Sunday, October 28, 2018

Interesting trip.  Full fledged sick at the moment, head and chest cold.  I still have a bunch of stuff leftover from the last time I had this junk, most notably this killer cough syrup (no codeine, just really effective stuff) so I'm using that to see if I an knock it out versus going to the Doc.  Of course, I always say this and always end up at the urgent care clinic perhaps I should just go. Last time they gave me a steroid shot and inhaler - the inhaler ran out last night and of course I can't just give myself a steroid shot.  Probably money well spent.  Yup, I'll probably go now that I think of it.

I have to get up at 3 am tomorrow morning.  I already know it's going to be along, hellish day.  It's 620 miles from the plant to the truck stop I now normally stop at for the night when I'm making this trip, so lots of driving, cold and getting up am equals hell on wheels.  Not to mention I'm going to have to figure out 3 or 4 days worth of eating and have that ready to go.  I most certainly can't eat truckstop food on this diet.  It wouldn't hurt met if I never ate truckstop food again. Probably at least 50% of the reason I gained all this fat so quickly. 

Anyway, I'm going to Mapleton, Illinois again, that's the place that more often than not, you get there and they can't unload you and you go take a night at a company paid hotel. Wouldn't bother me a bit to get up there and spend some recovery time in a hotel.  And get paid detention pay for it.  Not going to count on it tho.  If it happens, great, if it doesn't, not so great, considering illness.

Anyway, I drove almost the entire route yesterday. Started at my house - I was only driving the trator up there no trailer, drove the 344 miiles up there, got the trailer, immediately turned around and headed back. Felt like hell all day long.  I made it within 30 miles of the yard before I rant out of drive time. I had like 20 minutes left on the clock but there was no way I was going to make it back before the clock ran out.  Now, if I had started at the yard instead of my house, I would have had enough time.  I didn't know that when I did that yesterday, but no big deal, I was ready to stop driving.  I got into the sleeper bed and stayed there 10-1/2 hours before I forced myself to get up and drive out the rest of the miles. 

Now, when I got to the yard, I unhooked from that trailer and hooked up to the one I'm taking Monday morning.  I then got out, hooked up air lines and did a walk around.  Whoever pulled that trailer last apparently was trying to get away with a fast one.  He/she had smashed the trailer into something, bent the bumper with the lights in it and destroyed the lighting (brake, turn signals and running lights ) on the right side.  How the heck do you do damage like that and just try to get away with it?

So I took a pic and sent it to my manager. I had nothing to do with this and I'm not getting blamed for something I didn't do. She gave me another trailer to hook to. So, I uncoupled everything, pulled out from underneath that trailer and hooked up to another one.  When  I got out to go hook up the airlines, I found that someone had pulled out from that trailer and obviously forgot to detach their airlines. How do I know this? Well, their glad handle was still attached to one of them on the trailer - with the air hose obviously pulled off and on the other one, the glad handle had ripped out of the unit and destroyed it.  That was unusual.  Usually the airline rips off.  To see the trailer glad handle ripped out of there and stripping the threads? Never saw that before.  So now I'm taking more pics and sending them to my manager, who at first said she knew about it.

Huh? If she knew, why did she have me hook up to it? Then she texted again and said, Oh.

Lol, she gave me yet another trailer to hook to - but the interval between me texting her and her texting me back on the second trailer was too long, I had left the yard. I can only hope there isn't anything wrong with it in the morning.  Alright, I just looked up the weather up there, it's going to be 38 degrees in the morning. I'm taking thermals with me as well. My extra heavy winter jacket is already in the truck as are my gloves and other apparel, just need the thermals.  Of course, that will help my cold!

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Okay.  Got into a discussion with my manager. She texted me yet again, don't take the 3rd trailer she gave me to take, take yet another one!

I didn't bother to ask what was wrong with it.  I'm assuming we have hired some piss poor drivers that probably need to go. It's one thing to make a mistake, have an accident, whatever, it takes it to a much different level that you didn't report it.  Most trucking companies nowadays give you an assigned truck. Not true at all with trailers.  You very much have to inspect a trailer before moving it an inch.  Anything with it and especially damage, you take pics and you report it, again, before you ever move that thing. It's called covering your ass.  I've been dumped with someone else's screwups in the past, well they tried to dump it on me.  But I did learn that if you don't want to take the blame, document it with pics and contacting supervisor immediately.  I don't care what time of the day or night it is, if you don't, the company will very likely blame you and that's a ding on your record with them.

