Chicago At Christmas 2005 Day 1

by Rhonda

I am not thrilled about going to Chicago in December so close to Christmas. At least I get to take "my" truck, the one I used on all the Dallas trips. I am driver 2 on this load. I top off my fuel in Missouri because it's cheaper. I will need the fuel to run the truck some for heat while I take my breaks. I will not freeze or be uncomfortable in a truck. I do my best to not idle long for heat/air conditioning, but these stupid laws being put on the books that prevent idling come from the same people who start up their vehicles just to drive across the street. Ooops! I'm rambling. This subject really gets my blood pressure up!

This truck is running rough. It just came from the mechanics where it was given a new EGR valve. My highway speeds are OK, but at an idle or while waiting at stop lights it acts like its going to die. It's not hitting on all cylinders, and it has very little power at the low speeds. Maybe the turbo is clogged because it's been going from high-idle to shutoff, instead of going from high to low for 1 minute first in order to cool off and clean itself out. All I know is what I was taught, and if it doesn't go through the proper stages it can cause problems. So many drivers just do not care.

Getting hungry so I get my sandwiches out of my cooler next to me. With all the gel packs I put in there my turkey sandwiches will be just right. I can hardly wait for the first bite. I have fruit and snacks too. I reach in and get the first sandwich out and it is warm--too warm. So is the second sandwich! CRAP!! I can not eat this and get food poisoning. I feel the floor under the cooler and it's very warm. This never happened to me before, so is it this cooler or the truck? At least the fruit and snacks are still OK.


I pay my toll on I294 and just get to top speed when we all came to a stop. I was in the right hand lane and there is a sign up ahead that says "3 LEFT LANES CLOSED 1 MILE AHEAD". I am just so thrilled to see that Chicago traffic has not changed since Oct of 2004 when I did my last trip here. Construction in December. What a mess! What a crock! I am just thrilled to be here!!

I make it to my delivery point in Des Plaines and sign in. I get to back into an enclosed dock which I hate doing. Its so dark that you can't see the dock you're backing into. You have to get out and look at where you are before backing in. Some of the docks do have lines or markings on them, but this time I'm not that lucky. After putting it in the dock I go inside the building. The person unloading my truck asks me if I can help him because they're short handed and busy. Every pallet is put on a scale and the weight is written on the top and side. I agree to help him because things will go much faster if he can just stay on the forklift. Another worker joins us later to hurry up and get this job done. They are getting ready for their Christmas dinner/party tonight. Soon I am done and I go to the Des Plaines Oasis for my break. I go inside for a hot meal and watch the airplanes taking off and landing at O'Hare. Back at the truck it is still very warm inside. This truck has excellent heat. I start it and let it run for a little while. It's very cold here - temps are in the single digits. Soon I shut it off and get some sleep. I wake up around 10 pm to run the truck for a little while to heat it up in here again before going back to bed, awaiting the adventures that I'll have tomorrow.


Driving While Intoxicated

by Brett Aquila

Related Articles:

Another Night Of Driving And A Very Close Call

by Rhonda

As a truck driver you have to be on guard at all times. Even when you're doing everything right you never know when someone will do something crazy.

Inside Trucking Part 3: Life On The Road

by Rhonda

An inside look at life on the road from a trucker's perspective.

Night Shift

by Angelique

I haul car fuel on the night shift in Amsterdam. Not many women truck drivers work the night shift and a lot of people want to know if it's dangerous.

The Weaving Driver

by Rhonda

You never know when a beautiful day for a drive can suddenly turn ugly, as it did for Rhonda in her big rig on a typical summer day in Wisconsin.

Reaching 300,000 Miles In A Big Rig

by Rhonda

Although I had never planned on driving a semi, I wound up having a great trucking career. Here's a story about the trip where I reached 300,000 miles.

The Big Decision

by Becky Prestwich

Being given the opportunity to travel the country with my husband I'm ready to hit the highways and find out what life is all about for the American trucker

Getting Started - And Schooled

by Becky Prestwich

After learning I would be headed out on the road with my husband it was time to see our assigned truck for the first time and start loading in our goodies.

The Ups And Downs Of Life On The Road

by Becky Prestwich

After just a short time on the road with my husband I've come to realize that everyday life in the trucking industry is like a roller coaster ride.

Living And Working Together On The Road

by Becky Prestwich

After a month of travelling with my husband who is an OTR trucker we're learning to live and work well together. Life on the road takes some getting used to.

Some Days Are Better Than Others. Some Are Best Forgotten.

by Becky Prestwich

It seems like life on the road throws you one curveball after another sometimes. This winter has been tough, with some parts better off forgotten.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More