Monthly Archives: July 2013

10,091 miles for July and everything was to be delivered “yesterday”!

July 2013 has got to be the craziest month in my history of doing Drive-Away. Many of the loads this month were only two trucks assigned to Joe.

Normally trips like these would leave me free to take pictures of the routes we travel to fill my blog posts with tidbits of information. Not this month.

Our dispatcher knew we had to be in Colorado from July 8th to the 13th for our daughter’s wedding. He worked us around to be sort of close to Colorado. Once the wedding was over he made up for the time we lost from work after that.

July started off with four trucks out of Fort Worth, Texas going to Pendleton, Oregon.

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July 2nd through the 6th was spent delivering the Pendleton, Oregon trucks. After delivering them we had to team up on the deadhead driving to Salt Lake City, Utah for a rental car to be used in Colorado.

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Our pickup and trailer were left in the long term parking lot of the Salt Lake City airport. With trepidation we left our equipment in a public area and worried several days over the safety of our stuff.

The rental car was used to get us from Salt Lake City, Utah to Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

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We arrived a day late. The first two days at Loreli and Chad’s home were spent getting the final pieces ready for the wedding. The programs created and printed off and creating the table seating placards.

Would you believe I didn’t take one photo of anything?! I think I just lost my mind.

Once the wedding was over we went back the way we came to Salt Lake City to return the car and get our pickup and trailer. Thankfully everything was still there when we got to the airport and out of long term parking.

The next set of trucks was out of Hyrum, Utah going to St. Augustine, Florida. Only two this trip. I was going to take pictures along the way. That ended almost as soon as we found the lead truck did “Zero to 60” in five MILES!

We got told we were “Number 1” on numerous occasions by being flipped off for going so slow on a two lane twisting road out of Utah heading for Wyoming.

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This trip from Utah to Florida was going to be longer than we thought.

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August 15th through the 20th for the Utah to Florida trucks was done by Joe and I switching off driving seven hours each per day. It was uncommon to end the day before midnight at a hotel during this trip. Leaving again by 6 am to continue on to Florida made for long and tiring days. These trucks don’t have mattresses in the sleepers so we napped in the passenger seat as we could.

The trucks were supposed to be delivered on Friday the 14th. That wasn’t going to happen no matter how much we tried.

Once we finally delivered the trucks we had to get to Orlando before noon that same day – Saturday.

A short trip to Orlando we arrived merely minutes before noon. The people at the dealership were really great. They helped us get the trucks off the property and waited until I had the inspection forms ready to sign before they locked up for the weekend.

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The four trucks from Orlando were going to auction in Tunica, Mississippi. We headed north with them about 100 miles and found a hotel to fall down in….while the sun was still out.

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We over slept Sunday morning. This caused us to be behind schedule for delivering in Tunica on Monday morning. We did deliver Tuesday afternoon late. The auction was scheduled for Thursday so we just squeaked in.

Once delivered we had to deadhead to Charlotte, North Carolina for two trucks. This was going to be another trip driving like we were on fire to deliver.

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Oak Park, Michigan was our destination for the two trucks.

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Oak Park is near Detroit. All the recent financial troubles there were reflected in Oak Park. Detroit filing for bankruptcy showed as far away as Oak Park. Closed businesses, people on the street corners hustling for money from passing travelers.

Once again we were to deliver before noon on Friday. We arrived just after 2 pm. Next it was off to Marshfield, Wisconsin for three trucks going to Wilmer, Texas.

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We did get to be home in our own bed two nights ago. Home long enough to do laundry and sleep a few hours before delivering.

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After delivering in Texas Tuesday afternoon we deadheaded to Tunica, Mississippi for two trucks once again.

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August will begin with a 700 mile run to Jacksonville, Florida.

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July has been crazy with work and I have had very little time to keep up with this blog, emails from family and friends were answered many days after I received them. Text messages have gone unanswered, even my birthday wishes from friends and family went unanswered while we drove one mile after another.

Joe has doctor appointments in August. I am hoping to get a week off to rest and zone out at my computer catching up on YouTube videos I have missed out on. Maybe even sleep in past 6 a few mornings :-).

