A humble truck driver cruisin the country....enjoying all the beauty this country has to offer.
MontanaMatt: Well I broke the streak today. It was 37 degrees in Glendive Montana this morning and I just can't do my morning inspection in shorts when it's that cold. That wasn't surprising after the weather extremes from yesterday. When I left Great Falls Montana it was snowing really hard about 20 miles east of town. Dumping snow! And the Bull Mountains were covered in snow from top to bottom. And I'm pretty sure yesterday's wind chill never got close to freezing. I would guess it was hovering around 20 degrees all day.
So now that the streak is over I can dress a little more comfortably when needed. Like tomorrow morning? I'm about 40 miles west of Minneapolis and they are predicting 42 degrees here overnight. I can do that in shorts if the wind isn't blowing. 🤷♂️ But this little cold snap sure makes for great sleeping! I have a little vent that's about 6 in from my head.... and that will be open almost every night until spring. Sometimes I can catch a really nice breeze through there..... and it always cools down the inside of this truck to a really reasonable sleeping temperature.
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MontanaMatt: Me too! I was talking to my dad the other day and he asked me where I set the air conditioner for the sleeper at night. I told him it's set at 51 degrees..... and it's only set at 51 because it won't set any lower. I thought he was going to have a heart attack! Evidently he needs a room at 70 or warmer if he's going to get any sleep. I told him that at 88 years old his skin is no doubt so thin you could just about read a newspaper through it. He didn't think that was funny!
Just the facts dad. Nothing but facts! 😄
MontanaMatt: What a giant cluster f&#k!
I had a freight broker calling me first thing this morning wanting me to get my butt up to Charlotte North Carolina. I finally had to tell him that I don't work for him. When one of my dispatcher tells me to get my butt to North Carolina..... I absolutely will. Until then quit calling me.
So I finally get marching orders from my dispatcher telling me to get to Charlotte North Carolina to this Lineage Logistics facility. And I was here less than 90 minutes later. Only to find out the load was supposed to ship yesterday..... and because that didn't happen now it's been bumped until tomorrow. So.....nevermind.
And now my dispatcher is scrambling to find me another load from this part of the country up to Chicago..... where we have a load waiting to get hauled back to Montana. Like right now!
These guys take all the fun out of dysfunction.
MontanaMatt: So when I got here and the guard told me there was some confusion..... he told me to find a parking spot at the far end of the yard and when it's figured out I'll come find you. So I've now been sitting here a little over an hour..... and I've seen 8 trucks pull up to the guard shack.... sit there for 5 minutes..... and then pull into the yard and turn around and leave. Lol I really should have seen this coming. The cluster is readily apparent with a single glance. 🤣
And the trucks just keep on coming..... and keep on turning around and leaving! I have my own personal viewing of a Keystone Cops episode!
springsunshine82 in reply to MontanaMatt: LoL oh man. Good morning Matt! extremely disorganized, should be ashamed of themselves for not running a smooth company. At least where shipping is concerned.
MontanaMatt: So when we need a trailer washed out in Great Falls Montana we only have one option. It's a towing company that also does small repairs on vehicles. And it's not really even a washout. They jump in there with a leaf blower and blow it out. It's usually good enough. But they will never see me again. Never!
I parked my truck this morning exactly where they would like it parked. And walked into the office to pay up. The gal was kind of busy so I wandered to the other end of the office to use the men's room. Excuse me. Combination bathroom/lunch room! Not kidding! Nice lunch room with a nice big table and several chairs and of course the refrigerator. All about eight feet away from the toilet! WTAF? Honestly couldn't believe what I was seeing. I actually walked back out of the room and looked at the sign on the door..... and it said men's room. Nothing like enjoying your lunch while some guy is dropping a deuce in the corner. Unbelievable!
