Trucking Jobs New Driver Jobs Flatbed Jobs Tanker Jobs Refrigerated Jobs Auto Hauler Jobs
View RSS Feed

Trucking Is An Addiction

Trip Two - Three Weeks Out

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
I have been documenting our experiences trucking OTR as it happens. Two-finger typing into an iPad, using the notes application, not the easiest thing to do. It has voice-recognition, so sometimes I use that, but if we're driving while I'm talking into the mic it doesn't understand me because it's kind of noisy in the truck. So I end up going back to two-finger typing. And that's not always easy either, it gets pretty bouncy in there!

I posted our first trip (4 weeks OTR) a couple weeks ago and honestly didn't know how to make the blog posts go in a logical order to make them easier to follow. I put each day's notes into a separate post and it just didn't work out really well that way. The first day's notes display last and the last day's notes display first. I didn't know how to make them read like a book without readers having to follow the links at the bottom of each post. Anyway, I got a nice private message from Vic, Victor_V explaining how to create a running blog and I will try to do that with trip 2. Thanks Vic!

After we got home from trip number two I copied each day's notes into an email and sent them to myself. That's a job in itself! From those 21 emails, I am copying and pasting them into this blog. (This could take awhile, I have 3 weeks worth.) Please forgive any typos but I will try to catch as many as I can so as not to annoy the perfectionists out there who may read this blog. Remember, this is not about perfection in typing and English/Spelling, it's about documenting our experiences in real-time, as it happens. So this is what you get.

So here we go.

OH wait. I want to try to summarize what took place on our first 4 weeks out for anyone who may not have read that part, just jumped in here on trip two. We are a newbie trucker and his wife, he drives, I ride (I'm along for moral support mostly.) But, on second thought, how do I summarize something so complex and confusing as our first 4 weeks out? I can't, it boggles my mind. Well, basically, we were out for 28 days and made very little money because we spent the majority of our time in service bays getting trailers fixed or in truck stops babysitting loads over entire weekends for shippers/receivers who were not open when we arrived or sitting in their lots waiting to get loaded/unloaded. Our company ignored us, abandoned us for hours and days sometimes. Suffice it to say it kinda sucked... but we got through it and lived to tell about it.

Guess you have to read the story. --------> Over there on the right side, The Truth About Trucking -------->

And now, on to the next chapter of our story:

Trip Two - Three Weeks Out

TRIP 2-Day 1

10:30am

We are starting out and our first load is to Orlando, Florida to get Pepsi.
We asked to be home again before the Labor Day holiday so we don't get stuck somewhere while everyone else is having a vacation. We learned from the first 4 weeks out that trucking is totally dependent on shippers/receivers being open when you arrive. So if they all shut down for a 4 day holiday weekend, we don't want to be stuck in some dirty truck stop for 4 days. Been there, done that, didn't get the t-shirt. So we told the company that we wanted to be back home in FL before that holiday begins. We will see how that goes. They responded that it was acknowledged, but that doesn't mean we will get home. Good answer ... no commitment on their part. *rolling my eyes*

Kitsi was really excited, she couldn't wait to get back in the truck. Spend our days off doing things we needed to do. I got my nails done, Tim got a haircut and the dog got groomed. We cleaned the entire inside of this dirty truck that we just got from the Indy terminal because our first truck broke down. We scrubbed everything, the walls, ceiling, floor, windows, shelves, etc, with Pine-Sol and then sprayed it with Febreeze. You won't believe the dirt that we removed, the bucket of hot water turned to mud instantly, we had to keep getting clean water. Our cleaning rags turned brownish-yellow when we wiped the smoke off the walls/ceiling and black when we washed the floor. Some of the smoke smell is gone, not all of it, but it's better than it was. It looks really clean and homey right now, but I know that won't last. We bought seat covers over at the tractor supply store. RealTreeGirl for me and Mossy Oak for him, because the seats have cigarette burn holes in them and they smell bad too. Yuck. When it was all cleaned and the new, Walmart sheets were on the bunks, throw rugs down on the clean floor, seat covers in place, I had to laugh. It was a mixture of flowered rugs and camo seats. I told Tim, "This place looks like a redneck '60s love shack! lol"

I think Tim's scheduler thinks that we are in Lakeland, Florida but we are in North Port/Port Charlotte, 2.5 hours away. The trip shows that it should only take us 55 minutes to get to Orlando. But it's at least a 3 hour drive. We are scheduled to be there by 1:45 in the afternoon, thank goodness they gave us "plenty of time" to drive there! We need to get moving. We have just enough time to get there if nothing happens with traffic.

10:40 am
Oops! The brakes locked up at some point (are you kidding me?) and we skinned a couple of back tires to the cords. Noticed the smoke as we came to the first stop sign. Hardly got two blocks from home! Not good. Bad way to start out. We drove to the Walgreens parking lot up the road, pulled into the back alley lane and notified breakdown that we need road service.

11:00 or so
Tim walked over to to Burger King and got us food, since we were stopped. We hadn't eaten anything, wanted to get going. Might as well use the time well, this could be our only meal today. Learned that when an opportunity presents itself, take it, don't ignore it. If we're stopped for any length of time, search for food within walking distance.

Noon or so
They sent someone to fix the tires.

1:00 pm
A guy in a big truck pulling a bright orange trailer had the same problem. I was walking into Walgreens to use their bathroom and I heard him squealing really loudly and saw the truck on the road in front of the store as he was approaching the stop light. When I came back out he was parked in front of our truck on the road in front of us. Tim told me the driver had walked over and asked our maintenance guy if he could fix his tire "under the table". Our guy said no he had to get his company's approval first. Next thing you know 2 service trucks full of guys showed up to fix it at the same time, from two different companies! It looked like they were arguing but I'm not sure. A lot of gesturing going on, a lot of loud talking but I can't understand them. I think the driver must have called a bunch of service places or something and then they all came to help and how are arguing over who gets the job. Really? Wow. I took pictures of everyone arguing, it was fun, thought I might see a fist fight, but it didn't happen. Looks like all the tires in our area of town got flat today! He did the exact same thing, his brakes locked up. It's really, really hot out here this morning, probably about 98 degrees, maybe the heat makes the brakes do that? I don't know, I'm not a professional driver.

1:30 pm
We are fixed now, that was pretty fast. We got two new tires installed. Looks like we're ready to go again.

1:39 pm
NOTE:
Just took Kitsi out to the grass to go potty. I noticed that the tire that they just took off the orange trailer is laying in the grass over here. They just threw it over there in the grass! Tire littering! Maybe they're going to come get it later.

Need to reschedule the appointment, Tim is sending messages on the QC.

1:44pm
Moving again.

4:55 pm
Arrived at Pepsi Co. Took pictures of our arrival, I always do that.

5:50 pm
Trailer is still at the dock, waiting for a live load. Had to unhook after backing to the dock and move across the lot and park the truck until done.

6:10pm
That was fast, we are loaded! Only took about 20 min. That's the fastest load I've ever witnessed! Wow these people win the prize!

6:30 pm
Hauling 45,668 lbs of Pepsi and Sierra Mist to Jacksonville, FL. Going to the Loves to get weighed first.

8:15pm
Pulled into the Loves to get weighed. This place is packed! And it backs up to a bunch of tall apartments or condos! I took a picture.



I went into the Arby's and got sandwiches for us while Tim waited in line for the scale. When I got back he said the driver of the truck blocking the scale was missing and they were looking for him. Big uproar out there, drivers out of their trucks, a big traffic mess in that tiny area where trucks are trying to fuel and lining up for the scale and also trying to back into tight parking spaces. This truck stop is literally shoehorned into a very tight area. Very strange place for a truck stop. OK! Finally someone moved the truck for us, we think it was a mechanic or another driver, (can they do that?) and we got weighed. We are good to go. Just have to take our 30 minute break before we leave.

