and not like Phil Collins song.
We stayed the night in Lebanon, Missouri because it had gotten near dusk when we left the Shephard Hills store. Driving after dark with these used trucks is an iffy proposition to begin with. The headlights either work very well or, as most usually happens, the left headlight is pointed to the right shoulder at the front of the truck and about 6 feet out into the darkness while the right headlight is pointed up to the sky. That headlight shines on the road signs blindingly well. Other times we have to drive with the brights on just so we can see the road in front of us.
When I first started driving with Joe in 2001 he would start the day at about 9:30 or 10 in the morning and we’d go until nearly midnight. Nagging didn’t work, temper tantrums didn’t work, threats of bodily harm didn’t work, total outright mutiny didn’t work. I have no idea what happened….and of course he takes all the credit for it now. We began getting up at 5 a.m. and on the road by 6 a.m. then we can get off the road by 7 p.m. when it is still light out and settle down. I don’t care what his epiphany was or why he decided to do it. I’m just glad he did. Block headed German – I call him that when I’m really frustrated with him. Not that I am now, it is just that I do from time to time.
This job has so many highlights to it. Trucks don’t run because of dead batteries or the alternator is out. Trucks with automatic transmissions have to have full batteries and the alternator has to work also or the crazy transmission won’t work at all. The air conditioning stuff has been well used so it is usually 60 x 2 – 60 miles an hour with 2 windows down, or 65 and even 70 sometimes. Internationals are the ones I hate to take. Especially International Daycabs. Those are just plain rattle traps. Banging and clanging going on constantly. They hop and bounce all over the place. When I get in one I just dump everything I normally take along on the floor. It is going to end up there anyway. The newer Volvos blow their own headlights out when they have to be jump started. Whoever was in on the electrical design on the Volvos must have gone golfing or something else. They sure weren’t at the office and in on the planning. The jump start is free if done at the dealership – $175 to $250 if done by a wrecker service. The headlight is also free if it is blown by the dealership people. $425 if not. One headlight.
Most of the trucks have had regular maintenance by the fleet that owned or leased them but the driver didn’t care because the truck was not his/hers. Trash piled in the sleeper, stink of sweat and dirty clothes clings to the upholstery. Then there are the “Super Truckers” that pound down the road mile after mile and don’t make any stops. They save gallon jugs and try to use them as they are blasting past each mile. Hit a bump and miss the jug. OMG the smell is horrid.
Now I don’t have a problem with pets. We used to bring our dog along when she was alive. She went with us for 8 of her 17 years before she had to be put to sleep from kidney failure. She was an excellent dog. Princess was her name and she was a black lab. Hardly ever barked. When she did she scared the fool out of us because it was LOUD.
Some drivers bring their pets. Cats are the absolute worst because of the litter box smell. You know when there has been a cat in the truck. Also when the driver has had a small dog that lives on the dash. There is bits of dog food in the holes where the windshield defroster air blows. Doesn’t blow because it is all clogged up with dog food and dog hair.
I’ve heard of a man that kept a sheep in his truck. Hay all over the sleeper area and little pebbles of poop were found under the sleeper bed. Glad I didn’t have to take that truck. Our big dog was bad enough to move around and step over when she came along. I can’t imagine a sheep.
Okay, I got way off topic here.
This run from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Green Bay, Wisconsin was to have a stop over in Peru, Illinois to drop off the truck I had been driving. We were then going to Gary, Indiana to pick up another truck. One from the Schneider facility and it was to go to the Schneider facility in Green Bay while Joe’s two trucks and my other one are going to the Kenworth dealership in Green Bay.
At breakfast this morning Joe called to get the VIN number of the truck we would be picking up in Gary. The truck had been given to someone else and we had not been notified of the change.
Coldiron Companies – one of the companies we drive for – make us take along one of their phones. That dumb phone has a GPS tracking thing on it that we can’t turn off. Battery usage is out of sight because of this feature. They want to know where we are at any given point in the day. That phone is also our way of getting the dispatch information with the VIN numbers and the load number associated with the VIN. Joe’s Coldiron phone is up in our pickup – 10 feet in the air. It requires a ladder to get it, which we have, but neither one of us wanted to get the ladder down and climb up to get the stupid phone. Just call for the information.
In all fairness….the dispatch offices are crazy busy. Phones ringing all the time. If I worked in one for a week they’d fire my butt. I don’t like listening to whining drivers that complain about the work they have to do. So quit already and go find something else.
I can imagine the woman in the office just got too overloaded and forgot that she had given the load to Joe. The paper may have sat out on her desk and she had not written on it what had been done with that load. Then too, we have found the woman is in the hospital. Don’t know what for or for how long. If it was scheduled then that may have been weighing on her mind at the time.
Yes, it messed us up on our routing and time frame for delivery. Big whoop.
We now only have to follow the route to Green Bay without the 100 mile plus out of route (we would not be paid for anyway) to get the truck in Gary and go up to Green Bay. Less work involved at the delivery site because half of the work is already done when I delivered one of my trucks in Peru, Illinois. We can’t count the dispatch money as ours until we pick the truck up so we have not lost money.
It is just some of the aggravations we encounter along the way. People have a way of changing our minds. Yes, I’m whining.
A plus to this sad sad story is we will be in Green Bay tomorrow night. I will get a good nights rest and be able to take a long shower instead of a “Honey are you about done in there” one. And Thursday morning at 10 a.m. I have an appointment with Kathy (with a K) with Creations Galore to do an interview of her scrapbook store.
I’ll take blessings from any where they come from.
I received a note from Leslie at Whole Lotta Scrap in Norman, Oklahoma. She is pleased that the interview went so well and she is very pleased with all of your comments on her store.
I also received a note from Anita at Scrapbook Creations in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She, also, is pleased with the comments you folks have posted about her store and her interview.