Then.... I walked back into the office to pay. And the gal said..... that will be $75. Excuse me? What kind of services are you providing for $75 that you didn't provide two months ago for $35? And she told me it's always been $75. And I told her I may have paid $75 once..... but I would never have come back. But you've never charged me anything other than $35. And then she tells me she can provide receipts. And I told her to not bother with that. Just the fact that she was bold enough to throw that number at me was enough. But I had to pay the $75. This particular customer checks the condition of the trailer before it's loaded and they have no problem telling you to go away if it isn't pretty much spotless. If they tell me to go away I'm really screwed. But I told the lady to enjoy their money..... because there was no chance they would ever see another dollar of Corcoran Trucking money. Fools! It's never been a five-minute job. Not even close. smh
And I'm never doing business with somebody that has the toilet in the lunchroom. No stall.... and no walls of any kind. Just the shitter in the corner of the lunch room! Nope! See ya! 😳
MontanaMatt: So I'm backed up to this warehouse 2 or 3 miles north of Great Falls Montana. Not a tree in sight to block the wind. Currently 44 degrees and spitting rain..... and the windshield is 33 degrees. 🥶
I accomplished my goal again this year. The goal is always to go from Memorial Day to Labor day without wearing long pants. (Motorcycle rides excluded) But once I accomplish that goal it's fun to see how long I can keep going. Today might be the end! 😳
MontanaMatt: Wow! Again.....one of the hardest parts about aging is losing your heroes.
Norm Macdonald passed away today. His dry wit made me laugh like very few others could. Rest easy funny man. You will be missed. 😢
MontanaMatt: I always thought a good business practice would be to invite people with money into your business? Not so much! 🤷♂️
Last Sunday night I stopped here at the Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City Iowa. I always park here when I need a parking spot. Security has told me exactly where they want me to park. And told me....."you are welcome to park here anytime" So I pull in here tonight to find a very large no parking sign at the entrance of the parking lot. WTH? I parked here anyway.... because I had 11 minutes left on my clock. No chance of finding another parking spot in 11 minutes. I spoke with security inside and they told me that they decided trucks were doing too much damage to the parking lot. Horseshit!
There is a few cracks in the concrete here and there but that's every parking lot in the damn country. I had a polite conversation with security and they agreed with me. They actually told corporate that banning trucks was a really bad idea.
So I had one drink..... which guarantees this truck isn't moving for the next 10 hours..... and put $80 into a slot machine. No luck but I'm okay with that..... since I hit them for more than a few thousand dollars last weekend! 😲
And I guess they don't want a shot at getting their money back. Bummer for them! 😄
MontanaMatt: Wow. Just wow.
One of the things I learned pretty early on in this driving career of mine is that there are places you absolutely do not leave a major highway. Pretty much everything east and south of Kansas City. Eventually you will end up on a road that's two feet too narrow (each lane)! You literally don't have 6 inches to spare. When a road is that narrow they obviously didn't have the money to build it right so you get tossed all over the place. Pretty much hanging on for your life!
And I was on one of those in northeast South Carolina yesterday picking up this load..... and on another one last night about 80 miles north of Atlanta delivering the load. Holy shit!
You look in the right side mirrors and all you see is grass..... and the driver's side mirror is directly on top of the center line. If you sneeze you're probably a dead man. And there's no options. If that's where it goes that's where you got to go.
In this business you MAKE your money driving down the highway..... and you EARN your money doing the pick ups and drops. Yesterday I earned every damn dollar every damn mile. On both ends. And I also got to drive through Atlanta during rush hour last night. Oh fuck! I've done that a few dozen times now and it still makes me question my career choice every time. I'm not a fan of Los Angeles but it's not a big deal. Chicago is a nightmare and a rat race all at the same time but I love the place so it's kind of exciting. Atlanta at rush hour is anxiety through the roof. Constantly! Ugh isn't even close. Wow. Just wow.
Thankfully the Cross Dock in Dalton Georgia didn't get my trailer loaded yesterday.... so I got to sleep in a little today and work on getting my mental poop all back into one pile. And now I'm going back to bed until the phone rings. 🥴
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MontanaMatt: Sheryl is one of those special people. When she starts laughing..... you just can't help but laugh with her. If I was standing in front of Sheryl..... actually on fire.... and she started laughing....I would be laughing too. 🤷♂️
MontanaMatt: I left Billings on the 18th of August..... and just got back an hour ago. 6605 miles in 15 days.