One can always hope 😀

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ADT. Home security you can trust to scare the fool out of your MOTHER! Well, step mother anyway.

Our newlywed daughter and son-in-law have a home security system for their house. Does it work? Heck YES it works!

Saturday, July 13th was the last full day we were with Loreli and Chad after their wedding. Carissa and her husband, Jaime, would be leaving for Arizona the next day so it was decided a trip to Estes Park, Colorado was in order.

One of the fond memories our kids have (Loreli and Carissa) is of the long Labor Day weekend trips to the Colorado Rocky Mountains we used to do every year.

Carissa and Jaime live in Arizona and it has been many years since Carissa’s last trip to Estes Park. Loreli and Chad, living within 80 miles of the mountains (one way) have made numerous trips and wanted to share their favorite shops with us.

Candy shops were the first stop along the pathways of the old town. One place we lingered in was Mountain Blown Glass – sorry no link is available – where we watched a vase being made before our eyes. Quite fascinating this art form is.

After walking up and down hills, wading through throngs of tourists, listening to screaming babies, and dodging a number of dogs taking their owners for a walk around town we did manage to take in the charm of Estes Park on a beautiful and cool day.

The kids wanted to tour the famous Stanley Hotel – and yes I do have a link here

The Stanley Hotel was featured in “The Shining” by Stephen King. Both the book and the movie.

Joe was hurting pretty bad. His hips and right knee were making walking difficult. We chose to head for Loreli and Chad’s house to await their return. We had a key to get in the house. Joe could take some pain meds and recuperate from the days adventures and rest up and prepare for any other things the kids might wish to do.

I drove the little Chevy Malibu up to Estes Park and back to the house. The roads we drove are sharp curves, hairpin turns, up grades and down grades through the mountainous terrain. Cell phone reception is spotty way up there. In some areas we even encountered the dreaded “No Service”. I didn’t pay much attention to that on the way up nor the way down.

As we pulled up in front of Loreli and Chad’s house I thought of their cute little Weiner dog left alone in the house all this time. I thought poor little Daisy would welcome the chance to run for the back door and head to the fenced yard to relieve her little bladder.

I put the key in the door and unlocked it. I could hear Daisy making little whimpering noises to be let out. I opened the door and stepped in. The most ear splitting cacophony of whooping sirens, computerized voices, and the human voice of the ADT operator slash security person’s voice came from everywhere.

The siren is whooping loudly. A voice says “Front Door Alarm”, the siren gets louder, Daisy is hopping around and barking then whimpering.

I’m freaking out at the doorway. Joe tells me to go inside and let the dog out.

WHAT??

Go INSIDE!?!

I go in and attempt to move the gate that holds Daisy in her special area. Joe walks through to the back door and opens it with Daisy hot on his heels.

“Intruder Alert” is now loudly being proclaimed throughout the house and the siren has gotten louder.

Joe opens the back door and the noise gets worse! “Front Door Alarm”. “Intruder Alert”. “Back Door Alarm”. That computerized voice is screaming at us in competition with the siren!

Daisy has bolted out the back door to find the sweet spot in the grass and get away from all the noise.

Now a human voice is added into the din. “This is ADT. The police are being called.”

I’m standing outside the front door on the porch about 10 feet from all the racket. Joe is further away than I am. He makes his way to the area where the voice is coming from and can’t seem to find it.

Joe says “Hello! I’m the father of the bride and we just walked in. How do you shut this thing off?!”

The ADT person says “Who has given you permission to be in the house?”

Joe says “What? I can’t understand you.”

I’m outside the front door grimacing and transferring my weight from one foot to the other. Occasionally glancing over my shoulder to see if the police have arrived.

The ADT person repeats her question. “Who has given you permission to be in the house?”

Joe says “My daughter. She just got married yesterday and I’m down from Oklahoma to give her away.”

Why is it that we get diarrhea of the mouth in stressful situations?!

The ADT person asks “What is the six digit alpha numerical code we can use to verify you have permission to be in the house?”

Joe says “What?”

Keep in mind the siren is still wailing, the computerized voice is still calling out “Front Door Alarm, Intruder Alert, Back Door Alarm” and Joe is losing his hearing.

