Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Winter Haven, Florida

So when Darren asked me if I wanted to make 3300 mile trip from Vancouver,BC to Dacula,Ga and Winter Haven, Fl, I instantly said yes! Since I hav'nt been to either state before... I was'nt thinking at the time that:
1)This would make me miss Kyle and Sarahs wedding (sorry)
2)Would be missing my cousin Deidra going away party to Greece
3)That I did'nt have the legal hours or the time to make the trip, hence making me drive 16hrs a day, for 3 days straight!

Anyways I made my deliverys and am currently taking a reset in Tampa, Fl , I wish the Tampa Bay Devilrays were playing in town but they're in Chicago at the moment :(

Just to let you know that I am usually 100% legal with my logbook, this was an exception...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Edmonton to Calgary... via Nogales Arizona (part 1)

Monday June 8th 2009

I wake up in the morning after having saturday and sunday off, 20 minutes later getting a call from Darren to meet him at the Shell truckstop on the west end and he'll show me what was fixed on the truck. I get there 45 minutes later, throw my shit into the truck and park my car in the parking lot and give my keys to the cashier inside a sealed envelope for my parents to pick up the car later in the day, as he does not yet have a yard...

I walk back to the truck, just as Darren pulls up, he shows me a few things on the truck that have been fixed, he then tells me that I need to load in 6 hours in Lethbridge, so get going!

The drive to the bridge is easy, with no slow down in Calgary, and I pull into the customer 3 minutes early, take about 3 hours to load, during which time I have the shipper set up my paperwork with Darren back in St.Albert, and he then faxes me the appropriate paperwork to bring the french fries to the Mexican border, there is no manned scales in Lethbridge around 7pm, so I'll need to hope my weights are legal until I can scale my load in Shelby, Montana. I get into Shelby after a five minute delay at the border (SWEET!!!) I scale my load and find out my drives weight is 1300 Lbs underweight, but my trailer is 900 Lbs overweight! So I slide the trailer 3 holes back and weight again to a perfect weight distributed load! I pull down the road a couple more hours to the Dearborn rest area, and call it a night at 11pm, temperature 13c, Great sleeping temperature! 874km driven today

I have a perfect 9hr sleep and head off at 915 in the morning straight south on the I-15, not much happens today, I head into Salt Lake City during rush hour but traffic is realitivity light, and I spend my night on a ramp in southern Utah 23 miles north of Beaver. Another gorgeous cool night for sleeping. 1124 km driven today.

At 8 in the morning I head south to the Flying J in Beaver Utah and fuel up the truck and reefer, then head another 17 miles south and exit at the Utah state highway 20, Its 21 miles long taking me to the US89 south towards Flagstaff, that 21 miles takes me about 35 minutes to drive, with all the hills and steep downgrades, this was what my entire day was going to be like. The rest of the drive in Utah is a breeze, through Panguitch and Kanab, then straight east towards Page, AZ

I should just say here that I have'nt been on this highway from Kanab to Phoenix In about 4 years, and I'll probably never take it again with such a heavy load!

Once I get into Arizona you drive over the Page bridge, beautiful over the Glen Canyon dam over the Colorado river. The scale is on the right hand side and you must slow right down for it, then after that slow down for the actual town of Page, once out of Page I'm climbing again and about 20 minutes later I am doing 65 miles an hour for the first time since entering Arizona... (45 km ago!) At this point I'm reminded of a huge downgrade ahead, so I slow right down and desend it at 30mph, get onto the valley floor and head towards Flagstaff. I pull into the Flagstaff truckstop on the I-40 2.25 hours later after driving through town, at which point I see that Flagstaff was the first city in the world to comply with the dark nights group of people. Huh! So the whole city has low wattage light fixtures. Hope dark nights helped them pay for the upgrade...

