Monday, February 19, 2018

Well that was fun. Got up early, go up here to near Chicago, got into the plant, the plant operator walks up and says:  Well, go get a hotel.  Huh? Why?  My mind was filled with "get this thing unloaded, get as many miles back as I can get in with available that's left".  Not, gee, I think I'll sit up here for 2 or 3 days doing nothing.  Well, grin and eat it. I dropped the trailer there - they said they would monitor the pressure on it - started to drive out of the plant and the transmission on the truck started failing.

Yup, third break down in this same truck.  I sat there for a while trying to figure if I was doing something wrong, but after watching a few youtube videos on this particular transmission, I came to the conclusion that I was doing everything perfectly, as I had been since before I got up here.  I finally called my manager, after fooling with it for a while.  I was able to get it to go into manual mode, but only up to 5th gear.  And reverse. So, this dude calls me from wherever from within the company, trying turning the battery switch off for 15 and see what happens.

Tried, no go.  He said he would call a tow truck but had to go pick up another guy with broke down truck somewhere. Uhh, ok.  Off the phone, I tried turn the thing off again and leaving it like that for 30 minutes.  Back on, no go. Tried running it in reverse and forward in the manual mode but nothing. I would go above 5th gear and it wouldn't manually switch gears while it was moving.  So I parked the freaking thing.  Had it in neutral and the parking brake on.  Sitting there playing on the phone, the damned thing went into gear on it's own, in neutral and the whole truck started tilting sideways.  A foul odor came up into the truck, I turned the truck off.  Turned it back on, and then off again, etc. 

Then, magically, after an hour of this, the thing started working normally again. So, I called this dude back up, told him the stupid thing went into gear on it's own.  I end up taking the thing to a shop, A Volvo dealer who didn't want to look at it because they are booked up til Thursday. This guy tells them our company has a contract and they have to at least do a check on it. 

So, the trailer is sitting at a plant until sometime tomorrow - at the earliest they said, there was no guarantee they would even be able to unload it tomorrow - and the truck is sitting at the shop for unknown length of time and unknown issue.  Electrical, sensors, the shifter? No clue. 

My manager got me a hotel room at Holiday Inn.  I drove that truck to the shop, took an uber over here and playing the waiting game now.  Though, I admittedly got into bed and got a long nap.  I'm worn out.  This job is really pushing me to the limits.  Long hours, long days.  The first load - the earliest load of the day - is killer. That forces me to get up at 3:15 to 3:30 am, depending on whether I want to put on coffee or just blow it off and get coffee on the road and be at the plant by 5 am.  The rest of the day after that is a fight to stay awake.

Trucks breaking down like this, though? Really just drains me.  I just hate it.  There is nothing like about a broken down truck except the fact that I am getting break down pay and I am at a hotel for free, and, I am getting paid separately an hourly wage for about 30 hours (minimum) to wait for them to get the plant up and operating again so they can take the delivery.  That literally could be days.  I mean, it could be tomorrow, but I've seen these plants shut down for a week and longer.  I have no idea what my company would do then.  The contract forces the customer to pay for detention pay if the wait is their fault, which in this case, it definitely is.

Well the plant isn't broken down, they just decided that they needed to recalibrate a half million gallon tank that the stuff in my truck goes into.  They have to empty that entire tank and then what they do after that I have no idea.  Apparently it's emptying the tank that is time consuming.  A process I literally know nothing about, I just asked the plant operator a few questions about it, simply because I like to find out about things lol, not because I need to know.

Geeze that nap made me even worse off. I'm sooo tired.  It's a bad idea to take another nap this time of day. I'll just force myself to stay awake until around 9 pm and then I'll crash for the night.  Several decent restaurants within walking distance. 

Well, anyway, that's my current dilemma.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I made it to a TA truckstop north of St. Louis.  632 miles driven today and damned tired.  That alarm went off this morning at 3:25 am and I was not liking it.  I dragged my butt out of bed, got in the shower, got dressed, said bye to my dogs and left.  I was sooo tired, I tried to sleep at the driver's room at the plant, but it's just not a place for sleeping.  I did finally doze off just before the dude came in and handed me the keys to my truck - lots of safety precautions here, including having to give them the keys to your truck before they will load it - and off I went. 

