And the verdict is…

2008 October 16
by Hedon

Not fired… but… may be quitting… tomorrow.

So we finally got load delivered and headed to the yard to discover our fate. Didn’t have to wait long since when we pulled up to the guard shack we were told to park and come inside to learn some things about our new truck. That’s right — new truck. I’m talking 423 miles on it and the flimsy plastic things still on the seats.

So you’re probably asking yourself right about now if this is a “hurrah” moment and if you should cheer our good fortune lustily. Well we believe you should do pretty much everything lustily, but this isn’t a cheering moment.

The brand spanking new truck is not the same kind of truck we are currently driving. The main reason we came to this company was to get the kind of truck we are currently driving. We wanted this particular truck because it has the best suspension on the road and more storage space than any other company truck available. And believe you me, we are all about the suspension and the storage. We’ve learned over the years that these are the two most important things — to us — in a truck.

Its hard to explain to people who don’t drive just why the truck is so very important. The best you can say is that it’s our house the vast majority of the time. We spend 25 days per month living in this truck and only 5 days at home. So when we say the kind of truck we are driving is important, its not at all about the actual driving its about the living part. It’s about feeling comfortable and at-home in your surroundings.

So back to the new truck. It’s beautiful. It’s shiny. It’s gorgeous. If you got it for Christmas you’d shit your pants. But it has practically no storage room. Rough guess less than half the amount of storage that’s in the truck we currently drive. And I know I’m probably well known by now for exaggerating a little — it’s part of my goofy yet lovable charm — but not this time. Less than half. This is a disaster.

As for the suspension, we don’t know since we haven’t driven this exact model before. Word on the street is that it’s decent but we won’t know until we live in it. So that’s unknowable at this point. We could move into the new truck only to find out the suspension is not good enough that Stace can sleep while the truck is moving. And you can’t drive 2,800 miles straight if you can’t sleep when the truck is moving.

Right now we’re going to try talking to the equipment manager in the morning and see if we can’t work something out. Try to stay in the truck we’re in now or move into another like it somewhere if they insist we move out of this one. But we don’t really hold out any hope that things will work out in our favor. We heard tonight that a number of the company’s teams had quit after being assigned these new trucks so this tells us that they aren’t exactly being very flexible about placement.

Which means tomorrow we will have a very big decision to make. Try to find a way to make the new truck work or quit. We don’t want to make this sound more dramatic than what it is. Unless something bizarre happens in our meeting, we will likely try to make this thing work. It will mean leaving probably a third of our stuff in a dumpster in Ohio and just crossing our fingers that the suspension is decent and we can sleep while truck is moving.

It’s just depressing. Really depressing. And I know it sounds like we’re big whiny babies. I mean they are assigning us to a brand spanking new truck… and it’s not like we’re going to be forced to drive down the road listening to Muskrat Love 24 hours a day… but even if it works out the new truck is just never going to feel like home. It’s like being forced to leave your four-bedroom split-level ranch and moving into a one-room apartment.

I wish we were ready to buy our own truck and say screw you guys we’re going home. But we’re just not ready. We need to save a lot more cash so that we can go into O/O-hood with a good chance to succeed. At this point, it looks like best-case scenario is to stay here, try to live with the truck, save money and watch the economy.

So that’s where everything stands right now… glad we’re not fired (mostly) but we’re seriously bumming. We have no hope whatsoever that talking to this lady in the morning is going to do anything at all for us. We’re just screwed. I have a feeling I can tell you where to come pick-up a free microwave, dust buster, big bag of slightly-chewed dog toys, and other fun odds and ends tomorrow afternoon. Yay trucking!!

9 Responses
  1. 2008 October 16
    Belledog permalink

    Ooh, that’s a shame; hate that you are losing so much of your living space (and Maggie’s toys!). Are they switching to these vehicles because they’re more fuel-efficient? Or just got a great deal because other carriers wouldn’t buy such cramped driver quarters?

    That would be a major lifestyle issue; it’s hard to downsize when you’re already living in a smaller space than most ever imagine.

    Peace and strength to you. Hope this works out somehow. Bummer.

  2. 2008 October 16

    Belledog,

    They are more fuel efficient than truck we are in now. And to be honest they are nicer than most company trucks on the road. It’s just that the truck we are in now is literally the best truck rolling — in our opinion based on what’s important to us right now — so it’s quite a come down.

    If we set our own schedule it wouldn’t be that big a deal we could carry much less and go home every couple of weeks. But you don’t set your own schedule until it’s your name on the truck door.

