Friday, September 04, 2015

Celebrating Labor Day By Not Laboring

We have been off since last Friday, done for the day after we delivered in coastal North Carolina. We haven't moved since.  It's been a slow week to say the least. We didn't get a load today either, which means we'll not only be off all weekend, but we'll also be off on Monday too, since nothing's moving on the holiday.

We mostly haul specialized freight not available to the entire fleet of owner-operators leased on to our company.  We have direct access to it via a computerized delivery system, in addition to getting calls directly from the agents who move this freight. But the phone isn't ringing. 

Well, except for one load to the Pacific Northwest that we didn't want to take, despite the generous rate it was paying. There's been absolutely nothing coming out of that area and I'd much rather stay on the east coast than go west and be stuck there for weeks.

Ed spoke to one of the agents we work with often and the agent said that this has been the slowest summer he's had in 14 years. Even the regular load board - which we occasionally use to  supplement our income - is dead.
There are no major truck stop chains down here so we went to a secret little spot we found a few months ago when we were here on another load. It's a giant empty lot, off the beaten path, with a few businesses in the area, and screaming fast internet.So, what do we do when we have this kind of down time?  Well, we explore, dine out, shop, do chores, make repairs. What we do often depends on where we are, and for me, what the weather is like, as I'm not too fond of venturing out in this kind of heat. This week, for example, I've hardly left the truck because the weather has been unbearable.

Sunday while I was doing laundry, Ed took his bike to Best Buy to get a new external hard drive. He felt taking the bike was easier than maneuvering the truck in the tight shopping plazas we were in. We went out to dinner a few times. Got groceries. Rented movies. And Ed did some work on the truck. He likes to stay on top of things by doing minor repairs and tweaks on the truck when he has time. He fixed a leaking wheel seal, removed a few zip-ties that were pulling the wires out of our trailer lights, adjusted and cleaned electrical connections in the headlights, fixed the door on the generator enclosure, and organized his side boxes.

It's now the end of the day.  We didn't get a load so we decided to deadhead 850 miles to get the air-conditioning unit on our sleeper fixed. The automatic thermostat has been tripping the breaker and I think Ed feels it's better to get it fixed before it completely goes out and I morph into something otherworldly because the temperature inside the sleeper has crept above 65 degrees.  On the outside I'll resemble his girlfriend, but on the inside my bodily fluids will be boiling, rendering me unrecognizable. It won't be pretty.

On the way north, the stream of traffic to the beaches was bumper-to-bumper, the headlights trailing on for miles. I'm sure many people are mourning the end of summer, taking one last trip to get in a few more memories before the kids head back to school. Labor Day barbecues will be swarming with family and friends, beaches will be full of frolicking kids eating hot dogs.

We'll stop in Ohio on the way north to pick up my cottage cheese and get some Labor Day treats for our own little end of summer celebration. Except I won't be mourning the loss of summer, I will be celebrating the upcoming arrival of Fall.  And when Wednesday rolls around, we'll get the truck stuff done and then be back to work by next Thursday or Friday.

Wherever you may be, laboring or not, have a great weekend!  And if you're on the road driving, please be safe.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2014: A Taco Garage Worth Pulling Into
2013: Who?
2012: You Can’t Ask For A More Convenient Setup
2011: The Thoughts In My Mind About This Guy, Are Criminal
2010: The Queen Of High Society
2009: An Icy Glare For The Heat Miser
2008: Jazz Funeral On Decatur
2007: Keeping The Homeland Secure One Dog At A Time
2006: Reputation Is Everything
2005: ”_________________”

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