Category Archives: Road Angst

I Certainly Don’t Come Here For The Service…

What is it with the new Denny’s restaurants they’ve been putting in all the Pilot and Flying J truckstops? The food is cheap and good enough but the service has consistently sucked ass ever since they converted the the J’s Country Markets to Denny’s. Tonight was the worst service I’ve ever had.  But what can I really expect, it is, after all, a Denny’s. And now they’ve gained the dubious attribute of becoming a Truckstop Restaurant. Double damned, if you ask me.

The whole staff managed to funk up my dining experience.  he Manager got into the act by bringing me the wrong plate. The “cooks” undercooked the hash browns and the cheese and the weird tasting sausage in it were cold.  The server stopped by with the right plate, asked if I needed anything and then got lost.

Ten minutes later I’m in the process of chowing down and the server comes back and does that stupid thing that most servers do. She dropped the check and while my mouth was full of food, asked if everything was OK! I managed a thumbs up and them she VANISHED! No refills, no bussing of dirty dishes, not a sign of concern for my customer satisfaction! I HATE when they do that!

At meals end I head to the cash register to pay up and then stand there like a dork for five minutes in plain view of the Manager and the entire room until said Manager broke off the deep meaningful conversation she was having with another customer and waved over a different server to take my plastic and my John Hancock.

Thats my sad tale of woe. I’d hoped to sit there in the quarter-full restaurant sucking down ice teas and browsing the web on my Android, but I got disgusted and left. Will I ever go back? Probably. I shouldn’t let the crap bother me but when I only eat out once or twice a month…

Waahh, waahh, waahh… whatever.

Well This Is Some Fine BS I’ve Stepped Into

Used to be that this place I delivered to gave us up to one hour after the appointment time to still be on the schedule. I was 14 minutes late checking in because of a potty break. Now they’ve decided that they’ll “work me in when they can.” Been here 4 hours, load untouched.

Doesn’t pay to take a leak anymore. I gotta get me some of those Depends things now…
 

Happy New Year (yawn)

Spending New Year’s at a truckstop in Michigan. As usual. Most times I’ve spent the holiday on the road. It’s always a choice between Christmas and New Year’s and thats a no-brainer for me. New Year’s was fun when I lived in Hawaii. Real fireworks and a party atmosphere for everyone, not just adults drinking themselves insensate. I haven’t been to a nice end of year party in years.

Hopefully this one will be much less stressful as the one time I spent New Year’s at the Schneider OC in Gary, Indiana. I know gunshots when I hear them and I was seriously considering spending the night UNDER my truck or at least inside the building. It sounded like the audio I’ve heard on the news of war zones around the world. What goes up must come down, people! PLEASE, no shooting up in the air, m’kay?

This year I was able to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas at home so I got to spend quality time at home with family and friends. The new trucking company I work for has lots of loads from businesses that don’t necessarily shut down for the holidays. I’ve already spent on Thanksgiving on the road and, trust me, there is nothing more pathetic than eating turkey loaf in a truckstop restaurant. Trust me, I wouldn’t lie to you my imaginary reader! Ugh.

This year I’m far enough away from any urban areas I figure it will be a quiet night. Yawn…

Cell Blogging Test…

Been a few days of hard driving after lazing around with no load all weekend. Picking up an overdimensional load going to WI that I only have to get as far as IL and then its home to see Terry. I’m very ready for that.

Trying to learn how to “thumb type” on the the bitty little touch screen keyboard of this HTC Pure. Thank the Gawds of Technology for T9 predictive text, otherwise it would take me hours to just correct the spelling errors my fat thumbs are printing all over this mess.

Now if can just figure a way to get it from the cell phone to the blog. If you’re reading this, I’ve succeeded. Of course, if it didn’t make it, you’ve no farging idea what I’m talking about…

Truckers! Online DAC Report Request Now!

Truckers, its very important to know what’s in your DAC report. The information contained in it, right or WRONG, could affect your future hireability as a truck driver. From Allen Smith of AskTheTrucker.com:

The DAC Report Services, now known as HireRight, now allows truck drivers to file a dispute online, concerning the placement of false information on their DAC.   Drivers can also request a copy of their DAC Report online.   HireRight DAC Trucking Solutions still operates in the same manner as the former DAC Reporting Services . . . different headquarters . . . same people . . . different name.    Here’s the update information you need:

The link to inquire, the link to dispute. All truckers need to check this out!