9:10 pm
We called the receiver to see if they were open all night and they are, but he said everyone who is there right now has a 6 hour wait. The trucks are all lined up at this shipper, waiting their turn, it's a mess over there. OK, we don't want to deal with that mess, so we are looking for a truck stop and will have the company re-schedule us for tomorrow morning. We Called about call-ahead parking at the TA and there are none left at any truck stops in the surrounding area. Oh boy. Not sure what we will do now.

10:00 pm
Found a rest area, got lucky, got the last available parking space. At least I won't have to walk 4 blocks to the bathroom in the morning like I would've had to do at that huge trucks stop, it's just a short walk from the parking area to the bathrooms here at this rest area. That's the good news. Time for bed.

End Day One


TRIP 2-Day 2

7:30am
Woke up a the rest area. I had a bad night, woke up dizzy and nauseous and had to wake Tim up to help me get the Emetrol out. Than God I brought it or I would've puked all over my bed. It got too hot up there I guess. Tim turned up the air and I let it blow on me for awhile and I was able to get back to sleep, but kept waking up all night long, hoping it was morning. It was a long night. I just wanted to get out of the truck and breathe fresh air for some reason.

8:30:am
On the road again, passed a bad truck wreck at the southbound rest area, looks like it involved several trucks. One of them rear ended another and wreckers were pulling another one out of the trees. Southbound I-95 is shut down at the rest area, think its mile marker 303.

9:24 am
Arrived at Pepsi, road is jammed with trucks lined up to get in.

9:34am
Inside the gate, at the guard check-in booth. That didn't take too long. It looked worse than it was.

10:30am
Told to back in to dock18, then pull ahead 3 feet, for unloading. Sat at the waiting area for an hour first.

11:00am
Sitting here watching the big trucks all jockeying for position in the lot around us. Interesting nobody hit anyone, it was crazy out there.


12:00 noon
Backed up to the dock, still. They didn't have us pull away after all. Had to ask the guard to go inside and see if we can pull away from the dock, the green light never changed to red, nobody ever came out to let us know what was going on. He said we are good to go. We have been here for 3 hours.

12:22 pm
New Trip info:
Savannah GA, Icon Health & Fitness

Champlain NY customs -Lacolle Quebec- Canada customs ... oh no, not Canada again. sigh.

12:45 pm
Leaving Pepsi Company

2:25 pm
Leaving the best Pilot truck stop we've seen. In Georgia, exit 1 on I-95. They have a food bar, pizza, sandwiches, groceries, drinks, salads, potato salad, good fresh bread, etc. lots of fuel lanes and a very large truck parking lot. Very clean too. We took time to get a slice of pizza and it was really tasty! Have to remember this one, took notes in my "Notes on Good Truck Stops" in my iPad.

4:20 pm
Arrived at icon health and fitness. We just made it, they close the gates at 4:30 pm!

4:45 pm
Called the Petro truck stop in Florence SC on I-95 to reserve a space to park and the woman said she has worked there since she was 7 (really? LOL), and the place never fills up, don't worry about it. Hope she's right.

5:30 pm
Shipping dept forgot to give Tim the CA customs paperwork, they were in a huge hurry to get out of there. They all went home immediately after they loaded us and handed him the paperwork. Message to dispatch, they told us we need to come back here in the AM to get the paperwork for customs. Sent a MSG to dispatch again, asking if that paperwork can be faxed ahead so we can continue on the road rather than it setting us back 15 hours or so. Waiting for answer.

5:40 pm
Leaving the shipper. Stopped at the guard shack to ask for the shipping dept info so we can call them in the morning. Found out from the guard, who was very nice, that the shipping mgr is still working, got in touch with him and he's going to try to get us the paperwork before we leave. Thank God!

6:10 pm
Someone just came out of the bldg with paperwork for us. He says it will work for customs. Tim is asking the guard if he has a fax to send it to Canada briefing for us. If not, we have to stop at a close -by truck stop to use their fax. Guard has no fax. Off to Pilot.

7:21 pm
Got fax approval for paperwork, leaving Pilot. Got call ahead parking at TA in Manning, SC.

9:34 pm
Took two hours to get to the TA Truck stop to stop for the night. In Manning, SC. Fuel, wash that bug laden windshield, get a shower and a meal. Can't wait to eat!

End Day Two

TRIP 2-Day 3


9:15am
On the road again. Hauling Nordic Track Gym Equipment.

1:06 pm
Stopped to make lunch, pulled into a HUGE area in Kenly NC off I-95 with 4 truck stops.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Kenly.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	354.2 KB 
ID:	54930Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KenlyTruckStop.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	334.0 KB 
ID:	54929

Went inside to use the restrooms, OMG, the store at this place was freezing cold, I thought it would start snowing any minute! Had to get out of there! What's up with places that turn the A/C so cold it's like a meat locker inside? Literally ran out of there from the cold.

2:10 pm
On the road again. Just a boring day driving along on the way to the receiver.

5:30pm
Just saw a Jaguar in the woods! Nope, not the animal, the car. Here are pictures:

Attachment 54931Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0962.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	511.9 KB 
ID:	54932

7:10 pm
5 hours of driving. Just got out of bad traffic around Washington, DC. I hate driving around Washington DC! I mean, I really, really hate it. What a mess and it's almost all under construction.

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0981.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	384.0 KB 
ID:	54933

Is this the only way to get to Canada? OMG. Trying to get as far as PA today. Since we are driving into the night, we are worried that we won't find a place to park this huge rig for the night. Called TA to get reserved parking. Hate to do that, it costs $13 a night. Sounds OK for one night but if you had to buy a space every night, it would cost $90 a week. One week, on our previous trip, we only made $75, so can't really afford to do that. But we did ... we reserved a parking spot at the TA in Harrisburg PA for the night, just to make sure we had a place to stop.

10:15 pm
Arrived with 4 min to spare to the TA truck stop in Harrisburg, PA. That's cutting it a little too close! Makes me a nervous wreck!

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0983.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	372.5 KB 
ID:	54934

OK, three days with no major problems, just a bad start with tires. Maybe our first OTR experience was just a fluke, you think? Maybe this trucking thing isn't so bad after all. We shall see. (Oh boy, was I a dreamer.)

Updated 09.22.2013 at 05.55 PM by flyboynme

Categories
Trip Two - Three Weeks OTR

Comments

  1. flyboynme's Avatar
    OK, not sure if I should add this to the original post up there with the first three days or add it here. If this isn't right, I can remove it and add it up above later. Still confused about how to make a running blog.

    TRIP 2-Day 4


    9:00 am
    Rise and shine!
    I wrote a Google review on that horrible breakfast I was served last night at the Country Pride at the TA. Worst. Breakfast. Ever. (Not counting the worst breakfast ever that I was served in Canada on our first trip.)

    Tim had to get approval to buy new wiper blades.

