Saturday, 31 May 2008

31st May 2008

My Mum and Dad were arriving from England today on the same flight as Gary so we decided to go to Winnipeg and spend the day there before meeting them at Winnipeg airport at 15.30.
Jason & Jen came with us and we went kart racing and then to the "Royal Crown" revolving restaurant for a buffet lunch.
The Zoom flight came in on the wrong flight path and had to abort the landing then do a circle and return to land.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

25th May 2008

Adrian & Ann's newest family member, 3 week old Tennessee.

Darryl preparing the horses

Riding Ziggy bareback.

Adrian & Ann took us to meet their friends Daryl & Fran today. They live on 80 acres near La Broquerie where Darryl breeds, trains and keeps a number of horses. We got to ride in a wagon pulled by the 2 horses in the pic above and see him train Ziggy (one of Adrian & Ann's horses) bareback. One of the highlights of the day was actually being able to spend some time in the pasture with the horses including 3 week old Tennessee and it's mother. Fran prepared some food for us and we all had a great day.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

22nd May 2008

The clutch on unit 226 decided to give up the ghost while I was in the queue to Cross the border into USA at Pembina. I called the fleet maintenance manager who said he wanted to get it repaired in Canada but I was already in "no mans land". After speaking to US customs and border control they agreed to let me cross the border to turn around and I explained that I would need a path clearing as I needed to keep the truck rolling.
They obliged but I then had some explaining to do at the Canadian side on my return. After a while they agreed to let me return and I got the truck safely back to Steinbach for repair.
The top picture is the truck I have been driving today and will be again tomorrow. 226 should be back on the road Friday evening or Saturday morning.
Sue and I have been busy in the garden again, weeding, watering and getting rid of some of the dead grass that was damaged by the long winter.
The bottom picture was a little bird that decided he needed a shower while we had the sprinklers on.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

18th May 2008

Jason & Jen picked us up this morning as they said they would. They had packed drinks, fruit and snacks for the day. We went to Falcon Lake, West Hawk Lake, Kenora, Lake of The Woods, and Caddy Lake.
It was a lovely day and the sun shone for us, seen some beautiful sights, plenty of wildlife and stopped for lunch at West Hawk Lake and visited the Whiteshell fish hatchery at the north end of West Hawk Lake
They even had supper organised for us back at their house on our return.
We had a great day exploring an area I had only bypassed until now.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

17th May 2008

Our friends Adrian and Anne took us out for a meal last night. They came and picked us up at 18.30 and we went to St. Pierre for their rib night. We had starters, bbq'd pork ribs with choice of potato with chocolate cheese cake for desert. We couldn't eat any more it was lovey, thanks Adrian & Anne.
Today was gardening day, the first time the grass has been cut this year and we even managed to buy gas for the bbq but have had strong winds all day so haven't had a chance to try it out yet.
Tomorrow should be another nice day and Jason & Jen are picking us up at 10.00 to take us for a drive round the lakes and stop somewhere for lunch, isn't it great what you can plan when you get your life back and weekends off.

Friday, 16 May 2008

A Special Thanks

I would like to thank some very special friends, I won't name you without your permission but you all know who you are.
As you are all aware Big Freight deducted $1000 from my wages which left me with $212 for two weeks work.
On seperate ocassions these friends offered us financial support until we got ourselves sorted.
This wasn't needed but was very much apreciated and we would like to thank you for your thoughts and special friendship at this time.

16th May 2008

3 of us met in Grand forks for breakfast on Thursday then Jason and I went to St Malo to tip and Peter went to La Broquerie. Jason and I then went to Viterra at Letellier to load and back down to Grand Forks for the night. That gave us an early finish on Friday.
Gary's flights to Manchester went according to plan and he arrived safe and well.
Monday is a statutory holiday here but Hytek asked was I available to work. Jason and I are going to Hatton, North Dakota to load corn for La Broquerie. We are taking our wives with us and making a day of it, stopping for lunch on the way back somewhere.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

14th May 2008


Just as we had feared we have returned from the vets without Zack. As posted this morning he hadn't got any better, in fact couldn't even get up the stairs today or get in the car without my help. He even let me lift him onto the vets table and put a muzzle on without making a fuss.
Sue and I stayed with him until he was gone. He looked so peacefull as he lay there looking at us.

