Rookie Solo Adventures Of A Knuckle Draggin Primate (Rob D.)

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Chief Brody's Comment
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5/23/2021 Update: Hesperia California

I’m going to try to update more regularly. I’m in Hesperia, California. I posted some photos of the high desert scenery in the Postcards from the Road thread. The Pilot here is on Joshua Tree road, as the Joshua Tree national forest is nearby. As I mentioned in the other thread, there are some trails west of the Pilot. Make sure to wear your boots, because lots of desert sand that will get into tennis shoes.

After my last update, I get mu next load first thing Monday morning: Big Tex Trailers out of Mt. Pleasant Texas. I get there and it’s raining a little, but by the time it strapped my load it had stopped enough that I could take off my rain gear. I checked in with Terry who definitely looks like a guy that works at Big Tex trailers. Cowboy hat and boots. First thing he says after I tell him my destination (Reno, Nevada) is “do you have 8 two-inch straps?” I actually have to go the truck and check. I do have them and let him know. He points to my preloaded trailer, which is 12 utility trailers. The reason why I needed 8 two-inch straps is because you can’t throw straps over the top of these utility trailers, because it will bend the sides inward. To strap them, you put one two-inch strap through the stake pocket on each side of the rear of the trailer and then one four-inch strap over the tongue of the trailer. The trailers are stacked three high and four rows long. Some people ask what workouts would be good for flatbed. I would recommend gymnastics. Lots of climbing, twisting and turning to get my straps on. I ended up threading the four four-inch straps through the center part of the trailer tongue on the second tier to provide a little more stability. I was not instructed to use edge protection and one of the other guys who worked for Big Tex asked Terry if I needed the carboard edge protectors. “Nah, its good,” he responded. Clearly, Terry is the old hat here and what he says goes. Down the road, I ended up adding another four-inch strap though the leaf spring on the top row of trailer. The problem with three straps per row was that if one breaks, you’ve lost that section of your load.

Once I get strapped and Terry checks my securement, I’m on my way to Reno, Nevada. It’s about a 2,000 mile total trip, so nice miles. Route is US 82, to US 287 to Amarillo, Then out I-40 until you get to Kingman Arizona. Then north on US 93 and US 95. US 95 north of Vegas goes by “Area 51,” which is actually Groom Lake or Homey Airport. There are also some brothels along the route (not my thing). I ended up spending the night at the Goldfield visitor’s center which has just a few parking spaces. But because it’s out in the middle of nowhere, you don’t have to fight for parking. I hung out with the locals at the Hoist Bar. Goldfield is an old gold mining town. A hoist is what they use in mining to pull up the ore from the underground mining operations.

I ended up delivering the trailers the next day. This receiver was on a substantial four-lane road and I had to back into the business from that four-lane road. As I approached, traffic was clear so I put on my four ways and pulled into the far-left lane. A car came up from the opposite direction and started to pull into the lane to my right. I quickly pulled into that lane to block him out. He stopped to wait and see “what the big truck is going to do.” It took me about a minute to back into the business and get off the road, so no major delay and no horn honking impatient drivers. Once off the road, I repositioned a couple of times then go unloaded.

Chief Brody's Comment
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5/23/2021 continued

Next load is the “building on a trailer” loads we get out of NCI, Atwater California. Essentially, If you want to put a metal industrial building on your property, you order it from NCI. They load all the components of the building on the flatbed trailer, which building we deliver to the customer. As I’ve mentioned before, many of these are residential deliveries. This particular delivery in Reno, Nevada was on a narrow residential street with moderately deep ditches on either side. The dirt driveway where I had to back into was about 12 feet wide. Very little room for error either backing or pulling out after.

These loads take a while to unload. This particular customer had rented a telehandler (forklift with a boom) and wasn’t familiar with the controls. It’s also beneficial to help out with the unloading process because otherwise you’ll be there all day. After about two hours, I’m unloaded and on my way.

Next load is another NCI building on a flatbed trailer. This one going to Apache Junction Arizona (near Phoenix). This backing job is a little easier, except once I get backed off the street there are berms on either side of where I need to back up. A little challenging but I make it. Again, takes a while to unload. This customer is actually a driver for Knight. He told me the sole reason he got into trucking was to become familiar with Class 8 trucks because he plans to buy one to haul his travel trailer. We talk a little while his contractor crew unloads. I collect his check and I’m on my way. Both of these loads were COD. You have to collect the check and then Fedex the check to NCI.

