Saturday, April 26, 2008

Broke Down On I-76

Here we sit waiting....and waiting....for someone to come by and fix our rig. We busted a turbo clamp and are waiting for road service. We are at mile marker 102 on I-76 in PA

Wow! They're here already....and fixed! Cool! We are on our way...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We are home now for a 4 day break from the road, but all is not well…

For a while now Matt and I have goofed off a bit on line in front of all you readers for our own enjoyment as well as yours (hopefully). But now a shadow has been cast by Matt’s employer, whose name shall not be uttered out loud.

Seems that because fuel prices have skyrocketed, most trucking companies have been searching for creative ways to cut down on costs. Some have been purchasing new trucks with APU units which heat/cool the interior of the cab without running the engine. Matt and I think this is a great idea. Or we did until we found out that having a pet in the truck with dander and sheddings causes the expensive filters to clog, causing other problems….

We don’t have an APU unit in ours, which means Matt idles the truck engine while he’s sleeping in the vehicle so we don’t freeze in the winter or die of heat stroke in the summer.

So, to make a long story short…. Matt’s employer has instituted a new pet policy which translates into a NO PET POLICY. By March 31st, 2009 I will be forced to vacate the truck (owned by the company) and leave Matt to drive down the road alone once again.

I have asked Matt if he would consider quitting his fairly high paying job that he’s had for 5+ years and work for another company which would allow him to drive locally (and be home every night). Or perhaps drive for another long-haul outfit that still allows pets.

He informed me that another large company similar to ours is already laying off drivers, and that local driving companies don’t pay as well and are also affected by the “slowdown.” Plus, many other companies who have allowed pets are now or soon to be instituting the same NO PET POLICY. Matt said what he would need is a career change. But that would still mean starting at the lowest rung of the ladder with crappy pay.

What Matt has done is inform his employer that he is willing to pay an annual, nonrefundable fee or perhaps take a cut in pay just to keep me on board. He is willing to do this because if I leave the truck Matt must find me a new home, meaning he and I will be separated forever, and he isn’t too keen on doing that. So far his employer will not budge. They are determined to run me out of the truck.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Recession bites

Freight has been slow, and we are sitting often or getting really dumb loads. By dumb I mean really stupidly, short insignificantly dumb dumb stupid friggin' rotten---

MATT: (interrupting) I don't think you need to belabor the point there, kitty. You already made it by saying things have slowed down.

BUSTER: Yeah, but they're so du--

MATT: (interrupting again) --Yes, I know how frustrating recessions can be. No one wants to buy anything until they see just how bad things will get. And that, in itself, causes things to get worse. The miles are gonna suck for a while. Fuel is horrendously expensive. And soon it will mean higher prices everywhere.

BUSTER: So you blog more during a recession? I couldn't help but notice on St. Blogustine you've made quite a few posts lately. But here you haven't really done much. Is it all those Europeans looking for porn that bother you?

MATT: Hmmm. No, not really. If they wish to bask in filth, that's their problem.

BUSTER: I also noticed you haven't played with me much lately. Are you mad at me?

MATT: No, just the opposite. You haven't puked in quite a while. That's a positive. I can't stand cleaning up your barf from my log book or pillow...or wherever you spew your cereal. I guess I'm not in a playful mood, but a worrying one. I see storms on the horizon.

BUSTER: Seems to me that playing with me might take your mind off your troubles... But first you gotta buy me new toys. These are all chewed on. Make sure they're the ones I like, with lots of catnip. Yes, yes, catnip is always good. Now, I want several of them all lined up...if they're mice make sure their tails are at attention. Then I want---

MATT: (interrupting yet again) ---You want you want you want..... *sigh* .... Okay, but I may have a couple in the bin we haven't opened yet. (checking bin) Here's a few.

BUSTER: Toss 'er here!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Prelude To A Wreck...(Possibly Fatal)

A couple of days ago,...the 3rd, I think, Matt and I were heading south on a US highway (I forget the number) when we saw over on the other side (the north bound lanes) a green Pontiac something-or-other at a dead stop in the passing lane (left lane). Matt says he saw the driver sitting there looking down toward his lap area, possibly reading something,...or maybe having a seizure possibly?

We were going kinda fast heading south, so Matt reached for his CB microphone to warn the north bounders of the obstacle, when we saw two trucks running abreast (side by side) heading north toward the parked car. The truck in the right lane was a car hauler, what we usually call a "portable parking lot" and the other was a white straight truck (the kind that doesn't bend in the middle).

Matt's first instinct was to look to the right for a place to park on the shoulder, as he knew what would probably happen, and his help would be needed. But there was no place wide enough to pull over.

So as he looked into his rear view mirror (we had by then zoomed past the car) while warning the north bounders of the parked car ahead, he saw the dust fly from around the white truck as it slammed on its brakes to avoid hitting the car (not being able to swerve due to the other truck running beside it in the right lane). Matt had to ask other north bounders who made it to the scene if the truck hit the car...and it did. But we were too far away to help.

So now Matt is dealing with the frustration of seeing the prelude to a possibly fatal accident and being powerless to act. Such is the life of a trucker. They see this kind of stuff every now and again. When I lay on the dashboard I try to look the other way when these events take place. But even then there are times when I have to look. In the past 12 months we've seen more than our share. Most we saw after the fact, with bodies covered up and wreckage all mangled. But this one we saw before it happened,...and could do nothing but warn others of the mess after the fact.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Yesterday's "Big" Trucker Strike

Yesterday was April Fool's Day, and therefore the day truckers decided to have themselves (ourselves) a slowdown. Matt and I drove very slowly all day with the turn signal on, just like old people do. And we only drove about 220 miles. That sounds like a lot, but for a trucker it really isn't.

We saw many...and I mean MANY trucks on the road yesterday, so it may not have gone as well as you might have heard. The goal has always been to show the rest of the country how important we are to the economy by shutting down and making people beg for products they take for granted. After all, everything you have in your house, your car,...everything was brought to the store from the factories by trucks.

Matt once told me how the morons out in California once tried to ban diesel trucks from the state. The bill actually made it to the floor of the State House in Sacramento, but was voted down. Guess someone realized at the last minute that all the gasoline the cars use is transported by tankers using diesel. Too bad. It would've been nice to see those idiots stew in their own cat poop for not thinking things through.

Anyway, we hope all the great press we got for this so-called strike will amount to changes at the pump. We're using about 100 gallons of diesel per day on average, and paying over $4 per gallon. Do the math. Prices in general will have to sharply rise in order for us to make a living hauling your stuff.