Dec 19, 2010


Pennsylvania Turnpike

Not much on the ground, but this picture was taken at 3pm. Not a cloud in the sky!! That is pure snow blocking the sun.

Dec 18, 2010

Love Lost

If you read the last post, you know I finished out the day with a feeling of elation. After blowing through the Bronx at rush hour and securing a parking spot at the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza, I set about my evening in a peaceful state of mind.

There was one tiny little issue that was beginning to chip away at my serenity.

A few weeks ago, I asked the mechanics to check/replace my batteries. The truck seemed to have lost a little bit of cranking power and with winter setting in, it seemed like a good time to at least check them.

Tuesday morning finds me sitting in Fairfield, NJ. I was an hour early, so I had plenty of time to offload the 2 bundles and be ready to ride by the time the customer opened. But that was not to be the case. The crane did not want to work and it is powered by my 4 batteries. After checking everything pertaining to the crane itself, I determined the problem was simple. I was just not supplying enough power. I opened the battery box and was dismayed to find that all of my connections were corroded beyond comprehension. Serious green fuzz was taking over. I set about cleaning all of the connections and was beginning to show signs of utter frustration because had the mechanics checked the batteries, the corrosion would have been cleaned properly to begin with. I also found that the power supply line for the crane had multiple spots where the insulation was rubbed away and the cable was shorting out in several places. As I was cleaning one end, I noticed sparks coming from underneath the truck... The plugs themselves were corroded and the harder I worked to remedy the situation, the more negative emotions seemed to consume my mind.

It took me 3 hours to unload the 2 bundles. It was 12 degrees. My mechanics and boss were playing dumb and I was filthy from rolling around under the truck trying to clean cables. I could only get the crane to respond for seconds at a time. By the end of the ordeal, I felt like a small child who just needed to sit in some one's lap and be comforted. I was near tears.

Amazing how the job can be so perfect one day and 12 hours later leave you feeling so utterly helpless. Needless to say, I had no love for the job on Tuesday. After getting the crane secured back into its cradle, I decided to have the remaining 2 bundles dragged off the trailer at the next 2 stops. I was not going through that again !!

Dec 17, 2010

Welcome to The Jungle

Finally got a load back into the City, and normally this doesn't have any negative impact on my mood. But lately (the past 3 years) our load planner has been losing her mind. She is continually sending the wrong style of trailer to customers and routing the trips in very inefficient patterns. Of course, it will always be up to the driver to correct these "oversights"

As the week progressed, I was actually feeling a little anxiety about a certain delivery in Woodside ~ Queens, NY. The customer is located on the service road/ entry ramp to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. There are cars parked on both sides of the lane, leaving minimal room for motorists to travel towards the Interstate, and without proper notice there is absolutely no where to park 70' of tractor trailer.

The customer requests that their material to be loaded on the right side of the trailer because they have no safe access to unload if the material is on the left. It is a service road!! Notice the traffic on top of the wall in the picture. That is the BQE. My anxiety causing dilemma was based on the fact that I was not pulling a flatbed for easy removal of material. I had the crane trailer. In order to unload the crane trailer, I not only need room for my vehicle, but an additional amount of space to set the material on the ground behind me. There was NO WAY I was going to claim 100' of asphalt. Not on this busy thoroughfare. In the past, we have actually driven onto the sidewalk. I don't mean a few tires on concrete, either. I mean actually coming through the intersection and pulling all 18 tires on concrete and driving the truck next to the store front. That kind of freaks out the passersby. But the neighboring strip club decided to eliminate that option by placing a rather low canopy across the sidewalk. Grrrr!!

But before I get too far ahead of myself.... On the way to the customer, which I have not been to in awhile, I called AA and asked which exit number I was suppose to take. He assured me it was Exit 40. So like any brave little trooper, I dive off at Exit 40, into the side streets of Queens and find myself "lost". Of course, there is no reentry point at this ramp. But, I have been lost so many times in Queens that I no longer get upset about it. Fahhgetaboutit !! I did make a few tight turns and had the local police eyeballing me, but I found my way back to the Expressway in no time.