Anyways I stay there only for 15 minutes to go pee and grab a Pepsi, then its south again along the I-17 towards Phoenix, the road is straight at 75 mph for a while then you start the desend, slow down to 40mph, get into Camp Verde, then climb at 30mph out of there! AHH I HATE HILLS! Once I summit, Its downhill again into the desert, at again 30-40mph, until I'm finally on flat land driving 75mph towards Phoenix, at rush hour. Traffic there tightens up around the I-10/US60 split, then after that its full speed again into Eloy,AZ where I call it a day, Temp in Eloy is 90f, about 32c, not bad at all, 870km driven today. I sleep with the truck off with no sheets and I surprisingly am comfortable.

The next day I wake up and drive the 2 hours into Nogales through Tucson, head straight for the Mexican border to US customs, have them cancel my travel bond, and head In for 9am delivery, by 11am I'm unloaded. Usually with Mexican loads, they have a trailer that they put the product right back into, not this time however, they put the frozen french fries on the hot dock and left them there... for how long I've no idea! My bills are signed and I head over to the Pilot for a shower and await my next dispatch.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Milton to Calgary, Via Cleveland, Ohio

So its tuesday morning, kinda tired of sitting around waiting for a load, and apparently Darren is too, he calls me at 8am (Alberta time) and tells me to deadhead (drive empty) towards Lorain,OH , a small suburb of west Cleveland. 3.5 hours later I'm crossing into Detroit over the ambassador bridge, I don't need to present any paperwork for customs since I'm empty, she looks at my passport and asks the usual questions, and sends me on my way in record time! I pay the bridge toll ($13.75 usd) and start heading towards the I-75, which happens to be under construction at the moment. So I follow the detour down Detroit streets, man is this city a dump! I finally get on the freeway after driving a few miles along parallel to it, get up to 60mph south towards Toledo,OH.
In Toledo I bump my speed down to 55mph and get onto the I-280 south towards the Ohio turnpike, traffic is light and I'm soon on the turnpike east headed for Lorain. I get to the shipper 2.5 hrs after leaving Detroit (turnpike toll $6.50), they load 15 huge totes of ashphalt emulsion fluid onto the truck, and I'm on my way. I head east towards Avon,OH where the closest pay scale is. I exit and from there it takes me about 20 minutes to drive 1/4 of a mile because everyone in town is heading to the home opener of the Lake Erie Crushers (AAA baseball). I scale my load (legal!) and headout the same way back west towards the turnpike again.
The turnpike speed limit for trucks in Ohio is 65mph, elsewhere in the state its 55mph, so I get to the end of the stateline and pay my toll of $19.75 (more expensive when loaded) and a few iles later stop to pick up my toll ticket for the Indiana turnpike (It would be great if when you pay at Ohio, they'd give you a Indiana toll ticket too, and vice-versa, this way you would'nt have to stop twice within 5 miles...)
I finish up the Indiana toll ($27) and stop shortly after that in Lake Station,IN, which is considered east Chicago.
Tuesday June.2-1018 km driven

I wake up wednesday morning at 645am (Alberta time) and am on the road by 715, follow the I-80 into Illinois and head north on the tri-state tollway I-294, this tollway makes you stop every 10-20 miles and pay everytime, so I'm up to $16 when I get onto the I-290 west (free freeway) and I then enter onto the I-90 west (tollway) which costs me another $13 to the Wisconsin state line. From here there are no more tolls, I drive a few more hours to Black River falls,WI to fuel up at 1245, and get a T-chek for $125 to pay myself back for all those tolls and a few other expenses. I fuel up and head west, I'm two hours from St.Paul (twin cities) and I'll be arriving there just before rush hour. I get into the twins and the traffic is getting tighter and tighter, but I manage to get out of there and I stop in Clearwater,MN for one of their award winning Nelson Brothers sandwiches, Mmmm mmm! Its 70mph in Minnesota and I make it another 1.75 hours to Fergus Falls,MN, where I park at the Bison ranch truckstop, where you can get bison burgers and steaks! I order a bison swiss chesse mushroom burger, medium rare! (yes, I think I am turning into an American) Finish that up, call my sister and then head to bed.
Wednesday June 3-990km driven.

