Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Edward "Uno" Scretchen in Carlisle

My long-time friend let me know that he was in Carlisle tonight. He has been driving his truck many miles lately.  I'm happy for his success. This was the first time that he had met Stephanie. She was impressed by his affable personality. As usual, any time I have with a friend or loved-one is brief. He completely understands how that goes, being a truck driver for almost as many years as I have.  

It Feels Really Good To Have a Clean Truck

Our life is filled with many expenses & unavoidable responsibilities. We have to be wise with our money, so our truck usually gets a wash every 6 weeks. I'm always amazed by how good the truck looks after spending a few minutes of vigorous washing & rinsing.  

Medical Card Recertification

Every two years, I have to go to a clinic to be evaluated for my physical fitness to drive a commercial vehicle. I usually get it done in my home state of Missouri, but today I had it done in Carlisle Pennsylvania. They gave me passing grade, but not without mentioning a couple of health items that could give me problems in the future if I don't wise up with my exercise & eating habits.    

Monday, August 14, 2017

Earning a Living in the Busy Northeast

  We have a habit of pushing our legal time limits to the edge. Last night, we wrapped up the day with only TWO minutes remaining on the unstoppable 14-hour clock. Our 11-hour driving allowance was down to single-digit minutes also. It was our plan to conserve as much time as possible to accomplish a goal we were contemplating for our next load. Our 70-hour clock would be stretched as tight as possible also. As you can see, my occupation requires me to be mindful of a variety of count-down clocks. 
   I selected a load from Leominster Massachusetts, which is the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed. We were at that customer's loading dock last month. One of their employees looks eerily similar to Stephanie's late father. The workers quickly filled our trailer with food-grade plastics storage containers. I was glad to get out of there as quickly as we did so we could get through New York City before the worst of afternoon traffic began. 
   Stephanie called our advisor team at Schneider 30 minutes before we arrived at our delivery destination in Burlington New Jersey. This particular customer has the peculiar policy of requiring drivers to have an empty trailer assigned to them, plus a reference number - for those of us who are lucky enough to be able to drop off our loaded trailer & take an empty one. We had the timing down perfectly with our arrival. I'm so lucky that Stephanie does my phone calling while I'm driving, as the folks at Schneider are required to hang up on a driver who is calling while driving, as dictated by long-standing safety policies. 
   Our next, and current load, has us picking up a relay trailer from the Schneider OC in Carlisle Pennsylvania. Our trip plan evolved from what it originally was today: we will remain here for 34 hours to reset our 70-hour clock. The trailer that was supposed to be here isn't here yet. It looks like the driver parked his rig 80 miles away for the night. That's not a problem. He can take his time. 
   It's late in the evening. I'm going to publish this chapter now, without proofreading or adding pictures. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Friends & Family We've Visited Lately

Since leaving home on July 26th, we've been able to visit several friends and family members around the country. 
  When we went to Portland Oregon, we spent the evening with our friend Mark Manzer. He is a bank loan officer who drove a Schneider truck for certain amount of time. He knows a lot about the area, and provides fascinating commentary about the geography and history of the Pacific Northwest. As a Navy veteran, he conducts submarine tours on the weekends.
  Further south in Oregon, we met up with my mom's cousin: Jerry Farless & his wife Becky. Having a tight schedule, we simply had lunch at a truck stop diner. The visit was very enjoyable, as always.    A couple of days later, we met up with my cousins in Ontario California. Evan, Jennifer & Kirk came to spend a couple of hours in the truck stop restaurant. We had lots of laughs and hugs. 
  Just a few days ago, we spent an evening with my second cousin, Sherry, in Rock Island, Illinois. Her husband was getting ready for work when we got there, but we got to have a nice visit anyway.  I'm anxious to send her 7-year-old son post cards from the various places we go.     

California to New Hampshire

We were in California last Sunday. Today, we delivered a load to a big-box store distribution center in New Hampshire. We sure do get around!  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Third Quarter Computer Sustainment Training

We are in Gary Indiana tonight, at the Schneider operating center. I completed my third-quarter computer sustainment training just a little while ago.