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

Nitro Dude

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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

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dpkimmel2001

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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.
 

Nitro Dude

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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.
Tim Hortons is opening 400 locations for truckers.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Tim Hortons is opening 400 locations for truckers.
Thanks again. I'll look into this. I thought I might get a decent meal the other night at a Denny's but that went South. No lettuce for the big salad I ordered. You just can't get anything good to eat out here. Heading to Oklahoma City today. I'll have to see if a Tim Hortons can be worked into the schedule.
 

Nitro Dude

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Thanks again. I'll look into this. I thought I might get a decent meal the other night at a Denny's but that went South. No lettuce for the big salad I ordered. You just can't get anything good to eat out here. Heading to Oklahoma City today. I'll have to see if a Tim Hortons can be worked into the schedule.
A salad with no lettuce is my favorite salad. I substitute lettuce for more cheese. :)
 

dpkimmel2001

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Just when I was on a roll..... The turbo locks the bucket. Fortunately it happened immediately after offloading this morning. Had to drive back across Pennsylvania sans turbo with an empty tanker. It basically drove like it was under load. At a local shop now while they work on it. And by local I mean I actually broke down near where I live. If they don't get this going, I'll be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I've purchased 420 gallons of diesel so far this month only 8 days in. That's probably the most I've purchased in that short of time. Pilot Truck Stops are running a special right now on the points they pay per gallon. For the most part, every fill ads about $12 onto my account. Works out to be a free meal every day.
 

Nitro Dude

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Just when I was on a roll..... The turbo locks the bucket. Fortunately it happened immediately after offloading this morning. Had to drive back across Pennsylvania sans turbo with an empty tanker. It basically drove like it was under load. At a local shop now while they work on it. And by local I mean I actually broke down near where I live. If they don't get this going, I'll be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I've purchased 420 gallons of diesel so far this month only 8 days in. That's probably the most I've purchased in that short of time. Pilot Truck Stops are running a special right now on the points they pay per gallon. For the most part, every fill ads about $12 onto my account. Works out to be a free meal every day.
Plus a free shower. :)
 

TexasRaceLady

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Just when I was on a roll..... The turbo locks the bucket. Fortunately it happened immediately after offloading this morning. Had to drive back across Pennsylvania sans turbo with an empty tanker. It basically drove like it was under load. At a local shop now while they work on it. And by local I mean I actually broke down near where I live. If they don't get this going, I'll be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I've purchased 420 gallons of diesel so far this month only 8 days in. That's probably the most I've purchased in that short of time. Pilot Truck Stops are running a special right now on the points they pay per gallon. For the most part, every fill ads about $12 onto my account. Works out to be a free meal every day.
Happy to hear from you, dpk. I worry about you.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Happy to hear from you, dpk. I worry about you.
No worries necessary. Other than all the fast food in forced into eating these days. There not a decent place to eat these days.

I think they have my truck repaired. Not enough time left in the day for me to head back out so I'm heading home for dinner!
 

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No worries necessary. Other than all the fast food in forced into eating these days. There not a decent place to eat these days.

I think they have my truck repaired. Not enough time left in the day for me to head back out so I'm heading home for dinner!
Do you have a local terminal that you switch to your 4 wheeler at, or does your neighborhood let you park at your house?
 

Magnethead

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Had lunch "at" Wendy's today. In the drive-thru windows, they had a number that truckers could call to order, and they would bring it out to you. I told them thank you for supporting truckers.
 

Nitro Dude

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That is just ****** insane. I hope he contacted the news and got a negative spotlight shined on Sams Club. This has been a problem for many years where companies want the product but they don't want to make it easy on the drivers to deliver it to them. I sure hope Sams Club gets some bad press from this. It is so wrong to **** with anyone out there right now helping to keep this Country moving. :mad:
 

dpkimmel2001

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We're basically lepers right now. Parking is shutting down all over the place. Load and unloading points don't allow us to use restrooms anymore. The occasional place does put out a port a John for us. Many rest areas are closed. Pilot Truck Stops have shut down most if not all of the Denny's restaurants. About the only thing left is fast food which really sucks day after day. I pack some leftovers before I head out but they only last a few days.
 

