We have been on the go and no time to do anything else but get to the next destination for the last week and a half or so but finally have a day or two to just relax and let my hours expire and start anew.
After leaving the Williston area, crane parts needed to go to Billings, Mt. which was really going to be a quicky but it turned into a longer destination , up into the Shelby Mt.( about 650 miles) area out to a wind farm. But as we were heading into that area, we parked and that night received about 7 ” of wind driven snow and that ended in the morning with about 12 degrees above zero and not being able to even get out of the parking lot. The crane with 2 pilot cars and another flatbed truck couldn’t get out onto the hiway because they were an oversize load so about 2pm they finally arrived and we all followed out to the site and we figured it wouldn’t take but an hour and we would be done. No such luck, at 7pm we headed out for Whitefish, Mt. to pick up railroad pumps,pipes and various equipment to go to Seattle , Wa. for in the morning.(ABout 600 miles) That includes going around the bottom of Glacier National Park which I was seriously hopeing for no snow at that time of the night. Very cold out and pitch dark.
In the morning , we loaded and started for Seattle area while the thaw made everything sloppy and wet but that was fine with me. At least it was warming up! Daddy-o spied an Urgent Care facility and he asked if they could take off his stinky cast. They had time so that made him feel better and didn’t have to sleep with that piece of fire wood on his arm anymore……Yes!
While making way to Washington, an agent called and asked if I had anything yet for after unloading and if I would like to take military (humvee’s) to Texarkana, Tx. Three of these were just alittle bigger than the regular ones so he warned me that we might have to work a little to get these to fit on the deck. Two load levelers (bridges) were all the way to the front and those had to be taken down and put behind the tires of the 1st vehicle after it was loaded all the way up and over the front end of the trailer. that worked out and the other two went right on……. That haul was 2200 miles and it was Friday about noon already. they wanted them to be delivered on Mon. or Tues. I chose Tues. We delivered 10am on Tues. Busy Busy…….
While looking on the computer Tues. afternoon , I noticed a bunch of loads of drill pipe was going to be starting up at the end of the week so I committed to one for Thurs. Now I find out they have been postponed until Fri. and I hope it won’t get postponed until Mon……… In the mean time, I’lll let my log book rest and we found a decent place to park for the 2 nights………… I will call tomorrow to see if everything is going along as scheduled. These loads pay well so I really don’t mind waiting awhile but not too long………….. In the meantime I’m off work!
My phone alarm quietly prompts me and I really didn’t want to get up this morning……as I argue with myself slightly, I grab the coffee pot and plug it in , pour the water and lay back down. Not a good idea and 10 minutes go by.” Get going here”, I scold myself and then begin…… Daddy-o is snoring so nicely, hopefully I can get going and he can sleep awhile.(he never does though) so I slip in the saddle and push the brake valves in to charge the tractor and trailer. It’s 5:10 now and I sip on Daddy-o’s caffeinated coffee for a little lift to wake me up ( i don’t drink caffeinated anything anymore EXCEPT when I feel sleepy or drowsey and not with it). It takes ahold right away! Even 2 sips have an effect on me now, not to mention chocolate in the evening—awake at 2:30 am–wide awake– have to remember, be careful at the Dairy Queen after supper, lol………!! if I even have caffeine 2 days in a row and only a couple sips or a bite of something with it in, I wake up tired. Without that in my system, I open my eyes and I’m fully awake—–wonderful—-
As I start out of the parking lot, 2 trucks are on their way out too. There must be 75 to a hundred trucks here for the night and I was lucky to find a hole that I didn’t have to maneuver much to get in. I was weary…….The engine wasn’t even up to operating temperature yet but it was time to skoot and I noticed Daddy-o was up and around back in the sleeper. He thinks he will miss out on something but thats ok, he’s good company……. By the time I get up the ramp and run through the gears, which takes a couple of miles to get in the high hole, all the gauges except the rear ends and tranny etc. will be up to operating temp. and we’re good to go. I am totally in my element this morning. Coast to Coast is on the XM radio and George has a guest on talking about remote viewing. The wind is still to my back,–good, I figure 160 miles yet and I’d remembered I will loose an hour at the North Dakota border also so I”d better keep going. So that means no ham steak breakfast at Glendive like I thought maybe might take place if we were early , before taking #16 northeast into ND. That sounded damn good!
