____ Load 1: One of the biggest changes at Flying Eagle made by the new owners is the closure of the workshop at Niverville. With only a handful of trucks, it made sense and the two fitters were given employment at the parent company's main shop. The sad thing about it is that the trucks no longer get checked-out and greased after every trip. Number 26 now gets serviced in the next village and on Saturday afternoon I drive over to collect it before returning for a trailer. Then it is onto Moosomin; driving through yet another thunderstorm.
|Cabover Kenworth on the Trans-Canada Highway.|
____ The load is for Calgary, on the Foothills Industrial Area in the south-eastern corner with the Flying'J Truckstop. Not much space on a Sunday afternoon. But just 5 minutes from the Monday morning drop. So quick a delivery that with the reload only two blocks I have time for breakfast before they open.
|Looking down-stream towards Niagara from the last bridge before the drop.|
____ Load 2: I used to be a roadie; I did it for two, one, two, one, two years. I tell this to the guy at the entertainment equipment enterprise but it is wasted. But at least it is a quick load; amps, speakers and other stuff a band might need. Not a full load, destined for the Winnipeg Folk Festival but I am to take it to Ile de Chenes. Two thousand pounds and the truck flies back, east, along the Trans-Canada Highway for another night in Moosomin.
|Saturday Morning Sunshine in Mississauga.|
____Load 3: Potash is one of Saskatchewan's biggest exports and most of it gets transported by train; long trains dedicated to potash. This is my first potash load, waiting for me in the yard; ready to go to Pennsylvania. Two full days driving after four easy days of crossing Canada. To Bunola, a factory on the Monongahela River; like so many places in rural Pennsylvania: river, rail and road in amongst the wooded hillsides. But why do they need their potash in small bags and not in railcars? Answer: they only use tiny amounts. They make those little sachets that come with bouquets of cut flowers and are supposed to prolong life in the vase.
|Longlac and Highway 11 again.|
____Load 4: The fourth load of the week is just a way of getting the truck up to the fifth load of the week which is part of a regular pre-plan. Two hours drive across PA to Hoopsopple and an iron-ore production plant. A load heavier than the potash and Highway 219 is the camel-track leading due North in the direction of Buffalo and the Peace Bridge to Canada. Over to Fort Erie for the night and the newly re-furbished Flying'J. The foundry takes delivery on Saturday morning and it is only a matter of minutes before I'm under load 5.
|Hwy 219, not an easy route but with no obvious alternative.|
____ Load 5: A trailer change before breakfast but a very busy Highway 400 out of the Greater Toronto Area. To Barrie, stop and go traffic, mostly holiday-makers going to the cottage or the cabin. From North Bay, the going gets easier. To Kapuskasing and another night at another Flying'J. Sunday's driving gets me to Dryden with the usual deluge along the way. Monday and the customer wants the trailer left on a bay so they can unload it at their leisure. Suits me and I bob-tail back to base.
|The new Freightliner Cascadias have arrived. Should I take one and ditch the Pete?|