Lovin Life

Lovin Life
Chasity, Napoleon, Christian & Cleopatra

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Update on the adventure....

Well, it has been well over a week since my last update and equally the same amount of time since I arrived to take the passenger - co pilot seat. I must say it it different than I might have expected, first off I packed wayy too much stuff!! I also packed according to the size of the truck, to our surprise that too changed this week. Last week I ranted about our breakdown and how we was stuck in Atlanta for several days, thankfully since then we have been rolling with the exception of having to called in to the terminal for the new truck. I don't think usually it would be a big deal to go to the terminal but with the last several terminal incidents,  it has turned out to be a less than desirable outcome so of course we had braced ourselves go be down a few more days this time around too. After our load from Albany to Alachua then to Beech Island,  S.C. we received good news to go to Omaha. We heard that very important message,  somedays it is like winning the lottery when you get that message, we both looked at each other and smiled knowing the SDM, or dispatcher knew something that we didn't know but we were sure hopeful nonetheless.  A load to Omaha could only mean one thing, we had a new shiny truck waiting on us!?!  Hell bent we set out of course there is really no driving straight through,  so we plan our stops that are geared toward fuel stops, as we are only allowed to fuel at approved facilities,  and where we can possibly shower and park overnight. Sometimes we get lucky and get both, sometimes we are literally being chased by the clock and don't have a chance to both. We manage, its kinda like camping EVERY night, something fun and yet mysterious about it.
On the way up, I imagined we would have had a 34 hour reset, that means you run out of hours and your pretty much stuck where ever you are and staying down for what is considered a 34 hour reset, basically your reseting your drive clock. So with my thinking about we would have a reset in Nebraska, I immediately went into looking how far a drive it would be to Mt Rushmore as that is on our bucket list, it turned out we didn't have reset and in turn hageenough time to get to Dallas, which is where we are heading now. On these resets, in order for you not to be in DOT violation the truck doesn't move, so you have to find alternate means of transportation.  Long story short, no Mt Rushmore in the plans this week.
As it turns out, our plans for a load to Omaha was to pick up the hubby's new truck!! It isn't a brand new truck but for what we traded, we are very pleased. Our last truck had an air conditioner in the middle of the sleeping bunk, so it was virtually impossible to get a good nites sleep in comfort.  Our new truck has a solid bed with no ac unit in the way, and the to9 bunk is completely lifted out of the headspace way, no ducking to get around. So in all after the wait and terminal aggravation, the fleet manager did us very well.
In the mean time of trying to find a new adventure along the way, we just keep the greasy side down and the shiny side up and the wheels go round and round...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Adventures abound?

