Posts Tagged With: travel

East vs West

So, I’m always hearing about drivers complaining about going to different parts of the country. They say I prefer the west coast or I prefer the east coast. I even heard a driver at one of our terminals say he told his dispatcher that his atlas was blank east of Tennessee. It seems that most to me would rather run out west, I on the other hand prefer the east. I guess it’s maybe because when I first started on my own…Indiana was about the farthest west (being out of Memphis) I went for a while. I stayed east & north east for a good while & basically learned to drive a truck there. I don’t turn loads down (I go wherever they need me to go), but I don’t like California & Oregon. 

Oregon is just beautiful, but both of these states has the truck speed limit at 55mph. I’m not one that complains about our trucks being goverened to certain speeds, but both of these states have alot of hills/mountains & when we hit these with loaded trucks it’s hard for us to get up them. We end up only going like 35-40mph. That makes for a very long day. Feels like you have been working your ass off & not getting anywhere. I guess that’s my main reason for not liking going there. It’s a pain to find truck parking in California too. 

The other thing that I do like about the east is…winter. They prepare the roads ahead of time & it’s much easier & safer for all drivers. Out west, they either tell you to throw on chains or they just completley shut the road down. I don’t mind the rest of the west, just not all the way to the coast. Where do you like to run & why? Here is a shot of a cool truck I got at a Pilot in Texas. Later found out that it was done on CMT’s “Trick My Truck”. Til next time peeps…

  

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Oh, The Rest Areas

I know you are familiar with rest areas from family vacations growing up. We have them all over the south where I’m from. Alot of truckers park in them at night. I have every now & then if I was running late, but mostly just use them for quick bathroom breaks because they are real easy to get in & out of. What I never knew until I became a truck driver, is that up in the northeast they are called “Service Plazas”. They are really cool….you can get fuel, they have a few restaurants in them, Starbucks, & small  convenience stores in them.

We went on vacation every summer when my brother & I were growing up & way back then I had the idea or wondered why nobody had thought to put gas/fuel pumps & stores in the rest areas. I guess somebody with money & the same idea started them up here in the northeast. Money always beats you to the punch on great ideas huh? Anyway, I think they should change all the rest areas over to these “Service Plazas”. They are really cool & makes traveling alot easier on you than having to get off at an exit & go through all the traffic & lights. Next time you travel up here, be sure to check one out. Gonna leave you with a shot I take earlier of just some trees at this one I’m at tonight. It’s the Midway Service Plaza on 76 in Pennsylvania. It’s really pretty up here when all the leaves start changing colors in the fall. Til next time peeps…

  

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The Collection

Since we as truckers get to go through so many states, was wondering if any of you try & collect certain things out here on the road? I have heard of shot glasses, key chains, magnets, & some other things. A few months ago I actually started on the shot glasses…kinda cool…all sorts of things on them & you can always find the ones with the state names at the truck stops. They don’t take up much room to display so they are kinda easy. But, however I am strictly a beer drinker….nothing else, so it’s not like I’m gonna grab one off the shelf & fill it with any of that other nasty stuff. 

I have decided to switch over…my girlfriend is a big coffee drinker & I like it too, so I have switched to getting coffee mugs. I just don’t drink it much out here on the road. I love the truck stop coffee & they even have my French Vanilla creamer, but it makes me have to go to the damn bathroom too much & I don’t like stopping much once I start driving for the day.  Anyway, think the coffee cups will be better because we can collect them & actually use them. I just started on these a couple of days ago & have 4 so far. 

