Saturday, May 30, 2009
Cue in Friday morning, and still more of the same waiting was done. In fact, they even had some drivers go ahead and take home time due to no freight heading out. Finally, around 2pm, a dispatch was received. Craig and Don would be having a return trip to Wapato, WA to pick up apples headed to LA. Bad news is that this load does not deliver until Wednesday! Talk about a slow boat to China, having 6 days to go 1200 miles, but there would be time to think about that later, for now it's time to scale the apple load.
Heading to the closest scale, it appears that they are a bit heavy on the trailer axle, and even by moving the tandems as far as they could go, they were still 3,500 pounds over the 34,000 pound limit on the axle. Even worse news, is that the shipper had closed down for the weekend after they had left their yard, so there was no turning back. So picture this, it is close to 9pm and Craig crawls up into and onto the loaded apples in the trailer, as Don starts lifting and pushing box, after box back to Craig to reposition them into the front of the trailer. Now picture doing that for 28 boxes of apples. Talk about your daily workout!
After the fourth scaling, and finally being legal, Craig takes off and they get as far as the rest stop in Antelope, OR. Now remember that issue with the 6 days for the 1200 miles to deliver the apples? Craig checked in with the weekend dispatcher, and he agreed that was a bit over kill, and that he would work on something for him. Well bless his heart, because a little bit ago, Craig was informed to drop the trailer of apples in the Bloomington, CA yard Sunday morning, and then pick up a loaded trailer of bananas and deliver it Tuesday morning in Clackamas, OR.
So there you go, back to trucking news, where being a combination of smart and lucky will serve you very well!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
For only the second time, and once again with me not in the truck, the dispatch was for two different pick ups. The first pick up was for 28,000 pounds of water from Mountain Mist Bottled Water Co. in Spanaway, Wa, and the second from Consolidated Foods in Kent, WA where they would be picking up a little over 6,000 pounds of assorted candies. Yes, candy and I was all over that one with questions for Craig as to what kind! I have a bit of a sweet tooth, or should I just admit, an addiction for all things sweet!
(Craig's attempt at getting a picture after he forgot and they were driving away)
Their first appointment time wasn't until 11:30am Wednesday morning, but Craig, never one to sit idle for too long, called the water company and found out that they could arrive early for loading. By 8am, they were in the docks and Craig was busy dialing again to their next pick up. He received the same good news at their second stop, and needless to say, they were loaded, scaled, and on their way to Spokane for delivery, way before they thought they would be.
(At Consolidated Foods, picking up all that yummy candy)
The jump on the loading afforded them the opportunity to get into the Company yard in Spokane by 6pm, where they took advantage of the showers and the laundry facility, where Craig promptly did an unexpected washing of his wallet with his clothes. The almost near tragic washing of his medical card was saved by air drying it out on the dash of the truck, and thankfully, it was still readable and Craig avoided the hassle of getting a new one.
(A view from inisde the trailer looking out. I'm checking for any dropped candy!)
You see in June, between the 2nd and the 4th, there will be a nationwide "Road Check 2009", were every State participates in a mass sweep of checking the semi trucks and trailers for any violations, including the log books and required paperwork that drivers need to have available on board. I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that his medical card survived the washing!
After a restful sleep, they made their delivery at the U.R.M distribution center of the water and candy at 5am, and then headed back to the Company yard to check in with the shop and see about getting that darn APU fixed! By 7am they were at the Thermo King dealer getting the APU worked on. All and all I'd say the day is off to a good start!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
They decided to go all the way into the Company yard in Pacific WA yesterday afternoon. That left them only 8 miles to the Fred Meyer DC for the delivery of the bananas. Their appointment time was 5am this morning, and mere 8 minutes later they were unloaded and had put in the empty call. Craig said there were several other TWT trucks also making deliveries this morning, but that they had all left, which leaves us to surmise that they will get a load out of there heading into Spokane. Craig is hoping that if they do head into Spokane that they will have an opportunity to get the APU fixed. He keeps thinking that they may be cursed with a load going into Phoenix and no AC, so getting that APU is high on his priority list.
As for me, I've got all but two chores left on my "to do" list. I have been thoroughly enjoying my time at home, with the cool weather and crisp mornings, where I open all the windows and let the sun shine in and enjoy the occasional rainbow after a midafternoon thunderstorm. And those plants I placed in the flower beds in front of the house that Craig built? They are still alive ........thank you very much! I guess my next trip into Spokane, I just may pick up some flowers and try my hand with them.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Generally speaking, I'm not one to say "I told you so".......(ahem....., trying to look as innocent as I can), but when I got off the phone with Craig, when he called me from the Port of San Diego, while picking up a load of bananas, I just knew I would at least be saying it to myself. You see, while talking about the load, and the time frame they had in which to deliver said load, Craig said that they were planning on driving as far as they could that night. Need I remind you and him, this was Friday afternoon, after 4pm, in San Diego, at the start of the first biggest summer holiday weekend of the year.
