Another interesting day on the road. Took over from Mike still in Maine. Discussed the route, but there was a small miscommunication somewhere. I thought he said I-84 to I-287 to the NJ Turnpike, but I never saw a sign for 287.
Ended up going down I-81 through Scranton. Didn't seem to lose much time or distance doing so, according to the GPS. But I did manage to drive in eight states: Maine, NH, Mass., NY, PA, MD, WV and VA (though just barely). And I bypassed NYC (which was planned) and DC.
Still should be in Atlanta in the morning, though our appointment isn't until 2130. Fortunately, we can deliver up to twelve hours early. So, we'll probably go straight there.
As for the snow removal, it took almost 3000 pounds off the trailer.
A long and interesting day. Started with Mike getting up at O'dark-thirty to take us to our unload point. He got there, and no one was around. After he found someone, I heard him tell Mike it would take five hours to unload. Fortunately, it wasn't quite that long.
Mike drove back to the truck stop where we stayed last night. We filled the truck and reefer and swapped drivers. We also got our new load: Maine to Georgia.
So, it was off to Easton, a familiar locale (though not the one I first envisioned). Had a bit of a run-around getting the new trailer, but it was finally managed. Mike and I had a bit of a miscommunication. He was 'occupied', and I thought he said, 'come back'. I tried to verify that after I got back to the truck, but he didn't answer his phone.
So, I went and took care of it. Got the trailer number, but it wasn't where I thought, so I asked and it was in the lot where we dropped the empty.
Hooked up and brought it back to the dock. Backed in so they could put in load locks (long, metal bars that secure the load in place), got the paperwork, then went back to get Mike.
Drove to a scale (about an hour away) only to find that we were overweight by almost 1200 pounds. So, back to the shipper to find out WTF?
Turns out we had 2" of snow on top of the trailer. And we weren't the only one. We and one other followed a guy over to his shop where he shoveled off the snow and washed off the top of the trailer.
Off, now, to re-weigh. Results tomorrow.
Woke up to snow in Erie, PA. Slept through my alarm (need to turn the rooster back on...). Weather improved through the day.
Pulled into a truck stop near Springfield, MA, to wait for our 0500 delivery tomorrow in NH, about an hour away. Had a nice dinner and visit with Vanessa and the two youngest. As always, it was over too soon.
Watched Sherlock Holmes on TNT in the lounge until bed time.
Passed through into CST overnight last night. Phone doesn't register time zone changes when it's sleeping, so it went from 0645, when I turned it on to 0810, when I next looked at it 25 minutes later, completely bypassing the 0700 alarm.
Took a while to find a place to swap this morning. Drove out of OK, through MO and IL and into IN. Had some light snow starting in Springfield, MO, but nothing major.
In to EST, now, so my phone and watch agree, again.
Mike will probably get us mostly through NY, then I'll take it the rest of the way to a truck stop near Springfield, MA, where we'll wait for our 0500 delivery on the third. We'll be about 90 minutes from there, so we'll both get a little sleep before Mike (as the 2000-0800 driver) takes us in. It will probably be my shift by the time we're ready to leave. With luck, we'll get a short haul so this won't be the only load for the week.
When I first woke up this morning, my phone said 0645. Since the alarm is set for 0700, I snoozed a bit more. When I looked again, it said 0810. It had finally realized we were in MST and switched over, completely missing the alarm time. And we hadn't moved in the meantime.
Mike drove for the first hour or so after I got up, so I got to eat my breakfast while not driving, which is a rarity.
Except for one incident, an uneventful drive today. Sunny, but cool weather. Looks like we'll hit snow in MO and follow it most of the rest of the trip.
As for the incident, towards the end of my drive, I was signalling a passing truck that it was OK to pull over by turning my lights off, then back on. Only they didn't come back on. Not panicking, I turned on the fog lights, so I at least had *something*, then cycled the lights, again. They came back on, and all was well.
Waited until noon to leave to pick up the second part of our load, because we couldn't get it early. Did manage to see Skyfall, though, so it wasn't a total waste.
Found the place, but we were a bit early, so went to a nearby (tiny) truck stop, made tinier by all the four-wheelers parked in the truck spots. Did manage to back into a spot between a truck and a building.
