Monday, October 5, 2009


Thursday night only made as far as Bishopville, SC before pulling into the Wilco Hess there and called it a day. Took some Nyquil and crawled into the bunk. And slept and slept.

Got moving about 6am and traveled the rest of the way home. After spending the weekend (fri-sat) generally going from feeling ok to feeling bad and otherwise sleeping and generally being so-so company it was time to put some miles on this morning.

Took off this morning and put 300 miles behind me that will leave a little more that 500 to cover tomorrow good enough.

On a positive note racked up 32500 miles last quarter the best quarter yet and the mpg came in at 7.15 good enough for a .02 pm bonus. Next quarter won't be so good with the Turkey bird and christmas holidaysbut I still should get a bit over 100k for the year. No complaints for my first calendar year in the business.

Have a good day

Bookerz out

Tolls on Our Roads? Good Idea!

Mostly that the current political party of opposition did raise it in the early 80’s on the Autoroutes we had at the time and due to unpopularity of the measure, they backed off so much that they removed them totally from the scenery of the highways 10-13-15-40. It wasn’t democratic to double the rate of the toll to help finance the maintenance of the highways. It was not mostly to the people of the greater Montreal area and the Eastern Townships to pay more for roads in Ungava.

What would be the price of the new tolls? If in the early 80’s the “wisemen” of the MTQ had estimated to 0.50$ the price to update the system, if we consider the cost of living increase, inflation, the rise in the price of asphalt products, the higher labour costs, the renewal of the work contracts for the civil servants, the price charged in Europe, they like to compare themselves to them, I think the wisemen of the MTQ are going to establish the rate at about 3.00$ for each 10Km travelled.

Again, it may be a PPP with a foreign partner that will manage this and install plate recognition systems so you will get another monthly bill by the mail. There are chips like the EZ-Pass but again, they may not be compatible to the rest of the systems here, distinct society, and it would make it easier on carriers. They may be compatible to the ones used on the Autobahn or on the Southern France Expressways.

My good friend Jacques Plante tells it to who wants to listen those simple vanity plates could help to refill the accounts of our government. If like our immediate western neighbours, Ontario, if these plates could be available event for small commercial vehicles, here in Quebec, the ones with an “F” plate, I would be asking some for my 3 pilot cars with the following message C-LARGE-1,2,3. But since our 3rd eastern neighbour, France, has not given any thoughts on it, we may not see this here soon.

Jacques, it’s a very good idea. You should ask the Minister for a grant to study the project but she is already doing every thing possible to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. If 12M$ of our tax dollars can go to study the possibility of subway extensions, you may only receive a Thank you note…

First Moan

Bernie's Salad Some pics of Minerva

Look at them legs lol

I only asked for a turkey DrumstickMust have been one big ass Turkey lol

Well I had my four plates full of buffet and Bernie had salad. It was that big he could not finish it.
We then set off to Minerva. Stopping on the way a couple of times. Ended up getting there 1 hour later than we would have liked. But it would have made no difference. They still left us till last for some reason. Which then made us very late for our collection in Canton Ohio. Which was just 10mins down the road. I was in a little rush going back through the town with us been very late so went round a couple of really tight corners a bit quicker than I should. One I had to turn one way then the other straight away to allow me extra room to get my trailer round these tight bends. As I did it I heard a thud in the back. I thought it was something dropping off the top bunk where we keep our baggage etc. It turned out I had woke Bernie up, by pinning him up against the side of the truck as I went round the bend. He didn’t say much as he was still half asleep. Had he been fully awake, he would have just moaned in a playful way like I did a couple of days before, when he did it to me. I could not stop laughing to myself each time I thought him sprawled over the side of the truck. I did feel bad for waking him up though.
Well we got our collection and off back to Toronto we went. Dropped the trailer and bobtailed down the road for our collection which was going to Winnipeg. When we was on our way to Winnipeg. I was driving over night, and was about 10 miles outside a place call Dryden, when I came round this bend and my headlights shone on a truck on its side in the ditch and a pick up truck with its lights on parked in front. So I jammed the brakes on expecting Bernie hitting the floor in a big snotty heap lol, thinking it had just happened. I jumped out the cab to find I could not see a thing, so jumped back into the cab for my torch, which took me ages to find. All this time Bernie was awake, but he never let on. I could not see anyone in the pickup, so I run up to the truck on its side to see crime tape and frost all over it, so panic was over. In the mean time another tuck had pulled up to assist, but I said all was good. The pickup must have just been guarding the load till rescue arrived. I then set off again. When I got into Dryden, I pulled in to go to Tim Hortons for my Mocha. I normally get one if I driving in the night. Good thing they are open 24hrs. The guy that pulled up at the wreck did the same. While in the store, he said he was impressed that I stopped as there was a few that just drove by, and he bought me my Mocha. He then asked if I mind him keeping with me as I was going at a decent pace and he was a little tired. It really takes it out of you driving at night, round all the winding roads with no street lights expecting a moose or deer to be stood in the road at anytime. So it makes it easier to just follow the lights in front of you. So we set off. For the next 200km’s. the roads are constantly winding and going up and down hill, on a single 2 lane road. This guy stuck so far up my backside most of the 200k I could not see his lights lol. We chatted on the CB for a while. When we finally reach just outside Winnipeg. He wanted to stop for the bathroom and another coffee. So I pulled in with him. He expected us to be going round the perimeter road, but we did not have time to go round so was going through the city. On the way back to the truck. He gave me is Number and said, “when ever you are looking to change, give me a call as I like the way you drive. If I can drive 9 feet away from your rear bumper all that way, on those roads, and never feel uncomfortable or unsafe, that’s the kind of driver I want working for me” he was an owner operator, doing flatbed work. I should have said, if you ever do the ice road, give me a call lol.
We dropped our trailer at the customer, bang on time and bobtailed over to the yard. We was then supposed to collect a load going to Edmonton, Alberta, but when we got there it changed and we had to take an empty two and half hours down into the states, St Cloud Minnesota, for someone else, as he had run out of hours. We have never had to run empty like that before. When we got there, we was suppose to switch for a preloaded trailer going back to Toronto. Now this is where the problems start due to one cock up in despatch.. Our trailer was missing. Not where is was suppose to be. Nearly seven hours later, it was found. In someone else’s yard ten miles away. The day dispatch had not told the night dispatch which in turn was not told to us. I wake up thinking we are not far from delivery to find we had only been on the road 2 hours. This caused a knock on effect. We was then late making the delivery back in Toronto. We then had to bobtail up to our Brampton yard and collect a trailer going to St Apollinaire, Quebec. We was going to be too late by minutes to make the delivery before they went home for the weekend, so we just had to drop it at our Dorval Yard. We was then suppose to collect something to bring back to our Dorval yard, had we made the delivery. Then by that time, we would not have had to sit around too long before picking up our midnight collection going back to Winnipeg. But instead we have had to sit around for 12 hours, doing nothing, which meant not getting paid because of one cock up. So I was not an happy bunny. By the time we had made the delivery in Winnipeg, it would have made our pay week the worst to date really, with all the hanging about we had to do this week. In actual fact. If a single driver was to do his 3500 miles for the week which is the norm. He would have earned the same as me, and he gets to sleep and rest for at least 10 hours in a bunk that was not been chucked around with the bad roads of Canada. Anyway that’s my first moan out the way lol not that it will make a difference, as no-one in the office reads this anyway. Maybe that’s a good thing hay Mike lol
So we are due home this week so our next load was 4 drops in the states. One in Maryland, one in Pennsylvania, and two in New Jersey. Its 1500 miles just to the first one, so should be there sometime tomorrow. Hopefully after that our reload goes straight back to Woodstock. So till then, Have a great day.

Pig perambulations

I'm going to write this particular escapade up right away so I don't forget a thing.

Today was the day I had to take the three sold pigs to the butchers. Accordingly, I had a plan, kind of. I had decided to use the old pig crate, which fits into the truck bed, one more time. To get the pigs up there I would construct a sturdy pig-ramp, using the motorcycle ramp I had built this summer. The addition of high, pig-proof sides would do the trick.

And so I went and found a 4 by 8 of plywood and cut it into two 2 by 8's, then screwed them onto the sides of the ramp with a couple of studs for stiffness.

So far so good. Then I loaded the ramp in the truck and trucked it over to the barn and put in place in the doorway of the barn, ready for pigs. The truck now empty, I loaded up the pig crate and dropped its wooden tailgate and put the new pig ramp on this, carefully positioned in such a way as to make everything line up, and no gaps for hasty pigs to wiggle out. (So I thought.) I used the barn doors to fill some of these gaps, bits of plywood or pallet to fill others. I opened up the pig pen and let them out and tried to lure one onto the ramp with food in front and me pushing behind.

First up was Gus.

Gus took one look at the ramp, made a short run, and cleared the sides like a show jumper, heading for points west.

One pig out.

No matter, I thought. Gus is a troublemaker anyway, he won't go far and I can get the two girls loaded. The girls will go easy.

