Monday, 31 March 2008

31st March 2008

Mark and Sue came round for a coffee yesterday and Mark said he was going to Thief River Falls on Monday, same as myself, so we decided to run together. Mark came to Canada from Ripon the week after me, Sue came on the same flight as my Sue and the boys with their 3 children.
We first met Mark and Sue before we even left England (see 16th June 2007).
We were back in Steinbach with 2 full loads of Arctic Cat quads around 15.00 but there wasn't anything ready to go so we will probably be leaving tomorrow morning.
That is Mark in the top picture and me in the one below.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

29th March 2008

Sue had a nice surprise this week, no I didn't buy her flowers, her brother James had flowers delivered to her to congratulate her on passing her written test.
I also got my first "Pinnacle Award" from BFS, more details about that can be found here
Eric managed to calm me down a little before I had a "friendly" chat with my dispatcher (not Chad) so we will see how things pan out next week.
Just a quick run down to Thief River Falls, Minnesota on Monday to collect a full load of Arctic Cat quads and take them back to the yard.
A couple of easy days at home now just chillin'.

Friday, 28 March 2008

28th March 2008

Ok maybe it is just me and my issues with my dispatcher (not Chad) don't exist but apparently the above message meant I was to go and load at Taiga, wherever that may be but it's ok because I am now a mind reader, and continue on my planned route, that I haven't received at this point in time.
I sent a message to request layover pay and got no reply but then got my load assignment at 16.20 (note the message above states assignment asap and that was at 10.57), 323 mile and 3 drops. So I had sat since Wednesday evening till Thursday 16.20 for a 323 mile trip. I called my dispatcher and the first thing he asked was "Are you loaded yet?" Can you imagine my polite reply after sitting all day waiting.
Well went round to the shipper and was told to come back at 08.00, where's the phone!!!!!!
After some negotiating they agreed to load me and I got on my way. The plan said first delivery 08.00 but it doesn't open till 09.00, not going too well so far.
Three deliveries in southern Manitoba and then home, after a chat with my dispatcher.


Thursday, 27 March 2008

27th March 2008

Gives new meaning to mobile home

Very sad or extremely bored, you decide.

I have been parked here since 18.00 last night and it is now 10.30 Thursday morning. I am still waiting for a reload. The picture above shows my "qualcom". This is the satellite communication device that keeps me in contact with the office and workshop. All load assignments, load details, shippers address, border crossings and receivers details get sent to you via this system. Only time it doesn't work is when inside a loading dock or under a bridge or tunnel.

This device can be extremely useful at times but also a complete nuisance at others. Today it has been far too quiet, have heard nothing from anyone since yesterday.

At least I have an internet connection, now am I sad or extremely bored????

Gary has booked flights to go back to England for a couple of weeks and has even managed to get booked on the same flight back as my Mum and Dad, they are coming to stay with us for a month, wont be long now!!!!


"Start making your way to Regina, will send load assignment asap" was what the message said at 10.50. Arrived in Regina at 12.30 it is now 15.00 and I am still waiting.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

26th March 2008

I had 6 deliveries done and got to Dauphin, Manitoba by Tuesday night and by Thursday 16.45 I was making my last delivery in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. I then ran to Dafoe to park up for the night and wait for my reload details, won't get them till Thursday, hopefully first thing in the morning.

Monday, 24 March 2008

24th March 2008

Tipped the ATV's and quads in Winnipeg and got back to the yard at 09.15. I was asked to do a favour, pick up a pre-loaded trailer and tip it at Winnipeg so done that too. Got my next job on my return to Steinbach.
If you check the route map on the right, don't forget to click the link to enlarge it, you will see I have my work cut out for the next couple of days, 940 miles and 11 deliveries, all ATV's from Polaris and Artic Cat.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

22nd March 2008



I got home Saturday morning after covering 6442km, almost 4000 miles, since I left home last Saturday. Still have to tip the load in Winnipeg on Monday and will go straight back out again when I am empty.

Ski slopes in Quebec

"Hoots Mon"

"aboot this hoose"


Thursday, 20 March 2008

20th March 2008


Sue passed her written test today getting only 2 wrong so she is one step closer to driving.

Started at 06.00 Wednesday and had my reload details before I had even got as far as Toronto. 20 ATV's and snowmobiles going to Winnipeg, load Thursday and tip Monday so should get home Saturday.



Took me 90 minutes to get through Toronto then another hour for Montreal but the receiver was going to take delivery up to 07.00.

Got loaded Thursday by 08.00 and covered 1054 km on the way back home. Should make it home by Saturday lunch time.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

18th March 2008

If only every day went the same as the previous two days. I got to the receiver at 06.40 Monday and BINGO, the gates were already open. Even although I was too early to tip it meant I could get all my tarps and straps off ready. I sent my empty message at 07.45, well back to the truck stop for a couple hours I thought, some breakfast and back to bed. "WRONG". 08.15 and the qualcom went beep, hook loaded trailer at Valley, Nebraska to tip Ste. Julie, Quebec Thursday lunch time. Some of the loads from Valley can be a pain to strap and tarp, the irrigation equipment and the 13'6" high pipes. Well you could have knocked me over with a feather.

That was the sum of my load, 5 steel lighting columns weighing 12,000lbs (less than 5500kg) and they don't even need tarping.

Made good time that afternoon headed off through Iowa towards Illinois and stopped the night at Attalissa. Next morning around Chicago and out towards Indiana and then Michigan.


A Huge quarry beside I94

Made it to Detroit by about 15.00 but then took 45 minutes to get through the toll booths, over the "Ambassodor Bridge", through customs and into Windsor, Ontario. Stayed in London (ontario that is) and should make my delivery tomorrow afternoon.

