Tag Archives: California

10,000 miles and 100% Deadhead in Drive-Away

Drive-Away Transport

Drive-Away Transport

Hey, Jim From.  You have been telling Joe that you are getting withdrawals.  I haven’t been posting to this blog site.  Let me take you down memory lane 😀

From May 18, 2014 to June 16, 2014 Jim From, Joe, and I had to move 45 daycab trucks and 6 flatbed trailers from Tracy, California to auction in Las Vegas, Nevada.  That was the longest month in my LIFE!

Two old men and one old broad got the job done in plenty of time for the “Detail Crew” at the auction site to get all the trucks washed, vacuumed, cleaned and spiffed up with Armor All.

I don’t remember where we started, I think in Oklahoma.  We had to deadhead, which means we had to travel about 1,500 miles just to get to the location in Tracy, California.  Once there and hooked up we drove to Las Vegas, Nevada to deliver then deadhead all the way back to Tracy for the next loads.

For your viewing pleasure, I have created a video as a reminder of that month that seemed to have been 10 years. 😀



In Las Vegas, Nevada for some much needed rest. Yippy Skippy!


My last post, “Putting Lipstick on a Pig” may have left you scratching your head.

July of 2012 Joe and I moved three trucks from Justin, Texas to Oakland, California. A trip that normally takes almost five days ended up a 17 day trip with trouble at every turn. Those trucks were reported to be the “Best Ever”. You can read about that “Trip from HELL” by clicking the link below.

Clunkers in the trucking industry.

Thankfully, this massive truck and trailer move had been, virtually, uneventful. Beginning on May 13th, and ending yesterday, June 9th, we started the move of 45 trucks and 6 trailers by first deadheading 1,500 miles from home.

The original move order was for 29 trucks. The trailers were to be moved by others. As is normal….things change. And they did. Upon our arrival to Tracy, California there were 46 trucks and 6 trailers all going to the Taylor/Martin auction in Las Vegas, Nevada.


This is the largest move Joe and I have done in Drive-Away. The last large move was 29 trucks in 2011. Learning from that mess we made adjustments in this mess.

Unlike the last big move with a 250 mile drive to deliver and the same miles deadheading back we had almost 600 miles for both delivery and deadhead. We also had to factor in the 100 degree temperatures we would be driving and working in.

Jim had expressed his concern for the lag time in a hotel after we picked up the trucks in Tracy before delivering them to Las Vegas. Didn’t take him long to learn that our plan was the best all around. Keeping the motoring public safe as well as ourselves from fatigue and/or inviting disaster by going – excuse the crude language – “Balls to the wall”.

This trek from Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada and back to Tracy for the nine trips is a mind boggling 9,558 miles. That doesn’t include the initial 1,500 deadhead miles. The decision to spend an extra night before delivery was prudent.

Getting an early start to our days was necessary. The two hour time difference was an advantage for the hooking up part. Doing the work in the cooler morning air, it was still pretty warm, kept us from starting out dehydrated. Driving the 54 miles back to the hotel seemed ludicrous. What was ridiculous was trying to get to sleep by 8:00 (our time) in the evening while it was actually 6:00 and supper time in California. Sunlight through the tops of curtains, around the edges of the air conditioning unit, and around the door made the darkened room not so very dark.

Waking at 4:00 in the morning with the chilly air, knowing it was only just a couple hours past midnight in California, was nice. Driving in the dark for three hours was kind of refreshing. Until the sun rose and the day became hotter as we neared Las Vegas.

We had decided on a three day turn around. We would have the 29 trucks delivered a couple days earlier than the June 1st deadline.

Then we were informed we would be responsible for ALL of the trucks and trailers to be moved. There would not be anyone coming to help. Joe took on the “Big Dog” role and flatly informed everyone involved the June 1st deadline was not going to happen. We would deliver what we could before the auction date. Leaving some time for the crew to get the trucks ready for the sale.

We succeeded in our job. All 45 trucks and 6 trailers were delivered with a few days extra for the prep time. There would be one truck left behind of the 46 that we would not move and someone else moved that one.

Joe and Jim have their plans for today. We have rented a car here in Las Vegas so we don’t have to wag the trailer around. They will be going to businesses, such as FleetPride and Truck Pro, which cater to the trucking industry to acquire items that Jim will need when he goes out on his own doing singles.

The guys will be dropping me off at a scrapbook store near the airport. I have been looking forward to this shopping trip for several weeks. Last Thursday I saw on the website for the Mega Scrapbook Store they are closing. Total bummer. They are having a sale with many items 75% off. I have budgeted myself $150. We’ll see how that goes.

Today I’m going to just rest and relax. Hope your Tuesday is going well.


California’s Third Lane law for semi truck traffic.

To my knowledge, California is the only state that enforces the law of no tractor trailer vehicles being in the far left lane of a multi lane highway.


