Thursday, February 25, 2010


Howdy folks! Been busy, busy, busy! Not so much work related, but busy with personal stuff. We are super excited to get back to work on the boat and get it finished. While we were taking out time off, we found the perfect marina to put the boat at there on Lake Lewisville. Now I have to figure out what to buy for our 14'x18' deck! FUN!!

Anyway, we did have a productive time off and then unfortunately we had to get back to work. We headed out Monday with a produce load out of Garland,TX and we had two stops. One in Los Lunas,NM and the other in Temecula,CA. We hit a snow storm in the Texas panhandle all the way to Albuquerque,NM. The road was probably the worst ice I have driven on, except for maybe when we picked up in Schuyler,NE after being stuck for three days over Christmas this year. We shut down and because of that both of our appointments were rescheduled. Because of that we didn't deliver our last drop until this morning.

On a positive note though, we did have our next load before I could make it to get the trailer washed out. I can't say where we are heading, it is top secret, but it does look like we will be dealing with snow again. Thankfully this is a drop at the receiver and we have until Monday at noon to get there. It definitely won't take us that long, but we won't have to push it if the weather turns nasty on us. We technically should be able to be there by Saturday night, and that is what we are going to push for, but it nice to have that cushion.

Not much else going on right now. It will probably be a few days before I post again since I can't really tell you much about this load or where we are going. So everyone take care and I will be back in a few days! Keep your fingers crossed that we have good weather!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Sunny Miami! As I sit here I can hear someone playing Tejano music, which I can't understand a word of, but it makes me think of Cancun and that makes me happy. :)

So here is the deal. We dropped this morning at UPS. We actually made it directly to the place, no thanks to anyone helping us. Prime did not have directions on file and the receiver didn't open until 0900 so we couldn't call them for directions. Streets and Trips showed the street but didn't recognize the address on that street. So that was no help. Thankfully a while back I downloaded Google Earth and that is what saved us. It actually showed the address and showed semi's parked there so we figured there was a good chance that was correct.

J stayed up with me to make sure I got there and so he could give me directions off of the computer. At one point I had to pull over because it looked like the road dead-ended. I couldn't go any farther because there was a runway there. Yes, a runway with planes! We were adjacent to Miami Int'l Airport. But I went ahead and went down the street because there was a sign showing the road turned. Thankfully it did and once we made that turn we were only a block away from our destination. When we got there the first Prime truck was there that left UPS in LA before us. We were both there at 0700 (him earlier) because we were told our appt was at 0800. Come to find out they didn't even open until 0900. Sheesh! Anyway, they finally open, I get a dock and by 1130 local I am unloaded and pulled away from the dock.

After I pulled out of the dock I parked along the side out of the way so that I could shut my doors and sent in my depart call. I planned on staying there as long as possible since I didn't know where I was going next and there is basically no where in Miami to park a semi if you are not at a shipper or receiver. I took time to take Smokey for a walk and when I got back, I had my next work assignment. I had been hoping for a flower load and not a juice load, but I actually got both.

As I was reading the work assignment, my FM called and told me the plan. I need to take the flowers up to Prime Floral in Pierson,FL and drop them there but there were no other flower loads. After that, I am to head over to Bradenton,FL to pick up a juice load going to Los Angeles for Monday morning. I'm not happy with the juice load, because I know it will be heavy. BUT. It does deliver in Los Angeles on Monday and that will put me in a good position to get freight out of there. And it does give me good revenue for the week and I-10 is a good road as far as not many pulls on it. Oh, and it keeps me out of the northeast where all the storms are at.

But here is the funny part. I just checked the weather and there is a 90% chance of snow in New Orleans tomorrow and an 80% chance in Mobile,AL tomorrow with accumulation of 2-4 inches! What the heck??? You go any farther south than that and you will be in the Gulf of Mexico!! It isn't supposed to snow that far south! Ahhhh I guess that is why they call me the Snow Queen. If it is snowing, then that is where I am going to be going!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Whew! What a day! I didn't get much sleep night before last so last night, or rather yesterday afternoon, when I was finished driving, I went straight to bed. How wonderful over 10 hours of sleep felt last night! This morning I woke up ready to face the world.

When I woke up this morning, J had stopped at a Petro in San Antonio,TX and that is where I took over driving. We usually go fairly slow, depending on how heavy we are, so we can get the best possible fuel mileage. This trip we are fairly light, at only 22,500 in the box, so we have been able to kick the speed up some and still manage to get over 6.8 mpg. Now that isn't as great as we like, and we usually do better, but if we can go 65 and still get 6.8 then I am going to go 65.

