Monday, March 30, 2020

Day 3 in Brownsville.
Starting to get antzy. Not because I hate waiting, but because they ran out of drivers to haul loads up there and had to cancel a load coming down today.  So now, no matter what time a trailer shows up today - there are supposed to be here - I will have to drive all the way back.  Meaning if one got here at 9:00 pm I"d be driving until 7:30 am to get it back.  No thanks.  I'll do it, yes, but pleeeeaaassseeee I'm hoping one gets here soon. It's 12:30 pm right now, I'm good for driving up until around 1:00 am.  After that I'm toast and fighting to stay awake.  Even 1:00 am is pushing it. 

But I'll do whatever I have to to keep my  job.  They can easily push me out of their system to get someone who will do the night driving, I'm not taking that chance.

Since our company laid off 400 drivers, especially. But - most of that was in the fuels division.  Obviously, fuel consumption in this nation has gone way down because no one is going anywhere besides truck drivers.  But I just read that our company is fighting to give the rest of the drivers facing lay offs work outside of our industry. They've already connected with Werner, JB Hunt and others to haul loads for them - that's all grocery stuff,  the hoarding is still continuing but sooner or later, I'm assuming most people will run out of money for over stocking their pantries and buying hundreds of rolls of toilet paper.  But I'm glad they are finding ways to keep our drivers working.  It may not be optimal, but it's far better than nothing, or being on unemployment and not getting near as much as you normally would with a paycheck.

Just disconcerting that we don't have enough drivers right now to cover the loads.  Sounds like they could easily bring in a couple more drivers to pick up the slack.  A person hauling fuel can easily pull what we pull, they just won't be able to do any offloading at the plants.  We have lots of drop and hook places we go, including Brownsville. I'd rather see them bring in a couple more drivers than watch our business go out the window to a different cryo hauler.  We had that happen in 2018 and we never got those accounts back. Well sometimes if the other hauler is too busy, but for the most part, they get those runs. It's limited and not that much, but it took business away from us.

Even more conversations with other drivers about the now gone manager.  This one driver was getting set for up to 8 DAYS at a time.  WTH.  He admitted he doesn't run as hard as some of us do, that might have something to do with it.  These brownsville runs they want down here same day unless its impossible because of hours to get it here.  Still, 8 days. If you have that much disdain for a driver  you should just get rid of him.  But, she was doing that to a lot of us, just not as much sitting.  It was really obvious, too, who was getting all the runs because they were on the group chat ALL the time giving updates on loading times when they were getting loaded.  Why she played favorites I'll never really know for sure, I just know I have a pretty good relationship going with current manager - trying to keep it that way and keep busy. 

So, here I sit, keeping an eye out for any trucks coming in with our trailers. This yard has all kinds of trailers in it, only a limited number of them are ours.  I suspect all 3 of us waiting down here will be out of here today.  I'm first out, thankfully.

The disruption to our lives with this coronavirus is spreading. But, we now have enough toilet paper to last a while - no we didn't hoard we just wanted enough to last a month or two.  We're there.  If people would just calm down and understand the food chain supply isn't down, go back to buying normally, we wouldn't be in this dilemma.  I found more water today at the truck stop, so I got another case. We're good with that for a while too. But it took so long to find any, I have 2 cases in my truck now instead of the one I normally have.  That isn't hoarding. Hoarding would be buying 10, 15 or 20 cases of water, well beyond anything you directly need. 

I have stepped back a bit watching continuous news.  They are literally reporting this virus news around the clock. I was watching a lot of it until a few days ago, I decided to back off a bit. Not totally, I want to see what's happening with it, but I just don't need to be filling my head with that stuff all day and night long.  I tend to get carried away with watching the news when stuff like this happens.  I watched all of the OJ Simpson trial coverage, for example. I watched the news forever in 9/11.  Operation Desert Storm the same.  But this is going to go on for a while.  The only real changes are the numbers of people getting it are going up and up and the complaints of ventilator shortages keep rolling in.  Essential workers are getting pushed hard - doctors and nurses especially. Truckers? We run hard regardless to make that paycheck.  It's just that we are not sheltering in place and the don't want us to.  For obvious reasons.  Well, ok and they are asking truckers to drive longer hours in temporarily suspending HOS rules. You can drive as long as you want. Instead of 11 hours you can drive 15 if you have to, but the same rules about the 10 hour break are in place, so I've heard anyway. Once  you are done driving that day, however long you drove, you still have to take a 10 hour break. I'd be fine with an 8 hour break.  I don't need 10 hours and many truckers have complaing about that rule for a long time. 

I'm not sure if they suspended the 70 hour rule. I haven't looked into it. Our company hasn't suspended it that I know of but certain operations might have, such as oxygen to hospitals.  Well, I"m get offa here and get prepared, I have word that a trailer is coming in soon.

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...