Crowder skid pad remix

This is a remixed version of the Crowder skid pad video in my previous post. I run just as fast, however!


Crowder Skid Pad

Last Friday I returned to my trucking alma mater Crowder College to shoot some stills and video while their skid pad was put through its paces. When I trained with them in November 2006 the skid pad wasn’t being used because of persistent droughts. Since then, they have installed a 1.3 million gallon pond and pumping equipment so they don’t have to rely on the local water supply.

The skid pad itself is a large area of smooth concrete, surrounded by a number of irrigation pumps and nozzles to flood various areas so the trucks hydroplane and lose traction.

During the course of videotaping, I took position a bit too close to the action… as you can see in this short clip:

I have hundreds of pics and 25 minutes of video I shot. When I get time I’ll see if I can get some of the highlights uploaded.

Time off

Well, I made it safely back to Joplin on Thursday. Friday morning, after a good night’s rest and doing four loads of laundry, I put my truck in the shop for a variety of repairs and maintenance. The body shop was notified about my fender issue so they will take a swing at it after the mechanical folks get done with their part.

It turns out my last oil change work order wasn’t closed out in the CFI system and if I hadn’t have mentioned that it was a bit past the proscribed interval it wouldn’t have been caught.

I have a week of paid vacation coming to me and I’m adding seven more days of my earned time off for a total of two weeks to rest and relax. I hope to (finally) get my web site up and running and there may just be a change of direction in my life shortly so stay tuned!

Kansas City fun

I arrived in Kansas City at 0700 and the last five miles into the city itself took almost 30 minutes. The traffic was absurd.

After an hour’s wait, I was instructed to hurry up, quick quick, pick up a trailer here at the dropyard and run it across down (and into Kansas) about 15 miles away as the crow flies. Or 30 miles away as the only moving roads in the KC area lie. I arrived there in a reasonable amount of time, dropped off my new trailer, picked up yet another trailer… then was dispatched back to our yard across the river in Missouri. Whereupon I dropped the new (empty) trailer and am currently waiting on a loaded trailer to arrive here from one of the local drivers CFI has, after which I will be moving it down to Joplin.

Digital disaster strikes

I use a product called Driver’s Daily Log to keep track of my Hours of Service. Once a week or so, I print out my logs and send them in to the folks at HQ and everyone is happy. Rarely, they have lost a day or two (each is printed on a single page), but I can just print a fresh copy and send that in.

Last night my laptop crashed and I restarted it. I do a restart perhaps once a month or every other month, normally leaving it on in Hibernate mode while I’m bouncing down the road.

It turns out that it stores the data I input into one file for each month. So, December of 2007 has its own file, and January 2008 had one as well. Apparently, something went awry with the program or with Windows when it crashed and my current (January) file was blanked out.

Now I get to go back to New Years and recreate every stop, pickup, drop off, fueling, etc. for the past nine days. Thank goodness I’m taking time off.

Off to Kansas City

After an hour or so wait, the buzzer went off and I got my new instructions: take my (now empty) trailer about an hour away to Columbus, Ohio and trade it for a loaded one that is due in Kansas City, Missouri tomorrow around 0800. The schedule is a bit tight, but I can make it work by leaving the Troy, Illinois truck stop I’m at this evening by around 0300.