    12:30 pm
    Left TA truck stop

    4:00 pm
    Lost in the Poconos.
    Well, sort of. The Trucker GPS took us on a truck route that is NOT a truck route!
    So we got to a National Park pay station on 208 near Bushkill, PA, had to turn around and go back. I mean, we are at this place where it says no through trucks, local delivery only at Bushkill. And it looks like we are entering a State Forest camping area or something! There is a little building on the road that looks like the ranger station where you pay for your State Park sticker to get in. Were like, holy crap! Where are we? We have just driven through some really small towns that look like touristy ski resorts, we barely fit, but the GPS was directing us through them! And now were here. There is a large turn around area with parking spaces on the right side and it looks like we will fit, if we can maneuver the right turn into it, so we decided to try to turn there and stop and look at maps, see where in the world we are. This is the only place we can possibly turn around, its either that or we continue going forward where we are not supposed to go because we are not local delivery. But before we can turn we need to go past this little building and it has an extending roof over the skinny roadway and we are not sure if we will fit under it! There is no height sign on the freaking thing! OMG! There is very little traffic; nobody is behind us, thank God. So I get out and walk up to the building to see if anyone is inside and its deserted. Great, I was going to ask how tall that roof is. So we decide to eyeball it. I walked way out front and to the side and Tim crept along toward that roof. I could not tell if there was enough clearance because Im not tall enough to see how many nano-inches were between the top of his trailer and the bottom of that roof. Id have to be about 13 feet tall and Im only 52, a little on the short side. Hes upset, Im stressed. And then 4 wheelers started lining up behind us to watch the action. Everyone was simply fascinated. Well good, glad we could provide some afternoon entertainment for you all! Thanks for not getting out and helping! I prayed. That was the only thing I could do. I waved him to come forward, kept holding my hand up to stop every two inches. I was terrified that he would rip off that stupid roof, WTH do they put those roof extensions there for anyway? He got more frustrated at me for stopping him but dang, I didnt want to be responsible. Finally I just took a deep breath and motioned for him to come forward slowly and he made it. OMG, it looked like he had about a half inch of clearance, but who knows. The drivers of the cars behind us all gave me thumbs up. LOL Everyone was smiling, so I took a bow. Im a goofball sometimes. If I had a hat I would have passed it. Probably wouldve made more money than we make trucking.

    So then he still had to make that tight right turn into the parking area. Hes good at turning so he did fine, ran over about 2 inches of a grassy area but it was mostly weeds anyway and some other trucks had apparently done the same, there were other tracks there. So we parked and got out the atlas and I got on Google maps on my iPad to try to figure out where we were and how to get to where we were supposed to be going.

    I walked over to the building to see if there were restrooms but there were not. Not good, we had to go. But while I was up there, a pickup truck drove by and the guy stopped to ask me if I needed help so I told him I was in that big blue truck over there, we were trying to get to the other side of Bushkill and our GPS sent us this way, but the signs say we cannot go through. He said hes a trucker too and he said go ahead and go through, the chances of getting caught are slim to none, he does it all the time. I thanked him for the advice but said we were more comfortable turning around and finding another route, so he told us how to go around Bushkill.

    I went back to the truck and told Tim, but he had already found an alternative route in the Atlas and it was the same one the guy told me about. So off we went, heading back the way we just came from.

    Stopped at a hotel that was next to a huge parking lot that had weeds growing out of the concrete, it belonged to a deserted apartment complex or something. We had to use the bathroom, it was a pit, the whole place was disgusting. We were hungry but didn't want to eat there, it was a strange, strange place.

    Back to the truck 10 minutes later, got re-routed back to I-80 and ended up where we needed to be. The GPS still sent us toward more roads where big trucks over a certain weight (us) were restricted from driving. And this is a Truckers GPS, its supposed to know these things! We made it to I-80 finally and ignored all the prompts from the GPS, followed the Atlas.

    7:00 pm
    Stopped for the night at a TA in Maybrook, New York on i-84. Tired and hungry. Had enough of PA driving, glad to be out of there. Driving in PA sucks. Really bad.

    9:30 pm
    Done with dinner and showers. We are back in the truck for the night. So glad today is over, it was not fun.

    I have decided to write Google reviews of places we visit. Gives me something to do, since I cannot drive.

    Country Pride Restaurant. Service was good, food was cold. Had to send my macaroni/cheese dinner back to get warmed up, it came back to me slightly warmer, but still not hot. Server said it comes in a pre-pack so thats why its not hot enough. (Guess that means its like a frozen dinner that they heat up in the microwave?) Husband's beef pot roast was also just barely warm. It tasted good, but it would have been great if our meals were hot. We didn't eat much, left a lot on our plates. What a disappointment. Best part of that meal was the white bean chicken chili at the soup and salad bar. It was hot and delicious. A better choice might have been the pasta or pizza at the Pizza Hut right next to the restaurant, it might have been hotter food, it definitely would have been less expensive!

    The showers are OK, the water comes out like a firehouse, love that! Towels have seen better days though, mine were threadbare, tattered and had holes in them. My husband has shop rags in better shape! Freezing cold in there too! I asked the attendant if he could turn on the heat in shower #4 for me and he said Oh, we don't have heat in the showers, just turn off the fan." Yeah that will definitely do it.

    End Day 4
  2. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 5 Friday

    4:00 am
    Rise and shine. This TA truck stop is weird. The women's bathroom is like an afterthought. You walk in the drivers door, past the fuel desk, past the men's room and showers area, all the way past the restaurant and the entire store and then you go back out the other entrance to find it. I had to ask the servers in the restaurant where they hid it. Crazy.

    Driving through New York, it's very pretty.

    8:00 am
    Stopped at a rest area just past Albany. I shut my finger in the door. Again. Dang, it throbs. Good thing it's not my typing finger.

    Very pretty driving through the mountains at sunrise. Lots of fog, kind of scary. Took some pictures but nothing all that great.

    10:00 am
    Tim had to stop at Betty Beavers Truck Stop off I-87 near Chesterfield, NY. Took pictures.
    My review:

    This is a vintage truck stop with a cute little diner. Had to stop by after reading the name. Has parking for a handful of trucks on the dirt lot across the road. Didn't eat there, only because we didn't have time, had to keep on rolling. Went into the diner to use the bathrooms and there are signs that say "Not a public bathroom, for paying customers only." So we bought a soda and a piece of pie to go. The pie was a bit old, but at least we paid our fee to pee. it's a good place to take a picture of an antique truck stop though. Can't give it 5 stars because the pie wasn't all that great and we didn't use any of the services in the fueling center across the lot, so can't say how it is. They close at 8 pm, so not a good place to stay overnight if you want a bathroom nearby. It's all alone on a country road with nothing else around.

    12:22 pm
    Crossed the border to Canada, up near Montreal.

    2:22 pm
    Got to Icon and they were closed! They just closed at 2:00, we missed them by 12 minutes. They don't open until 7:00am on Monday morning, three days from now. We are so upset right now. Nobody told us this place closed early! Why didn't our company tell us their hours of operation? Why did they allow us to even cross the border at noon when the receiver is closing at 2pm and we are under load? I am sooooo ticked off right now. I can't even speak, I'm so angry.

    Sent MSG to dispatch, told them the shipper is closed. Asked if we could drop this trailer at a drop yard and pick up something else and get out of Canada. Thinking maybe someone else could grab it from the drop yard on Monday and deliver it. He replied about a half hour later, said he was working on it. We waited out front of Icon for an hour and then decided to try to find a truck stop, looks like we are stuck babysitting a load for the weekend. We are not happy. While waiting to hear from dispatch, we drove around the block to find a place to park this big rig while waiting. Company is still ignoring us. We don't want to wander too far away in case they send us to a drop yard near this shipper/receiver. We just don't know what to do.

    4:00
    There is a Tim Hortons restaurant up the road, we can see it up there, we have not eaten so walking over to get food. (Food was awful, not impressed. Ugh.)

    4:22 pm
    The company has abandoned us yet again, no reply to our Qualcomm MSG after he said he would work on our dilemma. Headed out to a Flying J truck stop. I'm still mad. This sucks so much. And here we thought this trip was going to be better than the last one. NOT. Everything seems to go to h e l l in a hand basket the minute we get to Canada, every single time. We make no money when sent to Canada, none! We sit in Canada! We have no cell phone, no internet, nothing. We hate being sent here!

    We found a Flying J in the truck stop book so heading there for the night, we are running out of driving time. Company still not responding.

    6:00 pm
    Got to where the Flying J is supposed to be and it's not here! No truck stop! It's a newly developed shopping center instead, apparently someone bought the Flying J and it's now an empty lot with barricades and chains keeping trucks out with signs saying "no trucks". We are so screwed. We only have 24 minutes left to drive, so have to shut down, no time to try to find somewhere else and drive there. We pulled into a store called Reno Depot and Tim went inside and asked if we could stay in their parking lot and they said yes. They told him the Flying J has been gone for 4 months now. Our GPS wasn't updated, it still thinks it's there. One mess after another today. There is a Walmart next door but we don't fit in their lot, it's full of islands with trees planted so we don't fit. We are thinking that at least with a Walmart nearby we will have food within walking distance, so we can at least eat at the McDonalds inside the store and use their bathroom. I hope Walmart is 24 hours.

    So we parked in the Reno Depot parking lot, way over at the edge so we'd be out of the way. Walked over to Walmart, it's a filthy place. OMG, we are used to clean Walmart stores and this one is a pit, it's disgusting. Just filthy. Food all over the floor in the grocery area, had to watch where we walked so we wouldn't slip on food and break our necks. We went to the McDonalds and it was awful too, so we left. We found out they close at 9pm. Oh, great.

    We see some restaurants up the road so walk up there to find food.

    8:47pm
    Just got back from eating at a chicken place up the road. It was freezing cold in there and outside too! Free wifi so we got to look up truck stops, glad I brought my iPad with me to the restaurant. We need to get to a truck stop as soon as we can legally drive again. I am not comfortable staying in a parking lot out in the middle of nowhere. We have to stay here for tonight though, so need to walk to Walmart and use the bathroom really quickly before they lock up, last chance for the night to go. Tim Horton's is open 24 hours but it's a 4 block walk to use theirs. Hope I don't need to go in the middle of the night, don't want to walk 4 blocks in the dark with a flashlight in an unfamiliar area. And it's cold up here too! The leaves are already changing, it's a big change from the Florida weather that I'm used to.

    Can't wait for that 10 hours to go by so we can drive again and get out of here. This is not fun. The company has not said one word to us since about 2:30 this afternoon when they said they'd "work on it". Wonder if this is why they refer to our company as "the big blue screw"? You think?

    End Day 5
  3. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 6 Saturday - Montreal, Canada

    6:30am
    Got up around 6:30am, got dressed and walked to the Walmart to use the bathrooms and it was closed! Opens at 8:am! OMG, we have to walk 4 blocks to a bathroom this morning. Hope I make it. This is a trashy Walmart. Filthy dirty. They hadn't even cleaned up the trash outside the front of the store from yesterday. The entire front of the store has trash spilling out of the trash cans, all over the sidewalk, you have to walk around the trash to find the door.

    Walked back to the truck and a guy pulled up in a pickup truck and asked us if we were looking for a place to eat, we said yes and he told us where the truck stops are, nice guy, said he's also a trucker.

    Walked 4 blocks to Tim Hortons for bathroom and coffee. Then walked back to Walmart for bathroom again, priced the small tv screens, a 19 inch Emerson is $110 Canadian dollars. Cheaper than the truck stops I think. I had this idea about getting a tv for the truck, thinking it would be nice to have for all those times when we are stuck somewhere with nothing to do. Thinking we could buy DVDs to watch movies or maybe next time we go out I can bring along the XBox and have my games to play. But then I didn't know how to plug in any of that stuff when you're living in a truck, so gave up that idea.

    8:42 am
    We can drive again! Getting ready to leave for a truck stop on the 401. Company still has not contacted us about our message from yesterday afternoon, they have deserted us.

    9:30 am
    Leaving Reno depot parking lot.

    10:40am
    Arrived at the Flying J and it's pretty nice. Paved lot, new store. Denny's restaurant, food inside, showers. Can buy Internet for $5 for 24 hours if I want to. Well, since we're here, stuck for the weekend babysitting a bunch of Nordic Tracks, we decided to try to make the best of it. When we were getting off the 401 I saw a little town within walking distance, so I decided I was going to walk over and see what I could find and Tim said he'd go along.

    Noon
    Walked around town, it's 3 blocks large. Ate lunch at a local diner with perch sandwiches, ate outside at the picnic tables in a park atmosphere. Came back to the truck and we all took a nap.

    5 pm
    Really hot in the truck, loud trucks coming and leaving. Cool breeze outside though. We parked in a really nice area, we have nice lawn on one side and behind us. Wish we would have pulled in nose first to avoid the hot sun and the loud noise.

    6pm
    Moved to a back area near the grass and the fence. Parked nose-in so we had a view of the corn field, I took a picture. This worked out really nice, everyone else backs in, so we were away from their APU units and it was a little quieter. The sun wasn't as hot facing this way either. We can't run the a/c in the truck because it's not hot enough out there, so we tried to place the truck in a direction where the breeze could blow in one window and out the other and create a nice breeze inside the truck. Well, in theory it should've worked better than it really did. Oh well, we tried.

    Around 8pm we walked into town for pizza. It was delicious! We even drank a beer, since we didn't have to drive for 36 hours. The food was delicious, we told the owners and the server how happy we were. They just started their business, first time ever running a restaurant! The guy said the former owner trained him in cooking and running the place.

    We spent the entire weekend at this truck stop.

    At least this time we weren't stuck at the 730 Truck Stop like last month when we were sent to Canada, so we were counting our blessings, it could've been much worse. It's bad enough that we were not making any money because we are babysitting for free, but when you're also stuck somewhere disgusting, it just adds insult to injury. And, once again, we probably spent most of the money we made driving the load up here, just to sit here for the weekend.

    It is always going to be like this? We can't afford to work for this company if this continues.

    TRIP 2-Day 7 Sunday

    Spent the day just resting, not much else to do when you're at a truck stop, babysitting. Thought about walking to the lake, there is a lake about a mile and a half from us, but decided it might be too far and didn't want to leave Kitsi alone in the truck that long. And she can't walk that far, she's such a baby, we'd end up carrying her and neither one of us wanted to do that. So we stayed at the truck.

    I bought Internet for 5 bucks for 24 hours. It keeps kicking me off, I have to keep logging back on, what a nuisance. So I played games and uploaded pictures and chatted with my Facebook friends. At least it helped to kill time.

    Noon or so:
    We walked into town again to eat at the diner on the corner with the picnic tables. Tim wanted another perch roll for lunch, so we did that. Sure is expensive to eat in Canada, 31 dollars for perch rolls and fries and a glass of water.

    We were warned not to eat at the Denny's at the truck stop, everyone we talked to in town told us the food over there is gross, service is awful and it's way expensive, so we never went inside at all. Even the owners of the pizza restaurant warned us how awful it is. Other drivers we talked to who were also stuck over the weekend warned us too.

    The showers are nice, but expensive. We bought one because we don't have a fuel card with that company, can't get fuel there to earn a shower. Tim went first and then I went in, it saved us 15 bucks. Clean showers, but no place to put your shampoo and soap, have to put everything on the floor. Not complaining though, at least we got a shower, better than being dirty.

    Went to bed around 10 so we could get up early and get going in the morning. We just want to get moving and make some money!

