Man oh man, what a fun filled day I have had.....
It all started on Sunday really, by taking the Ohio Route.. I did really well with it and made excellent time getting home.
I have got soooo many things going on right now and decided I could use some extra cash, so I volunteered to work Friday and Saturday.....
I was supposed to deliver a Tuscaloosa Friday morning, but the loading crew couldn't get it ready, so I ended up delivering it that afternoon....I wasn't really prepared to waste the whole day on this trip, but I did get almost two full days at the house before taking off with it.
I was then dispatched on a new account we are trying to pick up... My Boss tells me to head down to Columbus on Friday for an 8:30 am pick-up and then proceed to the coast for delivery...
Around 8pm Thursday night I receive a phone call saying my appointment had been changed to 6am... I am not so much a morning person, but with a 6am appointment....I had to get up and moving by 4am.....4 AM......
I make it on time, sitting at the dock by 6am, but then had to wait until 8am to make the run.....Grrrrrrrrr!!!
So, I head out and make it 78 miles before losing most of my braking power...Nearly blew through a red light, but I managed to get it stopped...I just couldn't get it rolling again afterwards..So, I spent the next hour making phone calls and checking for air leaks and inspecting brakes.... Could not find anything wrong..... Finally noticed my air line (pig tail) was kinked... Grrrrrrrr!! Problem solved.
Make it to the delivery, which was 350 miles north of the Coast by lunchtime....Couldn't get in the gate. Rang every buzzer to be found, waited, buzzed, waited, buzzed...No phone number on the bills and it is Saturday, so no one in the office.... Grrrrrrrr...
I did manage to have lunch with my Brother.....
You know what, I am sitting here reading this and I hate it when people fuss......So, enough said!! I think it might be time to schedule a little vacation.
Okay, another vacation!!
Aug 30, 2008
Man oh man, what a fun filled day I have had.....
Aug 28, 2008
Well, Mr T. did it to me again last week and I ended up running Ohio and Michigan which in fact did not turn out too horribly awful.
I actually got ahead of myself the first day.... The 5th customer of the day had told me that if I was to arrive after 3:30pm I would not get unloaded.... I showed up at 4pm and was very promptly unloaded and sent along my merry way. This was in Russia, Oh. Next stop was near Cleveland. About 2 million miles away with the 55mph speed limit for Big Trucks.
But I have no fear, at least not when I should have. I floored it and made excellent time, even though I knew I was done for the day. BUT........ my Near Cleveland stop has unloaded me several times on second shift. Once again another perk, being the only female on the crew. No other driver has been so lucky with this bunch. So once again I was going to tempt fate. I made my arrival around 7:30 and began scouting out a familiar face. None to be found, but the new supervisor agreed to go ahead and unload me, if I was willing to wait until 10pm....
Sure, that still keeps me ahead of the game.
Also in the parking lot was a nice pretty Kenworth.... Glass Hauler.... Out of the Truck pops another cute little female trucker.... And she was about to go for a run.... Score one for me! I grabbed my gear and we managed to get a few miles in while I waited to get unloaded.... That was such a treat for me. To have a running buddy while out on the road!!
But back to my original story.... I have never much worried about Ohio Troopers. They are usually in plain site. So while making good time, I had a few Big Trucks fall in behind me. Not a whole lot of chatting going on, mostly listening in for the Bear Reports...Nearing Columbus, we went our separate ways and I was still running hard. After awhile I noticed a truck closing in behind me. Rapidly.... But as he neared me, he slowed down and fell in behind me.. RIGHT BEHIND ME.. Like almost inside my freaking trailer..... After a few miles, I hollered at him on the CB... NO REPLY.......I tried this several times and got no answer...
I have no problem running the front door, but I would like some crowd participation.....So, when I noticed the Smokey slowly closing in from behind, I decided to play a little game....
I am sooooo horrible....
I accelerated...... My back door did also....... When I knew the smokey was close enough, I let off the fuel and eased towards the white line of the road (pretending to be preoccupied with something) and then straightened up..... It was enough of a maneuver to get the truck behind me to fall out in the left lane. I let the jake brake take over slowing me down to a good safe legal speed and that is when the Smokey turned on the lights and grabbed my silent partner.
See, I am horrible......BUT, in my defense.....Do not expect me to be your front door... and not acknowledge me....but more importantly ... do not attempt to put your vehicle inside my trailer at 68 mph.....and push me down the road!!!
Aug 18, 2008
After arriving home from my weekend excursion, I had a relatively short amount of time to get ready for work, with all the truck swapping going on.. And in the rain, no less.
I made good time Sunday and after a long nights rest, I began my weekly deliveries.
The first customer opens at 6am....But the forklift driver was late.... VERY LATE. And unfortunately for me, they made me wait on him because no one else was certified to drive the forklift. This location has at least 50 employees, but only one man is certified?! Grrrrrrr....
