Boy this morning at 5:30 a.m. we thought we had a sweet treat for Halloween... a 2185 mile run from Laredo, TX to Massachusettes!!
Turned out, it was only to be a trick... oh well... after everyone did the math, you can't make a 76 hour trip (with breaks and all that junk) in 72 hours. So, we are relaying the load in West Memphis, AR.
Our GPS says that since we started rolling this morning... the truck has been moving for 10 hours and 37 minutes of our allowed 11 hours driving time.
In a perfect world, we could have made the entire trip but we all live in the trucking world where you have to expect the unexpected and adjust accordingly.
So, have a safe Halloween... watch out for pranksters... (oh, I'm sounding like a safety recording...., sorry)
People are drawn to this business because of the lure of the open road, no boss over your shoulder, bla, de, dah... when in fact... we have to obey the Federal Motor Carrier laws, we have GPS's that track our every move, we have to document our every stop, and our trucks are only allowed to run so fast.... ironic isn't it?
Boy this morning at 5:30 a.m. we thought we had a sweet treat for Halloween... a 2185 mile run from Laredo, TX to Massachusettes!!
First of all before I show you how our 46k pounds of p'nuts was unloaded, I must rant a little.
We are in the right lane of the interstate and there is a police car in the left lane (the fast lane, right?)... we are gaining on him and gaining... now remember, the posted speed limit is 70 mph and we are governed at 65 mph... we should not be gaining on him.
As we PASS him, the reason he's driving in the fast lane so slow is because he's TEXTING!!!! Imagine that!!! The trucking industry is being bombarded with bad press related to using onboard communications... we are in a state that BANS texting and here we have an officer (in the passing lane driving 50 mph) and TEXTING! I thought my head would blow off when I saw this.
Ok, back to the nuts of this story.
We arrived in Pleasanton, TX to unload our nuts at 7:00 a.m. They make you pull onto this lift and disconnect from the trailer. They start tilting the lift slowly and the p'nuts go into a holding bin in the ground.
I would be lying if I said my day started early... Trapper's started at 3 a.m. so we could make our first delivery at 7:00 a.m. in Wichita Falls, TX. I think my day started when we backed into the dock!
We had another delivery, Lowe's stores, at 1:00 p.m. in San Angelo, TX. This is where I day stopped. Luckily, there was a Wal-Mart close by.
We sat at Wal-Mart and sat at Wal-Mart some more.... not much to say, huh... until at last the Qualcomm beeped at 5:30 p.m. and let us know we were picking up at 8:00 a.m. in Seminole, TX. Finally! I have something to do now! I get to do a little trip planning.
Since our 14 hours were completely up for the day, we will be leaving at 3:00 a.m. yet again.
The alarm went off just about the time I was calling it a day. I am such a night owl. We would be a perfect team... that's another story....
We arrived at our pick up about an hour early... we are going to be hauling peanuts! 46k pounds of LOOSE p'nuts!!!! We backed up to this conveyor belt to get loaded. Very interesting!
We left San Angelo, TX this morning at 3 and it was 72 degrees, a little north in Seminole, TX it was 42 degrees with a little sleet mixed in.
At least we're not in WY or CO.... we have friends stuck in WY in FEET of snow with the interstates closed. I'm thankful!
I just wonder how they are going to get these p'nuts out?????
Leaving Joplin and rolling towards Oklahoma.... We called a friend of ours, Jim, who lives in Oklahoma City and told him we'd be in town for our reset. Trapper and Jim haven't seen each other in about a year and a half, so we thought dinner would be nice.
A really big coat or a good heater right now!
We were dispatched yesterday to pick up a load in St. Paul, MN. I had checked the weather the day before and the high was suppose to be 41 degrees so I figured ok no worries about weather.
Well... the weatherman must have been a little wrong! Oct 23 and My first snow of the season! I had to text my kids!
