Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good Week...

We just finished up last week with 6900 miles. While we were leaving Texas and heading to KC we hit some high winds. Irene had all she could do to keep the truck on the road and at times we often thought about shutting down. We dropped at UPS in KC and then headed to Blythe, California just over the border from Arizona. We then were dispatched to LA California; and again greeted with high winds on route I-10. Unfortunately this time we were empty and this presented quite a challenge. With the “high wind warning” signs flashing at roadsides, we drove on noticing that most trucks had shut down and we were almost convinced that we should also. Finally we received that gust of wind we needed to confirm our decision to shut down…I really thought we were going over. It was perfect timing because I noticed a “Rest Area” sign at that moment, and to top it off, only 1 parking spot was left…thank you Lord for that sign.
After California we had a load going back to KC and once again high winds all the way thru Kansas. Luckily we had good weight on our trailer to keep us steady. Enough of the winds…send us somewhere calm! Well that wish was granted and we headed from KC out to Washington…just south of Seattle. But wait, you’re kidding me right? High wind warnings till 4am on I-70 in Nebraska and Wyoming…uhhh! And to make things even more interesting our load was only 4 skids at 100lbs. each. We made it as far as Wyoming and at that point we shut down for a few hours until the winds settled. Well is there anything else Mother Nature wants to show us…what’s that, snow…where, oh dang. When we hit the Wyoming/ Utah border it was snowing pretty good…it wasn’t sticking, but it was still snowing. The mountain tops were completely white but at least the roads were good. I love the Northwest…not much up here but absolutely gorgeous scenery... definitely one of my favorite places.

Of course with all the miles this past week there had to be a few humorous moments from my wife. I hope our readers understand that I am not picking on Irene nor trying to mock her…she just comes up with the funniest stuff…and of course being a blonde…okay now I am picking…lol. I love her more than life and she knows that.

We were merging into traffic on I-10 near LA, California when I said to Irene, make sure you don’t go all the way into the left lane when she interrupted and said “I know that’s the HIV lane”…I think you mean HOV sweetie…she said yeah whatever.

While at a rest area in Wyoming this past week, I remembered back to a recent trip thru Montana where we had stopped to use the restroom. It was late at night and while I waited for Irene to come out of the ladies room I read a warning sign about the Bison in the area. It basically explained that they are free roaming and not to try and approach them..Duhhh! Anyways once Irene came out she looked at the sign and asked me, are we safe…will they attack us? I couldn’t resist…no keep your eyes open and hurry to the truck…they are known to attack and kill their prey, just like Lions…she almost believed me.

While traveling thru Wyoming we chatted about how there is not much around and the houses are few and far. I noticed a helicopter and pointed it out to Irene and she said…that’s how you visit your neighbor in these areas…too far to drive to them…lol

Well enough for now…we received our dispatch from Portland, OR heading to South Holland, IL.

Stay tuned!


Monday, May 21, 2012

On the road again...

Back on the road again…Well after spending a week on home time it feels rather nice to hit the road again. We had quality time with the kids, visited with family, took care of some home projects, and managed to squeeze in 2 full days at the beach. Our daughters have completed their first year of college successfully and both are all set for next year. One will be staying at home for the summer and the other is staying at school. I can’t keep track of these kids. Our son is also at home and will be finishing up his Paramedic schooling this year. He is our caretaker of the house while we are on the road. Brave aren’t we…22 year old with full run of the place…we must be crazy…lol. Everything seems like it is falling into place and we are more content with being away from home. We miss our kids dearly, but they sure do appreciate everything we do for them.

Anyway when we came off home time, we picked up a load in Rocky Mount, NC headed for Vernon, California. We are now sitting in LA waiting for a load headed to El Paso, TX. This is not the best of “hoods” but Irene has my back…speaking of Irene, her geography hasn’t gotten much better. We were heading past downtown LA on I-10 and she says “wow, the city is huge, have we ever been there”…OMG Irene, you drove in there on the NOKIA theatre run. Oh that’s where it was she says…LMAO! Time to get the map and pointer out I guess. That girl never leaves me bored…I love sharing the road with her and each day brings a new laugh.

It’s funny when we mention to people that we drive as a team, some of them say how wonderful that must be to spend each day with one another and see the country. Others look at you like your nuts or they look at you like you are a 2nd class citizen. I have news for them, they have no idea what they are missing… The money is excellent running team, the view from our window every day is beautiful and constantly changing, and I spend it with my best friend, my love, my wife!

Friday, May 11, 2012

My…how times have changed!

Irene and I have been on the road now for about 7 months. Over that time I can’t help but think about how things have changed over the years in trucking. Growing up, my Dad was a driver for many years…I had uncles that drove, and my older brother is still a driver today…so I know a little bit about how it used to be.

