Apr 22, 2010

A Change of Pace

Just a little something different this week.

Loads are dispersed based on seniority here, and every week I sit with baited breathe to see if my beloved New England route is available. Actually, because there is only one other driver willing to take my run, it is not so much baited breathe...but rather, waiting to see if I need to put on the steel toe boots and do some shin kicking. When the Crane Trailer route lacks mileage/stops, my best bud AA will jump on the New England flight like a fat kid on a candy bar. That is what happened this week.

With only 5 deliveries and 1800 miles, it fell into my lap.

I love the fact that my job has many available facets to polish, and running the crane to me is like playing with big boy toys! So, I set out for 2 days of playtime.

Back at the ranch on Tuesday night means I will be looking for more work towards the end of the week, and as luck would have it, I am just about out the door to make a quick trip down to Medley, Florida. This is a regular drop and hook run, so that means no waiting!!

Apr 16, 2010

The Scenic View

I don't think I will ever get tired of this view !!
Looking at Manhattan from the base of the Robert F Kennedy Bridge.
Formerly known as the Triborough Bridge, and well, it will always be that to me.

This is a beautiful little scenic route I found in southeastern Ohio.
Route 78, running east out of Malta. I wish I could have taken better pictures, but this road
had so many crazy turns and the pitch itself would twist your stomach.
Although, it is a designated truck route, I would never advise taking a heavily loaded trailer down through here, unless you intend of going very slow!! This would be a great motorcycle route, or even better, the site of a Mazda commercial. Zoooom zoooom zooooom!!

Something you would NEVER see on the East Coast. This photo was taken in Wisconsin. Can you guess what I am referring to?

Watching the fog roll into Cleveland. This was actually very fascinating, as I literally watched the city become engulfed in this fog. By the time I made it to the north side of town, it was nearly impossible to see the buildings at all.

This picture was taken at one of my customers in Chattanooga, TN. Yes, I am parked in a residential neighborhood. It took me 3 attempts to get backed down onto this street. I came in from the west and and had to turn north to get lined up. What you may not notice are 1) the telephone pole on the SW corner, 2) the chain link fence on the NW corner, and 3) the tree/roots on the NE corner. Also, I had the pleasure of entertaining the neighbors whom had gathered on their porches to gaze in wild wonder. Getting out was a whole lot easier. I only had to drive through an empty lot at the far NE corner. Lucky for me, the city had tired of replacing the stop sign at that particular corner, so I didn't have to worry about cutting my tires, or damaging my brake lines while tearing down a stop sign.

Apr 12, 2010

B!tching and Complaining

Recently I have been going through some major changes and adjustments at work. Both the Boss and the Assistant, had both recently turned in their resignations. Lucky for me, the Assistant was convinced to stay, with a healthy pay raise and a snazzy new title. Lucky, I say, because she is the one person that every driver can count on at all times to know what is going on and to treat each driver equally. Corporate then decided to bring in a few more Chiefs to run the show. So now there is one fellow doing something....(I am not sure what), and another who had taken the Boss' position, while a third has been hired to seek out back hauls for every out going trailer. Yikes!!

The back haul situation is one that has been attempted in the past. It didn't last long because the Aluminum Company put an end to it when the trailers were not returned in a timely manner. This caused major delays in reloading and even shut the docks completely down a few times. So, I am anxious to see how long it will last this time. I know, most other truck drivers have to sit and wait on reloads, but that has never been the case with this dedicated account. I am concerned that the trucking company's greed will get the best of them. Aluminum should always remain the number one priority! Not to mention that I get paid peanuts for any additional work I do outside of my metal loads. Two weeks ago, my back haul took a total of 6 hours out of my work day, loading and unloading. It forced me to work 12 continuous days with very little time out of the truck, because my day off was spent playing with "additional" freight. And it only profited me and additional $37.50 to haul it. I do realize that I am at the mercy of the folks who sign my paycheck, but I am not too enthusiastic about working 6-7 days a week, for mere pennies more than I would make in 4-5 days.

Another issue that developed during the first week of seeking additional freight, was a crazy notion our new "Load Man" got lodged in his noggin. He wanted me to pick up a load in Indiana on Friday. A load that was not going to the Aluminum Company. A load that would then leave me stranded at a truck stop over the weekend, waiting to deliver on Monday. A load that would also knock me off of the following weeks dispatch for extrusions. A load that would tie up a trailer that would be needed to load the extrusions that I was not going to be around to haul. A load that would reduce the following weeks paycheck because I would be too busy sitting around a truck stop waiting for Monday to deliver outside freight and would not be able to return in time to haul my extrusion load because there would be no trailer to load it on and no driver to deliver it because I would be sitting my lazy ass at a truck stop all weekend WAITING. I asked the "Load Man" who was going to deliver this Indiana load, and pointed out all the pitfalls involved. He called me an hour later and said the load was cancelled, but I have a sneaky suspicion that someone told him that he could not follow through on those crazy notions of his.

As for the new Boss. I have not met him yet. But already he has ruffled my feathers indirectly. The first feather fluffing incident involved a small note that was placed with our load manifest his first week on the job. It simply stated that all drivers were required to fill out DAILY INSPECTIONS on our vehicles. Well, duh!! Not something to get upset over except that we do this already. If he cannot find them, maybe he should look in the Shop Foreman's trash can, where they are filed daily. Once again, the blame is laid at the feet of the driver, with no research or questions asked!! This, my friends, perturbs me to no end because of all the unnecessary complications I have faced while dealing the Shop Foreman, or Moe, as I like to refer to him...Head Stooge!!

The second issue I cannot wait to address with the New Boss, is load safety. This week, we all received pretty bright yellow stickers all over our trip packs requesting that drivers check their loads often, tighten straps and drive safely. I know, I know....it is just a sticker. But this sticker seems to indicate that the recent misfortunes with certain loads are due to driver negligence. Seriously, a sticker.....Why not teach the loaders how to place metal safely on a trailer to be hauled thousands of miles...That would be too complicated, now wouldn't it. I mean, after all, a sticker is the easy way out, except a sticker does not get my trailer loaded safely. I can tighten straps all day long, but if the metal does not have a good foundation, the load is going to collapse anyways. An experienced driver can work around these complications, but a new driver might not know what to do in a bad situation. Hey, lets give him a sticker and that will make it all better!! Lets just go ahead and blame it on the driver now and get it over with.

Third week in a row my load has collapsed!
No items were placed in the center to support the outer bundles!!

In reality, I am not complaining about the sticker, I am grumbling about the 3 punches that the Boss has already thrown at us, and I don't even have my boxing gloves on yet!

The third mussing of said feathers, came when it was brought to my attention that the temporary drivers were being dispatched first, because they had other things to do that week. Um, seriously, what have we spent years doing, building up our seniority if only to have the loads given to temporary drivers. And when asked why this happened, it was rumored that the Boss stated that in no uncertain terms that the permanent drivers would take what they were given or else they could seek other employment...WOW!! Now that definitely tends to ruffle the feathers, especially now that I have relocated back to Georgia, to eliminate my weekly commute.

I have no intention of abusing any of the new commanders, and the 2 that I have met are dealing with my personality very well. For example, when the Load Man called last week, I muttered into his ear, " Do you think it would be very rude of me to say What the heck do YOU want?" He laughed at me, because he has been told I am the company clown. I am anxious to meet the new Boss, and will do so at the conclusion of this load. Wish me luck!! I think I will leave my boxing gloves in the truck, at least for the first round.

Apr 8, 2010


What a crazy few weeks it has been since I last truly posted on here. I suppose the best way to get back on track, is to just jump right back in the middle of things. I keep thinking about the posts I have stored up mentally and the chronological order in which they should be published, but if I keep waiting for an opportune moment, they will all disappear into oblivion. So here goes...

I AM EXHAUSTED! Currently sitting in Milford, Ct, I am indulging in an afternoon of no obligations. Beginning on March 28th, I worked 12 consecutive days, which is completely unheard of for me. Normally, four days is all that is required of me per week.

In those 12 days, I drove approximately 5800 miles, which isn't much really. Only an average of 483 per day, but if you include the 25 deliveries I had to make in that time frame, you begin to see where I literally busted my hump. After returning to the yard last week, I picked up a rental truck and spent the next 2 days moving my household. I finished up just in time to grab a shower and jump back in the truck.

This is what is waiting for me upon my return!! What you cant see, is the 500 bazillion boxes waiting to be unpacked. I am thinking I should throw myself a housewarming party. All guests who unpack at least one box for me will get free lunch!! Another brilliant idea is to get rid of all my stuff....Ugh!! Keep the bare necessities and a few luxuries. You see, I hired a moving company to unload the truck for me. But due to their 2 hour late arrival, I unloaded a good portion by myself, knowing I had to go to work. As you can possibly imagine, I am quite sore.

So, therefore, I am quite content to be wasting my afternoon in this dusty ole parking lot. I am wore to a frazzle, and need to recuperate. Connecticut is as good a place as any!!

Apr 2, 2010

# 60

So Terry, why have you stopped posting videos? After that "Gravy Run" vid I thought you were on your way to the next level...They are truly missed.

There are several reasons I have postponed producing any videos...The foremost being time, creativity, and the general issues I have been experiencing with my computer, editing software and the desire for a better camera. I will be back, I promise!! There was also my move back to Alabama which led me to spending more time around family, and also added for additional commute time. I could really just sum it all up by stating that life got in the way. I have had ideas for several more videos and even began the editing process, but after struggling with the software/laptop for any length of time, I would put it back on the back burner. It seems that I have been promising the new videos for a year now, and I will get back to them in time.

I do appreciate your recognition of my efforts!!

Ask me anything

# 59

Are you a sports fan? If so which one

I am not what you would call a sports enthusiast, but there was a time when I would not miss a single broadcast of NASCAR. I have even been to several racing events, including Talladega, Atlanta, and Darlington. And let me tell you, there is nothing like trying to sit still while all that horsepower is raging around you.

As for team sports, I get pretty excited about college football, but not enough to follow the entire season and be able to quote stats and rankings...I love to sit down with friends and watch a game, but it is not my priority for the weekend. I will be one of the first to jump up and yell at the television, I think all sports are better when watched live, and I would just about attend any college football game, because of the electricity in the air. Being from Alabama, there is an underlying rule in college sports. You are either an Auburn Tiger fan, or you Roll with the Crimson Tide......Can I get a big WAR EAGLE !! Don't tell anyone, but I cheer for both teams, unless they are playing each other. In November, you can bet I have my blue and orange ready, but I was very proud that the Alabama Crimson Tide won the national championship last year. I think it was last year?!?

And for the record, one of my all time favorite movies is RUDY.

That is about it for me and sports, well, as for being a fan anyways.

Ask me anything

# 58

In school, were you a cheerleader or did you play sports? John II

I think I have answered this one already. I participated in every athletic program that was available to me..Basketball, volleyball, track and field and softball. One of the good things about attending a small school (graduating class of less than 40) is that everyone who tries out, actually makes the team. So while I cannot say that I was extremely talented in every sport I played, I can say that I got a lot of playing time.

Ask me anything

# 57

Who was the coolest, nicest, most handsome and outgoing neighbor you had when you were a kid? And if that doesn't get the answer I think it deserves, then who drove you and some other friends to the U2 concert in Fort Worth in 1988?

Oh, I know this one......but you forgot...honorary member of the family, neighborhood clown and keeper of the sack lunch!!

Bet you didn't think I would actually answer this question, now did ya?


Ask me anything

# 56

Do you read the Bible?

I was raised in a Christian family and attended private Christian schools throughout my life. While I may not openly discuss religon or politics , I will openly admit that I do believe in God.

Ask me anything

# 55

Are you happier single or in a relationship?

Truth be known, I am happier just being me. I have been through alot to become the person that I am , and quite frankly, I am so in love with me!! I don't mean this in a conceited way at all, but given the circumstances, I could have turned out totally different.

As for a relationship, I am also very in love with the idea of love. I believe in happily ever after, rainbows, and fairy tales. No, I am not waiting for my prince to come, but wouldn't that be nice. When I see a relationship that works, but has no visible sign of emotion, I feel sad for that couple. But, hey, your relationship is not for me to judge, right. Whatever works for you.

In my life, I have noticed that I tend to be more contented with everyday life if I am in a relationship, and on the same note, I also find myself more adventurous. I guess it is just that empowerment of knowing someone is there with you whether you succeed or fail.

Does this mean that I am in need of a relationship to make me feel whole. Absolutely not!! As I stated in the beginning, I am so in love with me! Would I prefer to be committed to someone? Yeah, sure! I have this amazing capacity to love, and naturally, I enjoy being able to share that with someone special. Gosh, I hope this answered your question.

Ask me anything

# 54

How long was your longest relationship?

My longest relationship is the one I have with myself. There has been good and bad times, but I can honestly say that I love the person that I have been molded into throughout all the challenges I have faced in my life.

With a man, my longest love affair lasted 7 years...and its decline was just one more factor that pushed me forward into my trucking career. We were in our early 20s when we met, and basically matured into completely different types of people with different goals. Even after the separation, we attempted to give it one more try, but with both of us knowing that it was just not meant to be, we parted ways with sadness and acceptance.

Ask me anything