday morning so we will have plenty of time to get it there. It sure feels good to be back on the road!

Monday, July 6, 2009


As I sit here and post this, my dash is reading 135 degrees outside! Holy cow!

We had a WONDERFUL weekend with friends here in Las Vegas over the 4th. After catching up with some high school friends on Facebook, they invited us to spend the July 4th holiday with them. We are so glad that we did. We had so much fun and can't wait to get back at some point to visit more.

Unfortunately, the weekend has come to an end and we are having to hit the road again. Right now we are sitting at Good Humor in Henderson,NV waiting for them to call us so that we can get loaded. We have already been here for several hours and I haven't seen but one truck get loaded and leave. They only have one dock they are working off of and there are at least 5-6 more trucks in front of us. I don't even know if they will get us loaded today. It isn't looking good at this point.

I am going to load a few pictures so you can see where we stayed this weekend. I hope you enjoy them! The first pic is of Oz. We stayed with him and Kathy. The second is of me and Kathy. I am the super white one! LOL They live in Vegas and are ALWAYS tan! And the last is of J chilling in the pool!