Let’s start with the days of old…the early truckers who had no GPS, no laptops and Google maps or smart phones. They just had a map, CB radio, note pad and a pencil…oh, and a dime if they needed to make a call from the pay phone. These are the guy’s who paved the way for today’s truckers. Best known for their thermos’ full of coffee, driving for long, long hours, and of course always stopping off at the truck stop for a little diner food. And we cannot forget the hat, boots, and a giant belt buckle. There are not many of these Icons left out there but occasionally Irene and I will come across one at the truck stop sitting in his truck with his map, pad, and pencil mapping out his route for his next run…almost like stepping back in time when you see them. That’s just the way they learned the job, and it’s always worked for them and that’s all that matters. I have a lot of respect for these old schooler’s…and wish that a lot of today’s drivers could take a lesson or two from them.

Speaking of today’s drivers…oh here we go!

First let me start off by saying that not all of today’s drivers fall in this category. There are a lot of good drivers out there today, both male and female who do things right…present themselves professionally…and take pride in who they represent. We have met some great drivers along the way…and made some great friends…and to them I say, thank you for making a positive impression to the public.

As for the small group that I am about to kick in the ASS…shame on you for the nasty impression you leave!!! Here it is plain and simple…

If you want to wear your pajamas while you  are driving…please change into your work clothes before you exit the truck. So many times I have seen drivers delivering to their customers, or at truck stops, and yes even at their own employers place in there pajama bottoms…if you worked for me, I would fire your ASS!

Next there are the ones who feel the need to drive  with  flip flops or slippers on…boots okay, sneakers okay…anything else I would fire your ASS!

Here is another little tip for some of you guys and girls…the truck stops have showers…use them! They are usually free if you have a rewards card at some of them. When I can smell you from across the store that’s gross…and when I climb back in my truck and can still smell you that’s just NASTY and you are going to a customer and representing your company...oh hell no…you guessed it ,your ASS would be fired!

For the ones who can’t take their lazy tail out of the truck and walk to a trash can, to dispose of their garbage…that would rather just toss it out the window…yes once again your ASS would be fired also!

Here is another clue to help ya along with your career…when you stop for fuel at the fuel island, fill your truck first, and then pull forward, so the next person coming in can fuel while you shop or use the restroom. It’s not rocket science…it’s common courtesy!

Oh…and speaking of using the restroom…when you finish, wash your hands, and this includes women too…where the hell were you brought up in, a barn?

The CB radio is used to relay info regarding weather problems, traffic delays, where a radar trap may exist, and other useful information. It’s not meant to talk about your personal life, sexual experiences, or other personal matters…oh and cussing on the CB radio…if you worked for me…you guessed it…FIRED!

I could go on and on about the 10% that ruin it for the rest of the industry…but I am probably boring ya’ll, so I will stop my rant. I just wish the few bad apples out there could take some lessons from the old schoolers. And if they couldn’t figure it out after that…then they need an old school boot in there ASS…notice I said boot and not flip-flop or slipper…lol

I’m done with my rant…and feeling better now…lol…ya’ll be safe out there and do not forget MOM this Sunday on Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Life is good...

Another month gone and only two breakdowns…things are looking up! Luckily they were minor and one only kept us down for the day. We have made the decision to hold out till June and at that time the company will give us a new Volvo to drive. Nice trucks and we can hardly wait.

We still ended up with decent miles for the month along with some good trips. We had one run that took us from Illinois up thru Wisconsin and Minnesota on I-90/I-94 across North Dakota…a route we had not seen in quite a while…at least in the daylight. Not much to see in Dakota but the rest of the ride is fabulous. We had a trailer we were dropping in Tacoma, WA and for the 1st time since we started…we managed not to see any snow in the northwest…just high on the mountain tops is all.

Once we dropped our trailer we headed to Oakland CA where we picked up a UPS load that was heading to Denver and then from there onto Chicago…quite a nice loop we did in a handful of days. From there it was down to Miami where we enjoyed the sunshine.

We have been on the road a little over 6 months now and there is never a dull moment. We have met some great people along the way and made some good friends. The road never gets boring and of course Irene is always entertaining. I have to admit at 1st it was very frustrating at times but each day life on the road gets easier. It took us about 4 months just to silence the interior of the truck…all the rattles and squeaks that come from the rough ride. In addition, a lot of the runs we are doing now are ones we have done before so you know what to expect in advance. It’s just wonderful seeing the sun rise and set every day through the windshield, along with the moon as well…Kids are healthy and happy…mom and dad enjoying life…what more can I say.