First off, trucking is not for everyone. You have to be able to handle long hours (up to 11 hours at a time behind the wheel), some heavy lifting (you may be required to help load and unload your trailer, and put in load locks), physical effort (you must be able to climb in and out of a trailer that is about four feet off the ground, and sweep it out occasionally - all 53 ft of it), stress (late loads, crazy/stupid drivers, pressure from dispatchers, bad weather - sometimes all of these at once), and paperwork (logs, trip paperwork, map reading, etc.) You must be good at handling challenges without panicking, a cool head is essential in this business. Good people skills help, too.
Training is expensive and can take weeks to complete, so don't think you will be able to jump right in and start earning right away. You will need to go to school first. Don't go to a CDL Mill! I can't stress this enough - DON'T GO TO A CDL MILL! Check out your local Vo-Tech and community colleges. The course will be cheaper, the training will be better, and you may even be able to get a Pell grant to help pay for it. A community college or Vo-Tech course will cost you around $3,000 and take about 8 weeks to complete - a CDL Mill will cost about $6,000 and take about 3 weeks.
Check out trucking companies before you start. Even though the ads in the paper say they are hiring, many are not right now. In fact many companies are downsizing. In many cases those ads in the paper are from CDL Mills that want your money - not from the the trucking companies themselves. Make sure the companies you are interested in are actually hiring.
After your schooling you will have to go to a company with a training program. Companies such as Swift, Stevens Transport, J.B. Hunt, Werner, Crete, U.S. Express, and a few others have special programs in place to further train student drivers. You will not learn everything you need to know in school - you must get hands-on on-the-job-training, usually 6 months worth. Trucking is NOT unskilled labor - no matter how the powers that be classify it.
Before you choose a company go to The Trucker's Report and check out their Trucking Company DAC Reports and the Good/Bad Trucking Company forum.
Also Desiree's A Day in the Life of a Lady Trucker is a must read. Not to scare you away from trucking, but because you should be aware of the problems that do exist out there. What she chronicles in her story is real, I have heard first hand accounts of the awful things that can happen to student drivers in an uncaring system. I was very lucky in that I got a great trainer (he was such a great trainer I eventually married him, but that's another story), and there are other great trainers out there who really do care about teaching. But, as with all walks of life, there are predators and scum mixed in, too, and you need to be prepared. Odds are good you will get matched up to drive with someone who, at the very least, has poor hygiene or an annoying personality, if not the outright horrors depicted in Desiree's story.
Trucking can be a very lucrative, very rewarding career, but it it also very hard to get started, and there will be many obstacles in your way. Student drivers don't get paid much - less now than ever, and are often jerked around by uncaring companies and taken advantage of by power hungry dispatchers. Be ready to stand up for yourself, be prepared to put up with a lot of crap. Look at your first year like a sort of Boot Camp - it sucks, but things get easier from there, and you will emerge a stronger person for it.
Once you have a couple of years accident free experience under your belt that CDL can be as good as gold. Don't think you will be stuck driving for the same monster uber-comany that you start with. With experience behind the wheel you can eventually move on to a smaller company that is more likely to treat you better, pay better, and get you home more often. You may even decide to become an Owner-Operator and really be your own boss.
I'm not writing this to scare anyone away from becoming a truck driver, but right now the CDL Mills are being especially predatory trying to take advantage of so many people who are out of work. I hope anyone who is considering doing this for a living will do their research, make their choices carefully, and not jump in blindly.
If you would like more step-by-step info on how to get your CDL, check out my article on eHow: How to Become a Long Haul Trucker
Well, we delivered in Houma, and now we are on our way to pick up our next load which will take us to Florida. We're traveling across I-10 south of New Orleans right now, and I'm enjoying the scenery. Now, I'm sure most people think of swamps as murky, stark, depressing places, wasted space, eyesores... but I find them hauntingly beautiful. Perhaps it's because of where I grew up. Southern Baldwin County, Alabama has its fair share of swamps, marshes, estuaries, and bayous. They are "In Between" places - halfway land, halfway water, not fully either; mysterious, teeming with life and color, delicately balanced. Home to egrets and herons, crabs, snails, gators, ospreys, and fish of all kinds, Spanish moss, Cyprus trees, vivid neon green and red algae, wildflowers of all colors, palmetto, and sawgrass.