So, back to the customer. I now have to park in the ramp, four ways a~flashin, to seek instructions from the customer. Oh pleeeeeeaaase, no illegal parking tickets.. HURRY UP !!!! Aggggghhhh. They were none to pleased about the trailer and it didn't help matters that their material was 28' long, meaning I could not even sit the stuff on the ground with my crane. It only extends 12' out behind the trailer. But they were able to direct me to another location where I could unload. Oh Joy!! Nothing like site-seeing in the side streets.

The day turned out to be a breeze. I managed to get all of my Philadelphia, and New York drops off. There were no traffic delays as I made my way across Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens. The unload turned out painless and I blew through the Bronx at 4pm with out any heavy traffic snafus. WHAT??

No brake lights in Brooklyn !!

Corkscrew Interchange 95/87 Bronx, NY

Yep, you heard it right. I had a most excellent day!! Felt good to be back in New York. Felt even better to be kicking ass and taking names....

Damn, I love my job!!

NOTE: The second picture was taken previously, to give you perspective of my location. I know, that looks nothing like a crane trailer...LOL

Dec 9, 2010


Sometimes people really amaze me !!

This week somebody had this really brilliant idea on how to get rich quick, so to speak. Some time during the weekend an individual decided to sneak into our yard and steal a loaded trailer full of aluminum. I have no idea how they got it out of the neighborhood, but somehow they managed to. The neighborhood is hard enough to get a bobtail through, I couldnt imagine draggin a trailer through it. Of course they had to take the back roads to avoid security. After successfully stealing the load, they traveled less than a hundred miles and began to unload the trailer onto a less commercial vehicle and proceed to the scrap yard to sell it off.

Really ?? There is something about virgin aluminum that screams "this is stolen". Our plant was notified immediately and the most of the load was recovered. But seriously, if you are going to steal 40k of aluminum, do you really think it is wise to try and sell it immediately in the local vicinity of which it was stolen.

Yes, people continue to amaze me !!

Nov 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Bedbugger

After a very long 5 weeks, my aching heart has been given a reprieve. The most handsome bedbugger I know was set to arrive in Georgia just in time for his birthday.

Although the weekend was much too short, in my opinion, we were able to celebrate with several trucking friends. Here is a short video that was put together for this special occasion.


Nov 1, 2010

Freighthauler's Blues...

and purples, greens, browns and yellows !!

We are now entering our slow season at work. This is common every year and will last until late January. With smaller orders, comes shorter routes. Most customers are sitting on old stock until after the year end inventory. This means I have to work harder to make a satisfactory paycheck. Along with the fact that I have not routinely run into New England for the past several months, I am having to scramble if I want extra work.

Therefore I volunteer my services to other accounts as the need fits. Well, I don't volunteer, but you get the idea.

So, 2 weeks ago, an opportunity arose to help out the JoAnn's Fabric account. I was told it was a 2 stop, driver unload. Thinking it would not be a big deal, I agreed to give it a shot. After all, I managed to handle several loads from the furniture account a few years ago.

I was slightly dismayed when I went to pick up the load. Opening the trailer, I understood the severity of my decision. LOL. It was 100% percent DRIVER UNLOAD. No one else was allowed to step foot inside the trailer. The trailer was loaded front to rear, floor to ceiling with over 1400 boxes, some weighing as much as 80 pounds. YIKES!! As you can see, the condition of the load before I ever left the distribution center, promised to be highly entertaining. How the heck am I suppose to do this. But I am not one to give up without a fight.

I make my way to Orlando for the first delivery. I was told I had 4 hours to unload 983 boxes. I was told the last driver had to call for a replacement because he was injured and could not unload. I was feeling the pressure!!

The load didn't look much worse after the 8 hour drive and I am hard driven, so I climbed inside and gave it all I had. I actually gave a little too much. After the first 30 minutes, I had to take a break, run to the restroom and vomit. I was shaking, sweating and felt as if I was gonna pass out. I was determined to succeed. Using whatever means possible to climb into the ceiling, I managed to get the first delivery complete in about 3 hours. The store was pleased with my determination and perseverance, but it kicked my ass. I have never felt so sick and for a brief moment, I thought I was going to have to throw in the towel. When I took the sick leave, I seriously considered calling in. That is so unlike me. I never quit.

