Friday, October 6, 2017

As I predicted on Wednesday evening, I wouldn't be making it home tonight, Friday night.  That's because as soon as I got back from North Carolina, they had me turn around yesterday and go almost all the way back there to deliver and then pick up.  I did the math: no way would I have enough available driving hours to be able to leave there and get home today.  In fact, I ran out of hours just getting to the truck stop I am at.  I'm still 4-1/2 hours from home. 

Now, I left home Sunday at around 2:45 am.  I'll be getting home sometime tomorrow late morning, I'm guessing and then I have to leave early Monday morning to be down in Lufkin for an 8 am delivery. So, I don't get anything near a full weekend.

See this is my problem here.  I mean, I was going to be home every night but one, maybe two per week.  That was cool. I could deal with that.  Then I got to this company and now I'm not even getting a full weekend, much less the fact I've been on the road forever.  Yes, I have made bank this week - $1,400 worth of miles, because that is all I have been doing. Drive 11 hours, sleep 10, drive, sleep, drive sleep.  This is what is getting to me. The fact that they so easily just said oh well to the agreement that we had.  Maybe they don't think it was an agreement and now they have me on their hook? 

So, I am going to write a - nice - letter, explaining to them my position. We really did discuss all of this and I have some texts at least from the recruiter to back it up.  I mean, at least meet me in the middle, cause right now, y'all are getting your way and I"m getting - nothing that I wanted.  Probably won't word it that way, but that's the gist of it.  I didn't get a sign on bonus, I didn't get a new truck, I didn't ask for those things because I wanted the schedule I wanted or at least something somewhat even remotely close to a semblance of it. 

I don't know, I'm just going to politely ask them to revisit this subject and see where it goes. Perhaps a trade off - one week with more home time and one without so much - but definitely, I want to be home at the latest, Friday night.  I really want 2 whole days home, like everyone else in the company is getting. Turns out I"m the only one from out of state, or even out of area. Everyone else lives there and they go home frequently.  Pehaps they thought that would work with me.

Actually, with the Lufkin run, I did the math and came up with how I could get home most nights and still get good miles in.  But, I forgot in that equation that I won't go back empty and may have to do a lot of dead heading to get to a pick up point.  There has to be some sort of happy medium here where I can get what I asked for at least to some degree.  I really do not like when trucking companies make all kinds of promises and keep none of them. It's a common practice, but I thought this was different since the owner had called me first and told me I could get home most night. Those were his words. 

So anyway, I'm currently sitting at a Flying J truckstop in Jackson, Mississippi. The company yard is just down the road, but I wasn't going to sit in there all night long.  I needed to eat, sit down somewhere after a long, hard week and have a bite. Denny's here, had the Lumberjack breakfast, love that stuff!  No such thing as fine dining at truckstops.  Sometimes there are other restaurants nearby them, but not anything I have been at lately  I have been eating granola bars and subway sandwiches. 

I'm going to think about my wording of this letter, but I am definitely writing it and definitely expect some kind of reply to it, even if negative.  Sorry Charley, we just can't do that.  Or, okay, we'll discuss it next week when everyone is together.  Or whatever. 

Oh, and then there was yesterday!  I got to the pickup point in Fort Mill, way late.  Road construction galore, too much traffic and dumb drivers doing stupid things - people are paying attention to their cell phones, folks, not the road. I can see into their cars when they are sitting there at green lights or driving 50 MPH in a 70 zone.  This stuff is out of control. Anyway, I had 12 minutes of drive time left before being out of hours!  Haha, where am I going to  go park for the night? Fortunately, a local freight driver was in there. I asked him, he thought about it for a minute and said, oh yeah! Walmart. 

Is it far? No, it's 4 miles down the road.  I could envision 4 miles in that traffic taking more time than I had, but I had no choice but to try.  Kinda get into trouble for driving over Fed regulated hours.  In fact, this company will fire you for it if it happens too much.  But Walmart  - they all have those no truck signs, but you never know if they are going to allow you to spend the night or not. Some won't many will.  I got over there and parked my truck way  out of the way of anything and everything. HUGE parking lot, this one was even bigger than most and half of it unused.  Parked the thing, went inside and got, yes, a Subway sandwich, came back out, got in the truck, hoped that there wouldn't be an issue and went to sleep. First night since last weekend I actually slept pretty well.  I woke up to the alarm in the morning, thank goodness they didn't bother me and there was actually another truck I didn't hear pull up, parked directly beside me. 

Well, long day.  Started at 4:00 am and ended at 5:30 pm with 15 minutes of drive time left, lol. 

There is one thing that I am definitely not used to, and that is the sound of this APU - Auxiliary Power Unit - running all night long.  It is mounted behind the cab so the noise is right there.  And it vibrates the entire truck.  Now, I am used to the sound of a truck engine running, but that's really much different than this contraption.  They want you to use these things instead of running the engine all night long and at 11k per unit, they are obviously serious about that factor.

I ended up shutting it off last night. I was fortunate that the air was crisp and cool at the location I was at, for I simply could not get to sleep with all that noise going on, even with earplugs.  I should really have brought my fan, but I figured the noise of the APU would replace it, definitely wrong about that.  I am running it right now, but it's day time and I"m sitting at a Proctor and Gamble plant in North Carolina, waiting for them to unload the truck.  I did eventually get to sleep after I shut everything off, but that is a negative in itself since I'm used to the sound of a fan running. They have a huge inverter built into this truck, just turn it on, plug into and you have AC electric.  I checked it, it charged up my computer last night, of which I am using right now for this entry.

No sense not taking my computer with me since I do tend to get hours of enjoyment out of it.  There is no TV in this truck, but I don't miss TV.  I'd watch the news if I had it, but I can get that on line.  Wifi supplied by Iphone, at least one good idea they had. Well anyway, the life of a truck.  This place had my unhook the trailer and go wait with the tractor in a separate parking spot.  Crazy.  I was supposed to load for a run back to Mississippi, but I am guessing they are going to be closed by the time I get there, meaning waiting all night for the next load.  No biggies, I've already driven 9 hours today, I would have liked to have gotten the other 2 allowable, but if not, it's not.  I have lost so much sleep that I need a night to catch back up on it anyway.

Still, I"m working here to make the bucks. The only way to do that is to get 600 miles average per day.  Actually, I"m close to that even though I got caught up in a police chase this morning - I wasn't involved

Happy Independence Day to everyone! Beautiful day in northeast Texas. Well, it's hot and humid but oh well lol. Good day to re-read th...