“Better yet! Build a 10 foot high tank trap monstrosity in the shape of your corporate logo! Pay some starving bearded hipster artist to make it from barbed wire and pointed re-bar! And then let it rust! Give them the idea that they might contract aerosolized tetanus just by cutting too close! That will surely keep them surly drivers from cutting unsightly ruts in the corner of your property! Except for those Swift drivers, but you shouldn’t allow them in here anyways. People store food here, for criminy’s sake!”
– Unsolicited advice given to the gate guard at a cold storage warehouse I frequent a lot. Seems that tired and stupid truck drivers are always tearing up the corner as they leave their lot. I saw a poor sod trying to scrape the dirt from the road and reposition the granite boulder that some moron had run over with their trailer tires. Unfortunately, my advice will probably not be heeded.
Too bad. It’s so rarely that I have a really good idea.
I’m at the Flying Hook in Rock Hill, SC, waiting for Monday to roll around. Up to now it had been a fairly busy week for me. Now that all my loads are done, I wasn’t left with one that would get me through the weekend. I’ll have to wait until Monday and maybe I’ll get a load then. (Included in this blog post are some pics I took, not necessarily corresponding to the text they are near…)
Last Monday, I picked up a rust bucket truck from Rome, NY. I was supposed to pick it up on Saturday and run all weekend but upon arrival Saturday, I discovered that the truck would not run, and there were no people at the auction yard… at all! The only person there was another driver who helped me try to diagnose the crappy truck I was tasked to deliver to Rockford, IL. Neither of us had any luck, and Extended Support said that the consignee wasn’t going to mess with getting someone out to help until Monday.
On that day, a wrecker showed up, the guy tried to diagnose the truck and failed so we used his truck to get the crappy truck loaded on my trailer. This went really fast, but I was still there another hour, trying my best to get the height down to legal and getting everything tied down. The truck was so seriously rusty that I was afraid to crank down on the chains, lest I break that fucker in half!
Tuesday saw the truck safely delivered to Rockford, IL, even though they had to use another truck to unload the crappy one. Then it was off to MI to load a 25,000 lb forklift from a steel mill that was almost abandoned going to another in AR, which apparently was doing better. When I got there Wednesday, it turned out the forklift was more like 55,000 lbs and there was no way that I could take it, I didn’t have enough axles for the weight. That would have been the heaviest thing I ever hauled, but now I know my upper limit. So its back to the truckstop to await another load which didn’t come until Thursday.
A short trip to Kalamazoo, MI got me to pick up a very light load which turned out to be pieces of a bus shelter that were going to downtown Charlotte, NC, and would end up on the roof of a 10 story building as a trellis for a garden. The plan was to have it delivered on Monday morning but the folks at the shipper took it upon themselves to see if I could deliver by Friday, and surprisingly the consignee agreed! Very nice of them, otherwise I would be waiting here with a load I could not deliver instead of not having a load at all. There is a difference and that difference shows up in my paycheck.
I ran as fast and as hard as I could to get to downtown Charlotte where I waited about 45 minutes for a spot to clear up in the center of the construction chaos for me to unload. When I finally got there and unstrapped I was asked to take it to the construction yard instead. Apparently there was too many bags of dirt and granite pieces on the roof to make room for my load. Eventually, I was completely unloaded and free.
I popped down to a local truckstop, had some really nice enchiladas with rice and beans, and awaited any chance of a load coming up before quitting time in Green Bay. No luck, so I ran a half hour south to be here, where at least I got WiFi, so I sit and wait some more… and that’s where I am.
About time for bed. Finally got a load about 1300 to pickup a John Deere load out of Dubuque going to somewhere near Dayton, OH. Will pick it up tomorrow. Been Twittering and web browsing in the meantime, basically just wasting time. The WiFi connection here at the Flying J sucks, so I guess its time to crash.
Hanging out at Gary, truck repaired, waiting for a load out of here. The Qualcomm just beeped after I sent a query. The “read-me-now” lite on the dashboard isn’t lit, so I know its just a message saying, “We’re still looking…” I’m out of cash, cigarettes, and snacks and I’m bored outta my mind. Hopefully the battery will soon be charged enough on my FauxPod so I might listen to the rest of my audiobook, Gust Front, by John Ringo. I had read the paperbacks, but I’m digging the audio version, I catch so much that I skipped over and the narrator is doing a great job.
I’m noticing I’m expecting this word processor to correct my spelling and suggest words like the T9 on my fucking cell phone does. It ain’t happening. Got to learn how to type all over again.
Later – The note on the Qualcomm did day, “We still looking.” Of course. But I’m next in this market to get a load when it comes up. There are two other specialized drivers here, one glass and one heavy haul, and they both have loads. There are also lots of regular “M” flatbedders with no load, even though there are a shitload of steel plants nearby. Things are slow all over.
Talking to the other drivers is usually boring and tedious but every once in a while I get talking with a real “character.” One guy was telling me how he worked undercover for NIS back in the seventies and would help bust Navy officers who were bringing heroin home from overseas. Whether true or not, it was a great story.
I managed to get the truck cleaned up, something I should do more often than just before I’m getting it serviced. Can’t have people thinking I’m a slob, though I really am… The electric cooler is back in service after a few months sealed up with Gawd knows what inside. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, cleanup was quick and now milk, sweet tea and cottage cheese are cooling off. I’d made a trip to the nearby WallyWorld but it wasn’t a Supercenter so I went the the Kroger next door and did some stocking up. A pack of cigarettes were obtained and I feel better now.
Heading for bed, hopefully that tomorrow I’ll be back on the road, getting my “paltry” cents per mile.
Waiting somewhere in Illinois to get a new load after the previous one was cancelled. I passed a Streakin Beacon about an hour back, should have gave the truck a bath. Can’t tell what color it is anymore.
Last week I picked up a mixer truck heading to Florida. I was in Morris, IL and the temperature was 15 or so. This is the view I had while I was waiting for them to thaw out the truck:
This is the fog bank I went through to get to Miami:
When I cleared the fog, I had sunny skies and warm temps all the way south. This was the scene in downtown Miami as I was getting ready to enter the front gate of the port:
I think I passed through a space-time vortex, or something. I’m near Atlanta, GA now, waiting for Monday to roll around so I might grab another piece of hardware going to FL. I’ll post pics when that happens…
Woke of this morning to the sound of frozen rain tapping on the fiberglass roof of my truck. Has to crank up the truck and defrost my windows before I could take off. Then it was 15-20 mph up I-75 until I ran into better weather about 50 miles up the road. No big deal really, I’ve driven in worse.
The folks I delivered to in Ohio were very nice, I was able to bring the entire truck into their shop to untarp and unchain. I managed to drop a dozen or so gallons of snow melt on their nice concrete floor but they were not too worried about it. I did all the untarping but they left me use their shop floor to roll them heavy tarps back up before I left. This is unusual but it was much appreciated.
Now I’m hanging out waiting for my next load, as usual. Hopefully something will come up tomorrow. It usually does…
In other news, my conversion to a Linux-head (is that what they are called?) is progressing smoothly. For the past three hours I’ve been working on getting Photoshop Elements 5 to work in Ubuntu Linux with the WINE windows emulator. Got lots good info from the web and for the most part, it’s working. Now I’m taking the bold step of upgrading Elements to the 5.0.2 version and that seems to be working as well. More testing to come, but so far, so good.
Now of I can get my GPS mapping program to install, I’ll be extremely happy and my one day rid myself of the clunky, hanging, crappy Windoze forever!