Next load is palleted steel coils out of Glendale Arizona. Two small coils per pallet and six rows. Lots of straps and two tarps. I have had frustrations with my tarps catching air. So, I used a method that I had considered, but hadn’t used yet. I threaded rope through the grommets on the edge of the tarp. Then roll up the tarp hanging below the rub rail. Once I’ve got it rolled up to the edge of the trailer, I cinch down the rope that is rolled up into the tarp. It worked fantastic. No flapping at all.

This load delivery was scheduled for Wednesday, anytime up until 1530. I will get there about 1730 Tuesday. So, I call the receiver on the way to see if I can deliver Tuesday night. She said that someone might be there at 1730. So, I roll there. I check in about 1730 and ask the guy if I can get unloaded that night. He says “can you get unstrapped by 1800?” You betcha. I pull my tarps and straps off and get unloaded.

After I unload, I head to the Prime Salt Lake Terminal. The trailer needed some work, so I drop it on the yard and park in bobtail parking. Next morning, I get a load going from Charlotte Pipe, Cedar City to Beaumont, California. Delivering Thursday morning. I can make that, I tell dispatch. Not so fast. I pick up my trailer. It hasn’t been fixed. Screw it, I’ll roll with it. Nope, they won’t let me leave with that trailer. So, I circle back into the terminal and drop the trailer. Six hours later, the trailer is fixed and I get another Cedar City load.

This one delivers on Friday. Way too much time. I have home time starting Monday, but I can deliver a load Monday morning. I call my FM and ask what do I after I delivery on Friday. “Let me check with sales.” I get another load, going to Las Vegas. Essentially, I become Charlotte Pipe, Cedar City shuttle driver. I drop this load off in Las Vegas the next day. Then back to Cedar City to pick up another load going to Flagstaff Arizona. Then back to Cedar City to pick up the load that will take me to Corona California. So, instead of getting one load and 700 miles, I get three loads and 1,500 miles.

I leave out of Kingman about 1000 to head to Cedar City. Because I’m delivering Monday, I’ve got all the time in the world. So, I take my time on US 89 and Utah 14 taking pictures and videos. I also encountered the fatal motorcycle accident that I shared in a separate thread. Saturday, I again take my time, stopping at Whiskey Pete’s at the Nevada-California border to eat steak and eggs.

I will deliver this load tomorrow morning. Then come back to Hesperia to park my truck, get the rental car, and head to Ontario Airport to pick up my wife.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Terminal:

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.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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5/23/2021 continued

Next load is the “building on a trailer” loads we get out of NCI, Atwater California. Essentially, If you want to put a metal industrial building on your property, you order it from NCI. They load all the components of the building on the flatbed trailer, which building we deliver to the customer. As I’ve mentioned before, many of these are residential deliveries. This particular delivery in Reno, Nevada was on a narrow residential street with moderately deep ditches on either side. The dirt driveway where I had to back into was about 12 feet wide. Very little room for error either backing or pulling out after.

These loads take a while to unload. This particular customer had rented a telehandler (forklift with a boom) and wasn’t familiar with the controls. It’s also beneficial to help out with the unloading process because otherwise you’ll be there all day. After about two hours, I’m unloaded and on my way.

Next load is another NCI building on a flatbed trailer. This one going to Apache Junction Arizona (near Phoenix). This backing job is a little easier, except once I get backed off the street there are berms on either side of where I need to back up. A little challenging but I make it. Again, takes a while to unload. This customer is actually a driver for Knight. He told me the sole reason he got into trucking was to become familiar with Class 8 trucks because he plans to buy one to haul his travel trailer. We talk a little while his contractor crew unloads. I collect his check and I’m on my way. Both of these loads were COD. You have to collect the check and then Fedex the check to NCI.

Next load is palleted steel coils out of Glendale Arizona. Two small coils per pallet and six rows. Lots of straps and two tarps. I have had frustrations with my tarps catching air. So, I used a method that I had considered, but hadn’t used yet. I threaded rope through the grommets on the edge of the tarp. Then roll up the tarp hanging below the rub rail. Once I’ve got it rolled up to the edge of the trailer, I cinch down the rope that is rolled up into the tarp. It worked fantastic. No flapping at all.

