Monday, May 8, 2017

Kiss Of Death : Madisonville.

Seven Day Trip.

____ Six months at Ruby Truck Line and a trip with plenty of time to reflect on the job. Low pay and old equipment with weak links in the chain. I like the outward leg of the trips to Texas and the Mexican border; the big triangles to British Columbia or Ontario also satisfies. But the company struggles to complete the loop. Trips are taking too long and with the advent of e-logs it will only get worse. This trip to Madisonville would have been five days at Flying Eagle. For the exact same cents-per-mile from six years ago; now it takes seven days. The same peat-moss to the Monterrey Mushroom farm that Flying Eagle delivered every Tuesday and Thursday. After the demise of Flying Eagle; Schroeder Freight took on the work, now they too are no-more. It is a poor paying load and most Manitoba hauliers just take the work to get their trucks south of the border, where they have good paying freight waiting to come back to Canada. Nobody makes money taking dirt to Texas.

____ First night-out at Watertown, followed by Chanute, then just north of Madisonville before unloading in the morning where the same petite Hispanic lady signs for the load without ever checking; same as she ever did. The re-load is from Pasadena, the regular plastic granule pick-up, but not until Friday morning. A whole day wasted and expensive too; if you are not earning then you are spending. A visit to Northern Tool and Equipment yields some much needed plumbing stuff for the Mack motor-home at the cost of two days' pay. Frustration is compounded when the load is not ready; it is 2 o'clock before I am north-bound amongst heavy weekend getaway traffic on Interstate 45.

____ Away from Thackerville, on the Texas/Oklahoma border with two full days driving to get home. Saturday's highlight was a rendezvous with Neil Ramsden, a fellow Ruby Truck Line driver, at the Emporia Travel Plaza on the Kansas Turnpike. Always nice to meet a mate on the road; we eat McFlurries, discuss Sunderland's relegation, Ipswich's failure to reach the play-offs; then he heads off to Hidalgo and I push on to Sioux City, Iowa. There is no Sunday highlight; just seven hours of 105 kph cruise-control on Interstate 29 with it's new batch of road-works. Back in the yard by five.

Farmer's Oil Kenworth W900

Line of Six Cabover Peterbilts at Wilkins, Tonkawa, Oklahoma.

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