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June 21, 2015

Bitch Slapping The Poltergeist

E-Logs are an Enigma, Poltergeist or even a wicked stepmother. It will spank that ass if you do something that you are not supposed to do when driving. That is if your not experienced with them, like me. The first week out on this "three week" run I learned this week that I was screwing up big time. I was giving away time thinking that I was running out of time very early in the day. It was forcing me to find a parking spot early when I could have been driving. I would end up in crap parking spots like rest areas with no facilities. Of on the side of the road in bum fuck nowhere. It was killing me. I kept calling my dispatcher with conversations that had the old "I'm running out of time" line in them. Looking back now
I feel like a fool having figured out just how I was screwing up. I wont go into details here, not enough characters in this posting. I'll just say that this coming week should be a lot different than the past two and a long easier on me. I hope.

So here I am in Fort Chiswell, Va. on my mandatory "34-hour Restart". "Restarts are good and bad to me. They are good because it gives your body 34 hours to rest and heal a bit, if you use it to do so and I do. They are bad because you can't make any damn money. So it is all down time. Unlike a day off, the restart can happen in a really fucked up place if you don't do a little planning. When your time runs out at the end of the week, in Gypsum Express's case on Saturday afternoon or evening, you have to stop! Period! That truck can not move for 34 hours and you better be logged "off duty" or in your "sleeper berth" on you E-logs. If not your screwed. You can not legally drive until you get 34 hours "logged" on "break". Don't get caught in the swamps of South Carolina or Georgia some damn where with no food or water. Your rest period may be spent walking a bit. LOL :)

The ideal thing to make happen is to get to one of the big truck stops/travel centers like I am now. The most preferred by truck drivers are Pilot, Flying J, TA Travel Centers or Hess/Wilco. In the case of Gypsum Express the Pilot or Flying J have "Transflo". That way our our paperwork can be completed and scanned directly into Gypsum's system and you can get paid the following payday. They also offer showers, which are free to drivers that use their "Pilot Rewards" cards when they fill up with fuel, which we all do. Then there is also great laundry facilities, truckers lounge areas, game rooms (for nerds), just about anything you could need for your truck, and almost all of them have a restaurant of some type attached. That way you can break from the can food, sandwiches and cereal diets for a hot meal. So pretty much when that 34-hours is up and the engines are fired up you can feel somewhat refreshed and ready for another week.

I have had several minor breakdowns the past couple of weeks. Most of it was centered around a coolant leak issue that I finally traced down to a hose in the "DEF" tank cooling system that was busted. It sucked up about three gallons of coolant in five days till I found it, caused me a lot of down time too. Another was a turn signal that wasn't flashing and had to call out one of the Gypsum mechanics in the middle of the night. And then yesterday a flat tire on a trailer that I picked up in Savannah. Thank god it was there and near the shop. So that wasn't too bad.

Other than that the truck is a real champ. She doesn't like long climbs over the mountains a lot but she maintains well. Just a total dream to drive. When I roll up the windows 99% of all outside and truck noise is gone. I am in an air conditioned zone that I can control. Stops are few and miles are many. I've averaged about 450 miles a day the past week. Some more, some less. It has been hot as hell everywhere in the USA I think. I've been drinking the hell out of water and sweating it out each time I tarp or un-tarp. Loosing some weight also and I dig that.

But all that good stuff aside, by the time Friday rolls around I will be ready for my week off and some cold, cold whiskey drinks. Yeah Buddy !!!!!!!


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I saw this big, long ass thing headed out onto the highway the other day. Look at all them axles!!! Sure glad I was ahead of it.



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Cheer Yawll !!!!!

June 14, 2015

My First Trip Up North In The Truck

So I told my dispatcher/manager that I was ready to stay out for a while.In other words, stay out on the road trucking and no time off for a while. Little did I know that I was going to be thrown out of the playpen that is Savannah and into the Lions Den that is places like Camden New Jersey. What a shit hole and people actually CHOOSE to live there ?!?!??
WTF ??
And then from there I was tossed over the top of the Appalachian and Pocono mountains to boot. Talking about straitening a learning curve real friggin quick! I don't like driving in the mountains that damn much, I have to be honest. For those that live there it isn't nothing. For us sailors......well, not my cup of tea. But is does pay more to drive from Virginia on north. And the country is pretty in the summer. You will not catch my ass up there in the winter...period!!!

I am getting some good miles under me and the truck is becoming more friendly to me each day. But I still drive with the utmost of caution and care. And I learn more every day. Backing up into the slips in the truck stops can be a pain in the ass. There are some tight spaces. But if I have my rathers I don't even park there. I like quiet sleep at night. Hearing trucks all night sucks. I got to get me a coffee maker for the truck. Tired of having to search down a coffee spot every morning.


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Cheers Yawll !!!!!


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