Swift - Starting the New Year training with Swift 1/7/13 - A long read...

Discussion in 'Swift' started by DocWatson, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

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    I had an interesting situation today. While getting loaded at a customer I noticed I no longer had 4-way or turn signals. After loading I opened the fuse box in my Cascadia, but couldn't figure out which fuse controlled the signals. My triangular. 4-way light on the control panel was flickering.

    I mac-55'ed and then called on road to see if they could help me identify the fuse. While I was on hold I figured why not "reboot" the electronics by turning off the main switch next to the seat (which you turn off if you are going to be away from the truck for a couple days). Problem solved. On road got back on the phone and thanked me for saving a bunch of money, they were preparing to send someone to fix the problem. Sounded like they rarely have drivers get proactive fixing their own truck.

    By the way, to get to the fuse box you have to unscrew and remove the glove box with a star driver. Best have a complete driver set with you.
     
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  3. blsqueak

    blsqueak Road Train Member

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    my 2 worst for getting a MT, Decatur and Denver. Walk around and look, and then just get told, not available. Keep a list and keep it the same at all of the terminals. It is not that hard.
     
  4. Wolfyinc

    Wolfyinc Road Train Member

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    only place I have had an issue getting a MT was Mira Loma
     
  5. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

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    I'm having "fun" sitting in a dock getting a load reworked after scaling and working the 5th wheel and trailer tandems as far as they would go. It's now 6 hours since I first picked up the trailer. I even arrived with half a tank, per my usual plan, but the drives were well over weight after maximum adjustment. Yep, somedays can be like this. Hopefully they will finish soon and I can go back to get a good scale and start getting some miles today.
     
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  6. Wolfyinc

    Wolfyinc Road Train Member

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    that sucks, I have not run into this issue yet, came close before I went on home time picking up a clorox load, moved my tandems as far up as i could and my drives were still 33780, a walmart driver left his load and said he would not take it since he could not get it scaled.
     
  7. Lepton1

    Lepton1 Road Train Member

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    Yukon, OK
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    Funny... my load today was destined for Clorox. When I brought it back for rework the forklift driver seemed a tad upset that it didn't scale, "We always load them the same way and never had a problem before".... Uh Huh...

    I ended up chewing up my entire 14 today for a 180 mile load, with a good chunk of my 11. I was supposed to drop and hook on the consignee end of things and have plenty of time to hook into another customer's load with good miles on it... but ended up delivering and having less than an hour on my 14. Now that other load is pulled.

    We'll see what kind of load I have tomorrow. Hopefully something that has actual miles in it.
     
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  8. DocWatson

    DocWatson Road Train Member

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    I had a load that was a touch over 45000 last week and it scaled out. Somehow. I did make sure I had a little under 1/2 tank fuel so that helped. I got it adjusted right without having to move the fifth wheel. It did take 3 runs at the scale to get it right but it scaled. Those loads that heavy that may need to be reworked stress me out after the Baltimore incident of 2013.

    I can sympathize.
     
  9. DocWatson

    DocWatson Road Train Member

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    I'm currently at the Pilot in San Diego/Mira Loma. I've been trying to avoid the mega corporate truckstops to spend a little more time on my 10 in other places. However, with the prospect of me possibly sitting for the weekend waiting for freight, I figured I would stop here where I got the internet account and free showers. Besides, there aren't a ton of options to park a truck around here.


    This last load was a t-call picked up in Phoenix. It is heading to Mexico. I picked up yesterday afternoon from the Phoenix terminal after dropping my previous load off nearby in the morning. I ran west on 10, south on 85 and then west on I-8. Before this I didn't even know there was an I-8. With my available hours I planned on stopping at the Winter Haven rest area just over the AZ border in California. Trying to expand my 10 hour break horizons I figured a rest area in the middle of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area would be interesting. I pulled off to the left into the rest area with 7 minutes left on my clock. Perfect. No, wrong, not perfect.

    I spotted a sign posted near the entrance to the rest area. Oddly there were no other trucks here at this point in time. The sign read "Vehicles are not permitted to be parked more than 8 hours....yada yada". Immediately I assumed this is primarily aimed at us truckers. At this point I had no time left to drive so I found a comfortable spot near the bathroom outbuildings, kind of under some interesting looking trees and shut the truck down.

    I've never done a split sleeper birth before so pending a possible visit by a C.H.P. sometime during my rest, I called the terminal to find out how I could do a split sleeper if needed. Worst case scenario, a C.H.P. comes up later I will finish my 8, drive down the road to a truck stop and do another 2 hours of break. The DM explained that since I had 1:55 left on my 11 that that was what I could use to get me down the road if needed. Perfect. As it turned out, I took 11 hours of white dune peaceful rest without seeing any cops. I got up early to finish the run and saw about 8 other trucks shut down in this rest area. Maybe it is OK to take your 10 there worry free. Who knows.

