Monday, January 12, 2009
So here we sit in Othello, Washinton, waiting to pick up a load when we are supposed to be at home. Our hometime was supposed to start today. But we're trying to look on the bright side. We could be out of a job. Thousands of truckers are finding themselves out of work across the country as one trucking company after another closes its doors. Our company has even started cutting costs by cutting out its training program among other things. We're keeping our fingers crossed that SRT will make it through these hard times and we'll still be driving when the economy turns around.
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.

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I'm a 34 year old wife, truck driver, writer, and photographer with a love of adventure and travel. I am a Libertarian, and a total sci-fi geek. I studied archaeology at Auburn University.

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