Electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs)

   A few words about  the  on-board recorders that are being shoved at all truck drivers in the US. This is an on going discussion that has raised its head again lately and with a certain amount of concern to all of us  out there working as professional drivers.  These are recorders that will track every part of what a normal log book would cover and more, but will be plugged into the truck itself and is really more government at every level, right in the cab with you every minute while on the job……..  Owner operators are the first to give back the message, stay out of my business! There is about 1 million of  owner operators, and a  large group of them  have filed a preemptive law suit as a group , to anticipate what the government mandate intentions are for the future of the “black boxes” as they are called the trucking community.
   Owner Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) (approx. 155,000 members)  has recently filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, challenging  the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposal on black boxes. The gov. insists that it only wants to keep an eye on carriers that have a bad safety record but OOIDA fears that once the limited rule goes into effect, it will only be a matter of time until before much bigger  and broader rules will come down on the industry and be required in all trucks. These will cost between $2000.00 and $3000.00  and are about the size of a regular book. The cost is just one of the problems that carriers and owner-operators will ingest. Invasion of Privacy is quite another. There is no proof that trucks with them are any safer that those without……………
   American Trucking Association (ATA) (about 27,000 members) is in favor  calling it an “incentive -based approach”……to trucking regulation compliance, including    EOBRs.
   Another aspect from this is that shippers should care about these devices because any big ticket items absorbed by the carriers , is passed onto shippers through much higher rates.
   Effective date around 2014 but some  of the rules, I believe have already come into effect in June of 2012.
Just an  update of some of the new trucking regulations that are being put on the table to hash over………..

Happy Trails!!

Recap of the last trip out………

  Here are some of the figures from the last trip out and arriving home before the heat built up out there everywhere………..

Border crossings——-20
Days out——————-23
Fuel————————-1103 gallons
Repairs———————-for once $0.0

   With the truck securely in the shop, we proceeded to go about our packing and making sure everything was in the camper before  starting out for the lake to see if BellaVita (sailboat) was still bobbing around up there after the 4th of July. We had been gone for over a month and  we need to see if everything was ok. Way too many people up there to sail around and have to watch so intently all the time. Better to go after most have gone home after a holiday……………..
   The weather has been oh so perfect for the last couple of weeks, that most of us up here in the NW just don’t know how to act. Low 80’s almost every day and the water was like glass in the morning with breezes gaining well by noon and by afternoon stiff westerly wind that takes some preparing for with reefed sails so not so much heeling can happen……….that took us awhile to figure out but now we are much more confident than at first. The wind at this lake tumbles up over 2 dams and spreads out clean across the easterly part of the reservoir to bring ripples and pretty good sized waves with white caps prevailing all afternoon…………..tack up and then again further on …………almost every time its just too rough to go any further so we gybe around (wind coming over the stern instead of the bow) and coast all the way back with the wind to our back…..ahhhhhh…… and around the island….really is fun!

Daddy-0 is peaking out from the front making adjustments……..

An uninhabited piece of water all to ourselves………..

MJ checking before making a turn………..yikes!

Happy Trails!!           Time for happy hour…………!!


Have a good 4th of July

   A beautiful sunny and summery day peered through the window this morning as we ambled our way out to the coffee pot at home……I feel rested up pretty well after getting back to the  North West a few days ago.

    We waited for some time to get something back to the West but the agents kept heading us East some, to get in line for small machines (Bobcats) etc. from eastern North Dakota that go all over the US. Of course, first to Bismarck for 1 1/2 days of sitting, but nothing yet………Then someone called with the dreaded load of recycled metal (cars) going to  Minnesota (farther east) that pay by the ton. However much you can get on, the more revenue you make. Along with that , our office called to run by me an oversize  bridge section that was going to the Portland area that was 80 miles  from where I would unload the scrap metal……..no problem, I’ll do it! I will have just 70 miles to get home at the end of this trip and that is better than coming all the way from Seattle, like we usually end up doing. So, I committed to both of these loads and get busy………
    First , get directions, when arriving to the scrap yard, wonder if you are going to getout of this without getting a flat tire or two………,get a tar weight (scale out) ( I did not have much fuel on preplanning in advance, just for this particular sinario  because I need to get as much weight on as possible) then get into position and wait as they load them on and then reweigh ……… I weighed #82,000 and , of course, thats too much (#80,000 legal) so one smashed pickup came off and that put me at #78,500. Fine!…….We  are off and will unload these in the morning and travel the 80 miles to the next destination for the bridge section and decide how to tie that thing down without damage to the paint job. Fargo , ND is our home for the night and supper was upper most on our minds along with a shower and clean clothes……. Again, I never take hot water for granted,  ever!

   A quick cup of coffee made for Daddy-o and he finds giant apple fritters for that hit the spot breakfast a little way down the road. We only have about a 100 miles before unloading this precious cargo and we’ll be off for ,at last, our destination, home…………

    Arriving at the new shipper, we grab the tape measure for last minute calculations of this large but wind free , oversize piece of iron……..11’8″ wide, 40′ long, 10’2″ tall. Interesting………….Unfortunately, I did not get a snapshot of this but it was painted light blue, and was just a frame all around with nothing at all in the middle of the structure so with a little thought, no straps would have to go over the piece, just straps over the bottom and straps from both sides anghoring  down completely for no movement to either side or going forward or backward. ( many different ways to tie down each load, The main thing is down with force keeping object from pulling or pushing at some point. It settles in also in a few hundred miles but each load has its own problems, especially in the wind with it being high!) 1756 miles to go……………all my permits are in hand (ordered yesterday), Mn, ND, MT, ID,WA, OR. these can range from $8.00 to $30.00 depending on how much that state wants to charge. This permit charge is built into the revenue that will be collected for this load. But if you make a mistake when ordering , you will most likely have to pay again……..some will amend the permit but usually not. While ordering these, driver must calculate his or her complete route, each state at a time,know when you want each of  them to be started (have an idea how far you will get each day for the whole trip,)( the permits are only good for 3 to 7 days) , you will be asked dimensions, if front overhang, back overhang, etc………this does not mean you will get this route, they will decide as to road construction etc. but all have to meet up at each border to begin the next state at that location………………this load is pretty easy as far as that goes but  a coast to coast haul can get tricky and  because of maybe 10 states or more. Depends on how wide or heavy the object is. Heavy haul can be #100,000  and a certain amount of axels under to get legal…………These all have curfews for big cities and  (rush hour in the morning and evening) night travel or not etc. even for the small loads. 10′ is usually ok to go at night with lights on corners of load etc. Many many stipulations and each state is different!!

Since I forgot at the last minute to get a photo, this is a massive pic of a field of mustard that always stands out when your used to looking at the green landscape all day……………..

And another load of these awsome large trees going to a mill somewhere………

What a great day this to celebrate!!! 4th of July
We will be home this summer for a while and will be posting hopefully fun stuff along the way …………………

   Happy Trails!!