Nitro Dude

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We're basically lepers right now. Parking is shutting down all over the place. Load and unloading points don't allow us to use restrooms anymore. The occasional place does put out a port a John for us. Many rest areas are closed. Pilot Truck Stops have shut down most if not all of the Denny's restaurants. About the only thing left is fast food which really sucks day after day. I pack some leftovers before I head out but they only last a few days.
I have heard it's bad out there. My buddy that lives about 5 miles from me had traded his old Pete in on a new one about 3 years ago and traded his trailer in on a new one 2 years ago and he just paid them both off in January and was set to actually start making some good money but after this crisis hit he decided 3 weeks ago to sell both of them which he did and now is looking at starting a new career.
 

dpkimmel2001

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I have heard it's bad out there. My buddy that lives about 5 miles from me had traded his old Pete in on a new one about 3 years ago and traded his trailer in on a new one 2 years ago and he just paid them both off in January and was set to actually start making some good money but after this crisis hit he decided 3 weeks ago to sell both of them which he did and now is looking at starting a new career.
There's no slowdown in chemical hauling that I'm seeing. I'm as busy as ever with all that's going on. Most of what I haul is used for hygiene products. Business is booming.
 

StandOnIt

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Friend of mine is a single truck owner operator. He says the government money is going to the mega truck companies. Despite what some of the the news outlets says about not having trucks to deliver food, the truck stops are full of trucks that can't afford to run because the rates are too low and they are losing money to run them. Doesn't hurt the large carriers, they are getting the subsidies so they can. So the rich get richer.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Houston again?
I'm in Houston now at a truck stop. Deliver along the Guif in the morning. While we have a really nice terminal down here that I could be staying at, I didn't have quite enough time left on my clock to make it there before I'd have to take a 30 minute break to reset.

I can collect layover pay for every hour after sitting for 14 consecutive hours. So, my goal when I left Western PA Friday afternoon was to get here as quickly as possible. That allowed for me to get here with plenty of time to spare. I covered my 1400+ mile trip in just under 24 hours. I averaged a hair under 60mph. I was able to divide my trip into 3 sub 8 hour segments which kept me from having to take a 30 minute break. By doing so, I got here with as much possible time to spare on the delivery side of the trip. I went off duty this morning after my post trip inspection @ 9:12am. Once I've sat 14 hours, I start getting paid until I leave for delivery. Basically @ 11:12pm I start getting hourly pay while I sleep. When I go on duty in the morning, I'll switch back to loaded miles run. Confusing? I'm sure. Worth diligent pre trip planning? Hell yeah it is! Those 30 minute breaks are money lost. If they can be avoided and still allow for early arrival, extra money can be made.

Side notes on this trip..... First night/stop was in Louisville Kentucky. Stayed at a rest stop overnight. I didn't see anyone wearing masks at any point.

Next days fuel stop was just north east of Memphis Tennessee. I didn't go into the truck stop there but I did see a few people wearing masks at the pumps and drivers that walked out of the truck stop.

Second night/stop was near Little Rock Arkansas. Not a mask in sight inside or outside of the truck stop. People looked at me like I was in an alien or something as I wear one anytime I'm outside the truck. I was surprised that the people behind the counter weren't wearing them. They did have plexiglass shields up the between us and them.

Today/tonight's stop is just east of downtown Houston. Got the truck washed at a local Blue Beacon. Everyone working there and everyone at this truck stop working, are wearing masks. Most of the drivers that I see outside the trucks are wearing masks. They don't have a policy though that you are a refused entry of the truck stop should you not be wearing one. That really differs from other places that I've been.

It's easy to see that people from different parts of this country are all looking at this virus differently. I guess it simply has to do with what they're experiencing in that local area. I was in New Jersey the middle of last week. The truck stop I was at there had every door locked except for the one from the fuel service islands and the front entry. They weren't allowing anybody to enter the place without a mask. If you didn't have one they provided you with one at the door. The other doors were locked from the outside simply to keep people from entering without a mask.

Some places that I've been to have had security guards guarding the door making sure that you only entered with a mask. That's mostly what I encounter in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode island area. In PA you have to wear masks to gain entry into any business. We were all living in different worlds within the same country. That's for sure.
 

Whizzer

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Thanks for all the stories and adventures, DPK.. I've been online at RF but just not spending a lot of time and got off track a bit. Appreciate your continuing with you travels.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Delivered Monday morning in Texas. I'm now parked for the day just south of Louisville Kentucky. I'll be delivering by here tomorrow morning. The next dispatch will come out of our Cincinnati Ohio terminal. That terminal tends to send me back towards my home direction. I'd like to stay out another week if I could get a week like I've just had. If not, I've got a lot of things on my honey do list for when I get home.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Awesome to see the country getting green again. The leaves are just coming out back home. Great to see trees do tree things. The winter 'stick look' gets old.

Parked just across the street from Taco Bell. I know where I'm eating today. Before you tell me how bad Taco Bell is..... My choices are limited to fast food. Subway, Waffle House and Taco Bell. Already had to do Subway twice over this past week. I'm not sure how waffles travel. By process of elimination..... Taco Bell. Man, I can't wait to sit down in a restaurant again.