We are currently sitting in St. Cloud, MN, 71 miles away from our delivery place in the morning at 7:00 am. All good plans of mice and men.... usually fail, right? We had our trip planned so we would be in Alexandria, MN in the morning at our delivery place, but yesterday we were in Joplin, MO so we had to stop at the terminal for fuel and a trailer check. This was at 2:30 pm. Our trailer had to have something on the landing gear replaced which entailed ordering a part which all the waiting successfully burned up the few hours we had remaining (on our 14). Love logs!!! LOL
So, we spent the night in Joplin, MO and watched and felt the cold weather blow in. It was 108 last week in CA and tonight in MN it is 37. We are back to dressing in layers!
Warren's burial place is also in this town. Trapper being a mountain man and me being curious, we decided to venture through town to find the pioneer cemetary. Little did I know! More on this later.
As the day progressed we decided to eat at Big-Tex BBQ. It is in the middle of town in an old train car. Wonderful food!
Check out the size of this BBQ pit!
I'm tardy with my updates... I know...
We arrived at the terminal in Lancaster, TX on Sunday around 3:00 pm. We have been at the terminal all day, reseting hours. Love being at the terminals... showers anytime!
We pick up tonight, Monday night, in Irving, TX (west of Dallas) and deliver this load 253 miles away in Houston, TX at 4:00 AM on Tuesday. We then have to scoot onto LaPorte, TX and pick up at 10:00 tomorrow morning and that loads will take us to Alexandria, MN to be delivered on Friday morning at 7:00 am.
I've already checked the weather and no snow... that works for me...I got my "snow measured in feet" last year!
Oh well... no sleeping tonight! Gotta keep the driver awake!
I've got some really neat things to post about our trip from CA to TX, but it will have to be another day. Truck is moving....
onight we are in Santa Rosa, NM. We spent last night at the terminal in Joplin, MO, after a 600+ mile day... the shower availability was nice.
My day started 100 miles down the interstate. Again, I saw no real reason to get up very early. Our schedule typically includes Trapper getting up really early to start driving... I stumble to the front about 2 hours later, usually 100 miles... then at night he crashes in the back a couple of hours before me. It gives us a little "alone" time. Our space, I guess.
Today I was able to see the entire state of Oklahoma, the panhandle of TX and I will finish seeing New Mexico tomorrow. We decided to stop and eat at the BIG TEXAN. If you are even on I-40W you have got to take the time to eat here. Exit 74! It will be well worth the time and money. I've added a link to the side, but I'll add one here as well. bigtexan.com
Trapper realized today that we may be able to get a reset in on our hours before we cross into CA. We maybe stopping Flagstaff, AZ tomorrow night and spend the day there on Wednesday. I'm looking forward to that! I've only been to Flagstaff once before but I remember I really liked it. Plus being able to get out of the truck a little will be nice too.
We absolutely don't want to get to CA with just a few hours on our 70 hours. CA and all their emmision laws and no idle laws! Who wants to stay there, in a truck! One day, truck companies will finally realize that CA doesn't want us there and we won't be there. That's when CA will realize that America Moves By Truck!
Our route since we left Carlisle, PA on Thursday, Newark, NJ on Friday, and headed to CA by Saturday...You can click the little minus sign on the map to make it smaller. I don't know what I did wrong.
View Larger Map
My morning started early... 5:00 a.m. to be exact and I was awaken by this familiar woman's voice that kept repeating... "Recalculating, recalculating!" I knew what had happened.
We spent the night at a service center in NJ last night on the NJ Turnpike. We were, according to the GPS, only 2.5 miles away from our pick-up, but that route was going through this small town, etc. Being we were on the turnpike there are only so many exits and we would have had to go about 15 miles out of route to stay on "big" roads. I thought we had decided we would take the longer route because of the bigger roads. I went to sleep and was resting comfortably when I kept hearing the GPS this morning. I knew that Trapper had decided to take the shortest route. Yee ha.... we were sightseeing again!
As I made my way to the front passenger seat, he showed me where we were on the map and told me what he'd done. (I already knew that part, right?) I'm trying to match streets with the map and keep coming up with nothing. Then we cross over the turnpike and realize we had gone the wrong way. It's one thing to be lost in a car but it's a whole different thing being lost in a truck with a 53' trailer to get turned around in the middle of NJ, in the dark, with it drizzling rain. I don't do mornings well either.
