Friday, February 22, 2013

We'll Just Have To Go Back Someday

I have survived us going to Brooklyn, New York in a 72 foot semi. It was one of the most stressful things to have happened. Brooklyn is not made for semis. New York City is not made for semis.

On the other hand, Ace and I went to Hershey, PA after leaving New York. That was cool.

Let me back up some to explain why Hershey, PA was cool, because it wasn't because of getting to see Hershey, PA (too dark, although they do have a street called Chocolate Avenue, which is awesome).

It all started when Ace and I left to go to Louisiana with a load of salad. One long night later, we get stuck sitting for 10+ hours waiting for Ace's break to be over so we can get to our next load. That load was supposed to be started loading onto a trailer at 5 pm and be ready to go by 10 pm. It was finally ready at 5:26 am. That's annoying, but it happens. It would be nicer if we got paid when things like that happen, but we deal as best we can.

So, we deliver the load on time. The place we are delivering to has all the trailers a bit close together, but we get our trailer dropped and we hook up to an empty trailer. All we know about where we are supposed to go from there is Amarillo is the right direction. We end up getting a 34 hour reset (which means Ace has a fresh clock for driving for the week) that we don't need, but it's no big deal (except that is money we could be earning). We head up to Liberal, KS to pick up a load of meat.

The load we are picking up was supposed to be ready by no later than 1:30 pm on Valentine's Day (Ace and I can't get there until about 4 pm, but it is supposed to be ready when we get there). It is finally ready at about 5 am on the 15th. It is already late and the company has to reschedule when it's delivered. Sucky, but not our fault in the slightest.

While we are hauling that load, there is an accident about 3 miles from our planned stop for the night that eats up time while we wait to be able to move. Then, we get a call on the original delivery date that they want their delivery that day, can we do it? The answer is no. Then it looked like we might get taken off it and stuck waiting on a different delivery, but that doesn't work out. So, they have to wait on their delivery because it just isn't going to happen on the original date.

Then comes the harrowing experience of trying to help Ace not get lost in New York. We made it to our delivery 15 minutes early. Then we get to sit and wait, while blocking traffic in one lane, for the receiver to be ready for our delivery. Everything goes fine during our wait and while backing into the dock was crazy, it wasn't a big deal. Getting back out of Brooklyn, on the other hand... We got lost. Thankfully, a cop car pulled up and lead us back to where we needed to be to get out. And while we got lost again trying to get across New Jersey, we managed to avoid going back to New York.

While we were sitting at the dock, waiting for our load to be unloaded, we got our next delivery assignment. Hershey, PA to Mississippi. We arrived in Hershey early, hoping that maybe they might be ready for us. They were, which was great because we were 6 hours early. Everything with that load (which we finished last night) went great. They had an easy place for us to drop our trailer. The trailer we were hooking up to was where they said it would be. And we got part of the way down the road towards the delivery before we had to stop for a 10 hour break.

We are currently getting another 34 hour reset, but this one is actually needed. We pick up a load tomorrow night. Hopefully things go smoothly.

Sometimes, trucking involves a lot of sitting around, waiting. But when it's going well, it involves a lot of driving.

I'm just glad I'm with Ace again. And that we are planning where all we want to go when we are seeing the US in a car/RV.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On the Road Again

Ace and I have been on the road again since Saturday evening. And after a few days of not quite enough sleep all at once, I am finally mostly able to not feel like my mind is fuzzy. I'm still tired, but my thoughts aren't quite so mixed up.

The problem is that right now there is little to talk about. Exhaustion does not make me creative or provide many interesting stories. And my current description of Louisiana would include how dark it is (at night), that we could see trees even in the dark, and that we did a lot of waiting for loads to be loaded or unloaded. Not exactly the most accurate description. (The shipper for our current load was supposed to start loading the trailer we were picking up at 5 pm and be done by roughly 10 pm, which is a long time to take to load a trailer. They were done at 5:26 am. And the only explanation we got was that they were running behind.)

On the plus side, we are earning some money. On the minus side, we are both tired and already ready for a break (because Ace didn't really get one when he was supposed to). And we have no idea where we are supposed to be heading after we drop off this trailer tonight, at least we don't yet.

Sometimes, trucking sucks.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Time Off

Ace is currently taking some time off from driving a truck. He worked for almost 2 months straight, with little time not spent driving, so it works that he's taking a little time off. Not that our lives have gone as planned with this time off.

Ace and I have a bank that at least supposedly does not send out new debit cards until right before the old ones expire. How true this statement is is unverified at this point. But the debit cards play into how our time off has occurred.

Ace and I had debit cards that expired at the end of January. We had a delivery near Dallas, TX on February 1st. We had a funeral we were trying to go to on February 2nd. We had plans to rent a car, get our mail sorted out, get our new debit cards in our wallets, and attend a funeral.

Instead, we had problems with not having the funds available (despite having the cash on hand and the money in our bank account) to rent a car. Because of one day expired debit cards. And policies on having to have a card physically at the rental location for the deposit on the car (a situation that is frustrating to us both). We are planning on sending our mail to the yard our truck is currently sitting in (waiting for repairs), but we can't take care of that until Monday because the one person that could do that doesn't work until Monday. Ace did not get to attend his grandmother's funeral (neither of us is upset about that, but we had planned on at least paying our respects by attending).

We discovered, a bit too late on Friday, that my credit card had had it's limit upped. We rented a hotel room yesterday at a hotel that is commonly used by Ace's company. We'll stay here until Tuesday morning. It's good for Ace to get some time off the truck in addition to not driving. Unfortunately, tomorrow he has to be at the yard all day taking care of various things. But at least he has today fully off.

This weekend has not quite gone how we planned. But it seems like that is a good thing, because we are both more relaxed than we would have been if it had gone to plan. We had a somewhat long day Friday, but we had figured out fairly early after the car rental plan hadn't worked out that we weren't going to be able to go anywhere, which made the day shorter than it was originally scheduled to be (originally, we were going to drive an additional 550+ miles that day, after the 200 to drop off the load).

So, here I sit in a hotel room in Dallas. Life is strange sometimes.