I moved on to stop number 2 in Kissimmee, very thankful for the break, even though I was driving. The second store delivery was a lot smaller, but I was discouraged when 4 sweet, fresh faced girls greeted me at the dock. They were just as disappointed to see me. The manager asked how long I had been delivering for JoAnns. When I told her this was my first time, I thought she was going to lose it. Turns out I was able to get the trailer empty in record time at that store as well, but I paid dearly for it.

Two weeks later, my body is still covered in a plethora of multi colored bruises. At last count I had 17. I don't know if I will ever volunteer for that assignment again, but it was fun for the first experience. They are always fun the first time you try something new, right?

Oct 26, 2010

Mohawk Indian Trail

This week has gotten off to a rather lazy start. But after last week, I need to relax a little.

Sunday found me sitting in a Driver's Meeting, the first I have attended in over 2.5 years. I find them to typically be repetitive and full of useless information so I generally opt to be out of town each time one is being held. This one was absolutely mandatory, so much in fact, they scheduled my deliveries for Tuesday rather than Monday. Grrrr!

After the meeting, I retired to the house as I was feeling very little motivation to do any Trailer Truckin. I did manage to make it to Virginia that evening but only because I have bills to pay. Monday was pretty much the same. Still no desire, but I made good time getting to North Adams, Massachusetts. As soon as I left the Mass Pike, I lost all phone services for 14 hours. It was bliss. Too bad it couldn't have happened earlier.

So Tuesday is the new Monday and I was anxious to get my first stop delivered. As soon as I emptied out, I was to ride the Mohawk Indian Trail towards Haverhill, Ma for my second delivery. This is by far one of my absolute favorite stretches of asphalt.

Upon reemerging into civilization and cell phone service, I was tempted to toss the phone out the window and find another two lane. My job is typically high pressure, with numerous deliveries and primarily staying along the eastern seaboard. I seem to have forgotten the pleasurable indulgences that Mother Nature provides. I don't get to do too much scenic viewing. Today's trip thru the Berkshires has once again stirred up the old longing to head west... To lighten my schedule and relax the pace a little... To get lost...

Oct 13, 2010


I have seen a lot during the course of my driving career. But just when you think you have seen it all, someone will surprise you.

Yesterday it was a fella in a Jeep. He seemed impatient to get through the hordes of slower traffic. He came around me and was blocked by 7 vehicles spread out in 2 lanes. Rather than flash his lights, blow his horn, or tailgate...he did not even hesitate as he straddled both lanes and passed all 7 vehicles while riding down the zipper.

I have seen this done with motorcycles, but never in a car. White knuckle moment for sure because I just knew he was gonna hit one of them, but he never flinched. Of course, all the other cars slowed down, putting me even further

Ugh, My urge to head west is getting stronger !!

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Oct 11, 2010

What Is, And What Should Never Be

Shaping up to be one of those weeks!!

I left out early enough on Sunday to allow myself time for a few extra breaks. The main goal was to be able to stop and watch a wedding that was being streamed online. Goal accomplished, and Congratulations to Paul and Jennifer !!

But after all the I Do's were said, I was left with a billion miles to fly and darkness encroaching rapidly. I made it to Charlotte just in time to sit with all the patrons of the Panthers game... the clock was ticking.

Upon arriving in Virginia, I was faced with even more delays. Nothing like construction in rural areas with hefty back midnight.
Throughout all the lane closures and over populated pathways, one thing was consistent. It seemed everyone had forgotten how to drive. I can't tell you how many times I had to zig to someone's zag. Several times I was riding on the rumble strip just to avoid collision. At one point I had to blow the horn to wake another driver up. It was just so frustrating, and I almost made the executive decision to just go ahead and let the next bozo hit me. But my tanks are all shiney now, and I don't have time for the paperwork.

I finally reached my destination just after 2am. Thankful for the reprieve, I greeted Baltimore with renewed enthusiasm today. At least until they started darting around me again. It seems it has been that way all day. Still tempted to just let em hit me, but for now I am safely tucked away amongst the docile diesels, waiting for the sunrise and the challenge of a new day.

Sweeeeet Dreams from Pine Grove, PA
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Deja Vu

This morning I had just pulled out of my first customer when the phone rings.

BOSS : Did the customer tell you they needed you to pick up returns?

ME : No

BOSS : Okay

So I make my way to the next delivery. Later in the afternoon, the boss calls again.

BOSS: I need you to go back to first customer and pick up returns.

Seems like I just experienced this same conversation about a month ago. This time I was only 5 miles away and he didn't inform me then that I needed to make the pickup. No, he waits until I am hours away, meaning I will have to back track and play in DC Traffic again.


Oct 4, 2010

For Safety's Sake

It's Monday night and I am on my way home already. I got lucky this week with a 2 stop New England route. By tomorrow evening, I will have already accumulated 2300 miles. But with long days behind the wheel, comes the potential for too much time to think.

Today found me in an unusually quiet and pensive mood. After watching the industry changes that have taken place over the past 13 years, I feel as though my livelihood is crumbling into chaotic ruins.

There are still many wonderful men and women out on these highways that represent the Concrete Cowboys and Highway Heroes of yesteryear, but more common these days are the folks looking for an easy buck. They bitch and complain about everything. From traffic delays to waiting on loads. And the most common thread that binds these newcomers is the singlemindedness of their actions. They are so intent on themselves, that they forget to take time to look around, to be courteous, to be cautious!!

One common complaint you will hear out on the road, concerns the slower company drivers clustered into the center lane, impeding the flow of traffic. This is one of my big pet peeves. Slower traffic keep right!! By hovering in the middle, they have now caused a rolling road block. The faster trucks are forced to either violate lane restrictions, or pass on the right where merging traffic becomes an issue. Once you are able to get around them, you will most often notice them staring straight ahead. I suppose if they don't acknowledge you, they feel less remorse for such actions.

I seem to be way off on a tangent here, but just bear with me.

They blow through truck stop parking lots and/or fuel islands at ridiculous speeds. They won't accommodate any other motorist, with their "me first" attitude. No concern for safety! Or maybe, just maybe, it is a lack of training?

Now back to the original intent of my post. I think I have solved the safety issues concerning the trucking industry, or at least one of them... How about, instead of the restrictions and regulations that are being heaped upon drivers, in the name of safety, we should make demands that Training Companies actually train the new drivers. Instead of weeks, let's put the potential drivers through months or years of training. Instead of the promise of "free"
training (if you work for the company for a stated amount of time, you owe nothing), let's put a hefty price tag on a long term education. Other certifications take many class credits or years to complete. Why not trucking? Let's actually require the skills to be demonstrated and challenged when taking a skills test. Let's stop making the truck so user friendly that any bozo can drive it. Automatic transmissions?? Please...if you take away all the challenges there once were, you are left with bumbling idiots steering their trailers over other trucks, cars, equipment, poles...blah blah blah!!

I can't tell you how many women I have heard recently admit that they can not back up their trailer. What the hell are you doing in a truck, sister? I do not believe women should be given any advantages based on gender!! It was a man's worlds at one time, but many women have succeeded by jumping in with both feet and learning the skills to be successful. No bitching, no crying...just doing!!

So, it is just my opinion, but if you make it harder to become a truck driver, you will be left with only those who truly have the desire to become a competent operator. And if one works harder to succeed, I believe there is more potential for that person to be cautious, courteous and willing to help a fellow driver. If the highways were full of those types of drivers, these ridiculous restrictions and regulations would not be so necessary!!

Think about it!

You have 2 such incompetent baffoons to thank for this post.

Okay, bitch session over

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Oct 2, 2010

My Favorite Loads...

I have been doing a little computer clean up recently and stumbled upon these pictures. I got a great big laugh out of all the creative ways that my load has been arranged. I know in the past that several of you think I should be able to get better load structure, but that is just not possible. I am out on the road delivering when the next trailer is being loaded, so the only thing that is in my control is how tightly the load is secured. Sometimes, there is just no hope! Since I have been working here for nearly a decade, I am accustomed to the misadventures and they rarely get me down, but sometimes they do absolutely blow my mind.

