Sunday, June 26, 2016

Texas Triangle.

____ An 11 day trip that flew out of the blocks and then kept ticking over. Two days to get from Steinbach to Mississauga needed the extra driving time allowed by Canadian regulations and then I needed the short eight hour break to get the pizza boxes into the food services distribution depot on time. Next job loads the next morning from Corunna, just a stones throw from the US border at Port Huron. A load of resin for Victoria, Texas. 2600 kilometres to drive over the weekend. Fully loaded but not a serious hill along the way.

____ Cruise control and no problems until Texarkana; when the  drive axle suspension collapses during a set of road-works. I drag it through the cones and crawl underneath; expecting the worse. But it is only a dislocated connecting rod; the one from the ride-height sensing valve to the air-bag support beam. I wind round most of a roll of electrical tape and it holds together for the rest of the trip.

____ The delivery at Victoria is to a vast petro-chemical complex, the size of a small village. I have to watch a film show and answer questions before I am allowed in. Even then I have to wait for an escort to  the unloading bay. But during this time a reload offer arrives; resin from La Porte, Texas to Winnipeg. If Victoria is a petro-chemical village then La Porte is a oil industry capital city. On the eastern outskirts of Houston; Highway 225 is a never ending refinery and warehouse corridor. Loaded and away to a nearby Loves Truckstop to scale in the evening rush-hour.

____ Now, driving hours are becoming short and the weather is hot. The best time of the day is the cool of the early mornings, the worst is the four o'clock hour in the afternoon. From Huntsville to Oklahoma City in the five hours of allowed driving on the Tuesday. But then the two big days come back and I'm up in Winnipeg by Thursday evening for the Friday 0630 delivery. Eleven days and 7609 kilometres.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Whoosh : Where does the time go.

3990 kilometres - 5 days.
____ Another week whizzes away to be history. Another trip down to Missouri, back up to Illinois and I'm home by Sunday afternoon. It started with the familiar run over to Dryden with an empty trailer. Swap for a heavy one and down Highway 502; across the border at the rail track factory bridge that is International Falls. First night at Moose Lake, followed by another  at Bowling Green amidst the annual DOT safety and compliance blitz on trucks and truckers. Three days of open scale houses and brake checks.

____ Empty at Jackson, Missouri, and I was expecting a run south for the re-load but after a couple of hours of waiting; I got instructions to start out on a 600 kilometre dead-head up to De Kalb in Illnois and a trailer switch on Saturday morning. It is mid-day before I head for home but still have enough hours in the day to make it to Sauk Centre although not much time or energy for a Saturday night out. The trailer goes to Day and Ross in Winnipeg and I go home. Wondering if I'll get some new drive tyres as some of the old ones have started to pell off what tread they have left.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Crossing The Trail Of Tears.

7 Day Trip of  5724 Kilometres.
____ A heavy load leaving on a Monday that was the Memorial Day Holiday in the States. A Thursday morning delivery in Asheboro, North Carolina. A broken brake chamber on the unit delayed me for a few hours but I still made the 6 a.m. appointment at the bakery. The reload was three pick-ups in the Chatsworth area of North Georgia. Signposts indicating that I was on the Trail of Tears intrigued me enough to find out more about the enforced resettlement of the Cherokee Nation; from their Georgian homelands to the plains of Oklahoma. The finding of gold in Georgia seems to have prompted the miserable cross-country trek in the 1830s.

Sign for the Trail of Tears Highway at Chatsworth, Ga.

____ Northern Georgia is now the floor-covering capital of the US and all my pick-ups were carpet or underlayment. All loaded by noon, 35,000 lbs piled to the roof that gave the trailer sides a noticeable bulge. Heavy showers cleaned the screen at least twice a day on the whole trip and the long hours of daylight meant that no driving was done in the dark. Cool early mornings are my favorite time of hot summer days and the Carolinas and Georgia get up into the 90s and stay there well into the night.

Going down the hill to the Port Of Duluth on Lake Superior.

Peaches are big in Georgia.