Yesterday, July 15th marked the first official day that I was allowed the chance to finally set sail with the husband in his "office" as he calls it. I had previously booked the entire month of July off work to go out on the truck with him and the four legged children. For whatever reason, it never worked out for several weeks, for when your making plans; life happens. So after a refreshing weekend of trying to move into the truck we left Albany after 1:30pm, the first stop was a "live unload" so after April and I waiting at the truck stop we decided to meet Christian at the drop, still after April dropped us off it was still another several hours of waiting for the unload. UGGH, thank goodness for AC esp, in the south, in a truck and surronded by concrete! Well as I am hoping as soon as this unload we are bound for ADVENTURES!! Well, as they unloaded the trailer- there is damage to the trailer, so that means we have to take the trailer somewhere to be repaired... more time spent wasted. Let me explain a lilttle as I am learning too, once you log on to your truck- literally your clock starts and although you may not be driving or technically working your still losing hours, you are allowed 14 work hours, and 11 hours of driving time. So to help make it make sense, we spent 14 hours while the driving hours where only 4 hours spent. What that means in lay persons terms is, if your not driving- your not making money. They do not pay hourly, it is strictly MILEAGE.. So technically, yesterday sucked. So after we dropped our trailer to be repaired, we message dispatch via Qualcomm, that is another computer generated tracking/ communication device like a little computer in your truck. You cannot surf the web, it is like your life life to the company terminal. So as we set and wait on return communication from dispatch, this takes HOURS- literally! So in the waiting time, we crawl in the sleeping cab and enjoy lying down, eating lunch, walking the babies or whatever we want to do and anxiously await verbal message...insert ding-"you have an important message".. those are the joyous noises! Finally, we have a load.. to pick up in Macon... Great we are moving! Take a trailer from the place that we just dropped a trailer, heading to Macon, hoping for a trip North or West as I had asked to go, not that dispatch listens but they do try to work with you. Heading down the highway....not even out of Dougherty County- insert ding "you have an important message"- so as your driving down the road, the messages are verbal and they will not show typed text while the truck is motion, so we have to stop and this is alot of work. You are not allowed to just pull off and park anywhere, so you have to find a "safe haven" to stop and read your messages, they will read it to you but it literally reads everything like the message and letters and dashes so it is hard to understand exactly what they are saying without looking at the message, you get the just of it that there has been a CHANGE to your load, and oh shit--- so are you now going the right direction? Or picking up a different trailer in a different place... Just crazy change your mind and direction in one simple "you have an important message" So after we are slotted to pick up in Macon, well that load is still on BUT, now the rules changed a little bit.. Go meet another driver at ### this location and swap loads...? WTF, really! Ok, so we make it to Macon to an undisclosed location that was as heavy protected as FT Knox, getting cleared through security.. husband says do not get out of truck<scratch my head> but ok. OH hell it gets better. Get our load and get outta town, dispatch sends another message that he must call and get briefing on load... bottom line, high potential for theft, KEEP MOVING!! NICE, I thought and we are going to where? ATLANTA ugghhh, not what I was hoping for. So we arrive at our "meeting" place to swap loads, the other driver is still outta town for a bit, as we got caught up in traffic from an accident, we are sure either he encountered the same or just hotlanta rush hour traffic, either way... we are screwed. We cannot "sit" we have to keep moving till we meet up. UGGH, so drive in and around Atlanta looking for a somewhat safe haven to kill some time or to pee or do whatever.. Yea right! Not happening. We have 2.5 hours left on clock.. There is no way we will swap loads, deliver this other guys load and get outta Atlanta in that amount of time, we knew we would be stuck there.. Guess what, dispatch doesn't usually answer too many calls "after hours" so trying to get in touch with the other driver at this time seems bleak.. and they won't answer the phone? Continue to drive around.. well lets seek out the local truck stops as we may have to stop there.. WOW, the google reviews say "if you value your life you will not stay" at this one and that one, $15 parking posted on reviews saying it isn't worth it.. We finally find a truck stop.. FULL, slam full of people- trucks- less than desirable people who readily approach your truck asking if you wanna have a good time? EWW, true story one less than desirable approached the truck, jumped up and stuck her head in the window.. I know she was going to offer a good time, until she seen me in the sleeper, HAA, then she just asked for some money "to get the hell outta here", we watched her approach one truck/ person or another. So freaking disgusting. Well after that fun, and numerous messages finally a phone call from the other driver... SCORE, we are making a drop and swap in the middle of a parking lot... QUICKLY! So as it turns out the driver we swapped with, was the first driver of our truck and he asked how it was doing, my husband unknowingly jinked us just then... He said, he hasn't had any trouble..!! BIG mistake, husband. We rush over to drop this load on time, wahoo. But we have about 30 mins left on the clock, now what? Luckily, we are blessed on a REGULAR basis as it turns out, the place where we dropped the load has some property nearby, we are granted access as a safe haven for the night!! First overnight in an 18wheeler, truck shuts off every hour due to the temperatures outside, so I awake the husband every hour to restart the truck, we are also parked VERY nearby the airport, the puppas are bed hawgs, and the bunk is NOT a full size + the non working, non removed air conditioner is in my back on the wall... SO yea! as the husband asks "did you sleep at all" hmmm, well.. doesn't really matter, my job is a passenger and requires no brain cells or sleep!! And its a good thing too!!
So we set the alarm for 0600, in hopes of a load to the North or West this am (as now it is a new day) and we get up and walk the puppas, do some morning ritual stuffs and await the message... lets go back to sleep!!! SO we did get another hour in before the notorious bleep- "you have an important message".. Good news, my adventure is rolling ? Yea ok. Heading to pick up load, the trailer is dragging? Christian gets out and checks the brakes.. hmm, nothing. Get back in and drives, still pulling. Don't know whats going on of course niether of us are mechanics! Get to pick up location, they do not accept empty trailers, you must come in as a "bobtail".. I am learning the jargon! So we head somewhere else to drop the trailer, UGGH.. dealing with fat, lazy security guards all before coffee, REALLY! Finally drop the trailer and thinking we are heading to get some coffee and heat up some breakfast, as our load will be unloaded and ready in 2 hours, coffee, yes! Leaving the trailer yard..the truck is jerking like crazy, hmmm smells of burnt rubber or something of those lines.. Coming to a stop, the truck is smoking? Just get to a truck stop, get some coffee and we will message dispatch of what is going on..Good thing we opted to get some coffee and breakfast all the while. After coffee and breakfast, no messages.. Hell, lets lay down for a bit. Nap thirty. Actually 2 hrs later, we get a message to drive truck to Atlanta terminal for repairs. So an extremely long story short, we are in a hotel tonite, while the truck is undergoing some definate needing services. Husband returns from terminal just before 5pm.. another day, no wheels going round and round. Epic suck. Shop manager is going to try to get us on road tomorrow, prayers he is successfull! Good news is the bed I am sleeping in tonite is a full size, for real!

