Tag Archive: Trucks


Trucking

My Last Rig

I started out early one morning yes before the sun came up, as do most truckers.  I had delivered one load of water, with my tanker,  a few hours south of Boston.  I stopped for coffee,  for the ride back up to the mountains for my second load of the day.  I walked around my rig kicking each tire as I do after hauling a load for few hours, all was good they were all still up and lights all were working properly so I made my way back into the driver’s seat.

I made the trip up into the mountains of New Hampshire for another tanker full of Spring Water.  I took three or four loads a day,  six to seven days a week into the bottling plants as we prepared for Y2K, do you remember that in 1999,  as the world worried about life as the calendar turned to the year 2000?  Well I  had hauled rubbish, household waste for years then switched to hauling a nice clean load, one I never got my hands dirty or truck for that matter.

It was a gorgeous day out on the highways and back roads of New England.  I reached the top of the mountain where the water came from the spring and backed up to test the water and load the tanker, all 8100 gallons.  When it was over flowing I shut off the pump and closed the hatch on the top climbed down and went  around to get back in the truck for load number two.  I was grossing out at 103,000 pounds. Yes I had a reducible load permit, I was a Heavy Hauler.

I was always tense as I maneuvered my rig off the mountain, overlooking the Big Lake.  See there was a stop sign at the bottom, silly engineers, and I don’t SWIM!

The ride through New Hampshire was once again beautiful and then I entered the highway where my speed increased and I was hammer down to get the load of water to the plant before they ran out yes that is how fast they were filling one gallon jugs.

As I made it to the tolls on Route 95 South I went through with my easy pass soon I would be in Massachusetts.  This is where things went bad real bad and in a hurry.  I had just gone over the nasty metal bridge in Newburyport when I saw a  tire,  yes a huge semi tire ready to cut in front of me. I had never felt anything at the moment it came off but now I looked to my left in the mirror and saw a school bus I blew the air horn very loudly turned on my emergency flashes  to get everyone’s attention praying for myself to not hit this large tire and lose control of my rig and it’s load on board.  I already had my foot off the accelerator trying to let it slow down so I could start dropping gears and make my way to the breakdown lane.  Holding tightly to the wheel not knowing how this would play out I held my breath for what seemed like forever.  This tire crossed in front of me and the bus and then headed for the median strip never loosing speed or falling over to stop the nightmare and then popped up beside a Black Saab, yes it has been 13 years plus and I remember vividly.  The car thankfully was being driven by someone not texting or talking on their phone and they yanked the wheel to miss my tire it then went off the highway. totally.

Now as this was happening another tire came up beside me as I was trying to move over one lane at a time scared to death wondering if I could hold onto her as this had never happened to me not even in a car. This tire ran straight up beside me and then off to the right and over the embankment.  You see I had 22 wheels on my rig and  except for the two steering axle tires the rest of them were paired up.

I made it over to the breakdown lane and was happy my boyfriend was in the passenger seat for this trip not that he could do anything to stop the nightmare but I was shaking when I stopped and as he hugged me he said “I swear I do not know how you stay THAT COOL as you are at highway speeds and loose two tires and could have killed someone.”  Who was COOL?

Now out of the truck and not wanting her to be destroyed by the weight and airbags and springs taking a beating I had him crank the landing gears on the tanker down and we unhooked the airlines and electrical plug and I pulled ahead.  I then got out of the truck and I was so angry you see I had spent over $1,000.00 for two tires and new rims and all new wheel studs that weekend, I called my tire man from the side of the road and I can not say here what I said to him but I had him send a tow truck at HIS EXPENSE to come get me.  I called the plant up in the  mountains to send another driver for my tanker of water.

I then climbed back in the truck  and  then and only then did I EXHALE.

 

Life on the road is tough on drivers of rigs for they get no respect from other drivers but that day I earned their respect,  for had I been a yahoo with no common sense they would not be here and you never would have lived a few moments in the rig with me.  Yes I am a female trucker but a damn good one!    Do you know the whole time this took place and then the wait that ensued I never saw one State Trooper you see they know me and I am responsible and courteous  though at times going over the speed limit back in my trucking days, which is why I always put money back into my business equipment, my RIG, as I asked a lot of her.  Now for the rest of the story some day I will finish it and title it THE TIRE MAN,  as it is a good one!

A woman was just killed by a tire coming off a rig here in NH and I re-lived this event all over again bet you everyone on the road with me that day just over 13 years ago did too.

PAY ATTENTION not all things are within our power to PREVENT as I sadly learned.

 

Keep On Trucking!