Therefore I present to you....

My Favorite Loads

It is not as bad as it looks...Okay, may be it is. But it is all part of the job and with some blood sweat and tears, I am usually able to get all material unloaded safely. For more load entertainment be sure to watch my video... Its All Down Hill

Sep 26, 2010

Final Test ( of the day )

Hmmm, maybe if I have text between the pictures ??

Perhaps, then it will align correctly ??

Final test !! Picture Placement
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TEST ~ picture placement

Just a quick test to see if I can center the picture... Had to edit the html, a language I know nothing about !!

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Gravy Run .... Take 3

TEST ~ embedding

Phew, I think I need a nap. Lets hope it worked!!
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Gravy Run ~ the video

As promised in the previous post !!

TEST ~ embedding

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Gravy Run

Just another test...

Lately I seem to be working less.. Lately I seem to be working harder. I have been spending more time "off duty" while in the truck and less time at home. It is all that bedbugger's fault!

While I am still doing the same route, I am finding myself lucky enough to locate the Big White Volvo parked somewhere en route to my home. After spending quality time with my handsome bedbugger, I race home to grab another short load and finish my week.

This week is was the Gravy Run...

I start out by hauling a load of logs !!

I swap it for a load of scrap 100 miles away.

The scrap load can be complicated. Flat tires or poorly adjusted brakes are usually the issue, but this week the load was slightly over size. Standing at about 14'6", I had to try and shake it down to make it legal. No problem if you can find a parking lot full of nice sized potholes.

It is an easy run. After swapping for the load of scrap, I head to Tennessee to dump it and drag the empty wagon back to the yard.

In all it takes about 12 hours to complete the circuit, but at $300, it is worth it !!

For those of you new to the blog, I finish with a video I made... "Gravy Run"

Hmmmm, can't figure out how to add the embed the video, so it looks like I have more testing to do !!

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Shiney !!

Finally took the time to get Ol Seabiscuit professionally polished up.

He looks good, now all I have to do is keep him clean and shiney. I was disappointed with the polisher because I have some new scarring in the tanks that can't be removed, but it is only a company truck...
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Sep 13, 2010

A Little Vaseline, Please

Today just happens to be one of those days where I unknowingly will be able to test out my driving skillz.

My second drop of the morning was in Washington, North Carolina. This customer has a bad habit of filling the parking lot with lots of random pallets of stuff, making it difficult to turn around. The more they scatter, the harder I work. This is the normal routine. But today, they caught me off guard. There would be NO turning around inside the gate today.

Parked right in the middle was this lovely dumpster.

So, I had to back out of the gate

And back out of the parking lot. Could not make the swing to the right because of the grade and angle of the street. I did not want to rip my exhaust pipes off the truck.

I had to continue backing until I reached the county road about a quarter of a mile behind me. And then a nice blindside back into traffic to get front and center once again. But these are the simple challenges that I love, and not so challenging with barely anyone to blow their horns at me. Makes me miss New York City !!

But this was not so difficult. After I made a few more deliveries, I ended up in Richmond, Virginia. Getting into the customer is a tad bit challenging dodging the cars, chain link fences and telephone poles, but getting out is even better. There is only one way out, and holding ones breath to squeeze through is a requirement !!

First, I have to place my fender against the fence, because I am turning into this alleyway


With literally only a couple of inches to spare, I squeeze through and make a hasty exit back into the streets of Richmond. Dodging more telephone poles just to get back to a nice 4 lane. Who designed this city, anyways ??

I am currently sitting in Ruther Glen, Virginia because I know better than to attempt to make good time riding around the streets of DC in afternoon rush hour. Been there, done that ! After another 3 deliveries tomorrow, I will be heading home. And rumor has it that a handsome bedbugger will be in the area !!

Sep 11, 2010

Modern Technology

This is a test...

This is only a test!!

