Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Long Haul Home Stretch

A few days ago we unloaded in the late morning and had to pick up our next load five hours away.  But we had to be there by 3:30 local time.  It was going to be reallly close.  I was convinced we wouldn't make it.

Ed was driving and kicked our speed up to 65 mph, which we never do.  Our normal cruising speed is somewhere between 55 and 58, which is safer, fuel efficient, allows for more reaction time for when other vehicles feel the need to cut you off, and a much more relaxed pace.

Kinda like the trotter in the picture above, which we came across at the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway in Bangor, Maine.  We watched while he went a few laps around the track, probably just staying in shape for the next big race.  The horse had a nice, even gait, loping along like he was out for an afternoon stroll.  A fast stroll, but still much slower than he'd have to go while racing.

I don't like going fast.  I was in the sleeper and we were in an area with shitty roads, so I was feeling every bump and turn.  At that speed, going around a curve on the highway can roll me to the edge of the bed.  And the tires scream.  I'm so used to sleeping while Ed is playing grandpa behind the wheel, that the breakneck pace was unsettling.  Let's just say I didn't get much of a nap.

But we made it there on time.  We pulled into the shipper at 3:26 local time.

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2013: The Power Is Everywhere
2012: A Patchwork Of Farms
2011: Dwarfed
2010: Kansas Needs A Few Other Representatives
2009: Something’s Afoot
2008: The Color Of Aging
2007: Ahhhhhntipasto
2006: The Great Equalizer
2005: Almost My Town


Mick said...

Wow, that reminds me of the trotting races at Monticello. We ahd some great nights there. My uncle always seemd to come away with money, I never did get to know his secret.

The Daily Rant said...

MICK: So true! The Mighty M was awesome! A Catskills icon. I haven't thought about it in years. As far as I know, it's still in operation. Great memories!

Belledog said...

I don't like that you two, experienced truckers, had to push it to 65 when you would not usually have done so.

What if there'd been more traffic, or inclement weather?

Not saying pickup times are "more like guidelines" but there should be some respect for the driver's professionalism.

What of your lesser experienced drivers, who race a clock without the road skills? In more unusual weather patterns now too (hello, climate change).

Does that quarter hour make that huge a difference throughout the course of a journey? I think shippers and companies should reassess.

I am glad the trucking industry is under a microscope at present. For every true professional as yourself, there is someone else frantic and cutting corners.

The Daily Rant said...

BELLEDOG: We don't have an EOBR, but that's causing a lot of drivers to push the limits. They have to race to get places, to deliver, to pick up, to park or shut down for the night or for their breaks.

I don't like having to rush anywhere, really I don't. And after driving 55-58 everywhere, going even 62 feels out of control fast. And the truckers out here who do the posted speed limits in places where it's 75 and 80? That's just crazy.