Looks Like It’s Time For A Co-Driver

Well, just wanted & thought that it was time to let you all know that my wife & I have split up. She has moved on to the house we signed the papers on back in early February in my home town of Bartlett, TN. I am staying at the place on the lake in Mississippi that we moved to 4 years ago. We got a puppy together a while back & he will be 7 years old in July. The house’s backyard backs up to the city park that has a one mile jogging track around it. Our dog Ledger doesn’t like all the people coming by all day & is running back n forth all day barking at them. She thinks they willl start complaining & she will get in trouble, so starting on Monday the 23rd, he is gonna go on the road with me. I’m not giving him up (he is our oldest son & I love animals period). Of course I can’t leave him at home because I’m never there, so time for him to be daddy’s co-driver. I have been wanting him to go with me for a while now so this should be fun. He love’s riding & will have alot more room in my big truck that what he is used to.

One thing us for sure….nobody will ever mess with me out on the road. He’s a big baby, but acts so tough…lol. He is half Bull Mastiff & half Boxer. Can’t wait….might have to get him some kind of trucker t-shirt. Gonna leave you all with a shot of him begging for some chicken. Til next time peeps…



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Was Doing Good Til Today

While alot of the country has been getting hit with snow, I have pretty much stayed out of it up in the North West (where it usually is) til early this morning. I’m heading to Casa Grande, AZ from Logan, UT & when I got on US-89 early this morning, it had been & was snowing. It was tough, couldn’t see where the edge of the road was, trailer was sliding from time to time, & my wipers kept getting caked up with ice & wasn’t cleaning my windshield good. Normally I would have stopped, but when your on these smaller highways…not many rest areas or truck stops.

I finally found one in Mt. Carmel, UT & stopped to eat & wait a bit to see if it got better. I’m pretty close to the Arizona line & saw a post from another driver on Facebook coming North on 89 that it was closed at the border because of the snow. I was all set to roll out in the morning so I decided to check out the weather. They are calling for 8-12 inches tonight through Tuesday morning right where I’m at. Looks like I may be here a while. Be safe out there. Til next time peeps…

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Had A Long One Last Night

I had a delivery up here in Portland, OR that took 6 hours for them to unload me. Not to mention it cost $405 for them to unload me. We have those from time to time. Yep, the trucking companies sometimes have to pay the place to unload your truck that is loaded with the stuff that they ordered. Crazy huh? The reason for this is that that hire an outside company (lumpers) to do all the loading/unloading & they don’t have to pay for the benefits because they are not actually employed there. Kinda like a temp service.

Alot of our loads are “drop n hook” which means I bring in a loaded trailer, drop it, pick up an empty one & roll on. Every now & then it’s a live one like this & sometimes it takes a while. What makes it take so long is that there may be multiple items & some of these same items on different pallets so it all has to be separated & counted to make sure they got everything before us drivers can get the bills to leave.

Now I’m sitting at our terminal in Portland waiting for a new load to get back to Memphis. I am supposed to be there Tuesday because we (my family & I) are in the middle of moving back to my hometown of Bartlett, TN from Mississippi. We have been down there the last 4 years & I am so glad to be going back home. We are actually gonna be about 2-3 miles from the neighborhood I grew up in. My parents are still in the same house. Anyway, just wanted to check in with you all. Here is a shot of me waiting in line at a mine in Blue Diamond, NV last weekend. Til next time peeps…

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New Part Of Career Is Done

Hope you all have been good. Sorry that I have been missing for a while. Once I got into the “training” thing, it was just too hard for me to find time to do much else. That’s what I wanted to talk about. The last time I got to write for you, I had started training. Well, I’m done with it now. I didn’t like it. It felt good “teaching”, but was tough in most other areas. It totally messed up my schedule that I had set myself up on since becoming a solo driver. Plus you get no sleep….you can’t sleep while the trainee is driving & because there are two of us in the truck, they want you to do more miles in a day than you would if you were solo.