This load delivery was scheduled for Wednesday, anytime up until 1530. I will get there about 1730 Tuesday. So, I call the receiver on the way to see if I can deliver Tuesday night. She said that someone might be there at 1730. So, I roll there. I check in about 1730 and ask the guy if I can get unloaded that night. He says “can you get unstrapped by 1800?” You betcha. I pull my tarps and straps off and get unloaded.

After I unload, I head to the Prime Salt Lake Terminal. The trailer needed some work, so I drop it on the yard and park in bobtail parking. Next morning, I get a load going from Charlotte Pipe, Cedar City to Beaumont, California. Delivering Thursday morning. I can make that, I tell dispatch. Not so fast. I pick up my trailer. It hasn’t been fixed. Screw it, I’ll roll with it. Nope, they won’t let me leave with that trailer. So, I circle back into the terminal and drop the trailer. Six hours later, the trailer is fixed and I get another Cedar City load.

This one delivers on Friday. Way too much time. I have home time starting Monday, but I can deliver a load Monday morning. I call my FM and ask what do I after I delivery on Friday. “Let me check with sales.” I get another load, going to Las Vegas. Essentially, I become Charlotte Pipe, Cedar City shuttle driver. I drop this load off in Las Vegas the next day. Then back to Cedar City to pick up another load going to Flagstaff Arizona. Then back to Cedar City to pick up the load that will take me to Corona California. So, instead of getting one load and 700 miles, I get three loads and 1,500 miles.

I leave out of Kingman about 1000 to head to Cedar City. Because I’m delivering Monday, I’ve got all the time in the world. So, I take my time on US 89 and Utah 14 taking pictures and videos. I also encountered the fatal motorcycle accident that I shared in a separate thread. Saturday, I again take my time, stopping at Whiskey Pete’s at the Nevada-California border to eat steak and eggs.

I will deliver this load tomorrow morning. Then come back to Hesperia to park my truck, get the rental car, and head to Ontario Airport to pick up my wife.

Omiwow, Rob D.

It takes thick skin to be a trucker, and .. a trucker's wife. I know this; fact.

Wish it all works out well for y'all, good sir. Sincerely.

(And to all the future Primate flatbedders, y'all as well!)

~ Anne ~

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Terminal:

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.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Chief Brody's Comment
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6/6/2021 Update; Mt. Sterling Kentucky

As usual, I’m on a 34-hour reset here at the Pilot in Mt. Sterling Kentucky. Enjoyed my home time in Los Angeles with my wife and son. One thing that I realized, after driving a 4-wheeler in Los Angeles, is that other 4-wheelers show far more patience for big trucks than they do other 4-wheelers.

First load after my home time was a nice long gravy run from Calipatria, California to Chelsea, Massachusetts (Boston area). On the way there, I drove down California 111, which runs along the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is a large enough body of water that you can’t see the opposite shore. Nice scenery.

My load was onions. I had a 53’ trailer and needed to keep the axles closed because of the California King Pin law. As a reminder, with our 53’ trailers, you only have open and closed. You can’t incrementally move weight between the drives and the tandems. I ended up being more than 36,000 lbs on the tandems , which I found out after driving 30 miles to the nearest Pilot, and then had to go back to the shipper to have them take one pallet off. After that I rolled, but lost about 2 hours because of the overweight issue and removing a pallet.

The long trip to Chelsea Massachuesetts was pretty uneventful. I did have to fully cover the onions with my tarps in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Generally, they want the onions “vented,” but they want tarps on top that you can drop down in case of rain. I only had 15 minutes of rain during the entire trip. I covered the load in Tucumcari and then opened them up again in Shamrock, Texas. There were some donkey’s braying at me while I was opening my tarps.

My delivery was scheduled for 0200 on Wednesday morning. As of Monday, I knew I couldn’t make and I let dispatch know that I could deliver later in the morning Wednesday. The receiver was closed on Monday (Memorial day), but Tuesday I got a message saying that the receiver couldn’t take delivery later on Wednesday and that I should be there 0200 Thursday. Okay fine.

I made it to the Pilot in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on Wednesday morning and ended up taking a nice hike with the extra time. Hit the sleeper about 1800 and got up at 0130 Thursday morning. I had called the receiver the day before and found out that they START at 0200, first come, first serve. I ended up getting to the Boston Market terminal about 0300. In addition to the $80 lumper fee that I had to pay later, you have to pay a $30 “gate fee” just to get in the place. Doesn’t make much sense to me, but that’s what it is.

