Monday, November 12, 2018

So I sat at that yard in Brownsville alllllllllll day long.  A buddy - well an acquaintance but he's cool - co-driver is down there as well.  Well he was.  I was en-queue for the next trailer coming in, but he's slated to go on vacation tomorrow. We were talking about it and I said, well, looks like you'll have to start your vacation on Wednesday.  He took off for a store that has limited truck parking, I just stayed in the yard. He contacted me a few hours later - would it be okay if I took the next trailer that came in? Sure, I replied, hoping that someday if I needed it, someone would do me a favor as well. They are going to Padre Island - which is like 30 miles from here.

I asked him why he just didn't stay down here? Well he's got to go home and get his wife, pack his things, etc etc.  I get it. Just weird. They live 560 miles from here, he could have just brought his wife down. The company doesn't allow riders, even your own family, but no one would have found out.  It's a dumb rule, really.  Lots of companies now are allowing not only riders but pets.  But he could have just driven the tractor over there without a trailer.  I'll drive the tractor anywhere a car goes excepting like through drive through windows.  No place is off limits tho, no tractor, mine is just a big car. Lol

Anyway, a trailer came in and the dude got out and asked me in Spanish - hardly anyone speaks English down here - if I was taking that trailer. No, I replied in my version of Spanish, another driver will come get it, he's just down the road.

I was glad I made the switch.  He came, got the trailer and doing whatever, I think biding his time for a 10 hour break to be up so he has full hours to get back.  Another trailer pulled in several hours later, I was ready to rock and roll, only had 4 and a half hours left but enough to get some distance between here and wherever I end up at. 

The reason I'm glad is because the next trailer that came in today, and the only other trailer coming in today - had a problem.  See, I do intensive pretrip inspections on everything, but especially the equipment coming up from Mexico.  They steal the tires - they'll take brand new ones off and swap them with bald tires. They'll steal the lights, the brass caps on the outlets for the Ethylene - no limit really. When I say "they" I just mean whoever is doing this nonsense down there.  The drivers? Making extra money selling off new tires?  Scrapping the bronze?  Selling the lights or putting them on their own equipment? Or just thieves from who knows where? I have no idea.  I don't really care, it's not my problem, it's part of the deal, the plant in Mexico has to pay for any damage or missing parts or screwed up tires.

Heck, a driver told me the other day they actually took tires off the empty trailer and just - left them off, leaving only 1 tire per per dual.  We don't mess around with that.  If there is something wrong, it has to be fixed before we drive it off the yard unless it's something that's ok to drive to the TA truck stop, which is 50 miles away.

Well, this is a fitting that connects 2 airlines to the hub on the wheel on the trailer.  It was just hanging there.  I thought about that for 2 seconds.  Pass by a Texas State Trooper and he sees that? Instant ticket.  I sent a pic to our mechanic and then called him.  I mean, I wasn't going to pull the thing like that, besides being in violation, it's obvious that all the oil has leaked out of that hub and the bearings are drying up. The next thing that will happen is either a fire from overheating or the wheels will just rip off of there.  No thanks. Between my manager and the mechanic, they were like, no.  Thank you!

Now, I'm staying at a La Quinta, company paid. Might as well, they are automatically taking off 10 hours of accumulated detention pay.  The thing is? The America's Best Value Inn, just down the street from the yard here is just as nice as this place.  It's a lot cheaper but who am I to say anything. They actually tried to get me into the Marriott at first but they were all booked up. I've been there, down here, and it's very nice.  I don't care tho, anything to get out of that truck. I was sitting in it all day long. I would have gotten my own room at my own expense if they hadn't, it was 6 pm when I found out this trailer was screwed up and I wasn't going anywhere tonight.  I'll be here until probably at least 10 am, tho this hotel's checkout time is 12pm.  I just don't think they'll have a trailer in there too early from previous experience.

I dunno, but this is better than trying to get another run after this one to get some more money on my next paycheck.  I'll have at least 25 hours of detention pay on this trip, that's worth a chunk of change.  The reason it's better is that work has slowed down and there wasn't much of a chance of a good run before Thursday anyway.

Well whatever.  I'm enjoying my night here, probably be headed back tomorrow. 

Sunday not a fun day, lol.
I got to the plant and there was the first truck, still sitting at the rack.  I noticed the line going into it was covered with white frost.  Something's wrong obviously.  The driver came up to my truck, introduced himself - he's new - and then proceeded to tell me the plant's ethylene pump is frozen.  He'd been there for a couple of hours already. We sat there and talked for quite a while and then the third of our trucks came in.  I issued a warning on text that if anyone else is coming, you might as well wait cause' its going to be hours before they get to you.  Well, the 4th truck didn't heed the warning and came in a little later as well.  I never saw the 5th truck, I'll guess they didn't want to sit half a day at the plant.  I was already there.  After almost 6 hours, they got the truck in front of me loaded and then got me loaded.

Leaving there, I got 60 miles down the road and kablaam.  1 trailer tire blew up and damaged the tire next to it.  I gave up on getting to Brownsville when that happened, no way that is happening at all.  It didn't take as long as I expected it to considering I was in a small town.  But not that small.  Small by Phoenix standards lol.  Nacadogches, Texas was the place and turns out there was a truck tire shop down the road. They sent out a truck, put 2 new tires on the trailer. 2 hours gone and pouring rain. I felt sorry for the guy changing the tires but at least he had a rain coat on.  It was Sunday, he wanted to go home lol.

Drove out another 400 miles before running out of hours, making it to Kingsville Texas.  Slept rather well, which was nice, got the truck fired up, filled up with fuel and got down there to - no trailers.  No biggies, I wasn't going to be able to make it home today anyway, not with having to drive 130 miles this morning just to finish up getting here, not to mention I'm on the 14 hour clock, starting at around 7 am,  it's already noon.  If it's late afternoon before they get there with trailers as is predicted, I will have very little time left on the 14 hour clock.  But I'd still head out of here . Cleveland Texas is 400 miles from here and it's north of Houston.  That's actually doable if a trailer shows up before 3 pm.

Anyway, it's a rainy day.  No hotel since they expect trailers here later on. Still doing the diet, I have enough food to last me through tomorrow so no worries there.  The Love's Travel Center I was at last night didn't have a scale. Some of them do, some of them don't.  I wanted to weigh myself this morning.

And quite strange.  I just tried to get on Facebook on my notebook here and it said something is wrong.  I tried on Google and then Internet Explorer. Same messages.  Got on my Iphone and the same thing. Facebook is down? !!!  Weird.  I've never seen the whole thing go crashing down.  Doesn't matter, I am either going to watch a movie on free date on Directv or take a nap.  I haven't decided which lol.  I slept pretty good last night but a nap is always good if you expect to be driving, which I do at least a little.  But this free streaming!  I have access to every channel that I already get at home. 

Well, nap time won! lol

Well it's almost 3 pm and I haven't heard from the manager about a run for tomorrow, so I'm going to assume that it isn't go...