This post is from my Dad from Camp Chaotic but he never blogs there. Thank you, Dad!
Hi everybody! I drive a truck.
For ten years or more I have asked for a run that would allow me to be home more. I finally got it a few months ago. Shawn (SAJ’s younger brother [everybody knows that I guess]) and I now drive each week coast to coast and have almost two days off to boot!
So I thought I would describe a typical week.
We drive for Werner Enterprises but this run we are doing now is called a dedicated run. We haul for a large carrier named Conway. They are much like UPS. Conway is what they call a Less-Than-Truckload carrier, LTL for short. Werner is a Truckload carrier, meaning we generally haul only full loads. Sometimes we may have an extra stop or two but usually not more than that. LTL companies will stop by your office and pick up a single package or a pallet or two, whatever you need to ship. Their freight rates reflect this kind of service. Werner, on the other hand, hauls only full-truck loads (with the few exceptions mentioned earlier) and therefore our freight rates are lower.
Conway will accumulate freight that needs to go clear across the country and load it in a Werner truck, and we take it all the way across the country in two days. This is cheaper for Conway than hauling it in one of their trucks.
We drive a little more than 5,500 miles each week, leaving from Santa Fe Springs (a suburb of Los Angeles) early Tuesday morning and arriving at Carlstadt, New Jersey (a suburb of Newark), Thursday afternoon. After dropping our trailer at Conway in New Jersey, we hook up to an empty Werner trailer and take it back west to New Columbia, Pennsylvania, a little south of Williamsport, PA.
(When you drive this hard, you don’t get to shower as often as you’d like.)
We get most of an evening to get a shower and a meal at a Petro truck stop and relax a little. We get a good night’s sleep before picking up our return load at the Conway in New Columbia around 8:00 Friday morning and will be back in Fontana, California, Sunday morning.
Nobody likes to drive all night so Shawn and I cut the night shift in half. We each work basically a 12-hour shift, starting at 3:00 AM or 3:00 PM. Shawn works the evening shift and I work the morning shift.
The law allows a driver to drive 11 hours and then requires a 10-hour break. With fueling stops and restroom stops, that just about accounts for a 12-hour shift.
I like the morning shift. I start driving around 3:00 in the morning. In two hours, the sun is up and I have daylight for the rest of my shift. On the other hand, Shawn likes his shift. He starts driving around 3:00 PM and by the time he is tired, it is 2:00 in the morning and he hands it over to me…works great!
A few weeks ago my brother gave me the extra XM radio he had. We got it hooked up and working, and now Shawn can listen to the Dodgers play baseball no matter where we are in the country. I, on the other hand, am usually sleeping. Bummer.
So…it’s Friday morning, August 15. I am sitting at the Conway yard in New Columbia, PA. Our load is ready, but the trailer has two bad tires. The Mechanic is replacing them, giving me some time to finish this blog. Then it’s on the road to California…be there Sunday morning sometime.
If you would like to guest post on this website, please email me (SAJ). I will be posting guest posts from now until September 15th.