Just finished up near Denver after a long and uneventful run through Nebraska and Colorado. I’m a half hour from where I deliver in the AM and I’ve already got a load to pickup going to the port in Baltimore. I was worried that a one or more of my “new” tires would pop before I got here, but I lucked out.
No internet access but that’s OK. Long boring runs like this make me sleepy at the end of the day. Later…
200 miles after getting all 8 drive tires replaced, I experienced what felt like a grenade going off under my truck. After pulling over, removing the upholstery from my sphincter, and going to look, I discovered this:
Nice! After waiting 2 and a half hours it was replaced and I was sent on my way. Ended up hunting a small truckstop up in Lincoln, NE without further incident. And I’m bushed!
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?
Tonight, I’m in Michigan. In the AM I’ll pickup a railroad load going to Colorado. Probably shouldn’t go into details, I’ve been endeavoring to keep work and my blog separate (“You gotta keep ‘em separated!“).
Today was a leisurely drive through Indiana and Michigan, it was a nice day with good weather. Tomorrow will bring the start of a nice legal load going to Colorado. But right now, I’m bushed and need to sack out.
Oh and if you haven’t seen this, Star Wars done up in THUMBS:
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.
I’d like to have taken lots of pictures as I was hauling ass from TN to my place for the night in OK, but the scenery was just too boring and I was more interested in getting as many miles as I could in before sunset.
The only comment I have on today’s driving is an observation on the way the interstate exits are screwed up around Memphis. I was travelling westbound on I-40 heading from the AR border when I came to the place where I-240 splits from I-40 and heads south. If you want to stay on I40 west, you have to get into the second lane from the far left and then curve north (right) to go under 240, which heads south! Seems to me if you were heading west and wanted to go north, you’d bear to the right. Go south and you’d bear to the left! Nope. Not in Memphis.
This weird behavior is repeated when I240 joins back up with I40 close to the border, bear left to go right. Thats as about as smart as those right turns New Jersey makes you do in order to make a left. Aye, aye, aye…
Like I said, no pictures taken but let me share a few of my faves from from other photographers on Flickr. First, from Emery_Way, is this pup joyously happy or or trying to fly?
This one looks very happy to pose for Valentines Day…
Here’s the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen on a dog… From Tobyotter
And from Nelson Cruz, the biggest tongue!!
You can tell I like dogs, huh? If you like these pics, click on them, go to the photographers flickr page and tell them! I’m sure they’d appreciate it.
Just closed out the first day of one of the longest trips I’ve had in years. I’m taking a forklift from North Carolina to California. I’ve not been to CA in years and I’ve never hauled an oversized load that far since 2006 when I hauled an excavator from Georgia to Washington state. I’m blogging this from my cell phone, so I’ll keep it brief…
I showed up at the shipper at 0800, right on time. The sky was seriously thinking of dumping rain on me as I was waiting to load up. It waited long enough for them to drive the machine onto the trailer and decided to “give me a bath” as I was tying it down. I told the rain that I had one last night but it was uninterested.
After I got my permits, driving was pretty much uneventful til I got past Charlotte. Somehow some very large pieces of pink fiberglass insulation had been dumped on the road and all the four wheeler were jamming their brakes to avoid it. I was too busy avoiding the four wheeler to notice where the pink stuff had come from. It materialized in the middle of the interstate for all I know! One car had a big wad of fiberglass under his front bumper and engine and unheeding, just kept on going, shedding pink cotton candy for 10 miles before I lost sight of it…
Further on down the road, I noticed that the clouds were moving across the bright blue sky in distinct rows, oriented east-west. George Calling would have said that they looked like grey, loosely formed gorilla turds, and to me, they did.
Halfway through TN, it started sleeting and I was able to find this truckstop at the official “half-hour after sunset” although with the weather it was full dark when I pulled into Baxter, TN and took the last open parking spot, lucky me! As I type this it has started to sleet again and little soggy ice crystals are pelting the fiberglass roof. Looks like it’ll be wet going tomorrow.
Maybe tomorrow night I’ll park somewhere with WiFi and continue this road diary and maybe add some pictures. check back with me on that…