Not quite uneventful. I broke down just south of Cheyenne Wyoming on Wednesday.... and spent Wednesday night in a motel while my truck was being repaired to the tune of $3,300. A solid $1,500 more than it should have been but that's not my fight. It should never cost that much money to replace a water pump....a hose and the belt tensioner. But that's how they get ya! When you break down on the road you are a captive audience. You have to pay what it costs to get back on the road. 🤷♂️
And now I will be in the shop most of the weekend here in Billings. I took a rock in the windshield and my windshield is now split from top to bottom. That will never pass a random dot Inspection. And my APU..... which supplies air conditioning to the sleeper pooped the bed when I was in Atlanta a week ago.That obviously needs to be repaired..... and I have a random warning light on my dash. I've never seen it before but I was told it's not a big deal and to just keep moving. But that needs to be repaired I'm in the shop also.
And then I'm headed to South Carolina. I think. It's either that or Little Rock Arkansas. The weeknd dispatcher will figure that out sometime tomorrow. Happy to be going to either one of those places AFTER the hurricane and biblical rain. Hopefully the next hurricane takes its sweet time getting there. I've done one hurricane and that's plenty. 😲
MontanaMatt: And I just got the load assignment on my phone. Off to Ridgeway South Carolina as soon as my truck is road ready. And a very relaxed schedule. It doesn't deliver until whatever time I get there on Thursday.
It will be a nice change to not race across the country with my hair on fire! 💦 🔥
MontanaMatt: Well I should not be working this hard. 27 hours and 42 minutes in the last 2 days.
And now I'm an hour north of Atlanta for the night.... and if I can get to Billings Montana by Tuesday at 10 a.m. my paycheck next Friday will be really really large. Like $2500 for a week. That's pretty cool but I'm gonna need 2 or 3 days off to recover. That's two or three days of making nothing. So I guess in the end it all balances out. 🙄
MontanaMatt: Two deliveries in a row to a Kroger facility. I told my dispatcher I absolutely need hazardous duty pay! Even though they were really pretty quick in Keller Texas that doesn't mean squat here. I'm about 12 miles or so straight south of downtown Atlanta. It started raining one minute before I got parked in the staging area. And by rain I mean.....Holy buckets that's a lot of freakin water! Unreal! I'm actually okay watching this from the staging area instead of out there working in it. That is soaked to the bone in about 10 seconds rain! 😳
MontanaMatt: So it's a pretty well fucked monkey today.
So the load I was taking to Monroe Georgia fell through. Computer issues by the broker. It happens. No biggie. So the relief dispatcher in Montana put me on another trip..... from a warehouse in Arkansas to the same Walmart Distribution Center in Monroe Georgia. Cool.... except it had a delivery time of 9 a.m. tomorrow. How come I'm the first guy that notices that?
It turns out the broker assumed that Corcoran Trucking would put a team on that run so they could drive all night and be there on time. So now I'm on a different load from dequeen Arkansas to somewhere south of Atlanta. I've been given three different addresses in three different cities and my GPS hates all of them. So I'm going to head that way and see what the hell happens when I get close. SMFH
MontanaMatt: More complete and total dysfunction in the trucking industry! I get to this plant to pick up my trailer load of yogurt to head to Monroe Georgia for a 6 p.m. delivery Friday evening. And the shipping office tells me this load won't be ready to ship until about 9 a.m. tomorrow. 😳
So I'm supposed to pick up this load at 9 am tomorrow and drive 853 miles in the next 9 hours? I'm going to need a new truck. One that has wings!
MontanaMatt: Ain't technology grand? I just got a call from the freight broker canceling this load. Evidently their computer system is not receiving correct information from the shippers. So now I'm sitting here in Dallas with nothing to do.... and my dispatcher has already left the office to make funeral arrangements and he will not be back until tomorrow. 👍
MontanaMatt: Long ass day for sure! I left Sikeston Missouri this morning and I'm in Keller Texas tonight having just done a delivery at a Kroger warehouse. 620 miles on the day.. Kroger is always a nightmare..... but once I got through the hassle of getting checked in at the gate they were pretty quick. I drove away....sort of.... less than 45 minutes after I bumped the dock. Not much time on my clock and parking in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is a nightmare at this hour so I pulled around the corner and parked in their staging area for the night. I really do appreciate them being okay with that..... but holy shit this parking area is rough a f. These trucks aren't made for four-wheel driving but everybody in this parking lot had to do that. Beyond ridiculous! But they got me in and out really quickly so I'm going to give them a pass on the unimproved cattle trail of a parking lot.