Thursday morning and i wake up at 415 and on the road by 445, I cross into Fargo,ND around 535, slow down for construction and once i clear the city it`s up to 75mph towards Jamestown,ND where i grab some fuel, and then get off the freeway onto the two-lane US52 northwest towards North Portal,SK. By now my truck is making a growling sound when I shift from 4th to 5th gear, I call Darren about it in Minot,ND and he says he`ll bring me into Edmonton after Calgary delivery. An hour and a half after Minot I cross into Saskatchewan with my paperwork being processed (great!) and take the 39 northwest towards Moose Jaw. Stopping in the Jaw for 30 minutes to grab some oil and A&W, I drive another 2.25 hours to Gull Lake,Sk and call it a night.
Thursday June.4- 1176km driven.

I wake up early friday morning at 330, fuel up and am on the road at 4am, get into south calgary for 830 am, and back into customers yard, blind side it in around numerous cars and trucks, get unloaded and call Darren for instructions, he still wants me in Edmonton, but sends me to a place right beside the Deerfoot casino to load some fruitcups for tonight delivery. I`m loaded up by 11 and I get into the west end by 245 after fueling in Leduc and I park it at the Shell on 170th st and 118th ave. Darren comes over to take a look at the truck, and I tell him i`ll be out of it soon, since my sister will be picking me up.
Friday June.5- 784 km driven

Its now saturday and I presume the truck is in the shop getting some transmission work, should be ready to go monday morning.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Scrase trucking, week one

So its friday, May.22, 2009.

Get up at my usual 11-noon time, and start looking for jobs on line, thinking it'll just be another hit and miss day. So I'm looking on and I find a newly posted ad with a fax number to send a resume to, so I ask my sister to fax it off to the number and 30 minutes later the guy calls me! "Do you want a job?" "Who's this?" I reply, we start talking and he asks me to come into St.Albert for a road test, I tell him I'll be there in an hour, hang up and go get ready. An hour later we meet up at the Rona where hes parked and he walks me around the truck, shows me everything, then we jump in a head off down the road, My shifting is a little rusty as I hav'nt driven a standard in over a year and hav'nt driven at all since December. Anyways I obviously pass as he hires me and tells me the load has to be in portland, OR on sunday. I go home and tell my family the good news and start packing. (Sorry Karen for missing your 25th, as this was that night). The only downside is that hes a small company, so he dos'nt yet have a yard, so I have my parents drop me off at 9am saturday morning. I get to his house and we fill out all the necessary paperwork, blah blah blah.
He then drives me back to the truck where my stuff already is (thanks mom and dad!) and I do the pretrip and I am off!
So I first drive into Edmonton to the ESSO cardlock on 118th ave. to fuel up, his fuelcard is set up in a weird fashion, so I have to call him 3 times before I am authorized to fuel, with that out of the way I head to Acheson scales to shift my load to get er legal and then head down the road.

Im estatic to find out his truck can do 110kph and later will find out 122 kph! Anyways I make it to Nanton in 4 hours and end my day an hour outside of Spokane,WA on an Idaho backroad.

Day 2 is a short one as I cover only 694km and deliver to the small town of Molalla,OR , which is just south of Portland. It takes an hour for them to start unloading, but then about 15 minutes to take all the peat moss off, I then head to a truckstop on the I-5`and call it a day.

Day 3, drive empty to Stockton,CA, all at 55mph (screw you Oregon, California, and all you other 55 mph for trucks states!) I cover the 969km in 11 hours and sleep at the shipper. nothing interesting happened today, it was a holiday monday and the I-5 was empty.

Day 4, Sit, sit and wait some more, I`m picking up cherries destined for Cambridge,ON but they wont be ready until later that nigh Thats OK, It`ll ggive me a chance to get some tacos (authentic Mexican ones), over the day I proceed to pig out with seven tacos carne asada and one pig tounge taco (tounge meat was minced, tasted like regular pork). Ahh tacos! Anyways after being up all day they finally call me and get me loaded up in 20 minutes, at 1230am. So i pull out of the door and park to sleep.

