Days away from home - 5
States visited this week – MO, TX, OK, KS, IA, NM, AZ, and MN
Miles drove since leaving home – 2,809
Bob’s week with Indycar did not end as well as he had planned. After a week of hard work, as well as practice sessions at Barber Speedway in Alabama, the race was rained out. After they got the truck and car to Barber, Bob was able to help set up and work in the pits. His main job was to stay out of the way when the car came in for a pit stop, other than that, his big job was to pull stickers off of the tires. Sounds like a silly job, but if the stickers are left in the tires it can cause a blister and possibly end the race early. A week later and I am still hearing stories of his grand adventure and all he learned. We do so much together that it has really been nice to hear all about what it was like to be in the pits for practice and what little they were able to race on race day. The Dale Coyne car he was in the pits for was Sebastien Bourdais, who is third in the points race right now.
Back to Work
As soon as Bob got home, we loaded the truck and took a load picking up in Indianapolis going to Iowa. We were a little concerned about this as Iowa is not the best place for us to get freight, but we should not have worried as we had another load before we delivered, picking up in Minnesota. Having a short load where we do not have to run all night is ideal as we have a chance to get settled back in the truck and enjoy a good night’s sleep away from home. It is funny how getting into our bed in the truck is like going home after vacation. We have a very comfortable set up.
Working on the specs for a new truck
Building an expedite truck takes time and we are in the process of working on the spec’s for a Freightliner Cascadia with either a 120” or 130” sleeper. We have paid our dues for the past thirteen years as expediters and we are considering the prospect of getting a sleeper with a shower/toilet combination. There are so many things to consider when moving up into a bigger sleeper and the first being, “how will it affect our freight?” If we cannot haul enough freight, we will not make enough money to pay for the truck. This was pretty easy to study as I keep a spreadsheet of the freight we haul, the weight of the freight, and where we have picked up and delivered every load. Our typical load weight is less than 3000 pounds so that will not be a problem. What is potentially a problem is that customers often ask for 20’ of usable space for their one pound load. To combat that, we will line the sides of the truck with boxes so that we can store all of our freight moving equipment under the truck instead of the box where it is currently located. We carry 36 blankets, ratchet straps, corner protectors, plastic wrap, load bars, and various other items to protect the freight once it is on the truck. We will have to leave the load bars as well as the pallet jack in the box, which should be fine. Then we have to consider the price of the upgrade and is the comfort worth the price? This is the main question as the new truck will cost more and we want all of the safety devices as well as a few changes to the truck. One being this truck will be a twin screw with wide base single tires. More on the specs of the truck later as we iron those out.
We made it to Arizona and somehow managed to get between two very wicked thunder storms that were producing torrential rain as well as tornadoes. As Bob drove through Kansas City he found some of the rain but in no time, he was back out of that. We changed drivers in Wichita, Kansas and I found the wind. I had wind for my entire driving shift through Kansas, Texas, and into New Mexico and this made for a long day. My route consisted of back roads which I really enjoy and am very familiar with as we lived for many years in southwest Kansas. Highway 54 is a great short cut from Wichita down to Tucumcari, New Mexico, and I am always glad when I get to drive this section. Once we unloaded in Phoenix, we were hoping to get a load out immediately, but that did not happen. Usually, if we do not have a load on Friday that runs over the weekend we will sit the weekend. The weekend is spent cleaning up the truck, doing laundry, and spending as much time as possible playing with our German shepherd puppy, Texas.
This has been a year that our family has needed us more than usual and they are not done with us! Our oldest daughter will be having surgery and she will need a caretaker for at a minimum of a week. So once again, we will be going home, but this time Bob is considering running solo for the duration to keep some money coming into the coffers. We are finding it very difficult to go home as often. Normally the truck is packed for a minimum of a month away from home and we consider the weather changes that could happen while on the road and pack accordingly. Now we know we will be back quickly and so I keep forgetting things that are needed. It will be difficult to get back into the groove, but I believe after Nicki’s surgery, we will be back on the road for an extended time and get to enjoy driving in this wonderful weather.
Wishing you safe travels. Till next time,
Bob & Linda.