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  #41  
Old 01-05-2011, 02:31 AM
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The scenery is amazing out there this time of year, We should all donate to a fund to keep tracer on these runs because the story of getting there is always enthralling. Maybe I'm bored, but I look forward to the posts from these runs.

BTW, the mountains are pretty in those pictures, but that lotlizard really lacks something!:rofl:
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  #42  
Old 01-05-2011, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Graintrain View Post
BTW, the mountains are pretty in those pictures, but that lotlizard really lacks something!:rofl:
Yeah, I thought all Canadians had beards like Grizzly Adams????? Your slackin Tracer LOL
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  #43  
Old 01-05-2011, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Orangetxguy View Post
... I was up 60 feet in the air, 40 feet above the rig's windwall, when I slipped and fell off the traveling blocks.
What were you rigging? What kind of a job was this?
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  #44  
Old 01-05-2011, 04:45 AM
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Sounds like oilfield work. Lots of guys I have known missing teeth,fingers,eyes,limbs,etc from the oil patch.
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  #45  
Old 01-06-2011, 01:56 AM
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I left the TA in Tooele, NV at 6 am local time, when it was still pitch dark and headed west on I-80. It was cold but because the interstate ran parallel to some spooky frozen lake, a dense fog hang in the air. I drove cautiously and noticed there was a truck behind me and the driver was cautious too. He passed me only when the fog disappeared and it became light. The truck was a Peterbilt and he was pulling 2 short single-axle pup trailers with the FEDEX logo on the side. I drove at 59 MPH; the Pete did close to 75, but over the next 100 miles he had to pass me 3 more times!

When we got across into Nevada, the flat terrain was replaced by big hills. Even though I was driving much slower I was catching up to the Pete in the middle of each big grade even though he was almost a mile ahead of me BEFORE the hill. I didn't want to pass him, I climbed the hill in Gear 7 keeping the RPM between 1200 and 1300. But the guy was doing 25 MPH going up!

When he passed me for the third time on the flat ground, I saw the driver reach for the CB mike, so I turned my CB on and said, "What's that?" The driver of the Pete said, "See you at the next hill." At this point we were both laughing and I asked him what the problem with his truck was. Because his trailers were single axle, he shouldn't have had more weight than me. He said the truck belonged to a contractor he drove for, and this contractor didn't want him to drive too fast? Which didn't make much sense because he WAS driving pretty fast on the flat ground. The driver said the truck had 1,000,000 miles on the odometer, so maybe that was the problem.

After he passed me for the last time I saw a Flying J truck stop and pulled off the highway to get a bite to eat. I hadn't seen that Pete again.

I got lucky with the time: there was a time zone change when I was a few hours away from Golconda, NV and now I was on the Pacific time... This gave me one more hour and I took Exit 194 off I-80 around noon. My directions told me to follow the local highway north but the road I saw ran back east - parallel to I-80! I looked in the distance and saw the highway in question did turn to the north a few miles back east. I followed it for 12 miles and then the pavement ended and a dirt road began. I was afraid it'd be full of potholes but actually it was quite decent. It looked like a very old asphalt pavement and in a couple of spots I think I even saw some markings.

After 15 miles on this dirt highway among open fields and big hills, I finally came to a security post with a couple of gates. No mine or office in sight. There were some smoke stacks on the horizon, but nothing more than that. A sign pointed to a 3' by 3' booth and it said, "All visitors register here". I parked the truck and stepped inside this unmanned 'telephone booth'... The instructions on the wall told me to read the Safety booklet and take a 1 page test on the safety procedures. Then I was to call a number from the phone on the mini-desk which I did and I reached Security. They asked me for my Bill of Lading number and then told me they were sending an escort to take me down to the mine.

I sat in the truck for 10-15 minutes and then a dusty Ford F-150 with a 10 ft whip and a red flag on the end of it showed up. I remembered the Safety booklet I had just read said all light vehicles driving inside the property were to have these flat whips... It also said all traffic behind the gate was left-handed and I wasn't quite sure what that meant.

Until my escort who was driving ahead of me started edging towards the LEFT shoulder leaving the right hand side of the road open. What the heck? I kept to the right not sure what was going on... Then I saw him look at me in the rear view mirror and what I read in the booklet just clicked LEFT-HAND TRAFFIC!!! Holy smokes, they were not kidding

It felt weird driving on the left especially when other vehicles were coming towards me on the 'wrong' side of the road. I relaxed when I saw they were indeed staying on their side and didn't seem to drift into my lane

It was another few miles behind the F-150 escort and finally I was at the warehouse. A cute girl in her 20ies rolled out of the roll-up door on a huge forklift and proceeded to unload the 8 skids from truck. She was wearing safety boots, a hard hat over a girl style multi-color hat with tie-down strings, and safety goggles. When I told here the load came from Quebec, Canada some 3,000 miles away, she said, "Cool!" I don't think she actually knew where Quebec was because when she was done unloading me she asked, "Are you driving back to Canada tonight?"

I called the Landstar agent to say I had delivered the load and the last thing I had to do in relation to this 3,000 mi 'project' was to scan the signed bill of lading, the customs invoice and the IFTA mile report and then email them to Landstar. If everything is okay with the paperwork, I should get paid for this trip next Wednesday.

It WAS a long trip. I looked at the IFTA report and check out how many states I crossed:

State Miles
NL 562
NS 259
NB 239
QC 492
ON 460
MI 276
IN 47
IL 157
IA 308
NE 458
WY 404
UT 198
NV 245

That's 4,105 miles from the drop in St. John's NL to Mont-Joli QC and then to the consignee in the middle of nowhere, 30 miles north-east of Golconda, NV. Is this an exciting job or what?

Last edited by tracer; 01-06-2011 at 04:01 AM.
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  #46  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Graintrain View Post
...but that lotlizard really lacks something.
Graintrain, I think you need either stronger glasses or stronger medication, or possibly both ROTFL
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  #47  
Old 01-06-2011, 03:01 AM
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That wasn't a frozen lake...it was salt flats.
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  #48  
Old 01-06-2011, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by no_worries View Post
That wasn't a frozen lake...it was salt flats.
Aha ... that's why I saw ocassional tire marks on there. But it didi look weird in the dark. If I knew I was getting an extra hour due to the switch to the Pacific Time Zone, I'd have waited till it was light before turning the key. 'Hate driving at night, especially through mountains and near water.
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  #49  
Old 01-06-2011, 05:09 AM
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hey tracer you should write a book or do a dvd very interesting story good to see you able to drive on our side of the road lol
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  #50  
Old 01-06-2011, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mitchno1 View Post
hey tracer you should write a book or do a dvd very interesting story good to see you able to drive on our side of the road lol
I was thinking of writing kind of a blog in a form of a e-book or paper book, but there's not that much demand. surprising as it may sound, but very few people want to drive long haul for a living. I don't get them I also shoot short movies ocassionally ... See Tracer's YouTube channel. I did a few trucking movies there but I found my video review of a TomTom XXL 540 GPS garnerned most attention! So far it has been seen by ... 9587 people. As soon as I get a new camcorder, I'll be definitely shooting more "how-to" movies. Speaking of driving on the left side of the road, the most difficult thing to do was to figure out how to position the truck on turns! I came to a stop sign and the escort turned left FROM THE LEFT LANE, so you know ... in a truck with a 48 ft trailer ... you have to adjust quickly. Otherwise your trailer wheels will be running over flower beds and people's toes and what not
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