The Boston Market terminal has many different produce wholesalers. I find my receiver, back up to the dock, and then check in. This guy, who I later come to know as Bobby, tells me to pull around behind the building and he will call me. I pull off all my bungees and most of my straps while I’m waiting. Shortly thereafter, a Prime reefer pulls up next to me and the long wait begins. Four hours waiting when I see some guy knock on the Prime reefer’s door. I go over and ask when I’m going to get unloaded. “I don’t know nothing about onions. I’m the cherry guy. But I’ll let him (Bobby) know you’re still waiting.” Yeah, where would I have gone. About 10 minutes later, I get a call. “Pull your tarps off where you are and then come around.” By the time I get pulled around to the dock, I there are no open spaces. But shortly thereafter, a space opens up and I get unloaded.

This whole place was a zoo. Lots of big trucks, box trucks, and 4-wheelers zooming about. And the actual dock was no different. Some places segregate deliveries from loading their trucks to send out for delivery. Not this place. It’s just one big bustle of activity. And the dock is very narrow, so the pallet jack guys have to take turns going back and forth. And then, add in the Boston accent with the east coast attitude. While Bobby is unloading me, this older heavy set guy walks onto my trailer and looks at the onions with a scrutinizing eye. “Look good” I say. “Yeah, yeah. We had a load come in last week with dust all over it.” He says. “Well, I took good care of these. Tarped the whole way from California.” Later on, another younger guy walks onto my trailer with the same scrutinizing gaze. Then he makes the “I’m watching you gesture” to Bobby and says “you looking at these.” “Yeah, yeah.” Bobby says and then looks at me rolling his eyes.

I already have a preplan after this load. Slinkies (rolled wire) picking up at Nucor in Wallingford, Connecticut and going to Dunville, Kentucky. I get in and get loaded right away. After I get loaded, I only have so much time on my 70-hour clock. So, I make it to Allentown, Pennsylvania on Thursday night. I spend the entire day there because I don’t get any time back on Friday. G-town was able to swing by for a quick meet and greet. After that, I use the little time that I have left to drive to a Love’s for a shower.

Shipper:

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.

Terminal:

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Chief Brody's Comment
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6/6/2021 Continued

While I had no time available Friday, I got back enough time Saturday that I could make it to here in Mt. Sterling and still squeeze in a 34-hour reset. Just 35 miles shy of the Pilot here, I get pulled in for a random level one inspection. My second one this year. Everything was fine except for the way that Prime calculates the 8/2 split for the purpose of “extending” your 14-hour clock.

Unbeknownst to me, I had three 14-hour clock violations. I had done an 8/2 split earlier in the week. I had done 8 hours earlier in the sleeper, followed by 2 hours break later in the day. Under new rule, the 2-hour break “pauses” my 14-hour clock. I then drove the rest of my time to finish my day after the 2-hour break. I then took a 10-hour break, but didn’t log any of that as sleeper. Apparently, I got a violation because I didn’t follow up the 2-hour break with another 8 hours in the sleeper berth. Later in the week, I had been off-duty for 4 hours, which I used to extend my clock to use as much drive time as possible. I then followed that up with 21 hours off-duty. Again, I didn’t log any of that as sleeper, which triggered another 14-hour rule violation. And still don’t know the reason for the third 14 -hour clock violations because no other day did I 1) use an 8/2 split or 2) drive beyond my 14-hour clock. None of this affected my clock, because apparently the violation was retroactive. I didn’t see any notice of violation. It may have been there and I didn’t notice it. I get HOS warnings when I’m less than 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 15 minutes. In the morning before I head out, I delete all of my HOS warning notices from the night before.

The inspectors disregarded two of the three 14-hour clock violations because they said that I had a corresponding 8-hour sleeper berth , and therefore, they don’t know why my ELD triggered a violation. For the last one, they wrote it down as a nominal violation on the inspection report, but gave me no citation. I did find out more information last night and once I talk to logs, I'll post an update in a separate thread.

So, not much to do here today other than laundry and grill some chicken thighs. I cleaned the truck thoroughly on Friday. I will also get out to walk and find some geocaches here soon.

Numbers:

Dispatched miles: over 100,000

Pay: $64,000 for the first year, including training.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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You have done an excellent job! You nailed your rookie year and made some real good money.

It only gets better from here.

Congratulations!

Chief Brody's Comment
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You have done an excellent job! You nailed your rookie year and made some real good money.