Peace

 

Hummingbirds and CB’s

Well yesterday, the 10th of May, our Hummingbirds finally made it back here to spend the summer with us.
As I sat playing frisbee with JT I had a female hummingbird sit upon the clothes line just to the left of where I was sitting. She looked healthy and I was glad to have just hung fresh sugar-water out for them. The Apple Tree is what I go by. As it had started to look as if it would burst forth in gorgeous blooms, I readied their feeders.

Up here in New Hampshire we have the Ruby Throat variety of Hummingbirds and an occasional Hummingbird Moth visit us. You know I love these little fighters though, I keep learning more amazing facts about them.

So did you know I had just one tattoo? It is in fact a life-size Hummingbird and this was also what I used for a CB Handle. Now the handle was used when traveling cross-country in the tractor-trailer we never used our own names? Did you have a CB and a Handle? I was trucking when Burt Reynolds made Breaker 1 9 pretty famous. Many songs, mostly country ones, have been done all about trucking, highways and roadie. I loved Convoy’s line “Crash the gate doing 98 and let them truckers roll!”

I had some wonderful times driving the night hours out there on the quiet roads of America. I usually drove after we had our evening meal and kept laying down the miles till it was time for breakfast, when the ex and I would switch. He did not want me, a greenhorn, in all the rush hour traffic he figured at night with just other rigs on the road what could happen.

Well let me tell you one of the stories from so long ago. I was heading west and in Kansas and had stopped to grab a coffee to help get me through my 12 hour shift. The road was dark and filled with many wild animals you had to not only watch for but to avoid as well. While filling the thermos for my evening run I was talking with fellow drivers who would be going the same way, WEST. So we followed each other out and got our trucks rolling down the interstate and chatting on our CB’s we all introduced ourselves and they thought Hummingbird was awesome! I told them it was because I was FAST! They loved it and off we went hammer down, (pressing the gas pedal). We gabbed for hours with each of us keeping our eyes peeled for the police as we were not doing 55. Then someone who had the lead suggested we try something he had all his lights on and if you have traveled the United States you know what I mean, LOTS OF LIGHTS on his rig. We truckers have a special name for ones like this, Chicken Hauler. Yes we have lots of nicknames like our CB Handel’s, like your personal car is called a 4 wheeler. So with truck out in front fully covered by tons of lights and the one in the rear of our convoy(a group of MANY RIGS) with its lights on, all of us in the middle had just our marker lights on NO HEADLIGHTS! Yes not to swift, were we night riders of our countries highways, mostly hell raisers and non conformists.

So mile after mile with our radar detectors working over time ever mindful of State Police we continued this way for miles and miles at a very good clip! Then we hear the bird dogs go off(radar detectors had names too) as a trooper was headed east and running his radar and capturing us all speeding but also us dummies in the middle of the convoy running without headlights. Now they run CB’s as well and had been listening to us talk and I was a very young female and they were all experienced truckers and who do you think the cop came for, yes ME! I saw him go into the medium strip and it was such a dip I saw his headlights shining on the sky above. He then came flying up the highway behind us and by now yes all of us had our lights on and speed to about 60 mph but he had locked on to me he said in the end.

So my trucking CB buddies were gone, I was alone except for ex in the bunk sleeping. I was in big trouble! This officer walked up to my driver’s door and told me to come back to his police car. As I opened the door and started down the ladder of our cab-over Freightliner he saw how young I was and ordered me to go back in and get all my PAPERWORK! License and registration book and my Log Book! OH NO I was really in trouble I hated doing logs as I could not do them the correct way as I had been taught to in tractor-trailer school not with the ex.

So with all of this placed on the floor of the cab I climbed down then reached up for all of this and headed back to the waiting officer. I am ordered to get into the back where upon he proceeds to read me the riot act about how I could have been killed. I told him if I had to pay a fine on the spot he would really see me die, at the hand of my ex-husband yes really young and dumb! I was not to speed or play around and I had a CB and Radar machine so there would be no fines! In the end this trooper was very nice and gave me a $20 fine I mailed to them from home. Sadly this was not the last time I drove FAST, like my little Hummingbirds! I too had places to go and people to see.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mom’s! I am going to have my best one yet! It is also JT’s birthday!

Trucking

My Last Rig

It was 1999 and I was hauling the tanker you see in the photo above.  It was used for hauling Spring Water from a  New Hampshire Spring Water Company up in the lakes region.

Heading up the mountain roads to pick up the loads were hard enough on me but once loaded and top closed,  I had to get down that long steep grade, now weighing in at 103,000 gross pounds. Yes I was a Heavy Hauler and my load MOVED.  When filling,  the idea was to get it chock full of water so movement would be cut down to a minimum.