I step away from the door and frantically begin dialing Loreli’s cell phone. No answer. Sent to voice mail.

I try again. Voice mail.

I try again. Same result.

I dial Chad’s cell phone. Voice mail.

I dial Loreli again. Voice mail.

Joe is dealing with the ADT person telling her we don’t know the codes. We just came down to see our daughter married. We just left them in Estes Park with our other daughter.

The ADT person tells Joe she will have to have the police come.

Crapazoid! The police! The POLICE will be here any minute! A van will pull up and men in black pants with a hundred pockets will jump out of it. Helmets on their heads. Shiny reflective sunglasses over their eyes. Bullet proof vests with POLICE emblazoned on the backs. These guys will all come out of the van. A hundred of them. Everyone of the men will have a rifle pointed at me.

Oh. My. God! They are going to arrest us. They are going to make us get down on the ground and tell us to shut up.

Loreli answer your phone! Voice mail.

I call Carissa. Voice mail.

I call Jaime. Voice mail.

I look out in the street, up and down. I’m watching for the van to arrive.

I call Loreli. She answers. I scream out “Alarm”. My phone says “Call Failed”.

I call Loreli once more and get her voice mail. Then, and only then, does it dawn on me that they are quite possibly driving the twisting roads with “No Service” on their phones.

Loreli calls me. “Les, are you alright?”

“Call Failed”.

Crapazoid!

A police car comes into view at the bottom of the hill from Loreli’s house. I see the officer get out of his car. I hear the sirens continue to wail inside the house. The computerized voice is still proclaiming “Front Door Alarm, Intruder Alert”.

In high stress mode my brain has locked up on only one thought. Joe and I are going to jail. For the weekend. We won’t be able to post bail until Monday. The Police are here.

$)^#. Might as well meet him half way. I walk toward him and my mouth begins to run away with itself.

Me: Our daughter just got married. I have a key to her house. The alarm is screaming and I don’t know how to stop it. I can’t get hold of her. See I’ve called her 12 times now.

I poke my phone up towards his face.

Policeman: (adjusting his gun belt and looking around the neighborhood). “Your daughter lives here?”

Me: (trying to call Loreli once more). Yes and our son-in-law. They live in that house there.

The policeman knows which house I’m referring to because of the noise.

My phone rings just as the policeman and I reach the front door. Finally it is Loreli and she talks to the officer.

A few minutes later the siren and alarms have been quieted. Daisy is sniffing the officer’s shoes, Joe is talking to the officer.

Policeman: Well you two don’t look like burglars. You have that house key? (I nod my head like a bobble head doll and quickly hand him the key). He checks to make sure the key works and then he leaves.

Loreli, Chad, Carissa, and Jaime finally arrive and I am thrilled to finish the weekend with them at home and not in jail.

Home security systems do work. They keep screwball mothers outside wringing their hands and frantically dialing the cell phone.


2012 Chevrolet Malibu

This has been one “Wild and Crazy” month! More things going on than a juggler at a lumberjack log rolling contest!

No service on my phone traveling through the back of beyond. My phone locked up on me a couple times. Posting on this blog was difficult at best sometimes. Before I knew it a whole week flew by!

Well, you don’t need to hear my excuses. So on to the reason for this post. We rented a car in Salt Lake City, Utah for driving to Colorado to be with our daughter at her wedding.

The “Full Size” vehicle we rented was more like a motorized skateboard! I’m used to our pickup and the relatively high ground clearance. The car was a bit difficult to get used to. See how much lower the car is to our pickup! Also notice the ground clearance between the two.

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I got a taste of how the rest of the world sees big trucks. No wonder you guys fear being sucked under a tractor trailer combination while driving next to one.

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These two pictures were taken by me as Joe drove back up to Salt Lake City on our return.

We rented a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. This car was extremely difficult to get in and out of. To get in, either the driver’s or passenger seat, I found it a bit more manageable to get sat first then swing my legs in. It has been forever since I’ve acted like a lady and had to relearn that bit all over again.

The seats, both driver and passenger, are uncomfortable! The front bucket seats are hard and the back support is in the wrong place.

I have become too accustomed to the oversized seats in our pickup and the air ride seats in the big trucks. This car, in my opinion, is not good for long distance traveling.

