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.

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