Picking up a load of yogurt in the morning in Dallas and headed for Monroe Georgia. It's about 45 miles straight east of Atlanta. And then probably over to Dalton Georgia for the weekly flooring load headed back to Montana. Zoom-zoom!
And it's a hot bugger here! 11:30 at night and it's still 86 degrees! 🔥🔥🔥
MontanaMatt: Well this will be interesting. I'm back at the same warehouse I was just a week ago just South of Indianapolis. The ones that took 90 minutes to get me out of here after I was empty. This time I'm loading for Keller Texas. I can't see any reason for the same thing to happen. Hopefully they don't prove me wrong!
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MontanaMatt: Here we go!
I'm sitting here a few feet away from the door. There's no sense in opening my trailer doors until they're ready to load me. And some numbnut comes by and starts messing with my reefer. First of all dude..... not your equipment. Keep your fucking hands off my reefer! If you don't like the way it is set you talk to me.
Secondly..... it's hot as fuck. You can't just set the reefer to -10 and hope it gets there. When it's this hot you have to get there in stages. I set it to 30°. When it gets there I'll set it to 15 degrees. Eventually it will be at - 10.
Not good enough for him. Cool! He just relieved me of all responsibility for the temperature on this load. Fuck em!
MontanaMatt: Just horribly shitty luck to be back in this same hell hole twice in less than a week. And they are absolutely proving that everything I thought about them a week ago is very very true. smh
MontanaMatt: One of the benefits of being stuck in a do-nothing truck stop 40 miles from anywhere is I have time on my hands. So this afternoon I figured out how to hook up and run Netflix from my phone through my TV. I bought the cable and connector a couple of weeks ago and just never got around to it..... probably because I never had TV choices this lame.
So now I pull up whatever I want to watch on my phone and switch the source to HDMI and I'm watching Netflix on my TV. And I can tell already it's going to come in handy.... mostly when I want to take a nap through something really stupid. I just surf around Netflix until I find something appropriately stupid.... and I'm asleep in minutes! And I guess I can catch up on the latest supposedly great movies. I honestly can't remember the last time I went to a movie theater to see a movie. Several years ago....at least. Maybe like 8 years? 🤷♂️
At least it gives me choices when I'm in a poor TV area. And I think I paid $40 for the HDMI cable and appropriate jumper cable? And I think Netflix is $9.99 a month. I can certainly live with that. 😃
If you are a dispatcher for a trucking company.... when a driver calls and asks what's next.... you probably shouldn't tell him you've been too busy to look for a load. After he's been sitting on his ass for 6 plus hours waiting for you to call.
So now I'm sitting in this truck stop about 40 miles straight east of Indianapolis.... until at least tomorrow morning..... unless it gets really busy again and then who the hell knows.
I'm going to be really unhappy when he tells me tomorrow just to deadhead up to Chicago.... when I could have done that today and maybe gone to a baseball game or done something fun. smfh
MontanaMatt: Well I think my dispatcher is just losing it. He told me in no uncertain terms this place is open until 11 p.m. on Sundays. Yeah not so much. 😡
I drive almost 1,700 miles with my fucking hair on fire to get this off loaded and get back to Chicago today. But noooo! Of course they're closed on Sundays and open again at 7 a.m. tomorrow. I would have known that myself had they ever answered the phone even once since Friday morning when I started calling them to confirm operating hours.
So now when I'm offloaded tomorrow I get to drive back to Chicago and then Montana with my hair on fire because the load there needs to be in Montana yesterday.
Well I'm in charge now. They will get this product that's in my trailer whenever the hell I decide to get out of bed tomorrow. 🤷♂️
I'm certainly not going to be the only one not doing his damn job. 😠
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Kaiya_: Well you know I don't think they consider you are a human being Matt. They only consider a number and product. How are things in the shipping with all this Covid nonsense? If I was your wife I would go with you.
MontanaMatt in reply to Kaiya_: Hi Kaiya! It's nice to hear from you.
The only real significant change is that the shippers and receivers are all trying to eliminate contact as much as possible. They don't even want us walking in their building. Some have even gone to an online check-in system. That's all fine with me. Most of them are idiots so the less contact the better in my opinion.