    End Day 6 and 7 (the weekend babysitting job for no money)
    Updated 09.22.2013 at 06.26 PM by flyboynme
  4. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 8 Monday

    5am
    Up at 5 , got coffee, pre-tripped the truck, ready to take this Nordic Track equipment to Icon. Again. I hope they don't give us a hard time about taking it, they have delayed us too long already, set us back 3 days because they closed down early on Friday afternoon. They said they close early "because it's summer".

    7:am
    Left Flying J for Icon.

    8:52am
    Arrived once again at Icon. Backed up to the dock after visiting shipping office.

    9:15 am
    They all go on break and stop unloading us right in the middle of the unload! Are you serious? We walked Kitsi and let her poop on their unkempt lawn. (take that, Icon) These places have no pride in their companies here in Canada. This place is a dump. Weeds growing everywhere, grass not cut, dirt driveways, crumbling, dirty building. The windows are dirty, everything is dirty.

    10:30am
    Done with the live unload. We can now leave. Drove up the street to a large dirt area alongside the road and pulled over to wait for our next load info.

    11:07am
    Waiting for the company to give us Our Next load. Parked outside Cabaret Le Sexy Hollywood. LOL

    11:15 am
    Got the trip with an address but the GPS cannot find the location. We can't look on the Internet because we have no phone service or WiFi. Decided to use our Atlas as best we can, head for the town and see what happens when we arrive.

    1:39 pm
    Bathroom stop at a on route rest stop. They have free wifi at these places, so I took my iPad inside and used Google maps and we found the shipper's location so now we know where to go. Wrote it all down on a piece of paper, the directions we got online. Thank God for free wifi in Canada. Hard to find.

    4:05pm
    Arrived at Texel. Hope they haven't gone home. Tim ran into a shipping office. Darn, wrong bldg. Drove up the road a bit and found the right one, over on the other side of the road.

    4:37 pm
    Tim came back outside from the shipping office. Surprise! Shipping has no idea what we are here for! They did not expect us, oh no! Tim is writing down the info he received on the Qualcomm to take in to them for proof and is asking for help from dispatch. Wonder how long it will take for an answer from them.

    Oh. Also, Texel said they don't do any loading after 4 pm. Great. Typical day at our company. I prayed.

    4:47 pm
    Tim went in with the info and came out saying they told him to back up to the dock, they found our load and would load us! Thank you, Jesus! My prayers were answered. OMG! I wanted to cry, I was so relieved. I told Tim to be sure to thank that guy profusely!

    5:15 pm
    Loaded. Need to close doors and seal the trailer. We are hauling large bolts of some kind of white fabric on huge rolls covered in yellow wrap. Final destination is Mexico, but we're only taking it to Detroit and dropping it at Brownstown drop yard. Thank God we don't have to go to Mexico. That has to be a worse nightmare than Canada.

    6:00 pm
    Leaving the shipper.

    6:36 pm
    Exit 305 on TCH 20 has a large Petro Canada with an A & W. Paved and clean, so we stopped to eat and use the bathroom. Probably will spend the night here too, we don't have our border crossing paperwork yet anyway and that seems to always be a problem to get it straight and we don't have enough time to get there tonight anyway, so we decided to stay here. There WAS a Flying J here but it's closed, it's over there next door but it's a ghost town, empty lot, mostly destroyed now.

    7:00 pm
    Eating dinner at the A &W restaurant at the truck stop. Trying the chicken sandwich. OMG! They make a fabulous chicken sandwich! It was sooooo good! Everything is in French up here, good thing Tim took French in HS, and I learned a little while being a flight attendant back in the 90s, we flew out to Montreal a lot, I love that town when you get to stay downtown in a nice hotel. It's a little different story when you're trucking, not quite as fancy-schmancy. But anyway, we know what the signs are saying and can read menus but we don't speak it well. We try though.

    This truck stop is really nice. Little store with everything you need, the A&W attached, it has nice clean washrooms, a little tv lounge for drivers, and it's very, very clean. Did I mention it's really clean? That's important you know. We parked facing the fuel islands so I got to watch the trucks coming in to fuel, love watching the trucks, some of them are so cool looking. My favorite ones up there in Canada are the International Lone Star trucks, they are so freaking gorgeous! And there are a lot of them up there! Especially like the red ones with all the chrome on them. Wow.

    End Day 8
  5. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 9 Tuesday

    5:45am
    Up for 2 coffees and muffins for 5 bucks in the truck stop store.

    7:00 am
    Pre-trip and get ready to go. Tim is doing his usual morning routine, washing windows, checking under the hood, smacking the tires with that little bat, checking the lights, etc. I sit in the truck typing into my iPad like I'm doing right now. Sometimes I take pictures of him washing the windshield, just to bug him.

    8:00 am
    On the road again, it's a good day, we are heading back toward the US, we will be back in the land of cell service and internet again in a couple days! This always makes me happy.

    12:30 pm
    Stopped at the Cornwall, Ontario 5th Wheel for fuel and lunch at the buffet. They pump the gas for you here. That is so special, they pump the gas, wash the windows, it's so nice! All Tim has to do is walk in and pay.

    4:45 pm
    On Route to use bathrooms, 9 minute run.

    8:15 pm
    Arrived at the TA in Woodstock, Ontario. This is a huge truck stop, paved and has a restaurant and store, showers, fuel island and shop. Surprised to see that it isn't nearly full for the night. Easy to find a parking spot. It does smell like the city dump though. What's up with the smelly Canada truck stops? Why do they all smell bad?

    Today was a good day. It's always a good day when you get to drive... just drive, no hassles at shippers, no babysitting loads, no border crossings, just drive. And it's a good day if you get to stop for food, if you find a bathroom along the route and then you even find a safe place to spend the night at the end of your day. We did all that. Yes, it was a good day today. Wish all trucking days could be just like this.
  6. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 10 Wed

    6:30 am
    Up to get coffee.

    8:34am
    Leaving truck stop for the border crossing.

    9:56am
    Had to stop at Advanced Border Processing Center so pulled in there. We both had to go inside and show passports. Interesting place. Talked to a car carrier driver inside, he was pretty funny. We talked to him for a few minutes, then left.

    10:15am
    Stopped at OnRoute service plaza along the highway for breakfast at A&W, good egg sandwiches and orange juice. Seems that everything is going quite well so far.

    10:57 am
    OH NO! Seems that our a\c has died completely. It has been acting up for a few days now. We had none last night for sleeping so had to leave the windows down a bit all night. It went on again for awhile this morning but now it's putting out heat and even heating the outside air if using the fan. Turned it all off and are rolling with the windows open, it's quite noisy in here! Still on the way to the border. We don't want to call breakdown because we don't want to get stuck in Canada waiting for repairs, we just want to get back to the US and deal with it then if we have to.

    12:30 pm
    Reached the USA border, got through easily this time, thank God. So good to be back in the USA!

    1:00 pm
    First thing, get Internet! Yay! I'm back online! My phone works! This is heaven.

    1:15 pm
    Arrived Brownstown Drop lot. Went through inspection bay and told them about the A/C and they are not equipped to fix it. Need to drop this trailer and then notify the company. It's HOT here! It was cold up in Montreal and now it's hotter than h e l l here in Detroit Michigan. And our a/c is inop. Sent in a breakdown macro, waiting for the company to tell us where to get it fixed.

    6:15 pm
    Finally got the address of a shop to fix the truck, appointment at 8:00 am. Took the company 5 hours to get that info to us. We've been sitting in the bobtail lot all afternoon in the heat, waiting.

    7:45 pm
    Drove to the Sunoco station across the highway to get food at Duncan Donuts. Tuna melt sandwich, I call it the "breakdown sandwich"; I've eaten it for dinner when both trucks broke down now.

