Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Well, I took a chance. Getting where I'm at that is.

Started out this morning.  Got to the plant at 6:30 am, got checked in a one place, weighed at another, loaded at yet another and back to the scale house.  Where I waited....and waited...and waited.... for hours.  Lots of conversations with other drivers during that time, even with a smart phone, it can get pretty boring. 

After 2-1/2 hours, they finally called me up there.  "Well, they kept doing sample checks, we couldn't let ya go without knowing the samples were going to be good".  I guess they finally figured they are good.  Ate up m clock tho.  I was determined to get in 600 miles.  I fell about 40 miles short of it.  Drove, drove, drove.  Forced to take a 30 minute break which is mostly what kept me from making the full 600. 

Anyway, I gambled.  I looked at a Love's well down the line and figured I had enough time to get there, get off the clock and get parked.  About a 12 minute window, I figured, 12 minutes left on the clock before I absolutely had to get off of it.  And stop the truck.  The gamble wasn't just the time tho. Actually, the time is math, but you never know if an accident or road construction or steep hills or whatever are going to slow you down.  No, nowadays, the gamble is: is there going to be a parking space available when I get there?  Cause' honey, after 6:00 pm, you're taking a big chance that there isn't anything available. 

When I pulled in here, I saw an "empty" spot, but it was between 2 trucks, next to the curb, basically where you drive through.  However, driving through this rather large truck stop, there wasn't a single space available. The Pilot back down the road, I could see from the highway, it was full.  I pulled back around hoping that empty spot between the two trucks was still there and walaah.  I pulled in there, stopped the truck, got off the clock with 3 minutes to spare. 

I saw the driving on the side of me that is - really far out there - and talked to him for a minute. He just laughed, I'm out of hours, I'm not going anywhere - notwithstanding the fact that his truck was in a position to make it very difficult for truck parked across from him to pull out. But, that's not my problem. I'm next to him but I am far enough back that if he moves in the morning before I can, no problem them getting out of there.

I have been sitting here watching dozens and dozens of trucks pulling in here and driving right back out.  The problem with pushing the clock nowadays is the parking situation.  You might have a place in mind, and it might be doable with the time you have available, but if you get there and there isn't any place to park, you're literally screwed.  This is where paper logs saved us.  You could still drive a little while down the road and find a place and simply mark it as if you had driven there. 

I'm 430 miles from my destination.  I was trying to make at least 400, but the plant did that in. Still, not bad, considering.  I figure to get up at 6, do my pretrip, get to the fuel pump, fill it up, head out and hope to hit the plant before I have to take a 30 minute break. I mean, if I have to, I have to.  But that will get me there early afternoon. According to GPS, I"m only 6 hours and 20 minutes away.  It's  never right so add 30 minutes plus 15 minutes to fuel and 15 more minutes for kicks because that's the way it works and I'm arriving at 1:20 pm, call it 1:30.  Delivery is 6:00 am the next morning.  That's a lot of time sitting in the truck.  Not sure if I'll do that or find a cheap hotel. 

I should be home no later than Friday sometime.  I likely will get sent back out somewhere over the weekend. Which is fine, I need to rack up some miles an get some money. I'm hoping for a place to tell me I have to wait.  That's where you rack up the money.  Waiting for pay.  It really adds to any trip if it's over 10 hours.  A whole day even better.  I'll make a heckuva lot more in 24 hours of waiting on detention pay than I can the hours I can legally drive in that same time period.

Anyway, it's time to go to sleep. 

So, I made a huge error that would have really pissed me off  - at me - tomorrow.  I misread the text Ann sent me, I thought I had to load tomorrow.  It turns out she has  me loading Monday morning.  I know this because another driver called me earlier.  "Hi Ben, this is - " whoever, I don't know this dude, he works there but I haven't met more than half the drivers.  She gave him my number, which is cool, but he confused me at first.

"Ann said you have a load on Monday and that you have stuff to get done around the house".  Monday? I thought. "No, that load is going out tomorrow". He was confused then too, but apologetic for calling me about it. No, no, let me look at this again, I replied while switching screens on my phone to take another look. Yea, it's going out tomorrow.  Wait, what is today?  the 24th, he replies.  Ohhhhh wow! I would have gone to the plant tomorrow for nothing!

I thought about it for 2 seconds.  He said, well she said you had stuff to do and maybe you'd give up the load.  He was being really nice about it, but he doesn't live here, he wasn't assigned a load for Monday cause he just got back into town and I can understand him trying.  I've been on the road long enough, 3 straight days off, even if unpaid, sound wonderful to me.  Yes, you can have it!  Not that i want to give up a 736 mile each way run, but I want the time off.  I have a large number of things I still have to get done that Monday would provide for. Tomorrow is Sunday and I actually have some stuff Sunday would allot for as well.

But actually, tomorrow sounds like the perfect day to lounge around and do nothing for an entire day, with no pressure to do anything. Tho, if it hadn't been raining so much, there is yard work I'd love to get done.  In fact, at the very least, I will wash off the entire concrete slab tomorrow.  Okay, sitting around doing nothing isn't going to happen.  I just remembered a bunch of organizational stuff I need to get done before my friends move back here, plus need to drive around the community and see if there are any houses available that aren't listed anywhere and get some stuff from Lowe's . I wouldn't mind getting the truck and bringing it home and taking it to a place down the street on Monday that details cars.  I'm sure they'll do whatever for extra fee.


Tomorrow is now today and almost over.  I spent a considerable amount of time traveling around looking at bathroom vanities, attempting to decide which would be the best one for the amount of money I wanted to spend.

I mean, you can spent thousands on an entire setup if you really want to.  I didn't really want to, lol. I finally ended up at a Home Depot some 40 miles away and found one of their vanity sets on sale that really looked cool, to me anyway and was at a great price for the cabinet, the top and a mirror.  I saw a faucet set at Lowe's that I will go back to tomorrow to finish the deal. I'm half tempted to try and install it tomorrow. My friends are going to leave tomorrow morning to go over to same said town for doctor visits, I am going to go into that bathroom and see what it would take to remove the existing vanity and install the new one.  If it's more than a day job, I can't do it.  I'll have to pay someone to come over.

Because after tomorrow? I intend on taking whatever runs are dumped on me full the way up until the end of March. No complaining about it, the money is needed.  But it has been nice having some time off, even if not paid time off. My old job, I had weekends off anyway and didn't get paid for them, in my mind, it's really just taking a single day off without pay, which would be tomorrow. It will show, of course, 2 paychecks from now, but the next paycheck should be mighty fine.  So, I'm good with it.

Anyway, I also ended up building a fire in the pit outside - the temps came way down today, visited my friends at Chili's and basically enjoyed my Sunday.  Oh, all 3 of us sat by the fire for several hours chatting.  Social Club in the backyard, lol.

Never had time to finish this one.  Posting anyway.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...