    I got to my 10 am appointment early and checked in. "No delivery today. Mistake sir.". I showed him the paperwork and he just stayed the same. He would not take my delivery today. #### that kind of annoys me. I spent a couple of hours parked with my 4 ways on in the turn lane out front of the delivery waiting to hear back from the fill in weekend driver leaders back at the home terminal. They were cool and understanding of the fact that I just wanted to get rid of this load and get running again while they reschedule the delivery or whatever needed to be done. I headed over to the Mira Loma terminal. My first visit here to this Swift terminal. I dropped the trailer and waited for confirmation that I could t-call the t-call. I waited. I noticed a double razor wire fence bordering the Swift yard. I'm guessing that the other side of this fence is Mexico. Interesting. Meanwhile Mira Loma people inside were sending me messages to get this thing t-called properly so I could get off their property. Apparently Swift drivers cannot park in the yard. Fine with me as I didn't want to be here anyway. Finally after watching about 4 more episodes of Big Bang Theory I got the message that it could be T-called. I brought the already packaged paperwork inside, found the bathroom then left for the Pilot.
     
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  10. DocWatson

    DocWatson Road Train Member

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    Bellevue, Nebraska to Phoenix. 1300 miles.

    The load that brought me down to Phoenix was a near 1300 mile load from Bellevue, NE.

    I love these higher mileage loads. It was planned pretty decent although I think the computer is under the impression that we maintain a constant 50 or 60 mph while running. This load wasn't really like that at all. It was a pretty flat run through prairie with about 38.5k in the box. No big deal. Easy, if anything. The issue was that I was rarely on interstates. I was routed on smaller highways through Nebraska, down into Kansas, then cutting southwest thru KS with an overnight in Dodge City.

    I was hoping to see the old Dodge City, maybe catch a shootout between Black Bart and the local constable bit it was not meant to be. As I made my way to the local Walmart I drove past what I believed to be the old town. I was completely let down in the way I was let down in Roswell not interacting with any alien life forms or anything alien whatsoever.

    I continued the next day down barely going through the Oklahoma panhandle, cutting across the very top northwest corner of Texas through Dalhart, into New Mexico finally connecting to I-40 east of Albuquerque.

    The issue with not being able to run at the optimum speed was that I had to slow down as I approached and traveled through every tiny town on these smaller, local highways. The speed would incrementally drop from 65 or whatever it was to 55...45.....35....25. Then it would pick up again as I left town. It was just a fact - it slowed me down considerably. But I'm not complaining.

    Getting off the interstate and getting the chance to see life, if only briefly, as I cut through these small towns is what I love. I remember some of them, if only just a small bit. As I cut through Nebraska down into Kansas I took Hwy 81. Didn't seem like a major highway or thoroughfare but there were plenty of scale houses right before hitting Kansas. They were open too. Odd. In Kansas....Great Bend sort of the metropolitan center for that area. Larned. Minneola - tiny. Meade - a truck stop I didn't care to stop at. Hooker, Oklahoma - had to text my little brother later to tell him I found a Hooker. There was a place there called Hooker Gifts and there local baseball team is the Horny Toads. Guymon, OK - the big city for the Oklahoma panhandle. Dalhart, Texas with the downtown strip and that hard right at the light with the scared old people who pulled up too far as I made my right in front of them.

    I took 40 west and spent the next night just literally over the AZ border at Speedys truck stop on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Again, I'm trying to broaden my truck stop horizons. Just before I hit this truck stop I ran into the worst rain I have ever driven in. I had to slow down to about 30 mph because I couldn't see ahead of me. Reminded me of a heavy snow storm on 80 months ago when I first went solo. This was pretty scary. I passed through in about 10 minutes and as I got off the interstate and drove past the kitschy tee pee souvenir shops I pulled straight into a parking spot across from the pumps and saw the storm that I had just left linger in the distance to the east with a double rainbow arching overhead. Pretty cool. Snapped some pics as I always do and I was immediately greeted by some truck stop reservation stray dogs. Joy. Seriously. I miss having a dog and miss their company.

    If you ever get a chance to stop at this truck stop you will most likely encounter this pack. It is made up of 3 younger sibling mutts, 2 other sibling mutts of another mother and much older and the pack leader. Then pack leader is a larger, long haired mutt. The others are pretty skittish but the alpha male, the large long haired leader is friendly and won't complain if you want to give him some head rubs and affection. I fed all of them most of my cold cuts and a bowl of water and we spent some time sitting in the gravel getting acquainted. It was awesome as I haven't had the chance to spend some time with a dog for a while. As I sat on the side of my truck petting the alpha the other, although skittish and not wanting to be pet, lied down in the gravel around me soaking in the remaining sun. Priceless, at least to me. I later noticed that this pack was fed by other truckers and the alpha took in more petting from truckers as they came and went. At first I felt kind of bad seeing these strays here but as the night went by and morning came I started to realize that they probably didn't have it too bad considering the circumstances. They seemed to know the way the truck stop worked as far as where they could lie down, when to get up, who to be cautious with. They would lie down as a group at times in front of a truck or what seemed to be in then path of traffic. It would make me cringe. But somehow they knew to get up and move when needed. As I drove out in the dark of morning I saw the pack, the one limping one to the rear, checking out the fuel islands. They seemed content.