I can now inform you that they got as far as the Company yard before deciding it just wasn't worth exerting any more effort in getting out of Southern California until sometime Saturday morning. (Insert the I told you so here) After taking showers and doing laundry, they finally set out towards Pullaylup, WA around 9am Saturday, after informing me that they planned on making it the 2009 Memorial Day Weekend Casino Tour.
Friday, May 22, 2009
This morning, again fortified by the complimentary donuts and coffee, they headed back once again to the Peterbilt dealership. We can say one thing.......the shuttle driver was correct. The truck was not ready by 10am, but by noon, they were driving the truck back towards the Company yard, and then the QualComm started beeping with a new dispatch.
After picking up an empty trailer at the yard, they headed south to San Diego to the Port to pick up bananas. Now the interesting thing about this is that Don does not have a TWIC ID yet. So as they approached the entrance to the Port, Don had to be dropped off and wait it out while Craig went in and picked up the bananas. The good thing about the Port area, there is always lots of activities to keep you visually occupied and interested, so I'm sure Don wasn't too bored waiting for Craig.
Due to the holiday weekend, the bananas are not due to be delivered until Tuesday morning at 5am. Most definitely more than enough time for them to make it. The issue with the APU is still needing to be resolved too. They are hoping they might be able to make it Stockton, CA to the Thermo King tomorrow in time to have it checked. Confidence level is not high for that happening, but maybe they will be able to drop this load early and get something else instead of sitting a good day waiting to deliver. In either case, at least they are moving again and heading away from the hot California weather.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Up early the next morning, Craig took off driving first. Shortly, there after, he started sensing something wrong with the truck and what he thought was the transmission. He stopped and called Road Service, and they advised him to try dumping the air out of the air bags and refill them. This seemed to do the trick and they continued on their way changing drivers in Woodland, CA. By 9pm, they had made it to Lebec, CA and the Flying J where they got some shut eye.
Once again, early this morning, Craig starts driving to get into Vernon, CA to King Meats. On the way, the truck again starts giving them some trouble, but he is able to make it to their delivery on time. Road Service is alerted again, and they are advised to head over to the Peterbilt dealership when empty and after dropping the trailer in the Company yard in Bloomington.
Upon arrival at the Peterbilt dealer, they were shown into the lounge, where they could relax and await the verdict on the truck. As Craig put it in a text message to me....... "We are at the Pete dealer. Will be hanging out in the lounge til problem determined. Probably a couple of hours. Either fixed by midnight or go to motel. Not a big deal hanging out, Lazy boy recliners fit these lazy boys quite nicely. Big screen is a nice touch. Life is so hard as a driver. Got to go, it's time for my nap".As you can see from the picture, it looks quite comfortable there. Come to find out, the mechanic that needed to look at the truck, had already left for the day. They contacted the motel the Company deals with, and their shuttle came and picked them up. Currently, they are enjoying a nice room, plenty of places to eat, and the opportunity to watch the American Idol finale tonight. Hopes are that the truck will be fixed sometime tomorrow. I'm not feeling too sorry for them.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I was also asked by Laura, what exactly boxed meat is. It it can be anything from your finest steaks to tripe and beef tongue and everything in between. I really don't think there is much from the cow that isn't eaten by someone somewhere and we get the pleasure of delivering it!
That about gets you up to date with the trucking world and my home life while Craig is training. Oh, except for my "to do" list which includes staining the shed you saw in the picture above. Now if only those ants would make themselves useful and cart away the stain, I would have an excuse not to have to do it!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Bright and early Friday morning I took off for Spokane to pick Craig up. By the time I got there he was done with his tasks and we were headed HOME! But not without first stopping at Home Depot for a few items for some projects that Craig.....ahem......make that I, had requested he do while at home. The main one was to construct two bed platforms for the mattresses for the downstairs bedroom.
Of course, while we were there, we realized even more projects that needed to be taken care of over the next few months, so to make a long story short, and around $300 lighter in the wallet, we made our way out of Home Depot and onward to home. Craig wasted no time in getting to work measuring and cutting and a couple of hours later we had two bed platforms custom fitted for the bedroom. This morning I tried a new recipe for "monkey bread" for our breakfast. It looked better than it really tasted for the effort and mess it made of my oven. But, no time to dwell on that, we are off to do some more landscaping of the back of the house. Hopefully the four shot mocha espressos I made us this morning will give us the energy to finish the project. Not only did we finish the project, but Craig built some flower beds out of the left over lumber from the bed platforms for the front of the house. I painted them to match the house color and now all we need are some plants and flowers, but that will have to wait a few weeks until we recover from our last little trip to Home Depot! Tonight we plan on relaxing on our front porch and enjoying a nice quiet evening with a beer for Craig and some wine for me. All too soon it will be time for Craig to pack up and head back out on the truck. But until then, I plan on enjoying his company as long as I can! Cheers!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
After going empty, once again they were given a load which was going to be picked up by another driver and the loaded trailer left for them at the yard. So off they went back to the yard to await their loaded trailer, and wait, and wait, and wait some more. The load was bananas which were to have been loaded that morning and at the yard, even with traffic, they figured by 6pm at that latest.
