Tag Archives: Barstow

The two old codgers and I are getting tired.

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These trips from Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada are a little over 500 miles each.

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The deadhead back to Tracy is the same. Daytime temperatures are steadily rising into the triple digits. Working in the hot sun for three hours is not fun at all. In our haste to get unloaded and delivered we often forget to purchase water. We end up getting dehydrated and headaches. Even so far as to get nauseous at times.

This will be our fifth trip and will have delivered 25 trucks and three trailers later this afternoon. We have started working smarter instead of harder. Let me tell you, it has taken a few temper tantrums on my part. I’ve almost resorted to flinging myself to the dusty ground to kick and wail as any good three year old can do.

There is a two hour time difference between our home time in Oklahoma and Arkansas and the California – Nevada time. We take advantage of that time difference by leaving the hotel long before the crap of dawn.

Yes, indeed folks, I did say the “Crap” of dawn. You know, like, “Oh Crap! It’s dawn”.

Rising out of bed at 4:30 each morning (2:30 local time) this part of the world is still sound asleep. We get our trucks moving on the highway by 6:30 (4:30 local time) and we get a good hour of pre dawn driving done. The air is chilly and the roads are mostly populated by other truck drivers getting a head start on the day.

Our route take us on several two lane roads that are heavily traveled. CA 46 to CA 99 is two lane then some of CA 58 from east of Boron to Barstow is two lane. Once we get on I-15 in Barstow we have several altitude changes passing through Baker and beyond. The elevation rises from sea level at Barstow to 4000 feet just before the 16 mile downgrade leading into Nevada.

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We have been arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada around 5:30 in the evening (3:30) local time. Just as the temperatures are making their way upward to the daily high of 102.

The blinding sun and merciless heat make us get our butts in gear to get the work done. The three of us are working as a team now and can get the delivery time down to 1-1/2 hours.

The early morning hours in Tracy are when we get the hooking up done. We are getting better. It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes yesterday morning to be ready to roll. The longest it has taken has been 4 hours.

After delivering the trucks we head to a hotel in Las Vegas or at the Nevada/California border town of Primm. 4:30 in the morning once again we are up and leaving by 6:30. We arrive in Santa Nella, California that same afternoon and fall down in the air conditioned rooms.

Next morning it is off to Tracy, about 54 miles from Santa Nella to begin work. Once that is finished we drive back to Santa Nella to the Love’s Travel Center for lug nut torquing then back to the hotel room to recuperate from the demanding schedule we have.

About 45 trucks and six trailers have to be delivered in Las Vegas for the June 12th auction. We have to be done by June 8th – as many as we can possibly move. So far we are doing pretty well the line of trucks is dwindling. We took five more yesterday from this string.

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We reward ourselves with eclairs and fruit tarts on the trip back. A sugar buzz is just as good a motivator to us old farts as it is to the young kids 😀

Hope your work week is going well.

Leslie

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Tractor trailer stuck in the sand on California 58 near Barstow.

Do you have a really embarrassing event in your life, witnessed by co-workers or friends, that you will never be allowed to live down? I have a few of them that is for sure.

Joe, Jim, and I were nearing the end of California 58 which intersects with I-15 near Barstow, California yesterday. We were well passed the half way point between Santa Nella, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Three hours more of driving and our journey to deliver would be finished.

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The road ahead was blocked. Blocked by a truck driver that attempted to make a U-Turn on a heavily traveled two-lane road.

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A steady stream of cars, pickups and tractor trailers came toward us as they drove behind the trailer of the stuck truck.

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Looking at my watch, which indicated 1:30 in the afternoon (11:30 in the morning local time), I figured our deliver time of 4:30 (2:30 local time) was going to be seriously delayed.

My attention to the steady stream of oncoming traffic was momentarily diverted by two men inspecting the entrenched rear axles of the stuck truck. There was a show going on. Arms raised and waving in the air by one man in frustration. The other man’s arms outstretched, palms up, in a supplicant manner. I could tell by the two men’s gestures the way of that conversation. One accusatory, the other pleading.

I’ve been in that situation more than once in my life and driving career. Not to say I’ve blocked an entire road but I’ve done my share of stupid things.

Joe found an opening in the traffic flow and took advantage of it. Jim and I followed.

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Several 9-1-1 calls were made to report the mishap and request traffic control at the scene. A wrecker would be needed to pull the deeply entrenched truck out of the sand.

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Feelings were the only serious damage in this event. At least at the point where I left the two men to their task of trying to correct the problem.

Our delivery was delayed by only 10 minutes and it was someone else in the hot seat instead of me this time.

I bet you have a story or two of something you have done that will be told and retold until the end of time.

Leslie