Monday, May 28, 2012

New Blog Format : Just Maps and Photos.

Niverville- Deliver Charlotte- Reload Austell- Niverville- 5714 km. 6 days.

Big Sleeper Peterbilt- for sale in a field at Wayland, Missouri.

Gateway Arch - Saint Louis, Missouri.

Falling Truck - Nearly caught it.

Southern Belle on the river at Chattanooga.

Following a TMC along Interstate 40 through the Smokey Mountains.

Old Chassis - Cab, out for a run on Interstate 35 near Rochelle, Il.
Custom Jade Peterbilt 389 with shiny tank.

Smooth Custom Peterbilt from the Jade Fleet.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marmon Truck : Class of 90.

____Day 1: Flour to Maryland; so a full days driving to Portage, Wisconsin. Stopping at Truckers Inn, Sauk Centre, for a meal. The Mother’s Day Special, ham, mash and veg. My dear departed Mum had a good sense of humour but I would never have dared take her to a truckstop on Mothering Sunday. Just like I would never have taken home a girl with tattoos.
____Day 2: The start of the trip was delayed due to over-running bed room activity in the Winnipeg area; this has the knock-on effect of a late start on day two. Another 11 hours at the wheel, Urichsville, Ohio, the overnight halt.
Long-Wheelbase Cabover Argosy : Ideal for long pole hauling.

____Day 3: A 18.00 delivery appointment at Aberdeen, Maryland, across the Appalachian Mountains; before going to Sinking Spring for the first of two pick-ups in Pennsylvania.
____Day 4: A carpet warehouse is closing down; the carpet cutting machine is my consignment for Winnipeg. Two thousand pounds and 17 feet long, but it’s on wheels and glides to front of the trailer. Then 350 miles across State to the town of Harmony.
Smart 1990 Marmon.

____Day 5: Fifteen pallets of chemicals weighs down the back of the box-van; loaded by 07.30, then westbound on US Highway 30. All the way across Ohio and Indiana; on to the Petro Truckstop at Rochelle.
Old Kenworth on Heavy-Haul

____Day 6: Even 11 hours of Interstate driving will not get me back to the Canadian border; so I settle for a power wash of Flying Eagle #31 at the Northstar, Fargo. Overhearing the conversation of two local owner/operators as I wait my turn. Dismayed at how their every waking hour is consumed my a forlorn attempt to make big money in the road transport industry. Thankful that my drinking, womanising and gambling gets me out of the truck for a few hours every week.
____Day 7: May Long Weekend sees many Canadians heading south for shopping trips in the US and busy borders. But I’m northbound and free from crossing hold-ups. Back in the yard and off home before noon.
____Overall Distance: 5542 km.

B-Series Mack x 2

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Caterpillar Trucks.

____Day 1: It’s a logical decision for Caterpillar to target the construction industry for sales of their new highway trucks. Brand loyalty from the earthmoving customers should give them a foot-hold in the market. My first sighting of the new marque is a day-cab four-axle tractor unit, pulling a bottom-dropping aggregate tri-axle trailer, as I’m southbound on Interstate 29; heading for Texas with peat-moss on a Sunday afternoon.
CAT's new Highway Truck is powered by Navistar engine.

____Day 2: The 1100 kilometre run from Niverville to Sapp Brothers Truckstop at Percival, Iowa, is followed by another eleven hundred down to Corsicana, south of Dallas but still a couple of hours short of my destination at Madisonville.
____Day 3: The mushroom compost making facility  doesn’t want to see any peat-moss deliveries before eleven o’clock; which suits my logbook as I cannot start before nine. But it also means that my reload in Houston will have to wait until Wednesday morning. A lot of factories in the sweltering hot southern states prefer to start work at 5 or six in the morning, when it is cool and pleasant, but this means that they finish at two in the afternoon. I’m parked-up in Houston’s  bustling Flying’J by three-thirty.
Distance Driven divided by Hours Taken = 83.33 kph.

____Day 4: Seven pallets of aluminum foil [ very similar to aluminium foil ] loaded by 06.30 with instructions to head up to Dallas as the office searches the data boards for more freight. It’s early afternoon before  a roof-top air-conditioning unit  is found that needs to go from Fort Smith in Arkansas to Rockyview, Alberta. Again, not enough time  to load before the next day.
Custom Frac-Sand Tanker on Texas Plates.