I have recently decided to step out of my cave and embrace the world of modern technology. Scary, huh? Having purchased my first smart phone, I am like a little kid at Christmas. This test is just to see how simple it might be to blog from my phone in order to keep you fine folks posted on the daily happenings of my existence.

Testing 1 2 3

Looks like I may still need to figure out picture placement... Wish me luck!
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Sep 5, 2010

Texas Two Step

Don't you just love it when life throws you a nice little curve ball. You swing, you swing, you swing...but inevitably you strike out !!

Last weeks load started in Lynchburg, Virginia. After saying my "goodbyes" to a very handsome Bedbugger, I headed to the shop to put on my Little Trucker cape.

I am the only driver I know that actually uses a tire pressure gauge to check actual tire pressure. I got in this habit years ago and it has probably saved me a lot of time by avoiding unnecessary blow outs. At least that is my logic. But not today. I checked every tire before I left but, I barely made it through Atlanta when I sent traffic into a frenzy by chunking large pieces of rubber at those who were tailgating me... Bet they wont do that again !!

After sitting roadside for over 4 hours, I managed to make my way into North Carolina and found a suitable camping spot. I prefer to sleep on location of my first delivery, but the delays would have kept me driving until 3am, and I was not going to get much accomplished Monday anyways with the mileage between customers exceeding a normal hop, skip, or a jump. So early to bed, early to rise!!

Once I climbed inside my load, I was deflated when I realized that the masterminds of metal mobility had been hard at work while structuring my load. I no longer question WHY things are done in a certain fashion, but I do become quite impressed with the different techniques they employ to make my week a living nightmare. Each of these bundles are EXACTLY the same length... 14 Feet. I assume they were stagger stacked in order to give the 28' items that were placed on top a better foundation. It did not work!! This picture was taken at my 4th delivery, after I rerouted myself and tried to salvage the bundles that had already fallen into the great abyss. I was determined to deliver the product with as little damage as possible, and that was going to put me behind.

I left Lynchburg, and opted for Stop # 3 next. Williamsport, Maryland. Because I had the crane, I was able to unload myself while the receiver dealt with other trucks. I then made a mad dash over to Baltimore and arrived 15 minutes before closing time. With 20k of material to offload, I was parked for the night.

During Tuesday morning's unload, I found some material that should have been shipped to Atlanta, tucked in amidst my Baltimore freight. I set it aside, and followed the protocol of reporting such mistakes. Baltimore's delivery was going to be short. Ninety minutes after leaving, I received a phone call telling me to go back and pick up some items I had left that did not belong. Grrrrr! How could this have happened, I am pretty good at checking freight. I asked what product it was and Customer Service could not tell me, they suspected it was more Atlanta freight. I want confirmation, damn it!! I did not get it.

Being half way to my next customer, I scheduled my return to Baltimore for Wednesday since it would be on my way home anyways.

Stop #4 was in Ringtown, Pennsylvania. No worries there, except afternoon was rapidly encroaching and I had to make my Scranton delivery before 3pm. I phoned Scranton is an attempt for a reprieve, but was informed that 7am to 3pm was firm. I arrived in Scranton at 3pm and headed straight for the truck stop, knowing the drive thru town would put me at the customer 15 minutes after the mandated closure time. So with another 16 hour break ahead of me, I was able to kick back and relax. This probably helped keep my frustration levels at a minimum, because even with the blown tires, missed deadlines and mis-delivered freight...I was still in a radiant mood and was able to find humor in the turmoil that was encasing my trip.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, I arrived at the Scranton customer with plenty of time to offload myself and wait for someone to come in and check freight at 7am. It was then that I was informed that the receiver had waited yesterday until 5pm for my delivery because he needed to ship the product out yesterday. Huh?? But?? So, in return, I had to wait until 8am for his arrival to check my freight in. Nice....17 hour break due to miscommunication between the office and the warehouse. I had been sitting on me arse, while he was waiting for me, only because 3 pm was confirmed by his receptionist. Oh Joy!!