I kept thinking, I am going to stop and sleep for 30 minutes. Another part of my brain: you do that and you'll have a lot of make up driving to do tomorrow morning. I fought sleep for 5 hours until my mandatory 30 minute break came up.  I went straight to the sleeper, set the alarm at 28 minutes and fell asleep. That thing went off, I popped up, got my shoes back on, drove until I was out of hours. I mean, within 15 minutes of having to shut down.

I figured if I did that, I would be able to get a full 8 hours of sleep and still have time to get dinner, fuel up the truck and hang out for a while on the internet.  And yes, I got my laptop out and that's what's putting up this post. 

Tho, I didn't know this TA was here.  I was going to go to Love's, another 20 miles up the road, but when I saw this place, I immediately exited. I wanted to eat a real dinner, not some junk from McDonald's or whatever.  Love's has a good thing going - except - for what it chooses to put in for food. Many truck drivers want a real restaurant after 14 hours of work, not fast food junk.

Anyway, even at 632 miles driven today, I'm still 2-1/2 hours away from the plant and have to be there no later than 9am.  So, another early day tomorrow, but not near as early as today. I really do not like this first loads.  I tried to get it changed to a later load time, but no go on that one. 

Lots of other stuff going on, but I think I'm going to go to sleep earlier than I first decided to. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

So, I drove all day long, got back to the  yard, unooked the truck, hooked back up to another trailer, went home. Started laundry, ate dinner, contemplated having to go right back out at 3:45 am to get loaded and drive to a place just short of Chicago.  And have to be there by the next morning at 8 am.  I get a 14 hour work day with 11 allowable hours of driving.  At 65 mph, I can drive 715 miles.
That's at a continuous 65 mph.  No allowance for slower speed limits, stop lights, etc.  The place is 750 miles from here.  I'm to load tomorrow morning at 5 am, it takes minimum 2 hours to load and that's if there aren't any issues and then drive clear there?  Okay. If I get on the HOS clock at 4:30, am I can be on duty until 6:30 pm.

I just have no idea how that is going to work out.  Manager says most guys say they make it there by 9 am. 

It's going to be a long day tomorrow, I can say that for a fact. 

But the problem is worse with this company. They really don't seem to have a clue what they are doing.  In some areas, yes, but in many others, no.  If you know you need more drivers, then get more drivers.  If you know you need more trucks to accommodate for that, then get more trucks.  I really don't get all of this.  I have great paychecks, that's what's keeping me there, so far. 

Well that's my scenario tomorrow. Get  the truck loaded and drive as many miles as I can before the HOS clock runs out.  Take the mandatory 10 hour break and finish the trip - probably starting around 4 am - and try to get there on time.

I'm tired.  Bedtime.

Friday, February 16, 2018 manager calls me.  I had just put my laptop on top of the dashboard - I was getting bored and I didn't want to sit in that sleeper - got a movie up, decided to watch Tombstone. She's going off on this company that can't have our trailers up there on time.  She said the list she has shows there are 3 of them sitting at the border waiting to be brought up. 

I just now thought: why don't we just go get them?  I have a passport, if necessary.  So do a few other drivers.  Probably cost some time, but I can't imagine it costing 2 or 3 days as other drivers I have spoken with have complained about. Tho, I doubt they were complaining about it on their paychecks. 72 hours being paid to do nothing?  Getting bored? I can find things to do.  I got out of the truck, did a bunch of walking around in that yard in huge circles.  I'm going to have to get some dumb bells to put in the cargo bay.  I would really like to do at least a minimal work out since I am not longer getting the iron pumping I was getting at my Ferguson job. 

But can you imagine being paid an hourly wage to do whatever you please?  I mean, my manager told me today - I was asking questions about being down here because I had heard conflicting stories - that I could go get something to eat and just send the Uber bill to the company.  Oh yea.  I figured that, but wanted clarification. Actually, I wanted clarification on the pay for the entire time you are there.  Cause I had heard 2 completely different stories from 2 drivers.