The shipper is located in town, and the lot is a postage stamp. You have to back in off the street and do at least a 90 degree turn to get the truck into the dock. We had dock 2, which was probably the hardest to get in to, because there was a big gas line right where the truck needed to go to follow the trailer in to the dock. Tried a few times, then Mike told me to go around the block and wait in the street until dock 3 was vacated.
Well, while I was parked in the street waiting, someone took it! So, we waited for dock one to vacate, which left enough breathing space for me to finally make it into the hole.
Hung out for a couple hours while the trailer was loaded, then headed out. Drove as far as Barstow, by which time I was tired and hungry. Got some dinner and parked the truck so Mike could get another couple hours of sleep (at his request).
Up at our usual hour to go and get the first load. Arrived about 0900 and parked. We needed some piece of data we didn't have from HQ. Even after we got it, we waited. Finally, we were allowed to back into the dock to get out three pallets.
Having maneuvered into position with a fair amount of alacrity, we waited, again, to be loaded. After getting the word that we were good, I put in a couple of load locks (extendable poles used to hold a partial load in place) and closed up and locked the trailer.
Mike tried a number of times to get in touch with our second shipper, to no avail, so, we're camped out at a truck stop at the north end of the Grapevine until tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll be able to get the load before our 1600 appointment so we can get headed east.
Got up and wished Mike a Happy Birthday. He was on the phone with his wife and had to prompt her...
Switched drivers about 0800 in eastern NM. I drove from there until a little east of Kingman, AZ. It's been interesting following old Route 66 from Springfield and passing through the towns mentioned in the song.
We stopped to put the truck through its annual inspection. They said some of the brake drums needed to be replaced, but neither they or the Freightliner dealer in town had them. Went back and forth with Prime on where to have it done, only to have them tell us to come through one of the terminals. Apparently, this particular shop has a penchant for stretching the truth when it comes to what repairs are needed.
So, they put it back together while we got dinner, and now we're off to California. Mike's going to drive as far as he can, then I'll take it in to the recipient in the morning.
Got into the Springfield terminal about 0700. Dropped the trailer, which was an adventure, since the yard is running out of room, and people are parking trailers everywhere.
Went to do laundry, but so was everyone else, so I went to have breakfast. Came back to do laundry, then got most of the rest of the money off my ID card (where it was put because the deposit slip I gave them in December disappeared) to send home.
Took over driving after my laundry was done to go find the trailer. Hooked up and headed out. Put it on the scales to make sure it was balanced, then made our way west.
There must be a lot of skunks in Oklahoma, because I must have smelled a dozen of them making my way across the state.
Turned over the truck to Mike about 70 miles west of Texas. I'll be waking up in either New Mexico or Arizona, depending on how far Mike gets tonight.
Mike had a bad night last night, so we didn't even make it out of Florida.
Woke up to glorious weather. Alarm went off at 0700, and Mike's still sleeping. So, I laid there for a bit and then got up. We left there with 77 degree temps. This was just south of the Georgia border. By the time we hit Atlanta, the temperature had dropped 30 degrees and it was raining.
The weather cleared, though, and the rest of the drive was smooth sailing. Saw some to the forests that had been wracked by the hurricanes in recent years. Whole slews of trees chopped off at about the 20' mark; billboards, too. BTW, Georgia has the tallest billboards I've ever seen: at least 50' tall. And they're everywhere!
Got the word they want us to drop the trailer in the Springfield, MO yard, so no crazy weather driving just yet. Good thing, too: I'm wearing my last shirt, so at least I can do laundry.
Hung around the truck stop all day, waiting to pick up our load tonight. Did get to take a shower and catch up the electronic checkbook (MS Money).
Dropped off our trailer and picked up the new one, which had some damage, so had to report that. On the way down, stopped at Wal*Mart to do some shopping and get a haircut (I was looking pretty shaggy after seven weeks). It sure is nice to have a paycheck, again!
A friend reported that his flight to KC was canceled and they're not taking any in tomorrow or Saturday. As our route goes through there, we may have to adjust to a more southerly path through Texas.
