Yesterday was a hurry up and wait day. I had to be in Gary, IN at 8am. Greg (my mentor) had to wait to get unloaded in MI, so he didn't get to the terminal until 3pm. Once he got there we had to wait for the service guys to replace a fog light. Finally about 5pm we were on our way to get loaded for this trip. We had to be there by 6pm but the place was only a mile down the road.
We roll into the joint and than had to wait about 30 min as there was another guy getting loaded. That was actually good though as it gave us time to go over a few things as well as get our equipment ready. Greg had me set-up the coil rack and than I prepositioned all the chains and tarp.
When we instructed to pull in, that is when the fun began. :). Now I don't know how many of you have noticed or not but an empty flat bed has a bow in it. Well, to watch a 38K lb coil be set on it was quite a sight. That trailer flattened out like a piece of paper.
Than came the part where I broke a sweat; tying that bad boy down. Slinging six 25lb chains through the eye of the coil and making sure all the edge protection stayed in place was an experience. Once we got the chains secured we had to put the binders on them to tighten 'em. After than is when the sweat began to roll because I had to lift an 85 lb tarp and put it on top of the coil. Wasn't really that bad, just more awkward than anything. The coil was an odd size so the tarp didn't fit like it was supposed to, but Greg schooled me on the art of tarping. I just hope I can remember it all.
At this point we are ready to roll. Greg looks at me and says hop in and drive till your tired. All I could think was SWEET!! I drove to Farmington, IL and decided that was good. I figure 3 hours straight behind the wheel the first time wasn't to shabby. I do have to admit that I did kill the engine twice though. Once at the truck stop where we weighed right after getting loaded and the other was the truck stop we pulled into in Farmington. All through training we started out in second gear so that is what I was doing. Well dummy, during training the trucks weren't loaded so there was only the trailer weight behind me. I got it now though.. Start in FIRST gear when loaded.
All in all it was a good day. Driving was awesome! Oh n just for you dad because I know you will ask; I am driving a 2009 Freightliner Columbia (9 speed).
The company trucks with Swift are governed at 64 mph so we pretty much just get up to speed and leave the foot on the floor. :). So, don't get mad when you see a Swift truck and you think it's holding up traffic.. We just can't go any faster. The real fun part of driving is passing other trucks. Don't get me wrong, the first time will make your sphincter muscle pucker but you just have to stay in your lane, watch your tandems, n handle your business.
I guess I have rambled on long enough for today.. Oh shit.. Totally forgot to tell you where we are headed. Nogales, AZ is our final destination. It a T-Call load so we just drop the trailer. From there it heads in to Mexico. Right now we are on the OK Turnpike (44W) headed to OK city for our first fuel stop of the trip. Greg has been driving since 5am so I am guessing I will take over after we take on go-go juice.
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