Comments By Little Syster (a.k.a. Sunshine)

https://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm161/Melody_Michel/30F26179-BBA6-4DE7-B933-54FCBC2B941E_zpshphh1gbz.jpg avatar

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Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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Hardest Part of Being Out Here

No hugs.

Not like "commercial company" hugs.

Just..."Man, you've had a rough day! Let me give you a hug, friend!"

Most days, I'm fine. But today...between the wind, ice, traffic, having to cut someone off because they just WOULDN'T let me over no matter how long my blinker had been on (that driver was kind enough, after he being the one who sped up after I started making my lane change when there was finally a teeny weeny break in traffic, to hang himself out the window flip me off and scream out his window as he passed me), etc etc etc.

It's like no matter how I drive, I'm always ruining someone's day. It breaks my heart. I'm Sunshine! I don't want to ruin your day. I want to bring you cool stuff that makes your life easier and better and happier! I want to make you laugh and smile and enjoy life!

I'm on my 12th load now. Heading up the backside of Pikes Peak tomorrow morning to deliver to a mine. I'm scared. (Look up Hwy 67 from Divide, CO to Cripple Creek.) I'm tired. I'm sad. I think I need my dogs, my mom, and my own bed for a few days.

And I'm not saying all of this for any sort of pity. I'll be fine. I always am. I guess I just had to tell someone who would understand. Friends and family don't really get it. They try. But it's not the same.

I'll tell you about all the happy stuff one day. There's been lots of that, too! More than the hard stuff. :) I don't mean to sound whiny or depressing...

Ps: The truck driver "code of honor" is dying out. I had ONE driver thank me for the "all clear" signal as he passed me today. ONE. He put a smile on my face for doing that. It made me feel human again for a little while. There's so much out here that will strip that away from you. Somedays I feel like an animal or a machine. Luckily, those days are few.

I still love what I do and I am so happy and grateful to be a truck driver. But tonight my pillow will be tear stained...

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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Watkins & Shepard Trucking inc. ???

I don't know too much about them, but I did talk to a recruiter. I decided that for me (and this is JUST me) it wasn't a good fit because they have no formal training other then (if I remember correctly) a 10 day orientation/classroom/group driving session.

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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One year down

Fantastic! What would you say is the biggest improvement you've made in the year? What was your biggest fear when you started and how do you feel about it now? Just curious :)

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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3 Years Trucking Experience Celebration!

So proud and happy for you! That's so wonderful that you and your wife got to celebrate in style :)

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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Hate eating out, tips for eating on the road?

I'm vegetarian so my grocery list differs from most people's. I also have an APU so I run a microwave, a cooler, a mini blender, this truck has a mini fridg, and coffee pot:

Bread Cheese (sliced, string, shredded) Carrot sticks Olives Hummus Crackers Salad mix Grapes Cereal COFFEE Half n half Sugar Black and red pepper Salt Hot dog buns Vegetarian hot dogs Dry pasta Pam Cream cheese Cottage cheese Mustard Salad dressing Rice (My mom always makes some rice for me to take) Canned beans (or slow cooked when I get home) Nutella Peanut butter Honey Canned pears Grape tomatoes Corn tortillas Salsa Vegetarian burgers A few spinach and cheese raviolis Fiber One bars Rice pudding cups Eggs OJ Water Few cans if soda Crystal light squirt and mix Protain shake Coconut water Electrolyte drink powder mix

Posted:  8 years, 6 months ago

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Flatbed Variety

Some pics to add to the bunch:

blue big rig pulling a loaded tarped flatbed trailer

First load I "took" home. I was loading up to leave for Park City, KS

truck pulling empty flatbed trailer in cowfield in park city KS

After dropping that load in Park City, I deadheaded over to a rock quarry (which I had to drive through a cow pasture to get to - it was awesome :) ) outside of Blue Mound to pick up this:

blue system truck pulling flatbed trailer loaded with decorative stone

Which, you can barely see, are a bunch of pallets of stone for some rich person's house up in Aspen, CO.