Two more show jumpers later and I was out looking for our three pigs. I was able to get them into the north paddock, where they began to grub up our nice recovered pasture. Not willing to stand for too much of this kind of vandalism, I tried to lure them into the barn through the side door, then through the back pen.

No dice. Grubbing and rooting much more fun, sorry.

To this point you shouldn't feel sorry for the poor pigs. Even though the story ends badly for all three, so far, they were having a fine old pig jest at my expense, and enjoying the relative freedom of a 1/2 acre pasture instead of a 15 by 30 foot pig sty and 15 by 30 foot outdoor pen.

I soon got tired of trying to lure these disrespectful creatures nicely, and instead got a rope. I caught Gus by the tail and got a noose around his neck, then after a couple of rugby moves, got another noose around his foot.

Hog-tied, I wrestled him into the barn. It wasn't easy. Aimee came out to see what all the screaming was about, which meant that I had help, but also that I would have a handy critic.

Then I hog-tied Vera. Aimee put her fingers in the ears to mask the pig squeals. By the time Vera was in the barn, Ruby came willingly. All three pigs took a nice cooling mud bath. Going after them, I lost a wellie twice.

Back to square one.

I decided first to secure the back door of the pig sty to reduce the amount of space for pig chasing and wrestling to a manageable amount, and to remove the possibility of losing a wellie again. This was achieved with three three-and-a-half inch deck screws.

Crude, but effective.

Then, with Aimee's "advice" ringing in my ears I tried to think.

Let it be understood, I was already shattered. My nerves were gone, my stress load sky high, pulse racing. The pigs, meanwhile, were taking a nap, girding their loins for round two.

For myself, I couldn't think straight, but on an off-chance called the butchers. Did they happen to have a trailer? Sure. They would loan me a 4 by 8 low-rider pig trailer, if I would just come get it.

Would I? You bet. In a pig's heartbeat.

I drove over and picked up the trailer, taking the nice safe half-hour or so of driving to gather my wits. It wasn't easy. So far, these pigs had me beat. I was nervous about how things would go later, but hopeful. The trailer proved study and well made. Just the kind of trailer I should have bought, or built, for myself, if I had any sense.

And an extra $800.

Back home, I set about getting the trailer in the barn, unhitching it from the truck and running it into the gate of the pig's pen, using the open gate to block the "loose head" side. I dropped the tailgate. Somebody had left apples in the trailer, and the pigs went right in.

Only trouble was, with the trailer dis-hooked from the truck, the thing tilted right over as soon as a pig was in it.

So I hooked it back up to the truck. But now the barn doors were open. I pushed them tight against the truck and trusted to the gate-block as before. But the pigs rushed the gate while I was fiddling with the other side. One pig went right out, the other two dallied. I screamed for Aimee, but no help came. I could only keep one barn door shut at once. The remaining two pigs waltzed their matildas right out.

One pig decided at this point to rummage about under the truck and got stuck, starting to scream. What's the procedure when a pig is stuck under a truck? Not having encountered this particular problem, I improvised, confidently, the way they taught us in NCO school. Noticing that if I backed up the truck more, into the barn, it would tilt up an inch or so, I tried that.

That only made the pig scream louder.

I went to get my floor jack.

Even when the truck was well clear of the pig, she still lay there, no doubt relieved not to be stuck anymore.

I went around to her butt end and gave it a gentle kick. She wiggled out.

With three pigs now loose again, and me getting my rope ready again, of course it was time for Aimee to show up. And Aimee was pretty mad at me not only for mistreating pigs, but also for not asking for help.

I thought I had screamed out loud for help. (And no help came.)

Go figure.

So with two of us to hold doors and tailgates and the weigh down the trailer tongue so it didn't have to be hooked up to the truck, so the barn doors could stay closed and pigs stay in, we were able to get Gus loaded easily enough.

But no other pig was willing to get on the trailer as long as Gus was on there screaming and angry because he was now finally caught. With Gus trying to climb out, unsuccessfully, thank heavens, I drove away.

The pig from hell.

But one pig, even one out of three, is better than none.

It was an hour to and from the butchers, with Gus only showing his head above the trailer sides once, but that was enough for me to tap the brakes.

Then back for the two sisters, who went in easily enough and didn't try to climb out.

Then I had to fix all the fences that pigs had broken while on their spree. All in all, my pig trucking day went from 10 am until 6pm. And I was shattered.

Of course the pigs were in far worse shape, although they didn't yet know it. But for some strange reason I don't feel nearly as bad as I normally do for them.

Here they are in happier days.