Sorry that it’s been a while since my last post, have been pretty busy. I’m sure you all knew how much I loved my job as a truck driver, but it has come to an end. I really loved it more than any job I had ever had, but I was really missing my kids & girlfriend. I had missed all my 13 year old daughter’s softball games over the past two years & my son is fixing to be four & he will soon be getting into stuff. It has been really hard weighing the love for my job against missing everybody.
Back in 06-09 I was a dispatcher for a local trucking company & about 4 weeks ago they asked me to come back. I took a little bit of a pay cut, but just couldn’t pass up the hours (7-5 Monday-Friday), yep I’m now home every night & every single weekend. Damn, it sure feels good as opposed to only being home 4 days a month. My mom is really loving it….she hated that she couldn’t come over for cookouts whenever she could. I really do miss driving & seeing this beautiful country of ours, but nothing beats being home with family & friends all the time.
I am loving my new/old job….the company has really grown & it’s way more hectic with more drivers & keeps my busy & on my toes. Anyway, wanted to fill you all in & let you know that I’m still gonna write when I can, it just won’t much on trucking anymore. Gonna get back to writing about whatever I feel at the time. Might throw in some sports since I actually get to watch again. So glad that football has started back. Gonna leave you with one last shot of my truck when I turned it in (had it washed so it would be good to go for the next driver). Til next time peeps…
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…
Tags: California, chains, east coast, Indiana, mountains, oregon, speed limit, travel, truckers, trucking, west coast, winter
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…
Tags: bathroom, fuel, gas, Midway Service Plaza, Pennsylvania, rest areas, restaurants, service plaza, travel, truckers, trucking
I’m sure you have all seen all the crazy things drivers have to carry on flatbed trailers. Pools, bulldozers, helicopters, windmill blades, etc. I don’t think I could do that kind of driving or at least wouldn’t want to. Trying to throw on those huge tarps, always tightening all the chains or straps when you stop & not even mentioning when it’s 100 degrees outside or -10 degrees. I think it would be cool pulling one & being able to actually see your load, but that’s not for me. I like backing into a door & relaxing until they tell me they are done with me…..driving 500-650 miles a day is enough work.
Anyway, I was backed in at this little truck stop in Iowa today taking my 30 minute break, when I saw this flatbed fixing to back in beside me. It was really a good looking truck, but I was looking all around for the “oversized load” banners & his escort cars & didn’t see any of that. Sure would have thought that he would have needed them because he was hauling a dump truck…..guess I should say “Tonka” dump truck. I thought it was so cool & wild that he thought of that. What are some crazy things you have seen on flatbeds? Til next time peeps…
So, I got loaded in Idaho yesterday morning going to Colorado. I stopped in Rock Springs, WY to get fuel. After I got rolling again on I-80 there was a digital sign across the road saying that it is closed 110 miles ahead due to snow & high winds. So, I found a truck stop about 60 miles further down the road in Wamsutter, WY & barely made it here. It started snowing & the wind was blowing so hard that you could barely see. I got here yesterday close to 4:00 I think & have been here ever since. Now I am hearing rumors that it’s gonna be closed another 48 hours.
They opened it up before I got shut down for like 2 hours & then there was a bad 60 car pile-up. The good thing is that the report says there were no fatalities. I don’t mind sitting from time to time because it gives you chance to relax, but man this is getting crazy. I have done watched 4 movies…that’s the bad part about sitting at a truck stop for too long, you end up spending way more money than you want to. It has snowed on me here three times since I have been here. So tired of that white shit & ready to just be able to drive & do my job without dealing with that crap. Here is a shot of some snow covered mountains behind our terminal in Salt Lake City that I got a couple of days ago. Til next time peeps…
Hello, I just wanted to share something new with you all that I have found. I did a post a while back about creating a YouTube channel & did it for a little bit. I pretty much have to do all my internet stuff out here on the road from my phone & working on the design of your channel is too hard from a phone, so when I can get online with my laptop, I will be deleting my channel.
I wanted to tell you what I have found that is really cool & from now on I will be using it instead. Go download the app called “Periscope”…it’s made by Twitter. Your videos are actually “live”….as I am broadcasting, you can leave comments or ask questions & I can answer you while I’m talking. It’s really pretty sharp & catching on. Also, while you are watching a video…tap the screen for how many times you want to leave that person “hearts” (which are “likes”)…the more total hearts people receive, the better chance they have at new people finding them. The only draw back is if you can’t watch it live, the video only stays in there for 24 hours. I’m gonna work alot harder on it to bring you guys good stuff from the road & the trucking life. I won’t be able to answer questions on the videos of me driving because my phone will be mounted to my GPS & I can’t read what you are saying. Would love to have you all come follow & leave me some hearts if you like the video. Since it’s from Twitter, it pulls your info from there for your initial set-up so my name on there is “The Truck Stop”. Hope you come follow along & see the beautiful things & places I get to see. Gonna leave you with a shot of Ledger trying to drive one day to help the ole man out…lol. Til next time peeps…
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
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…
Tags: Arizona, rest areas, safe, snow, travel, truckers, trucking, truckstops, Utah, weather, wipers
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…
Tags: Bartlett Tennessee, hometown, lumpers, mine, moving, Nevada, oregon, Portland, truckers, trucking, unloaded
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…