Today was a good day and I was just driving along, admiring the beautiful sunrise and the scenery of East Texas and Louisiana when I realized that by going 65 all day, I was going to get some serious miles. The most I have done in a day to this point is 689 miles. It was one of those rush rush rush jobs only to find out about 150 miles out that they can't get us until Monday (that was on a Friday) so at that point I called it a day. So as I was driving, I thought, hmmm, I wonder if I can get 700 miles today. Well, I had a good rest so it was something to shoot for. J has done 714 in a day, driving 72 all day basically with just one restroom stop. I knew I couldn't beat that, but I was going to strive for 700.

Off I go and make it close to the 300 something miles I had left to go in Texas. Damn that is a big state! Then I cruised through Louisiana. Next came Mississippi and then Alabama. Wow! I am moving today! Next comes Florida. Well, you know that is about as far east as I can go on I-10! I actually only made it to the Welcome Center right past the Agriculture Inspection Station and the Weigh Station. But that was good enough for me. That was 702.9 miles from my starting point this morning! And right as I pulled into the rest area, my Qualcomm beeped that I was officially out of hours. Talk about cutting it close! On paper logs, you can fudge a little here and there. Not on electronic logs though. But, as Larry the Cable Guy would say, Git 'er done! And that is what I did!

Now J is driving and we have about 695 miles to go. When we left Los Angeles, we didn't have a delivery time. We have been driving for two days and still hadn't gotten one. Of course about 1430 this afternoon I get a message asking if we can be there by 0700 in the am. Thank goodness I did over 700 miles today or it wouldn't happen. Not that we can't get that far by tomorrow morning at 0700, but we are talking Miami here. Rush hour traffic on I-95 that goes for about 100 miles through all the Beach cities. But we should make it.

So that is where things stand right now. We are hoping for a flower load coming out so we will see what happens.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Los Angeles,CA

Yay! We finally made it to California! We did drop down from I-80 to I-40 to avoid the snow over I-70 in Colorado only to run into snow in Arizona. It snowed off and on from just east of Flagstaff to Kingman. But it was a wet snow and the roads were in good condition, so I am thankful for that.

We delivered last night in Apple Valley,CA and were told we wouldn't have a load until this morning. We were liking that news so we headed to the Motel 6 in Hesperia, which has truck parking, so we could catch the highlights of the Super Bowl. What a great game! We listened to it on the radio which was a lot of fun. Reminded me of when we were kids and would listen to the games on the radio. I had a feeling of nostalgia. :)

Anyway, we woke up this morning and had a load picking up down in Los Angeles at UPS so we took off to get the trailer washed out and then J headed to the bunk to get to sleep and I headed to go pick up. I got there right on time, noon Pacific, but it took them about 4.5 hours to load us. I think they were waiting on stuff from LAX or something. But we are not loaded and fighting rush hour traffic to get out of here.

This load delivers in Miami,FL and I can't even explain how happy I am that we are going somewhere warm that doesn't have snow! I have been hearing on the news that the New England area is going to get socked again with another storm. Yep, thankful to be headed to Miami! This is also finally a good paying load and our FM said that we will probably get a flower load out of Miami after we deliver. That rocks also because those pay well also, other than the fact that they are physically tough loads. All hand unloads with multipls stops. But I don't mind the work. It is good for the body after sitting basically all the time!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Well, my tire fiasco was not over! I thought I was finished with the situation, but it again reared its ugly head down in Crossville,TN!

After we left Pittston, I took off and got us down to Strasburg,VA and then J took over and got us to Knoxville,TN. This left me with about 180 miles to go to deliver in Murfreesboro,TN. After we switched, I made a it stop about 40 miles down the road in Crossville,TN. J got out to guide me into a tight spot and when he did, he noticed that the same tire had gone flat again. UGH! So he heads to bed and I hang out till 0700 when a shop on the opposite side of the highway opens. I head over there and tell them what I need and they get on the phone with Prime who tells them to put a trailer tire on it! Ok, now didn't the Prime shop in Pittston tell me to get the trailer tire off and get a matching drive tire put on??? So why is Prime in Springfield now telling me to put a trailer tire on it? I could have just blown a gasket!! If that is the case, then why was I told to take the trailer tire off, that I had just purchased less than a week ago? So this makes three tires I have had to buy all in the same week because of differing opinions on what is best. Now, stay with me just a minute. Wouldn't you think that a company would have all of their employees on the same page when it comes to what information is given out. Shouldn't the advice they give us be based on FACTS, what is best for the performance of the truck, versus each persons personal OPINIONS? Or does that just make too much sense and would be too easy?? Anyway, I am not happy about it and I am going to see what can be done about it on Prime's end. Because of their differing opinions, from Road Assist and the Shop, I have spent over $1000 on tires and labor this week. Yeah, you read that right. Over $1000. I realize that I need to do what is best for my truck and my "business", but I am the person that DRIVES the truck. I am not trained as a mechanic or on tires. That is what the shop is for and what I assumed that Road Assist was for.