I've thought a lot about having a passenger. That would make close quarters even more of a bigger deal than it already is. But I would absolutely try it if it was the right person.
Let me know if you want to go for a ride someday!
MontanaMatt: I'm on my way up to Bozeman with four pallets of wine... and then I'm taking my truck to the shop in Belgrade. There is a Freightliner shop in Billings but I've completely lost faith in those guys. It can be the tiniest little thing and you're sitting on your ass there for at least 2 days. I've known most of the guys at the Freightliner shop in Belgrade since well before I was a truck driver. They are really good and really fast. And they like me. That all translates to a much more efficient experience. And they don't mind me hanging out in the shop while they're working on my truck. They know that I'm just trying to learn and they are all about teaching me whatever they can.
And yes this sudden change in weather is pretty extreme! I'm a little less than halfway to Bozeman and it's 49 degrees and absolutely dumping rain! 😳 It was 50 degrees warmer than that when I pulled into Billings yesterday afternoon!
MontanaMatt: Two big problems with this.
(1) Its 9:20 and I'm in bed.
(2) Flopping around trying to get comfortable and sprain my knee. Is that like a penalty pain for an old guy because he's in bed too early?
MontanaMatt: I think it only makes sense to ask the driver before you spend 4 hours trying to recreate the problem? Once I told them how to make it happen it was diagnosed and well on the way to being repaired in under an hour.
And that delay means it was too late to pick up my load to Richmond Indiana today. 🤷♂️
Actually I guess I'm okay with all of that. That means I'm spending another night in Belgrade Montana.... where I lived for about 12 years. Kind of feels like old home week. And I'll get a great nights sleep and still be in Richmond Indiana Sunday evening. All good!
MontanaMatt: That's going to take a bit of an adjustment. The forecast high temperature for Billings Montana tomorrow is 58 degrees with showers. 😳
MontanaMatt: Me and a friend went in together on a pair of pants. He had more money than me so they're 3 corduroys and 1/4 mine. 🤣
MontanaMatt: No good reason for that day to smell like it did. A truck stop with no fuel to sell. 😳 It seems today was the day everybody in Colorado was going to forgo the use of blinkers. Dumb shits! And a guy on foot in a truck stop made direct eye contact with me and gave me the nod. The universal signal for...it's all you. Go dude! And then after I stick my foot in it to get out of his way quickly he runs six fast steps and stops directly in front of my truck. I got stopped about a foot short of running his dumbass over. Then he has the balls to look all indignant and give me the finger.
A couple of words for you Junior? When you are 5'4" ...maybe..... and weigh less than 140 lbs..... you better check it before I wreck it. That misshapen bald head of yours is going to look really weird when I beat 57 knots on it. And you're going to walk really funny for a long time when I break that finger off and shove it straight up your ass. And everybody saw just how tough you are when I set the brake and jumped out of my truck and your bony little ass was already thirty yards away running for the hills. LOSER!
And then I finally get out of Colorado and into Kansas.....oh joy..... and immediately have to be on tornado watch. 🌪 Haven't seen any yet.... but you really gotta hate the hailstones that sound like gunshots hitting the truck.
Come on tomorrow! Hurry!
Oh I forgot. My appointment was originally set for 5 p.m. tomorrow south and east of Indianapolis. I drove my ass off yesterday and today. And I'm 750 miles away from that delivery right now. Unless the time-space continuum got altered today..... there's no way on this earth I could have possibly made that delivery on time. So they were kind enough to schedule me a new delivery time. 4 a.m. Sunday morning! 😳 And I still don't believe it. Their website very clearly says they're closed on Sundays. 🤷♂️
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MontanaMatt: So the lead mechanic jumped up into my truck to run a test on the air brakes and immediately said.... what the hell is up with your seat? We're going to order you a new seat right now!
So he made a few phone calls and the only seat in town that fits this truck is leather. And over $1,200! So he ran that by the boss and he said order it and get it installed before he leaves town. So when I leave here shortly headed for Rexburg Idaho I'll be sitting in style! It's really nice! And the lumbar support is so dramatic I can get rid of the lumbar support I've been stuffing behind my back for a year! Win win win! 🤣