    11:00 pm
    Going to bed with the windows rolled down all the way. Spending the night at company drop yard. Hope it cools down a bit tonight. I'm letting Kitsi sleep on the bottom bunk with Tim tonight, he has windows down there. I am up on the top in the "hot box", as I refer to it. That little sleeper area gets pretty darn stuffy if there isn't any a/c.

    End Day10
  7. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 11 Thursday

    6:15 am
    Up for the day. Boy, was it noisy here last night. The place next door was loading trailers all night and making huge crashing sounds that literally shook the truck.

    Woke up to rain this morning. The front seats were all wet because we had the windows down all night.

    Going back to the Sunoco across the I-75 for coffee, then on to the shop for repairs, to get the a/c working again.

    8:00 am
    Arrived at the International Truck shop for repairs. Packed up a lot of things to go sit in the waiting area. At least we have a decent place to wait at this shop. And we took Kitsi in with us, they were OK with that. There are a couple of beat up leather sofas and a matching chair in there, all surrounding the tv set. I brought in my iPad and my phone so I had internet. I have wifi on my phone, it's a nice thing to have.

    9:30 am
    Still in the waiting area.

    11:30 am
    Still waiting. Need to go walk and find some lunch.

    12:45 pm
    Still waiting for the truck to be fixed. Tim went to find some food, trying to walk up the road to the Subway.

    1:27 pm
    Tim returned with Subway for us. He walked 40 minutes each way to get food for us. What a good guy.

    6:21pm
    Finally done getting the truck fixed. We were here 10.5 hours. So great to get out of here!

    7:30 pm
    Got pizza and pasta at Pizza Hut on the way back to the drop yard. It was so good. Ate it in the deserted parking lot of a store near the Brownstown drop yard.

    9:30 pm
    Hooked up to our trailer in the drop yard and it has a totally flat tire. The guys at the shop will fix it. And it was green tagged too, which means it was already checked out and "good to go". Not. We had been "resting" for 10 hours so we were good to drive and we wanted to get going with this load! So we got in line at the shop so they could change out the tire. There is a truck in front of us in the bay, they are working on it. They know we just need a tire changed.

    10:30 pm
    After waiting in line at the shop for an hour to get the trailer tire fixed, they came to the window and told us they couldn't do it, they had run out of time, they were closing in a half hour and they said they don't take any more jobs a half hour before closing. OMG. Are they serious? So we towed it back into the drop lot behind us and got towels for a shower. We spent the night at the drop yard again. At least we had a/c tonight. The entire day was spent not making any money again.
  8. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 12 Friday

    8:00 am
    Up and walked to the bathroom. Talked to a nice driver who has been with our company for a year, he has a little dog named Jake. When he went to GM drop yard he had to tie Jake to the fence and pay the lady 5 bucks to watch him for 15 minutes while he went in and hooked up. GM sucks. That's the place where I had to sit outside on the curb with Kitsi for 50 minutes in the cold on a rainy day during our last trip up here. Jake's dad said if he ever has to go there again he's not going to tell them he has the little dog with him, he said he was worried to death about leaving him tied to a fence all alone in a strange place. I don't blame him.

    We are being sent back up to Canada wouldn't you know. But we can't make it to the Canada receiver by the time they close today at 4:30 because the shop refused to spend 15 minutes changing out our tire last night even though there was an empty bay 30 minutes before they closed. Our trailer still has a flat, the paperwork needs to be done for crossing and we need to get weighed, it's a heavy load. So we sent a QC message and asked them to please give us something, anything to make a few bucks, give us a short trip to somewhere this weekend so we can make some money rather than just sit here all weekend. We'll see if they can find us one. We told them we would be happy to take that load up to Canada on Monday if they want us to do that, but please don't make us sit around all weekend again. So we are waiting to hear from them.

    9:29 am
    Pre-trip is done, so we can go to Sunoco a half mile away and get some Duncan coffee.

    10:00 am
    Pre-assigned load just came in, looks like we're getting another load soon. Hooray!

    1:30 pm
    Still have not heard anything about the load, we got a preassigned load but didn't get the actual load info yet. Past lunch time, so drove to get some food at Boston Mkt near the drop yard.

    3:00pm
    Still have not heard anything about our load. So drove to the Flying J, formerly the Detroiter, to do laundry. Might as well use the time doing something constructive.

    4:15 pm
    Still doing laundry, got the trip info, so will go to get the trailer as soon as the clothes are dry, in a few minutes. Have to pick it up at the drop yard just a short way from here.

    6:20 pm
    Just left the drop yard with the trailer. Going to North Jackson,OH.

    6:45 pm
    Stopped at the first truck stop to tie up the light cords because they are hanging too low. Used some of those tie wrap things. That'll work, not going to notify anybody, it will just delay us.

    10:15 pm
    Pulled into the Pilot with 15 minutes to spare. We take the trailer to the drop yard in the morning and then pick up another one to take to Port something, NY. I can't remember where in the heck we're going right now, tired.
  9. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 13 Saturday

    7:30 am
    Just got back from the bathroom at the Pilot. Somebody in the Crete truck next to us left us a gross gift, a water bottle and pop can full of pee right outside our trailer where Tim has to do his pre-trip. Some truckers are such pigs.

    9:45 am
    Leaving Pilot

    10:00 am
    Arrived at the company drop yard, this place is way out in the country, behind a building that has a lot of businesses inside. Drop yard in back, surrounded by a jungle of trees. Nobody could get in from the back without a machete! Guess this is a really safe place. Dropped the trailer, picked up the next one, which we are to deliver to Port Chester, NY. I looked it up and it's in a mall! Oh, this is going to be very interesting.

    11:00 am
    Going to deliver to a little grocery store in a mall, surrounded by parking garages.

    stop and shop, 25 waterfront place, port chester, ny

    This will be interesting. Delivering wallboard and steel shelving for a remodel or reset I guess. Appointment at 8 pm Sunday night, tomorrow. We Googled the place and cannot figure out how in the world we are going to back up this huge truck into a tight mall area. But worse, we hoped we didn't have to go under those parking garage bridge things, didn't know if we'd fit. This is going to be fun.

    12:30 pm
    At the Petro for fuel, going in to get some breakfast for lunch. It was pretty good, had to move to another booth because of a child with an annoying voice not unlike fingernails scratching on a chalkboard, talking so loud that it was hurting my ears, I had a migraine. How annoying. I envisioned duct taping his little mouth shut, were did that thought come from? And everyone at his table, his entire family, looked enamored with him. They were doting on his every screechy word and he knew he was the center of attention and probably thought the entire world revolved around him along with his parents, so he was really acting out, what a brat he was. I got up and walked right out of the room, asked for another table in the adjoining room and the server was happy to move us. She agreed with me that he was way too loud and obnoxious.

    2:00 pm
    On the road again.

    9:00 pm
    7 hours later, arrived at the TA in Columbia, NJ. What a sty. The store and food court is filthy, it looks like there was a food fight in here. The women's bathroom is so smelly it literally gagged me, had to hurry and get out. Disgusting. The lot is not full, but it's Saturday night, so that may be why.

    10pm
    In the sleeper for the night. Tired.
  10. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 14 Sunday

    I got up at 7:45 am, Tim slept til after 10.

    Our appointment at the receiver is 8pm tonight and it's only 2 hours from the truck stop. We got showers, ate at the buffet and got ready to go to the receiver. Called them for directions.

    5:15 pm
    Left the truck stop.

    7:25 pm
    Arrived at Stop and Shop a half hour earlier than our appointment time. We called them to get directions to the loading docks. We were just stopped in the road next to the mall right outside their store. We had no idea where the loading docks were located. They said they would send someone right out to direct us.

