Well, today has been the fifth day that Ledger has been on the road with me. I was only really worried about taking him to the bathroom on a leash because he is so strong he pulls you where he wants to go. But so far he has been good at listening to me. He has always liked riding & I figured this would be even better because he has so much more room in this big rig. My only complaint is when we stop & he sees somebody walking around….he goes crazy with the barking & growling. They can be 300 yards away, but I guess he thinks they are coming to the truck. It’s annoying, but I know he is just trying to protect me.
He has got it all figured out now on this day 5. As soon as we roll out in the mornings, he gets back in my bed & sleeps all day. But, like an alarm in his head…as soon as I slow down on an exit ramp & stop to turn, he pops straight up & jumps back in the front seat so he can start picking out people to yell at…lol, he’s so damn funny. It’s been great so far & I love having him with me. Here he is laying in the bed. Til next time peeps…
Tags: bark, co-driver, dog, mans best friend, pet, protect, riding, sleep, truck drivers, truckers, trucking
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…
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…
Well, I got to our headquarters in Phoenix, AZ this past Wednesday night to pick up my new truck. I freaking love it. It looks the same on the outside but the interior has different colors & is a little nicer. The surprise was that it is an automatic. Yep, I can just put it in “D” or “R” & just give it gas. I was kinda worried about how strong it would be if it had a load on it, but once you get going, it’s no different than my old one. It pulls just fine. It is however a little slow getting going. It has 12 gears (my old one had 8), & since it shifts itself, it gets into 9th gear in about 100 yards. It’s gonna take a little getting use to, but I think I’m gonna like it. It does feel weird that a big rig has an automatic in it. It’s really nice knowing that it is a 2015 model though. Love opening the door & smelling that “new car smell”.
The one thing that I don’t like though is that it has that new safety system on it called “Bendix”. If I get to close to the car/truck in front of me, it slows me down. Well, if you have the cruise control on….if you don’t have that on, then this annoying ass alarm goes off to warn you. Now, I have never been one to ride on somebody like that but if somebody passes me & then jumps over in front of me then it gets me that way too. Oh well, what can you do? It saves the company money on insurance so I guess it’s a good thing. All I know is that my truck is brand new & it sure feels good knowing that the people I work for appreciate my hard work enough to put me in one.
Gonna leave you with a shot of it before I left Phoenix. Til next time peeps…
So, if you have been following along…you know that I have now been an OTR truck driver for a year. April the 25th was my anniversary. It’s really hard work at times, but I have loved every minute of it. I have always been one of those that felt when you go to work….you do your damn job. I starting working 29 years ago when I was 15 years old & have been at it ever since. I never really felt appreciated at any job the way I have this past year than I have with the group of people & company I work for now. They are great….looking forward to retiring with them. I drive for Knight Refrigerated & my terminal is out of Memphis.
I have really worked hard & tried to do my best & it looks like it has paid off. I haven’t had any tickets, violations, accidents & I even passed a DOT Level 1 Safety Inspection about 2 weeks ago. I have never complained or said that I wouldn’t do a load. We aren’t what it is called “forced dispatch”, but I feel that if the company I work for asks me to do something, then it’s my job to get it done in the best way I can. In the year that I have been driving on my own, I have only been late twice. The first time was the second load I ever did….I got stuck in a bad traffic jam in Philly. The other time was because I had a flat & it took those goobers 4 hours to get me fixed. I’m sure there will be others come up in the rest of my career, but I just really hate being late in anything I do.