Moving forward, I reached Stop # 6 and within 10 minutes I was on my way back to Baltimore. From Clifton, New Jersey (#6), I would normally head back towards Interstate 81, as I find it a much more peaceful than 95, but with the mis-deliveries..ugh!!

I made several calls to Baltimore to ensure that someone would be waiting for me at the warehouse. It is a new facility and has not officially opened, so I am at their mercy. Unsure of what I am trying to retrieve, the Baltimore Boss personally meets me and we determine that I never left anything by mistake. The items I set aside the day before were, in fact, the items that my employers sent me back to pick-up. The items that never left my trailer !!

It is 2pm and with Washington DC looming in my windshield, I leave Baltimore without any additional items. Thinking I could clear the Capitol Beltway before rush hour, I start grabbing gears only to find the Anti-Destination League is already in full effect. Traffic is creeping at about 15mph. Knowing I would not have been here, had they given me confirmation the day before on exactly what had been left behind, I begin to feel the first twinges of angst.

...but I am finally on my way home. What should have been an easy 3 day trip, turned into 5. It seemed that for every two steps forward, I was forced to take one step back. And so it is, in my trucking life. Surprisingly, I was able to keep a delightful attitude through it all. Even when I got back to the yard and learned that I will be getting reacquainted with Maggie next week.

Sep 4, 2010

Sight Seeing

So much easier to look at this way! Minnesota Sunset

Shouldn't this guy have an Oversize Load sign ?

Typical Florida Thunderstorm

Artwork at Regional Airport in Owatonna, Mn

Aug 24, 2010

Temporary Insanity

The one thing I fear the most when I take a few days off is 1) Who is going to drive my truck and 2) What are they going to tear up.

After being off duty for several days, I was a bit apprehensive to climb back into Seabiscuit's saddle. After a quick walk-around inspection to make sure the exterior was intact, I climbed inside for a once over.

The floors were a little dirty, but that is to be expected. I would never presume someone else, especially a temp driver would actually clean up after themselves. There were a few smudges that needed to be wiped away. The windshield was atrocious. But everything else seemed up to par...

Of course it is mandatory that I remove all my valuable personal belongings before surrendering my truck to someone else's care. I don't clean out the truck, just grab those items that would be costly or hard to replace, not to mention the bedding.

So after my initial inspection, I begin to reload my stuff.

And here is what I found....

The temp driver managed to break my cabinet. The door will not stay closed and the shelf no longer can support any weight. How he managed to do this is beyond me. Oh wait, maybe he really likes green beans... Yes, folks, he ate my stash of canned vegetables!!

After loading the truck, I took at quick scan at the daily inspections he turned in to make sure there were no new issues that I should be aware of. BINGO!!

He wrote up that the passenger side wiper blade was flopping around and needed to be checked. But what I found was that he had swapped the passenger side blade for the driver side blade, left all my tools helter skelter in the tool box and somehow managed to not actually reattach the passenger side blade so it slipped off and now I have nasty scratches on my windshield. It took me all of 2 minutes to actually clip the blade into place, but the damage was already done while he had possession of the truck.

So much for respecting each others possessions, or equipment !! Poor Little Seabiscuit !!

Aug 23, 2010

They're Creepy and They're Kooky....

mysterious and spooky...

They're altogether ooky.......

Don't you just love it when everything about your day seems to be perfect.

Nothing like a ride on a deserted highway in the middle of the night, so serene. That in itself seem to set the mood for how my Monday would progress. First stop, Memphis.

I was able to make both Memphis deliveries without any turmoil. Sure, I had to climb around all over and underneath the trailer, but that is just part of the job. I was concerned that I might not make my Kentucky delivery on time, but I was well within delivery hours when I arrived.

I arrived at the truckstop with plenty of time to get Seabiscuit and myself thoroughly cleaned up....

Hold up, right there!!

While I was driving up Hwy 51, heading towards Madisonville, Kentucky, I noticed some sort of crud all over my leg and seat. I brushed it off without too much thought. But then, shortly thereafter, I noticed even more crud on my leg. What the hell?