Day 5, I complete my logbook as to show that I loaded this morning so I can gain a logbook reset of hours, then head north on the state highway CA99 towards Sacramento and follow the signs to Reno and the I-80.
about 4 hours later once I`m passed Reno and Fernley, I open it up to 75mph! I fly across the state, fueling up in Winnemucca and stopping for a drink in Wells. Coming back to the truck in Wells, my truck wont start, I give it 10 minutes and try again... Nothing... huh... I call Darren and he figures its either a fuel problem or a sensor (electrical) problem. I try the truck again and it fires to life. I continue down the road into Utah and stop in Tooele (basically Salt Lake City) Making sure Im at a truckstop just incase the truck acts up again.

Day 6, Wake up at 530am, head inside for a shower and start the truck with ease! Start driving through SLC with no backups in traffic and get into Rawlins,WY to fuel up, I leave the truck runnung just in case... another 6 hr drive and I stop in Elm Creek, NE in central Nebraska.

Day 7, up at 430 for an early start, still doing 75mph until the Iowa border, which is 3 hr drive away. I pull it into the Flying J in Gretna,NE to stop for breakfast(Mmmm, biscuits and gravy...) and my truck wont start again! Im told to buy some ether and fire that into the air intakes, that works and I continue into Iowa (70mph) then Illinois (55mph, screw you Illinois!) flew through south Chicago, into Gary,IN for the night.

Day 8, up at 430 am again today, fuel up and start heading towards Sarnia,ON via Michigan, I get to the border and shut my truck off to talk to the customs officer and present my paperwork. My load is'nt in the system even though Livingston told me it was over the phone... jerk! Anyways I try to start the truck... Argggggg! The bridge authority pulls up behind me to push me out of the way, I then use ether again to start it up, and leave it running as I go inside to get my paperwork redone. Which takes two hours... I then head to Cambridge to unload, they have anti-idiling signs everywhere, as I ignore them completly! 5m (Ontario time) I'm unloaded and I drive the 45 minutes into Mississauga to the Freightliner shop and find out it was a sensor. At 8 am they are ready for payment so I call Darren (6am in AB), hes groggy but happy that its done. It is now day 9 (sunday) and I'm told I'll have to wait until Monday for a reload

Day 10 (monday) Told I'll need to wait until tomorrow, but it'll happen for sure tomorrow, so here I sit in Milton,ON, only good thing is that I'll gain another much needed reset.

All together, he seems like a good guy, trying to start in a very competitive market. I drove 4100 miles (6600 km) in the first week, my second week won't be as good, but it'll still be decent at about 3000 miles.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My mentor/training trip with H&R transport

When I first got to H&R transport, I was still a little green so before I was cut loose I needed to go onto a training run. We'll call him Chuck, so Chuck picks me up in Lethbridge with our loaded trailer behind him and tells me we're off to Dallas with a load of meat. Yipee! as this will be my first meat load, and I get to see in person how the paperwork and meat inspection goes down. He has me drive across the border and present the paperwork and inward cargo manifest (yes, one of them, its february of 2003) and run 'er up the hill to the I-264. I find out first hand that these guys are grumps and I'll find out in the months to come that the I-47 is a much friendlier place. Anyways, the load is a skip and I take 'er to Great Falls where I'm instructed to take the 10th Ave. exit and follow hwy MT3 into Billings, he wakes up to show me how to get to the I-90 via airport road on top of the hill and I pull her into the J to fuel and to switch up.

He drives to the Rip Griffin in Limon,CO and has me take over, and I cant believe its 75F outside! I had hardly any sleep as this sleeping while moving thing was new to me. I start driving down the US 287 and I feel tired already, but the sun is out so I keep rolling, I get into Springfield,CO and it starts to snow right thru Oklahoma and as far as Dumas,TX. By now it's getting dark and my eyes are very heavy. I pull 'er thru into Amarillo, fuel up and switch.