I like to leave real early every morning (between 3:00 & 6:00 am) so I can shut down for the day early. Since I couldn’t sleep while they were driving, I was getting up that early & letting them drive 8-9 hours & then I would drive a few more. Sitting in the passenger seat all day wore me down more than driving. Not to mention all the time in between that you had to go somewhere & let them practice backing for a couple of hours. The ones I did train did really well & are still doing good, but it’s just not for me. I love my job & was scared that it was gonna make not like it anymore. Anyway, gonna try to be on here more now that I’m back on my own.

A couple of Fridays ago I got stuck driving 215 miles in the snow coming out of Colorado. I’m gonna leave you with a shot of how dirty your truck gets doing that. Til next time peeps…

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New Part Of My Career

Well, I got back into town last Thursday & did a couple of local runs before I went home for the weekend. When I walked into the office, the safety girl called me over & asked if I would be a trainer. I said “I can’t because I have an automatic truck now”. She came back with “I will get you another new one with a stick”..(up until now, they only let you train in a stick so the newbies could learn how to drive them). I said ” I love my new truck & didn’t want another one”. She said “please think about it & let me know”.

About two hours into my local run, my dispatcher called me & asked me to do it. He said they are gonna let us train in the automatics now because eventually that will be all we have. He told me to please think about it & get back with him. I called my wife to run it by her & she started crying & said that she was so proud of me & to tell them I would do it. That made me feel so good (have such an amazing woman) & so I called & told him I would.

Got a voicemail from my dispatcher Friday giving me the name & number to my first trainee telling me to call him & tell him everything he needs to bring. I can’t believe they gave me one so soon. I called him & picked him up on Monday morning & we are now into our 4th day, sitting in Vegas waiting to get loaded. This guy is really doing good & is really cool. Hope all my trainees will be like him. I know they won’t but it’s been fun so far with him. This might be tough, but I sure am gonna try my best to really turn out good & safe drivers. Gonna leave you with a shot I have been wanting to get ever since I saw this road when I first started driving. It’s in New Mexico. Til next time peeps…

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The Open Road

Well, I have been thinking about this for a while now & coming up with ideas & trying to get better equipment for it. I have officially kicked off my YouTube channel. I’m still learning & working on things. Waiting on my laptop to get fixed so I can create better channel art so please bare with me. It’s way too hard to do that with my phone. It’s called “The Open Road With Jason”. Here is the link….http://youtu.be/5hcxDcPMP_o Gonna bring you along with me so you can see what everyday life is like being an OTR truck driver. Also gonna try to provide tips & tricks as I learn them. Gonna try to show things that you might not get to see if you can’t travel much. Hope you enjoy it & please subscribe if you like it. Thanks so much & looking forward to having fun with you all. Gonna leave you with a shot of an old cab-over truck that was parked behind me one night. Til next time peeps…

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Co-Driver

Well, last week I finally got to bring one of my girls out on the road with me. It was McKenna my 12-year old (the young one). Talk about a great time, man did we have fun & it was such a great time. It was really cool getting to show her all the things I have to do every day out here on the road as a truck driver. We ate at some really cool & good places & she got to see 8 states that she had never been to before. We played a lot of those silly games that you do when riding a long time with signs & stuff. She also drug me (kicking & screaming) into that damn game of “thumb wrestling”. I swear I think she is the only one that still plays that & she loves it. We always end up laughing so hard & it doesn’t work real good. It was a great time, she learned a lot about trucking, & got to see a lot of hard work. She really liked seeing how different things are in different states. I told my DM (driver manager) before we left that since I had an automatic now, I was gonna let her drive some…lol. He laughed. Can’t wait til she can go again, but now I have to try & squeeze my oldest in sometime. She is a high school Algebra teacher so I’m gonna try to take her when they are out of school for Christmas break.