One said, you are not being paid for your 10 hour rest break. Another said, you only have that done if you go to a hotel (which is company paid).  I thought, I could go to a hotel of my choosing, not have the company pay for it or even know about it (nothing wrong with that btw) and get my hourly pay for those 10 hours and come out WELL ahead. 3 of those 10 hours would pay for a decent hotel, I could stay at a Marriot for the 10 hours worth.  Well not around here.  There are Marriot's here but not that kind of money. 

I just don't get people that don't think things through.  I would rather stay at a hotel via company pay after I've been here long enough and not get anything. Or, do the other thing and get a room on my dime and still make out within the 10 hour rule.  Today? I opted for them to pay for the room. I was done with that place and I had finally gotten word: driver will be here in 2 hours.  Will whoop dee doo. If I lose a couple hours of detention pay, I'm not going to lose sleep over it after sitting in this dirt, barren parking lot with nothing within walking distance for almost 22 hours. 

I'm not really used to this kind of company.  I'll give the older drivers credit for the company being forced to pay for things that other companies wouldn't even think of.  I don't want to ruin it for them, which was another factor in my taking a company paid hotel.  But, plenty of drivers don't do that, they'll take the pay and sit at that lot for days. But, they complain about it.  Why not just pay for your own hotel and they don't even have to know about it?  Just curious. 

Anyway, it's almost bed time.  Tomorrow will be driving  all day, get home tomorrow night, spend the night at the house and then get up early, I am assuming, to get another load and off to who knows where. She wanted me to go to PA again, but since I couldn't get out of here, she has something "else" for me in mind, of the which I don't know. I would have gladly taken PA.  Nice long, high paying run.  She gets me the miles, tho. She mixes it up with short and long runs.

Anyway, I think it time to be off to bed. 

Going on 19 hours of waiting in Brownsville, TX. I have gotten pretty lucky every time I"ve come down here - until this trip.  I got here with 2 minutes left on the clock before I had to shut down.  I wanted to get here so I could legitimately say I am on the wait clock and get paid for it as soon as I got here.  Meaning, 19 hours of waiting at what I believe is $22 per hour.  I'll have to double check that on my pay slip when they snail mail it to me.  I actually had no idea if was going to have to wait or not, but if I did, you aren't getting paid until you actually arrive and the full trailer is sitting on the lot and you are waiting for one to come up from Mexico.

I was told by the people that run this place that there was one coming mid afternoon.  That effectively puts my out of the running for getting home today. I have no desire or need to be driving until 3 am, I just won't do it.  Drive til' 11 or so, take my 10 break and then finish it off tomorrow. Or, if it doesn't get here until too late, I won't even take off tonight.  I'm just not in love with night driving and there isn't any need to get back at some certain time tomorrow. If they need the trailer for another load coming down here, the earliest is going to be for a Sunday load time. And after computer my hours, I won't have enough to take another load, I'll have to do a 34 hour reset, which would be quite fine by me. 

Have half of Saturday off and all of Sunday and then get with it Monday morning if something is available.  It's become evident that use new drivers, or at least me for sure that I know of, are really just giving tenured drivers the ability to take time off. 

There are a few things I"m not liking about this job, the truck situation is the one that I am having a hard time dealing with, the rest of it is stuff I can just overlook and continue on.  I'm not in love with seeing $1,200 being taken out of my checks in taxes, either, that's a bit ridiculous.  That's not 401k deductions or health insurance coverage, that's just taxes.  I just got 401k started, probably didn't come out of this check tho.  For the life of me, I cannot remember how to get onto this company's intranet and see pay stubs.  Going to have to figure that one out again.  But, anyway, I'm having 10% of my checks taken out for retirement savings starting next paycheck. 

I've been respectful about it, but I"ve made no bones about my discontent with trucks, being shifted around from one to another to another, getting dumped into a truck that has over half a million miles on it and has broken down twice in the short amount of time I've been in it.  At the same time, I haven't quite pulled myself to the point of starting to look for a new job. I just despise looking for jobs.  At least the paychecks are quite good here, which is a mitigating factor in all of this. 