Up at my usual 0700, but Mike wasn't quite ready to turn over the reins. Finally started driving at about 0900 after stopping to fuel.
Drove through the rest of Kentucky, then Tennessee, a bit of Georgia (check out I-24 to see what I mean), more Tennessee and Georgia, north to south before turning it back over to Mike as we entered Florida.
Passed by Mike's old hometown of Lake City, FL. Crossed over the Suwanee River (now I know where it is!).
Our delivery is set for 0300 tomorrow. We'll be there about 0130, so we'll have an hour or so to kill 9well, Mike will - I plan to be asleep) before we can enter the yard.
Mike thinks we'll probably get a load from Tropicana to take...? This load we have originated in Washington State, so it's had quite a journey.
Despite being as tired as I was, I didn't sleep very well last night. Mike hit a couple big bumps on the road that threw my laptop off the top of my suitcase on to my feet.
Up at 0700, but Mike wanted to drive a bit more, so I didn't start until about 0900.
Drove through the flatlands of Nebraska (you know the land is flat when the highest point in 300 miles in any direction is a freeway overpass.
Drove until about 1930 when we stopped for dinner (to use our free meal passes- can you say "steak tonight"?) and a shower.
Well, the day started well enough. We got up at 0600 for an 0700 delivery. When we got there, we were told out drop-off time was 1900. Later, that became 2100. So, we were looking at another day wasted and over 48 hours of waiting.
However, sanity prevailed, and we ended up off-loading about 0930.
Dropped the trailer off at the Salt Lake City yard (which was another adventure) And picked up our trailer for Florida.
Ended up driving back the way I came in: out I-80, but this time at night and without the intestinal cramps. Mike finally fell asleep before we stopped for a couple hours to allow his driving hours to reset. He probably won't drive his full shift tonight, but we'll get back on track tomorrow.
No post last night because I was down with intestinal cramps or flu or some such. Better now, with only a muscle strain to show for it.
The cramps started three hours out from our destination, but it was tolerable. Got to our destination for what should have been a simple drop and hook (drop our trailer and pick up another one), but there was no one there to receive it. So back to the truck stop to spend the night.
Tried to find out what HQ wanted us to do. Thought we were going to drop our load at the Salt Lake terminal, but, they decided to let us sit until tomorrow morning. Drove to a nicer truck stop nearby to wait it out. Watched a few movies on AMC, took a shower, had dinner, and will be hitting the sack early, as I didn't sleep well at all last night.
Continuing our trip to Utah, I drove into Council Bluffs, IA so Mike could renew his license. Had lunch and hung out in the drivers' lounge while he was gone.
Struck up a conversation with another driver who's a former Marine (my Chief ball cap is a conversation starter). Talked about the various services and some of our experiences and he gave me some advice about making truck driving a career.
We finally left about five hours after arriving. Mike went back to bed. Having been up for many of his sleeping hours.
Ran into some snow in eastern Nebraska, including some blizzard-like conditions. Drove until about 2130 so Mike could get some sleep.
Slept great last night except for a huge bump Mike hit in a construction zone that almost threw me out of bed. Woke up to a phone call from Vanessa. From what I could hear, I knew she had butt-dialed me, because I could tell she was at clinical. Where, by the way, she may have saved a woman's life by noticing a two-day-old surgery scar was weeping orange-ish fluid.
Mike was ready to swap early, so we did so. I drove the last 200 or so miles to the drop-off point, then parked the trailer in the door to be unloaded.
Drove to get the truck and trailer washed and then to the next shipper. Took a while for them to get loaded, so I told Mike to get some sleep while I tended the truck. By the time they were done, I only had about an hour left of driving time, so we swapped at that point.
Off to Council Bluffs, IA, so Mike can renew his license on our way to Utah.
Woke up this morning to discover Mike had already parked the trailer and we were being unloaded. You may take it that I slept well, and you'd be correct.
Though it was time to start my shift, Mike drove down the hill to the truck stop, where we ate, filled the tanks and washed out the trailer.
I drove to the pick up point, but we had no address, so I had to wake Mike up to read the directions, the last of which said to turn on the service road, which was the first street after going under the railroad tracks.