I guess I will get to my point now. In the trucking world (at least to us newer ones) when your company decides to put you in a newer truck….it is looked at as kind of a promotion & makes you feel good. My DM (driver manager) has kinda been talking about me getting a new one for quite a while now. I have asked a couple of times since then, but didn’t want to bug him about it. So the other day, he gave me 3 pre-plans (loads that go together to get us around the country). I was to take one to PA from OH, then pick up in VA going to KY, & then pick up in IN going to NM. A little while after I started working on the first one, he called me & told me that when I pick up the NM load…to just bring it down to our terminal in Memphis. Another driver is gonna take it from there. We do that sometimes to help get drivers home when they need to so I didn’t think much of it. He then told me that I was gonna pick up another driver there & we are gonna drive my truck to our headquarters in Pheonix, AZ to get our new trucks. Hell yea. I told him that sounds great & I am excited. I also told him that I really like my truck & kinda hate to get rid of it, but that something a little newer would be nice. Then he told me (which really has me excited)…he said “No, you have done such a good job for us, you are getting a “brand new” truck. Oh, hell yea…now you see why I can ‘t wait to pick up that NM load & get it to Memphis. My hard work has paid off & these awesome people are showing me.
Gonna leave you all with a shot I got early one morning of the spillway to the dam on the lake we live on. Til next time peeps…
I’m sure most of you have heard that us truck drivers can only drive so many hours a day. But, did you know that we can also only be “on duty” for 70 hours in a 7 day stretch? My wife got to come back out with me last Friday & I was to get her back home this morning to give my parents a break from watching our kids so she could go. We took a load out to Vegas & then picked up one in Utah that I was gonna drop in Kansas City. I was to then pick up in Carthage, Mo to take a load home to get her back. Well, that load cancelled before we got to KC.
I ran so hard trying to make all this happen (did 625 miles Wednesday & 615 on Thursday) that I didn’t pay attention to that 70 hour clock & it snuck up on us. I was now (yesterday) faced with not enough hours to get her home. This Utah load was actually going all the way to Anderson, In so I just stayed on it instead of dropping it in KC. On the way, we found a Pilot truck stop in Effingham, IL that had a Greyhound bus station inside of it. So, I put her on a bus late last night & got her sexy self home early this morning. I delivered the load to Anderson this morning & made my way down here to Franklin, In for my pick up in the morning. I will get almost 11 hours back tonight so I will be able to get this load down to Memphis tomorrow. I have been doing this almost a year now & have never seen or heard of a bus station in a truck stop. Thought that it was so wild that we found one right when we needed it. Crazy how things work sometimes huh?
Gonna leave you all with a shot I got at a little truck stop in Golden, Co on the way here. Til next time peeps…
Tags: 70 hour clock, bus station, Colorado, driving hours, Greyhound, Indiana, Missouri, truck drivers, trucking, Utah, Vegas
Ok, last week sometime I posted a topic to my truck driver’s group on Facebook & it got a great response. I basically said “The guys that pull the cattle trailers probably make alot more money than me, but there is no way that I could pull them knowing that I was taking them on their last ride”. It got a bunch of answers on both sides. One guy said that they are not pets & were raised to be slaughtered. I said that I look at all animals as pets & just couldn’t do it. Hell, I even owned a pet store back in the early 90’s.
A few nights later I was eating at an Arby’s inside of a truck stop & an older gentleman sat down in the booth behind me & we started talking. As it turned out, he was one of the ones that hauls cattle. I told him about my topic & he told me that he doesn’t haul them to be slaughtered…he just hauls bulls to places for breeding. I didn’t think about that or know that was a part of it. This is the first trucking job I have had & only know the rules & things to what I do. I pull a refrigerated trailer & carry food. So, it’s pretty cool to me learning or asking these other guys in trucking about how things go with what they do. We can only be 80,000 lbs total in weight & can slide the tandems (the wheels under the trailer) back & forth to change the weight up. He said that he can max out at 95,000 lbs. I have noticed that their tandems don’t move so I asked him how they get the weight right? He said that in the long time that he has done this, only once did a DOT officer say that he was too heavy in the back. He said he asked the officer, what can I do….go back there & ask the heavier ones to move to the middle? I thought that was funny, but what could you do? He also said that you have to stop at a stockyard every 10 hours & let the cows out to eat & get water & then load them back up to keep rolling. I’m sure it pays pretty good, but that sounds like a alot of work.
