Old El Paso

I left Tonopah, Arizona early this morning to try to beat the traffic in Phoenix and Tucson. Phoenix was no problem but I did get caught up a bit in Tucson due to construction along I-10. Still, I managed the 500 mile trip in just under eight hours which basically meant it was cruise control at top speed 99% of the way. Just the way I like it.

It turns out the load was high value so I probably shouldn’t have posted my whereabouts before I arrived at my destination. Whoops. CFI hasn’t asked me to take any particular measures in this regard, but I think in the future I will resume the “Where in the US is he?” posts.

When I was pulling out of our El Paso yard I noticed the CFI truck number 30000 in the back row. This is a new Kenworth T660 with its experimental (and tempermental, apparently) advanced HVAC system. I didn’t see the driver when I started snapping photos of the exterior but it turns out he was there so we chatted for a bit. I will post pics when I get someplace with broadband, which isn’t something El Paso is equipped with at this time.

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131,711 miles

With this load that I will finish up today, I will have been dispatched for 131,711 miles in my first year at CFI. According to the folks in the rear with the gear at HQ, my 12-month out-of-route mileage is 4% more, so I’ve actually driven about 137,000 miles between my truck and that of my finisher.

This is an average of 10,975 dispatched miles per month which is, to be honest with you, more than I thought I had driven. I’ve had a couple slow months and recently what seems to be a lot more short runs, but they have kept me moving overall.

Food warehouses

Suck. That is all.

I’m not sure why just about every one you go to has a messed-up parking situation. Slots are way too close to each other, backing seems to be designed for the 40-foot trailers and cab overs of yesteryear, and the personnel… don’t get me started.

Anyway, I eventually made it out alive and was deadheaded to my designated Time At Home spot. Be back first thing Thursday.

Mood swings

After three or four hours waiting yesterday, the shop opened up and they got to the business of taking off the other driver’s padlock. Boy, were we jipped!

Corporate has gone on and on about how tough these locks are, how rarely a load gets stolen if you have your lock in place. I’m here to tell you that it takes about 20 seconds (yes, seconds) to go through one of these things with a small blowtorch. And the kicker is, the guy didn’t even damage the door hasps or the door itself.

I have video of this on my camera that I will post soon if I can figure out how.

Anyhow, after this took place it was daylight out and I made my way west along I-10. I was feeling okay physically but I wasn’t in a good mood. It is amazing how much more difficult it is to drive long distances when your mind isn’t set on it. I droned on all day, looking at each truck stop along the way and asking myself “Can I stop yet?” but kept pressing on for 400 miles before I finally called it quits.

This morning I got up at my usual hour, didn’t have a lock to cut off and made great time through Phoenix and on in to California. There were a number of high wind warning signs along the interstate, but you could hardly fly a kite with the wind I experienced. The wind turbines in the Palm Springs area were hardly moving, even.