Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flashing Red and Blue

I suppose when you push the limit, even just a little bit, you're bound to get caught eventually.

This past Tuesday I was cruising right along on the I-5 heading north near Coalinga, CA. The speed limit for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) or for any vehicle towing anything behind them is a maximum if 55mph. This limit is rarely followed by truckers, as many of us choose to set our cruise around 58-60. I was set at 59 but came across a semi in front of me who was traveling at just 53mph or so. Not wanting to be slowed up by him or to slow up the traffic behind me (their limit is 70) as I passed in the left lane, I sped up beyond my cruise speed to get it over with quickly.

State Trooper Schindler did not approve of my hasty decision and let me know within 2 miles (I still don't know where he came from!).

He was hasty in writing me a ticket, having me pulled onto the shoulder for just 15 minutes. CMV fines in general are more expensive than 4-wheeler fines, but we've heard stories of the minimum fine in CA is $1500.

Yikes! We won't find out how much the fine is for another 3 weeks as the county I was pulled over in is backlogged that much in the speeding infraction department. Five miles over the speed limit, even when passing, is not anything I'm going to try again!

You can just call me speedy...

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Thursday, February 10, 2011


Ben had just gone in the back to sleep as we had recently switched over for my driving shift. I usually wait 15 minutes before turning on the radio, just to make sure he's fallen asleep.

At about minute 16, I hear this loud thud, as if something had fallen off the top bunk onto the floor, and then I hear Ben wearily say, "Deb?"

I holler back to ask if he's okay, and to find out what fell. Not surprisingly, Ben was just coming out of a sleepwalking episode...

He dreamt that I set the cruise control on the truck as I was driving down the interstate and then came in the back to check on him as he was sleeping. The thud noise I heard was of his head whipping off the pillow and hitting the side of one of the cubbyholes very hard. It was his compulsive urge to jump in the front seat to drive the truck, since he thought I wasn't driving it anymore.

That certainly awoke him from slumber (I presumed) and he asked me to feel the big bump on his head. I couldn't find it, nor could I find the composure to stop laughing (I know, I know, I'm horrible). He then went "back" to sleep.

A couple hours later he wakes up and I question how his head is feeling. "What do you mean?" he asks.

After recounting the story he began to recall what happened...there is never a dull moment in this truck!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Summer in Winter

It is just remarkable the difference of weather in California in the winter months versus the rest of the country. We have been spoiled with blue skies and plentiful sunshine and very nice temperatures every time we enter the state (Oregon and Washington are still a little cooler and precipitate more often). We haven't even seen a snowflake since January 1st!

Today, driving north of Sacramento, we noticed someone cutting their grass (grass is only green in winter here). You'd never find that in the midwest! We had to break out our shorts and sandals the other day because it was 80 degrees in Colton (a far east suburb of L.A. where our terminal is). I'll take that over 2" of ice in Ohio :-)

The weather in Bend the last week in January was also fantastic; we enjoyed hiking the Butte and relaxing on our hometime. A night out at the bowling alley gave us the chance to meet up with Brian and Aleesa (and finally meet Caitlin!), as well as making a new contact in the trucking industry (more on that later). Also, Ben's progress on his thesis is nearing the completed product and he'll be submitting draft #2 very soon!

Dispatch has kept us very busy since we've been back on the road, and for that we are thankful! Not so busy though that we can't have some fun though; we were finally able to meet up with AJ and Sarah (and meet Gabbie!) for a delicious breakfast and fun visit in the Everett area. We look forward to hosting the three of you in July--and don't worry, I'll make sure to have plenty of English muffins :-)

We were also able to relax on Super Bowl Sunday at our terminal in Colton and cheer the Packers on to victory as we got our restart of hours (I know, I know, I still haven't blogged yet about the trucker's logging requirements, but I'll get to it eventually). Maybe all this sunshine is having its effect on my lack of motivation to blog right now...

Stay tuned, Sandy! And happy birthday to you and Uncle Bill!

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