Aug 27, 2011

It Is Finished

My days as a flatbedder are over. I finished my final run on Wednesday night, after taking a final tour of New England. Quite possibly the best route to finish with, as I was able to visit with numerous customers who have become more like friends throughout the past decade. I actually had no desire to even make the final journey because I have become so emotionally removed. Throughout my journey, I have actually been employed by several trucking companies supplying the power unit, but my loyalties always remained with Bonnell.

There was no love lost with all the changes that have taken place within management of this dedicated account. There is definitely no love felt towards the maintenance department. But there is also no need to rehash any of the issues that plagued my career in aluminum.

I am a little surprised at the reactions I have received concerning my departure.

Most responded in a way I would have expected. On several occasions I have become quite misty eyed, while saying my goodbyes. I have listened to others complaints and desire to move on. I have received much support and encouragement over my decision. But the most surprising reaction came from inside the office. My dispatcher said nothing... My Boss, on the other hand, wanted to sit down with me this week in an attempt to make me reconsider. After 3 failed attempts to meet with him, I received a voicemail, telling me to just drop off my keys with security and "Thanks for all the hard work"...

That was it.... A single 5 second impersonal message! I can't say that I really expected much more than that, but it was still insulting. Oh well, in the past 3 years, we have had a higher turn over rate in management than with drivers. So it is not like they really knew me, anyway.

And for those of you who have followed my rants about maintenance, I did find it in my heart to bid the mechanics farewell. The Stooges have been a royal pain in my ass over the past few years, and like most of the bosses have stated in defense of their antics... They really are nice guys.

And with that, this Chapter concludes...

No turning back...

Aug 10, 2011

When all else fails... ABANDON SHIP

I have been meaning to sit down and post about the latest events and occurrences in my life. But to be honest, there is not much to report. I have been dealing with the same maintenance and repair issues that have been prominent in my work life for the past three years. In truth, there is just no need to keep beating a dead horse. I have tired of trying to work thru the weekly dilemmas. I have found myself to be completely frustrated on a daily basis. I have morphed into that grumpy old truck driver who bitches about everything. While not actually verbalizing it, my emotional state for the past 6 months has been nothing short of irate.

The previous 6 consecutive weeks, I have been in 4 trucks. Ask any driver, swapping trucks on a weekly basis is unacceptable. It is my home on the road. I should not have to clean a truck per week just to feel comfortable enough to sleep in it. FIX MY TRUCK !!! Air leaks, coolant leaks, dead batteries, alternator problems, AC malfunctions, regen malfunctions, front end problems... And the list goes on. Most of these repair requests have been submitted numerous times over the past 6 months. How is it that I can detect these problems, but the mechanics cannot?

I could write a small novel on all the complaints and resolutions that I have been through in the past few weeks. And I use "resolution" very loosely! For example, the shop had my truck the first week because the APU did not work. After it was repaired, the floor was flooded with condensation and misdirected drainage tubes. That same week, the air conditioner failed, leaving me in a sweltering and rancid piece of equipment. Two weeks to fix the minor issues and replace the mildewed flooring. During those 2 weeks, I spent several hours in truck stop repair shops to have MAJOR issues repaired on the spare trucks that I was driving. The following week, I manage to relocate back into my truck and it took me 7 hours to make a round trip of 56 miles, before moving into yet another spare truck in need of repairs. The next week, back in my truck, only to find dead batteries and an alternator problem. I think perhaps my favorite recent "repair" is when the mechanics deflated my steer tires by 15lbs to eliminate the front end issues that have been plaguing my truck since they rebuilt the front end last year. Wow, if the proper inflation was the culprit, seems like such a waste to have given me 2 different sets of steer tires because of irregular wear patterns. The Boss suggested that I permanently swap into another truck. That is when I suggested he try sleeping in random strangers beds in the low rent district.

I am not exactly sure which straw broke the camels back. But I am over it!! Emotionally drained, I have given up hope on ever finding the light at the end of the tunnel. The Volvos will not be replaced for another 6plus years and the mechanics have found a niche in which they are excused from being incompetent and allowed to neglect their obligations. I just don't get it..

Ten years, I have loved my job!! Ten years, I have worked through numerous issues without too much complaint. Ten years of service! Ten years of doing everything I needed to do to keep the customer happy without a second thought. Ten years....

It is time to move on !!

I have begun the process of getting hired with a new company in a completely different division of the transportation industry. My final interview is scheduled for Monday and then off to training. I am soooooo excited about the next phase of my trucking career. I think it is a perfect fit for me. And yes, after 13 years of driving a commercial vehicle, the new company will require training... Another special commodities adventure !!

After ten years...

-posted from my iPhone

Aug 8, 2011


Testing a new blogger application....

-posted from my iPhone

Aug 7, 2011

A Little Entertainment...

There has been so much going these past few months and I promise to return to the blog soon. Perhaps with some exciting changes. Exciting for me, that is. But first...

Here is my latest video creation. ENJOY!!

In continuation of the Gravy Run, this is how a car-hauler does it!

I was recently approached by a car-hauler to help him with a video project. He had just finished watching Gravy Run and was determined to have his own standout video representing what he does. I agreed to the challenge. Armed with over 100gb of raw video and a systematically chaotic song, I attempted the impossible. This is the result....