Monday, August 19, 2019

Keeping my posting to a minimum for now since it's just the same stuff, over and over.
4 day trip to Ohio - uneventful.  Just another trip.

Had a day off, then over to Cheniere yesterday.  They, of course, ruined my chances of getting home the same day by making me wait 3 hours before we even got started unloading. Actually, they brought me into the plant, realized their mistake, took me back out and I waited there for hours.  As normal, they don't care how long you have to wait, they don't care about anything but their own doings. When unloading the truck, a group of them form together, talk about their grievances with work and totally ignore me.  I'm a pretty social person, but I'm not going to get involved with their gripes with their company. The lowest paid person there is making 130k per year for doing grunt work.

I have no sympathy.  Well, a little.  That place is out in the middle of nowhere, they have kept them there for 30 days straight now.  30 days without a day off and not going home either.  Alot of them, anyway.  The person that lives the closest - that I have heard thus far anyway - lives an hour and a half drive away.  But these are young men - in their 20's.  I wouldn't have had a problem with that at that age and was working 7 days a week back then anyway.  In fact, I'm still putting in more hours than any of those guys.  Not that I'm anything special, but the work ethic in this day and age is a bit less than what we experienced growing up.

Anyway, one guy sat there and complained for almost 2 hours to the rest of them about the cliques in upper management and how they haven't said anything to him at all in a long time.  This dude is making $51 per hour plus huge, vast amounts of OT.  But he's quitting, lmao.

I got home at around 2:00 pm.  As normal, the trailer I took yesterday had a problem that wasn't reported. Namely, a tire with a huge bald spot on it, flattened.  This is clearly a tire that had been locked up and rubbed the tread right off of it.  The tire next to it was not like that, so I assume it happened in Mexico. They steal our tires all the time.  I missed it on the pre--trip inspection - I check all tires but I admittedly do not move the truck to see if the portion of the tire on the ground is good.  Then again, I didn't get this trailer in Brownsville, someone else did and obviously didn't report the fact that it was bald.  See, I knew something was wrong because after I started driving it to the plant, a huge vibration in my truck was going at 35-50 mph.

After leaving the plant and loaded over 79k, the vibration was horrible.  Fortunately it went away after hitting 55mph.  It's a recurring thing, tho, to get a trailer that has an issue and the previous driver does nothing to rectify the problem.  Regardless, I dealt with the tire this afternoon - called the Michelin tire hotline and had them come out and replace it.  Because that's what you should do as a professional driver. Not just let it go and think someone else is going to deal with it.


Well that was interesting.  Last night, I was on one of the local Facebook selling groups.  Someone posted that power had gone out - and then - our power went out and then came back on.  Then someone passing by the plant where I get the truck loaded took a pic - of a bunch of black smoke going up into the sky and proclaiming Eastman is on fire.  I looked at the pic - it was the main flare off- it stands at least 100 feet up in the sky-  it had a flame coming out of it at least 60 feet high. I've never seen it like that, nothing even remotely close to being that much fire coming out of that thing.

And then, there were black smoke pockets coming up through the trees throughout the plant.  I thought, dang, the plant is on fire?  No, it turned out, they had all of their flares fired up - they have a lot of them on that property.  A power substation at the plant had "blown up", so they said, probably a giant transformer caught on fire would be my guess - and caused voltage to go up and down, initiating an automatic shut down of the entire plant.  Besides the plant shutting down, one of the flares was burning so hot it set the nearby dried out grass on fire, a minor issue.

But, of course, that screwed up everything for loading today.  I didn't even think they would load any trucks today, but I saw several group texts - first load started loading at 7:38 am. That's when the first load should be done loading.  Then an hour later, another driver texted that first load hadn't even started yet.  Lol, the other driver noted the lines hooked up to the truck weren't white yet.  The product is so cold, the lines become enveloped in frost once the liquid starts flowing through it. Quite easy to tell if it's pumping.

So now?  It's 10:15 am, they still haven't started loading the first truck.  That was my guess last night, they wouldn't even begin to think about loading anything after a system wide shut down.

The issue, of course, is if these plants we take the ethylene to don't get the product in time, they, in turn, also have to shut down.  But that's the breaks. S*** happens, deal with it.  At least it isn't our fault, just a random event that is affecting everything else.

My good or bad fortune, depending on how you want to look at it, is that my manager texted me early this morning after trying to call - I was in the shower at the time.  She stated the plant wanted the Cheniere loads filled up first.  We do whatever the plant wants, it's their show, it's their call.  But she knew I wasn't anywhere near the yard where my truck was already hooked up to the trailer and ready to go, so she asked if it was okay another driver that happens to be there just take my truck over there and preload it for me?  Sure, why not?  That's where I"m either fortunate or not.  Fortunate that I'm not sitting at the plant, waiting endlessly for something that may not even happen today? or unfortunate that I am not sitting at the plant, making a nice, tidy sum of money per hour to sit and wait?

I decided fortunate. I'd rather be home. Plus, whenever the load actually does end up getting back to the yard, I will have full hours available to get to Cheniere and get unloaded.  Instead of losing the 2-1/2 hours at the plant it takes to do all of that.  That gives me extra hours to get down there and wait for even an extended period and still have time to unload and get back.

So, that's where it's at for now.

And I finally found a boat.  Right price, flat deck boat, decent condition, 150 horse motor, lady said come get it today - which James will do, I went to the bank and got the money out - and then? She disappeared.

Gag.  This is pretty much what happens with every boat I've wanted.  I comb the ads and finally find something and baam! It's sold out from underneath me. Tho that is usually while I'm on the road. I'm not on the road now and could go deal with this myself since the plant isn't pumping the product, my truck is sitting there 3rd in line and will be many hours even if they do get it going


Alrighty.  The plant finally started loading, my truck is getting loaded now, I'll be heading over to the yard soon.
Meanwhile?  A boat! maybe?  I finally found a flat deck boat with lots of room and in good shape and a bigger motor (bigger for a flat deck/pontoon boat anyway) at 150 horsepower.  Most of the pontoons and flat deck boats I see have very small motors 40, 50, 60 horsepower and I know I wouldn't be happy with that.

This one has had carpet redone and the upholstery is mostly in good shape.  Titles for the trailer, motor and boat : )

I dunno where it's at yet cause' James is busy - I hope - getting them to sign off on paperwork to transfer titles to my name. I went to the county courthouse and got the actual paperwork so I knew there wouldn't be any issues.

Welp, off to work/Cheniere.

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...