Yah! I'm able to sleep! We're in Dallas before I can say huh? and we wait until morning to unload. He has me back it up into the dock, so tight that I had to scissor it in back and forth about 30 times, after 4o minutes I'm finally in! He makes me feel better saying it would have taken him the same amount of time, but I think he was just being nice. We pay the lumpers 200 bucks and it's unloaded in 1 hour. And then it started to snow, hard! We take it towards Austin but the highway gets shut down as we pull into Waco, luckily we find a spot in the J and we go in for a bite to eat. 7 hrs later and 2 feet of snow, the highway is re-opened and Chuck calls the shipper only to find out that they have shut down the plant until monday morning because of the snow, it is saturday now :(. They'd rather have it melt then pay someone to take it away. Anyways so it was a boring weekend, We get into Austin, drop our trailer, pick up our loaded one and are told by dispatch that we have 44 hours to get it into Calgary. No prob! He starts and gets it all the way into Lamar,CO and switches. Its about 9 at night but I'm actually feeling awake.

I pull it into Casper,WY where the temp is nice and there is no wind! surprising for Wyoming! He wakes up and takes it into Great Falls where I proceed into Calgary, breeze at the border.

Dispatch wants me to be trained on two more runs, the Rockys and a produce run, so Chuck and I head off to Vancouver with some empty milk crates destined for Abbotsford. Run there is fine, he takes it to Sicamous and I deliver in Abbotsford. He then has me drive to the Delta yard, showing me the back road way (along the sky-train) and we pick up or new trailer destined for Medicine Hat. He takes the controls and heads out a different way back to Hwy.1. It starts to rain as we're leaving Chilliwack as we head for the tollway. The flashing chain-up signs are not on so he continues on the snow packed Coquihalla until he gets to the snow shed. He passes a slow car by getting into the fast lane and starts slipping as soon as he hits the snow again. The car passes us and he starts to signal back into the slow lane, by this time hes doing about 20k an hour and he stops dead! Blocking all 3 lanes of traffic! Hes fuming, and tells me not to get out of the truck, as the chains are underneath my steps, I try to get out the drivers door to observe how to chain-up and he yells for me to get back inside! Okedoke... So he gets the chains on and trys to pull forward to get the tires over and finish chaining up... no luck. By this time a snow plow has made it and him and Chuck are talking outside, all of a sudden the whole trailer is being ripped over to the shoulder! "What the?" I scream! Seems the snow plow operator had hooked up a chain and tugged the trailer towards the shoulder to open up the highway again, coulda warned me! So about 5 minutes later, here I am sitting, waiting when the whole truck starts sliding! sideways! I pull the trailer brake but Its still sliding! I jump into the drivers seat and slam on the brakes and she finally stops, I yell out the window for Chuck to hurry up his BS session and lets back this up into the shed so we can chain and go! An hour later we're chained and heading towards Kamloops, he informs me that while chained you should'nt go any faster than 50 k/ph, as he is going about 80, I keep my mouth shut... 10km before the first brake check we hear a BOOM! I look out my window and a trailer crossmember is falling off the trailer, seems that one of the chains broke and whipped two of the crossmembers off the trailer! WOW, thats force! We pull into the brake check and observe the damage, we're missing one double (chain), two crossmembers, and our fuel line for the reefer has been severed! We remove the rest of the chains and pull 'er into Kamloops Petro-Can aand find a place to get repaired.

Once repaired he has me take it the rest of the way to Calgary where we drop it in the yard. PHEW! Good bye Chuck! I then grab a ride with a random driver off to Lethbridge to meet my new trainer, I'll call him Larry. He has our trailer ready to go, and we're off to Nogales,AZ for furtherance into Mexico. Larry and I don't get along right off the get-go. He's a brand new trainer and hes trying to force me to cheat on my logbooks (I at this point am still new and think that I'll never do that...HA little I know) Anyways he drives to the border, no meat inspection as it's mexican bound. He continues to Shelby were we have supper at the Town Pump, I order bacon and eggs, and he cannot stop talking about how I am having breakfast, he is baffled by it! Anyone who knows me knows that I eat breakfast anytime of the day. For the next day, he tells two H&R drivers about it, trying to make fun of me, both of them agreed with me! HAHA! anyways...
I take it from Shelby down to Plymouth,UT and wait 20 minutes for the subway to open, grab a sandwich then Larry takes over.
Larry catches a mini white out in Ogden where it dissipates around North Salt Lake, this is where I go off to bed and fall right asleep! He wakes me up to show me the fun State hwy UT 20 that takes you from the I-15 (exit 95) to the US 89. It was up and down and very twisty, and I headed back to bed. Seems like no sooner then that he is in a Safeway parking lot in Flagstaff waking me up to switch and go shopping. He turns me on to rice pudding and I`ve liked it ever since!
I`m surprised to see snow in Flagstaff as I thought all of Arizona was a desert, but I was mistaken! Snow is quickly gone though as I head towards Phoenix on the I-17, Larry stays up to make sure i don`t loose control down the hill, which I don`t and he heads off to bed telling me which way to follow to Nogales and to stop in Casa Grande. Just north of Phoenix I`m awed by the cacti on the mountain sides, beautiful! I experience my first real big city traffic slowdown in downtown, but only crawl for about 20 minutes (later in life, I find out this aint much to worry about!) I stop in Casa Grande and we shower and do laundry, he then takes it the rest of the way into Nogales.
Every border town is different, in Laredo, for example, you go to the warehouse and a custom officer will come there. In Nogales, you go to customs and then the warehouse. Only one person per vehicle so I sat outside the gate while Larry brought it inside and got his paperwork and seal taken care of. He then came back out, and were off to the receiver. A mexican trailer is already waiting for us so we get unloaded quickly and we then head north to the Pilot. We head into the truckstop, grab a bite to eat, go back to the truck where we have a message for a load assignment for a pick in Yuma, El Centro and Brawley. Yah, finally get to go to California! (find out later in life that its pretty much my least favorite state to visit!) Anyways I make good time to Yuma, wait 7 hrs to get loaded (6 skids), and he takes it in for the last two picks which go down easily. He heads north on state hwy CA 78 and is running out of fuel, so he has to cross into Arizona to fuel at the blythe Flying J, luckily fruit inspection in Arizona is beyond that exit, so we don't waste our time with that! He heads back into California and pulls over at the first Casino on US 93/95 just before the I-515 begins near Las Vegas. We head inside, I spend 20 bucks on a slot machine, loose it and freshen up in the washroom. I then proceed to take it up to Tremonton,UT where I back up into another drivers chrome bumper, whoops! I go inside and ask the front desk to page the driver, he was upset but easy to deal with, we exchange info, and Larry and him try their best to bend the bumper back into a decent place, it looked ok.
After that Larry decided just to call it a night and he took off erly in the morning.
I was up for most of the drive because of the sleep that night, uneventful drive up to Coutts,AB where i took over into Calgary.

Larry passed me and I had a truck waiting for me in the yard that I took and hooked up to my first solo load, bulk potatoes headed to Hermiston,OR. Where I got to learn by backing up skills...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Murphy's law...

At the time I'm working for Bison Transport, It's september 2008 and I'm on my last stateside run before I start city driving in Edmonton, what could go wrong?

I pick up my load of french fries in Taber,AB destined for Fullerton,CA. I back up to the trailer, set the brakes and get out only to see that I'm going to have to drop the trailer 2 feet in order to hook up, so I start cranking and the handle breaks off! I am able to use the remaining part in slow gear to drop the trailer, using my fingers to turn it (took 25 minutes :( ) Call the shop and get the OK to buy a new handle along the way. Hook up and the signal lights on the back of the trailer ar'nt working, go back to the cord and wiggle it, that does the trick. I enjoy hauling these loads because its always the same weight and your gross is usually 78,000 lbs. So I go scale on-site and my weights are 11,400 , 36,000, and 31,500. And my trailer bogeys are already all the way up! aghhhh! For those of you that dont know, 34,000 lbs is your maximum allowable weight on your trailer and tractor tires, prodiving they are both tandem, which I was. So I go back to the office and they rework it. 1 hr later and new paperwork because of the new seal I am now 11,400 , 33,800 , 33,700. PERFECT! My bridge is legal for California and I make the two hour trek to the border. I cross into Sweetgrass,MT around 1900 and I shut 'er down at the rest stop in town.

