I have no pride…or do I?


One of the most dangerous things a driver can do is blind side back into a parking space. That’s exactly what I just did.

On my last load with my trainer (more on that in a moment) I needed to burn some time and take a much needed shower.

Upon pulling into the only truck stop for 100 miles with spots, the only spots left we’re two blind sided parking spaces.

As I set up for my maneuver, my heart pumping and my stomach churning, I realized there was a truck behind me waiting.

I started to back and realized I was too far back to be successful.

I got out, got a good look at the spot, pulled forward, and started to back again.

Realizing this was going to take me a while, I threw the truck in neutral, pulled out my air brake, and walked up to the waiting truck.

“Hi” I said cheerily. “This is going to take me a while. If you’d like to speed the process up, would you mind spotting me?”

The driver smiled and said “I was going to offer but some people get pissed.”

I laughed and said “Dude, I will always take any offer of assistance.”

The space I had to use was tight but with a bit of back and forth, and with the help of my spotter, I safely got into the spot.

Not too shabby.

Ok lovelies…here is my suggestion. If someone offers to help, take them up on it. Even if you think you got it, taking offered help isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes people just want to be helpful. It’s not always meant as a slight and even if it is, if they want to waste their time helping you do something you could do yourself, what does it really cost you? If they want to brag and bad mouth, who cares? Let the small people puff up their chests and take on airs and be secure in the knowledge that you didn’t need their help and they basically wasted their time.

This has been your friendly PSA from your neighborhood girl wearing a hat.

Now, as promised…dudes and dudettes…I’m done with training after this load!!! Yay! I did it!!! That means I’ll be going back to the yard to upgrade and get my own truck after we make this drop tomorrow (or really later today.)

Since this current trainer picked me up in Springfield, that’s where I’m heading instead of my home terminal of Salt Lake. I’m a bit bummed about that but it’s all good, SLC isn’t going anywhere. There is a waiting list for trucks so it could be more than a week before I get the keys. Don’t worry, there will be a big post and a naming ceremony and that’s where you come in. I’m going to let you help name my truck. Full disclosure, Trucky McTruckface is not an option.

While the wait time makes me sad, I also need a bit of downtime. So instead of waiting in the hotel, I’m going to head down to my onetime home of Tulsa and see my peeps there. Get ready T-Town, I’m invading.

He last few days have been nothing but drizzles and overcast skies, but today I got to drive through the tunnels of Pennsylvania.

I’m not sure why I love tunnels so much but ever since I was a child I always loved the flickering lights as we drove through the tunnels.

No pictures of the actual tunnels because man, they are really tight in a truck. No room for error.

Also on this trip I saw the most amazing thing.

Where were the mommy and me bathrooms while I was raising my kids? Any mother can attest that going to a single stall restroom with small ones is a frustrating and sometimes public event as they most certainly will invariably swing the door wide open on you while you’ve got your undies around your ankles.

Until next time my lovelies. Hit me up if you have any questions. Xoxo

Such a different experience.


The main difference between my current trainer and my previous trainers, besides competence and professionalism, is that his truck is an automatic.

I’m a Gemini so I’m often of two minds about everything. On one hand I liked working through the gears, on the other hand ZOMG I no longer hate stop and go traffic.

Over the last few days Bug and I have been getting to know one another and the more that happens the more grateful I am that he took me on. Our humors compliment one another and he really is a great trainer.

Today I was grateful for his good humor.

When driving team sometimes you drive days and sometimes you drive nights. Last night was my turn at driving nights and it really doesn’t bother me, that is until the sun starts to come up. That’s when my brain says “Yo, it’s time to sleep.”

Knowing I had almost 4 more hours to drive I decided to make a quick stop to take a brisk walk and go to the bathroom to splash some water on my face.

Once I returned to the truck I noticed that the curtains were opened a bit and thought “oh he’s seeing why I stopped.”

I got back in the truck refreshed and headed on down the road to finish out my time. As my audio book played I watched the changing colors of the sky from inky blue to pinks and oranges. Suddenly my phone rang and as I glanced at the caller ID my stomach dropped.

“OMG Bug, did I leave you?”

“Uh yeah.”

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry. I’m coming up on an exit. Please please please forgive me.”

A chuckle came from my headset as he said, “no worries, just call me when you’re pulling in.”

I got off at the exit, turned around, and headed back to the truck stop to pick up my trainer, grateful that he was so good natured.

As I pulled in and saw him waiting for me, I felt horrible. He climbed in the truck and I again began to profusely apologize. He laughed and said I was fine.

I was totally embarrassed. Why didn’t I check to make sure he was really in the truck? I felt like such a fool, but it was a good lesson to learn. Never again will I pull away without checking to ensure my co-driver is present.

Now for my random thought of the day…

I love looking at signs and pictures. This one is in the restroom of several TA truck stops I’ve been to. Every time I look at it I think, well of course it’s going to go on the ground because there isn’t a toilet there, silly.

Until next time my lovelies. Xoxo

A world of firsts…


Part of this whole life/career change has been about firsts.

We had a day of downtime while we waited for our next load and to speak to various people at our company about what they wanted us to do on Monday.

***Readers digest version: I didn’t get paid last week because I changed from part one of training to part two and the cut off days are different. To make matters worse, the reason we are in Washington is so I can change over my permit to an actual CDL but Washington says my scores have not been uploaded yet. It’s all one big Le Sigh…***

We started yesterday being extremely lazy but it was time to start the day and for me to experience my first Truck Stop Shower. When I received my ticket above I giggled because being told to go to shower #1 was more accurate than they realized.

