Trucking Records

How do you keep up with the information you have to turn in for a trip???

As a long haul truck driver, I have a lot of information that I have to keep up with for each trip I make. Some of the info is the number of miles I travel in each state, the route that I travel in each state and the number of gallons of fuel for the truck purchased in each state. I realize that a lot of trucking companies have gone to the electronic on board recorders (EOBR). These devices are equipped with GPS and are connected to your trucks computer to know what the mileage is when you enter a state and tracks the route you are on in that state.

My company does not use the EOBR’s now. On a personal note; I am very thankful for that, and that’s a whole new article!

Now, I have a lot of little pieces of information to keep up with. Before I became a truck driver, the place I worked at taught me a very valuable lesson about covering your ass (CYA)! Since then, I have tried very hard to not only get the information the company needs, but any other information that I may need to justify my actions during the trip.

As a truck driver, when we pick up a load, we become responsible to our company for that load. Everything that happens has to be done with the policies and procedures of that company. And, like my last company, you have to be able to PROVE that your actions were right and correct, or you will be subject to disciplinary actions and/or fines. Here’s a simple example; when you pick up a load, the driver has to make sure that the gross weight of the truck is less than 80,000 pounds and that the weight on the axles are not over the maximum allowed weight. It’s a simple procedure of going to a truck stop scale and getting the vehicle weighed and checking those numbers. However, if you don’t do this and you are stopped at a weigh station, you can get an over weight ticket. Some companies will tell you to go ahead and take the load and will assume responsibility for any weight tickets. But, if you are not keeping up with this, you could be out a lot of money for someone loading too much product on your trailer.

So, how does a trucker keep up with so much information? Do you write everything down in a notebook? Or do you do like me and have a spreadsheet on your computer?  I’d like to find out.  Let me know what you think.

A Day Off

I am home today. It doesn’t happen often enough, but when it does, I can’t tell you how happy I am to be home.

I have always loved being at home. For me to work as an over the road, long haul truck driver, is way out of my character, because of how much I love being at home. But, I’ve got to make a living for my wife and family. I have a huge burden on me right now, but I pray that it will get better.

Today, I want to just do some things that will make me happy. No chores, other than getting a good shower and shaving and eating today.

Though I get a shower as often as I can, getting cleaned up on the road is a task. You have to bring all the things you need with you to get cleaned up. It’s not the same as being able to just walk in your own bathroom in the morning, turn on some water and have everything there.

Eating on the road is not that great either. You might think that you have many choices, but when all you have are the same choices, day after day, it becomes very limited after a short time. And the amount of money that you spend eating on the road is ridiculous! I bring something with me and eat in my truck a lot, but that’s also limited. I don’t have the storage to put a lot of things and most meals are pre-cooked (yes, leftovers!). Talk about having to eat the same things day in and day out. It’s an everyday thing for me. I miss having a good meal with my family… at least, with my wonderful wife.

Catching up on the days activities is done over the phone. Not the best way of being close to your spouse, but it’s the only thing I have. It has to work. We try to talk once a day, but as she has to take care of all the things that go on at the house, some times, I don’t get to hear from her for a day or so. I really miss her then. She does such a good job at it that when I come home, she doesn’t have a honey-do list for me. She knows that my work days are at least 12 hours each day and longer, so when I come home, she wants me to be able to enjoy my time home and get some rest to send me back out again. I guess that I really have to appreciate that, though I feel like a kid some times and just want to tell her that I do feel like going today, and want to stay home. It doesn’t work anymore!

Travel

Travel

I come from a small town in north Texas. The population of Dodd City is just over 300 people. Such a small town that when I graduated in 1977, I graduated with 5 girls. I am not real sure about how long they have been there since we graduated, but I believe that they have lived and stayed there since then. Now, this is not a statement to say anything against the girls. I actually wish at this point in my life that I could be home. Why? I’m an over the road truck driver. A driver who drives and lives in a 18 wheeler.

I have been a truck driver for almost 11 years now. For a few of those years, my driving was just in Texas and Oklahoma, but now I drive the lower 48 states.

Continue reading “Travel”

Christmas Holidays

Something unusual and very nice happened this year for Christmas. The company I work for is a trucking company, which means that we work all the time. How can anyone in trucking be guaranteed time at home on specific holidays? It’s hardly possible. Our company basically says that they can’t promise this except that on Christmas day they will do everything they can to get you back home for the Christmas holiday.

This year, I was able to get back home on December 22 and I will be off until December 26th! Thank you to my direct supervisor, Tony Foster for getting this done for me and to my boss and his wife (the owner) for having this as a goal for their drivers each year!

Merry Christmas to Reid and Jackie Lamb, and to all the rest of the employees at Cima Transportation, Inc.

Another day… Another dollar…

I made it to Springville, UT today. I left Moriarty, NM this morning. I could have gone a little further, but I couldn’t get to where I hoped to be. I was really trying to get to Ogden, UT, but that’s still over 1.5 hours away. I didn’t have that much time available.

It doesn’t matter though. By the time I drive my full day tomorrow, I’ll only have about 4 hours of driving to do on Wednesday morning, which would put me arriving about 4 hours ahead of schedule, so I’m taking it easy here tonight and will leave at a good time tomorrow. Things will be just fine. I wish people understood that truck driving is not just sitting in this truck holding on to the steering wheel all day. I don’t think the average person has any idea just what the truck driver has to know and the skills he possess to get the job done and done safely and on time!

Keep the shiny side up!

Time Off… It’s Just Not Enough

Well, I got home last night early.  I’ve been home all day and yet I still don’t have everything done before heading out tomorrow.  I did get some rest today, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair that I don’t have a chance to do the things I want to do (like everyone else) because I’m not home enough.

I know that I’m whining!  I’m sorry about that.  Sometimes life sucks.  Today seems to be one of those days.  Now, tomorrow, I’ll probably be over it and life will be grand again.

One thing about tomorrow is that I’ll be on a run that will allow me to get some miles and make some money.  The past few weeks have been short runs that didn’t allow the miles to add up enough.  But that is trucking.  Sometimes you’re home when a long run comes in or a short run.  You get what the cards are dealt to you.  I’m happy that I got the Ace/King run.

Home for the Holidays!

After 18 days on the road, I made it back to the house around 8:30pm last night.  Pugsly was very happy to see me.  He did his Dino impersonation on me and that’s always fun.  I watched a little bit of “Huckleberry Finn” on the Turner Movie Classics channel with Pat.  Kathy was at work, so I still haven’t seen her since I got home.

I’ve got the 24th (today) and 25th off!  Then, Dean and I “set sail” for Cairo, OH again.  We’ll pick up a load of sulphuric acid and deliver it to Manassas, VA.  Once we get to Manassas, Dean and I will switch trailers (my truck and trailer was left in Manassas) and Dean will head back to Texas.  I will unload at Manassas and head back to Cairo, OH for another load of sulphuric acid to be delivered to Manassas on Thursday (the 30th).  After that, I should be on my way back to Texas.  We’ll see what happens.  It seems that the last couple of guys sent out on that run have had to stay a little longer to accommodate our other drivers who wanted time-off for the holidays.

So today I’m going to work on my home office as much as I can to unclutter it.  That is a major job, since it hasn’t been done in years!  I even had to write a plan out for tackling this job.  And yes, writing this post in not in the plan.  I guess I can’t say that I don’t know where to start, huh!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday…  Merry Christmas to you all!