Perhaps I find them so intriguing not because of the wildlife, but because of the mystery. In between places have a kind of magic to them. Legend says that fairies have power in the in betweens. Stories of spirits and rougarous, will-o-the-whisps, hoodoos, Swamp Thing, and Marie Leveau all capture my imagination.
There's also something about Cajun culture that I love - Zydeco, joie de vivre, good food ... mmm, that Cajun food - jambalya, crawfish pie, file gumbo...
No more boudan for me though. It has rice in it. Dang it, I love boudan.
Which brings me around to my diet. Latest update - I've lost 15 lbs so far. As I expected, my weight loss is slowing down. I expect to lose about 2 lbs a week or so.
Sticking to the primal diet has gotten harder, but not for the usual reason. I'm not hungry all the time, even though I'm taking in fewer calories than I used to (between 1000 and 1200 a day as opposed to the 1600 to 1800 that I used to eat) - in fact, some days I have to make myself eat enough to stay above the starvation level. What's making it hard is monotony. It's hard to get primal foods at truckstops, so I find I'm limited to just a few choices - those being hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, and cheese sticks. Even those aren't good choices because the beef jerky has sugar added, and in a lot of cases MSG, and the cheese has lots of preservatives and chemicals. I can broaden my choices with fast food salads, but even that isn't a great choice because they use so many preservatives and who knows what in their meats and dressings.
We have stopped at grocery stores a couple of times, but there aren't that many who allow big rigs in their lots. Even when we can stop, there isn't much room in the little fridge we got for the truck, so I can't buy much at a time. Here's what I've been eating:
Tuna packets - these come in flavors now, so it's not as monotonous.
nuts - pecans, walnuts, almonds, macadamias
fruit - apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, melon
beef jerky - trying to cut down on this one because of the added sugar and MSG.
hard boiled eggs
salads - whenever I can.
stuff cooked on the truck.
Now, my husband and I drive as a team, which means we are always moving. We very rarely sit, and when we do we often don't know how long we'll be sitting still, and it's never on any predictable schedule. This makes it difficult to cook in the truck.
It's hard to prepare food when bumping down the road. I can't often stay awake for the two hours or so it takes for our lunch-box oven to cook most things when we are on a hard run, which is most of the time - I need to be either sleeping, keeping up with paperwork, making phone calls, and planning our trips when I'm not driving. (This is one of the reasons my posts here are so haphazard as well.) Now, at the moment we are waiting to get loaded, and I have a buffalo steak marinading in the fridge. I don't know whether or not I will have time to cook it this afternoon. I try, though. I like to cook, and I like home cooked food.
Here's what I've been cooking when I get the chance:
Chop up 1/2 a zucchini, 1/2 a yellow squash, 1/2 a small onion, a couple of baby portobello mushrooms, some sweet bell peper.
Put in a tin loaf pan (the size that fits so nicely in a lunchbox cooker) along with some beef tips or other meat of your choice. Top with 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes (I like the ones with cilantro and lime), season to taste (pepper and garlic powder for me.) and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Optionally, you can substitute the diced tomatoes with marinara sauce and when it's almost done you can add a layer of mozzarella cheese to the top.
Kabobs - pretty much the same ingredients - zucchini, squash, portobello mushroom, sweet bell pepper, meat of your choice. Load onto bamboo skewers, brush with oil, sprinkle with black pepper, and put them in a Forman-style grill. These are great because I can get them ready before hand, cook them while we're moving, and hand one to my husband while he's driving so he can eat with minimal distraction and mess, and we don't have to stop rolling.
I tried eggplant pizza (using slices of eggplant instead of grain-based crust) but that didn't work out so well. I couldn't close the Forman grill on the toppings, and I got tired of trying to hold it almost closed to melt the cheese - so my toppings never got hot and the eggplant wasn't done all the way through.
I plan to pick up our mini-crock pot when we are home over Thanksgiving so I can try soups and stews, and I'm going to make up a couple of no-noodle lasagnas and beanless meat chili to freeze in those little loaf pans and bring out with us so all I have to do is pop them in the cooker to heat. I also plan to use some of my time at home to find more recipe ideas and make lists of ingredients I can carry on the truck to make them. What I want to be able to do is buy only a few ingredients at a time, but be able to make several different meals from the same ingredients (that way I can use them all up before they go bad, since most things come in such large packages these days and I usually have plenty left over after only one meal - hence the two recipes above.)
