Monday, 31 December 2007

31st December 2007

Christmas has come and gone and was a sad time as well as a happy one. Missed our friends and families loads but at the same time had a great time with new friends. Gary, Debs and the kids came to ours for Christmas dinner, it turned into a wild evening and we still have the new year party to go at ours tonight.

Work hasn't been so good, only had one local run since 22nd December, not good when you only get paid by the mile. We will see what happens after new year.

Monday, 24 December 2007

24th December 2007

Tipped in Illinois Monday morning and reloaded steel from Chicago, Illinois Tuesday morning to tip in Winnipeg.
Tipped Winnipeg Wednesday afternoon and home before 14.00. Done a local run down to Roseau, Minnesota on Thursday and again on Friday then left with 3 drops in Saskatchewan to tip Saturday. Got home Sunday morning.
Back to work on the 27th if there is anything.
A very merry Christmas to one and all.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

15th December 2007

Sorry about the quality of the second picture but it was getting dark and I was still driving the road above while trying to take a shot of the moose crossing the road. This was on Hwy 180 in New Brunswick. I had done all my deliveries and reloaded peat moss on Wednesday to tip in Millstadt, Illinois on Monday. I seen 3 moose that night on the 180.
Had a bit of a setback this week with our permanent residency (PR) application. Our application was returned to us a few weeks ago stating Gary was too old to be included on our application and would have to apply on his own even after already being accepted by Manitoba. Big Freight were really good and helped us prepare the applications again and even managed to get Gary his own PNP nomination!!! Off they went again to Buffalo, New York only to be returned again last week, this time asking where Gary's application and fees were and why it was not included with ours, bureaucracy at its very best. Again Big Freight pulled out all the stops and came through for us when we were really starting to feel low.
After a few calls Eric Slatcher, recruiter at BFS, called Gary and helped him arrange an interview with a local window manufacturing comany and big employer in Steinbach.
To cut a long story short Gary got the job pending him receiving a work permit.
I was still out on the road and Eric picked up Gary and Sue, took them to the border at Emerson Mb and returned with both Sue and Gary getting work permits.
Gary starts work on Tuesday in the shipping dept. at Loewen Windows and our applications have been prepared for a third time ready for sending.
Thanks to Eric, Christine and Starla at BFS for their help.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

8th December 2007

Left on Tuesday morning and a normal 6 hour drive took 8 1/2 because of snow. Arrived at Swan River at 14.00 and was told to come back at 08.00 Wednesday morning. Tipped Wednesday and reloaded lumber to Fargo, North Dakota so went home for another night on the way past. Tipped Fargo Thursday morning and reloaded from Roseau, Minnesota in the afternoon to take back to the Steinbach yard. Started having problems with my brakes freezing up on the way back.

Defected C495 again on Friday morning after my brakes froze up again and I couldn't release them and then my diesel froze too, well it was -30 during the night.

Left again Saturday afternoon with 3 drops in New Brunswick and 1 in Nova Scotia.

Monday, 3 December 2007

3rd December 2007

The top two pics are of Megan and Amy that I mentioned in the last posting, their parents are the ones with drinks in their hands in the hot tub. In the hot tub are, clockwise from the bottom left are, Mal, Sue (my better half), Debs, Gary, Bev and me. Mal and Bev are the couple (and party animals) I first stayed with when I arrived in Canada.
Defected C495 this morning and was told it would be Tuesday or perhaps even Wednesday before it would be ready so informed dispatch and returned home. Called this afternoon to get an update to discover it was ready to go but decided I was not leaving at 4 in the afternoon so will leave again Tuesday morning.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

2nd December 2007

Things changed dramatically while I have been away and the house and garden look completely different again.
I still can't keep Sue in, she has spent more time partying here in Canada the last couple of months than she ever did before arriving here. The pic was taken in Deb's hot tub and no I wasn't the lucky photographer, I wasn't even invited. Deb, Gary and their two gorgeous daughters, Megan 4 and Amy 2, live behind us and arrived from England this year just after us and we have been good friends since meeting them in September.

2nd December 2007

Worked out my hours of service and discovered I couldn't get the load there for Monday but it would be Tuesday before I could deliver. I would be able to get it back to Steinbach Saturday night though.
Chad told me it would be ok to deliver Tuesday giving me another couple of nights at home.
The weather got really bad on the journey home. I have never seen so many cars and trucks in ditches. It was the first time I have experienced a complete white out and then later on freezing rain.
Crossed the border at 18.30 fuelled at Morris and was home by 21.00.
Got a couple of defects to get done on C495 before I can leave on Monday.

30th November 2007

What a fantastic journey from New Brunswick down to Pennsylvania. I passed through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and then into Pennsylvania.
Tipped Thursday, unhooked and hooked a loaded trailer in New Holland, 4 bailing machines to go to Swan River, Manitoba for Monday.
Dont try to get round Chicago in rush hour!!!

27th November 2007

Got my first delivery off without too much trouble but the roads did get very bad going over to New Brunswick. At one stage I thought I was going to have to give up. I made it ok but it took me a couple of hours longer.
I was making my way to Nova Scotia and it started to warm up and clear a little.
Got my last delivery done and my reload was from Inkerman, New Brunswick. 22 pallets of peat moss going to New Holland, Pennsylvania.
Got loaded Tuesday afternoon and was on my way to deliver Thursday.

25th November 2007

Left on Thursday afternoon with 28 quads on board making up 3 deliveries 1=St. Antonin, Quebec on Monday, 2=Napan, New Brunswick on Monday, 3=Truro, Nova Scotia on Tuesday.

Ontario was beautiful to drive through but it is only 2 lane most of the way so can be hard going.

I even came across my first roundabout since I arrived here, it was in Quebec, trust the French to be different. I was really surprised how little English is spoken in Quebec and parts of New Brunswick.

The weather was deteriorating quickly, I could have made it to St. Antonin by Saturday night but took it easy and arrived Sunday afternoon.

20th November 2007

Got loaded Sunday night but wasn't ready to leave Calgary until 10.30. only done a couple of hours driving. I was pulling into the truck stop when my trailer brakes decided to freeze up and lock on. I drained the air tanks and parked up.
Got the brakes sorted next morning and carried on my way. Got a satellite Monday morning , I had to deliver Winnipeg and return to Steinbach with the rest of the load.
Got back to Steinbach Tuesday to be told the load wasn't going to Montreal this week so I went home for a couple of days, going back to work on Thursday.

Friday, 16 November 2007

16th November 2007

Tipped at The Stampede Friday, its also where Calgary Flames play, and was empty by 10.00 (09.00 Alberta time) so made my way round to the petro where I fuelled, showered and done my laundry. From there went to the Roadking to spend the weekend. I wont be able to load again until about 20.30 Sunday night as the show doesn't finish until 17.00.
Will wash my bedding tomorrow and give the truck a good clean inside.

15th November 2007

Craig and I got my load strapped and tarped on Sunday and took it back to Steinbach yard to leave Monday morning. Found out that I was load 2 of 3 so tried to find out who the other two were, it turned out to be Doug and Brian but they live out of Steinbach so were leaving Sunday.
Met up with them both at the drop on Tuesday morning, Doug was out of hours and Brian and I got the same reload, irrigation equipment to Taber, Alberta to tip Thursday.
We both ran together and tipped Thursday morning, I got a sattelite to call Chad asap. He asked would I mind sitting Saturday and Sunday in Calgary if they paid me, and the catch? I had to go to our drop yard in Calgary and pick up a loaded box van to tip at "Roundup Centre" in The Calgary Stampede grounds. It was equipment for a Polaris show.. I have to reload after the show finishes on Sunday then take it to Winnipeg and tip then onto Longueuil, Quebec to tip on the 26th.
House is looking good and Sue is getting all set for Christmas (looks like something out of national lampoons, but dont tell her I said that).

Saturday, 10 November 2007

10th November 2007

Tipped Oklhoma City Monday morning and was sent to Tulsa for a reload to Estevan, Saskatchewan. Waited at the shippers for 3 hours only to be told my load of steel pipes was in Muscogee, 1 hour away. Still got loaded on Monday and tipped in Estevan Wednesday. Loaded steel plates in Regina, Saskatchewan Thursday morning and tipped in Brandon, Manitoba Thursday afternoon and reloaded out of the same place to take back to Steinbach. Both loads on Thursday were loads that needed tarping, got home Thursday night at 12.30 aching, tired and hungry. Going back to Brandon on Sunday to pick up a loaded trailer that also needs tarping to tip Council Bluffs, Iowa Tuesday morning.
The top pic is approaching Omaha on I29 and the second one is in North Dakota. If anyone can tell me why the hills in this area have numbers like this then let me know.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

1st November 2007

Travelled all the way to Oklahoma City with Gary, another Brit and neighbour. Tipped Dallas on Monday morning and got a reload from Tulsa, Oklahoma to load Tuesday morning. Loaded early Tuesday only to be told by the shipper I had to make a second collection in Lincoln, Nebraska, about 7 hours away. Made the second collection Wednesday and done 1125km to get home Wednesday night (Halloween).
Going to load in Steinbach Friday morning and will leave Saturday morning for a Monday morning delivery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

29th October 2007

Shipping arrived from England, some of it in great condition. Luckily most of our personal stuff was ok apart from Gary's x box which won't work. All the boxes are now unpacked and it feels good to have stuff here that holds lots of memories.
Been in touch with the shipping company to start the claim process.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

25th October 2007

Got tipped Tuesday morning and re-loaded the lumber all before 11.00. Received a satellite message to ring Chad asap. The delivery in Dallas has been put back till Monday morning so BFS have changed the border crossing to Pembina, North Dakota so I can travel via Steinbach. Got home Wednesday lunch time and will leave again Saturday morning.

The trees in the garden are almost bare now, looks completely different than it did in the summer.

Monday, 22 October 2007

22nd October 2007

Came past Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan today where all our research to emigrate first started late last year, brought back lots of memories and reminded me of how much we have gone through in a short space of time.
Also got stopped for my first CVSA level 1 inspection and came away with a clean sheet. CVSA inspection is the same as our Ministry of Transport or DOT or whatever they are called now.
Also got my reload sent to me, a load of lumber from Crossfield, Alberta to Dallas, Texas. 1995 miles and to tip Friday.

Friday, 19 October 2007

19th October 2007

Had to get C495 serviced on Monday before leaving for Alberta, didn't manage to leave until 16.00. Tipped on Wednesday and ran over to Hinton, the second picture, in west Alberta in the foot of the mountains. Loaded lumber Thursday morning and tipped Winnipeg Friday morning.
Another couple of days off, leaving on Sunday with two 56' long lighting columns to tip in Calgary Tuesday morning.