When 6pm came and went and still no trailer at the yard, Craig started thinking that something must have gone wrong. He called road service first to find out if the truck or trailer had been called in with mechanical problems. When that turned up negative, he then asked to have them check the GPS to find out where the truck and trailer was. Turns out it was somewhere in the Ontario area, about 15 miles from the yard, and wouldn't you know it, the driver did not have a cell phone listed on the roster.
With nothing left to do but wait, they watched for incoming trucks until 10pm and then called it a night. Being restless in his sleep, wondering where this phantom truck and trailer was, Craig got up around 3am and walked into the driver's lounge to use the restroom. Wouldn't you know it, on the way, he finds the trailer, and no truck. He checks for paperwork and can only find the Bill of Lading and not the receipt from the previous driver.
I don't know what prompted him to start looking around on the ground, but he found that little half page receipt about 25 feet from the trailer. With about 1000 miles to go and a delivery on Thursday, Craig knew they needed to get started on their journey, so after pre trip inspections and paperwork, off he started driving, but now without first sending a message into dispatch explaining what had just transpired with the mystery truck and wondering why it took over 12 hours from loading to get the trailer into the yard.
Craig used up the rest of his driving hours and got to Avenal, CA before Don took over the driving. From there Don drove them to Medford, OR where Craig took over again late last night. He was planning on getting them about 80 miles from Pullaylup, WA by 4am this morning where there is a truck stop he was planning on stopping at and get a few hours of sleep before their 10:30am delivery.
The only question now is, after going empty, will they get a load going into Spokane for a delivery tonight, or for Friday morning? It really doesn't matter too much for us, as Craig will remain with the truck until Friday regardless, as the APU is acting up and he wants to make sure that it gets looked at by the shop while the truck is parked during home time. With warmer weather on the horizon, that's one of the things Craig just can not live without, especially with a truck that cuts the engine off after 5 minutes of idling.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Craig and Don made the delivery in Madras, OR on Saturday and then continued on their travels to Corning, CA for the night. Sunday, with only 160 miles to the company yard in French Camp, they had a very leisurely drive and spent the rest of the day practicing backing skills and sitting around with all the other drivers doing the normal trucker talk. They topped off the evening by pitching in and sharing some delivered pizza for dinner.
This morning, with two drops, they made the first delivery at 6am in Stockton, CA. After a relatively fast drop for this particular location, less than 2 hours, they were headed to the last drop in Merced, CA. Shortly after going empty, they were instructed to head back to the company yard in French Camp and pick up a loaded trailer of boxed meat which is destined for Mira Loma and a delivery of tomorrow morning at 7:30am.
With home time looming, the hope is that they get a load out of the LA area headed to Spokane. If that works out, they may even get back home as early as Thursday, and you won't hear any complaints from me if that happens!
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
As has previously been written about, we all know how I love me an idling truck or reefer. It is the perfect white noise to lull me to sleep. I remember back when we were hauling boats and I would hope that a reefer would park next to us in the evening. I can pretty much tell you, there is no such white noise anywhere near my resting head at night these days.
Instead, I try to fall asleep in total silence, which I am learning to do, but what I haven't quite gotten used to is the sounds of nature, more precisely, the sounds of the multiple birds that are quite happy to wake me from my sleep. Case in point, this morning at around 4:30am a group of birds carrying on a bit of a conversation, and just when they were done, the morning flock of geese made their presence known as they do every morning around 5am.
For now the sounds of the big trucks starting up, and the blast of air brakes waking me up, has been replaced by the sounds of nature. I can't say I prefer one over the other, as crazy as that might seem to some. Life on the road does get in your blood, and living with a view of the river, mountains, and pine trees from every window of your house is wonderful too.
But what is pure heaven is sharing them both with Craig. I've missed my guy the past couple of weeks, but by this time next week, we'll be together again for a few days. Let's hope Craig enjoys the early morning wake up calls as much as I do!
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Having mentioned to Craig about getting us hooked up with a DVR for our satellite TV at home, he went about making the phone calls and setting up for someone to come by the house on Tuesday and do just that. Will be nice for me to be able to record some of Craig's favorite shows, and when we are both in the truck, have a back up for our shows in case we miss them while on the road. Thank goodness this house is as small as it is, because I have been thinking of all kinds of things I want to do and then after watching so much HGTV, the decorating I am wanting to do. I did manage to do a little Ebay shopping and won an auction of a stunning stain glass piece that will fit perfectly in our loft window in the living room. I'll be sure to post a picture of that when it arrives and gets hung in it's perfect spot.
The load that they will pick up today is slated to be delivered into Spokane tonight. With them delivering tonight and being available for dispatch first thing in the morning, I will just have to wait for his home time to see Craig again. But no worries, that will give me plenty of time of more HGTV watching and thinking up more decorating ideas and "honey do" projects for Craig to do.