Days away from home: 25
Km Driven: 14896
US States visited since Jan. 4th 2017: IA, IL, IN, KY, TN, GA, NC, AR, OK, TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV, UT
Nothing is a direct route in trucking and we had to attend a recertification class in January. We carry a lot of hazardous materials, hazmat for short. As a result, we are required to attend classes every two years, have a background check, provide fingerprints, and take a hazmat test to keep our commercial driver’s licenses compliant. This year we had to attend the class which was held in my birthplace of Tucson, Arizona. We had to be in class on January 13th and our route was anything but straight.
Our loads are always random and can require us to go in any direction. The first shipment was a load of paint to South Carolina, we then delivered another load of paint to San Diego, California from North Carolina. Next, we picked up a hazmat load in northern California to be delivered to the Phoenix area and we were finally near Tucson where our class would be held. A perk of being a cross country truck driver was meeting up with my best friend from high school for miniature golf.
...we have the right to refuse any load we do not wish to haul.
Our pay is based on a percentage of what the customer is charged to move their freight. We are owner operators and we have the right to refuse any load we do not wish to haul. We refuse loads for many reasons and take the following items into consideration when making a decision:
When a load is offered to us we are told the pickup location the loaded miles, the delivery date, as well as weight.
We look at how far we are from the pickup location and decide how much the load will pay per mile and also if the load pays enough per day.
Route and Weight
We take into consideration the route, any tolls, and how much the weight of the load will affect our fuel mileage.
Conditions are closely monitored in the winter as we do not want to get snowed in and not be able to take another load as that would cut deeply into our income. As the saying goes “If the wheels are not rolling we are not making money”.
During the week, we watched the weather closely and things looked dicey as we approached Salt Lake City. We would be stopped over the weekend at the delivery location and we knew the customer had the ability to plow a path for us in their lot. The area received 8” of snow and the customer had to use their plow to help clear the way for us. Our Onspot Automatic Tire Chains were also in use to keep us from spinning our tires and getting stuck. We have low rolling resistance wide base single tires and they are not known for their gripping ability. People at our delivery and pickup locations were fascinated by our Onspots and asked a lot of questions.
By the time we left the delivery location the interstates were cleared and dry. While going through the mountains as we headed south it snowed off and on but with no accumulation. The weather was very cold, around seven degrees, but by the time we made it to Las Vegas the temperature was up in the 60’s. There are many days where we can start in the morning in negative temperatures and be in the 70’s and 80’s by evening. Luckily Bob and I are healthy and do not get sick often!
‘Til next time,
Bob and Linda Caffee
USA Team Truck Drivers