Sunday, December 10, 2017

So I just found out I am not working again until Monday morning.  Mixed feelings. Love weekends off, but right now? Would love it more to be making some money to catch up.  Ann sent me the text with the information and that's when I saw it.  I decided to zip my lip.  Said thank you, haven't been to Brownsville in ages, sounds good.  I'm really not going to complain about a weekend off when that's what I really want.  If I do that, then it may send the signal of not caring about that stuff, and yes, I do care.  I won't say anything because the company requires willingness to work weekends.

I had this wild hair to go to La Quinta down the road and bask in the glory of a nice hotel room and take Adler with me since La Quinta allows pets.  And if you don't believe me, google La Quinta pet policy. Not only do they allow pets, one of the pics at the bottom of the page is of a Great Dane lolol.

But no, not tonight anyway.  Well  it's only 5:30, but just not tonight.  It's a waste of money, maybe, but at the same time, just hanging out at a cool place with an awesome room. And my big ole' doggie with me on his own bed. Yup, it's a room with 2 Queen beds in it.

Speaking of dogs, I called a vet this morning. Do you have any openings today?  Why sure, we have one at 9:30, but then she backtracked since that was less than an hour away. I said, no no that's fine, I can be there.  So, my previous experience at 2 vets is not so great with him. They are afraid of him and he senses it and gets rambunctious.  Anyway, I needed to get his rabies shots renewed, his license and get him a fresh shot for heartworm.

Remember that the dog, when I got him, tested negative for heartworms and put him on the shots. And then a year later, tested positive for them.  With the plan that the dog be put on an almost 2 grand treatment program.


That was yesterday. I spent today getting stuff done. And after all of that, built a fire in the pit and sat around with the other 2 here and we talked for quite a while. I'm pretty sure I would hate to live alone. With all the bs that sometimes occurs with having people living with you, it's still better than being alone.  Dogs are great, but they don't hold conversations lol.


Well having trouble getting through an entry. Now Sunday evening. 3 full days off of work.  The only complaint I have is that I have to be up and out of bed to start the day in the morning at around 4:00 am.  That's not really all that much fun, and then drive all day to get down or close to Brownsville, Texas.  I spent a good portion of the day attempting to finish that 4 wheeler.  I just had to bolt plastic back up, but the bolts and nuts in question are long gone.  I suspect one of the dogs got a hold of the box all of that was in. 

So, I went and spent a literal hour at Lowe's attempting to find the right bolts to deal with this.  Back home and got most of it back together. 

But before I did any of that, I filled the gas tank back up and spent quite a while trying to get the thing fired up. It ran great for about 20 minutes, including having the cooling fan come on at the intervals it was supposed to - that was what I was really checking.  That thing has been a headache, I hoped after sitting for a while I wasn't going to have further issues with it. 

Well just posting this, time for bed.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Got back from Oklahoma last night.
Got a run - early - to do tomorrow, but it's really a short run. It's only 128 miles from the plant.  Not exactly a high paying run, but if I can get it done in one day, that's a nice day's work.  Well I can get it done in 24 hours, I'm talking about getting loaded, getting up there and getting back in the same day.  It's really all up dependent on how long it takes to load and how long it takes to unload. Talking 6 hours for all of it, minimum.  It's 2 hours and 13 minute up and back.  We'll call it 11 hours total on a 14 hours time clock.

But, when I said that to my manager, she replied "sometimes" as to getting it done in a day.  So, I'm guessing this plant it's going to takes their sweet old time.  I guess that's fine, that means more detention pay.  But on such a short trip, I'd rather just get it over with the same day and be back to get another run somewhere.

Anyway, it got our version of cold here while I was out, so I've been burning a nice pit fire all day long.  I guess I should run up to the store and get some more granola bars - that's pretty much what I eat during the day and then end it with a good meal.  Try to keep eating costs on the road down as much as possible.  Anyway, this is really not a good run, at least not if I were to talk to other drivers.  Too few miles t make it a good payout.  I needed something more like at least 500 miles away and spend a couple or 3 days out.  I'm going to have to get a good run that goes through the weekend, unfortunately, or get a couple more short runs, which would be fine if they are available.

I'm not going to complain, not yet.  She - the manager/Ann - has enough drivers in her face. I just want to get two full weeks of driving in and see what a paycheck looks like after that. This next paycheck - Friday - will not have that on it so I'm not counting that is a reflection of a normal pay period. I am only guessing what I might be getting Friday.

Well I was going to write more, but got distracted and now it's getting late.  Okay it's not that late, but I have to get up really early for this run. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Near Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Using my new computer. Actually, it's probably more of a notebook. Much smaller than my other laptop and much easier to carry around.  I'll probably get a remote keyboard for it and just keep it in the truck.  Maybe.  I mean, I think I can get used to this job, but I'm on probation for 90 days I think it is.  I don't know of any trucking companies that don't have a probation period.  Basically, if you screw up, you are toast.

Anyway, I just got "here".  Here, being a QuikTrip convenience store. I was looking on the map, the destination is 28 miles from here and is literally out in the middle of nowhere.  I was afraid that if I drove there, there wouldn't be any place to park.  I asked a local truck driver that was parked here as well if he knew of any places up there, he said not at all.  There aren't any.  Well I'm stuck here til 7:00 am and it's only 7:00 PM right now.  So, I'm well out of the way at this convenience store, off to the side of it, at an entrance that not a single car has used since I parked here, out of view of the front of the store, hopefully they won't mind this giant tanker truck sitting here with 10000 gallons of cryogenics that is highly volatile parked here lololol.

Well I don't know exactly how many gallons, but this truck is loaded right at 80,000 pounds. The company mandates that you fill it up to the maximum. That's nice, but we don't load the trucks so I don't worry about that.  However.  I pulled into a weigh station today.  They told me to pull over and bring in my paperwork.  I brought in half of it, forgetting the other half.  The half I brought in was the hazmat stuff.  I completely spaced the registration and related stuff.  So, back out to the truck, pull out 3 packets and back in there. I have never seen so much paperwork for one truck in my entire life until I entered this world of hazmat.  I'm not complaining, per se, but I haven't been doing this long and it's easy to overlook a piece of paper that you need.  I really have to think about all of this - for now. If I'm with this for any length of time, it will become second nature.

I'm really just getting my mind into this place being "the" place for a while.  It's a 2 year old truck - tho they won't have us in these things too long, they don't want to pay the rental contract.  Much cheaper and the trucks are set up the way they want them to be to have their own.  I am not holding my breath on that, tho, not after everything else. And also not after seeing how long it took for corporate to get us trucks at Ferguson.  6 to 8 months.  I don't really care now.  I have a new mattress in here and the cigarette smell is all but gone. Still a bit, but I but 2 more of the smelly trees in here and it's pretty nice now.  Just was so disgusting sleeping on that other mattress.  Gross, actually. I would literally feel more comfortable sleeping on the ground outside than sleeping on that nasty thing.

Okay, I don't have a power inverter yet so I want to finish this entry and post it before this computer runs out of power.  I keep getting distracted with people texting me lol.  Anyway, the wind is absolutely howling out here.  Truck is getting rocked back and forth. Kinda glad I'm not driving in this, this just started a while ago after I got here.  I'll be spending a while getting used to the nuances and dangers of driving loaded tanker trailers. I'll tell ya one thing, if I'm on an exit ramp that is like a cloverleaf and it says 20 mph, I'm going 15 mph or less.  I'm terrified of rolling over a tanker. I've seen it happen far too many times.  The outcome is never good.

well I need to get stuff done here, gonna end this one short.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Home.  Midnight. 
I knew this morning when I started I wouldn't be home til' late.  It takes that plant that I have been to twice now 4 hours to unload the truck. They're not in any hurry.  It's whatever to me, I get paid to stand there and watch them, or go sit in the truck and go snooze, or read or whatever.  Between the load plant and the unload plant I have 8 hours of detention pay, plus 4 stop pays, plus mileage.  That trip was worth at least $750 for a day and a half work. 

Well, when I finally got out of that place, I decided to push myself to get home tonight.  I wanted to have a full day off before going out again Monday.  But, I ran into fuel card trouble again. I hate Petro truck stops. Just because of the issues I've always had with trying to use fuel cards at them.  But that is the company they want us to use. Well, after running into that today, the first Love's I saw after that? I stopped there and walaah. No problems at all.  Excepting the company has a dollar limit on how much fuel you can put in because apparently there were theft problems. 

I need to stop for a minute and think. My mind is all over the place.  Money, Christmas, mom, the house, here, dogs, this that and the other thing.  Oh yeah! A Christmas tree!  Need to get one tomorrow if I"m not out of it.  I won't be going to bed until around 1:30 or 2:00 am, I just can't come home and go straight to sleep. Doesn't work that way for me. I have to wind down, let everything settle, get back into the groove of being home and then, fatigue will hit me and I will fall right asleep.  I'm tempted to put the dogs out for a few minutes so they aren't waking me up early to go out.  Good idea!

Okay, well, not much new going on in my life.  Besides this new job, of course. Which is good because this job is really taxing me.  I know if I stick with it I will eventually get this all down, but the amount of "stuff" that has to be done on any given trip is amazing.  Far more paperwork and minutia than any other job I've had.  If the pay weren't so good, it definitely wouldn't be worth it.  I'm just going with the flow here.  Learning how to use the truck's coils to turn liquid into vapor to pressurize the tank should be interesting. In fact, learning how to unload the truck period should be interesting. 

I have been asking a lot of questions, the dude at the plant where the ethylene is loaded into the truck knows more than anyone I talk to and he is way too willing to impart that knowledge, so my 2 times there so far have been filled with endless questions.  I can tell ya, if I were the dude that was running that orientation? All this time wasted on junk that has zero relevance to the position would be scaled way back and actual knowledge of how to do your job, including the literal nuts and bolts of it, would actually be taught. 

Well today I finally found out what those coils under the the trailer do. If you are unloading instead of a plant unloading, you have to pressurize the trailer's tank to force the liquid out of the tube into the plant.  Well, this stuff will turn to vapor at 120 below zero.  Vapor creates pressure.  You open a valve, the liquid goes through the coils, which heats it up and causes the liquid to turn into vapor, which pressurizes the tank, which forces the liquid out of the tubes.  Well, the chambers I guess.

Yes, I freely admit to these people at these plants that I have absolutely no clue what I am doing. I had to have the dude at the loading plant show me the valve to turn on in case the pressure gets too high while driving down the road.  I've been warned 6 ways from Sunday not to allow the pressure relief valves to open while driving down the road. I mean, from at least 5 people.  Yet they wouldn't give me the time of day to go show how that is done. Instead, this dude at the Eastman plant showed me the valve to open and how much pressure to vent out and yes, get away from people. Get away from everything.  Why? Because a cigarette thrown out of a car window could ignite the stuff and send me to eternity. 

I'll tell ya now, I'm more concerned about rollovers than blowups and ice ages.  This tanker business is freaky to me. It always has been, yet at the same time, I've always wanted to do it.

Anyway, it's really late. The business of driving trucks that is not confined to a "local" run type of thing is pretty interesting. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

So, I got stuck in another ex-smoker's truck.  Unbelievable.  I mean, this is worse than the last truck.  The bed mattress is filthy and it has cigarette burns in it! Lots of them.  This rental company didn't bother to clean the thing out, they just turned it around and let us have it.  I would have waited for them to clean the unit out, regardless of how long it took.  Seriously, I would have. How could they send it back out with a mattress looking like that?  I can tell ya: they didn't bother to look.

Anyway.  I called Ann - my manager - this morning asking several questions.  We got into a discussion about the fuel card - that the company could never get working.  She said that they told her today that they had fixed the problem. Turns out all 3 of us new drivers had the exact same problem - fuel card not working, eventually had to have an electronic check sent to the truckstop to put fuel in the trucks. 

She tells me she has loads for me to take out, but wants to make sure that the fuel card works before anything else happens. Agreed.  So, I drove in today on my own dime.  Took the truck to a local fuel station, card worked!  Got back to the shop, showed her all the paperwork. Is this right? And this?  A couple of things I didn't have right, not bad in my mind considering the volume of paperwork for each trip. 

After that, out to ask the mechanic about one of those brand new mattresses sitting there.  I'll have to call the rental company first before you can take one of those, he replied.  Back to the office, dealing with more paperwork, back out to the mechanic, did you get a reply? He went straight to his office, called them. They'll order one but it won't be today.  Okay, you can take one of those then until they bring one.  I dragged that mattress out of that truck and once in fresh air, figured out why that truck stinks so badly and why the truck in last company stunk so bad: the mattress literally smelled like an ashtray.  I was very happy to get a brand new mattress in there. I left the truck with the windows wide open and the vents open. \

However, while i was in the shop getting a mattress, the 2cd most tenured driver walked through the shop.  Hey, I have a question for you. I was asking since this guy is on the list of people I can call if I need help.  Do you weigh the axles somewhere other than that scale at the plant?  He explains in very muddy terms that I didn't understand.  I understood fully after his second explanation and him shaking his head at me, as if I'm new to trucking altogether: YOU don't get it. I have been doing this for so long, I KNOW when it's right or not.

Shrugged it off. Don't figure to call him with questions, I thought.  Well, after I got the new mattress in the truck, I remembered something else I needed to ask the manager.  I walked in on him bitching at her about us new people getting paid more than he is even though he's been there for umpteen years.  I listened to this for 45 minutes, waiting my turn in a room away from them but the door was open and I could hear everything they were saying. 

He may have had a valid complaint, but the way he was going about it proved he's just an ass.  He's pissed because he didn't get the safety position.  But I heard him going off a few times back that i was there.  He doesn't do the internet, he didn't know it was available for openings because he doesn't want to do that "shit".  Whatever dude.  Grumpy old man. Retire, go find something fun to do. If you've been doing this job that long, you should have some money saved up. In a perfect world anyway.  Oh yeah, I listen.  I listen to people a lot.  They may not even know I'm listening. By his own words, he is 4 to 5 years off from retiring. 

Anyway.  I have another run to the same place I was at 1st run. This is a gravy run - sans the fuel card fiasco - sans means without btw.

Oh, yes, I also volunteered for Canada runs. She wasn't asking, she just said something about Canada.  Oh yea? I have a passport, love to put it to use some day.  Turns out this company goes all over the US, including California.  I wouldn't mind an occasional run long distance.  Great money, see some sights I haven't seen in decades, getting more used to the road, something I didn't think would ever happen after working local all those years.  No, I don't want to be on the road all the time, I need home time, but the negative aspects are becoming a bit less of a fuss for me.

Oh, and this rental trucks? Beautiful Peterbilt, 2015 model, thought it was 2016 at first. It's got 300k miles on it,  but the exterior is in perfect condition.  I'll have to take a few pics of it. Just the interior that has been abused.  I don't get truck drivers not take caring of the inside of a vehicle that they spend so much time in. If I actually get a brand new truck as they say I am getting - versus a more tenured driver taking one - it will be the first time in my life.  I always get old trucks. But, old in this fleet means a few years, more than good enough for me if it comes to someone else getting a new truck and me going into their "old" one.

It got colder here, so upon arriving home, I built a fire in the pit.  Lovely new red oak burns great.  Sat out there for several hours. 

Tomorrow's mission: get some sheets for the truck. I bought same sized sheets for the previous truck, but when I quit, I couldn't take them. I had my suitcase stuffed  I also left behind my pillows. They were cheap, very cheap.  I didn't know if I was going to stay there at the time and I'm glad I didn't dump a bunch of money into stuff that I couldn't take back with me. 

Anyway, that's enough for now. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

 Yesterday morning. 5:00 am. Up, shower, dogs out, coffee, etc etc. 
Get on the road, get to work.  Lots of new questions formed in my mind.
I get there, unload my car into the truck, back the truck under the trailer,
check out everything, get out of there. Late tho.  I should have arrived there earlier.

I get to the plant, watch the video, take the test, take the sheet out front with the answers on it.
And then?  An alarm goes off, Just like one of the alarms in the 15 minute video they make
everyone watch.  They shut down the plant, I can't go in, neither can anyone else.  A chemical
spill of some sort. 

After that was over, go weigh the truck.  Then off to the part of the plant where the truck is actually loaded. Well, they were way behind.  The plant shut down and the fact that the first driver was there late caused me to sit and wait. Not that I cared about that, but even with my late arrival, it was meaningless.  I got introduced to the world of Ethylene by Lance, the dude that fills the trucks up with it.  It was a interesting and elongated conversation, for I had many questions for him about what the places we go to actually do with this stuff. Many use it to cool other chemicals, such as LNG when it is loaded onto ships. 

I found it amazing that the volatile properties of the chemical isn't really used, it's the fact that is stands at 120 to 140 below - depending on who you talk to - that is of interest to these manufacturers. 

Well, the dreaded moment finally came.  I have never pulled a tanker trailer in my life.  I have never pulled a tanker trailer full of volatile, explosive content. I have never pulled a trailer that has content that can make you the Ice Man in a matter of seconds.  I was obsessed, yesterday, with these thoughts.  You ever see a tanker trailer going abysmally slow in a sharp turn?  Irritating to everyone stuck behind it, but there is a reason for it.  High center of gravity and liquid sloshing up the sides of the walls of the tube in the trailer.  Rollover, in other words. I spent the day obsessed with that idea in my mind. 

I mean, like to the point that I wasn't really thinking of anything else.  I have seen far too many tankers rolled off the side of the road and it's usually in sharp turns. 

Welp, I got several calls for my manager.  Where are you now? She was being nice, but the customer was pushing her.  Appears they were almost out of ethylene and they had just restarted this plant.  They had made a call for a load last week but then said no.  And now? They needed it desperately  I mean, they wanted to know the exact time I was going to show up and this, several times over.  I finally just told my manager: I'm driving straight through, no stops.  Okay, she replied, I'll let the customer know. 

Again, she's a really sweet lady, I have no qualms with her, but I can see that customers and corporate place demands on her. 

And drive straight through I did. the last stint I drove just short of 7 hours without stopping before finally arriving at the place - only to take another of endless safety videos and a test.  I broke my reading glasses earlier that day, I was having trouble reading the questions, but I got a pass on the test.

Pull your truck up on the scale and wait for someone to come get you.  Oh, and yet another pass into another plant.  So basically, to work for this company, I am going to have to keep a file of all of these picture ID"s for all of these plants as I go into them. Lol. Someone could have let us know about that and many other things. I probably should document it while going through it so in the future, and if I'm still working there, I will be able to give new people some insight to the things they really need to know. 

Not the first time I've done that. Anyway, a 4 wheeler shows  up, I follow it way back in the back of this plant.  Now, to give you a scope of the size of this place, this plant has fully 4 separate power plants to give it enough electricity to operate. That's right. 4, full sized plants.  Not little things, we are talking huge, full fledged power plants. I stood in awe of this place. How did mankind come up with this knowledge? When I arrived at the delivery site, awestruck again. Just thousands of pipes connected here and there, all kinds of different noises, the sound was deafening. Everyone had to raise their voice to be heard.

They knew what they were doing - I did not.  But the guy running the crew opened up the side box with the valves and connection pipes in it and asked what that giant spring assembly was for?  I had to admit that I had no clue, that is why you all are unloading this truck.  I watched intently at the procedure to unload, tho.  There was way too much noise to ask a bunch of questions, I just took what I could in.  \

The lady in charge walked me clear to the operations room to show me their facilities, I was going to be there a while. 

Back to the truck - I crawled back into the sleeper which is when I noticed the slob that must have occupied this truck before me.  Yes, folks, I got stuck in another person's cigarette smoking hell.  I had the stench of it in my nostrils all day yesterday, but the mattress..... actual cigarette burns in it.  I mean, several of them. The mattress, filthy, disgusting.  I mean, this is the kind of thing where you think of how else you might be able to sleep in this truck besides on this mattress.  I fell asleep eventually and was awakened to the sound of a hammer banging on the pipe fittings to free it. The chemical is so cold, it freezes the fittings and they use a brass hammer to free it.

I got out of there and found a place where trucks park not 5 minutes away.  Again, the smell in that sleeper was so horrific, I ended up opening up the vents in the sleeper - it was cold outside- to let in fresh air. That coupled with the truck running and the vent setting on high blowing air in there, I was afforded some sleep.

Some, I do say.  There is actually much more to this entire story, but it's late and I"m ready to go to bed.  But, I have to put all of this in here.  The fuel card. Truck was down to 1/3rd tanks.  I figured to stop at one of their approved places, Petro, fuel up, take my required 30 minute break - naptime - and get on down the road,

Instead I spent 45 minute attempting to get the fuel card to work.  After trying 4 times and calling my manager, I decided to head on down the road 120 miles to the next Petro. Same story, different town. Waste of almost another hour.  On down the road.  Near Little Rock.  I had received a call with a voice message saying that they had "fixed" the card.  I tried at a TA truckstop, one of 2 approved places.  Nope, card not activated it said, Tried again, same message. Went inside, my card information froze up her computer.

Again contact the manager. This ins't working, either.  She finally gets back to me, what what crap!
I offered to pay for my own fuel - in total I was at 2 hours and 45 minutes wasted on this at that point - if y'all would reimburse me.  No reply.  I was ready to just take off. If it runs out of fuel, oh well. They had 6 hours to deal with this. 

Ugh, anyway, it's late, I'm really tired. I put in a 17 hour day yesterday and dealing with that fuel card today. They never did get the card to work, they sent an E check to the truckstop I was at to pay for some fuel. 

I'll try to type some more tomorrow. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Well here we go. Got to the yard, no-one there.  Gate closed, fortunately had the gate code.  Got out of car, sat on a patio chair and waited. One of the other drivers showed up half an hour later.  Well, Ann said that they had moved the pickup time up to 3:30.  I had been told to be there at 1:00 to be in Tyler by 2:00 to get the truck.  Well anyway, we get out there, the 3rd driver, who lives nearby, had already been and gone. 

So, 2 trucks. I didn't get to choose my truck - and thankfully so.  There was an older Peterbilt and a much newer one that they said was for us.  Okay.  Dude comes up to me: are you so and so?  Yup, well that's your truck over there.  2016 Peterbilt, perfect condition, excellent interior, had been freshly cleaned inside and out.  Okay! I'll take it!  Huge sleeper, plenty of space for my stuff.  Even a portal for a refrigerator if you so desire.  Maybe some day I'll "so desire".  Right now, time to get my feet wet.

I"ve never seen so much paperwork for one load in any other venue in my entire life. There are fully 7 different forms that have to be filled out.  Amazing.  Anyway, this other guy gets stuck in the older truck. Glad I didn't make the decision.  He was like, I have no idea where we're at. Well get out your GPS.  Old school, he doesn't believe in smart phones.  I've met several people in recent days that have never owned a smart phone and don't want one.  I don't wonder if life is a bit better without one, for all the social media stuff.  Huge distraction, I'm guilty.  But for GPS?  Lifesaver.  The different between prerouting a trip and simply plugging in an address and taking off.  I've got enough paperwork to deal with as it is, I'll take advantage of the technology available, thanks. 

Well, he followed me back to the yard.  The truck developed a power steering pump problem between the rental place and the yard, gag.  I get back to the yard and the head mechanic is like, will you hook up to that trailer and nose it in here?  To the shop, that is.  Sure.  I'll open up that door so you can just drive it straight in here.

Yeah, right.  The door was angled too much, I had to pull out, pull down to the end of the yard, flip a U-ey, come back around wide and get the truck and trailer into these narrow doors. This is a very small yard.  Not much room to do much of anything.  Anyway, that trailer had a broken pressure gauge, and the new driver that had already gotten there was assigned to that trailer for tomorrow. 
Get that done and go inside and start asking a lot of questions.  Sorry, but orientation ended 11 days ago and frankly, some of this paperwork is as clear as mud.

Hold on a sec, she says, I'll make copies of a driver's completed forms for a cheat sheet to go by.  Very helpful.  But I had umpteen other questions.  Cones, what about the cones? Yes you are supposed to use them any time you back up. But these trucks don't have any.  Oh, well you can't use what you don't have.  But, you see, I got that from the manager, so covering my ass. Boots, we are supposed to get boots. Yup, well, they aren't going to hand out vouchers til next month.  Okay, well I have this pair of steel toed boots, will these suffice?  She didn't care.  The company is failing her in her view, do with what you have and that's that.  Again, covering my @$$.  I mean, we got very specific training on PPE and the requirements.  We got all of it at the orientation - except the boots.

Admittedly, we could have gone to a local supplier in Amarillo, but none of wanted to stick around that place any longer.  We were told when we got back our manager would be able to get us vouchers.  Our manager, however, was getting pissed at her management because they wouldn't just send her vouchers right away. 

I have ample experience in these plants and other sides that are safety conscious: you aren't coming in there without steel toed boots on.  My newest pair is in Jackson, Mississippi.  And I can say that on my way back home, I might just stop by and pick them up since the Recruiter hasn't bothered to send them back to me.  I offered to pay for the shipping. UPS comes to their yard. It's only a matter of shoving them in a box, putting a label on it and walaah. 

Anyway, I was handed my run for tomorrow. Be at the plant at 6:30.  Meaning get to the yard by 6 to get the truck hooked up to the trailer and get it over there. Meaning - get up at 5.  20 minute to get up and get out, 40 minutes to get there - more than enough time but these first runs I'ma be safe not sorry on time, for these appointments are solid, they want you there at the time they say they want you there.  So, go to bed at 9 or 10 tonight.  Good enough.

I did the math. With stop pay and mileage pay, this 30 hour run will be worth around $650.  For the driving time there and back it comes out to around $36 per hour.  That doesn't include loading or unloading, but the driving is what gets paid though this company also pays for each stop.  And detention, which allegedly happens frequently. 

Anyway, after all of those questions and being given my first load package, the mechanic was like, can you move the trailer back out there? lol.  Okay.  Be nice if I were getting paid for all of that (didn't say that, just thought it), but I did it without grumbling.  I at least am finally in a truck when I was before today wondering if I was going to have to start looking for another job. 

Not to mention this dude invited me to the River Run this coming month.  Its the weekend of the 15th.  Ok, that sounds fun, I said, but I don't know if I'll be off.  Well, if you get a 34 reset during that time you can come down for an overnighter.  They're down there for 3 whole days.  Nice invitation.  Another group of cops, lol.  Been around them enough now to know how they behave in a crowd of them.  They're cool when they're in their own element away from the public. Different world, for sure. 

Well, if I do get the reset during any of those days I will likely do it. Having been riding in forever. 

Anyway, this stuff isn't over yet.  I still have to learn how to unload one of these trucks.  I'm guessing I can learn watching these people at the plant.  Oh, no I can't. they don't let you stand around watching, you have to go to a shack and wait for them to get it done.  Oh well.  I would like to stand and watch the entire process and take notes.  And video for that matter. These trailers are loaded with valves and I just have head knowledge at the moment how to do it.  Doesn't exactly translate into actually knowing how to do it. 

I asked Ann about unloading.  Yup, they are unloading you. Cool.  Cause' if they ask me to do it, I have a card that specifically states that I am not authorized to unload a trailer.  Yet.  I'll get there, they're going to have to get an experienced driver to show us how to do it, which likely means going out with one of those drivers.

Yes I'm definitely more upbeat having all of this starting to roll.

I got home, ate some leftovers - delicious smoked prime rib roast - sat down, went through all of this paperwork, filled out as much of as it as possible without having more information - which means I got 85% of it filled out and ready to go.  I would like to hope that I can sleep tonight, I am guessing it will be fitful at best. 

Spent a good portion of this morning attempting to decide whether to upgrade computer.
Finally came to the conclusion after looking at countless ads that it isn't a good idea right now,
wait until I have a good solid flow of income coming in. 

And speaking of income, I texted the manager this morning who eventually texted me back: can you be over her at 1:00 to go to Tyler to pick up a truck at 2:00? Oh yes I can.  So, finally, they have something going here.  But there are only 2 trucks, I don't know what they are going to do about the third driver.  Not sure how that is fair, but perhaps something else was already worked out. 

Regardless, I will go get the truck, drive it back to the yard and then they have to install whatever they have to install on it before it can be taken out.  I am only going to guess that I am either leaving out somewhere tonight or tomorrow morning.  Whichever the case, let's get this going, as much as I don't feel like going anywhere, I'll get over it. It's kind of the effect of not doing any work for 10 days besides doing 2 hours of training on Friday from home and 6 hours at the shop last Monday and accomplishing much of nothing. 

Basically nothing different than coming back from an extended vacation at my old work for 9 days and the first day truly sucks.  In fact, sometimes the first couple of days aren't all that wonderful.  In this case, I have had all that time to start slipping on much of what was taught.  They really needed to get me out the next day or couple of days after orientation so all of that info would sink into real life use.  Now, I have found that I need to go through a bunch of paperwork to refresh my memory.  I am more of a hands on learner.  Repetition is how I learn things. I can learn head knowledge but it really doesn't apply until after I do the real work and get used to it.

So that's it for now. Will check in when I next have a chance - tho car is loaded with everything I need, if they send me out today, I am more than ready.

So I just found out I am not working again until Monday morning.  Mixed feelings. Love weekends off, but right now? Would love it more to be...