If there was a store within walking distance, I would go buy some cleaners and scrub the interior of this thing down. I'm in a company truck now, old as it may be, and it has the Quaalcom on it.  That means if I want to go to the store, I have to log in and go on duty to use it. Which means the 14 hour clock starts ticking and doesn't shut off. If you do no more driving that day and go off duty, then it's 10 hours before you get your 14 reset back again.  That's right, you drove the truck for 15 minutes you still have to start all over.  Pretty unfair and unrealistic, but this is what the feds mandate. 

Well anyway, new things on the horizon as I will really start looking for a house for them starting this coming week.  Just didn't want to waste too much time on it when we were informed they would have to move since it was 2 months out.  I've found a few interesting ones, but they are also looking around when they are out and about. They found a couple of places not too far away but thought the monthly rate was too high.  I'm helping them get into a place because they have zero credit, I'm not paying for it.  Well, I"ll pay the deposits but that's it. Yes, I know it's in my name, yes I know I will be held responsible if they don't pay me for some reason, noted.

Well really, since I'm sitting here I might as well get on the rental sites and start searching.  A productive use of my time.  I have so much data left this month - which resets tomorrow, I think I will stream a movie as well. 

Anyway, just an update. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

 So now, I'm getting dumped into yet another truck.  This time, a rental another guy's been using.  Unlucky him, they are dumping him into an old truck that is like a piece of s*** as is the one I am currently driving.  That will make 5 trucks I have been in since starting this company, trust me, that is quite abnormal and quite unacceptable.   They really should have never put out any ads looking for new drivers, they weren't set up for it and almost 4 months later, they still aren't.  I'd go back into that day cab rental over this old heap of a rental that I'm going into today. 

The idea that any large trucking company is using old trucks......

Well, anyway, Ann called me  a little while ago with this news.  Joe is getting out of his rental and I would really appreciate it if you could come in and take it and a trailer over to the plant and get loaded.  Oh. That's it? Just load it?  Oh, no you take to the plant too.

I had to bite my tongue. I don't want to lash out, I really don't want to take it out on Ann anyway, really nice lady, but enough is enough.  All these other drivers are driving late model Peterbilts. I mean, within 2 years old, maybe 3 in some cases. 

I mean seriously, these woes started immediately after we got out orientation - they had no trucks available for us and couldn't find any rentals - and has continued on since then.  I really don't want to start looking for another job. It's such as pain in the @$$ to fill out all those applications, take phone calls, reply to emails, etc ad nauseum.  I have to weigh in my mind whether driving  in these old, junk trucks is any worse than going through yet another employment process.  Number of companies I have been working at in a short period of time be damned.  There is a shortage of drivers, companies are upping their pay scale to attract new drivers and increasing benefits.

Whatever.  I'll have 3 days on the road to think about it, I figure that's what this run is going to take in terms of time on the road.  2 nights, 3 days.  At least I'll get some miles in if nothing else. 

Oh well.  Off to the races. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday morning. Get up at 7am, usual routine in getting ready for work and getting there. Hook up to trailer, get to plant, etc.  Get to loading rack.  Dude goes out, bang bang bang bang bang!!! It's the normal noise you here when they are using a solid brass hammer to hit a solid brass fitting snug.  No sparks, is the point and easy on and off.  Just beat the crap out of the fitting with large ears to hit onto on and then the same thing reversed to get it off.

Well, I'm sitting in the driver's "lounge", I guess you could call it, playing on my cell phone and I keep hearing this banging.  After a while, I'm thinking, this isn't normal. You hear the banging for 2 rounds and that's it. I've heard this 10 times at least.  So, I put all my gear on, go out there and find that there is a bad fitting on the trailer.  He was attempting to get the thing off of there, which obviously wasn't going to happen without some help.  Some serious help at that.  He was trying to just push the thing off with a giant plumber's wrench, I knew that wasn't going to work after 2 seconds of looking at the situation.

I did do mechanics and I still do occasional plumbing for decades.  First off, the the entire thing had had 130 below zero liquid passing through it.  Second off, you know when something is that hard to break free, you are going to have to both muscle it with your hands and bang on it with a large hammer at the same time.  I suggested to him that's what he needs to do and offered my help, of course.  There was no way on earth anyone would have ever gotten that fitting off of there in those conditions by themselves.  We wrestled with that stupid thing for half an hour before finally getting it loosed.  It eventually came off. We're talking both of us pushing on that wrench - 3 hands and me banging on the thing with the hammer at the same time.