Most truck traffic is in the far right lane except for passing. There are signs hung from overhead structures indicating an additional lane for truck traffic.


These signs are posted before a confluence of other highway interchanges. Where a driver can exit from one highway then merge onto a different one to continue the designated route.

In the greater Los Angeles area the highways can have as many as eight travel lanes in each direction. Exits to streets, state roads, and interstate highways are well marked. Generally, the three far left lanes are for thru traffic not exiting. The third lane law is still in effect, even on the roads with way too many lanes to keep track of.

Okay, this has been my attempt at keeping this blog entertaining and informative. I need a nap…..or two.

I can’t believe it is already Thursday. Have a wonderful day today, dear readers.


The two old codgers and I are getting tired.


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


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.


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.


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.


Harris Ranch – Coalinga, California

On Interstate 5, south of Sacramento, California the rolling hills are brown from the dried up grasses on one side of the highway while the other is lush green orchards.


Nearly 200 miles south of Tracy, California sits an oasis at the junction of I-5 and CA 198. Harris Ranch is that oasis. For travelers in need of cold drinks or coffee to continue their travels the convenience store has all that. Fill your gas tank while there, as well. There are diesel pumps for the big trucks and ample parking for tractor trailers.

To the east of the convenience store is a massive building that is worth exploring. A huge dining area is on one end, next to that is a very masculine sports bar serving adult beverages of beer, wine, and mixed drinks. The sports bar also serves from the dining menu.

Next comes the general store, which you see first upon entering the tall and heavy doors. Home decor and collectible items abound as you stroll around. A cold case is filled with the famous Harris Ranch aged beef. Giant rib eyes, t-bones, sirloins, and roasting meats are there for you to choose. The price per pound will set you back several dollars but Harris Ranch has quite a number of loyal and satisfied customers.

Check out the Yelp app for Harris Ranch near Coalinga, CA to see the reviews and photos. I would link it here but I am having difficulty figuring it out using my phone on this blog entry :/

As a special treat we took Jim there for lunch. This is a place where the prices are a bit over budget on the menu items but so well worth the splurge. You might have to budget your time as well. Who knew out in the middle of NOWHERE wait times for a table can be as much as 30 minutes?!

After lunch we went into the general store and stood in line at the bakery counter waiting our turn. At $4.00 US fresh fruit tarts beckon you. A chocolate covered eclair called out Jim’s name while these two hollered at me.


If you want to learn more about Harris Ranch you can check out their website. Harris Ranch also has lodging if you need a place to stay for the night or weekend. I don’t know what their room rates are but I imagine they are well out of a truck driver’s budget.

I hope you all have enjoyed your long Memorial weekend. I wish to leave this post with a big THANK YOU for our military men and women – active or retired – for volunteering to put themselves in harms way as they serve our country and keep our homeland free and safe.


Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner – Yermo, California



This summer, are you planning a trip to Disneyland with your children? Will you be traveling the I-15 route through Nevada?

You will, most likely, need a place to get a cold drink, walk the kinks out, use the facilities, and get something to eat. Peggy Sue’s has an added bonus. Photo ops!

Sing and dance with the Blues Brothers. Or just stand there.



Do the “Jail House Rock” with Elvis Presley.


Check out the website for Peggy Sue’s to learn about the history of the little diner.

This diner, located off I-15 at Ghost Town Road exit in Yermo, California will immediately let you know what generation you are from. For every six people pointing and saying “Who is that?” there will be at least two people who know the personalities photos covering the walls of the diner.




All of the memorabilia throughout the diner belong to Peggy Sue and her husband, Champ.

Hope you all have had a great weekend. Joe, Jim and I are on the way back to Tracy, California to continue moving trucks and trailers. 20 trucks and two trailers are delivered now. Maybe we will see you at Peggy Sue’s sometime.


Time to work a big project.

Going to the Taylor/Martin auction in Las Vegas, Nevada are 30 International daycab trucks. Auction to be held on June 8th or 12th. Not sure when it is.

We had a 1,573 mile deadhead from Oklahoma to California. Joe, Jim, and I took turns in the back seat of our pickup.




Upon arrival in Tracy, California our work was just getting started. Joe and Jim checked the fuel levels in each truck while I did the inspections.


It was so hot that first day. Joe and Jim hooked up their four trucks after all the walking around checking fuel. Joe had a pretty good sunburn at the end of the day.


Leaving Tracy we headed to Gustine/Santa Nella, California for the night. A cool shower, air conditioning, and water by the buckets to slake our massive thirsts and cool off.

Before the cool hotel room, however, we had one problem to take care of. The lug nuts on our trucks needed to be tightened. Some drivers before us had wheels fall off and we needed to prevent that from happening.

Here is a recap of our first day.


We delivered the first set of five this morning. Heading back to Tracy for more.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone.