Wednesday, January 9, 2008

On the Road . . . Alone

Going it alone. As I said in the last entry, Terry took off for Ohio on Sunday afternoon. He is currently (unless something changed since we talked) headed back for Dallas with a relay load. Monday morning, I went to pick up an empty trailer in Garland to take down to Athens, Texas, for a live load going up to a Wal-mart distribution center in Hope Mills, North Carolina, just a little bit south of Fayetteville.

When I got to the place I was supposed to get an empty, there were plenty of Schneider trailers, but they were all still loaded. After some waiting, I was told to go right up the road to Sunnyvale to get an empty trailer from another place. This time, it worked. Off to Athens, arriving just in time for my appointment.

Got loaded pretty quickly, and within an hour, I was rolling northeast up to catch I-20 headed east. I stopped for the night in Jackson, Mississippi, and got a great night's sleep.

Up early the next morning and I made it to Aiken, South Carolina, before shutting down. I had plenty of time on the load, but I woke up really early (about 2:30 am), and just decided to start rolling since my 10 hour break was just up. Made it to Hope Mills with no problem and picked up an empty trailer (this is one of the only Wal-mart distribution centers I've ever seen in which all the Schneider trailers are not filled with pallets, which drives us drivers crazy if we are trying to get an empty).

Next load (the one I'm on now) is going to be very tight on delivery. I went up to Brown Summit, North Carolina (just north of Greensboro), to pick up a very heavy paper load at Procter and Gamble. It is delivering in the morning at 6:45 (I hope) up in Perryville, Maryland (I'll have to correct the town name later . . . I can't remember it exactly, and my load info isn't handy). It's a drop load, which usually means there is a window that is flexible for delivery, but this is an appointment time that's specific.

Of course, sometimes, when I get to a delivery like that, it will turn out to be a live unload.

Today, I made it as far as Bracey, Virginia, before shutting down. Bracey is 4 miles across the Virginia state line from North Carolina on I-85. I have about 270 miles to go in the morning. And it will be mostly on I-95 (my least favorite interstate to drive on) through Richmond, DC, and Baltimore. My one advantage is that I'll be able to leave at 1:00 am from here, and hopefully that will at least get me through DC before the morning rush kicks in. Baltimore wouldn't be nearly as bad as DC.

If I don't run into any traffic or construction delays, I will be able to make the delivery on time. I will do my best in any case. The main thing in those situations is to communicate with Schneider and let them know what's going on. If I do that, I've never run into any problems (or at least not many – ha ha).

It has been a long time since I have had to drive any length on I-95 north of Richmond, or spend much time in the northeast. Running solo, I will make up for much of that lapse, based on my past experience. But it sure would be nice to get a load going west, or south, out of Maryland.

Since I began writing this entry (I'm sitting in the restaurant at the Simmons Travel Center here in Bracey; had a very nice meal, and I'm pleasantly surprised to know that they have free wireless internet. It wasn't advertised, and Bracey isn't a place I'd expect much more than two cans and a string for communication. I think I would have had a connection with my Verizon card, but wasn't expecting much speed. I'm also enjoying this sweet tea.), Terry called me. He is still in Ohio, and has had a long and rough day of it. He had to go, and told me to call him back in a few minutes. So I don't have all the juicy details yet.

Sleep calls. My intention when I sat down here was to write more . . . about the recent political races, talking to my ex-wife and mother-in-law over the past few days, and other things. But, since I'm going to have to start rolling at midnight (1:00 am local time), I need to get out to the truck and get some sleep.

More of everything later . . .

Until then, keep the wheels rollin' . . .

Allan and my half of the Lonesome Dove Xpress

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why are you looking for an empty? You have one under your hat!
Love Ya!