30 November 2010

Going to work!

What kind of work do I do? I'm a truck driver. I hold a CDL Class A license. Simply put, I drive eighteen wheelers for a living. Best thing that ever happened to me when I made this career change fifteen years ago. In the years since, I've been all over the United States, in every state in the lower forty-eight except North Dakota, and I'm told it's not much different than South Dakota... I'm partial to many places I've visited, but they're too numerous to mention in this post, so I'll save them for another time. Back to going to work...it's exciting, much anticipated, too.

I've been umemployed since mid-2009. Haven't had a particularly good year healthwise either, but all that is past me today. I am well and healthy and can still drive a big rig when I'm called upon to do it. It's like riding a bike, which I haven't done in years, or riding a horse after a long absence, and I do as often as I can. But in any case, it comes back quickly. Practice builds on experience.

Been working for a construction trucking contractor on a limited part time basis. Work days have been few and far between. It's been aobut six weeks since he called me to come in. Surpirse, surprise, got the call last week before the holiday, for a couple of long days hauling aggregate for a new road. We were in the yard at 330 AM to check out our rigs and warm them for the days work.

It was an hour and fifteen minute ride to the plant where we were loading. Load time was at 600 AM. I finally had my first load on the trailer at 640 AM, lots of trucks going to the same job. Had a map and limited directions, but didn't have a clue, so followed a couple of other trucks who were going to the same dump site. Another hour and fifteen minutes later we were there.

Whew! The sun was just cresting the mountains and in my eyes making it difficult to see where I was supposed to be dumping... was thankful the spotter was on the ground where I could see him. Flip the switch in the cab ... in less than thirty seconds I was dumped out. It was a done deal. Headed back for another load.

Back to the plant, got another load and was off running again to the dump site. Second load on the ground. Back to the plant for round three. Getting a little sore now...shifter in the rig is not cooperating, and I'm fighting it instead of letting it do the work for me. I know better. This is the first time I've driven this particular rig, too.

Concerned about fuel. Fuel tanks on this rig are small and I knew already I couldn't get the fourth load, dump it out and make it back into the yard. I would have to have fuel. Our driver truck boss assured me there would be a fuel meet after I dumped out the fourth load. I loaded my fourth load at 201 PM, the plant was closing. I held my breath and hoped I'd be able to get back to meet the fuel truck. I dumped out at 300 PM and headed for the fuel meet. Big Sigh! I made it and took on enough to get me back into the yard. By the time I made it into the yard, it was dark thirty and I was having trouble seeing anything in the yard, it's not well lit.

Scheduled to do it all over again tomorrow. Yay! Work!