Nov 24, 2011

Stating the Obvious

One of my biggest annoyances is trying to get through a Weigh Station. There are several that I pass by that seem to have a rhythm of their own. For instance, traveling south in Virginia, the traffic ALWAYS slows to below 55mph while approaching the Winchester Scale House. Doesn't matter what time of day it is, or what vehicle in is front of me. It always slows to 55mph.... It is a 65 mph zone!!

Speaking of which, the speed zone while traveling through the scale is 40 mph. Yeah, that doesn't happen either. Usually runs around 25mph, and once again, it doesn't matter what time of day or how many trucks are in line. Somebody is going to get anxious and try to creep through unnoticed. I sincerely wished DOT would pull these idiots around to the back just simply for being a dumbass.

My greatest annoyance occurs in North Carolina. On I-77 and south of Charlotte on I-85. These scale house have a platform with a light tree located at the end. The light stays a continuous green unless they want to check you more closely. If it flashes to red, then and only then is one expected to actually stop on the platform. It seems about 25% percent of the drivers will stop on the green and wait....  I have no idea what they are waiting for.

In the past month, North Carolina has taken into consideration that perhaps the red and green lights do not specifically indicate whether a driver should stop or go, so they added a sign with beneficial information for those who might be confused.

Organized Crime...

Try living in a daycab for weeks at a time...

Okay, so I do get the luxury on staying in a motel every night, which helps tremendously, since I am away from home for extended periods of time. No more of the 4 day work weeks for me!! But trying to cram your life into the floor space of the passenger side of a vehicle, and it can be trying to say the least.

At first glance, DISARRAY!!

But there is a method to my madness. Along the bottom, I have containers holding tools, gloves, truck supplies and underwear... These containers keep the heat from coming through the floorboard and ruining any food items and toiletries that I have precariously placed in another location. Boots and rain gear are crammed into the footwell area under the dash. There is one bag for clean clothes and another for the dirty garments. Laptop rests on top, along with a few edible staples in the green bag to ensure that I do not starve. Not seen in this photo is the shower bag and beverages that occupy the area surrounding the shifter...
In the next photo, you will notice my handy dandy plastic gun rack, which I purchased to hold my height stick.

This rack also holds ball caps, purses, food items, more rain gear, jumper cables.. The list gets pretty long. Other items are tucked into just about every nook and cranny. Truthfully, while driving down the road, I have on more than one occasion, glanced over and felt a little uneasy. While everything seems to fit into it's place, I would be confident in saying that IF the truck ever rolled over, I AM GOING TO GET HURT!!  (by my own personal belongings)

Oh well, at least it fits! Although,  I am still trying to figure out how to remove even more clutter...

Car-Hauling Etiquette 101

I am in no way claiming to be knowledgeable in the world of Car-Hauling, but with two months of experience under my belt, I thought I would point out a few inconsideration that I experience on a daily basis. Perhaps, with my attempt to enlighten the masses, a little more consideration might be put into action. Either that, or I will at least to get vent a few of my frustrations.

1) I drive a daycab, which means I have to find a motel that can accommodate my truck every night. A few things to consider when pondering "how hard could it be to find a motel", is the fact that my trailer not only rides very low, but also, overhanging trees can damage the cars. Therefore, I can't just whip into the first Super8 that I find and call it a night. Also, I use a direct billed company account and not all motels take the credit card. With that being said, I have run into several locations where there should have been adequate AutoHauler parking, but much to my demise, the lot is filled with idling trucks. If you have a sleeper on your rig, stay the hell out of motel parking lots. If you paid for a room, your truck should not be idling. I have been tempted on more than one occasion to deflate a few steer tires, purely out of spite. If I could sleep in my truck, I would. But clearly there is just no room, even for little ol me!

2) And while I am on the topic of parking... The average semi is approximately 70' in length. There are many rigs which measure in a lot shorter. A Car-hauler exceeds this with 75' while empty. An additional 7' is allowed for the overhang when loaded. That is 83 feet !! Don't worry, I am getting to the point. There are a lot of truck stops where the parking is designed for trucks to back up to one another creating dual rows. That is fine if you have two 70' trucks backed to each other. With the extended length of my truck, there is no way you are going to back into the spot behind me without hitting my cars. I am 13' longer, therefore, unless you want to keep your hood out in the driveway, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FIT !!  And for the record, I would have parked in the spot with the curb and grassy area behind it, but once again, my particular trailers sits so low, there are very few curbs that I can back over to get my hood out of the driveway.... Thankfully, I don't do truck stops, except to get fuel.

3) Next I would like to address highway use. This really applies to all motorists, but I will never win that argument, so I am going to get a little bit more in depth about why you need to leave more space before cutting in front of a loaded Car-hauler. This one is not for the general motoring public. This one is for all you freight jockeys who feel the need to merge back into my lane when your trailer has 10' of clearance passed my hood. If not in the name of safety, how about you cut me a break on my paycheck? Every time a rock or any type of road debris flies out from under your tires, it has the potential to hit one of my cars. It seems that dealers get a little upset when a load of brand new cars has paint chips. Of course, some one is going to have to pay for the damages. The same thing goes for any damage I may actually inflict myself such as turning too tight and creasing a bumper. Or dropping a deck too low and crushing the hood or roof. Danging straps also create damage potential. But yes, that flying debris coming from your tires as you swerve in front of me or ride over the edge of the lane into the shoulder, that is transport damage too. And that comes out of my Damage Free Bonus. If I do everything right, and you throw one rock at me, you have cost me money if that rock makes contact with my cars. Give me some room please!!

I am sure I will have  more to add to this as time progresses, but for now.... That is the first edition of Car-Hauling Etiquette