In the summer months hauling spring water were such pretty days.   Traveling from bottling plants back up on top of the mountain for more and back down again. Most days I did this trip three times.  Long hours were hard on me and my rig.

I fought traffic through Massachusetts rush hours only to be caught in one just trying to get back home to New Hampshire but I made decent money,  paid my bills and still had some fun.

Now all I just told you went on during winters as well and no,  not so pretty.   Maybe I should have had a camera with me but I was all business when behind the wheel  but now that I look back,  what a blast to capture what I saw out there on a daily basis. Stopped of course.

I changed my own oil in the rig as well as greased it,  from end to end.  I did all the  repairs I knew how to do or that Dad could walk me through or even help me with when he was not busy driving himself.

This is the ugly part of a day,  in the life of me and my truck.

I always kept great tires on my truck,  it is what allowed me to run day in and day out with no blown tires and left sitting on the side of the road.  Well it still would happen but not so often,  more so when I was hauling rubbish in and out of landfills.

Well on this day I headed out with 4 new tires for my rear axle of my tractor.  I gave my old  tires to the place I always did business with  and paid the man,  even gave him a friendly” Thanks so much”,  see you when the fronts come in Call Me!

I went up to the mountain to grab another load of spring water and kicked tires before heading down that nasty mountain road, never knowing it would be one of the scariest rides .   I was loving the ride knowing my tires were new and actually very pretty,  you see I even sand blasted the rims and had them powder coated.   I was out on a major highway here in New Hampshire and stopped to pay my toll then shortly after I was in Newburyport  Massachusetts on 95 south  when I heard,  then felt something funny, well not funny but you know what I mean.  I clenched the big rigs wheel and held on tight about this  time I see one of my new tires pass me!  Then I knew I was in serious trouble my boyfriend yelled ” aren’t you going to stop?”.  I swear to you I could not answer him,  this had never happened before in over two million miles of driving one of these.  I looked in my mirror to my left as the tire would surly head out in front  of me and into the lane beside me.  There was a full school bus and all I could do to warn anyone and make them pay attention was to lay on the air horn, which  had everyone’s  attention by the grace of God.  This huge truck tire was moving!  I had been in the right travel lane and bus in middle lane and we had lots of other company on the southbound side of  I 95.  The tire came across my lane into the school bus lane across the next one into the medium strip of the highway and popped up in front of a Saab,  who was not expecting or paying attention to all of us headed south with our 4 way emergency  flashes on. When he or she saw it coming straight at them they jerked  the wheel and it just missed them and off the other side it went!  I asked Dave to remember where as I needed to go and collect it.  Then the tire which rides beside it,  passed me and this one  could have killed us and many others  that day but once again by the grace of God and my luck,  it did not get caught up under us,  which could have had me loosing control and just horrible,  unimaginable  things taking place that day.  This inside tire took the path up the breakdown lane and thankfully no one was parked there.  It then left the highway and went down the embankment.  Dave again took a mile marker number down as we would have to hunt it down.  These tires were $400.00 each and the rims were expensive as well,  never mind what I paid to have the man do  the work of putting them on.

While wheels were leaving the truck and  traffic veering around the first one and me holding on for dear life,  I also had  taken my foot off the accelerator and was coasting all the while,  103,000 lbs gross weight of tractor-trailer and load of spring water.  I moved the truck into the breakdown lane,  the nightmare over.

What I explained here  in the telling of the story happened all within split seconds but seemed very much in Slow Motion.  I was lucky that day, boyfriend too but mostly the many people who had just been out for a drive.

Now as I am pulled over,  emergency flashes  still on  and I can’t move.  It is over but somehow I know it isn’t.  Boyfriend jumps out to check the truck out then I follow with cell phone in hand,  how I hate phones but this day it helped me stay calm and out of trouble.

I could see my poor air bags and springs and shocks where extended beyond  where they should be with all the weight on the other three  sets of duel tires  so I asked him to put down the landing gears while I called into the mountain to send another driver down to grab my loaded trailer and get it to the bottling plant before they ran out of water and had to shut down the line.  I have always been like this,  thinking of the other person though this meant I would not get paid for the load that was forty minutes  from being delivered but sadly I had more import things to take care of.

I called the tire repairman and have him an earful.  I called a wrecker and had him charged  for it,  though he assumed I would pay for it in the end.   Once another driver arrived and hooked to my trailer I was sitting in the breakdown lane so I asked him the boyfriend who was a big help on days like this to get me a chain and some tools and went about taking off the leveler arm  to get the axle where it needed to sit so I could chain it up and limp home,  no the wrecker was not for me it was to go with Dave to pick up the two wayward tires and rims and bring them to our neighbors,  the ones who had the fire I just told you about.  I got the truck home and parked over there and then Dave and the tires arrived seems they had both gone down and over and landed in nasty puddles of road run off he and the tow truck driver and tires were filthy.  I told the driver to bill the tire man for new boots too.