Gonna leave you all with a shot of us from the road. Til next time peeps…

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A Little Faster Please

I have never been one to really speed my whole driving career (since getting my license when I was 16), hell…I don’t like breaking laws or rules. Have pretty much always been like that. If you just get up & get going earlier, there is no need to speed. I have figured that out since becoming a truck driver as well. Manage your time right when you aren’t driving & you won’t have to go over the speed limit. I have told you before that our trucks are governed at 65 mph. I start the day at 63 & once I drive for a while & get good fuel mileage it will bump up to the 65. I hear drivers all the time complaining about this…they say if your truck will do 70, better keep it. Most of the speed limits in the country are 65, some 70-75 & a very few places it’s 85. So as you can see, no need to go over 65 especially with a fully loaded 80,000 lb truck. I set my cruise control for 63 & push the pedal up to 65 if I need to pass anybody.

Now that I got that out of the way, for the past four days I have been in California where the max speed for trucks is 55 everywhere. I know it’s only 8-10 mph slower than what I can actually do, but it feels like so much more. It really wore me out, you feel like your driving your ass off & not getting anywhere. I got out of there today finally & it felt so good. It’s amazing how much different that little bit feels (I’m sure that’s how the ones that can do 70 & above feel about 65), but I’m staying legal & safe. If they would just even bump it up to 60 it would be so much better. That doesn’t seem like it would help, but trust me when you are doing between 500-650 miles per day, it really helps.

Gonna leave you with a shot I got at a truck stop of the sunset in Santa Nella, CA. Til next time peeps…

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Needs Improvement

If you have been following along, you know that I started with a Volvo truck & just got a brand new one last month. These trucks have curtains that you can pull around to meet in the middle to block your windows for sleep. We also have some that pull across behind the front seats to make your sleeping area really dark. You can leave them open & use the ones in the front to give you more room. I trained in an International & now have driven two Volvos. I love them, but wish they would find a better way for these curtains to work. They have these little plastic tabs attached to them that slide in this metal track so they can meet in the middle of your windshield to cover up all the light & give you some privacy. Some of those tabs were broke in my old truck when I got it so the curtains would droop down in spots. So I pretty much quit using them & just switched to the back curtains, just as good but you loose some room while being dark & private.

I haven’t even tried to use them in my new truck til two nights ago. They were so neatly tucked in behind my seats didn’t want to mess with them yet. The other night I decided to pull the passenger side out & around because the sun was bugging me while I laid in the bed. Keep in mind that they have never been used. When I unsnapped the strap to pull them out, two of those damn tabs were already broken. Now, how the hell did this happen without them ever being used? Maybe they tested them & they broke & just didn ‘t fix them? Who knows, but it ‘s crazy. Wish they would figure out a more sturdy way to secure these things. Guess I will just keep using the back curtains.

Gonna leave a shot of them for you to see. Til next time peeps…

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Some Credit Is Due

I’m from Bartlett (Memphis), TN & live just south of there in Mississippi now. My home terminal is right on the border of Memphis & Mississippi too. So, naturally when it’s close to time for me to come home…I get loads that deliver in that general area. There is a Wal-Mart DC that I deliver to alot in New Albany, MS which is only 60 miles from my terminal. There is a small truck stop a half a mile before you get to the Wal-Mart after you get off the interstate. That’s what I want to talk to you about.

It’s called “Regal Truck Stop”. It looks to be pretty old & kinda small, but it looks as if they are always working on it a little to make it nicer. They have pretty good food & enough parking for probably 12-15 trucks. Here is where I want to give the credit…I was there last night & there were two guys working that I haven’t seen before. They were really nice & made good conversation while I was in there. I asked for a roll of my dip (Copenhagen) which is 5 cans & they only had 2. I also informed then that their chocolate milk was out of date. One of them asked me if I had about 10 minutes? I said sure because I am shut down for my 10 hour break & couldn’t go anywhere til the morning. Turns out, they own another store right down the road & he went & got my dip & a good chocolate milk for me. Now, that’s what I call customer/trucker service.

Gonna leave you with a shot of a really sharp custom truck that is inside a Petro on I-44 at exit 4 in Missouri. That place is really awesome if you haven’t been there. Til next time peeps…

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