So I ended up getting unloaded around 9am. The next two Jersey stops came off with no troubles and it was time to cross the Hudson River.. Traffic was flying across the bridge. I had high hopes at this point, to make up for some lost time....Until I turned towards Long Island.....2.5 hour delay.... Left lane closed for street cleaning, middle lane closed for broke-down Six-Wheeler and right lane closed for construction...All within a quarter mile stretch....
So, I am stuck in New York tonight....That throws my whole schedule off for the week. I had appointments in Mass for tomorrow that I might not make. Meaning I won't get home until Thursday Night...
But at least I have come to a few conclusions..........
Aug 16, 2008
Aug 15, 2008
1) I spent approximately 10 hours in Maine.... Seven of that was sleeping and the rest of the time it was raining so hard I was unable to enjoy a good run...
2) They turned my truck back up.. NO more 61 mph for me!!!!
3) My Truck was not sent to the shop for repairs until 11 days after I requested it. That entire time, a temp driver was cruising around the countryside with his WIFE, CHILD, AND DOG in tow... Strictly against Trucking Co policy. So, he was fired! But it does infuriate me so to know that not only did my repairs take no priority whatsoever, but an entire family has been living in my tiny Volvo still loaded with my personal belongings..
However, I am not upset about anything right now, for I am in Fort Walton Beach , Florida...On vacation with not a big truck to be seen..
Next week, I am back to my regular route. Regular in the fact that it has 18 stops.. Not the measly 5-7 that has been on it the past few months. Back to busting my hump!!
Aug 9, 2008
I have been doing an awful lot of daydreaming lately.
I have already made the decision that my time with the Alum Co must come to an end. There has just been way too much stress going on as of late, that I feel I need to step away from it all.
I had made a decision in the recent past to move back closer to family and try to get a local job. Promises of a transfer were made when the New Trucking Co took over my dedicated account last August. But last month, when I made my formal request, they all but said there was no chance in hell. That was when I had found out they had indeed hired someone within a short period of time to cover the position I was requesting.
The issue of the governor during the past two months has all but drove me insane. They are lifting the governor as I type this, so I should be elated. But with everything that has happened, all the empty promises, all the mis-communications, all the attitudes, I really think that this position has already been tainted in such a way, that I will never feel the way I once did. Yes, I still love my route. Yes, my customers are awesome. But the ones who are most directly responsible for "taking care of the drivers" have shown their callous side. After 7 years, I feel completely unappreciated and abused.
So , where does that leave me.
Back to daydreaming.
I have been considering pulling out my map and throwing a dart. Wherever it lands, I go! Find a job and enjoy some new scenery for about six months, before planting my roots back in Bama. I have to be honest, other than the people who reside there, The Rocket City does not call to me. So, while I am young, maybe I should go see something new.
I have also toyed with the idea of packing it all up, and going back Over-The-Road. Put everything in storage, and just ride. Take my home time in Bama with the family and pay off my debts. I don't have much, so it wouldn't take long... I am coveting that new Challenger, so I should pay off the Pony Car, right!!
Right now, both options seem pretty reasonable to me. Maybe my head is not screwed on straight, and I am not thinking clearly. But a huge change is imminent, and I don't want to jump too fast. I am known for jumping!! This is the longest I have stayed in any one location and maybe, just maybe the nomadic side of me is awakening. Afterall, one day I will be too old to do impromptu things like this. I am young, and have no ties that bind, with the exception of blood family.
I really need to do some soul searching and find the best answer for ME... I promised the Bri-Baby I would move closer to her, but if I took all my home time in Bama, would that not be just as good.
So much to be considering.
Aug 8, 2008
Enough with the excuses, and maybe the carbon monoxide wasn't helping too much. I have only run 25 miles in the past two months.....
Anyways, I went running today!! Hooray!! I only managed to knock out 4 miles..But before you think I went and overdid it. I only ran 1.92. The remaining was warming up, cooling down and a brief walking stretch in the middle.
But hey, I got out there. I am going to try to get back on a regular schedule. Get my totals back up. I will try to get one in Sunday in Elkton, Md and another Tuesday while I am in Maine...
So, Thank You Gabrielle, for being sooooo dedicated. Kind of made me feel foolish for putting it off for soooo long. Keep up the good work, you really are an inspiration.
And as for YOU, and you know who you are, it kind of made me feel guilty when you said you felt guilty when you don't run....And I have never felt guilty for not running, so Thanks for the guilt trip!!!
I just spoke with my SIL last night and got an unexpected treat.
I have been invited to spend next weekend in Florida.
Yes, I am going down for Labor Day, but why not make the most of a golden opportunity, right?
So, now I get to take two vacations on the Gulf Coast...within a three week period.
I am also thinking that I may use my paid vacation week (I finally earned one after the trucking co swap out erased all my accrued time) for just that... A week away from it all....
Aug 7, 2008
Maine...... that is!!
Just got next weeks dispatch.....
I am heading to Maine!!
Freaking Awesome..... That marks one more state off of my list... Leaving only North Dakota and Minnesota untouched!!
