PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Topic 27353 | Page 10

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PackRat's Comment
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Glad you are reading along. Thanks!

I think I know the place you spoke of, as I recall seeing some other flatbed trailers in the vicinity. My place was a ghost town Saturday afternoon and that night. Great, quiet place to park. I wrote it down in my notes for possible future use.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marc Lee's Comment
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PackRat / Rob (meetup) that was WAY COOL!

Been to St. Louis. Laid on my back under the middle of Arch and took a photo.

Mural is WAY cool too!

Ain't meetups fun!


Noob_Driver's Comment
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Your having a bad run of luck sir. Maybe switch sides on your bunk to break up the jinx.confused.gif

PackRat's Comment
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Your having a bad run of luck sir. Maybe switch sides on your bunk to break up the jinx.confused.gif

If they don't get their act together, I may be switching more than just the position of my bunk (which I already do).

PackRat's Comment
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27 January 2020

We're still awaiting the phone call from the TA shop for a garage spot at 2330. I had parked, then dropped the trailer, before laying down to listen to the radio. At just before 0300, the shop manager calls my cell, and I creep over to door #1, then pull into the shop. The one mechanic that's on duty for the overnight shift quickly has the passenger side, front, drive axle brake canister swapped out in just over an hour. Speedy work by that young guy. All the paperwork is complete, I leave and reconnect to the trailer. After doing a pre trip inspection (new day on the calendar now), back to driving we go at about 0425.

Since my schedule is off, because of the five hour delay and a nap during it, I'm feeling fairly sleepy. I've also started to succumb to a full-blown cold in the past two days, dragging my energy down further. I cross into KY, then decide to park at the I-24 scales at the 37 yardstick. I stay there from 0640 until 1445, then start driving again. After another 90 miles, I'm in TN and getting the fatigued feeling again, so I park once more. This time, I've stopped between Nashville and Chattanooga, at an Exxon station calling itself a truck stop: "The Busy Corner Travel Center" on I-24 at exit 105. Mostly parking on a dirt and gravel area, with parking for about 25-30 trucks. I have not gone inside to see what they offer here for the weary travelers, but I may tomorrow morning. Back to the Sleeper Berth , but between my schedule being so off and this cold developing, not enjoying much sleep, yet I am feeling beat at the same time. 200 miles to reach the final delivery Tuesday morning in Norcross, GA.

For Monday, I drove 290 miles in 5.3 hours, using 0.4 hours On Duty, totaling 5.7 hours.

More journey tomorrow....

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Tortuga 's Comment
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Hey PackRat just finished reading your daily driving diary. What an eye opener! I had no idea what trucking was like and I like what I'm reading! I'm getting excited about getting my CDL and hitting the road with y'all in five years! I also wish I had started reading earlier, I might have gotten to meet up with you in Wacko,TX when you were here. Stay safe on the roads and hope your cold doesn't last too long.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
PackRat's Comment
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Thanks for that reply, Tortuga. Glad that mostly daily rambling of mine is helping somebody see how things are for an OTR driver.

Keep an eye out, and if you'd like to meet. I'll post a message/start a topic on here for the next time I'm passing through.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

PackRat's Comment
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28 January 2020

I got up and going the final 200 miles to the delivery at around 0300 this morning. I wanted to allow for both extra time around Atlanta for the pre-rush hour traffic, and to get the final two hours of my split sleeper at the delivery. I ended up arriving there at 0659 for the 0830 appointment, so the I-85/-285 traffic wasn't very bad at all. No marks on the truck, nobody run over, and no exchanging gunfire. Yes, Atlanta is lawless. Anything goes. My #1 Least Favorite City to drive around.

I checked in at 0800, after locating the building, which was on a different street than where I parked. Finally met with the dock boss and shown where to dock. This was the rear of a strip mall-like set of connecting buildings, so not much room. This one was worse because another semi truck was blocking the easy way into this lot. No approaching the dock on the driver's side of the cab. Backing from the street was ruled out due to a 45 degree turn in the narrow driveway. A blindside back was not possible because of other business trucks that prevented me from swinging the tractor. So, I had to do a tight U-turn, made even worse by a single car parked in my arc. A real challenge, but after 15 minutes, I was docked with no bent sheet metal. Wish I had gotten some pictures, as this was truly a "Top Ten Tightest Spots" kind of place.

This unload of the 1/6th if a trailer full by three adults took from 0830 until 1200. Don't know why.

I got my next plan to drive 91 miles from Norcross to Lagrange, GA to be loaded, which is scheduled for 1400. Thanks to the slow service, coupled with worse Atlanta lunchtime traffic, I got there at 1407. This was after I drove by the place once because dry vans would never go to what appeared to be a lumber yard, right? Sure enough, that's where I needed to be, getting a trailer full of new pallets. I don't know where the salespeople come up with these customers, but this one was different in a good way: something I've never done.

Here's a few pictures:


It's not always building docks, lines to guide you for backing, and generally smooth asphalt.

"Docks? We don't need no stinkin' docks!"


They got me loaded, and allowed me to park here overnight, too. Great place, and I've never gotten a pallet load where these are manufactured.

This one is to travel 457 miles to Jonesboro, AR tomorrow between 0600 and 1500 latest. I plan to make it there before 0900, and I don't get routed back around Atlanta.

Today was 5.4 hours for 300 miles, with 0.4 hours On Duty, totaling 5.8 hours. I won't get this back next week because I'm going to take a rare 34-hour reset in Little Rock after the delivery tomorrow (if I have the hours that I can get there). I'm kind of tired from the weird sleeping non-schedule I've been on for the past two weeks, and I still have this cold I'd like to be rid of. It may turn into two days off to close out this month instead.

Stay tuned and keep those cards and letters coming!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Donna M.'s Comment
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PackRat we been traveling some of the same roads . You were up north when I was and now we’re about 100 miles apart. Did u enjoy your ride overMonteagle today, I love driving through there. Last week i took my ten at the brake station. I usually drive Atlanta 3 to 4 times per week. The new construction on the wall on 285 is horrible. I had to drive Nashville today, to me it worse than Atlanta. I too, spent the last of my day in the shop, but only for maintenance. Delivery here in the morning. Be safe!

Tortuga 's Comment
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(Keep an eye out, and if you'd like to meet. I'll post a message/start a topic on here for the next time I'm passing through)

Sounds good PackRat hopefully we'll be able to meet up on one of your trips here....

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