Monday, December 9, 2019

The last 4 days I've done nothing much more than a huge exercise in cleaning futility.  I call it that because these trees around this property will just keep dumping crap all year round.  However, most of the leaves are completely off the trees, so not a total waste of time.  But, that's what I was up to until yesterday, Sunday, when I decided I wouldn't do any of that and instead just take the day off, throw in a load of laundry, think about the fact that I will have no paycheck next week - no work - wonder if possibly an emergency run might come across the wires.

And so it happened. Yesterday morning, one of the drivers got onto group text saying they couldn't get their truck running could someone please preload for them?  It was 5:30 am, there was no way I could get to the yard, hook up and get to the plant in time so I didn't bother replying - tho for 3 hours work you get about $200 - it's certainly  not a waste of time, especially during these times when there are hardly any runs.  Everyone is sitting around for 4 to 5 days at a time right now, not just me.

It was around 4:45 pm yesterday when I got a text from my manager, Marie's truck broke down, can you come haul this trailer off to West Virginia?  She had asked others who couldn't do it.  Well, one said he would do it but wouldn't drive all night long.  You don't have to drive all night long when you can't get there in the allotted 11 hours.  You simply have to drive far enough that you can make it the next day after your 10 hour break.  I figured this out long ago.  Anyway, I thought about it long and hard, I didn't reply to her for probably 10 minutes.  Yes, I thought, I want the run, but today is the 8th.  I have to be a plane, in Dallas, at 6:00 am on the 12th.  I did the math, added 3 hours to it at the end of figuring it out in case of a flat tire or something that takes more time than expected and came up with being back at the house around 2 to 3 pm on Wednesday, the day before departure. 

I also thought about the fact that it's already late, I'll have to drive a minimum of 400 miles today (yesterday) to get this route done according to my math.  That's minimum miles.  That's how far I'd have to go to safely understand that I would make it to the plant today.  That includes "extra miles" in case there is some sort of delay.  But I ended up taking it. It was that or no paycheck next week - or use vacation pay, which I am trying to reserve for other potential trips. 

So, I drove til 1:30 am last night - yes that was all part of this calculation. I actually was only going to drive until around 12:30 but the parking lots were all full and had to drive an extra hour before getting to where I am now.  And I'm glad I did.  It will be for more than half of today's driving according to the radar I was just looking at. It's raining in Kentucky and West Virginia and that will slow me down. I've got an extra hour of driving to help me make it to the plant today - that's the goal, at least make it there.  If they won't allow me to drop the trailer at 9:00 or 10:00 pm - approximate expected arrival time - I will take my 10 hour break in their parking lot and switch them out tomorrow morning.  Either way, I don't lose any drive time and still make it back to Texas in time.

That was also part of a potential calculation - whether I drop/hook tonight or have to wait until tomorrow morning, it's not relevant to the time I will get back.  Relevant things would be accidents that hold you up for hours, flat tires that take hours to get replaced on the side of the road, truck breaking down. I figured if worse comes to worse, ie: getting home too late to get to Dallas to get a hotel and get up early, I'll just have to eat it and get up at 2:00 am, drive to Dallas, parking garage, etc etc.  I'm not really stressing about this - it's not Christmas Day I'd miss if I don't make it.  Southwest will apparently let you change your departure time if you call them at least an hour before you are supposed to check in - probably with a fee but it's whatever.  I actually wouldn't mind calling them and seeing if I could get a later departure.  I still can believe I mistakenly hit the 6:00 am departure. 

Geeze. I originally was looking at a 9 or 10 am departure (can't remember exact time) where I could just get  up that morning, a bit early but not too bad, and not have to waste money on a hotel stay. 

Well, I best get offa here and get ready to drive.  A day of driving in the rain, at least there weren't any yellow or red spots on the radar.  Just have to deal with other drivers going far slower than they need to becajuse of fear of wet roadways. 

Wish me luck. Even though I'm not exactly stressing about this, I do hope to make it before the weekend. That's when my friends are available to visit. Everyone is working during the week, otherwise.

Off to the races.


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...