Road noise was distracting for the first 200 miles. The car sounded as though the wheel bearings were about to seize up.

The road experience was another thing all together. Being so close to the ground 70 mph felt more like 100 mph. The steering on this car was tight. A heavy hand at the wheel of this car made for a couple of frightening moments.

Both Joe and I are used to the extra play in the steering wheels of the used trucks we drive. You have to get a grip on the wheel and work that thing to get the response needed. This car only needed a light touch. Handling this car like our pickup or one of the trucks was the wrong thing to do….as I found out when leaving a parking spot at the airport long term parking area. Thank goodness we were in an area far from the other cars parked.

One major complaint I had about the car was the headrests. They were too far forward when the seat back was upright for my preferred seated position. I found the headrest was not so much of a problem when the seat back was at a more rearward angle. This made my back and neck ache after 10 hours in the car.

We drove to Estes Park, Colorado on Saturday. This car handled well on the twisting roads and hairpin turns. As long as I used a gentle touch on the wheel.

This was one of the times I had trouble with my phone. Most of my pictures were out of focus or blurred. Except for these three.

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My two girls – Loreli and Carissa – reconnecting after too many years apart.

That is all for now.

Leslie

P.S. Lynn, I have read the comment you left on my previous post. Due to phone problems I have been unable to respond. I will remedy that tomorrow.


Another GideonArc creation!

As a wedding gift for Loreli and Chad a handcrafted decorative wine holder was created by Carissa and Jaime of GideonArc.

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A special, personalized, label was made by Carissa to commemorate the event.

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Jaime did his usual spectacular steel bending and welding to create the spiral rod which holds the wine bottle and this entire holder and foot plate.

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Carissa dictated the placement of the metal leaves and grape pieces.

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Through Carissa’s design inspiration and Jaime’s knowledge of metal working these two make a fantastic team.

Keep watch on the GideonArc Etsy site for this item to become available.

This handcrafted wine and candle holder can be a very useful item in your home.

Picture this…..

A romantic dinner for two. The lights off, or dimmed low. The candle atop the holder lit giving off its soft light at a table set with favorite foods. A glass of wine poured from the bottle waiting in the holder. Each of the two diners have thoughts running through their heads of the intimacy yet to come.

Or…..

A stormy night with lightning flashing and thunder rolling. The power goes out and you are left in the dark. Blackness envelopes you. Feeling your way, without stubbing your toes or banging shins, you make your way to this candle holder and light it. Once lit you can get a glass and enjoy a bit of wine to calm your nerves until the power comes back on.

If you wish to have a special label on your wine bottle let GideonArc know when you place your order.

Did I tell you that I am one proud momma? Well I am 😀

Leslie


Peterbilt drivers get no respect.

There is a common remark about Peterbilt drivers. It is said that you can’t see the driver because they sit on the floor.

If you happen to see a Peterbilt you can judge for yourself. This is, generally, what one looks like.

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I am finding the overhanging visor attached to the roof impedes much of my view.

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Driving this truck is not too bad. I have to stop well back at traffic lights to see the change. I didn’t get stopped in time at one light and had to pull myself up over the steering wheel, duck my head and crane my neck just to see the dang light. All the while I had one foot on the clutch and the other on the brake. When that light turned I did a running hop – moving forward while the truck is bouncing up and down – to get through the light.

Not enough gas and too much clutch causes the hopping. I sometimes can make a truck act like it has those hydraulic shock things raising the front end and lowering it with a bang – several times in a row. Not a pretty sight and definitely not professional looking either.

I’m finding taking photos are a challenge with that stinkin’ visor.

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Knowing where the good stuff is helps. I can prepare ;-). This is a Hampton Inn hotel at Green River, Wyoming on Interstate 80 – just on the opposite side of the tunnel in the previous shot.

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Making full use of the driver side door window also helps. These photos were taken after I crossed the state line into Idaho from Wyoming on US-30.

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We will be delivering these trucks tomorrow, Saturday, then heading to Logan, Utah for two trucks going to Saint Augustine, Florida.

But FIRST, we have a wedding in Colorado to attend. We will be renting a car somewhere in Salt Lake City to drive to Colorado and back before the Florida trip begins.