I was a bit surprised to see they actually had this particular fitting, a brand new one, sitting out there ready to be put into use.  He stated that he could have just said no and sent the trailer out of there, but decided that since we don't current have a mechanic (he quit last week) he would help us out.  Which was cool. Getting the fitting on there was easy.  But getting the plate that goes around the fitting, that perfectly fits the octangle it is?  Yikes. That took a while.  Then, the entire thing had to be bolted back to the floor, yet another muscle versus physics situation that we eventually won.

After that, it was nothing.  Just fill the truck up and go.  But, as this day didn't start out right, it wasn't going to get any better.  Because, the time it took go to from the loading rack to the scales, about 10 minutes, the truck started dumping engine coolant. I knew this because there was steam pouring out the hood of the truck.  I could smell it, I knew it wasn't a fire so I didn't quite panic.  In fact, I just got off the scale, ignored it and went inside to get the paperwork done.  Now that I had the truck loaded, I might as well get that finished and then deal with this nonsense.  I came back out when another helpful driver came up - hey, I saw a trail of fluid leading from the scale to where you are parked and that giant puddle under your truck.  I thanked him, he was trying to help, even though I already knew there was yet another fiasco coming that I didn't really want to deal with after going through that ordeal with the trailer.

Not that I would have wanted to deal with it regardless of if anything had occurred before that.  I knew that truck wasn't getting fixed today. This is not a major metropolitan area with at least a few truck repair shops that are open 24/7.  There are plenty of repair shops here, but they aren't going to be open on Sundays. You might get emergency service out, but it's going to cost you a lot more, if it's even available, than a repair shop during it's regular business hours is going to cost.

So, after having a conversation with my manager, who had called the dude over repairs, she instructed me to take the truck back to the yard, drop the trailer on the cement (heavy trailers can actually tip over in soft dirt), unhook and the repair coordinator would see about getting the truck fixed today.  Again, I knew that wasn't going to happen.  I figured I would end up going home and I was right.  So here it is, Sunday night and I've been home since 2:00 pm.

It is obvious that the "repair" the dealership did in Tulsa wasn't a good one.  I was happy that this didn't happen out in the middle of nowhere, and that I got to go home instead of sitting in a dead truck putting out no heat because the fluid had all but drained out of it.  Amazing the thing didn't over heat coming back to the yard, I suppose 32 degree weather helped with that.

Regardless, I went into the office and waited. She eventually called me back. You might as well go home and take the afternoon off.  Yup, I thought but didn't say, I knew this was coming. A lot of other thoughts that came to mind as well that I didn't mention.

Such as this hype that was given to all 3 of us new drivers endlessly that there were 10 new trucks ordered and that we would be in rental trucks for a short time until they arrived.  This little lie, I'm calling it a lie now, started before we ever got into orientation. It was told us during orientation. It was reaffirmed to us multiple times after  orientation.  I've not said anything to management about this so far.  But they are pushing it.  The other 2 new drivers are far more upset about this than I am and I have been through a lot more than them since starting work here. They have yet to unload a single truck, for starters, but that is minor compared to some of this other stuff.

I don't have any jobs lined up. I stopped looking after getting this one, hoping that this one would be "The One". Even if not perfect, good enough. I am capable of tolerating a lot of shit in this industry, but junk trucks are not one of them.  You go from one breakdown to the next. You live inside of someone else's misfortunes in breaking things, scuffing things up, tearing up interior, filthy carpeting, etc.   Basically, someone else lived in there before you and indelible marks to remind you of that.  Most companies are now actually giving drivers either new trucks, or late model trucks that are still in good condition.

Whatever. I've given my all to make a good impression, bust my ass, get the job done, to get this in return?  There are plenty of trucking companies wanting jobs out there. There is a huge shortage of drivers right now. This company included in the dilemma of trying to attract new drivers. 

