Life From the Road

This week I have a chance to report from the road for a change. This is the time of year when freight starts to slow, companies get ready for inventory and produce hauls are becoming few and far between. Even the company I work for is having a battle with slow freight. For the first time in the companies 10 year history, the owner has made it necessary to look for outside freight to keep the company afloat. Hence, we have been taking loads between the northwest and California with an occasional load to Texas. The owner has made it known that the company we contract with is behind in payments by several weeks or even months. This makes it hard not only for the owner, but the entire effect flows down hill and the driver at the bottom gets the residual crud, if you know what I mean.

So, I find myself becoming an OTR driver again. I was offered the opportunity to run 48 again, but I respectfully declined. When the boss asked me why I didn’t want to run 48 again, I reminded him I was hired as a regional driver and not to mention, the equipment he has to offer won’t make it coast to coast without breaking down. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to run 3000 miles per week and make a percentage of the load. The company I work for pays it’s drivers very well, takes good care of the drivers and gives us a lot of latitude when it comes to days off and time off. Out of the drivers at my terminal, the average seniority is 5 years! That type of seniority is unheard of in the trucking industry. We have a very loyal team of drivers and they know the job has it’s benefits.

I arrived at the shipper this morning and found out my load was not going to downtown Los Angeles, but instead the load was being re-routed to San Diego. The shipper hoped that I didn’t mind and the boss was disappointed that I was going to San Diego. I was more than happy to take my load to San Diego! Warm weather, sunshine and NO SNOW! My excitement was temporarily subdued when I found out that it snowed in Las Vegas last night! Living in Seattle has been an experience the last two months. Record rains poured in November and our record wind storm last Thursday that produced 95 MPH winds at Sea-Tac International Airport. If anyone could use a little warmth and a break from the weather it could be me. The place I have been living for the past 3 months is still without power and temperatures have dipped down into the lower teens.

So I look forward to my trip to San Diego, the further south the better!

JB

**Update** December 21, 2006 – 11:32AM PST – San Diego, CA

I delivered to my destination early this morning and the load was accepted in good order and the count was correct. I am now basking in 70 degree weather in complete sunshine! The locals are all huddled in pull-overs and sweaters while I am bearing with the heat in my t-shirt and shorts. I had to comment on the fantastic weather in San Diego in light of the fierce winter storms that have slammed Las Vegas, Denver, Colorado Springs and points east. I checked the weather in Seattle this morning and the forecasters were warning of record breaking snowfall from Snoqualmie Summit to Bend, Oregon.

This year I’ll be happy to spend Christmas in shorts and on the golf course! I’d rather trim and light the palm tree this year than having to brave the elements and have a white Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Trucking Blog staff, ME!

JB

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