Let's say in the case of those broken airlines that the driver pulled out from under the trailer without unhooking them, which he/she obviously did unknowingly and drove off. Still going to count against them.  If you report it, tho, it's not as bad.  I'll tell ya right now, if I screw something up, I"m reporting it the instant it happens, with pics, big I'm sorry attached to it, now what?  Usually pulling out like that and breaking airlines is not a big deal, every shop in America has brand new lines for just such occasions waiting to be installed. Or you can purchase them yourself if you want to "get away with it" and just eat the cost.  I would do that if it were me.  But in this case?  The entire glad handle yanked out with it, much different problem. Much worse problem.

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Okay, I just bought airfare to Phoenix.  I'll be visiting for 5 days.  I haven't even asked my mom or son, I'm just doing it.  I'll contact them and see if I can come up with an itinerary.  I'm also wanting to visit one of my old best friends.  I've already got a standing invite, tho I dunno around the holidays.  It's just time to go back, visit, say hi and leave.

I wanted to leave out of local airport but the ticket prices were outrageous.  Tack on $25 each way per back - American Airlines and you have a hefty price tag.  I'll be finding parking fare in advance at the airport or parking facilities nearby and flying out of Dallas. Saved almost $200 doing that. I didn't want to drive to Dallas but I just couldn't find it within myself to shell out that much extra money just for the convenience of leaving locally. It's 158 miles, 2 hours or less (at the speed I drive).  I'll arrive in Phoenix at around 11:30 am, that was the other thing. I hate redeye flights and willing to pay extra at this point in my life to just fly normal daytime hours.  I'll have to get up early, but I won't have to stay at a hotel overnight and bear even more cost.  Phoenix has both Lyft and Uber, I'll be using one of those services to get around. 

I won't need to stay at a hotel but honestly? I'd love to spend a night at the Marriot Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Been there twice and it's like a slice of heaven. Yes, pricey.  Just thinking about it at the moment.  Nix that idea. $250 for one night. Last time I was there it was $137. I'd pay that but definitely not $250 for one nights stay, that's ridiculous.

After this trip, my sites will be on a much longer trip. Longer as in distance, not time spent.  I'm looking to either get over seas or head over to hawaii.  Alaska would be nice too. 

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A nice long nap, got up, made food for the road, pretty much ready to go.  Still in ketosis, I'm hardly eating any carbs at all.  Just have to see how much weight I might lose in another week or two.  It was time to get away from truckstop food regardless.  Very unhealthy.  Some of it very tasty, but it's full of calories and everything to make a body nice and fat.  The future of trucking is quite uncertain.  I don't see many lean or even average truck drivers any more.  Most of them are obese or on their way there.  The feds have BMI standards now.  One of our drivers is facing losing his med card if he doesn't do something about it - which he stated he's a fat old man and not changing his ways. 

Another has some level of whatever for diabetes in his system that is too high by our company's standards.  If he can't get that down he is also going to lose his job.  Eventually you'll start seeing these stories in the news as the driver shortage grows. 

Well, time to get ready for bed. 3:00 am isn't exactly day break stuff,.





















So, I contacted my manager.  Is the truck done yet?
She calls me, she thinks another driver will be able to take me to get it from the yard to the facility where it's at.
10 minutes later, she calls again, no-one's available, I'll have to take you myself.
Blew my dinner plans. I had a roast that was done but I was going to make low carb bread with it and homemade bbq sauce also low carb, yea that didn't happen.

Oh wait, I skipped a part.  She also told me on the first phone call that there was no work available this weekend.  Dozens of orders had been cancelled due to shut down plants.  There are 3 loads on Monday - yeah I'll take one of those.  She listed off a short run, a medium run and a way too long run that I didn't want. 6 or 7 days out on the road, no thanks. I want this run to count for next paycheck, Mapleton run wouldn't have me back until well after Thursday ,which is the last day to turn in work for the pay period.

The run I took is Mapleton, the place that more often than not gives me detention time and overnight stays in a hotel.  That would be nice right about now

Anyway, she looked at me and said, do you think you can run up to Oklahoma, pick up a trailer and bring it back here and still be able to do the Monday run?  Absolutely.  So, I got the weekend covered with some work. It pays the same regardless of the fact that I am driving the tractor only up there and pulling back an empty trailer.  Net loss for the company but the trailer is needed for a run to Palm, PA on Monday, that's the run I didn't want.

I decided to just drive the tractor home since I'm leaving early tomorrow morning and no sense in having to drive to the yard.  My manager said to start the trip form the truck repair shop, so that actually adds some miles, which is fine by me.

I'm not feeling very well tho.  Whatever I'm getting started yesterday with me clearing my throat and now, it's lung congestion and I also just feel kinda crappy.  But I can't afford any more time off. I'm taking this run up there and if I have to stop a few times and nap, I will.

An entire day of drama and bullshit. A trailer showed up down in Brownsville around 11:00 am. Good, I get to go home today.  Got that thin...