I'm in the "whatever" mood right now. I'm tired of seeing companies treating their employees as expendable trash.  The 'if you don't like it, leave" mentality.  They can sit in their offices and make all kinds of dictations about how drivers are to run their lives in their trucks and fully forget that we are human beings and, we have life experience and, we have expectations of the companies we are working for.  Really, all it would take is a decent truck, with a nice interior that hasn't been trashed. 

Okay, well, it's night time, I'm just sitting here contemplating what my next move is. I'm likely to start putting out applications again. 

Very glad I didn't try to swap trucks yesterday.  I wouldn't even have gotten out of the Ryder truck rental place in time to get back to the dealership to get "my" truck.  I'm still very disappointed after being told by numerous beings in this corporation that they were getting 10 new trucks to find out yesterday they aren't getting any  new trucks, they had been given to "other" people and that was that.  Change that, I wouldn't have even made it TO the Ryder place after all the rigarmaroo at the Volvo dealership. Without going into all of that stuff  and ready to leave, I get a message on the screen on the dashboard about a light that has an open circuit.

I assume this means a burnt out bulb.  I checked all the lights, but admittedly didn't check the brake lights.  Yet, anyway.  They make it next to impossible to do that without having someone else out there looking at them.  I found something to prop the Johnson handle down enough to engage the trailer brakes, enough to turn all the brake lights on.  Sure enough, the passenger side brake light inop.  I was treading the waters of not having enough hours for the day to sit around waiting or "authorization" to buy a freaking sealed light and then have someone install it, so I just bought the thing and installed it myself.

The days of hotel stays are over.  Unless this truck breaks down again. What I found utterly hilarious is that the only thing wrong with it was the clamp that blew off the hose.  Yup.  I mean, I took pics of this shit and sent it to my manager who sent it to the dude that is supposed to "know everything".  Not my truck, not my money. I document everything with pics, if they want to ignore that, that's on them.

Wait, I shouldn't say over completely. In situations where I find myself having to sit for 15 plus hours, I likely will find my own place and it's whatever.  I guess I'll have to get used to this truck - or go find a new job, cause' they could care less about broken promises of new trucks. I didn't ask for a new truck, btw this came from them at the get go. I guess I good sign should have been that after orientation, they didn't even have trucks for us to drive.  Still, this thing has over 500 k miles on it, it was sitting in a yard for them to get rid of it, not for some new driver to have to come along and take. And now, these other 2 new drivers are going to get stuck in old trucks from the teams that got the new ones.

Saturday.  Day off.  Been doing laundry literally all day long.  Lots of back log in that stuff.  Put together my new office/computer chair.  I'm also going to buy a nice, new computer desk and also a dresser/chest of drawers set.  I found one that I talked down to $250, very nice looking set but I don't have the time to go up there and get it.  It's about 60 miles from here.  Well worth the trip, just no time today. I have too much to get done around here and then, off to the Port again tomorrow. That's Cheniere.  I don't really want to be sent there too often, tho.  I hope she doesn't make a habit out of it.  You make no real money on that trip. Other drivers warned me about it, but after actually doing one of those trips, I can see why.  It's basically a waste of time.  I mean, if I can do it in one day, then fine.  But last time, too many obstacles put in my way to get that done.

I'ts probably around a $300 trip, so yes, one day.  But, regardless of when I get back, either tomorrow night or Monday morning, it will cost me Monday of getting another load and getting out on a hopefully longer run. I'm making a minimum of $300 per day at this job, some days much more than that.

Well. Anyway. Upon looking at the closets in the tractor more closely, the one that is really narrow is a hanging clothes closet.  Which would be fine in some other setup, but not in a tractor where space is limited.  that closet could have been made much wider and accommodate for many other things than just hanging your clothes up in there.  Like a refrigerator?  I can keep my clothes in a duffel bag, thanks, I need the space for other things.  Volvo messed up on that one.

Uhh, I guess I'm stuck in the thing, that has an automatic transmission that I totally despise. After being in the rental truck and shifting gears, I didn't want to go back to this thing.  I found out at the rental place that they actually - allegedly anyway - have a thing on commercial licenses that's added if you aren't "qualified" to use a manual transmission.  The whole trucking industry is being transformed into something totally unrecognizable.  People that can't shift gears?