I also helped start a collection. A while ago I started buying postcards from each state to send home to my almost 14 year old daughter. She said she has them all on a wall in her room. It’s fun, but hard to find stamps & mailboxes at the truck stops. Let me hear about some of the things you have collected or are thinking about starting on. Gonna leave you with a shot of the one I just got here in Fargo, North Dakota. 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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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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Need A Vacation Spot

Or just move there. I get asked all the time “What is the coolest/prettiest place you have seen since you became a truck driver”? Well, there have been a bunch & hard to say but I found a little town this morning that I fell in love with. It was in Utah & was called “Moab”. From I-70 in Utah, you take US 191 South (which is called “Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway”) & you will run right into it nestled in the mountains right at the Colorado River. I didn’t get to take any pictures of the actual town because I was so busy looking at all the stuff there. They had what looked to be brand new cabins to rent, there was a place to rent Hummers & Jeeps, you could rent mountain bikes, go rafting…there was even a sign about a zipline. There was a whole load of cool little shops/stores that pretty much all faced that road. All kinds of places to eat & the whole place was so clean looking. The crosswalks were even made of red brick inlaid in the street. I’m sure there is a ton of other stuff as well that I just didn’t get to see. It just really looked like a great place to be.

I’m sure it would great to live there, but just imagine a vacation with those different things to do. Check it out if you get the chance to. Like I said, I didn’t get any pictures there, but I did get some on that road on the way in so I will leave yall with one of them. Til next time peeps…

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Young Man & A Peep Show

Ok fellas, remember growing up & you were taught to yank your arm up & down when passing an 18-wheeler to get them to reach up & pull that string to blow their loud air horn? Well, I got my first one of those last week. I glanced over to my left while driving & this young man was cranking his little arm really hard for me to do that. Well, the trucking industry is trying to phase those out because they are too loud & scare drivers so ours is just a button on the steering wheel & it doesn’t sound like much more than a regular horn. I am training in a 2013 International. I hit that little button & made him smile, but sure wish that I could have pulled that string & really surprised him. Still brought back good memories of being that little boy a long time ago…lol.

Now for the second part, I was driving up 55 North in Missouri heading to Chicago last night, I glanced over to my left & there was this mini-van riding right beside us. This big ole girl in the passenger seat had her left leg thrown up on the dashboard & had her big ole boobs flipped out & was just a smiling at me. Have heard about this, but this was my first time to experience it since I have been out. Nice little surprise while driving down the road. I have also heard all the stories about the ladies (basically hookers) at the truck stops taking advantage of the lonely truck drivers at the truck stops. They call them “lot lizards”. I have yet to see one of them yet. I’m sure as hell not gonna mess with one, but would be neat to just see one walking around the lot just to see what really goes on & to say that I have seen it. Gonna leave you all with a shot of the freeway we went under while cruising through Atlanta. Til next time peeps…

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Pretty Places

When I first started out on this job there were a bunch of states that I hadn’t been to before. Now, I only have about 9 left to see. I know some of these won’t be a big deal to some of you because you may have been there, are from there, or live there now, but I just wanted to list a few that I thought were really pretty. My first week out we were up in the North East. Virginia & Pennsylvania were really nice driving around & through the mountains & hills (although kinda scary for a first time driver in a heavy ass truck). Really pretty colors in the trees & I love seeing all rock walls on the side of the road.

One that really surprised me was Albuquerque New Mexico. Not many trees or much grass, but all the rocks & stuff were really sharp. Back home where I’m from in between the interstate we have just boring grass. Here it was all decorated with different colored gravel in patterns & trees & plants. There were even guys out there raking the gravel in certain areas to keep it clean looking. Really cool to look at while you are driving.

The next two spots that just blew me away. Oregon & Washington. Really scary turns, hills, & downgrades for truckers (can especially see during winter time), but man what beautiful stuff to look at. Mountains covered in trees, rock, snow & amazing clearwater streams & rivers running all around you. I’m a huge fan of any kind of water feature. So beautiful & relaxing to me. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind retiring up there somewhere. If you get a chance, maybe plan your next vacation to one of these spots instead of the same ole one you always do (growing up we went to Destin Florida every single year). Gonna leave you with a shot of one of the rivers beside the road in Washington. Til next time peeps…

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