Next day making good time drive 640 miles to Willard Bay, UT fuel up at the J, take a shower and off to bed. Lots of parking for some reason!

Next day near Summit,UT I blow a trailer tire, 1/4 mile before the Summit truck stop, so I drive her into the lot and there is a tire truck right there! I call the shop and they give me a P.O, I ask the guy if he can help me, he takes a look and says he'll be back in 15 minutes, I also ask him if his shop would happen to have any dolly crank arms, he does! 1 hour later and I'm back south again, I make it to Barstow tonight, In 13 3/4 hours. Phew! Top up the tanks at the J, have a shower, and start my 36 hour reset (Canadian resets are 36 hr, so it's company policy to take 36 off)

Monday morning 4 am I leave Barstow, scales are closed veer off onto hwy CA60 west towards CA 57 south to CA 91 west. Take Brookhurst Street exit and turn right. And here is where the alarm starts going off, all my gauges are fine, so I keep on trucking, after all I'm only 3 miles from delivery, and there's no shoulders on the street. I get to my destination and back the truck in, they need the bogeys all the way back, this trailer dos'nt want to co-operate as It takes me 15 minutes just to slid them back. Call the shop and they tell me of a place that I can take my truck to. 40 minutes later I'm unloaded, slide tandems (easily) back to legal and am able to head north on the I-5 towards Sante Fe Springs to get my truck looked at. I call them up and ask if they have room for a trailer, answer is no but they suggest I park it on a nearby quiet industrial street. I'm weery of this as I dont have a pin lock but I go ahead and drop it. Turns out air is leaking thru my valves inside truck (parking brakes), they go up to the Freightliner shop in Whittier and 9 hours later they are back and have it installed. Its at this time that they notice I have a leaking brake pot as well, so its back to Whittier in the morning and its across the street for me to a hotel room. Next morning they have the brake pot and 2 hours later I'm out the door with no air worries and off to pick up my trailer. Where is my trailer!!! I call the police and ask If its been impounded or towed, no luck, so an officer comes down and I fill out a report. The call to the office was not a pleasant one... If you can imagine. I get rerouted and I bobtail up to Wheeler Ridge and get an empty out of IKEA. Then north to a salt factory in Corcoran,CA. Get loaded and spend the night in Fresno.

Three days later I drop the trailer off in Edmonton,AB and my stateside work is done. Nothing else happened back north but Murphy is always alive and well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

JB Trucking


With a little bit of searching I'd found a company who was willing to give me an interview... in St. Paul,AB a 3 hour drive from home. I was desperate for a job so I went out. When I said I was willing to relocate they hired me on the spot! I found an apartment right away in this small town with french roots and started driving.

Well actually I started wrecking stuff! Driving on flat tires, taking a left turn too fast, and hitting the median in the middle with my trailer tires and bending the rim! Most of their business was grain hauling, once my rollover tarp would'nt close so I drove from Olds,AB to St.Paul like that, It was ripped to shreds by the time I got there.

Thats how you learn though, usually by screwing up, this company went bankrupt and I was out of there 4-5 months later in February 2003

In the beginning...

Hello, my name is Josh and this is my story of how I became a trucker.

I left high school in 2000, not knowing what to do I worked in a roof truss company for a while, then headed up north to work in the diamond mines of northern Canada. I was eventually laid off (I think!). I was thinking, what do I like, and the answer was TRAVEL, I'd never travelled before, but I wanted to see the rest of Canada and especially the good ol' USA. I found a trucking school in Edmonton,AB and five weeks later on September 12, 2002 I had my very own Class 1 license!

Now, to find a company that will hire a greenback fresh out of training and is only 20 years old...