A while back I wrote a blog entry describing a typical delivery day. Well, it actually wasn’t that typical, but I don’t know that there is really any sort of “typical”out here in the trucking world. But it’s another day on the job, so I suppose in that way it’s sort of typical. Anyway, I’ve been meaning forever to write a similar entry of a “typical” day on the road. On delivery days we’re driving around to a bunch of locations, backing into dock doors, dealing with receivers, shippers, forklift drivers, and other truckers. We’re driving through towns, dealing with midday city traffic, and overall there’s a lot going on. During a driving day it’s a little more mellow, but I still don’t think it’s boring. At least not yet!
Here’s how yesterday’s drive went for me:
12:00 midnight – 1:15 am
At midnight my alarm clock goes off. I hit snooze twice. Some things never change. At 12:30 I finally slowly roll myself up into a sitting position and stretch my arms to wake myself up. I change out of my pajamas and into a set of workout clothes I have hanging on a bungee cord “clothes line” on the top bunk. I do a workout called the “Drop 10 workout.” 100 crunches, 90 jumping jacks, 80 lunges, 70 squats, 60-seconds of high knees, a 50-second plank, 40 jumping jacks, 30 squats, 20 high knees, and 10 push-ups.
1:15 – 2:00 am
I wash up after my workout using scent-free baby wipes (a trucker bath), change into my driving clothes (jeans, sweatshirt and tennis shoes), take my vitamins, drink a bottle of water and eat my breakfast. This morning I have steel cut oats with chia seeds, ground flax, raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon that soaked overnight in half soy milk and half water. It’s delicious, but I think it makes me gassy. Go figure. After breakfast I crawl up front and sit for a while with Adam as he safely putts along at 20 miles per hour. We’re in Wyoming, it’s pitch-dark, and a light snow is falling onto a road covered in black ice. Goody. I brush my teeth and glance at my phone for any major updates.
2:00 – 2:30 am
Adam pulls into the “Creepy Lincoln” rest area. We call it this because there’s a giant statue of President Lincoln’s head resting on a solid cube of stone, and it’s all lit up with yellow light at night and just looks completely creepy. But it’s got a big parking lot. He backs into a spot, and as he’s moving at only 1-1/2 miles per hour, the truck slides a little to the right. It’s icy. I get out and perform my pre-trip inspection, carefully walking around the truck so I don’t fall on my butt. Back in the truck I get my snacks within easy reach – in the netted compartment above where I sit in the driver’s seat. Adam makes me an instant decaf coffee and I get ready to roll.
2:30 – 5:00 am
I drive. Slowly. I’ve got a big downhill to battle on icy roads, so I crawl along at 20 miles per hour, only able to get up to about 40 once the ice clears and the road turns to slushy snow instead. I munch on my first snack of the day – baby carrots and celery. In my first 2-1/2 hours driving, I only travel about 95 miles. It’s slow progress, but at least we didn’t end up jacknifed, facing the wrong direction on a downhill slope like that other truck we passed by. Scary road conditions!
5:00 – 5:15 am
We stop at a rest area where I pull up right in front of the building, run into the restroom and pee, then run back out, get in the truck and keep on driving. Adam heads to the bunk and goes to bed.
5:15 – 6:45 am
I drive on more crappy roads. Slowly. I listen to Don Quixote on Audible and find after a few days that I’m still having a really hard time staying interested in the story. It moves along pretty slow, and I’m not sure if this is supposed a comedy or what. I sip dandelion tea and snack on a mixture of almonds, walnuts and pistachios, then an apple. My eyes get droopy, and even though the roads are finally drying up, I desperately need to stop for a nap.
6:45 – 8:00 am
I pull into a rest area, thankful that there’s an easy pull-in spot to park. I shut the truck down, put myself off-duty on our e-log system and immediately crawl into the sleeper. I unbuckle Adam’s bunk seat-belt, give him a nudge and crawl in next to him. I set the alarm to wake up in 20 minutes, but I sleep for almost an hour. I get up, head into the bathroom to take care of #1 and #2, head back out to the truck and do a walk-around inspection. I fill my mug with fresh hot water and get more snacks. After changing my duty status to driving, I roll back onto the highway. I’ve got new road conditions – thick fog.
8:00 – 11:30 am
After a slow-mileage morning and a long break, I try to drive hard. As hard as I can at 60 mph, anyway. The roads are clear now, and the sun is up behind clouds, but it’s light out. I enter into Utah and get the red light on my prepass at the Port of Entry. I pull into the scale, drive over and directly back onto the highway. I head towards Salt Lake City, climb the big hill and pull into the brake check area for a quick pee and to check my brakes before heading downhill.
11:30 am – 1:45 pm
I drive, listening to a podcast about cooking in the backcountry, another that talks about some CEO’s too-high salary (which I couldn’t really care less about), and enjoyed an awesome phone call from one of my PCT buddies, Lighthouse! I snack on more nut mix, a string cheese, and a veggie mix of mini cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. And I sip more dandelion tea.
1:45 – 1:50 pm
Adam gets up and sits in the passenger seat. We discuss how not much happened today except that I didn’t feel great – crampy, tired – but glad he was up with me now. I was missing his company. I pull into the Salt Flats rest area and literally run in to pee (I really had to go!).
1:50 – 2:15 pm
I drive the short distance from the rest area and cross the Utah/Nevada border to West Wendover where I pull into the Pilot truck stop fuel station.
2:15 – 2:45 pm
I fuel the truck with deisel and DEF, then pull around and park the truck. Adam does his pre-trip inspection while I hungrily devour a greek yogurt.
2:45 – 3:45 pm
It’s shower day! I put on my backpack containing my bathroom diddy bag and clean clothes and we head inside. We get a shower ticket and each take our own shower room. Afterward, I fill my coffee mug with half hot cocoa and half decaf coffee – I don’t get this a lot, but it’s a nice treat once in a while. Besides, chocolate helps cramps. Everyone knows that.
3:45 – 6:00 pm
Adam drives and listens to a podcast about grammar as I write this blog with poor grammar, sitting in the passenger seat drinking my chocolately decaf coffee. I brush my teeth and faithfully floss like a good girl. It’s almost bedtime.
Now I will head into the back, close the curtain that separates the sleeper from the front of the truck, crawl into bed under a couple of quilts, buckle myself in and try to fall asleep. I usually do some light exercise in the evening before bed, but decide not to tonight. I also usually read a chapter or two in my book, which is currently Star Wars – The Paradise Snare, but trade that in for this blog entry.
I managed to drive just a wee bit over 500 miles today. I was satisfied with that, considering how sketchy the road conditions were most of the morning – and how tired I felt!
The plan from here is for me to wake up in Sacramento where Adam will stop for fuel. We plan to splurge and grab breakfast there, and afterward, he’ll go to bed and I’ll drive us to our first delivery location, back into their dock, exercise in their parking lot, then if there’s time I’ll nap until I feel them roll into our trailer with the forklift. Then we’ll head right into another typical delivery day. I hope.
Tonight I love dandelion tea. It’s caffiene-free but I think I’m somehow addicted to it.