So, on to something more pleasant before I put myself back in a bad mood again! :) We finally made it to Murfreesboro and delivered that load and then got our next assignment. I headed to Cleveland,TN where we picked up at the Mars Plant and delivered that this morning to Manteno,IL. (I love that Mars Plant. The air smells like chocolate there. It is heavenly!) After delivering in Manteno,IL I went and had the trailer washed out and then we got another load assignment. We picked up this afternoon at a Walmart DC in Spring Valley,IL and are taking it to Apple Valley,CA. It has to be there by Monday and we figure we will have it there sometime Sunday afternoon. It is Friday and it is only 1800 miles so we should make it there easily.

It has been snowing outside here in IL today, but so far the roads are just wet. Even though it was coming down pretty hard earlier, the roads are just wet. Actually right now it has quit snowing. According to the radar we will be fine once we get out of Iowa. Iowa has some storms and showing some possible snow, but it doesn't look like there is going to be any accumulation. I just really hope it has stopped raining in CA when we get there. I could really use some sunshine right about now!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Here we are back in Pittston,PA again. J took off last night from the service plaza that we had stopped at and had plans of getting further than he did. However, we didn't plan on snow! He came across the tail end of a storm that dropped over 6 inches in parts of MD, or maybe it was MA. I'm not sure. LOL Either way, when it started getting bad he decided it was time to call it a night when he got to our yard here.

We got up this morning and grabbed a shower and some breakfast, which was pretty darn yummy, then got ready to head out. As we were walking back to the truck we got a call from the trailer shop wanting us to bring the trailer in so they could do the annual inspection. What the heck, no biggie. We have plenty of time on the load.

I dropped the trailer in the bay for them to do the work and then decided I would go check with the shop so that we could get the drive tire fixed. This is the one that went flat on us when we were in IL but they didn't have any drive tires so they put a trailer tire on. It got us by, but it is a different tread pattern and a different tread depth. That means that if I don't get the right tire on there ASAP that it is going to eat up my good tires. So now I am sitting in the tire shop while they change out the tires.

I can tell you that Smokey isn't liking this one bit! There are too many people walking entirely too close to his truck and he is letting everyone of them know it by barking and growling. I have to admit that he does a wonderful job of protecting the truck. It just isn't a good thing when J is in the back trying to sleep!

Hopefully we will be done here in short order and I will be able to hit the road so that we can get on down to Murfreesboro,TN. We will get there sometime in the middle of the night as it stands. I figure we will end up parking until morning after we drop while we wait for our next load. I just hope that they have an empty trailer for us when we get there. They are always behind on getting our trailers unloaded. That means that there are a ton of loaded trailers waiting to get unloaded but none of them are empty yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have to play the "hunt and empty trailer" game in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Aren't you guys lucky! You get to read two of my posts on the same day! LOL

After sitting for a few hours this morning, we finally got a load assignment around 0830. I was surprised to see that they were sending us down to Methune,MA instead of up to Easton,ME which is what I was figuring they would do. I guess that is what I get for figuring, huh?

As soon as they sent the info to me, I knew that there was no way I could make pickup on time since I still had to get fuel, send in our trips to be paid and I had to find a washout. Now I know what you are thinking. Why didn't I do all of that stuff while I was just sitting around this morning doing nothing? Well, I will explain that to you. The little truck stop, the Circle K with truck parking, is not a fuel stop and they don't do the Transflo scanning which we use for our payroll. Now, there was a Pilot about 60 miles north, but you know my luck. If I go north, I will get a load where I needed to have went south. Or if I headed south, I would have gotten a load that would have sent me north. Then the 60 miles one way would have turned into 120 miles out of my way once I back-tracked. So, I have learned, the hard way I might add, that I don't get EITHER direction until I have my next load assignment.

It turned out that it wasn't a big deal though because my trailer was already pre-loaded. When I saw where we were picking up at, I figured it would be pre-loaded since it has always been that way whenever we have picked up there. Knowing that, I didn't have to stress about getting there on time. Since we are in the Boston,MA area there are basically no truck services or trailer washouts anywhere close. I had to go south about 40 miles past my pick up to get a washout and then drive the 40 miles back to pickup. That made for an extra 80 miles that I didn't need to drive, but that I had to since our previous load was a meat load and those HAVE to be washed out before the trailer is loaded again.

I got there with no problems and went inside to get my paperwork then set out to find my loaded trailer. I was picking up trailer 26538 and wouldn't you know that particular trailer was parked right next to trailer 26358. How confusing is that?? Of course when I started backing up I went to the wrong trailer, since I was looking at it in reverse in the mirror. Figures, right? LOL I knew something was wrong as soon as I got out because the reefer wasn't running like it should have been. I glanced at the trailer next to it and that is when I actually realized the two trailers 26358 and 26538 were parked next to each other and I had hooked up to the wrong on! And of course the pin got stuck so I had to have J get up and pull the pin to unhook while I had the truck in reverse taking the pressure off of the pin. I hate when I have blonde moments like that!

