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I need a hat, a chain for my wallet & a can of snuff.

Nitro Dude

Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance
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dpk, have you noticed a slow down in the trucking industry? Are the truck stops less crowded or is it still business as usual?
 

dpkimmel2001

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dpk, have you noticed a slow down in the trucking industry? Are the truck stops less crowded or is it still business as usual?
I'm not seeing any slowdown yet but I sure see a lot of difference out there in the road.

Interstate travel hasn't been as crowded. A lot less 4 wheelers. Once you get off of the interstate the traffic doesn't seem to be much different. People are still on the move but most seem to be staying close to home.

Rest area after rest area are closing down all over the place. I've read where people have been stealing toilet paper from them. Some, that remain open, have been placing porta potties there for use. I think it's because most places aren't staffed to the point where they can keep the restrooms clean. In any event, parking is a much larger problem than normal. I've spent a number of nights on on and off ramps. I don't like doing that but parking is at a premium.

Getting food is becoming an issue. It's not that there's a shortage. It's that the seating areas are being closed. Many places only do drive through so you can forget about a trucker getting in there. All buffets are being closed at the truck stops. All of these things are the proper thing to do. It simply makes things inconvenient. I am home this afternoon. I went shopping to replenish my trucks food inventory. I'm going to go to my terminal tomorrow to give the trucks interior a good cleaning and restock my food supply. I think I could easily be self sufficient for two weeks or more with what I've already purchased.

Much of what I'm currently hauling is used in hygiene products. Our company is running under the normal hour restrictions that have been the norm even though those restrictions have been relaxed for those of us hauling those types of necessities. Monday morning I load in Cleveland at a rail yard with a product that is used in making soap. Delivery is the next morning near Chicago. Normally that run is followed by a run down to Cincinnati with a product used in manufacturing those sensors used for heart monitoring. That is normally followed by a pickup in Cincinnati that is used in the manufacturing of toilet paper that's delivered to Johnson & Johnson in Mehoopany PA. Johnson & Johnson can't keep up with the panic shopping that's going on. Everyone seems to think they need a lifetime supply of toilet paper.

Really though, I don't know for sure where I'm going until I deliver. Wherever it is, it's bound to be a whole different procedure than I'm used to. I now have to be pre-screened before I arrive at a pickup or deliver location. Many questions answered on the internet prior to my arrival at the location. That's not the norm. Wearing rubber gloves everywhere I load and unload. Lots of hand sanitizer, wipes and the like. No physical contact. Talk through glass. Little interaction with people. More phone communication than ever. This includes even the people at my own terminal. The driver's lounges at our terminals have pretty much turned into leper colonies of drivers. It's been a weird experience and it's bound to get worse before it gets better.
 

dpkimmel2001

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May have effed up last night. I decided since I had a decent parking spot with good wifi @ this local truck stop I'd update the software/maps on my Garmin GPS. I normally do this when I'm @ home connected to my wifi. Sure enough, the connection dropped about 25% into the rather lengthy process. It wouldn't be a big deal except that the first part of the process is to wipe out the currently stored maps. I tried several times to restart the process throughout the night only to have it fail again and again. I don't know how you truckers did this pre-GPS but man, I live by this thing. I'd literally would be lost without it. While I've got my phone GPS as backup, it doesn't do any good with weight/height/hazmat restrictions. It does get you in the general directions but a lot of care has to be taken to read all of the road signs.

I normally run both my Garmin and phones GPS in tandem. I like having both to see the upcoming traffic. The technology is to the point where you can see traffic issues that are just around the next bend. While most all the trucks on the road have CB's to relay info to the opposite direction drivers, many don't relay critical information like stopped traffic ahead. That really sucks when you're traveling 65mph @ 79.000lbs. CB's are mainly use for communication @ load/delivery points and for deranged individuals to break out into song in the middle of the night. Most of what's heard on the CB is more of an annoyance than anything. Especially drivers that like to use the echo effect on their transmissions. Could be just me but I can hardly understand someone that has that installed on their radio. Me, I use the radio mainly for plant communications and to help out other drivers with road conditions and the like. Other than that I don't bother with it.

The GPS that I use is a Garmin dezl 780 Truckers Unit. It allows the entry of all aspects of the size/weight/hazmat information routing you accordingly. I can't really stress the importance of this. There are a lot of restrictions out there on the road and this thing steers me clear of those things. It keeps track of every single load that I've ever driven. Starting/ending points, roads traveled, miles and time drivin', fuel consumption, miles in each state, etc..... Interesting stuff to look at and extremely import information if you were an owner/operator.

Anyhow, in the time it took me to type this, the update actually finished. I'll have to check it out as the day goes on to see if it was truly successful. I had feared that I'd have to do a factory reset.

-------------

Today's delivery isn't until early afternoon. I've already been sitting for 18HR 07M. The good thing is that anything beyond the 14th HR is paid time off. In other words, I'm getting paid while I wait. That's one benefit of getting near a delivery point in as short of time as possible. It's called Layover Pay. For this trip, I will earn 8HR's of Layover before I head to my delivery point. Hopefully, upon delivery, I'll get my next dispatch. If I get to start towards the next point today, I'll have plenty of driving time and drive well into the night. If my dispatch isn't until tomorrow, I'll start earning more Layover Pay beginning 14HR's after today's delivery. Confusing maybe, rewarding yes.

Have a good day people. Wash your hands!
 

Nitro Dude

Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance
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dpkimmel2001

Team Owner
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Here is a link that may help you dpk.
Thanks for that link. It will definitely help.

Having a tough time finding food. At least, good food. All the sit down locations are closed everywhere.
 
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