It only gets better from here.

Congratulations!

Thanks.

It's definitely been an adventure.

I'll continue this diary until I hit my one year solo mark in August.

Chief Brody's Comment
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June 13, 2021 update:

On another 34-hour reset here at the Loves off I-80/-35 at exit 125 in Des Moines, Iowa. Doing laundry now and plan to hike on some nearby trails and find some geocaches along the way. There seems to be a lot do near this truck stop. I have been trying to get some more walking in because my next home time is in Moab, Utah. My son is coming with me on the truck and we will spend five days hiking in Moab.

Slinkies delivery in Dunnville, Kentucky went smooth and quick. Next load was lumber out of Leitchfield, Kentucky. The forklift operator loaded the stacks kinda weird with the upper stacks not even from front to back. I ended up using one of my new Montana Canvas tarps to cover the taller part of the load at the back and then a black steel tarp to cover the front. Also used the fire hose Packrat had given me to cover the exposed edges of the wood. Actually, worked out very well. This load was going to Gans, Oklahoma. Ended up getting there Tuesday at the very end of the day. As a result, I got my next load assignment. Georgia Pacific, OSB out of Fordyce, Arkansas, which was one of the first loads I hauled after hauling boats.

Got to the shipper the next morning. A few trucks were already there and then several more showed up behind me. Once loaded, the forklift operator told me I could tarp on the property, but I had to follow there safety procedures: can’t get on the load or even the trailer deck. Or, there was a turnout 4 miles up the road. “It’s your choice and your responsibility. But no one will say anything to you if you leave the property without a tarp on the load.” Guess what. I tarped 4 miles up the road. I have been working on getting more efficient with my time, and it took me less than an hour to tarp the load. Two lumber tarps. Edge protectors and firehose.

On the way, I get a call from my FM about swapping out loads. Another driver had aluminum coils going to Conroe, Texas, but needed to get to Springfield, MO. I ended up meeting him in Sikeston, Missouri and swapping loads. Out in the rural farm areas, they still have crop dusters and one flew so low and close to me, I was concerned my forward collision warning would trigger.

After swapping loads on Thursday, I headed out toward Houston area. Got to the delivery midmorning Friday. They had an I-pad check-in, but every number I entered told me there was no appointment with that number. I explained this to the guy walked up to me. “You’re good. Just pull around back to door 10, park on the arrow and we will unload you.” The privilege of flatbed. Got unloaded pretty quick and got my “weekend load.”

Building materials, but not NCI/MBCI. Schulte Building systems. This load was mostly rather delicate metal panels. I could put only a little bit of tension on the panels before they started to bend. There was also some more robust steel on the bottom that I could really crank down on. Lots of straps and headed out, stopping at the Choctaw Travel Center in Oklahoma. Easy day of just driving yesterday.

Shipper:

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

7/5/2021 Update; Colorado

In Evanston, Wyoming for a 34-hour reset after having some home time last week with my son in Moab, Utah. Did lots of hiking and sight seeing of some really awesome scenery.

Got to Park Rapids relatively early that Monday, but they could not unload me that day. When I get there the next day, I come to find out this is a petroleum pipeline and that they have had protests at the job site recently. The security guard told me that the protesters had pulled a boat trailer sideways on the entrance road and chained themselves to the boat trailer. Apparently, that morning some of the protesters chained themselves to one of the trucks delivering to the site that day. I don’t know how they missed me because I was right in the middle of town. Call me lucky.

The unload took a long time because there were two trucks ahead of me. So, lots of waiting. The site wasn’t bad, but you had to be careful of the soft dirt. The other two trucks delivering got stuck and had to be pulled out by the telehandlers.

Next load is lumber out of Two Harbors, Minnesota. I got there early enough to have another long 10-hour break, so I walked over to Lake Superior to see a tug boat and lighthouse in the harbor. On the way back, I walked by the building that is considered the birthplace of 3M.

Got loaded early the next morning. This load is going to Granite City, Illinois. I need to get there over the weekend so that I can pick up my son, but this load will get me there Thursday. I had originally asked my FM to get me a load going AWAY from St. Louis, which would then get me a weekend load going back to St. Louis where I could pick up my son. The load planners tend to be more conservative when it comes to get you there for home. I decided to go ahead and take Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off and then reload Monday for my home time beginning Thursday for Salt Lake City. Three days to get 1,300 miles. Easy, right?

