When I last posted I was in Phoenix and I needed to get to Memphis for a class on Thursday (five days later). The assignment I got sent me to Laredo, TX which was at least in the right general direction and it was only Sunday so I had plenty of time. The trip was uneventful and I spent the night in Van Horn, TX.

The problem with Laredo is that we take a lot if stuff down there but don’t bring a lot of stuff out. I was carrying beer destined for Cancun, Mexico. It is now the 12th and it takes two days to get to Memphis. I need a load but drivers who got there before me should go out first. Late in the day I got an assignment but it was to North Carolina. That does not get me to Memphis on time. The schedule was also very tight for a solo driver but I want to be a team player so I took it. Fifteen miles down the road I get message on the Qualcomm. For safety reasons I am unable to read it while in motion and can’t just pull off to the side of the road. I had to drive another 15 miles to get to a place I could read the message. It told me to bring the load back. I double checked with my driver manager (DM) by phone and she verfied, so back I go. Another message on the way back. I pull in to a rest area and the message is basically “we changed our minds, take the load.” Naturally I called again and was told to take it back to the terminal as the schedule was too tight. So now I am still in Laredo and I have wasted several precious hours of on-duty and driving time. Later in the evening I get a message to get an empty trailer and drive to a Walmart distribution center in Baytown, TX to pick up another trailer and drive to Chicago. I made it to Baytown with just barely enough time to get in, swap trailers, and get to a truckstop to sleep.

Parking a truck is challenging enough but it was night, the ground was wet and the place was not well lit. Not to mention I still need a lot of practice backing up. Probably took me an hour to park. Fortunately at 4:00 AM no one was watching.

The next day Liz pointed out that I would be driving through Memphis so why not see if I could arrange to drop the trailer there and have someone else take it to Chicago. Smart wife I have. I contacted my DM who was getting testy by this time and informed me that Memphis was out of route. I reminded her I was going to Chicago, not North Carolina and I would be going right through Memphis. Giving the timing I would have been sleeping in Memphis actually. She arranged the relay or “T-call” as we say.

I arrived here at 1:15 AM and spent another 45 minutes parking the trailer, turned in my paperwork and went to bed as my class was at 7:00 AM.

About 5:45 I get message from my DM telling me I should take the simulator class I need. I reminded her that I was here for another class that was a little more important to me.

Before class I took my truck to the shop as I had some problems and having them fixed while I was in class would be a great time saver. The maintenance people here are great. I told them I had a 7:00 class and the got me in the bay quickly and I went off.

Class got out at 2:30 and my truck was not ready. Turns out the A/C problem was more than just needing some coolant. By 4:30 though everything was good but I was exhausted. I reset the time I would be available to early in the morning so I could get some sleep.

At 6:30 in the morning my DM messages me about the simulator class again. I called the proper person to see if there was space. When I told him I was in the parking lot he said “run” as a class started at 6:45. I was still in bed at the time but got there pretty quickly.

Both classes chewed up hours and left me in a position where I didn’t expect to get a load. That would normally be fine as I needed to go to the store but not getting out of here on Friday means I may be stuck until Monday which will start another mad scramble to get back to Dallas by Thursday to pick up Liz.

What a stress free lifestyle I have chosen.

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