I'll keep you updated, dear reader.
Then we started having problems with our batteries going dead. We couldn't leave the truck turned off for more than an hour without having to jump start it. Most states have anti-idle laws, so that put us in quite a pickle. We could either leave it running and risk a ticket, or turn it off and have to get a jump start to get moving again.
We took it to a TA in Maryland, but they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Breakdown told us to take it to the Freightliner dealer in Baltimore. On the way there our blower motor quit working - no heat, no AC. They found several other things wrong with it, too, but the biggie was a problem with the alternator. Our company was hot for us to pick up a load and keep moving because they were overbooked for freight in that area - they didn't have enough trucks to pick up all the loads. We ended up being laid over for two days waiting for a new alternator to come in. The company wouldn't let the mechanics there fix all the other problems because they wanted us to get back on the road as soon as possible.
Mike and I used our time to brave the Baltimore public bus system and we went to the Baltimore Museum of Art, right next to Johns Hopkins University. My hubby isn't much of an art guy, but he kind of enjoyed it. They had a special exhibit on the art inspired by Edgar Allen Poe that I really enjoyed. I think Mike mostly enjoyed learning that big city public transit isn't as scary as he thought it would be - kind of opens up a whole new world of things to do and see when we are laid over in a bigger city. We ate at a cool little place called The Dizz, which was right next door to Charm City Cakes (of Ace of Cakes fame).
Well, when our truck was out of the shop dispatch tried to give us a load going to Oregon, but we said, "No Way, Jose!" No blower motor means no defroster. No way we were going to head into snow with no defroster. So they got us a load back to the yard. A load with 4 pick-ups - Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Surprisingly, it went very smoothly and we were able to get back out of the dreaded North East pretty easily.
We got to the yard on Saturday morning, and our truck went straight in the shop. We got laundry done, and took care of some other stuff on the yard, then we went to see a movie. I'm afraid I can't recommend "The Men Who Stare at Goats". Save your money. I wish we had. Then we spend some time walking around the mall, ate at Outback (mmmm....good...), slept in a hotel (one more might off the truck, very refreshing).
We got moving again Sunday night (fixed blower motor, annual maintenance, and they installed a spare tire rack) and delivered our load in Dallas - 2 delivery stops.
From there we got a load out to Riverside, CA, and from there we reloaded to Mt. Sterling, IL. When we were alomost to Mt. Sterling the truck started making a funny noise. The noise kept getting worse, and we had to nurse the truck and pray the last 20 miles or so. We got the load delivered, unhooked from the trailer while it was in the dock door, and called breakdown, again.
Turns out the alternator they installed in Baltimore had bad bearings. Once it cooled down it froze up completely and we had to be towed to the Freightliner shop in Quincy, IL, about 30 miles away. I got to ride in the truck while it was being towed because there wasn't room for both of us in the cab of the tow truck, which was kind of cool being towed backwards. The tow truck driver had the truck jacked up a little high, and we almost hit a low bridge, but he stopped just in time and had to lower the truck a little.
This was on a Friday, and they couldn't get a new alternator in till Monday, so we got to spend another weekend in a hotel. Luckily the hotel was just a short walk from a movie theater, and we got to see "2012". That one was worth the money. Sweet, juicy eye candy. The plot was a little lacking, and there where physics errors big enough to drive our rig through, but it was fun.
Sunday we rented a car and drove to Hannibal, MO, about 25 miles south of Quincy. We got to tour the Mark Twain cave, which is the cave used as the model for the cave in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". I'm going to have to go back and re-read that now that I know what the cave looks like. It was very narrow and twisty, and really does have bats.
After the cave we went to the Mark Twain boyhood home and museum, which was pretty cool. And we ate at the most wonderful little restaurant called the Abby Rose. It was filled with beautiful Victorian decor, the food was excellent, and on Sundays they serve it "home style", which means they bring the food out in bowls and you scoop what you want onto your plate. If you are ever in Hannibal, I highly recommend the place. The prices are reasonable, too.
Monday we got back on the road, and right now we are heading for Houma, LA. The clutch is starting to give us problems, but we are scheduled for time off for Thanksgiving, so we don't want to say anything to breakdown about it cause we don't want to be stuck in another hotel room when we should be home enjoying turkey and trimmings. We're just going to keep our fingers crossed and take care of it after Thanksgiving.
