Anne and I will both hit 100 hours behind the wheel today. She probably already has since she was only 2 hours away. I will end the day right at about 100.
Anne is hanging out in South Texas and Louisiana, rough. Her trainer is working on routing to get her to Tunnel Hill the end of next week to upgrade and I will probably be a day or two behind her due to the weather. We are having a great experience and we both have patient, conscientious trainers who a lot of fun to be with. Anne also got to meet Carl’s family in Houston where they stayed the night and got caught up on laundry.
Houston weather was so nice, I was in shorts for a whole day. After a long day unloading and running out to Beaumont we headed back toward Dallas with the plan being to get to the Irving TX terminal for some maintenance on the truck. I also needed to get some clothes washed. I was going to run out of hours 30 minutes short of the terminal so we stopped in Centerville for the night. A Truck Stop with Woody’s Smokeshop, great BBQ, for dinner. Nice quiet night and then get a call at 6:00 AM. Due to the crappy weather in Denver, they are way behind on loads, can we make a run today. The answer is of course yes. I had just passed halfway on my training so we are now allowed to run as a team. My trainer drove us up to Oklahoma to pick up the loaded trailer and we were off with me asleep in the back. We stopped for fuel at a Loves and then I took over with 9 1/2 hours to go to Denver. Started snowing hard just before the Colorado line but roads were fine the next 75 miles or so. Then it got pretty bad, almost white out conditions. I just took it slow and easy and we made it through. Pretty funny, I had about a half dozen trucks following me to Denver. If they only knew their “leader” had been driving for a whole month. Pulled into the parking lot of the store at 3:15 AM and hit the bunk. We woke up to about 8 inches on the ground and still snowing. High was supposed to be 4 degrees. Half the trailer went to this one store and it was a sunken dock. After waiting 3 hours for a plow to clear the driveway to the dock, Mike got the stores cargo off and then we had to wait for the wrecker to pull us out. All in all about 9 hours so we cannot make our second stop in the daylight (and the store is not in a good area, Bill of Lading says “Daylight Only”) So we dropped the truck at the truck stop where we park our cars and Mike and I headed to our homes for the night. I got all the laundry done, did the dishes and got some groceries bought for Shelby, who wasted all her money on her bills…..can you imagine?
Mike is at the second stop this morning unloading. I expect to meet him about 9:00 am back at the truck stop and we are headed back to Oklahoma (where it is snowing this morning)
I also got to see the nice long line of shiny, brand new 2011 Freightliner Cascadia’s lining the back fence at the Irving Terminal, all with 10 speeds. I very much hope one has our name on it…..well, one at Tunnel Hill anyway. Somebody opened the checkbook, I hear that USX has just bought 3500 of these trucks. Sweet trucks and I think it would be great to have a manual transmission since we just learned how to shift and I do not want to start over. Word is that USX is getting rid of all of the automatics and going to manuals so we might as well take the plunge.