The first thing I want to say is that this new photo editing change that WordPress has given us SUX SHIT!!!
I just want to share with you City Slickers and Yuppies, or regular God fearin’ Jesus bashin’ folks that never, ever leave your one horse town with the one blinking red light, Just a little bit of my day as a Long Haul Trucker/Blogger and some of the preparations that goes into it.
Please mind your step….
I start my day by waking up…..
I don’t recommend it, but it happens none the less.
I often wake up during anytime of a normal day according to the rules that the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Alliance) has laid out for me, or us truckers in general.
The rules are:
A) Drive 8 hrs-30 minute mandatory break [off duty not driving]
B) 11 hours a day to drive in a 24 hr period
C) After 11 hours, mandatory 10 hours in sleeper berth or off duty.
The problem we face (truckers) is that we have to plan this in accordance with our pick-ups and deliveries, whom of which never take our “clocks’ into consideration.
You see, once our EOBR (Electric On Board Recorder) starts, it won’t stop until the driving and breaks have been met or the overall 14 hrs on duty requirements have been fulfilled.
For instance….I drive for 2 days (1200 miles).
I can’t go into certain cities after dark because of my companies fear of cargo theft, or because most shippers/receivers won’t let us park at their facility, even though we’re going to deliver or pick-up there that morning, say we show up a couple of hours early…we can’t park on the street because we’ll get tickets or knocked in the head for $3.
There are some places that I routinely have to wait 16-24 hours to get loaded/unloaded. (Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS Swift Meat Packing Plants, etc.,)
Believe it or not, the Wal-Mart distribution centers are one of the worse.
If you’re not one of their company drivers, they treat you like shit.
We truck drivers get a lot of that sad to say.
There is no stopping our clocks once they start ticking down….
We sleep when we can.
Try sleeping all night, get up and drive for 2 hours.
Sit in truck for 8 hours to get loaded/unloaded.
Find out that you have a pick-up after you get unloaded.
The only problem is that you have to drive all night to get to the next place.
So, you know that you have to try and get some sleep to keep your reality sleep schedule as normal as possible and try and fall asleep again after having already slept all night, while the people are bouncing your truck around as they are unloading you or beating on your door to tell you to move, or packages have fallen over or it’s gonna cost you $200-$600 to unload your truck, the whole time your trying to get in touch with your company that never answers the phone when you need them and takes 1-2 hours to answer emails and get ComCheck advances approved to pay the lumpers(people that unload your truck for a fee) or pay for Overages, shortages or damages.
Now….try to go back to sleep……So you can drive all night to make your next appointment on time.
It’s hard to explain it if you haven’t lived it.
Next time you’re in a grocery store or Wal-Mart or anywhere really….
Think of us poor pretty truckers that deliver all that stuff while you sleep.
Oh yeah, before I forget….
Those rules I told you about earlier…?
The reason there are so many traffic jams during the day in most cities, is because these rules that the FMCSA have shoved down drivers and truck comapny throats force truck drivers to be in cities at those times.
Every truck driver worth his salt only wants to hit a city between 2 am and 5 am…..No traffic.
We used to plan it that way….Common sense.
Back to my day…..
First….I have to check and see if the world has ended.
Now…time to make lunch for the day so don’t have to eat truck stop food….
My favorite staple….Baloney and cheese…..Turkey and cheese….on Multi-grain Fiber Wheat bread
The “Spork”…..the Truckers eating utensil of choice….or necessity.
Pack it into my fridge within arms reach……So I don’t wreck reaching for a sammich.
Make sure my Zesty dill pickles, Cajun Pickled Eggs and emergency mustard are stocked and reachable….
Oh….static guard is a treasured item in a truck.
The amount of static generated in a truck cab could generate enough power a small third world country!
The hanky is for boogers…
I make sure that my “STUFF” is all situated properly and within arms reach and in the same spot each item has been for years.
I don’t have to look for it when I need it…
The Indian drum is for evil spirits….
Breakfast for fat people is awesome when it tastes like bananas!
Don’t laugh and don’t judge!!
I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into a disgusting potty lacking hygiene and paper!
The sticker is for evil spirits….
I am a professional tourist….
Then, I take my breaks at cool truck stops all over the country and check out stuff….
I unload my cargo everywhere….
Then….I go nite nite!
God willing and the creek don’t rise….
I’ll see y’all tomorrow…
Kiss a trucker why don’t ‘cha!