PackRat's 2020 Daily Driving Diary

Topic 27353 | Page 11

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Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Speaking of places like the lumberyard. In November I had a broker load out of a metal scrap yard in Decatur, AL. Talk about a thorough check of the tires at the first opportunity. Was carrying scrap aluminum that had been pressed into bales, roughly 4x4x8.

PackRat's Comment
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I felt out of place pulling in with a van trailer at that shipper. I'm in Jonesboro, AR now unloading those pallets.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Noob_Driver's Comment
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That pallet place reminds me of some of the recycling places we have to go to. Like pete said tight docks with scrap metal everywhere. Paper recycling places all smell awful and your dodging dump trucks left and right.

PackRat's Comment
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29 January 2020

Yesterday morning, after a quiet night parked, I began my day from that pallet mill in Lagrange, GA just before 0200. I had to drive over 100 miles before reaching the Interstate again, but hardly any vehicles encountered at that early hour. I stopped in Mississippi for a little over an hour for a nap and a break.

I had a fuel stop in Memphis in a rundown part of town from the looks of it. After fueling, I drove the final bit to the delivery in Jonesboro, AR. Upon arrival at 1045, found the receiving office, then docked and waited to get unloaded. Once this was completed at 1345, I drove to the Petro truck stop in North Little Rock for my planned two days off. I may do laundry, make a visit to Walmart, and hopefully turn the corner on this cold I still have.


Here's an oddly named road sign I passed in Arkansas.

For the day, I drove 435 paid miles in 7.5 hours, using 0.5 hours On Duty, totaling 8.0 hours.

More later on as the journey continues.....


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Marc Lee's Comment
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PackRat says

Here's an oddly named road sign I passed in Arkansas.


Bill R.'s Comment
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29 January 2020

I stopped in Mississippi for a little over an hour for a nap and a break.

Enjoying the trips. Great read.
Did you run up I-22/Hwy 78 in to Memphis?
If so, you went right through the town where I grew up...New Albany, MS. There's a nice Pilot at the state Hwy 15 intersection.

PackRat's Comment
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No, I was on the Interstate before that point. About four miles before my fuel stop in Memphis, I got onto 78.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

PackRat's Comment
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30 January 2020

34 hour reset in Little Rock, AR. I got too much sleep and rest. I originally thought I would take two full days off, but I'm too bored!

Time to get back going again.....

PackRat's Comment
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31 January 2020

I departed Little Rock and headed east to our terminal in West Memphis, AR on Friday morning around 0400. Local dispatch calls me and instructs me to bring the empty in, drop it off, then there should be some loads there. Key word that I should have picked up on was, "SHOULD". Note to self--don't do that again without an official dispatched load! After I get there, I sent in the message that I'm ready to go on the board; available for a dispatch. My clock is running for the past two and a half hours. "Okay. You're #3 on the list." OMG!

Finally at 1045, I get two load assignments. First, get a relay trailer of pallets delivered to a place in Memphis, TN, then go to another shipper nearby with a 1000 mile long load to PA. Remember my luck this month with relay trailers???

I depart, drive to the delivery, unload, paperwork, messages sent in, etc. And then......can't get out of the dock because the brakes are partially locking up on This Relay Trailer! So now I'm 3 for 4 (75%) on having mechanical problems in January with relay trailers. This one has an air fitting on the trailer air accumulator tank that has failed (corroded at the threads), and needs to be replaced. I finally get out of the dock about 20 feet at a time: Move, stop, set brakes, build up air pressure, move another 20 feet, pressure drops below 50 psi, repeat. After a half hour, I've moved to a location on the lot out of everyone's way. Now, we wait for Love's road service....for two hours. Worst, laziest tech I've encountered so far. I finally show him the problem, the part that's bad, and what needs to be replaced. Another hour and a half later, he has the new replacement part. Boy Genius breaks the old fitting off inside the air tank, at the threads while removing it because he did it too fast. "I don't know what to tell you. I'll have to drive back to the truck stop to see what my supervisor wants to do...." He leaves. All the warehouses are closed for the day. Employees have driven home. I'm alone, and it's still getting dark. Darker by the minute.

At this point, I have about an hour left on my 14 hour clock, it's almost dark, it's Friday afternoon in a seedy part of Memphis, and I'm not sitting there after dark. Not happening. Earlier as I sat, I had a one guy pull up in a beat up car, selling obviously stolen laptops, "for a great price". Then, it was the crack ho prostitute and her drug-dealing pimp that stopped by about 30 minutes after Stolen Computer Guy. I'm armed, but I ain't staying here.

I call dispatch 10 minutes before Official Dark is declared with this situation. "Well, I'll have to talk to my supervisor and Breakdown to see how they want to handle it. We will get back to you as soon as I can." As soon as I hang up, I'm driving out of the lot, heading west towards the terminal. I get a return phonecall just as I am crossing the Mississippi River into Arkansas on I-40. "We think it's best that you go ahead and drive back to the terminal for the night." Thanks lady, I'm already halfway there. I park in our lot with six minutes on the 14. Great day! A completely fitting way to close out the month of January.

For the final day of January, I drove 155 miles in 3.4 hours, using 0.5 hours On Duty, totaling 3.9 hours.



The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

PackRat's Comment
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Numbers for January 2020

Here's the numbers that I keep track of each and every month:

Coldest Temperature- 15 degrees F.

Warmest Temperature- 72 degrees F.

Days that Snow, Ice, Sleet, Freezing Rain or Ice Fog Were Encountered On The Road-8.

Driving Days-28

Paid Miles Driven-8,024

Hours Driving-145.7

Average Miles Per Day-287

Fuel Purchased-1500 gallons

MPH Average-55.07

Net Pay for the five paydays-$4437.48

This is with no insurance, no contributions, and all accessory pay added: Breakdown, Layover, Detention, and Northeastern Additional Pay. CFI also uses per diem.

I did two, 34-Hour Resets on the road, and there was also New Year's Day, when most everything was closed.

January was a slow, slow month for me.

Per Diem:

Getting paid per diem means getting a portion of your salary paid to you without taxes taken out. It's technically classified as a meal and expense reimbursement.

Truck drivers and others who travel for a living get large tax deductions for meal expenses. The Government set up per diem pay as a way to reimburse some of the taxes you pay with each paycheck instead of making you wait until tax filing season.

Getting per diem pay means a driver will get a larger paycheck each week but a smaller tax return at tax time.

We have a ton of information on our wiki page on per diem pay

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