Friday, November 6, 2015

New York-New York.

5410 km - 6 days.
____ Day 1: Back to New York state for the second time at Penner International. But not before a big mistake and my first for the new employer. Usually I fix my own faux pas or blame someone else but when I turned up at the wrong border crossing; it was all down to me. Two times it was written "Roseau" on my paperwork but I blindly went to "Pembina" as I always do. It took three hours for the customs broker to come home from church, eat his Sunday lunch and change the entry for my load of animal foodstuff. Luckily the US Customs were as surprised as I was about the load going through Roseau and didn't blame me; but everybody else did. There was still time to get down to Nelson's Petro at Clearwater; feeling deflated.

Cabover Pete on Manitoba plates.

____ Day 2: Penners' trucks have the EZ Pass tags for easy toll payments so cutting through Chicago is a lot easier. I choose Interstate 88 East and Interstate 355 South, just before rush-hour, pushing on to the rest-area at Rolling Prairie on the Indiana Toll Road.

Once seen never forgotten, custom hooded Kenworth.

____ Day 3: Flat toll-roads across Indiana and Ohio eat up the miles. A phone call to the customer and he wants the delivery at 5 o'clock on Wednesday morning. That's 4 o'clock Manitoba time but the man does say that I can park on the farm. The last part of the journey is across the Finger Lake area of New York; valleys with vineyards on the slopes. Narrow country lanes but the sat-nav leads me straight to the place. The owner appears, we open the trailer and I back-up to the unloading door.

Every van drivers worst nightmare. A folding trailer.

____ Day 4: The cab rocks as the fork-lift enters and exits the trailer, sixty-six times. I have to get-up. Luckily I have my reload information and I'm away from the village of Dundee by six. A trailer swap at the big RDC in Hazleton, Pennsylvania; 300 kilometres south. Switched in half-an-hour and en-route for the Penner yard in Mississauga. The trailer is loaded with four drops for superstores in the Toronto area; deliveries start at 1 o'clock in the morning. So it has to be there before the end of my shift. The early start on the farm is now a blessing. Customs at Fort Erie is a breeze which makes it a fruitful but long day.

____ Day 5: The job flow continues. A loaded trailer is ready to go to Edmonton, Alberta. So after battling through the busy GTA traffic; I get out into the countryside and make good time with a light load of only 7500 pounds. It's 22 degrees Centigrade at Sault Ste. Marie as the sun goes down on a very warm November afternoon. When I park at White River it is still a barmy 17 at 8 o'clock.

Marmon wrecker at Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

____ Day 6: Strong winds rocked the cab during the night; the jet-stream moving south across the Canadian Shield. Two degrees above freezing as I pull out at day-break; within five miles it is snowing. The weather stays the same all the way to Steinbach, 1000 kilometres away. The third day of  eleven hours at the wheel. A 36 hour re-set while the truck gets a service and attention to a coolant leak; then continue on to Edmonton.

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