UPDATE: 12/29/2009: Received my DAC, lots of information and thankfully, all of it seems correct.

Fun With Over-sized Truck Loads

(Alternate Title: Everything you ever wanted to know about over dimensional freight permits on the interstate highway system but didn’t really give a shit about anyways because you’re just humoring the truck driving asshole! Ponderous title, dude!)

What a day today! I’m hauling an oversize and overweight load from Illinois to West Virginia and getting permits for this load are proving to be a serious pain in the ass. Illinois came in fast, as usual. Indiana, on the other hand, always takes forever. And there is so much construction going on that the standard route across I-64 I usually take was totally unavailable to me. Too much construction and too many places that I can’t drive 92,000 lbs gross over. So I had a lovely trip through the back country of Southern Indiana and the tiny, twisty roads of the Hoosier National Forest before I finally got back to the Big Road and another truck stop to await… a Kentucky permit!

Normally Kentucky O/D permits come in pretty fast but, apparently, the combination of the weight and the 11’ 6” width was too much for their crappy roads, so I was rerouted to Indianapolis to catch I-70 into Ohio. Which involved getting a brand new permit… and a two and a half hour wait at a tiny truck stop for the permits to come in and be faxed to me. By that time I had less than two hours of daylight (O/D loads in IN can run from sunup to sundown) left and I’ve ended my day at a Flying J just south of Indy. For all that work and stress, I managed less than 250 miles today and had to push back my delivery a few hours.  I still don’t have my WV permit yet, so it could get worse… Joy.

Some background: Over dimensional loads (loads wider than 8’ 6”, taller that 13’ 6”, heavier than 80,000 lbs) require special permits from each state you go through. They determine if the route is OK and if not, will give you a route that avoids roads that the load won’t work on. Sometimes those routes turn into scenic drives in country and always take forever. You (the driver) must have these permits in hand before you enter the state covered by the permit. Which means someone has to order them and then fax them to someplace (usually a truck stop) where you can pick them up.

You then verify the permits has all the proper info, verify the route, and some permits require a signature on them. Some states even require the signature to be in BLUE INK, except for Alabama which requires RED INK. You are not allowed to bypass any open state weigh stations (chicken houses in CB parlance) and must submit to paperwork inspection if asked.

Like I mentioned before, most states generally let you run daylight hours, which in some states means sunrise to sunset, a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset, or a half hour after sunrise to a half-hour before sunset! Luckily the GPS program on my laptop will tell me this info for wherever I am. But not so lucky, winter is coming, the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter and I got less time to run. I takes me longer to run the same miles and I get paid by the mile, not by the hour.

Oh well, enough of this truckers whining… Here’s Jeff Dunham and Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Enjoy!

Tires

Got my load this morning and came to the shop in Gary to get a mudflap replaced and my tires looked at. They ended replacing all eight drive tires and took enough time doing it that I have no more time to run tonight. Down for the night in the shop yard and will head out in the AM for points west. Got another 1100-1200 miles or so to go and plenty of time to get there, so no big deal. Its just that the facilities here are… lacking.

While I was waiting in the drivers lounge I was treated to a full episode of NCIS and then another of Law and Order SVU. I haven’t had a TV in my truck for years and in no way miss it. They still have ignorant commercials, dumbass sitcoms, and stupid cop shows where the case is always wrapped up in one hour using their vastly superior (scripted) brains and the quasi-existent technology that would put a sci-fi movie to shame. Yes, Virginia, TV is still a vast and empty wasteland, not unlike New Jersey.

I’d forgotten that Ice T was on that Law and Order show. What a waste…  Is he really the love child of Mr T?

Then I pity th’ fool!

Still Here…

Still sitting here in SC with no load. I’m not getting paid for this. Yea, verily, life doth suck right now…

At least I’m caught up on all my reading… and cleaning… and every other gawd-damned thing except work! Oh, here’s a video of the truck doing it’s “ghost in the machine” thing again. This was taken around noonish. The symptoms just stopped about an hour ago. Stupid truck…