10am CST— 1 mile of rough road to this consignee at about 2 miles per hour and we were unloaded and gone……. I now find out that the load I am supposed to take has been put off because of the wind and the crane can’t load in this wind so…………..ok, find a place to wait it out……….grrrrrrrrr
Happy Trails!! 177 miles
My alarm went off and after just about 10 minutes I was awake fully with enough rest to feel superb. I made coffee quickly with the generator on and put a little heat on before flicking the key and pushing that chrome button , watching the oil pressure gauge slowly rising until over to 80 lbs or so . Oil is soooo thick til its hot which won’t be too long from now……then she rests at about 60 lbs.It’s pitch dark out and the stars shone brightly while we parked facing the West and into the wind although it was fairly mild still for the season otherwise I would not have parked that way. Easy out for the morning getaway…..Daddy-o flags me back close to the next truck behind me as they were double parked to my right and I needed every little bit to squeeze past the second one on the right ahead of me. We are out and down the superslab by 5:15am. I must get fuel in Post Falls, It’s only about 40 miles ahead. I wonder what the price will be in Id. ?? Wa. has a $.39 fuel tax on every gallon, one the highest in the nation so I usually try to buy elsewhere. Post Falls is exit 2…….It is not much cheaper .$4.35….. Wa. was $4.43!!! I really can’t handle spending $860.00 for a tank of fuel this early this morning so I opt for 171 gal. and it doesn’t fill all the way. About $750.00……… This load is light and I am only about #67,000 gross weight and have the wind to my back…….yea!
The wind is strong! 20 to 50 miles per hour. I am so thankful it’s from the West!!!!! and I am going East. I’ll get my turn later going the other way. The landscape in Mt. is on the brown side but down and around the mountain roadways, the foliage is bright yellow peaking out from skyscraper forest green pines and every part of the branches swaying toward the East with the gusty winds. Spectacular!!
On I90 there is one Port of Entry that is always open near Billings, Mt. At least 15 trucks are in line and it’s nearing 5:30pm. As I proceed ahead, I get the green light and we are on our way once again. I really need to get to Miles City yet tonite and that’s 130 more miles. It’ll be close as I need to get there before the 14 hour rule goes into effect and I started at 5:15am . I know of at least one scale out there in the boonies that could be open and you don’t want to be over if they ask to see your book! It’s a huge fine! Mash on it!!
By now, it’s pitch dark out again and this is deer country. I do not have a catcher on the front and I really like my straight fenders! We see at least 4 big ones along side the freeway in knarled knots so I’m really awhere of the road ditches and any quick movement but coming down the hills in overdrive there’s not much chance of stopping for jumpers…….
8pm-I see the lights of Miles City in the distance and finally will be done for this long day. Supper and a quick walk to Walmart down the street which we both really need for some exercise, Sweet dreams…….early yet tomorrow, I tell myself , I can always take a snooze later in the day.
Daddy-0 makes himself a leather glove that fits his cast “somewhat” and duct tape comes in handy….. he’s begging to get rid of that cast……. not yet 1 1/2 more weeks…….
Happy Trails!! 681 miles…………171 gallons fuel……….truck ok , trailer ok………
Monday morning 4:30am
Up and scurrying around getting everything out to the door for easy loading to the pickup to go down to the truck. Starting the truck left me time to load the rest into the sleeper while Daddy-o put the pickup into the shop and a quick inspection of lights etc. and out the gate we went and down the road to pick up at the shipper. Snow shoes the agent had mentioned would be the load going East.?? So when we arrived, we were curious as to what they were. Luckily, since Daddy-o’s broken wrist is still healing, it was just a short load and easy to haul because just 6 straps and he didn’t have to do much using his arm. Actually , walking feet for drill rig or something of that nature. Low and go!!!
