Friday, April 11, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed.

____ All change: the endless loads of peat-moss to Texas have finished and the distinctive logo of Flying Eagle no longer adorns the door of the Peterbilt 386. Only in North America can a truck change its licence plate, fleet number and name on the door yet still belong to the same owner and be driven by the same driver. Flying Eagle #26 is now Payne Transportation #557. In fact the whole Flying Eagle fleet will soon have "Payne" on the door.

____ The primary reason for this is "Workload." The owner of Flying Eagle puts in so many hours  running the fleet and he has realised it is never going to get any easier. Putting the trucks on with Payne will at least save him all the trouble of finding work, dealing with Customs, buying fuel and chasing after unpaid bills. Also we will be pulling Payne trailers. The trucks will still be maintained in the Flying Eagle workshops and the drivers pay cheques will still come from the Flying Eagle office.

____ Payne is part of the Mullen Group; an Alberta based Public company that includes other Canadian trucking outfits such as Tenold and Kleysen. The buying power of this large group will also help Flying Eagle; with cheaper fuel and tyres. Most of the Payne fleet are owner operators; either pulling flatdecks or vans. I'll be pulling vans. But first "Orientation."

____ Four days in a classroom with three different teachers/instructors and I came out wondering if I ever knew how to do the job in the first place. Payne want it done their way which is fair enough as the pay the bills. But if I learned anything new; I've forgotten it already. Day one: hours of service. Day two: customs procedures. Day three: hazardous goods. Day four: the "Smith System" and four stints of driving around Winnipeg. Oh, and a free lunch everyday.

____ The Smith System was something new; an advanced driving course designed to increase awareness and concentration in busy traffic. Look well ahead, watch out for other vehicles and don't tailgate. All good advice and I couldn't fault it. I just wish all North American drivers took the Smith System course after they got their licence.

____ So it's going to be something different; a chance to blog some different loads to a more varied selection of destinations. Watch this space!

Decals coming off; no longer will I have a CB handle on the door.

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