____Day 5: Eight hundred kilometres between pick-ups one and 2, now 750 km between two and three; the likelihood over another over-night wait. But I go for it; just stopping for a splash and dash of fuel and coffee. It’s the organic pet-food collection at Murdock, Nebraska, a job I know. So straight into their yard; sling the doors open; slam it onto the loading bay; sling on 12 pallets and away by four-thirty.
Oklahoma Pikeys : You have the wheels, I'll have the battery.

____Day 6: There was enough time to get as far north as Sioux Falls on Thursday evening so Friday is an easily manageable homeward run on Interstate 29. Back in the yard by two-thirty, where the trailer is de-vanned for onward Alberta-bound trucks.
____Over Distance: 5250 km.

Heavy-Haul Freightliner Argosy of Mullens

White Pipes !

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Autocar Truck

Bucyrus is the red dot below Oregon.

____Day 1: Down to Mauston, Wisconsin, with a load of cardboard. Highlight of the day; an Autocar on Interstate 29. A rare long-haul sleeper cab pulling a step-deck. Autocar have been making trucks for over a century; one of the first companies to offer bespoke construction to a customer’s specifications. Part of the White-GMC Group in the eighties; they specialised in tippers and garbage trucks. This would make the Class 8 tractor over 30 years old. Awesome growl from the side-winder exhausts made me think it had a V8 CAT under the hood.
Autocar, Southbound on Interstate29

____Day 2: Parked overnight next to a couple of British-driven Searcy Volvos; I leave long before they do and head for the first drop in the town of Oregon, Ohio. Dan and Neil have mid-night deliveries at Bucyrus, also in Ohio, but need to be working until the early hours of Monday. With only 14 hours allowed in a spread-over; they will delay leaving until noon.

Blade Runners.

____Day 3: With four drops well spread out across Ohio and New York State; I need to push on if I want to get three delivered on the day. A day of using the toll roads, something the company doesn’t encourage, but it is quicker and two sections of the New York Thruway get me to Buffalo and then Rochester just in time. The driving time is maxxed-out at Oneonta after cutting across to the toll-free Southern Tier Thruway.
____Day 4: Rain and mist, as I tackle the narrow, twisting roads through the Catskill Mountains on my way to the final drop at Dover Plains. My wallet not escaping unscathed as I encounter another toll; the Rip van Winkel Bridge across the Hudson River. A valuable asset to the State of New York; tolls are collected for crossing the Hudson at every bridge and tunnel. When empty; it’s a short drive to Middletown for the first of four re-load pick-ups.

Toll Bridge across the Hudson in Up-State New York.

____Day 5: With the US Government trillions of dollars in debt; toll roads could be the next big earner for the States. Germany, Austria and Switzerland all charge trucks for driving on their motorway systems. France, Spain and Italy have done so for years. Missouri has just applied for permission to put toll booths on all of Interstate 70, within the State. I bet, in the next five years, all trucks in the US will be charged to use all the Interstate Highways. But I have a toll free day; east on Interstate 80 through Pennsylvania; picking up at Warren, Ohio, before taking US Highway 30 to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Amish Buggy in different direction from the sign.

____Day 6: A consignment of automated chicken feeders from Milford before continuing to Chicago, through the Amish acres of Nappanee in northern Indiana. Porcelain sinks and toilets fill up the trailer at Woodridge; before I call in at the Rockford Volvo dealer. Mr Ramsden is about to spend his fourth night waiting for repairs to his truck after hitting a deer in the Western Suburbs. We go for a meal before I continue to Osseo.

Damage to Searcy 202 from Deer-Strike in Chicago Suburbs.

____Day 7: It’s not unusual to be delayed by a problem with customs paperwork. The more pick-ups; the more customs entries and the bigger chance of somebody getting something wrong. Today, it’s the chicken feeders. All the way up Interstate 29, I’m trying to get confirmation that it is good to cross, but end up sitting at the border for two hours; and all this on top of a two hour delay on the Minneapolis/St. Paul ring-road during the morning rush-hour.
____Overall Distance: 6002 km.
Double-Trouble for Conway on Interstate 694.

Car Transporter of the Week.