Saturday, March 26, 2011

Have you ever had one of those days?

My Thursday started out with this discovery:

To make the long story short, Wednesday evening, I picked up this empty trailer in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Leaving the location I got the trailer from, I had to make a 90 degree turn from underneath an overpass. I swung out wide, but apparently not wide enough as the passenger side trailer tires jumped the curb. That's happened a few times before; you feel the trailer tug a little bit as the tires raise up from the road, but that's about it. I didn't think much of it and continued on my way to the place for pick up for our next load.

They weren't open yet as it was 4:30 in the morning, so we parked on the side of the driveway and went to sleep. Upon wake-up time, Ben hopped to the back of the trailer to sweep it out before we dropped it for loading. I was messing around with the sat-com when Ben came back up to the truck and asked "Was the roof caved in on the trailer when you hooked up to it last night?"

"What are you talking about?" I ask, with a sinking feeling forming in the pit of my stomach.

We walked to the back and saw the above scene. I start crying as I realize the bump-up on the curb the night before made the trailer roof contact with the underside of the overpass. Add to the initial damage the wind force of having driven 200 miles with the gaping hole in the roof, and viola!

Many phone calls later to the claims department, breakdown and our dispatcher, we dropped the trailer at a nearby repair facility and got back on our way.

I hope not to have an "oopsie", as the claims department woman called it, like this again during my trucking career. One is certainly enough!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On the Open Road Again

Just prior to our last home-time at the beginning of March, we decided to branch out to driving the rest of the country again. Spring is nearly here in most states, with a bit of wintry weather sticking around in the northern states, so we figured now is as good a time as ever!

Leaving the I-5 wasn't too hard, though we've become very comfortable with that route and our favorite places to stop. The ultimate deciding factor, though, (besides the end of winter) is that our miles were less each week than they had been prior to Christmas, meaning we weren't earning about $800/month. I think we both feel those two months on the I-5 were worth it for peace of mind and lack of stress, but we're also out here to make money to pay off our debt. So, back out we go!

Our first load brought us from the L.A. area to Atlanta, from there to Virginia, and now we're on our way to the Chicago area, where we'll then head to Denver! It's really exciting in a way, not knowing where the next load is going to take us.

Transitioning back to the lower 48 felt like putting on an old pair of your favorite shoes--it's a little different from what you're used to, but they slide on just as easy as they did when you wore them all the time.

I've been impressed with just the sheer amount of truck traffic there is in the rest of the country; the I-5 had quite a bit, but as I was driving on the I-40 the other day, it seemed that for every 5 vehicles on the road, 4 of them were trucks. That's a lot of freight moving!

Another thing we had "forgotten" about while spoiled on the west coast: humidity. Wowsers! We made a stop in Arkansas and immediately upon getting out of the truck, everything was hot and sticky. It was then that we decided if we move from Bend, we won't live anywhere east of I-35 and south of I-70. Too hot & sticky (and it's still technically winter! Crazy!).

We're looking forward to seeing the springtime beauty throughout the country, with the occasional drive on the I-5. We'll keep you posted if we drive near you!

God bless us all in this grace-filled Lenten season!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

O Glorious Day (and Week!)

It's Sunday. It's raining. It's wonderful!

We listened to Mass celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan. We enjoyed the rain diminishing the smell of cow manure and enhancing the smell of nut trees blooming in central California. And right now, I'm taking great delight in observing my husband jam out to Easter Rising (aka "The Band" from his days at seminary). Life is grand--especially when soundtracked to a great Irish jig.

The past week has been without the music, but just as well! We were fortunate to have nearly a week off at home due to slow-moving freight, nearly a week that was consumed with going to Mass, visiting friends, cross-country skiing, cooking (trying several new recipes), crossing things off the to-do list, and Ben submitting his (pretty-much-final) second draft of the thesis!

It was my hope to have written several posts while at home, but that obviously didn't happen. Hold me accountable though (Sandy); I have a few things to share with you:

-our research of owner-operating
-the decision to leave the I-5
-iPhone "phun"
-recruiting bonuses

Keep watching for new posts!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone