I pretty much ran dedicated transformer oil to a substation in Chester Pa. Got loaded Monday morning around 8:30 and headed up I-95. Traffic wasn't bad around the DC beltway and i made it through Baltimore before rush hour hit. I shut down at the TA in Elkton Md.
I didn't have a good address for this substation but was able to find one on the satellite maps. Around 5:30 PM I got some directions on the Qualcom that confirmed that the substation was the same one I had seen on the computer. I had already mapped out a route staying on numbered routes in MS Streets and trips.
The route they sent me was totally different with 5 or 6 right and left turns. There were lots of railroad tracks on the map so I figured those directions routed me around low clearances so i went with the directions the company sent me.
That turned out to be a mistake and I found out later the consignee got those directions off of a TomTom GPS. I had another driver following me in. The route took us down truck restricted roads and under one 13" bridge. I was able to get under it. A train went across it when the guy behind me tried it and he thought he had hit it and slammed on the brakes.
We made it to the substation and dropped our trailers where they wanted them. As soon as I pulled out from under mine my drive tires got stuck in the loose gravel. They had to pull me out with a back hoe and chain. There was plenty of gravel, It just hadn't been packed down good.
They had us bobtail 460 miles back to High Point and I was home by 6:00 PM Tuesday ready to do it all again Wednesday. I went back along the original route I had planned before getting some from the customer and it was much better and actually a little faster.
Wednesday I loaded again at 8:30 and headed back up to the TA in Elkton. Thursday when I got to to the substation there was a flatbed truck with large transformer parts ahead of me.
I had gotten a call from dispatch the day before asking if I had given them a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on the load before. I specifically remembered handing it to the guy and saying here is the COA when giving him the paperwork. They somehow had lost it, claimed I didn't give them one and blaming that on why the tank I had dropped there on Tuesday wasn't empty.
After some discussion the had us drop our trailers and bobtail 12 miles over to Paulsboro NJ to wait for the empty. That turned into all day and 8 hours of layover pay. About 5:30 PM dispatch called and said one of the tanks would be empty around 7:30 PM and wanted me to go get it and head back with it.
I refused telling them it could wait until daylight. No way I am driving around and possibly getting stuck in a poorly lit electrical construction site with live 12,000 volt transformers that just happens to sit in the middle of the hood.
The next day I was real glad I stood my ground. They had dug a few footings right next to where we had to pull the trailers out. Fortunately they had packed and regraded the gravel and I had no trouble getting under the trailer I dropped Tuesday.
I got back to High Point by 5:30 PM Friday. We had a safety meeting Saturday morning. I have Monday off and am running a dedicated P&G Plaquemine load. I will load Wednesday morning and end up dropping it on the yard Thanksgiving day. Should still have time to eat some turkey that night and be off Friday.
From School to Superior Carriers
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For a holiday week I have been pretty busy. I had an uneventful run down to Dow/ Plaquemine and back. Other than taking about 4 hours to load me it was fine. The delay was caused by the plant overloading the guy in front of me. They pulled me under the rack, brought him back, and offloaded 2,000 lbs from his truck into mine. That took an hour and I thought I was slurping gravy when they called me from the break room only to be told to go weigh at the scale and come back for the rest of my load.
I still managed to get far enough down the road to get home by 5:30 PM Thanksgiving day. I was content with my pay for the week with this run combined with 2 days of Holiday pay would put me close to my weekly average.
It only got better when dispatch called and asked me if I minded running over the weekend. It seems they are doing something with the Scope mouthwash trailers. I am leaving Saturday and bobtailing up to our Markham terminal, grabbing a loaded scope trailer and bringing it back to the High Point yard by noon on Monday.
Those miles will put Thanksgiving weeks mileage over 3,000 with 2 days of holiday pay on top of that for 5 days work. Not too bad.
I started this week by running my scope load the last 500 miles back to the terminal on Monday. For Tuesday they wanted me to pick up a load from Dystar in Reidsville NC that delivered to Eastman in Kingsport on Wednesday in a 07:30-14:30 window. This was one of the few times I have been planned on more than one load at once since I have been here.
Rather than making this a system load out of Kingsport I stayed under High Points control and was tankwashed back home so I could grab a N Chicago liquid bulk dedicatred load.
This ended up being a good week with 500 loaded miles on Monday. 400 out and back with a load, unload and 3 hours unloading delay on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday-Saturday was 1500 miles to N Chicago and back.
I ran this load harder than I usually do to stay ahead of the clipper front that dumped snow across the Ohio Valley and into North Carolina. Almost every other time I have run it I taken a long break (12-14hrs) on the last leg. It loaded at 6:00 AM Friday in N Chicago so I was up at 03:00 both days. The load doesn't deliver until Monday so as long as I get back in time for a 34 its good to go. I really like not setting an alarm.
This time I ran the last leg starting at 03:15 and was able to stay ahead of the weather front enjoying dry loads all the way home.
Next week I am delivering this load. Loading a glue load for a Georgia driver and bringing it back to the yard on Monday. Then I am taking a Scope load that was refused at Brown Summit back to either Markham or Iowa City. I doubt I can avoid the snow this trip.
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