More and more stories about driverless trucks. They're coming.  I don't know when they will take over the industry, probably years down the road, but it's going to put a lot of people out of work.  Millions and millions of people aren't going to have a profession anymore.  So what's my take on this? I can't stop automation.  I can't stop technology.  I don't trust driverless trucks for several reasons but they are hell bent on putting them out there.  It's coming, sooner or later.

They can do most of the work I'm currently doing.  Excepting at places that the driver has to unload - but that can be accomodated for.  I just don't know.  I'm getting too old to try and switch to something new.  Well, not really.  I could if I were forced into it.   If I were ask my company right now if they were going to do the driverless route when it becomes available, they would probably say no. But given the opportunity? Sure, those trucks will cost a LOT more, but you aren't paying a driver and giving him/her benefits.

It's kind of sucky, really, that they are hell bent on going that route.  I just have to accept it's coming and what am I going to do about it?  Nothing.  I'll drive until they don't need me anymore and then?  I dunno.  Maybe I'll have property by then and can raise a small herd of cattle.  I was in an Uber today, the dude is older and doing it for extra income. But even that is going to go away to driverless cars.

This technology is being tested, it's only a matter of time.  The only question that remains in my mind is: will they allow this technology to transfer over to hazmat? And I can guarantee you, they don't have anyone at gas stations that can unload those trucks. There are situations I can think of where automation isn't going to work. Or, it will work to get the product there but after that, unless they also are going to have robots, it's going to need a human being to fulfill the rest of it.

Funny we're in an age where humans are being factored out.  I'm not 20.  I don't have my whole life ahead of me.  But, I will adapt if I have to, I'll figure something out.  Just kind of scary, really.  To think that in the near future, probably anyway, millions and millions of people's line of work will be eliminated.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Yes, I got the load to a place near Tulsa.  I fortunately didn't have time to stop and get "my" truck out of the shop. By the time I hit Tulsa, it was too late. Both the shop and the place to return the truck to close at 5, no way in 40 minutes I would have been able to get all of that done. Drop the trailer at the shop, get my stuff out of the tractor and into the other one, drive the tractor back to the rental place, have them check it out, sign off on it, get an Uber to take me back to repair shop, finish up and leave? Naaah.  So, I'm back at the hotel I was in last time I came up here, a Candlewood Suites place. Replete with a very nice Mexican food restaurant in front with excellent food and reasonable prices. 

I don't feel bad, at all, about another company paid hotel night, for all I've gone through being here, I'm fine with it.  I actually don't mind sleeping in that truck, it's the only good thing about it.  The engine runs all night long with that humming sound I am used to and the minor vibration just lulls me to sleep.  

Basically, the 10 new trucks was a fairy tale. Those trucks were given to teams.  I mean, we've been told since we started orientation, well no, even before that, that they were getting 10 new trucks.  So, no new trucks, stuck in this old thing with 500k miles, I consider them to have lied to me.  But, what trucking company doesn't.  They'll all say stuff to you to get you in there and then, boom.  Uhh, yea that's not going to happen.  Thanks.

I'm going to have to figure out if I can deck this old pile of trash out or just - what?  I have to do something with it.  

Well, it's not any better news for the other 2 new drivers.  They are gong to be dumped into someone else's old relics as well.  One of the trucks has a hole in the side of the sleeper.  I'm just confounded that a company with their reputation would be treating new drivers like this.  It's one thing to make promises you can't keep, it's another to not only not keep that promise but go to the entirely other end of the scale of it, in this case, not only not new trucks, but junk  trucks on top of that.  Stuff that was sitting in a yard somewhere, ready to be sold off at auction.  

Oh, I got a call from Marie tonight. She's the lady that went up to PA after I did.  We talked for over an hour on the phone.  She's really cool.  We went over everything. She was flabbergasted about our truck situation. You have to realize, all the drivers besides us new ones are driving newer Peterbilts in excellent condition.  

Ugh. I"m getting off of here. This kind of talk is depressing, think I'll focus on something else.  

Well that was fun. Got up early, go up here to near Chicago, got into the plant, the plant operator walks up and says:  Well, go get a hotel...