On the plus side, I did get in my first session of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The way it works is this: You run all out for 30 seconds, then jog (or in my case walk) for an interval, then run again. Since I'm just starting out, I started with a 3 minute warm up, then 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 90 seconds of walking, then 30 seconds of sprinting again - rinse and repeat. I had planned on 6 intervals (6 high intensity, and 6 low intensity), but I only managed to make 3 1/2 of the sprints, and just walked the rest of it. I'll work my way up to being able to do the full 6, then work on pushing it to 12 intervals, then I'll start shortening the low intensity intervals till it's 30 seconds high and 30 secs low.
I downloaded an app for my iPhone that lets me time my intervals - it plays a sound when it's time to change from high to low and back again, and it'll even play over my music. Works great.
I've lost 11 lbs so far, and have lots more energy than I used to.
Anyway, we delivered our load this morning. We had to drive right inside the building at the receiver, as they didn't have a dock, and two guys unloaded us with a pallet jack and a fork lift. Now we're back in Troutdale at the TA waiting for another load.
It was good to have a little time at home, even if it was so busy it barely counted as a break. We got home around 11 am on Thursday, and we parked in the municipal truck lot. Mike walked over to the DMV to renew his haz-mat endorsement, and he came storming back only a few minutes later. They keep changing the rules. He got his license renewd last month, but they told him he had to renew his TSA background check before he could get his haz-mat endorsement renewed. So we finally got his letter back from the TSA, took a day off, and he went to take his test, only to be told that they had to see a copy of his birth certificate - which they never even mentioned last month when he went in.
So, I was in the middle of sorting through all the various and sundry junk we have in the truck, and I had the bed stripped so we could wash the linens, and the truck was a disorganized mess - and Mike, already in a bad mood, had to dig through it all to find his birth certificate. I just stayed out of his way - the wisest course of action when he's pissed off. But he did find it, and he passed his test and got his endorsement renewd. The Surgeon General ought to put a warning on the front door of the DMV - "Caution: Entering this building may cause an unhealthy rise in blood pressure."
We dropped the trailer in the Municipal truck lot and bobtailed to the house. We ran around most of the day running errands. Then I cooked dinner - primal style.
I'm loving this new diet I'm on. One week, and I've lost 8lbs, and I don't feel hungry or deprived at all. I had plenty of energy for everything we had to do yesterday, even with many trips up and down the stairs lugging heavy stuff (which actually counts as a primal workout - bonus!).
Sirloin steak marinated in a lime chipotle marinade of my own invention. (extra virgin olive oil, juice of two limes, crushed fresh garlic, black pepper, chipotle chili seasoning, and a dash of Tabasco for kick.)
Steamed broccoli with homemade Hollandaise sauce (which is completely primal: 4 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt.)
Pico de Gallo on the side.
The only un-primal thing about the meal was the garlic bread my husband insisted on. I admit, I cheated just a little and had a small piece, but after only just a week my taste buds are getting accustomed to my new way of eating, and it just didn't taste as good as it used to. Which is good, cause it means I'm going to be a lot less likely to slip in the future.
The meal was a hit, and I loved the chance to get back into the kitchen and work some magic. It's been so long since I did much cooking - it's been so long since I had the energy to make anything that didn't involve boxed mixes and microwaves. And it was great to get some real food after so long with just truck stop fare.
Oh, and I fixed beef fillets wrapped in bacon, and scrambled eggs with the left over Pico de Gallo for breakfast.
But all good things must end, alas. We got a call from dispatch and had to roll this morning, so we only got one night at home. But we accomplished everything on our to-do list, and I have a pork tenderloin waiting in the cooler for dinner this evening (I'm going to try to cook it in the lunch box stove we have in the truck).
We've been falling for the industry pushed line that what we get packaged on the shelves is healthy, but all it really is is cheap. How much of the food you buy today would have been recognizeable to your great grandparents?
I've been looking - really looking - at the lables on the food I've been buying and I now understand why I've had so much trouble with my weight over the years. I'm not going to go into detail about why all those chemicals and sugars are bad - the wonderful authors of the blogs listed over to the right have done a much better job than I ever could. I mean, hey, they convinced me.
