Days away from home - 11
Miles drove since leaving home - 4,929
Attending Meetings in Rockford, IL
Some people consider meetings/workshops a waste of time, but not us. Our business is complex with a lot of laws that change quickly that can put our trucking business out of business. Not only do we want to learn more about rules and regulations that affect our business, we also want to listen in as experts talk about what they see in the future. These meetings we attend every two years are fun, educational, and another chance to network with our colleagues. It was great to catch up and spend quality time with other truck drivers and learn new tips and tricks to make our lives and business better.
As we were headed to Rockford, IL for the meetings we were reading about hurricane Florence. We immediately called our contact that handles loads for the aftermath of a disaster. It worked out great as we were placed on standby to take a load as soon as possible and safe to the Carolinas. We waited until the load was ready on Sunday morning and off we went with the first stop being Fayetteville, NC. We watched the weather as well as watched the website for road conditions and we had a plan that worked to get into Fayetteville. After delivering, our next stop was Rock Hill and that is where the fun started. Instead of going down and around I went straight across and had to reroute many times due to water over the road before arriving in Rock Hill, SC Monday afternoon. We ran a few easy loads into areas away from the coast before we got a load going to Wilmington, NC. This one had us a little more concerned as there were a lot of roads and bridges closed due to high water. We decided to go south and then come up the coast through Myrtle Beach and this plan worked flawlessly. We saw many properties near rivers that were underwater, we saw edges of the road that was washed away, the police routed us a few times onto the other side of the road to get past a washed-out area, and finally, we made it to Wilmington, NC. What a surprise as we saw how much traffic was on the road, many of the restaurants and shopping areas were open, and people were cleaning up the downed trees and limbs in their yards. Many trees when they fell took out fences and the people that clean up the trees had done an amazing job of trimming the branches out of the roads. Those people work fast! We went to the east side of Wilmington to deliver our load into an upscale shopping center that was ready for business. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of damage, but it is amazing how quickly much of the water recedes and people are back to normal going about their lives. We again took the southern route back and had no problems and were ready to run another load.
What an exciting week of great meetings and then onto hauling freight under unusual conditions. Challenges are something we enjoy. We always have to remember when listening to or watching the news that devastation sells and showing open passable roads does not. We have a great big windshield we can look out of as we drive into disaster areas and we are the captain of our ship, we can make good decisions.
The one thing I do not like to do when we are working these types of loads is to drive at night as it is too hard to see water on the road. It is much safer to drive in the daytime and see everything that is happening around us. Daylight also leaves little to the imagination and we do not see frightening things lurking beside the road waiting to wash us away.
Wishing you safe travels. Till next time,
Bob & Linda.