    9:00 pm
    Waited awhile and nobody came out to show us where the docks were so Tim went inside and a bagger boy pointed out the back room to him and took him back there through the grocery store. Then he came out to the truck and we walked up the sidewalk to look for the loading docks, he said he saw them from inside the store but wasn't sure exactly how to drive in there. Nobody would come out and direct him. He was told that the guys who are to unload us won't be in to work until 10pm! Are they serious? Why did our company tell us we had an 8pm appointment? So here we are with this huge semi truck blocking the road next to a mall. We found the docks and came up with a plan to get in there, they are in an alleyway. So he drove around the block, entered the alleyway and backed up to one of the docks, didn't open the doors, just backed in so we had a place to wait, off the main road. We still had an hour before the unloaders came in to work.

    So what do we do? FOOD! We looked for food! We walked around the block to a Buffalo Wild Wings and got food to go and ate in the truck. It's always a good time to eat. Always. Because you can't always find food and you can't always find the time to find food. Our motto ... if the opportunity presents itself, take it. So we took it. The food was delicious! And a lot less expensive than eating at a truck stop and much better too! We were happy campers.

    10:08 pm
    Still nobody here to unload us. Oh wait, here they come. Have to move the truck, they are not going to unload into the store, they want to unload onto the alleyway and then put it all into big bins in the alley, they have no room in their store's back room. Hey, whatever the customer wants to do ... Tim moved the truck into the alley and they unloaded it that way, with a big fork lift/pallet jack thing.

    11:00 pm
    Done unloading.

    Left for a rest area to park for the night. Got into heavy traffic going about 2 mph. Then got a QC message saying we are being sent to get another load nearby, but in the opposite direction, so turned around and headed for a different rest area toward the next load.

    1:00 am
    Arrived at rest area in Brewster, NY, parked for the night.

    This was an interesting day. We got to eat, that was special. It helped to get a delay at the shipper when he's right by a good restaurant. That never happens, usually those shippers/receivers are out in the middle of God's nowhere. So we turned a not-so-good situation into a better one by choosing to spend our delay time having a nice Sunday dinner in the truck in a dark alleyway. It could be worse. Much worse.

    End day 14
  11. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 15 Monday

    8:15am
    I'm up for the day

    11:45 am
    Leaving the rest area at Brewster, NY. We have an appointment at the shipper at 12:30pm.

    12:25 pm
    Arrived Kimberly Clark on time, dropped empty trailer in drop lot.

    1:42 pm
    Leaving KC with a load of Kleenex tissues. They are very organized, it only took an hour to do everything. Taking this load to Swedesboro NJ, another KC company.

    8:55 pm
    Arrived at Kimberly Clark, Swedesboro, NJ. It's dark, the guard shack was dark, when we pulled up the lights went on! I think the old man guard was taking a little nap! lol. Dropped the trailer full of Kleenex.

    10:20 pm
    Left Kimberly Clark with empty trailer.

    11:15 pm
    Arrived at TA Truckstop nearby the shipper, somewhere in NJ.

    Another good day, just wish we could have gotten more miles, but at least we were not breaking down.
  12. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 16 Tuesday

    7:30am
    Up and to the bathroom, a short walk since we got reserved parking last night. I woke up in the night several times with a sore throat, had water up in the bunk to drink but it didn't help much.

    9:00am
    Tim got up and we walked across the parking lot to Duncan Donuts for good coffee and a donut.

    TA exit 18 off I-295 in Paulsboro NJ. Love this Truckstop! Clean bathrooms, good food at the Buck Horn restaurant and a Duncan Donuts walking distance across the parking lot. Paved lot, plenty of parking spots, about a dozen reserved spots right up near the main building for $13 a night, well worth it.

    10:45am
    Leaving TA for PA to get load. My throat is still dry and scratchy, kind of sore. Nose is running, can't breathe. Tim says its probably allergies, so we took something for that, he has the same problem. Feels like bronchitis to me, hope not.

    12:00 noon
    Arrived at Craft Built in Sauderton, PA to drop trailer and pickup load that goes to two different places. This is a really pretty place. I took a lot of pictures on the way around the building. Tight little dock area though. Hours are 7:30am to 3:30 pm. Good thing we got here early, nobody told us. As usual.

    1:15 pm
    Ready to roll. Going to NC and then to SC with the same trailer, it's a split load for two companies. Location 2 is eta 8am.

    4:15 pm or so
    Rolled into a TA Truckstop that was a nightmare to get in and out of and to find parking. A cop sits in the small lot and takes down license numbers of trucks for some reason. I wrote them a bad review for lack of proper signage. TA Jessup, Maryland off the I-95. It sucks, don't go there.

    10:15 pm
    Arrived at Skippers truck stop on I-95 after trying the Pilot which was huge but full, except for the overflow lot which wasn't paved. Our a/c wasn't working all day and we were so hot. Yes, it's broke again, it only lasted 4 days after it got fixed, the day we spent 10.5 hours in the shop waiting for repairs. What a piece of junk this truck is. When we got to Skippers we turned off the truck for awhile and then when we turned it back on we had air again, thank God. So we had a/c for the night.

    Skippers Truck Stop, exit 4, I-95 in Maryland.
    Skippers is a very nice Truck stop. Clean bathrooms with private stalls and real doors, a couple of benches to sit on, clean sinks, paper towels. The store is super nice with a lot of trucking related items, groceries, sandwiches, Duncan donuts coffee etc., very clean. Subway is inside the building. Many fuel lanes outside, paved parking in a very large overnight lot. Will definitely stay here again, it was easy to find a parking space, even at 10 pm when we rolled in.

    Time for bed.

    End day 16
    Updated 09.22.2013 at 11.47 PM by flyboynme
  13. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 17 Wed

    10:00 am
    Left skippers truck stop

    11:40am
    Arrived at the receiver, Otto Home Services, Inc. This is a very small business, husband and wife and maybe a couple other people. They hired people to unload for them. The lady is so nice, she was very helpful, she offered water, said we could use their restroom if we needed to. Wow, we are not used to that!

    12:45 pm
    Leaving receiver. It was a fast unload and we were on our way to the next delivery stop in SC.

    4:30 pm
    Arrived at the receiver, it's a farm! How cool is that? In Sumter, SC. They unloaded right from the truck onto the dirt, there was no dock. Then carried it all, piece by piece, across the lot and into the back of a pole barn. Unwrapped everything in the truck and threw all of the cardboard on their pile behind the barn. This is the coolest place we've ever delivered. Had to drive through a gate into their yard, between a garage and storage sheds. Very cool. The guys were so nice too, it was fun to deliver to them!

    6:00 pm
    Got new trip info, heading to the next shipper. But need to eat something first, we have not eaten anything yet today. Leaving the farm.

    7:00 pm
    Stopped at TA for fuel and fast food. They have Popeyes, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Had a small pizza. Better than nothing.

    10:45 pm
    Arrived at the shipper, it's a HUGE paper factory, paper mill or something on the water. We were lost, drove into where we thought we were supposed to be, the signage sucked. When we got to the guard shack, the lady guard yelled at us to turn around and go back out to the road, we were in the wrong place! Capstone is the name of it in Charlston, SC. So we turned around and went back out to the road and drove down some road where the sign said transportation center. Why in the heck would they call shipping/receiving a transportation center? How are we supposed to know what that means?