Anyway, I just thought it was kinda cool meeting somebody that actually did it to learn some stuff from after posting that topic in my group. I’m gonna leave you all with a shot of some old train tracks that were behind my truck while I was getting loaded in Bonner Springs, KS. Til next time peeps…
The Friday before last I got loaded in Arkansas to go up to Auburn, Washington. I had been up there once back in the summer when I was in training. I hadn’t been yet on my own & wasn’t crazy about going since it’s winter now. I’m not one of those drivers that’s gonna tell my dispatcher “I’m not going there”. It’s our job to go where they need us to go. So, I set out for this long journey & was just hoping I wouldn’t run into parts on I-80 that was closed off or needed to have chains put on. If you need to put chains on, it’s too bad to drive these long, heavy things in my opinion. Other than worrying about all the mountains, snow, sleet, ice & whatever else, I did kinda want to go because it’s so beautiful up there. Just go in a car.
Anyway, I made that delivery (after waking up that morning with “pink eye”) & was wondering what I was gonna get next. Hoping I had a little time to rest & recoup my eye. It was great, my next pick up was 2 days later & back down in Oregon. I went on & left the next morning to get as close as I could to the pick up. It was like 43 degrees & pretty….no snow in sight. Then, a little ways ahead I saw what looked to be a wall of fog. It made sense because there were streams & lakes all around. I figured once I drove in it for a little while I would get through it. As soon as I got in it, the temp dropped to 12 degrees & could hardly see. Cars were passing me & then they would disappear right in front of me. Keeping in mind that this was like 2:00 in the afternoon. It was weird too because usually fog gets your windshield wet & you have to use your wipers. Well, this never did that….it was almost as if it were smoke. I slowed way down & got through it, but this went on close to 100 miles. I’ll try to catch you all a little later (shut down now in Colorado because of snow). Gonna leave you with a shot of this mess. Til next time peeps…
Ok, you all know that I had to spend the weekend in a casino hotel after delivering Friday morning. I decided to go outside Saturday & see if I could find anything to do to keep from sitting in the casino & blowing my money. You know how I love taking pictures & behind the hotel was lake Mead. I decided to walk back there to see if I could get some good shots. I found a fence at the edge of the parking lot so I was scared I would be blocked off from getting close. Well, I found a gate that said there was a trail with 5 tunnels. Keep in mind that I just turned 44 & am not in shape. So, I got on the trail & tried to find these tunnels. I finally found them & man were they cool. The sign said that were carved out in these separate mountains back in 1931 for this trail. I was thinking that surely they didn’t do all that work for a walking trail. I started noticing the direction it was going & decided to ask some others that were walking if this led to the Hoover Dam, they said yep & that’s what it was for. Awesome, have never seen it before & figured it would make for some great pictures.
Little did I know that the damn thing was 5 miles long, but I wasn’t turning around now. So, yes…..my old & out of shape butt walked 10 miles that day. By the time I got back, my back was killing me & my whole body was sore. I was thinking that I wasn’t gonna be able to get up Sunday. Here is the funny thing, when I woke up Sunday morning, the only thing that was sore were my ass cheeks…lol
I got a bunch of great shots, but don’t want to clutter up my blog so I’m gonna leave you with what I think is my favorite one. Til next time peeps…
I just wanted to tell everybody that I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday with your families today. Today is also mine & one of my daughter’s birthday so we did birthdays & Thanksgiving this past Sunday at my parents since we knew I would be out on the road today. Yep, I got loaded in Missouri on Tuesday & deliver to Vegas in the morning. Kinda crazy spending your birthday & Thanksgiving driving 605 miles, but it comes with the job huh? I guess the holiday kinda made up for it. Not too many places will be open tomorrow so I can’t get loaded again until Monday, so my dispatcher is putting me up in a casino hotel in Vegas for the weekend. That should be pretty cool since it will be something different for me. Plus, I will get to drink a few beers (since I will be off duty for 3 days) & relax & watch some damn football for a change….lol. Hope you all had a great day.
Last night I stayed at a truck stop just as you get into New Mexico from Texas (on I-40) that had a really cool car museum inside of it. I will leave with a shot of one of those cars. Til next time peeps…