Around 5 pm, we were both ready to call it a day even though I really needed to go further, I just decided to park, do paperwork, check load, have some supper, and crawl in for the night. I knew I would feel a 100% better tomorrow and not have to fight being tired at the wheel, not good. I thought about the next 2 days and what it would take to get this load delivered by Wed. morning and actually knew that I’d have to get a good day in on Tues. and then still have at least 160 miles to do on Wed. morn with a 9:30am or so delivery time,…… yes, I’ll go for it tomorrow and make it happen on Wed. The agent that gave me this load thought he would have a tank to get out of that area and so I really need to be available by noon on Wed. This haul is 1150 paid miles.
Happy Trails!! 350 miles
After this summer in the NW, which was sooo nice this year, it’s time to gain a little revenue and get back to work. We had so many projects that were left undone for so many seasons that we just had to take the time and get after most of them including painting the house. That little task ended up getting mostly done but not all and will have to finish next summer before doing anything else because Daddy-o broke his right wrist while being at one of our sons housewarming party mid Sept. and the next day would have been the day to start. We had the paint picked out and had bought the week before…….The weather was still mild and hot by the end of the day but I decided to start anyway. Daddy-o pleaded with me to just let it go and that we would do it next year but I wasn’t going to let the weather go to waste so Daddy-o received his cast by the middle of the next week and was just in too much pain to even do anything so he had to just sit and keep it upright for awhile. No problem. As time went on though he started to get a little relief and while I painted everything up to 12′ or so, I left all the high stuff for spring and called it good. I’d say about 2/3’s done. That’s the last thing I want to do next year is not have any of it done. There will be things other than that that we’ll want to do and the remainder shouldn’t take more than a week or so………
Another thing was yard work that had gotten out of hand and we just kept leaving it for the next time at home. Will do trimming and pruning in Jan. and one tree must come out entirly but enough about that, my least fun chore!
We took alternating weeks earlier this summer and went sailing on Detroit Lake in the middle of the mountains and accomplished quite abit as far as learning the ins and outs of it all and met some super nice sailors while up there! Very helpful and just all around nice couples and kids having fun at the lake. Getting the boat out was a little tricky but all turned out good………
I had planned to start back to work around the 1st of Oct. but with Daddy-o’s arm and no inspection for the truck and trailer completed yet, (the garage I usually take it to was pummeled with work and couldn’t get me in until this last week—can’t committ to a load without it quarterly) I arranged most of the rest of the little jobs, make the bed, get supplies for about a month away, check tires, lights, oil binders, check straps, mend one spot on trailer that was getting weak (deck), put XM radio back in cab,change out clothes for the upcoming season, shoes also etc., make sure the printer-copier-fax-scanner has new ink and will work when needed for oversize permits to be printed in the truck instead of paying $10.00 or more for 4 sheets of typing paper at a truck stop……grrrr, make sure log books are in order from the summer ( I must keep my log book up even though I am not on the road for any length of time at home–log made out showing at address home along with monthly maintenace reports showing truck parked and trailer parked), (I have ongoing expenses while off work too that has to be planned out and paid all along being off—truck insurance, occupational insurance, any fuel taxes from before,etc. )When inspection has been recorded at the office in Montana, I am put back in the computer and it says when I want to move and which direction I prefer to go, east this time for me……..
An agent called not very long from that time and quoted me a load that would be ready on Monday from the Portland area going to the oil patch in North Dakota and hopefully be unloaded on Wed. of next week. 1150 paid miles and only about 60 miles deadhead to get to it and a pretty hefty surcharge for fuel included in the revenue. We must have these extra monies associated with loads now because of the fuel prices at present. I am always leery of going to that area because its hard to get out of there–all freight going in but no manufacturing going out , only oil…….but he proceded to tell me he’s pretty sure there will be a tank going down to Okky City (Oklahoma City) from close by ……I committed and got the specifics. I will load and then call him back and he will give me a number that will give all the specs about this load for payment to me by next Fri.