    So we drove on this dusty dirt road, blowing dust everywhere, for about a mile and a half, around lots full of trailers from every company imaginable and finally we came upon an old hotel building that looked deserted. This was the shipping department. Right. It looked like a haunted hotel, no lights on, it was spooky as all get out. Tim went up to the building and there was a sign with instructions for drivers. He had to sweep out his trailer, put it into a yellow trash can, wherever that is, couldn't find it. It was so dark out there. Then knock on the door when done and they will tell you where to put the empty trailer. So he did all that and went inside the building and the guy was really nice, said we could spend the night in their lot if we needed to. The place is really spooky, dark, like a cemetery at night. I told Tim, "This is just great. We are spending the night at the haunted shipper tonight? I swear to God this place is haunted. One spooky place." We drove the trailer to the spooky, dark drop lot in the middle of the place, surrounded by huge trees with spanish moss hanging off them and dropped it. Then settled in for the night. I was not too thrilled about this but we were out of time and here we were. This is the worst place we have stayed. Seriously. The worst. There is a bathroom about a half mile away at the spooky old motel shipping office so we went to use it. OMG, it was filthy, disgusting. I didn't brush my teeth in there. Yuck. Left very quickly.

    Found our new trailer, the one we pull in the morning. Tim checked it over. The trailer has bald tires. Had to get road service to come to the shipper's lot, the haunted shipper's lot where we will be spending the night. They showed up about 12:30 AM and Tim got up and went out to talk to the guy. He put on the new tires. We had to spend the night here because we ran out of hours. The dirty bathroom was about a half mile away.. We went to the bathroom one time and then we didn't use it again until morning. What a dirty disgusting place to have to spend the night.

    End Day 17
    Updated 09.22.2013 at 11.46 PM by flyboynme
  14. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 18 Thurs

    11:00 am on the road to get weighed at the scales.

    Drove to a TA in Manning SC and got showers for the first time in 4 days. Oh we needed a shower so badly! Tried to get breakfast, ordered eggs and toast at the restaurant but they never showed up so we left, just walked out hungry.

    2:00 pm
    Drove to a Pilot up the highway, parked to get Subway sandwiches. Our A/C went out again. We don't dare report it or we will be sitting here at this Pilot to the end of the Labor Day Holiday weekend. We have no choice but to keep going with no air conditioning. We are going to try to get this truck as far as the Atlanta terminal. Hopefully we can get another truck there and continue toward home. It is 94 outside and twice as hot in the truck. We are driving with the windows down and it has rained too, we are hot and wet from the rain.

    5:00
    Arrived at the receiver just before they closed. Someone put a day care center right across the street from the docks. There is certainly no shortage of stupid. Why would the city even allow something like that. People were coming to pick up their babies at the same time 4 big rigs were trying to back in to the docks and having to pull forward right toward the daycare, it's really close to the road too. It was a big mess. We brought them rolls of paper, this is the city Tribune. They are nice guys in the loading docks area but the guy from the office is an a-hole, gave Tim a hard time about cleaning out his trailer in their lot. They live unloaded us and made a mess in the trailer. Their lot is a dirt lot, not paved, just an empty dirt lot and Tim was sweeping dirt, sand, onto their sandy dirt lot. And the guy drove over and yelled at him. It was their dirt! From their load! The guys in the shipping department, the nice guys, told us we could pull into that lot and do the paperwork we needed to do but the other guy kicked us out of the lot, said we had to leave. He also kicked out the lady driver from our company who was there in the lot with us at the same time. Hope we never have to return to this place, what a grouchy guy he was. And then he waited for us to leave! He even followed us down the road until we got away from the building.

    9:25 pm
    Arrived at the next shipper. Stopped at the guard shack and signed in, then had to back up to a fence and park. Then Tim had to run a quarter mile down a hill to the shipping office for further instructions. 20 minutes later he returns from that office, running up the dirt road hillside, out of breath.

    9:45 pm
    Have to park this trailer against the fence, don't hit it. The trailer we are taking is right next to where we're parking. This should not take too long if he doesn't get all anal about parking it. I told him to just slam it in there, it doesn't need to be perfect, we are running out of hours and I don't want to spend the night out here alongside the road in the dark.

    10:07 pm
    Hooked to the new trailer, it looks good so we are taking it. Need to slide the tandems.

    We have 34 lawn tractors, 42 inch cuts.... wow, wish we could take one home with us.

    10:15 pm
    Checking in with the guard shack before leaving. This took 45 minutes, I think it's our fastest time ever. Now we have to find a safe place to spend the night. Before we run out of HOS.

    10:45 pm
    Arrived at a Loves Truck Stop with 22 minutes to spare. Found a parking spot right up front near the scales. Close to the store, bathrooms and grass for Kitsi.

    There is a Waffle House in front of the Loves so went there for coffee and eggs. This worked out perfectly. For once. Thank God.

    11:40 pm
    Back in the truck for the night.

    End Day 18
  15. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 19 Friday

    7:45 am
    Up for coffee inside the Loves. Saw a trucker buy a 6 pack of Budweiser and get into a flatbed, blue cab, and drive away. Really? I was shocked.

    9:15am
    On the road.

    12:15 pm
    Rest stop at a rest area in NC, 9 minutes.

    1:49 pm
    Arrived at the drop yard, a dusty lot next to a Uhaul in a pole barn. No guards, no security, no fences, nothing. We are leaving all these lawn mowers in an unsecured drop lot. Wonder if the shipper knows about this? Hmmmm. Picking up another trailer, this one full of heavy stone and tile for Lowes in FL.

    3:00 pm
    Left the drop yard. 1 hour 12 min turn

    4:12 pm
    Arrived at Pilot to get weighed and decided to get lunch too, there is a huge backup on the highway right after our exit. Got off just in time! Put on my badge so people wouldn't think I was a lot lizard, Pilot truck stops have a bad rep for having lizards.

    6:00 pm
    Left the Pilot. We ate across the street at the Waffle House. Good burger! I never ate a burger at a Waffle House before, I was surprised how good it tasted.

    10:15 pm
    At the same Loves we stayed at last night. Heading for FL in the morning. Thank God we are on our way back home.
  16. flyboynme's Avatar
    TRIP 2-Day 20 Sat

    7:30 am
    Up for coffee in the Loves. They sure are stingy with the bath towels here. They give you one, no bath mat, no washcloth. I asked for a second towel for my hair and got one but the girl wasn't happy about giving me that extra towel. I like the TA showers best, they give you 5 things! Two bath towels, a face towel, a washcloth and even a bath mat! And the bathrooms are generally cleaner too. They could do a different color, that orange is a strange color, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

    11:45am
    Stopped at a truck stop near a Burger King for lunch, somewhere in GA. Our A/C just went out again, just in time for traveling in the lower southern states, yay.

    12:30 pm leaving our lunch break. It's really hot in the truck now, the a/c still in-op.

    5:05 pm
    Arrived at Lowes dist center in Kissimmee Fl. Dropped trailer, no empties for us to take out. Think we have to bobtail out.

    Running out of hours so can't go home tonight. We would run out of time 30 minutes from home, so have to find a truck stop. Darn, if we didn't have to take that 30 minute rest break during the day, we could have made it home tonight.

    TRIP 2-Day 21 Sunday

    Day 21, Sunday
    Got home about 1:00 pm. We didn't make it home when we asked to be here, we got here two days late, but we are here. We sent a breakdown message immediately, thinking we could get approval for the a/c to get fixed again, he could take the truck to the nearest International dealer while we were on hometime and it would be fixed by the time we went back to work, but that was not to be. The company just couldn't get their stuff together and we gave up trying. Didn't want to spend the next few hours in the truck in our own yard, waiting for them to respond to our macro.

    End trip 2

    Story continues here:
    http://www.thetruckersreport.com/tru...try.php?b=5895

    ****
    Updated 09.23.2013 at 03.10 PM by flyboynme