It is a really heavy load at over 43,500 lbs. I am stopped at this Service Plaza but as soon as J takes over, we will hit a Pilot about 40 miles down the road where we can hit a scale and make sure we are legal. I think we should be, but we may be a little heavy on our steers since we have a full tank of fuel. But we definitely should not be over gross weight. We shall see.....


Since I posted yesterday, I really don't have much to add. LOL :)

Last night I got us to Hazleton,PA and got hooked up to our load of beef that was going to the Walmart DC in Lewiston,ME. I sat there until 1800 and then woke J up. He didn't get much sleep yesterday since he was up to help me find our drop in Pittston. But he got a good nap so he was ready to roll.

He had a really nice run up here to Lewiston since our load was only 7,500 lbs. I LOVE a light load like that. We got well over 7.5 mpg on the way up here and that is money in our pockets. He made it to Lewiston around 0300 and it was a drop and hook which is a rare occurance at a Walmart.

After hooking up to an empty we headed about 5 miles back south to exit 75 where there is a Circle K truck stop and that is where we are currently sitting. I figure they are going to send us up north to Easton to pick up but you just never know what they are going to do. So we just sit and wait.

Monday, February 1, 2010


This past week has not went like I was hoping. Well, other than the fact that we stayed north and avoided the messy storm that hit I-40 from New Mexico to the Carolinas.

When I last blogged, we were in Ontario,CA getting a restart after delivering in Carson,CA. We were available Wednesday morning and didn't have a load right away. Our FM finally calls and says for us to head towards Salt Lake City because they were WAY short on loads in Southern Cal. So I said sure, just pay me some fuel money. Off we go and we get a dispatch to pick up by 1700 on Thursday in Rigsby,ID almost 800 miles away. No problem since we are all rested.

Off we go and I head to bed that afternoon and J wakes me up leaving me about 400 miles to go. He ran into snow and after watching a FedEx truck go off the road, he decided he better stop. So he stops for a few hours and gets me up and I decide to take off and see how the roads are. They actually weren't bad since J seemed to get out of the worst of it, but the fog was very very heavy. I make it about 80 miles and decide that is enough until the sun comes up. I stopped for a few hours and took off again when the sun came up and I made it into Salt Lake City where I stopped at our yard to get fuel. Boy was that I bad decision!

I pull into the yard and then go to the inspection bay before heading out because I needed a windshield wiper. I got my wiper but it appears that there is some damage to the roof of my trailer that they want to fix. I didn't know it was damaged since the interior on the top was fine and it isn't like we carry ladders and check the roof of the trailers when we pick them up. Anyway, they have an empty for me so I just switch trailers and go BACK through the inspection bay because I now have a light out on the new trailer I picked up. Ok, get that fixed but they dropped the trailer dirty so now I have to go through the wash-bay to get a washout. Would you believe that I pulled in there at 1100 and wasn't done with all of this until 1430??? Three and a half hours to get all that done. Mainly it was waiting in line to get INTO the inspection bay and wash bay because of the trucks in front of me.

By this time I realize there is no way I am going to make it by 1700. No problem since I have four days to deliver this load a whopping 2200 miles. I notify dispatch and they let them know we will be there Friday morning. We go ahead and head out and stop about 80 miles short for the night on Thursday night. Friday morning I get up and drive the rest of the way in with no problems, get loaded, get scaled and I am heading out of town by around 1130. I get back to north of Salt Lake City and J takes over and off we go to Pittston,PA.

We are doing find driving across I-80 until J gets to the west side of Chicago to get fuel and he realizes that one of our drive tires is flat. He calls it in and they send us to a repair shop where we have to wait for the oncal person to come out since it is around 0300. We get that fixed and I head out from there and then later that evening around 2000 hrs J gets us to the yard in Pittston where we spend the night. That left me getting up this morning at around 0800 to go grab a shower and BS with the drivers until I had to leave to deliver which was a 1200 appt about 5 miles away. We managed to get that done and head back to the yard where we grabbed some lunch and then we got out next load assignment.

Right now we are sitting in Hazleton,PA where we are picking up at Cargill and we are making a short overnight run up to Lewiston,ME. My FM gave me a choice of this run or a run to California but I picked this one. I prefer the California load normally, but with only having the one load that we delivered this morning on our check so far, I decided to take the overnight run because that would get on our check when our payroll cutoff is tomorrow afternoon.

Other than that, we are still plugging along. I can't believe the complete mess that the storm created down south this week. I normally HATE running up north in the winter, but I sure enjoyed it this week. Beautiful days, a full moon at night and clear roads the whole way. That doesn't happen too much up north in the winters!