Well, we went to turn left, but the street had a name and didn't look like a service road. I drove down there rather gingerly, but we didn't see the shipper. I had to turn a rather narrow right corner, then left into a parking lot to get turned around.
Mike was finally able to get the address from someone at Prime, but when we plugged it into the GPS, it said I should turn left out of the lot. Well, there was no way I was going to try that, so I went back the way I came.
When we got back to the main road, lo and behold, there was this two lane one-way street- the service road!
I convinced Mike that that was what we wanted, and there was the shipper, about 200 yards down. There were three loading docks. One was an easy back up. The other two, not so much. Mike said we got the easy one, so I popped it right in there. Then we find out we're not supposed to be in dock 'C', but dock 'A'.
Well, as I said, that was a bit more challenging: a blind (passenger) side alley dock. I got in there with Mike's help, though I could have done it on my own, it just would have taken longer.
We waited for about 90 minutes to get it all loaded, then it was off towards Memphis. We're going back pretty much they way we came, though each driving sections we largely slept through. We even had dinner at the same truck stop as we did last night.
Mike's driving now, and I'm about ready to hit the sack. Talk to y'all tomorrow!
Survived my first night 'sleeping' in a moving truck. Felt remarkably refreshed for the little sleep I got. Roads were a bit rough, so I got bounced around a bit.
Got up at 0700. Mike was beat, so we swapped an hour early. Got a quick, portable breakfast and we were off. Mike hit the sack so it was pretty quiet all day.
Good weather, though a bit chilly. Dodged part of a truck tire and later, refuse from a minor accident that just happened. Also managed to enter a closed weigh station. In my defense, it didn't say it was closed anywhere. So, I learned that if your pre-pass box (it tells you if you can bypass the station (green) or have to go in (red)) doesn't light up at *all*, the station is closed.
Mike and I swapped back at about 1930.
Oh! We also discovered that I didn't log into the Qualcomm box (the electronic log), so I was running on Mike's hours instead of mine. A quick call to the log group at Prime took care of that.
Fairly leisurely morning. Met Mike about 0730 so we could go get my license and take care of all the other stuff that comes with becoming an employee.
Hung out at the HQ building for the afternoon. Skyped with mom for my birthday. Got texts from Lisa and David for same. Watched the last part of MIB3 and all of Dark Knight Rises in the theater.
While in the middle of doing my wash, I got a call from Mike that we have a load coming in that needs to be in New York Wednesday morning. So, we'll be leaving about 0300. Once I get my laundry done, I'll head over the HQ building, if the shuttle is still running, or have Mike come and get me and sleep in the truck tonight (and find out if the heater is really fixed).
Previous Posts04 March 2013, posted March 5th, 2013
03 March 2013 (though being written early in the morning of the fourth), posted March 5th, 2013
02 March 2013, posted March 5th, 2013
01 March 2013, posted March 5th, 2013
28 February 2013, posted March 5th, 2013
27 February 2013, posted March 5th, 2013
26 February 2013, posted February 27th, 2013
24 February 2013, posted February 25th, 2013
23 February 2013, posted February 25th, 2013
22 February 2013, posted February 25th, 2013
21 February 2013, posted February 25th, 2013
20 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
19 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
18 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
17 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
15 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
14 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
13 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
12 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
11 February 2013, posted February 21st, 2013
10 February 2013, posted February 10th, 2013
09 February 2013, posted February 10th, 2013
08 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
07 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
06 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
05 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
03 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
02 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
01 February 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
31 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
30 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
29 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
28 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
27 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
26 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
25 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
24 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
23 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
21 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
20 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
19 January 2013, posted February 8th, 2013
18 January 2013, posted January 19th, 2013
17 January 2013, posted January 19th, 2013
16 January 2013, posted January 19th, 2013
15 January 2013, posted January 19th, 2013
14 January 2013, posted January 19th, 2013
09 January 2013, posted January 9th, 2013
08 January 2013, posted January 9th, 2013
21 December, 2012, posted January 9th, 2013
Thursday, 20 Dec, 2012, posted January 9th, 2013
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