I was awake now! I located us via the GPS and found us on the map. Several of the roads were weight limited so it was like a mini obstacle course, needless to say. We did make our appointment time with 10 minutes to spare!
I'm going to have to give him his own advice when I'm travelling alone.... stay on the big roads! I will give him credit though... he can make a u-turn in this truck that I would have trouble making in a car!
The rest of our 600 mile day went fine. We stopped in OH for the night... 2100 more miles to go!
We all face it. Every single day of our lives out here on the road, you plan your trip around where you can park. In states such as Virginia, who have closed 1/2 of their rest areas, you could easily run out of hours on your 11 or 14 trying to find somewhere to stop. At one point there are 122 miles between rest areas in Virginia.
But, there is hope for us all. His name is LeRoy and he is determined to give us all some pertinent information we need. We met LeRoy tonight in NJ at a service center. We run for the same company and he walked over to the truck and introduced himself.
Long story short, he is compiling the ultimate parking guide. He has places in this book that we all have only dreamed of. He's got places in FL... on the beach and close by. He has deals with certain truck stops for discounts on coffee or showers. He has free wi-fi spots listed and the list goes on.
The guide is not yet published but check out his website at http://www.parkmyrig.com/ and you can sign a list of people to be notified once he gets it complete.
The book will retail for $29.80 but if you'd like to contribute to his masterpiece with information on rest areas or truck stops on your routes, he will provide you with a discount on the book. (If you email him, through his website, include as much information regarding the stop as you can... exit number, rest area open/closed/truck parking, and number of spaces (if available).
Check it out! I saw an example of what he's compiling and it would greatly help us all out! Thanks everyone!
Friday morning started with us being beeped at 6:00 a.m. with a load assignment to pick up 36 miles away and deliver in Newark, NJ at 6:30 pm. Can you say traffic?
We made our pick up and were making our way to Newark when we were beeped again. The trucking gods must be on our side... our preplan is from Castlebury, NJ to Los Angeles, CA! Oh yeah.... this is what trucking is all about.
My excitement for today was getting to see NYC from the other side of the bay, but I don't care, I got to see it and now I can mark that off my bucket list. My bucket list is getting smaller and smaller!
For tonight we're sitting 2 miles from our pick up at 6:00 am and I'm ready to get this cross country trip underway.
It's been a tough week... who said being a professional passenger was easy?
Ok, that's right.... both of us are only holding up for the other one at this point.
We left our hotel this morning, our parts are in at the Kenworth dealership, yippee... well not so quick.
We loaded up all our belongings (including the stuff out of the fridge) and headed back over to the Kenworth place. We arrived at 1:00 pm today.
My day has been spent playing on the computer and talking to other drivers. We have struck conversations regarding everything from hunting to truck driving. I've also been researching going back to school... online of course. My daughter would love that! My brain needs activity, we'll see how it all pans out.
The Kenworth place has been telling us all day that we'd be out of here today sometime. For the first 6 hours we set here, no one was working on the truck. This is ridiculous.
About 9:00 pm I decided to walk out into the shop and get up in my truck/home. I scavaged some plates, bread, and rice. The meat for dinner is already in the refrigerator. (I have over taken thier break room refrigerator trying to keep food frozen.) Dinner will be prepared tonight in the break room of Kenworth. Hope they don't mind.
For now, it's 10:40 pm and they close at midnight. Our truck is still in parts. Let's hope these guys get it in gear. We've driven 776 miles this week. You do the math! Send money please... Carlisle, PA!
We delivered our load safely on Tuesday afternoon and received our preplan to go to New Cumberland, PA. I happened to look at the qualcomm and realized we weren't suppose to be there until Wed afternoon. We ran this same load last week and it picked up on Tuesday. What the heck!
So here we were a whole day early. We tried to get off the load but our dispatcher was less than cooperative and we decided to leave it as is. After all, we were headed to Jacksonville, FL!
In the meantime Trapper notices we have a rear seal leaking on the back right drive. (That's the last wheel on the right side of the cab.) There was a Kenworth place 2 miles from the truck stop so off to Kenworth we go to get this quick fix.... um.... fixed.