Something else I've learned about is the Japanese principal of Kaizen - change through baby steps. I want to change the way I eat and live. I want to get healthy, I want to have the energy to do more, I want to be able to be proud of my body - but if I look at everything I need to change all at once it seems overwhelming. So I'm going to apply Kaizen. My first little change is what I've already started doing: cutting out grains and starches and sugar.
I'm going to post updates on my progress here as well as my usual cool stories about life on the road. This job presents unique obstacles to living and eating healthy, and maybe through my trial and error, discoveries and progress I can help other truck drivers who want to get healthy out here on the road, or anybody who wants to get healthy.
So, as I sit here in Mira Loma, CA, four days into a new way of eating, I'm making this resolution - I AM GOING TO GET HEALTHY!!
Here's my before picture:
267 lbs, smoking a pack a day, no energy, eating anything I feel like, depressed, hormones imbalanced (the doctor says its Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but when they say "syndrome" instead of "disease" that means they don't know what causes it or how to fix it. Maybe it's from the hormones in the meat and dairy I've been eating all my life.) Because of the PCOS (or whatever is causing my hormone imbalance) I've got acne, oily skin, dandruff, and other problems.
Here's my plan: Stay with the carb reduction for now - no grains, no pasta, no refined sugar. Once this has become a fully ingrained (ha) habit - say 30 to 60 days, and I'm not as tempted to grab for sweets and pastries, I'll move to step 2. Step 2 will be the hard one - Quit Smoking. After that I'll work on ways to move from processed, industrialized foods to natural, organic foods. Through the whole process I'll be moving every chance I get, adding exercise Primal Blueprint style.
I'm not going to set a timeline, I'm not going to get depressed and give up if I slip, I'm not going to set myself up for failure. I'm going to take baby steps.
My progress so far:
I haven't had any bread, pasta, pastries, potatoes, corn, or candy for four days now.
I've mostly been eating salads, nuts, veggies, cottage cheese, a little fruit, and beef jerky.
I have gotten out of the truck three days out of the four and walked for at least half an hour.
I have been drinking only water and, once a day, a cup of coffee with half-&-half and no sugar.
I've lost 6 lbs already!! And I know that I'm not going to keep losing at this rate. I'm hoping for about 2lbs a week on average.
The thing is, I think this diet is going to work. There are a lot of meats and cheeses I like to eat. Since I stopped eating sugary foods, fruit tastes decadently sweet to me now so I don't think I'm going to miss the sugar much. I don't feel hungry, and I have more energy now than I've had in a long time. And this is only four days in!! I can't wait to see how I'm doing in a year.
At the moment I'm on a new track - I've discovered the idea of living (and eating) primally. The whole idea is to look back at the diet and lifestyle of our caveman ancestors because that was the life and diet our body evolved to handle best. That means a diet low in carbs, high in meat and veggies, and moving whenever possible rather than set and repetitive workout routines. The basic premises are:
- Eat lots of animals and plants.
- Move around a lot at a slow pace.
- Lift heavy things.
- Run really fast every once in a while.
- Get lots of sleep.
- Get some sunlight every day.
- Avoid trauma.
- Avoid poisonous things.
- Use your mind.
Check out the Primal Blueprint at Mark Sisson's blog - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
My biggest problem is the fare available at truckstops. Every truckstop is full of the usual convinience store fare of junk food, candy and sodas. Most truck stops also offer selections of fast food - delectable tempations garounteed to pack on the pounds. They don't carry much in the way of veggies.
My strategy so far:
Sunflower Seeds - most truck stops carry these, and they are full of protein and good fats.
Hard Boiled Eggs - some truck stops carry these. Flying J usually has them.
Subway Salads - I can still have the Subway sandwiches I enjoy, I just have to ditch the bread and order them as a salad instead.
Beef Jerky - something else I can find in almost any truck stop.
Not a whole lot of variety here, but I'm looking for more options so I don't burn out on this diet. Hopefully we'll find time for a sit-down restaurant meal soon so I can order myself a nice big steak.
My biggest problem so far is that without bread in my diet it's hard to find meals I can eat while driving - no sandwiches, no burritos.