That should be some blog fodder. Riding on a skateboard after these big trucks.

Leslie


I think I have recovered from the all-nighter last Friday.

Friday last we delivered four more of the ProStar International trucks to Oak Park, Michigan – a suburb of Detroit.

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There were a total of 10 of those trucks out of Van Buren, Arkansas. We were going to stop in Danville, Illinois to see my friend Shelly then jog over to Paragould, Arkansas to meet up with a former Drive-Away driver we know on our way to get the last two trucks.

Instead we were requested to drive from Oak Park, Michigan and arrive in West Columbia, South Carolina by 7a.m. Saturday morning. That deadhead trip was over 700 miles.

Joe started off driving for a couple hours then I took over and drove until 1 a.m. at which time Joe finished and got us to the required place on time.

We were about done in! Thankfully there were only two trucks to hook up.

Before I forget this roiling and leaden sky over the Indiana Turnpike I need to add it here. I was driving at the time and had Joe take the picture.

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My phone went off with a tone similar to the Emergency Broadcast irritating wail. There was flash flooding in the area I drove through.

Menacing. I think that would be more appropriate than roiling.

Arriving at the Kenworth dealer in West Columbia I started the inspection process of Joe’s trucks. He started to move one of his trucks – a T800 Kenworth – when bedlam ensued.

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That wet spot on the ground is diesel fuel. Someone at the dealership had connected a hose to the crossover connection on the left fuel tank.

The crossover enables the fuel to be pumped evenly between the two fuel tanks on big trucks. Anyway….the connection

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The other end of the hose was placed on the deck plate and left open. The mechanic didn’t even cap the hose!

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In less than a minute 10 gallons of diesel fuel spurted out of the hose when Joe started the truck. He quickly shut it off.

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Joe moved pretty fast for an arthritic old fart after a night of little sleep in the pickup seat.

Once we got hooked up we had to be off the dealership property by 11:30 a.m. because it would be closing for the weekend.

Knowing what we were up against I took the time to see what hotels were near the dealership and found one about a mile away. Thankfully there was a room for us right away. Once we walked in the room it didn’t take long before we flopped on the bed and slept the afternoon away. After dark we slept the night through and left Sunday morning for Wilmer, Texas where these two trucks were headed.

These are the perks of being a business owner and working for ourselves 🙂

Hope you enjoy the July 4th celebration. Fireworks, hotdogs, burgers, and family.

Leslie


1993 379 Peterbilt is today’s flavor.

There are only a couple trucks I absolutely HATE to drive and this is one of them. Driving the truck is not the problem. It is making it work right that is the problem.

This truck, along with several others, was purchased at the Taylor-Martin Auction in Fort Worth, Texas by a dealer in Pendleton, Oregon.

As a driver I need to maintain a careful vigil of my speed, the RPM’s for shifting, engine coolant and oil temperatures, fuel, and the air gauges.

Where the heck are they? Or better yet. Which one of these gauges is the air gauge?

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Once I located the gauges to watch the next thing to find are the headlight switches. Crapazoid!

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The chrome switches have engraved name plaques. Now just a bit of bobbing and weaving to get the light just right so I can read the dang things.

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Good, there is a shifting diagram….now if I can read it.

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This old truck is not too bad looking. It still has a strong presence. Even with over 1,000,000 miles on the odometer.

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This truck reminds me of an aging “Fabio” type. There is still some flash but not quite as bright. A little less defined abs, a little bit of underarm dingle dangle along with the “guns” show.

This truck might be a little tired but it is still ready for the road. I just have to ignore the shiny bling of the chrome gauges and switches. Kind of like seeing the gold necklaces worn by some older men with their shirts open showing off their bronze chests.

Hopefully this guy will make the trip. If it doesn’t you can be sure I will have a story or two to tell.

Joe’s 2008 Peterbilt is having problems and is in the shop. We have a daughter getting married on the 11th and he is freaking out! She is in Denver, Colorado and we are going to Pendleton, Oregon. Joe is in the mountain moving mode. Come hell or high water he WILL be walking his little girl down the aisle. No matter what it takes.

This could prove interesting…..