14th May 2008

The dog is still very ill and is going to the vets today but we really don't think he will be coming back home with us. He is 9 years old but has suffered from hip dysplasia since he was very young and the vet in England told us then that he would never live as long as he should. He hasn't eaten properly for almost a week and has lost a lot of weight. I will let you know how we get on.
I have the day off work today to take Gary to the airport. He is going back to England for a holiday and is coming back on the same flights as my mum and dad on 31st May. We are really looking forward to that and I will take more time off work when they are here.
The bottom picture is of Hatton Farmers Elevator and is typical of the type of places that I now load from. It is only Wednesday and I have already been here twice this week. You can be loaded and ready to leave with your paperwork already faxed to the broker in less than 15 minutes. A great place to load.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

11th May 2008

Went to Ann and Adrian's today to help clear some of the dead trees and bush from his field. We had the quad, chainsaw, chains and rope all at hand. It was a lovely day and we all had a little too long in the sun.
They had a great bbq after we had finished and plenty of cold drinks. We went home to soak in the bath and ease our aching bodies.

Friday, 9 May 2008

9th May 2008

Had a good first 3 days in my new job and spent my time running with some of the other guys. The week was only tainted on Friday by what happened with my previous employer (see explanation on right). I have the weekend off now and will be heading to Hatton, North Dakota on Monday to pick up a load of corn to go to either La Broquerie or St Malo, both in Manitoba. Then they have another couple of jobs lined up for us.
There are four of us pulling tridem trailers and all four of us were doing the same job on Friday and will be again on Monday.
Planning to buy gas for the bbq this weekend and another fridge or coolbox for the truck.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

6th May 2008

Went in today and completed all the remaining paperwork for health cover etc. Then went to see Adolf who is fleet maintenance coordinator and we went and checked over the truck. Got issued with tool kit, ppe and all the equipment I need to carry out my job. This is my new ride in the pic above.
Start work for real tomorrow and will shadow Ken, at least for tomorrow. Most of the places we go are regular loads and deliveries so I will find myself running with one of the other drivers a lot.

Monday, 5 May 2008

5th May 2008

Went into Big Freight today and handed everything back that belonged to them. Went straight from there to Hytek to see Carol and get a start date. Carol asked if I could come back in the afternoon for a test drive.
From there I went to the border at Emerson to change my work permit and then back to Hytek.
Passed my road test in the truck I will be allocated, a 2007 International 9400i with a 50ft tri-axle Cornhusker hopper bottom trailer, not the Mack with super B's that I had first been told. All the trucks even have CB's and inverters already fitted, I just need to move in. I will be working with Jason, my driver trainer when I first arrived in Canada and now good friend. He had this truck for a couple of weeks before me so it is absolutely spotless
Tomorrow I am going back to Hytek to finish the paperwork and red tape and officially start work on Wednesday.
The dog hasn't been very well the last few days but has started to pick up a little today and has started eating again.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

3rd May 2008

Some trips will stay in your memory for a long, long time and this will be one of them but more about that in a minute.
Left Thursday morning and had my reload details by Thursday afternoon. Tipped Friday morning and ran up to Oak Creek, Wisconsin to load steel back to our Steinbach yard. Got back Saturday afternoon, took off my tarps and straps and dropped the trailer.
"Nothing memorable about that trip" I hear you say.
The End of another Chapter in my Life.

This was my last trip for BFS. I am not going to bad mouth them like a lot of guys do when they leave. I have enjoyed most of my time at Big Freight and I am actually sad to be leaving.
Regular readers will know that things haven't been great with one of my dispatchers (not Chad) for some time and the last couple of weeks made me think about my future with BFS.
Those that know me well realise that when things aren't going well then I don't tend to stick around to wait for them to get better, I look at what else there is to make it better for me and my family.
Well being in a different country doesn't make it any different, I had a very quick look and in less than a week had an interview and been offered another job, handed in my notice to BFS and left on my last trip. BFS have, for the most part, been very good to me and my family but my decision had been made, still feel sad though.

A little more about my new job now. I will be driving for a company called Hytek, see . I will be hauling grain with a Mack truck and a set of super B trailers, similar to the rig above. It is a Monday to Friday job and only a couple of nights out a week, and earning similar money as I do now, Sue is delighted. Most of my driving will now be in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota. They also have a good beneits package and 3 weeks holidays a year.
The blog may not be as interesting but I will still keep it updated and post pictures of anything new and exciting.
Will let you know how I get on driving with 2 trailers, look out Canada!!!