It's been two days now since I've cut out the carbs. I even got out of the truck and went for a forty minute walk yesterday - and instead of pushing myself to walk hard and fast and ending up with my legs cramping up five minutes into the walk and giving up, I did it primal style and just walked at a normal pace, not worried about getting my heart rate up or pushing myself. I just enjoyed the great outdoors, watched the dragon flies and butterflies and enjoyed the lush, jungle-like foliage of central Florida. I even walked on the grass on the side of the road instead of on the road itself - to make my feet and legs have to flex and work more naturally. I have to figure out how to work in strength training, though, but I'm going to step into this gently and slowly by changing my diet first, and just trying to move more. I'll update as I go. I'm pretty excited about the whole idea of Primal Living because it's not just a diet, but a lifestyle.
It's not going to be easy, though. Truck stops are not designed with health and fitness or natural living of any kind in mind.
Drivers are facing a serious problem out here on the road.
On March 5, 2009 Jason Rivenburg was shot twice in the head and killed. He was a truck driver. He was parked at an abandoned gas station near Interstate 26 in South Carolina waiting to deliver his load, because the load's receiver wouldn't allow him to wait on their property.
On March 13, 2009 a driver was shot and injured in North Memphis when he stopped on an exit ramp to switch places with his co-driver. There are no truck stops or rest areas on that stretch of Interstate 240.
On February 22, 2008 truck driver Robert Earl Lee was fatally shot and robbed while trying to sleep in his truck. He had arrived early for his delivery in Tampa, FL and was told by the gate guard that he couldn't enter the property until 8:00 am. He had no choice but to park on the street. http://blogs.tampabay.com/breakingnews/2008/02/truck-driver-sh.html
On October 12, 1986 truck driver Robert Campbell was shot and robbed of $6 as he was taking his rest break at a rest area along Interstate 95. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE4DF123AF931A25753C1A960948260
Drivers are forced to park along streets, on highway ramps, and in empty lots due to a shortage of safe parking. At the same time several states are closing down their rest areas – most notably Virginia, but Vermont, New Hampshire, Arizona and California all have plans to close rest areas that provide valuable parking space for tired truckers.
Truckstops are filled to capacity and overflowing, forcing drivers to waste time circling the lot hoping for a space, then drive on down the road while tired to find a place to park.
Many shippers and receivers won't allow drivers to arrive early for appointments and require them to leave immediately after delivering – even if they are out of hours and can't legally drive.
The federal government, through the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFTEA-LU), provides $6.25 million for states to provide rest areas and safe parking for commercial vehicles. This drop in the bucket has to be shared out between all 50 states, and is woefully inadequate. To give you an idea of where truck driver safety rates on the federal priority scale – the 2009 Omnibus spending bill included $6.6 million dollars for termite research. Apparently we rate just behind bugs.
Jason Rivenburg's family is working to raise awareness of this issue and they have built a website and started a petition asking lawmakers to work to improve the parking situation for truckers. Please visit their site and sign the petition for Jason's Law: http://www.jhlrivenburg.com/
Please write to your representatives in your state and the federal government and ask them to increase the funding for safe rest areas and to pass laws providing for safe places for truck drivers to rest while we are taking the breaks that federal law requires us to take.
Less buying means less product is being shipped which means fewer loads for us. Mike and I have been pretty lucky so far. We are a strong team with a reputation for saving late loads and doing things right, so we've been getting plenty of miles, but even so we've still been sitting still a little more than we are used to. Some of our major accounts, like Firestone and Pilgrims Pride have shut down plants or cut back production, which means our company is having to stretch to find freight.
So we aren't complaining too much about being late for our hometime. At least we have a job.
We gave up going home over Christmas to stay out and take advantage of the Christmas freight. We were running loads of steak out of Omaha, Nebraska, and dealing with -7 degree temperatures - not fun. But the past couple of weeks, until today anyway, we've been down south - Atlanta, Dallas, Nogales, Phoenix, LA. That was a nice break from the cold. We rescued a late load from a solo driver and delivered in Portland, OR this morning.
We've also recovered two trucks that were abandoned by quitting drivers. The lack of freight, and the way the company is cutting back on things, is maming a lot of drivers go looking for other work. When we recover a truck it means that Mike and I have to split and drive solo for a day or two. He delivers the load we are on, I get the recovered truck back to the yard in Texarkana, then he gets back to the yard to pick me up. It's weird driving without him in the truck. Every time I made a potty stop I keep expecting him to pop his head out of the sleeper wanting to know where we are and why I'm stopping. It's too quiet in the truck without him. And he says he doesn't like not having anyone to talk to. But it's extra money in our pockets.
I'll try not to go so long between updates, but no promises.
Blogs I Read
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