At first, it resembled "fluff" and wood splinters, which would be no big surprise... I carry a wooden shim with me to prop open the curtain on the trailer. Thinking perhaps, it was time to get a new one, I dismissed the ick as remnants of that wooden shim, which I put in my back pocket.

I brushed it off again, and was beginning to really get frustrated when even more manifested on my leg. I stopped for a bathroom break, and that is when I noticed my seat was full of ????

After cleaning out the seat, I was convinced that the problem has been resolved, until I made my way into the shower.

Ahhhh, bliss. After soaking in hot water for an eternity, I started to wash my hair and that is when I found out where all the crud in my seat was coming from. It seems that while I spelunking and exploring the dock at my first Memphis delivery, I inadvertently walked through a huge cobweb. This thing was tangled throughout my hair!!

And not only was it loaded with bits of dust, fur, and other unidentifiable debris, it was also filled with the skeletal remains of numerous bugs!!!!!


At least I no longer had to wonder where all the crud was coming from, and I can only hope all the critters were already dead !!

ACK !!!!!! Is something crawling on me?? Great, now I have the heebie jeebies!!

But all is well that ends well. I am camping out in Earth City, Missouri after a beautiful but blinding sunset. The rest of the week should be a breeze with only 2 deliveries per day, that is unless, I can so some sweet talking..

Aug 18, 2010


A long time running joke between myself and AA, is that the nice folks in Maryland are out to get me. I am more convinced that the fine folks of South Carolina have me in the cross hairs, but I will let the facts speak for them self.

Every time I have ever had a MAJOR breakdown, it has been within 50 miles of Washington DC. Every time I have had a MAJOR breakdown, it has been on I-95. I travel this area with fear and trepidation because this is where I lost a drive shaft in a spare truck during rush hour, going up hill in the center lane. I loathe this area, because this is where I blew the air compressor fittings and was forced to come to an immediate halt, barely making the shoulder of the road in time to clear traffic. Okay, seriously, there is not much fear or trepidation, but I am reminded that IF I am going to break down, this will probably be the place I do it.

Today's adventure starts out no different than any other. I am making the rounds, grumbling about slow vehicles riding the center lanes. The unnecessary slow downs due to the fact that Joe Bob in his fourwheeler cannot multi-task, so everyone has to dodge him as he answers his cell phone and immediately becomes a nuisance to other motorists. But it is not just Joe Bob. It seems to be his entire entourage of friends and family, car and truck drivers the same. The WHOLE traffic pool of Maryland motorists seem to have forgotten what they are doing today. With only 42 miles from the state line to my customer, it almost seems ridiculous that I become so agitated in such a short period of time. But this is where I make my mistake.

Innocently enough, I make a bold statement on FaceBook, that everyone should steer clear of Maryland because the lunatics are out in full force. It seems Maryland must have been logged on at the time and read my proclamation.

Upon leaving my customer, I travel 41 miles back towards Virginia and just as I exit the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, my warning lights come to life.






In rapid succession, I glance at the gauges, I scan the roadway and I immediately reach for the Emergency Pilot Seat Ejection Button. Oh crap!! I am in the far left lane and my truck has just stopped running. Thankfully, the little pickup truck beside me acknowledges my turn signal requests and I am clear to dive right for the shoulder. Crossing 2 lanes of traffic, I find a nice wide shoulder to access the emergency.

Having already dealt with 3 coolant leaks, I was prepared to top off the fluids and get the hell out of DC before rush hour. This was not to be the case today. My radiator was empty.

After a search for the problem, I discovered I had blown the radiator hose, the main artery that cools the engine.

Oh joy of joys!! After sitting on the side of the roadway for 4 hours, I finally managed to get rolling with new hose installed, just in time for the 10-20 mph commute out of town.

Lesson Learned. No more fussing about a particular state while I am in that state. I literally coasted across the Virginia state line while spewing coolant all over the roadway. Maybe AA is right. Maybe Maryland does have a personal grudge against me.

As a quick aside... One would think our shop would provide us with spare hoses and such to prevent these types of occurrences. But NOOOO! This expenditure cost the company well over $300.00 just to replace a $20 dollar hose that I could have replaced my self, not to mention 4 hours of my time.