    Thanks for the good thoughts. Stace has calmed me down some by reminding me that we have dealt with much worse than this and anyway it’s not forever.

  3. 2008 October 17

    What a dilemma. Did they put you in a Freightshaker Columbia from a Classic or something? They do have a lot less storage space – one reason I liked driving solo. When you live in a walk-in closet with another person and a dog…well, you need storage space.

    Let us know what works out for you.

    Hey Salena, are you guys still thinking about the 144″ tractor?

  4. 2008 October 18

    OK, so it’s now almost 1 am and I’m coming back to check the comment I left from my cell phone, which apparently never posted. So here I go again…

    So is Stace the Princess from the “Princess and the Pea” fairytale with this whole not being able to sleep in a “certain” type of truck. What a Prima Donna. Sheesh! lol

    Ed said that now is the time, since you run as hard as you do, to buy your own truck and become OO’s. He said you will definitely NET $1,000.00 a day. And I’ll send you an email to let you know what we made on the load we took from Houston to LA – in ONE day!!!

    Please keep us posted on how the Princess likes the new truck and if she can get any beauty sleep in it. And perhaps it’s time for some spring cleaning – you should see OUR truck – we currently have a 48″ sleeper!!! Can you freakin’ believe that? I have shit strapped to the ceiling – it looks like a gypsy transporter. But I am GREAT at organizing.

    And Decorina….YES, we are still looking into the big sleeper truck – we JUST talked to the salesman about it today! Although, it looks like it might be January before we actually get into it. We’ve been looking at them for a long time, so the closer we get, the more excited I am!! Hopefully, we’ll actually GET one in the coming year.

    OK, Girls….I’ll be waiting for an update!

    CAPTCHA: Montauk Rex (A dinasour found only on the southern fork of Long Island.)

    PS: Did you know if you keep hitting the button to get a new CAPTCHA challenge, that they eventually think you’re a moron who can’t read and they start giving you AUDIO challenges? Uh, yeah, I have *that much* time on my hands

  5. 2008 October 18

    I don’t know what happened, but my post got all screwed up – the CAPTCHA comment and the PS should have been at the END, not in the middle of my comment. Ugh.

  6. 2008 October 18
    Belledog permalink

    OK: after another day’s experience and reflection: was this an early trick or treat or still both? Are you out on the road?

    Happy Saturday to all.

  7. 2008 October 18

    Tell Stace that I have a feather bed that I used in my truck. On top of two mattresses. With a down comforter. It is still hanging around my house here somewhere – anytime you come through Denver stop at the TA on the west side and I’ll bring it to you. Slept like a baby on that thing – oh, and Maggie will dig it too.

  8. 2008 October 18

    Yep, Selena, I am of the Princess and the Pea variety. The “pea” part is the crappy roads we drive on, where bumps and potholes regularly send me flying up off the mattress, 10 inches into the air, then slams me back down (quite the feat when my hefty bulk is taken into consideration). This results in effectively waking me up five times an hour and ruining my chances of a decent night’s sleep.

    Hedon only talked about me, but she has a hard time sleeping on many of the roads we travel, as well. Our old truck had a good enough suspension that the bumps and potholes weren’t felt as badly, at least keeping me from becoming airborne. :-)

    Sometimes, though, like in California, the roads can be so bad that even in the old truck, we couldn’t sleep, including Maggie. She gets really droopy eared and sad-looking and climbs into the driver’s seat with Hedon to take advantage of the air ride seat. LOL.

    We have heard good things about the new truck’s suspension, so hopefully I will continue to remain bunkbound on most of this country’s fine roads.

  9. 2008 October 18

    Thanks, Decorina. Sounds great, but we’re covered. We’ve got a nice spring mattress with a tempur-pedic topper that does as good a job as possible on controlling the pitching and bouncing you get from trying to sleep in a moving truck.

    Have tried a number of combinations in the past, but this one seems to work best. The springs in the mattress help absorb the shocks and the tempur-pedic topper helps absorb them in a different way.

    If I could have it my way, we’d always shut down for sleep, then the roads and suspensions and mattresses wouldn’t matter. But let’s face it, the reason why they hire teams is for higher-paying time-sensititve loads that have to be run pickup to delivery with no stopping except for fueling and driver switches. Almost all our loads are time-sensitive. Comes with the territory of being a team driver for a company. Still, it’s nice to dream …

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