Saturday, January 20, 2018

Those That Can't Do, Teach.

Seven Day Trip.
____ The truck had been standing out in the bitter cold for three nights and although it started, it would not rev-out due to frozen filters. I got it into the workshop and aimed the space-heater at the tanks and put some additive in. While I was sitting about for two hours; I got to thinking why are there people living in the barren, ice-covered tundra that is Central Canada? How did it all start? Years ago, the First Nations followed the buffalo herds and moved South in the Winter. The first white pioneers were self-sufficient; trappers, hunters, miners and loggers, all looked after themselves. Farmers and ranchers didn't have much need for the towns and cities that have sprung up in the desolate area between Vancouver and Toronto. So how did they get here?

____ "School teachers" is the answer. They are to blame and the reason that thousands of truckers have to service a country that should not have a population living in a totally inhospitable environment. When some do-gooder noticed that farmers had children, they thought it was a good idea to set up schools in all the remote parts of Canada. They sent in school teachers who are the most useless bunch in the World and can't look after themselves any better than a three-year-old. Teachers need a care-taker for the school, a house keeper for their lodgings, a local shop to supply their needs and all the other services to help them live an easy life.

____ Suddenly, a whole community had sprung up just because of the introduction of a school and a teacher who needed looking after. Of course, that meant more kids in the village and, after a while, more fucking teachers. Villages became towns, towns grew into cities, roads joined the cities and the whole lot needed supplying with everything all year round. This situation would never have happened if useless school teachers had been kept off the Prairies. But now we have a school teacher as Prime Minister and nothing is going to change.

____ Teachers have no practical skills but they are not stupid. They have engineered an excellent pampered life-style. Short working hours, no weekends, long holidays and good pay while making themselves seem invaluable to the community. In truth, they are brain-washing generations with bull-shit when the only good education is experience and travel. I know what teachers are like; I dated a Latin teacher for a short while. She was not only useless but totally pointless; but I got to do to her what the Prime Minister/Teacher is doing to Canada.

____ The destination is Pharr, Texas. Peat-moss to be trans-shipped for onward delivery to Mexico. A three day run away from the bitter cold with nights-out at Percival and Hillsboro on the way South. Unloaded on Tuesday morning and the reload is in Laredo; to the north-west of Pharr, but the cold weather has followed me south. Freezing rain makes for a tricky cross-country trip as everything gets covered in ice. I am late for the pick-up appointment but plenty of others have not turned up at all. Quickly loaded and the rain stops; up to San Antonio for the night, where the roads have recovered.

____ Two big days, first to Joplin, then to Watertown, leave me with an easy run back to the yard on Friday. My only concern is the quality of the diesel left in the tanks when I get back to Canada. By careful management and regular checks of the weather app on my phone, I reach Morris in Manitoba and put in 750 litres of good Canadian diesel. Essential because I will continue with this load next week. A Monday morning delivery in Flin Flon, five hundred miles north of Winnipeg on the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border.

Still Smokin BBQ on the Interstate 35 south of Hillsboro, Texas.

It looks like an old cabover is sitting on the concrete beam.

Freightliner Classic on heavy-haul in Oklahoma.

R-Series Mack at The Husky Truckstop in Morris, Manitoba.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bobtail To Tigertown.

Nine Day Trip.
____ The Dakotas, North and South, are good for pheasant shooting. Southbound on Interstate 29 and it's a shiny night; full moon and freshly fallen snow. The classic poacher/ gamekeeper scenario but at minus 28 degrees Centigrade; I would be beside the fire, warm in-doors and cleaning the folding 410. No need for high-beam as I drive late into the night after an afternoon of waiting. The trailer load of peat-moss for Hidalgo never arrived; so at 6 o'clock I was given a load of paper to Laredo. A trailer that had stood in the yard all day. I hate it when that happens.

____ Into Stone's Truckstop at Watertown after mid-night and pulling out ten hours later. Pedal to the metal, aiming for the Cowboy Travel Plaza with just the minimum break; hoping to get the trip back on track. Running past the mid-night hour is certainly easier with electronic logs than it was with the paper logs but there is now no time saving from reduced breaks. A long hard slog gets me to Pearsall at the end of the third shift, less than two hours away from the trailer drop. But then it all goes pear-shaped.

____ Trailer dropped, paperwork signed and a short bobtail across Laredo for a bonded load going to Bolton, Ontario. An hour up the road and the trip is cancelled; take trailer to the Ruby Truck Line drop-yard. Take an empty trailer to Waller and swap for loaded one going to Edmonton, Alberta. Only problem; no empty trailers. Ok, bobtail to Tigertown and pick-up an empty from there. Over 500 miles to the Texas/Oklahoma border before heading for Pasadena and a Monday afternoon collection. About nine hundred miles of messing about after I had been loaded-up and trucking North on Friday before Noon.

____ Now I am sitting in the Flying'J at New Caney, having an unnecessary log-hours re-set before driving the last hour on Monday. I would have blown a fuse but for the fact that it was +20 C in southern Texas and -20 C in Manitoba. After enduring bitter cold from Christmas to New Year, it was good to spend the Sunday in shirt-sleeves with the windows open. Warm weather again on Monday but by the time I reach Big Cabin, it's a frosty start to Tuesday.

____ "Hunter" is the name of the Winter storm heading from the North-West and scheduled to cross my path in North Dakota. Winter Storms only started getting names in 2012, before that it was just Winter weather. Is it any worse when it has a name? I just get on with the driving, thankful for a heavy load of plastic granules as the wind and blowing snow lays up against the trailer. Minus 28 by the time I get back to the yard just before dark.

Versatile, Made in Canada, Tractor.

Coronado with big tank on low-loader.

Work-camp accommodation on trombone four-axle trailers.

10 axle heavy-haul rig with smart blue and black paint.

Heavy-hauler in the Flying'J at New Caney, Texas.

The new Summit Racing Equipment store at Arlington, Texas.

Always a pleasure to swing by Soulman's Bar-B-Que at Van.