Saturday, January 20, 2018

So.  I got out of the truck down south after getting unloaded - and I mean directly after getting unloaded, just pulled off the scale to get out of the way and then take a look at everything - and saw this huge "ding" in the back of the trailer on the side.  I was shocked.  I started thinking about the entire trip. Nowhere on that run was there anything that could have happened to cause that kind of damage in the location it was at.

I literally dwelled on that from yesterday late afternoon until this morning around 10:00 am when I got back to the yard, went directly to the manager's office, sat down and told her what was going on with the trailer.  Oh, yes, she replied, is it on the passenger side on the back of the trailer?  Why yes, yes it is.  Gary Lewis - the guy that started all kinds of s*** with me for asking him a simple question - backed into a - whatever, I don't remember what she said since waves of nerves started leaving me.

I"m still on 90 day probation, another month or so to go.  Something like could likely get me hitting the road to find another job.  I'm like, ohhhhh, okay.  Well I gotta admit it got me going.  But I had thought about the entire route there - this damage was obviously caused by backing into something, I hadn't backed up the trailer the entire trip down there.

Anyway, that over, she said I'm on the scales early for the first load tomorrow. Okay - that IS early, btw.  In fact, so much so I'm going to take a nap in a few.  The load is going to somewhere in Ohio, I don't have the specifics yet.  I think the first load is at 5am?  I don't remember but when she sends me the text with the info on it, I'll know.  The day starts an hour and a half before that.

This period paycheck wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Not near the amount of the last one, but considering the last one shocked me into numbness, I'll take this one.  It's 3 times the amount - well more than that 3-1/2 times the amount of my paychecks at Ferguson.  I'm getting all kinds of stuff done I had put on hold, so tho I'm getting a lot, I"m spending a lot too.  That will gradually slow down, but then, I'll start dumping money to pay down credit card debt.  Once I get it down to less than 30% of credit available, then I can think about some other things I'd like to do. _____________________________________

That was..yesterday?  I'm sitting at a Love's Truck stop in ...  Matthews, Missouri.  Heading to Stryker, Ohio. I should be there by mid afternoon tomorrow - providing I don't have any more issues with this truck or trailer.

The truck - I pulled up on a railroad scale this morning - it's the only level scale in that plant - and it showed the steer axle at 13, 640 pounds. That's 1,640 pounds over weight for that axle. I was not over gross on the entire truck, it was less than 79,000. But you can't pull into a weigh station and think they are going to let you go being that far over weight on the steer axle.

Anyway, I figured to fix the weight issue by sliding the 5th wheel back, effectively putting more weight on the drive axles and taking weight off of the steering axle. Problem? I pulled the  valve - it's pressurized air operated mechanism on the 5th wheel - and found out there were huge holes in the tub that supplies the actuator the pressurized air. 

Well anyway that set in motion having to call my manager, find this place, get them to fix it and replace a missing mud flap and then, finally get on the road. Well not so fast.  That fifth wheel hadn't been moved in a long, long time.  IT took forever to get it to loosen up so I could slide it forward and backward.  But it was so touchy, it would either slide all the way forward or all the way back before I could slam on the brakes and get it to stop.  It took another 45 minutes in a parking lot to get it where I guessed it would be close.

After that, drove to a Love's about 90 miles up the road, weighed it - the front axle was still 280 pounds overweight, but I was close! I had to try 2 more times - well I wanted to try 2 more times to figure out what the weights would be at different positions. 

Finally got out of there and drove almost 7 hours straight without stopping, until I was forced to stop for the day. On a "normal" day, I might have gotten another 100 more miles down the road.  Actually, even more than that if I'm really pushing it. I would have done it today, too if I hadn't had all these problems, so I could get to Ohio early tomorrow and just get a hotel room and hang out for the day. But it looks like I won't be there before 4 tomorrow after noon - not sure if it's worth a hotel to stay until around 5 am and then have to get up and go unload.

Oh, and that's what this is all about. I am being thrust into the world of unloading these Ehtylene trucks now.  I've already done LNG, almost the same exact set up but different pressures. The point is that learning how to unload opened up a lot of new potential for much longer runs.  Get a 2,000 mile run and maybe a 600 or more mile run every week and I"m sitting pretty.

Well I was going to write more, but I woke up at around 2 am last night. I don't know what work me up, but when I did, I started panicking.  Lol.  How come the truck isn't running? Where is the vibration? Is the truck broke down? I was looking around in pitch black - which turned out to be my bedroom. Lol again.  I just had it stuck in my mind that I was in the sleeper of the truck, not the bed in my bedroom.  So anway, maybe more tomorrow. I'll have plenty of time haha. 










Alright, bound and determined to get this stuff done, I went to the courthouse today, presented them with all the paperwork and - got busy. ...