What a morning I had had on those new tires of mine.
What I wrote about here has happened to others I am sure in one degree or another but this one was my story of a beautiful sunny day till all the BOLTS SNAPPED do you know why?  Seems he had over torqued  them while using his air gun on them.  I too have used air but always tightened  them up by hand.  He could have cost us and the others their life that day and you know he even had the audacity to BILL ME suffice to say  I never paid him for second round of repairs.  I told him to take me to court so I could tell the judge the story I have just written here.

Also I have to tell you from the moment this happened till the time I made a drink that night to try to unwind.  I never saw one police officer.  None pulled over to help me or ask if I was OK,  you see they all knew me as a strong woman who did everything on her own.   I guess that is the good part as I got no citations but boy I sure could have used some BLUE LIGHTS to protect us from possibly being hit,  while we worked on the rig with traffic buzzing by at 70+MPH.

So keep your eyes open while driving or walking.
Please stay off your phones too.
PAY ATTENTION to where you are and what is going on around you.

You just never know and had I been gabbing on the phone like as if I was sitting in my living room I may not be here or that bus full of students.

Let’s Take A Long Sunday Drive

HOP IN

RIDGELINE

Let me take you along my favorite stretch of roadway and you will see NH all decked out  in her finest!

One section is 32 miles with NO GAS.  It’s OK, I promise not to run out.

Ready?

White Mountain National Forest

 

 

 

 

White Mountain National Forest

 

 

 

Look at those COLORS just up ahead.

 

 

 

I want to show you  something that makes NH special

Covered Bridge #29

We are spoiled by  so many of these bridges,  throughout our state.

Let’s check out the river, I did tell you before that there is GOLD here.

GOLD Laden River

 

 

 

 

OK Jump back in let’s check out a few more spots of color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s keep our eyes open,  MOOSE ARE HUGE!

 

 

 

Let’s pull off and check out the lake

Beaver Lake as the fog lifts

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Color around the Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it Beautiful here?

Maples Rock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK time to grab a coffee and sit by the river.  I hope you liked the ride.  This year has

been spectacular to say the least and we still have 1/2 the state yet to hit PEAK COLOR.

 

 

RIVER

 

Thanks again for coming along on and should you ever decide to visit NH at this beautiful time of the year always check the State of NH website for update on where and when the fall color should be at her best.  Make sure your camera has fresh batteries.

A truck as old as me

Originally posted on 20 Lines A Day:

She sits out back alone

She needs a new home

She is as old as me

Take a look and see

1956 Dodge “Job Rated” Flatbed/Dump Body truck

She needs new paint

I could  have chosen  a color  but he would faint

So if you know someone looking to build one

Tell them to call me and I will sell them THIS ONE!

View original

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kikontheroad

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign – Robert Louis Stevenson

Foodie on a Dime

The adventures of one girl, eating well, on a budget

Kit Dunsmore's Blog

Creating a Handmade Life, One Moment at a Time

Moments with Millie

Where words come to reside.

The Mountain Library

A reading list on mountaineering, mountain travel, culture and fiction, and observations on other creativity inspired by high places.

J. Gazo-McKim

I love the interplay of colour and texture

inesepogagallery

NATURE ART, DRAWING AND PAINTING

Colline's Blog

A potpourri of thoughts and experiences

Avian101

"My Backyard Visitors" - All about birds - The world is my backyard!

PI Photography and Fine Art

Find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Mix 104.1

Boston's Best Variety

Optimystical

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~ Rumi

composerinthegarden

The intersection of music and the garden as parallel creative art forms

NH Fish and Game Radio Diner

Connecting you to life outdoors

Time To Be Inspired

Indulge in Creativity

trikatykid & the dog

swim | bike | run | adventure | quilt | write

Life Is a Damn Circus

...And We Are The Circus Acts

Infinitefreetime.com

The blog of Luther M. Siler, Teacher/ Word-maker-dude/ Wanker for hire

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penned with moon dust

antryump

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O' Canada

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mamacravings

everything a mama could want

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Growing my own, from garden to table.

mejfote

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MARVA SEATON BLOG

Lifestyle, Social Media, News, Commentary, Words of Hope and Inspiration

Learning to snap

Learning photography in New Zealand

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Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~

Flowery Prose

Growing words....

Martha Keim-St. Louis' blog

watercolor and things that fall out of my fingers, art, watercolor, words

Frank Martyn

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