Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Done with the emergency trip and done with a Brownsville trip.  Plus the Oklahoma trip before that equaled 7 days on the road.  I was hindered on the emergency trip by having to wait on another driver who is - sloooooowww. He's an owner operator and doesn't have his truck turned up to the speed the company allows which is 68 mph.  He also doesn't plan his trips for the most efficient use of your 14 hour clock and makes unnecessary stops. 

But, anyway, we picked up the empty trailers in Willis, TX, which was another time waster, for the trailer they assigned me to hadn't been moved in many months.  In fact, all the trailers there apparently aren't used.  The brakes had frozen up on the wheel drums and it took a good 45 minutes to unstick them. Then, a bad tire which had to call out a service truck to replace.  3 hours gone right there, moving our return time up. 

Drive to Memphis, load and spend the night in the plant, up the next morning and back that day. But not enough drive hours to get back up to the yard, so I ended up spending the night in Crockett, Texas - by that point I had parted ways with that other driver, I was tired of being held up by him and we didn't need each other to finish up the route - and got a lovely, hand carved ribeye steak at a restaurant 200 feet away from the dirt lot I had parked on. I arrived at that dirt lot with fully 2 minutes left on my drive lot. 

I planned on going up to the plant the next morning, parking the truck and running home for clean clothes.  Just wasn't prepared for being out that long.  But daylight savings time messed that up, eating up an hour the next morning, so I instead ended up visiting Walmart in the town, getting some new clothes, up to the yard, hook up to a trailer and off to the plant to load. Because I had eaten up 105 miles worth of drive time on the drive clock, I didn't have enough hours to make it down to Brownsville that day.  A 2 day trip turned into 3.

And, I was shorted detention time. The other driver I had gone to Memphis with? He was also going to Brownsville, but left 2 hours before I did.  And I still beat him down there - not trying to - with one empty trailer in the lot, I had to take it and head back out of there.  He later informed me that he was "tired" that morning and spent well more than 10 hours taking his rest break. I'm not going to lament too much, they came back with a trailer that night.  I could have gotten around 12 hours of detention pay, but whatever.  Some of the other drivers are much older than I and are much slower.  Understandable, I guess, but don't be messing with other people's paychecks, please.  It shows poorly on them anyway.  The interim manager has stated she is going to give the good runs to the people that hustle and the not so great runs to those that are fiddling around, wasting time and not being very productive. 

Last night, I ended up in a little town called Mount Enterprise - it was as far as I could make it.  Really sucks, I only had 48 miles left to go and I could have gone home and slept in my own bed.  These rigid rules the FMCSA have are quite ridiculous in such situations where you are not fatigued, could easily drive out the rest of the route and put no-one in harm's way.  I wasn't tired at all when I stopped last night. 

Anyway, I'm home now.  I have today and hopefully tomorrow off - I need a 34 hour reset but that doesn't mean she - my manager - couldn't give me an afternoon loading run.  I don't want it, to be honest, 2 days off right now sounds good.  Go back at it on Friday.  But, the likelihood is that we are still slow anyway.  I made my mark in my usefulness of doing LNG with the other terminal manager, she thanked me profusely and I said "anytime". And now that I think of it, I will have to start all over studying these manuals for that Railroad card.  I'm sure some of it stuck around in my head, I"m also sure a lot of it went right back out of my head. But, it was good to do an LNG run with a LNG trailer, get reacquainted with them.  The knowledge I get from the manuals will stick in my head longer. 

No idea when I can go and do that.  Well, I could tomorrow, probably, but I need a couple of days off. Friday would work?  I wonder if I can get that set up.  Leave tomorrow afternoon, get back Friday afternoon. 

And my doggies. Both being extremely "needy" for attention.  No one gives them the kind of attention I do lol.  The 5 year is sick, he's over at Maria's thankfully, I don't want to be around that.  I did buy cough medicine for him on the way home - 2 texts, please stop and get some - so I administered that to him as well.  I was informed that he had been coughing so badly that he was puking all over the place.  Well, he had gotten past that by the time I got there but he was still hacking away.  And people hacking away all of the grocery store. Get me out of this nightmare, I don't want that stuff, everyone I've seen with it is completely miserable. It's not the Coronavirue and from what I'm seeing, it's every bit as miserable.  If not more.  This Coronavirus nonsense has been blown up WAY out of proportion.  It's no worse than anything else floating around out there, why the media chose to hone in on this one?  It appears to me because they want to be able to blame Trump.

Yes, people are dying from it. And so are thousands of people that are dying from the flu bug. It's not that unusual, it's not that much different.  And this toilet paper stuff! People FIGHTING over TOILET PAPER.  It's all over the news. Grocery stores cleaned out of it, endless videos of people literally filling up their shopping carts with huge packages of it.  What on earth? Do these people believe we are going to run out of trees to make the stuff?  My visit to Kroger's today showed plenty of toilet paper and cold and cough medicine available.  So, the hysteria hasn't hit this little town at least.  Okay, I admit I did buy ONE package of toilet paper - but only because I was on my last roll of it. 

Well anyway, I got laundry and stuff to do.


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...