We woke up around 0800. I went and brushed my teeth, got some Dew and headed back to the truck. Donald wasn't back yet, so I did my pre trip inspection. Just as I was finishing up, he called to let me know he was in the restaurant (the bigger Petro truck stops have an Iron Skillet). I decided to go in and grab a bite to eat. Had me a couple of scrambled eggs with cheese, burnt bacon and coffee. I don't normally drink coffee, but it sounded good. Now for some reason coffee has a laxative effect on me, so it was a good thing we didn't go anywhere for awhile, if ya know what I mean.
We rolled out of Joplin at 0945 and within the first 50 feet I fell in love with this truck. Shifting in this truck is effortless compared to the others I have been in. You barely have to touch the clutch. In fact, it is more of a tap. The seats have 9 different air adjustment on them too. The most comfortable seats I have ever driven in. Once we got on the interstate, Don looked over at me and asked how it rode. All I could do was smile. This baby just glides over crap. There is hardly any rattling inside at all. I'm just gonna come right out and say it; This truck kicks ass!!!!
Our first stop was at a Love's in Oklahoma City, OK so Don could scan in his logs. That also allowed me to get a Love's rewards card. Now all I need is a TA and I will have them all except Flying J. But they are going out of business anyway. Not to mention they don't take our CommData cards, so we never stop there to begin with. Oh, new term… CommData is our fuel card Swift gives us that we purchase all of our fuel with.
We hit the road again and about 20 miles east of Elk City, OK the fuel light came on. I let Don know and he said we would stop in Elk City as the remaining 60 gallons wouldn't get us to Amarillo. So, I pull into the Love's and get out of the truck and Don asked if I had my card. I said sure, but it won't work will it? He said it should because you're assigned to an O/O truck. See, he fuels with the CommData card and Swift just deducts it from his monthly settlement or whatever.
Back to fueling. So I swipe my card and it asks if I am fueling a tractor or trailer? So I hit tractor. Than it asks me for the truck number. I enter that, and than it asks me for my driver's license number. DAMN, just to buy fuel? Anyway, I enter that and then it wants to know the state. Holy shit, I am thinking it is gonna need underwear size too at this point. Goody for me, that was the last thing to enter. Apparently I answered correctly as it came back approved and said begin fueling.
Now for those that haven't actually seen a truck fueling, there is a pump on both sides since there is a tank on both sides. The master control is on the driver's side. 10 minutes later the tanks were full. It took 172 gallons and cost $309 dollars. DAMN!!!! Each tank he has is 120 gallons. But when ya think about it, I averaged 6.2 mpg today with the cruise set at 64. That's pulling 48K lbs. So, we can go 1488 miles between fill-ups. However, Don uses a flat 5 mpg to ensure he never runs out with nowhere to fuel.
I ended the day in Amarillo, TX. I thought we were just gonna make a pit stop, and head on to Clovis, NM. Don wanted to take a nap for a couple of hours though. Than he is going to drive. We don't have to deliver until Tuesday, but he is going to call them on the road and see if they will let us unload early. If so, we are heading all the way to Chandler. If they won't take us early, we are going to stop at a big ass Love's outside of Chandler and just be the first truck in line Tuesday morning.
At the end of the day I drove 459 miles in 8 hrs and 15 min. Don looked at me and said that was a perfect day. He said I understand you could have driven more, but there is no point. Why wear yourself out if you don't have to.
We finished the day with a self critique. I thought I did ok, but ground the gears a couple of times and missed a down shift turning into a truck stop. He looked at me and said I am doing good. He added that I can walk the line of trucks and ask any driver if they grind gears. If they say no, they are a damn liar. He said everyone grinds a gear every now and than, it's no big deal. Than he explained the down shifting to me and how, if I miss a gear all I need to do is look at my speed to know where to go. Anything under 15 mph and the splitter needs to be down. Above 15 mph it needs to be up. I could get more into it, but I know some of you are confused as hell already. It makes sense when you are sittin behind the wheel though. 🙂
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