The load planners really screwed this one up. The load I get Monday goes from Troy, Illinois to Elwood, Illinois. I message my FM “Isn’t this load going the wrong way?” “Sales says they’ll get you a load to Salt Lake City, after this.” Okay, fine. I get the load there at 1530 that Monday, but they can’t unload me until after 1700, because of shift change. Shift change is at 1630, and it will only take 20 minutes to unload me because it’s a really small load. Whatever. But because, I will be unloaded after my FM leaves for the day, I can’t get another load until Tuesday. So, now I’ve lost a day and I’m now 1,400 miles away from Salt Lake City.

Next load is MBCI, out of Iowa going to essentially Salt Lake City. The schedule is tight, but we can deliver Thursday morning and still pick up the rental car by the afternoon. And MBCI is preloaded trailers, so no tarp and relatively quick securement. But when I get there, the preloaded trailer is not on the lot AND is not scheduled to be loaded until Thursday, which will not work.

After waiting two hours for a load, we finally get one picking up in Boone, Iowa going to Snowmass, Colorado. By the time we get the load, we won’t be able to pick it up until Wednesday morning. At this point, we will not make Salt Lake City. So, adapt and overcome right? I change my rental car reservation from Salt Lake City to Grand Junction, Colorado, which is not to far from Snowmass and on the way to Moab, Utah. So, we’ll still be in good shape, we’ll get to the 90 early Thursday morning, unload, and then get to the rental car place by mid-afternoon. Or so I think.

I call the delivery contact Thursday morning. We arrange that I will call him when I’m about an hour out. I call him at 0900 when I get to the rest area in Greenwood, Colorado. “I’ll call you in a hour and we should be able to unload you then.” I don’t get a call in an hour and call him again. “We won’t be done pouring concrete until 1230.” Now, as far as time goes, I’m in danger on not making it to the rental car place before they close. I decided to drive to Grand Junction, secure the rental car, and then go back to Snowmass, which is really Aspen. The guy says great that will work.

We head out to Grand Junction, about an hour and a half drive. Get to the rental car place, only to find out they don’t have any cars. “Unless, you want a 15 passenger van.” “I’ll take it!” I say. “We, have to clean it up, unless you want to take it as is,” she says. “Just give me the keys!” I say. I get the key’s park it next to the truck a couple of blocks away and head back to Aspen which is about 2 and a half hours away.

Many van drivers talk about tight deliveries. In Aspen, when you get to the edge of town, they have a sign that says “Large Commercial Vehicles, pull to the right and wait for an escort.” The entire town is not designed for large vehicles. I don’t have time to wait for an escort, so we roll on and find our job site, which is very tight. You enter through one gate and exit through another. On they way out, I end up taking the wrong exit through the roundabout and driving through a resort parking lot. The cars were very patient with me using every inch of the parking lot and road to get back to the main street.

Ended up making to the Love’s in Grand Junction about 1830 and took and Uber from the Love’s to the parking lot where we had left the rental car. Then off to Moab for three full days of hiking. The scenery, hiking, and time with my son was all excellent.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

7/5/2021 Update continued

My FM did a much better job of getting my son back to St. Louis. We picked up lumber at a very primitive lumber mill northwest of Denver. The delivery was in Millersburg, Ohio. So, I was able to make St. Louis by Wednesday night, spend the night at home, and then make it to Millersburg by Thursday night for a Friday delivery. Stayed at the Walmart in Millersburg, which has many Amish. In fact, the Walmart has a hitching rail for the Amish to tie up their buggy pulling horses.

Delivery next morning went smooth. Got another nice load going to Centerville, Utah. Didn’t make it as far as I would have liked Friday. Indiana has now become my most hated state for traffic. Not necessarily the drivers, but the whole screwed up system. Some of you may have recalled that Indiana had almost the entire stretch of I-70 barreled off with 45 mph construction speed limits, yet no construction. Well, US 30 was worse. Even though it was divided four-lane highway there were a lot of stop lights that did not give much longer green lights for US 30 as compared to the side roads. And then, they had US 30 detoured through these small towns. Stopped a rest area in Illinois for the night Friday, another rest area in Nebraska on Saturday night.

Picked Evanston, Wyoming for my 34-hour reset, making it here about 1530 Sunday. I will post details of that in my “Get off the truck thread.” I’ll delivery tomorrow, Tuesday. Then keep rolling.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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