As fate and the "bingo" system Kenworth has, our quick fix has turned into 2 days in a motel in Carlisle, Pa. The bingo system is a bonus system Kenworth has that pays the technicians for finding problems with the truck that the driver did not notice. In our case it was a recall item. Lucky us.
Our refrigerator was full of frozen food that I prepared before leaving home Sunday. It makes my life easier out here so I fix a ton of stuff to take with us. We had to find a hotel, call and get it approved from the company, have Kenworth call the company to get them to verify where we were, get off our load, get the stuff out of the truck, hope the hotel had a fridge in the room, and wait on the shuttle. Boy what a day Tuesday was.
Wednesday rolled around and only one part showed up. We are waiting on yet, another part. Thank goodness for wireless internet and delivery pizza and chinese food! I am running out of Diet Mt. Dew. The closest store is a mile away and it's cold here, so walking is out of the question. I will suffer through it and survive... Trapper may not survive my withdrawals though!
Hopefully, the other part will arrive tomorrow and we can move our gypsy selves back to our truck! It's funny when you have everything in that truck and then have to suddenly abandon it, just how out of place you become!
PS - Can someone tell me where the spell check went. I can't find it on here.
As I type this post, we are sitting on I-81 in Virginia. You can see from the picture, we are sitting completely still as other drivers are outside their vehicles. The CB is reporting a car on fire.
As the traffic started moving, we soon realized it was a big truck that caught fire.
This is when I started thinking we needed an "in case of emergency" plan.
We never heard how this accident occurred but the we did hear that the driver was ok. The cab was totally burned. The last picture shows a picture of what was left of the cab.
Being that I have no idea how to operate this truck, what would I do if something happened to Trapper while we are out here? What if he couldn't drive, collapsed during driving, or if any thing happened to him? Would my instincts take over and my adrenaline get us stopped or off the road safely?
There are days that I couldn't tell you, on a moments notice, what state I am in, much less the mile marker, interstate number, or exit number.
If I were able to get us stopped and 911 called... what do I do next? Of course, I would go with Trapper, but then I'd have to deal with the truck.
Who would I call about the truck? And depending on the circumstances, would I really care about the truck? Trapper says I would have to deal with it, regardless.
This would mean another truck coming and getting the load and then I would have to take all our stuff out of our truck, get a rental car, get a hotel, and eventually get us home as best I could. We could be hundreds of miles from home.
These are things you don't want to think about, but these two incidents have made me stop and think about the what if. Especially since I am only a passenger with no license or know how in operating this vehicle.
Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living... but especially truck drivers.... you should have a back up plan for emergencies.
What's a driver to do? We arrived at our destination this morning. Our directions were quite simple... no name on building, long gray building across from Maryland's chicken.... ok so you're in a strange town, small town at that, looking for a long gray nameless building... in the dark!
We arrived at 7:30 am and our delivery time was 8:00 am. We back up to the dock and Trapper gets out and rings the bell at the door. No answer. No problem, we're early right?
8:15 am rolls around and after Trapper does a quick inspection of the property, there is absolutely no one here. We decide it's just a warehouse and decided to call the number on the bill of lading. That information has to correct, right?
No answer at the first number, so I googled the name of the place and found a couple of more phone numbers. We call those, no answer.... we finally called our dispatcher who in turn called the Laredo terminal (where this load originated).
The Laredo terminal calls us and explains they can't get anyone on the phone either... for us to sit tight. Ok... we're sitting....
Two hours later, two and a half hours since this started... our qualcomm goes off and we are headed to the Atlanta, GA drop yard. Turns out the place we are trying to deliver is.... (wait for it)..... CLOSED on Fridays! LOL
As I type we are sitting in Atlanta waiting on our next load.
It's 12:30 a.m. Georgia time and we're sitting in Carnesville, GA. Today was actually pretty good for me... doesn't seem like it was a 566 mile day, but then again 177 of them were left behind me, while I slept! Makes the day go faster!
We deliver at 8:00 a.m. in Toccoa, GA and then onto Marion, NC for an afternoon delivery.
I've been playing around with various things on blogger tonight... the blog may be in line for another face lift. One day I will get it like I want it!