It’s been over a week since I posted anything here and to be honest, the last nine days have been so jumbled together, I couldn’t tell where one day ended and the next began.
The first few days were what could be considered normal. Then the week went to hell. The powers that be asked Jimmy for a “favor” and he said yes even though he was more than skeptical about how things would play out. Seems Walmart needed some help, so they approached “outside” companies to help them move some freight. On Thursday afternoon we left Lebanon, TN, and went to Hopkinsville, KY to the Walmart distribution center to get the low down on what would be required.
Before I go any farther, I’m going to try my best to explain the requirements the Department of Transportation(DOT) has in place for every driver that has a CDL(Commercial Drivers License) in order to “try” to make sure those driving the big ass trucks are as safe as they can be while still doing the job that America relies on.
Every week, each driver has a “clock” of 70 hours for each 8 day period. Within that 70 hours, each day is broken down into 14 hours of Duty Day. This means if Jimmy starts his daily clock or log by 6am, he’s finished by 8pm. No matter what he does with his day or how many miles he drives, that clock does not stop ticking down. No matter what goal he has set for himself for that day, it MUST be accomplished during those 14 hours. Next, is the “driving time” allowed … in every 14 hours per day, the driver is permitted to actually drive for only 11 hours, and within this 11 hours the driver MUST take a 30-minute rest break after a maximum of 8 hours has gone by. At the end of the 8 day period, if the 70 hours has been completely used, each driver is required to have a 34 hour “reset or rest break or home time”. This 34 hour resets the 70 hours for the next week and it all begins again. Now, there is more to this cycle but this is the basics and what you’ll need to know as I continue to post.
To make this part of the loonngg story short, we spent the next 4 days working 14 hours a day, running freight all over freaking KY and IN. It was a mess. And at the end of that “assignment”, Jimmy decided he’s not going to apply for a driver job out of the DC in Hope Mills (which would be great for home time) and if he ever hears even a tiny whisper in the wind that Big G needs volunteers to help Walmart, he’s going to be sure he’s unavailable!
Thankfully, his company has what is known as a “no forced dispatch” policy and each driver can decide which runs/trips they want to take or turn down. Without any blowback from the higher-ups.
We got back here to the shop in Lebanon, TN last night knowing Jimmy was out of hours he’s able to work during an eight-day cycle, which meant we needed to be shut down for 34 consecutive hours, with no movement. During this reset, we need the truck to be serviced and man let me tell you there are varying degrees of service required as determined how many miles have been traveled since the last service. Today we are having a B service which is an oil change, oil filter change, air filter change, and grease.
We are also having some issues with the unit that works the air conditioning and heat, so even though we were here just a week and a half ago (and sat for TEN hours!!) for this issue, it’s back and so we sit again today to try and get it fixed correctly. Lastly is the switch to roll the driver’s window up or down, it’s been hesitating, and yesterday, Jimmy couldn’t put it back up for more than 2 hours. Thankfully it didn’t rain!
I didn’t take any pictures this past week but did enjoy some nice tree-covered backroads in IN and KY, LOL!
I have NO idea where we go from here, I’m hoping it’s a nice long relaxing run. Maybe back to Maine. Just not to Florida and Texas has hurricane weather this week. Even though we’ve got family there, I don’t wanna be washed away in the storm!!
That’s all for this time. Ya’ll be safe and know that I miss ya’s TONS!!