A Bridge Too Far.

A view from the bridge.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

16th March 2008


I just love this view of Omaha from I29

It's my wedding anniversary tomorrow, 24 years and still no regrets, so I thought I should mention it on here as there are no cards and I will still be away.


Anyway, arrived in Kansas City at 13.30 fuelled and parked by 14.00. I didn't like the look of this Flying J so got out the microwave and made some soup, southwest chicken followed by a bag of popcorn and a coffee. Updated this blog, checked out a couple of other blogs I follow, spoke to Sue and then my Mum and Dad on Skype and settled for an early night.

Tipping first thing in the morning but I don't expect a reload very soon, it's the other dispatcher that's on tomorrow (not Chad).

Saturday, 15 March 2008

15th March 2008

Neat Tarp Job

Snow Almost Gone in South Dakota

I was correct when I said I didn't think there was a lot of work right now, I didn't get a job till Friday afternoon and that only needs to be in Kansas City Monday morning.

I decided I would leave Saturday morning with it and give myself a couple of easy days, only 818 miles, so Friday evening I dropped Sue off at the superstore and Craig and I went into the yard to get it tarped. We done a good job on it too.

Left about 08.45 Saturday and parked in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the night where I knew I could get wireless.

Only about 6 hours to get to Kansas City from here so nice and steady does it tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

13th March 2008

The top picture shows the trucks still trying to get rid of the snow in Winnipeg even although it has been hovering around freezing point for a couple of days and the bottom one is a river that is still frozen.
Medicals all done and out of the way now and if there are any problems with them we should hear within the week.
Called into the yard today to see what there is for tomorrow and was told to "come in when I hear from them". I take it that means there is not a lot of work right now.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

11th March 2008

Sue wanted to come with me again so off we went on Sunday and stayed at Saskatoon Flying J that night. The clocks went forward 1 hour in Manitoba at the weekend but not in Saskatchewan so we gained an hour. Tipped at Landis on Monday then up to Glaslyn to load. Loaded by lunch time and off we went again back to Manitoba.
Got a call from Gary to let us know that his medical requests had arrived and he is going to come with us on Wednesday and Thursday.
Tipped Reston, Manitoba and Winnipeg and reloaded the trailer out of Winnipeg back to Steinbach.
A couple of days off for our medicals now.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

8th March 2008

Well I did get something else after I tipped in Winnipeg, a load out of Winnipeg to Landis, Saskatchewan to tip Monday 08.00 so home Friday and leave again Sunday morning. I even have my reload, a load of lumber from Glaslyn Saskatchewan with 2 drops in Manitoba. That gets me home nicely on Tuesday for our medicals on Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

6th March 2008

Famous at Last
13'6" High load fully tarped
The Welcome Home Sign
My Dads birthday today (happy birthday Dad), I really hate missing all these family occasions.
Left Valley Nebraska Tuesday late afternoon and made it home for one night on Wednesday. Went back into the yard on Thursday morning to discover it had gone from -10 to -45, with wind chill, overnight. My fuel was gelled up but I managed to get C495 started, added fuel de-icer and left it for an hour to idle. Left the yard at 08.45 and got to Brandon, Manitoba to fuel up at 12.00 and after fuelling discovered my starter motor had decided to give up on me, called the shop and got transferred to a breakdown company. They sent someone to look at it, couldn't do anything so called for a wrecker. Eventually got towed to thier shop at 14.30, I had been blocking the fuel pumps all that time.
Despatch re-powered the load to Saskatoon and sent another truck to drop his empty trailer and take my loaded on. It also meant swapping all our straps and tarps, got a good deal there though.
Truck was repaired again by 18.30 and I had a new load header, load lumber from Neepwa at 08.00 Friday and tip Winnipeg 11.00
Hope they have something else for me after that.

Monday, 3 March 2008

3rd March 2008

Got up this morning to almost gale force winds and bitter cold. Stopped for fuel at Sioux Falls and found these rather strange icicles hanging from the trailer. Stopped for a shower and something to eat on the way south as I wasn't sure where I was going to be staying that night.
Went as far as Macon, Missouri and found a hotel that I could park behind and "borrow" their wireless internet.
Only 30 minutes from my delivery point. Had reload sent to me before 10.00 this morning but got another message at 16.45 to say it was cancelled.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

2nd March 2008

Craig and I got into the yard at 07.00 this morning and strapped the load then Sam and Neal showed up at the gate still minus their luggage!!! Finally arrived in Steinbach late last night.
After chatting with them in the cold for over an hour we started to tarp the load then when we finished went home for some tea and toast mmm.
Left around 12.30 in bad conditions, lots of blowing and drifting snow, above the height of the fence in the pic in some places.
Only got as far as Watertown, South Dakota by 19.30 and called it a day at that, not due to deliver till Tuesday morning so will be there tomorrow evening ready for an early tip.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

1st March 2008



Happy Mothers day mum and it's only 12 weeks on Saturday till you arrive in Winnipeg.
I said I would say hello to Gazza back in England, glad it's going ok for you mate, Paul Weller has pride of place in the basement, thanks.

Anyway, if you click on the middle pic and zoom in you should be able to see some prairie dogs just behind the fence.
The rivers are still frozen, as you can see by the snow mobile tracks.
Had a nice couple of days off and will be leaving again Sunday for Missouri.

Jason (driver trainer from BFS) and his wife, Jenn, came round for supper last night and we had a right laugh.
Sam and Neal are coming to Steinbach on their research trip and were due to visit us today. Neal called last night to say their flight from Chicago had been cancelled and then called again this afternoon to say they were now in Toronto minus all their luggage and only on the reserve list for the next flight to Winnipeg, not sure if I will get to see them now before I go back to work.