Prime Flatbed; Springfield, Missouri; Spring 2020

Topic 27910 | Page 20

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Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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July 27, 2020: Deliver Steel load; first onion load.

We get up about 0500 and head out the last 100 miles to the receiver. Traffic is light so we make good time. After we’re unloaded and heading out, get our next load, which is a gravy run going from Kettleman, CA to Chelsea, Mass. 3,200 dispatched miles.

So we head north 200 miles to pick up about 48,000 lbs of onions. The traffic is light through Los Angeles, so we make good time.

There are several trucks waiting when we arrive. Mostly dry van with a few flatbeds. The check in procedure is to call the number on the sign. They send you a text message that has a link to a form you fill out. Then they call you and tell which door to back into. I took a picture of the dock I bumped.

You have to tarp the front and sides of the onion loads, but leave the front and back open so they can “breathe.” I put both steel tarps on top myself (better get used to it now). Climbing up on the onions and walking on them is difficult, as you can imagine. I did crawl on my hands and knees a lot (again I’m not proud). But I got it done.

I head out to finish my 14 hour clock for the day. On the way, I see a sign that says “road closed ahead.” I’m skeptical because at the turn where the detour signs take you another road closed sign has been pulled to the side. The detour signs take me through these narrow two lane farm roads, which does not seem right, but I follow them until I get to a more major road. The detour sign tells me to take right, which would basically take me in a circle right back to the start of the detour. I turn left, because our next connector highway is 5 miles ahead and I don’t see any road closed sign that way.

I am running good on time to make it to our exchange point, until I run into hills. I have to end up pulling over into a closed weigh station for the exchange. After a little while I crawl into the sleeper for the night.

Even with the unloading, untarping, waiting for while to get onions loaded, and strapping and tarping that load, I still managed to squeeze out 440 miles.

After this load, I will have only 3,800 miles left and should be done by the end of next week.

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.
Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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July 28, 2020:

I took over about mid morning. Nothing really eventful. No off road. No getting stuck. Just rolling east on the Mother Road. I stop for my 30 minute break at Lisa’s Travel Center because their billboard had a picture of tacos. Small truck stop, with a gravel lot, but hardly anyone there and the tacos were good. A little pricey, but worth it.

As usual, I try to pick the furthest point I can make for the exchange. At about 50 miles from the Texas, Oklahoma state line, I stop at a rest stop just to stretch my legs. The picnic areas with charcoal grills in the shape of Texas.

New record mileage day. 680.7 miles in 10 hours 47 minutes.

If you do the math, it doesn’t seem plausible because that’s 63 mph average in a truck that’s governed at 63 mph. (While it says 65 mph on the speedometer, it’s 63 mph real speed.) With simple accelerating and decelerating, the average should be less than the maximum governed speed. Now add in breaks and it would further reduce the average speed. Two factors allowed me to realize an average speed of the maximum governed speed. First, I took only two breaks and they were quick on and offs. Second, and this is the key. I took over driving at the Continental Divide. So heading east from there, I’m generally going down hill. Now while 63 mph is the maximum governed speed, it is not the maximum speed when going downhill. If you leave the cruise control on it will slow down the truck once it gets to a certain speed above the set cruise speed. But if you turn the cruise control off, nothing will automatically slow the truck. So I would let the truck build speed on the numerous downgrades to obtain a better average mph. I would never let the truck get over 75 mph and I would not let it get to a higher speed on any significant curves or if there were traffic. But that part of I-40 has very few curves and traffic was light. So I was able to get probably my best record ever. I can’t see myself even repeating 680 miles in a truck governed at 62.

PackRat's Comment
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Now that sounds like something out of a movie, "The Shawshank Redemption" movie to be exact.

"JC" seemed to believe Prime had hired a convicted felon, just to get some tax credit.

This reminds me of the supermarket in the movie. The characters "Brooks" and "Red" both were hired there, right after their parole from The Big House.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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July 29, 2020: Continue driving to Chelsea, Massachusetts

Because we have such a long load, it's just driving today. Again, nothing unusual or special today.

I fell short pushing the limits of my clock today. I had about 59 minutes left on my clock and picked a spot 56 miles away. I would have made it, but the interstate split but didn’t say that I needed to be in the right lane for the interstate exchange. So I have to take about a 5 minute detour, which put me just short of reaching the rest area I had planned.

We switch over and I hit the sleeper after decompressing for a while.

July 30, 2020: Deliver onions; pick up rebar coils.

My trainer finishes the drive to the receiver. With this delivery, I got a little feel of what it's like to be a drive van or reefer driver. And to be honest, you can have it. When we check in they tell us to park by the wall and they’ll come and get us. They also tell us that there’s a $50 unloading fee. I’m sure the perplexed look on my face triggered the following explanation. “Lumber fee.” I’ve heard of those.

After a while they come to get us. Relatively quick unload

I drive out from the receiver, following the GPS. As I’m rolling along, I see a “Truck Detour” sign. Okay, I’ll play your little detour game (remember California). As I follow the detour, the streets become increasingly narrow and lined with parked cars. At one intersection, I cleared the curb, but not the parked car near the corner. So I have to pull left to straighten out the trailer; right toward some cars coming from the other lane. They accommodate me by backing up. That is until they have too many cars behind them to back up. There are two lanes coming the other way, so, after the right lane clears out, the cars in front of me can clear out and I can finish my turn. About a half mile after this I see a sign that says “End Detour.” WTF? Now I’m in a solidly residential area; narrow streets lined with parked cars. I follow the GPS which takes me back to my starting point of the detour. I ignore the “Truck Detour” sign and the “Trucks No Right Turn” sign. I make the right turn because the entrance to the interstate is like ¼ mile away and I can see no low bridges or other obstacles that would inhibit me. Plus, I figure it can’t be any worse than where the detour took me.

We’re headed to Nucor to pick up rebar coils. We get there about 18:00 and we’re back on the road in about an hour. Our receiver is only about 400 miles away so I make it there on my clock. A little feel of what it would be like to 1) deliver a load, 2) pick up another, and 3) make it to the next one all on my 14 hour clock. And another nice night’s sleep in a stationary truck.

Interstate:

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
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Lumber fee? Is that something 'just' flatbed?!? (Or is that the same as 'Lumper Fee?' )

sorry.gifconfused.gifsorry.gif

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Lumber fee? Is that something 'just' flatbed?!? (Or is that the same as 'Lumper Fee?' )

sorry.gifconfused.gifsorry.gif

yeah I'm not as good at proofreading on my computer as Turtle is on his phone.

G-Town's Comment
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Rob was that you I passed on NB I-81 last Tuesday afternoon? Around mile marker 100-102?

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Rob was that you I passed on NB I-81 last Tuesday afternoon? Around mile marker 100-102?

Very well could have been. We were heading that way to our delivery in Elizabeth New Jersey Red Prime flatbed with two black steel tarps very boxy load of sheetrock.

PackRat's Comment
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Rob's training Cascadia is easily recognized. It's the one with the off road tires, manual locking front hubs, and winch on the front.

If not, it should be.

smile.gif

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rob's training Cascadia is easily recognized. It's the one with the off road tires, manual locking front hubs, and winch on the front.

If not, it should be.

smile.gif

rofl-1.gifrofl-3.gifrofl-2.gif

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