My latest load is quite the mess (pre-loaded) and I ended up throwing more straps on it than are shown in the picture:

blue System truck pulling flatbed trailer stacked with pallets and strapped

I dropped a third of it off in Tucson today and I have a couple more stops. It still isn't pretty, but the customer than I delivered to today has driven truck and helped me get it loaded a little better.

I'm still loving it! Wish I could remember to take more pics. I've hauled some cool stuff :)

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Oh Deer Me - Watch Out!

I saw two of the cutest fawns and a gorgeous doe between Flagstaff and Kingsman today. I squeeeeed and then told them that they better stay right where they were!

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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Officially Solo :)

Lil Syster/Sunshine/Melly, Whatever name you go by, don't leave Trucking Truth behind. You write well, and have a SMILE that shines through your writing. Keep us updated with your adventures, and drop off some advice as needed. We appreciate you!

Thank you Errol :) My name is Melody. But my mom always called me "Sunshine" and my family calls me "Melly". "Little Syster" came from my orientation at System (The spelling was actually The Persian Conversion's idea, if I remember right). I've always been the smallest (height, not width ;) ) and one day I was joking about being like the annoying little sister. It stuck :) I'm glad that you all like my posts. Sometimes I don't feel like I write well, but it's usually when I'm tired. I have more stories to share that I'll post about once I get out from under this load and have a minute to creatively compose :)

Grats Sunshine, so cool to hear your stories! Keep it up!

I do have a question for you, though. Are you glad you went straight to Flatbedding? I know I would love to do it, or possibly Tanker, but I keep thinking I should drive van or Reefer first. I should be starting in Feb or March, just need to narrow down all the particulars. Thanks!

Thanks Magoo! Good question - I was going to do the same thing you're thinking about doing. I'm just not a very patient person, so I jumped in head first. I really, really like flatbed. It's truly exhausting though and, if I'm honest, frustrating. The exhaustion comes from the physical work, in part. But since I'm so new, it's also making sure you do your securement in the right order, trip plan so you know approximately where each load check needs to happen, being constantly vigilant that nothing is coming loose or that any of your securement equipment is damaged, etc. I can see where there would be a lot of cross-over between driving other types, but I think with flatbed the physical aspect is the real kicker. And I'm soooooooo slooooooowwwww right now with securement. That's the frustrating part. Well that and being a rookie. I constantly feel like I'm making rookie mistakes. It takes me about 2 - 2.5 hrs to properly and aesthetically secure and tarp a load. And by the end of it I'm completely drenched in sweat. And then I have to drive...like right away. Sitting in my sweaty dirty clothes because every minute counts. I shower daily even though the loads I've had aren't same day deliveries so I'm not a big ball of gross every day. But would I trade it? Go back? Switch? Nah. I'm too stubborn and I need a type of work that will meet me, greet me, shake my hand, maybe even smack me across the face a little. Then I smirk and whisper...

"Challenge Accepted"

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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About to go solo

Priority One is... Don't Hit Anything.

Keep that foremost and youll survive all the othet stuff.

Yep! That was a much more concise way of saying it :) I do all the things I was saying to avoid hitting anything! I already have one strike against me....stupid stop sign ;) The dumb thing about that whole situation is that I saw it coming, hoped I could make it around it so was going really really slowed, touched it with my trailer (left absolutely no sign of damage), backed up, and the dumb thing fell over the opposite way without me being in contact with it! The only reason I was in that intersection was because I didn't do a trip plan for myself and was relying solely on my trainer to get us unlost...

Posted:  8 years, 7 months ago

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About to go solo

Not too far ahead of you (just got my truck last week), but you learn really quick and on the fly. I would say that the absolute most important thing is TRIP PLAN. Look up where you need to stop, calculate, look up a satellite image of where you're going to deliver and plan your approach accordingly. Call companies and ask them, if necessary, where/which way they want you to come in. Park as close as you can to where you're going to pick up and deliver so you don't end up burning your clock. Trucker Path is an app that has helped me tremendously because I have to do load checks. Helps with calculating everything out.

Most importantly, take your time. I find myself getting all worked up and I just have to remind myself to breathe. EVERY SINGLE DRIVER OUT THERE HAS BEEN A ROOKIE (sometimes they forget)! Just do the best you can and the rest will come :)

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