    I made the final run down to Phoenix the next day. West on 40 and then south on 17 to pick up that t-call.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  11. DocWatson

    DocWatson Road Train Member

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    My runs prior to the above were as follows...

    - Saint Joseph, Missouri to Crete, Nebraska. This was the 45,100 lb. load. Scaled right after 3 attempts. The nearby Loves, just down the road, was a traffic nightmare. Other than that it was pretty uneventful.
    Loaded 157 miles. Empty 61.

    - Boise, ID to New Century, Kansas.
    New Century was tough to find on the map and my GPS went crazy. It is between Olathe and Gardner south of Kansas City. Great mileage run. My best in a long time. 1432 miles. On this run I had some extra time. Initially the planners gave me 3 options with this load. I'm not used to having options so this was nice. Option 1 was to get live loaded and t-call it down the street if I wanted to head back to Washington. Option 2 was to t-call in Denver - 849 miles. Option 3 was to run it the whole way although I would be getting there early. My little brother is in the Army and was moved to Fort Riley, Kansas a few months ago. I haven't had the chance to see him so this was perfect. He lives in downtown Manhattan, Kansas on the main street above some hipster restaurant, a few blocks away from Kansas State. The night I would arrive there was a home game between the Wildcats and some other team that lost badly. I would wait for him at the Manhattan Walmart to pick me up after. My Qualcomm had completely quit on me at this point. Either the screen was completely dark or it had some weird message stating to hit CTRL ALT DEL. It was done and I was on paper logs until I could get it fixed at the Edwardsville, KS terminal after this run. Let me say, it is weird to switch to paper logs after using the QC for so long. The delivery wasn't due until Monday morning and I arrived, after running pretty hard (one day i hit 640+ miles), on late Saturday afternoon. I did some Walmart shopping while I waited for little Army bro to pick me up. If I lived in Manhattan, KS I would live where he did. The Army gives him a decent amount for rent, actually an outrageous amount, so he and his girl live in a loft like apartment above a hip little restaurant on the main party strip in downtown. After seeing his place we went downstairs to eat and then checked out some of the local watering holes. I was surprised to see this little town out in the middle of Kansas bustling. Granted, it was Saturday night and this was where all those 21 or older or those with fake IDs from the Kansas State campus out to party. As a single guy i was getting whiplash with all of the college-aged women walking or staggering about. It was a good time and I was thankful to have this job that took me out to see him since I probably wouldn't have been able otherwise. I spent the night in the comfort of my truck and the next day him and his girlfriend took me for a driving tour of the campus, town and his base. It was very cool and I took some sliders from the semi-famous The Cozy hamburger joint back to my truck as we said our "see ya laters". Sucked to leave but nice to see the little bro happy and doing well. The next day I delivered the load and went to the KS terminal to get my Qualcomm black box replaced.

    Cheyenne to Nampa, ID. 740 miles loaded. 36000 lbs and a different kind of load for me. A Lowes DC load to a Lowes store in Nampa. I used to work for Lowes for a pretty long time as a Loss Prevention and Safety Manager so I figured I would drop the trailer and pay a little visit. Although the Lowes stores I worked in were in the Seattle/Tacoma/Bremerton area the Idaho store were in my region so I was somewhat familiar with those working there. I met up with the LP/Safety guy acquaintance and caught up a little. Cool people but don't miss the job. This reminded me of this fact.

    This all being in reverse order....the load that took me from my last home time
    - Portland, Oregon to Cheyenne. 1150 miles loaded. Dead headed from Sumner, WA down to Portland. Love being in Portland. This was no exception. A care free and easy live load from Georgia Pacific. Healthy city as everyone was biking or jogging by early in the morning. Took awesome I-84 east along the Columbia River on a sunny day east into Idaho, dipping down into Utah and then back up again across I-80 to Cheyenne where I stayed at Little America.

    Thinking of now putting in another home time request in Washington but I want to run some more first and get some miles. For now I'm just hoping to get out of this Pilot sometime this weekend but I'm guessing that, despite the planners claims prior to this run that I would definitely get a follow-up run out of L.A., I will most likely sit here this weekend. Sucks but I guess I can get a 34 in and I just bought the Aliens Anthology ($30. @ Walmart) and a 5 disc DVD on Route 66 I can stay busy.
     
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