Monday, July 1, 2013

First day of the next chapter

Sunday embarked another First in our lives, the husband was released from his trainer and set loose in hotlanta to seek out what new adventure awaited him..WOW, that about sums it up. His first truck assigned, had something wrong with it, oh yea... they searched the lot up and down and duh, it wasn't even there. So they assigned him another truck, they found it but might have been better off if they hadn't! It was driven by a smoker and wreeked of cigarettes, nastyness and other stuff, bad news brakes are bad, leaky shocks and some pump not working on top of no fuse for cigarette lighter outlet? So how did he light all those cigarettes? So much for off to a good start, my husband says ww, we will start again fresh in the morning. WW means between husband and I, WHATEVER, WHATEVER!! We use that phrase amongst ourselves when we are talking about something that is usually beyond our control and it consumes more time to worry about it, than it is actually worth. 

So, before my husband set out on this journey- believe it or not- he was doing some research to see what company offered the best this and that and just reading what was on the internet about OTR drivers and their experiences, and we came across someones "blog" that was actually quiet hiliarious it went along the line of describing me and uptight, person with severe OCD as the wife and just like my husband, the man was laid back and like whatever comes his way he was ok with it!. The story was funny and sounded alot like ours whereas the wife was upset that he had been granted a POS truck and the husband was so happy because he actually got a truck, we giggled about that story last night and how it was coming true for us too!

As it turns out today, his truck was fixed last night and he was granted "move in" status! So early this afternoon he was awaiting orders from the fleet manager to get his first load. After I came home from work, I had phoned him with some good news from the mail box, while we are on the phone chatting he gets a beep-beep-beep, he says hold on, .... standing by... he comes back on, he has mutually good news.. his first load, he has orders for his first load to Douglas, GA !! Yea, he says "I always knew you was good karma"
So as I update the blog this evening, I am anxiously awaiting the phone call to meet him somewhere to pick him up, as he has no where to park the truck at the house. He picks up a load in Albany in AM and is set for Ft. Lauderdale, FL. <phone rings NO LIE, after this, and guess what>  SAVE as DRAFT, off to Tifton to meet my hubby because he doesn't have enough hours to drive to Albany tonite. Well, actually that was now a few nites ago, and am picking up where I left off.. BOY, wheew what a last few days I have had...

So for what was supposed to be a nice quiet evening with my husband home after over 6 weeks of him not being home, soon turned into a nightmare. At 3:30 am, Cleopatra is sick, well she has had an upset stomach with vomiting and loose stools for over a day at this point, going into the third day. She loves to get into the trash, eat everything, lick frogs or whatever she can get in her mouth. I swear, if it doesn't eat her, she will surely try to eat it..So initially I did not get alarmed by her sickness, as usually in a day or so she is back to normal. Well, this time its different, she is having bloody stools and she isn't able to control it. Red flags start going off, due to we lost a chihauhau back several years ago and more recently our baby Napoleon contracted Parvo and was successfully treated although both dogs had been previously vaccinated, it doesn't really matter they can still get it. So you guessed it, we was sure that is what was going on. So the first phone call to the vet to see if I could give her some "human" phenergan to hold the vomiting to a minimum. The vet is wonderful as she always is, said yes of course and give it rectally if needed. Done that, no success in either direction. The loose stools are now projectile and its call the vet back or take my husband to Phoebe for a heart attack or stroke, as this is his dog and he isn't handling this stress very well. SO another phone call to the vet at 4:00am, I tell her what is going on and advise her, we are enroute with Cleopatra. So donned in a diaper and so softs and towels covering my car..... off we go. BUT FIRST, I have to take Christian back to the truck in Tifton, because he has a pick up in Albany that morning. So off to Valdosta, its a 2 hour drive one way to our vet from our new residence. We refuse to change vets and few other services due to our loyalty to their great service. Thinking the worst in our minds, both husband and I are literally sick too. Dropped the husband off and of course Cleo is still drinking water and constantly wretching it back up. Thankful she still has the urge to drink in order to attempt hydration. Before 7am, I am at the vets office awaiting the Dr, I have explained to the staff my recent phone convos with Dr Hiers that am. They know our worst fears and come in immediately and start doing tests on her. Thankful that I am there with her and she is going to be taken care of, I am a bit relieved!
Days later, literally.... as I have had some moments in time to update this, Cleopatra is back home and after 5 days of antibiotics and 4 other drugs, she is MUCH better!!!