Hoisted on my own (fuel) petard

Yesterday I left the house for a short drive over to Pittsburg, Kansas to pick up a load heading to Omaha. This morning it was unloaded and by noon I had a load heading to Ottawa, Illinois on board.

The helpful satellite system suggested I fill my tanks at the yard in Omaha but it has been my experience to this point that somewhere in I-70 in Iowa normally has cheaper fuel. You guessed it, not this time.

I could have fueled for $2.73 at the yard and instead paid $2.76 along the way, or about $4.50 more at the pump for the amount of fuel I took aboard. Ah well, try better next time.

The load of Tyson meat was delivered in Ottawa this evening and while I was there I used the restroom… and saw this cute sign:

The Interregnum

My last post was a week ago, an unprecedented lapse in the three years or so that I’ve had this journal. Nothing dire happened, and I’m still here picking up and delivering freight as before. I guess I just needed a brief respite from the grind.

The trip from Henderson, Colorado to Kansas City, Missouri really did take all night. I arrived at the consignee around 0415 for an 0500 appointment. This is what I saw as far as any “dock” went for me to back up to:

This small grocer was located in a “quaint” neighborhood obviously not designed with the likes of full-size semis with 53′ trailers to maneuver:

Yes, I (obviously) got it backed in and yes, I got out of there in one piece, by a small margin.

Driving overnight like that really knocks the stuffing out of me so I put off my next trip until the following morning and slept most of the rest of the day and much of the following evening as well. The Powers That Be decided I should then head over to nearby Lenexa, Kansas to load at one of the numerous underground facilities with a load heading to Omaha.

While at our primary yard in Omaha I noticed something odd about the truck facing mine. Upon closer inspection, I believe one of our drivers is moonlighting as a backup for NASA to keep in contact with the space shuttle or space station in case their puny systems go belly up:

Here is a picture of his dash area:

And here I thought I was the lazy one…

The planners did me one better this week by giving me a load from Phoenix to Denver on Friday morning that didn’t deliver until Monday at two PetSmart stores in the Denver area. 900ish miles for three full days, bleh.

To top that off, now that I’ve delivered I learn my next load picks up late this afternoon and needs to be in Kansas City by 0500 tomorrow. This entails running until 0300 or 0400 to get there, then get unloaded, then sleep the rest of the day away.

Trucking.

Windy, windy windy

I spoke too soon about the wind in my last driving update. When I drove from Santa Rosa, New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona the winds were horrendous — almost too much to drive in! At least it was coming mostly out of the south so on the last leg from Flagstaff down I-17 it helped keep my downhill speeds in check. I began the day later than normal so I could arrive in Phoenix after sunset, as the temps were pushing 100 degrees during the day.

All in all, the winds and taking a handful of stops along the way for various reasons made the 590 mile trip one of the longest, subjectively, I’ve endured.

No preplan when I arrived, so I dropped the trailer at the PetSmart DC and parked out on the street for the night

They are dropping like flies

Weeks ago, the blog run by HiwayMama goes blank. Yesterday, VBob announces his retirement (good luck buddy!). The folks over at America Through the Windshield are talking about changing careers.

People, you gotta help me out here! Pretty soon I could be left all alone with the Blogfather guy and I’ve seen too many movies to not know how that typically turns out.

Do you have any favorite trucking-related blogs you’d like to see me link to? Use the contact page and suggest some.

Off to Phoenix

While I was in Omaha I met up with the new class of recruits and chatted for a while about leasing. Afterwards I tagged along to a local Chinese restaurant for some yummy buffet before heading out with my new load down to Phoenix.

This trip is just like the last one I took to the Southwest, with only 28,000 or so in the box. I have until midnight Thursday to deliver which means I could choose to run it down there like a demon in two days (650ish miles each day) or a more relaxed three days (430ish miles each day). Yeah, if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a few weeks you know I’m going to be down there Thursday.

Last night I only made it as far as Salina, Kansas before shutting down which left about 1,100 miles to Phoenix. Tonight I’m stopped in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, about 610 miles out. It was windy much of the day but most of it was behind me for a change and it wasn’t too gusty so my MPG isn’t doing so bad.

Plusses and minuses

Because I came home a day early last week I was off the truck for almost four days. The plus side was more time at home (mostly to recover from mowing my overgrown lawn) but the minus was losing a lot of miles and revenue, so my next settlement will probably be nothing. All things considered, though, I’m glad for the time off.

My dispatch to get out of the house was another plus and minus situation. It was local (plus) and it was heading to Omaha for delivery tomorrow so I’ll be back in the thick of our freight lanes (plus). On the other hand, it was 42,250 pounds (minus) and didn’t load at Kraft until 1530 (minus). I arrived five hours early on the off chance that I could get loaded early but that went nowhere and I wasn’t loaded and rolling until 1645 (minus).

The trip up to Omaha was nice in the early to middle evening hours and I will drop the load first thing in the morning then see to some other business.