For those of you stuck inside, let me tell you..... Masks are becoming a thing of the past. I'm still wearing mine outside of this truck but many aren't anymore. Bound to see a resurgence of this virus soon in many places that feel safe. Not getting political. Just an observation.

Time to go do laundry.
 
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dpkimmel2001

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Parked about 5 miles from Talladega Speedway. I deliver about that same distance away from the speedway tomorrow morning. Might have to sneak in there tomorrow after delivery to see if I can take a couple laps. I bet I could get this baby up to about 165mph, err.... Sorry..... Typo..... I meant 65mph.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Delivered near Talladega this morning and then it was off to Atlanta, where I am now. Picking up an empty here and loading just up the road. Next delivery is just east of Tampa FL on Monday. Looks like I'll be spending the weekend in Florida.
 

Nitro Dude

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Delivered near Talladega this morning and then it was off to Atlanta, where I am now. Picking up an empty here and loading just up the road. Next delivery is just east of Tampa FL on Monday. Looks like I'll be spending the weekend in Florida.
My guess is that you have already been to the International Hall Of Fame Museum in front of the Talladega Speedway. But if you haven't and you have to stay close to it again there is a spot to park a semi right in front on both sides of the road. It says no parking but they told me that the police only enforce it during race week. I have parked their a few times and the museum is pretty nice and then you can also take a tour trip in a van around the speedway.
 

Nitro Dude

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These two drivers made sure they were parked before their e-logs expired. :eek:
 

dpkimmel2001

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My guess is that you have already been to the International Hall Of Fame Museum in front of the Talladega Speedway. But if you haven't and you have to stay close to it again there is a spot to park a semi right in front on both sides of the road. It says no parking but they told me that the police only enforce it during race week. I have parked their a few times and the museum is pretty nice and then you can also take a tour trip in a van around the speedway.
I've not been there. It was my first time in the area. I'll remember that for the next time. It's about an 800 mile trip from my home location. I always wanted to go to that race. It'll be on my calendar at some point.
 

dpkimmel2001

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Change in plans. Tampa, FL area delivery rescheduled for tomorrow am. Then I'm off to Savannah, GA to drop off the empty for cleaning. Spending a couple days in Savannah before loading Monday afternoon for a Wednesday delivery in Buffalo, NY. No doubt I'll then be sent back home just in time for a long Labor Day weekend.

These past two weeks have been busy. I'll hit 7000+ miles before getting back home next Wednesday.
 

Magnethead

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These two drivers made sure they were parked before their e-logs expired. :eek:
Holy sh! Wonder if there's going to be aarmco's there now...
 

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Change in plans. Tampa, FL area delivery rescheduled for tomorrow am. Then I'm off to Savannah, GA to drop off the empty for cleaning. Spending a couple days in Savannah before loading Monday afternoon for a Wednesday delivery in Buffalo, NY. No doubt I'll then be sent back home just in time for a long Labor Day weekend.

These past two weeks have been busy. I'll hit 7000+ miles before getting back home next Wednesday.
If you ever get a little further south, let me know. I'm about 90 minutes south of Tampa, below Sarasota.
 

dpkimmel2001

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If you ever get a little further south, let me know. I'm about 90 minutes south of Tampa, below Sarasota.
Will do. This is my first run to Florida. I hope to get back down here again.

Delivering now or should I say..... Waiting. All I have to do is hold the steering wheel for this trip. I'm parked in the unloading bay waiting for someone to do something..... anything. People are moving slow for a Saturday and I'm anxious to get my six hour drive to Savannah underway.

I'll be sitting in Savannah until Monday before my next load. I'll get in a 34 hour reset including a couple 10 hour paid layovers. Going to do laundry and get in some sports watching on television.

Off to Buffalo after that where it looks like I'm delivering on an island at the mouth of the Niagra River. That should be an interesting sight from that vantage point.

After Buffalo I'm guessing they'll send me homeward where I'll get a long holiday weekend. Going to hook up the 5er and head to the Allegheny National Forest for a weekend of competitive beer drinking and horseshoes.
 

Whizzer

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We just reopened our horseshoe pit. It has been sixty years since I played that game but figure it is not to late to get back into it. They have special distances set up for the old farts. First is regulation and for each ten years after sixty you move closer. I'm at the age where all I have to do is drop the horse shoe over the pin. ;)
 

dpkimmel2001

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Still sitting in Savannah.....

Waiting on them to preload my trailer. Over 12 hours and counting. It's already pushed me beyond my scheduled delivery time and seriously putting in doubt any chances of getting another load before the holiday weekend. At least I'm getting paid for the delay.

It was to have been all night driving. Changed my sleep habits starting Saturday to prepare for a couple all nighters. Now it seems to have been pushed back to day driving. I'll be ready for a long weekend after this run.
 
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