I will still be in the SPARE truck (grumble) because my truck is in Philly right now and won't make it home until after I leave. Besides, it will still be set at 61mph, so maybe I should just let it go for now! Who really wants to hear me fuss about that anymore.
The odd part of this load planning, is that my NYC deliveries have been omitted. I am heading straight from NJ into CT... My buddy is heading from PA straight into NYC.. HUH?? Does that even begin to make sense? No, but then when it comes to the Alum CO, not much does these days.
Oh yeah, I am only delivering 500 pounds in Maine...... I am like a kid in a candy store.
Monday Morning....aug 4th
Rancocas, New Jersey
First Delivery of the week.
The setting is an inside dock platform, trailer to be unloaded with an overhead crane.
I managed to get backed in, opened the trailer and unstrapped the merchandise. I am crawling all over the load and have broken a sweat as of 7:02 am.... Too early to be gettin hawt!!
I begin to notice that the dock is literally swarming with employees who seem to be whispering amongst themselves. This is fairly normal for me. There are not too many little female flatbedders in my customer line-up.
I have only been to this particular customer a handful of times over the past 7 years, so I am still quite the novelty to them.
But they are lingering a bit longer than normal, and grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
I f i n a l l y notice (I am a bit slow) that my 6 button shirt has only 2 buttons fastened. The bottom two.
I should have known right then that this was NOT going to be a good week.
At least their week got off to a good start.
IS RED!!! That's right, I am seeing RED.....
You would not even begin to believe ...... Oh NO REALLY.... It just keeps going there, further and further down into the cess pools of .....
Okay, let me start over...
I was able to head out after a bit of grumbling Sunday... Spare Truck... Actually, it was good ol Maggie.. Remember her? Click HERE to watch her video.
Made it to all my stops, delivered and headed home. Only 1200 miles to go at 61mph.. I am sorry, but it is just not in my temperament to be able to handle this gracefully. Especially when the speed limits are 65 and 70 and courtesy has all but vanished. I AM THAT HATEFUL DRIVER IN THE SLOW TRUCK... WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT????? (It finally broke me and my lovely disposition is in dire need or revival)
So you would think that my next cell phone conversation would have cheered me up.
Okay, lets start at the end of it and work our way backwards....
"Hey Bossman, you know, since I have not asked in a week or two, have you heard anything else about having our governors lifted?"
"Why YES, Little Trucker, we are having the trucks turned back UP next Saturday Morning"
This is where I should be all elated, right? So what is the dealy-yo??? *wink wink*
Well, the first part of the conversation went a little something like this..
Is my truck fixed?
Someone is driving it.
What was the point of me leaving it, if not to have it repaired. And someone is driving it, with MY personal belongings in it. The security guard even told me that certain someone driving my truck was looking for a place to dump all the girl stuff that was left in it... WTF?? Hey buddy, get your paws off my underoos!! That is still my truck.
I think this week, I will forcefully reclaim it and personally spend the time to have it repaired en route......
Who cares if they are turning them back up.. I have officially lost all respect for these guys. I hate my job now! Thankyousoverymuch !!
Aug 2, 2008
Normally, I leave out on Saturday Nights..... I have a long drive ahead and its best to get a jump on the week.
Lately (about 4-6 weeks) I have been feeling a bit out of sorts.. Loss of appetite, disorientation, short term memory loss, paranoia, extreme exhaustion, and vehemently angry mood swings... Rage, if you will.
I have been wondering if all of this could be a result of the enormous amounts of stress I have been feeling recently at work. My neck and shoulders have been knotted up as well, so I assumed the rest was possibly a direct result too.
This past weekend, I had to cancel a family trip due to the fact that when I got in my car to drive, I was completely disoriented....So, I turned around after 30 minutes and headed back home...I just couldn't risk it...It would have been a 4+ hour drive.
Tonight, when heading out for work, I felt 100% normal. I loaded up my truck and grabbed my trailer. That is when I noticed the unmistakable smell of diesel exhaust. I had two other drivers sniff around my truck and both agreed that there was a leak. I had intended on leaving with it anyway and finding a shop. I reported this leak six weeks ago, and a clamp was tightened. Obviously the leak was not fully repaired. But the other drivers strongly encouraged me to go home and wait it out.
I made all the appropriate calls and headed home. After about an hour, the Boss calls me back and says, "Take the spare, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it."
So, I load back up and headed for the shop. I got the keys and guess what.... It was D E D.... Dead!! Only 8.7 volts, not even enough to pretend like it was going to crank. So, I called the boss. He said have the mechanic come jump it.... The mechanic lives an hour and a half away, and by this time it is 11pm.....
He is going to meet me in the morning...I just can't justify leaving at 1am, when I could sleep in my own bed.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, during my first attempt to leave, the handle used to raise the dolly legs broke off. So I did not even fully attach to the trailer before calling it off for the night.
So, is it just me, or does it seem like maybe there was a reason I should not be driving down the highways tonight...
After all, I made three attempts to head out and was unsuccessful at every turn.