Ok folks, here’s a pro tip: If you’re ever on a really long road trip and you just need to take a shower, hit up your local Loves, Pilot, Flying J, TA, <insert truck stop of your choice>, and buy a shower. They range from $12-$15 and you’ll thank me. Take a look below.

The facilities are relatively clean (I’m being optimistic since I’ve only seen one. Trust me dear readers, when my experience changes you’ll be the first to know) and they provided towels and a washcloth. This shower even had a soap dispenser in case you’re really unprepared.

There was no time limit and the hot water felt glorious so I stood under the stream for what felt like an hour. Washing the grime off of your body when living on the road is not only a necessity but it just feels so damned good.

Since I’m now a professional driver, which I’m still trying to wrap my head around, having reward card is key to my success and comfort. When you make a purchase and scan your card you get points but more importantly when you get diesel you get points towards using the showers and a drink. For Loves, here is what they say about their program:

“Drink Refills and Shower Credits

When you fuel a minimum of 50 gallons of commercial diesel, you automatically receive credit for a free shower and free fountain drink refill (coffee, soda or tea) of up to 44 ounces.  The credits must be redeemed within 7 days from the time of the commercial diesel purchase for Base level and within 10 days from the time of the commercial diesel purchase for Gold level.”

So getting fuel, which I have to do anyway, can score me free coffee and a free shower? Hell to the yeah! Of course you don’t fuel up everyday but on the days I do it’s going to be like hitting the proverbial jackpot in my world.

Right now I’m waiting for my partner in crime to wake up so we can go pick up this load and start heading to Camden, NJ. I may be jumping off the truck in Chicago, or I may ride all the way to the East Coast and hole up in a hotel room somewhere on the company’s dime. Either way I’m on the night shift. I’ve now reset my internal clock from having to be a morning person to back where I firmly belong as a night owl. I’m ready to rock this mutha.

And away we go…


Thursday was my first night sleeping in the truck and I couldn’t be happier. No the bed was not comfortable. No it was not easy climbing in and out of the top bunk gracefully. No the bathroom was not less than 100 feet away from me. I didn’t care. I was now on what would be my home for the next 30,000 miles.

After spending the night at the terminal, we played the wait around for our delivery time. We were scheduled to drop off our load 40 miles away at 4:15pm. At 1:00 we entered the wash bay (which was just a giant car wash so my inner child was all giddy).

From there it was on to the receiver. We were hauling a load of Bar S hotdogs from Oklahoma to a Walmart distribution center in Utah.

There is a process to everything we do. It’s not as easy as just rolling up and they take everything off your truck and your done.

First, there is the guard keep that you have to stop at so they can check your identification and make sure the seals are intact. Then they tell you what door to pull into and how they want you to park (attached, detached, landing gear up or down, out of your truck entirely or stay with your vehicle, etc). Then you slowly make your way to the appropriate door, back in, and park given the receivers instructions. Now begins the waiting game.

This is not a situation where as soon as your backed into your door the unloading or loading begins. Rather this is one of many instances of “hurry up and wait”. It can take a receiver 2-4 hours to fully load or unload a truck. Anything over 4 hours and we get what’s called detention pay, which is a premium on our time but really only a small recompense for the time lost. While sitting around may not seem like a bad gig, you need to remember that I’m only being paid if the wheels are moving. Plus any time sitting, while not detracting from my drive time, does detract from my hours of service time.

Let’s go over that a bit.

This is what my clock looks like. The basic breakdown is that I can only drive 11 hours in a 14 hour shift, and can only have a maximum of 70 hours worked in a week before having to take a 34 hour reset (not shown). Basically, I have to account for all my time to be compliant with FMCSA. Now if I’m at a shippers or receiver, I’m going to be on duty but not driving. The time spent waiting to be loaded or unloaded will eat away at my 14-hour on duty clock but not my 11-hour drive clock. So if a receiver takes 4 hours to load me, I only have 10 hours left on my on duty clock which means even though I have 11 hours left on my drive clock, I can really only drive for 10 to be compliant with my 14 hour day.

All of these clocks come into play in the life of a trucker. For a full breakdown of hours of service check out FMCSA’s website.

So, back to unloading. Being that this was my first experience, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I should have banked on total boredom because that’s pretty much what I got. I wasn’t able to read because I haven’t found a book to lose myself in after finishing my last series, my cell signal was too low to adequately stream anything, and I don’t have any of my crafty goodness with me because I’m not on my own truck.

Some use this time to take a nap, clean their trucks, watch shows, or even cook. Not being in my own space meant none of these options (besides sleeping) were available to me and quite frankly I was too geeked up to sleep.

After 2.5 hours we were fully unloaded and I was able to get my paperwork. Have I mentioned that I don’t look like a normal trucker? I’m reminded of this every time I am around others of my profession and sometimes it makes me giggle. Someone needed to get some style and sass up in this mutha…

After logging the end of our trip we immediately get another load. We head back down the road back to Salt Lake City and pick up a load of bacon (mmmmm bacon) heading to Eastern Washington. This is all part of the plan to get me to my home state so I can get my permit changed to a full license.

After sitting getting loaded for almost 4 hours, we are finally off and headed out.

I started driving but because of all of the waiting I had to do at the shippers/receivers I was quickly out of hours left to drive. We made a quick switch and then I jumped in the lower berth to sleep while my trainer drove his 11.

I woke up in Idaho near the Oregon boarder. As soon as stumbling my way into the passenger seat my trainer asked “do you need to go to the restroom?” Hell yeah I did. We made a quick pit stop and I did my business and grabbed a cup of coffee. We were off again with the next stop being the tri-cities area of Washington.

One of the reasons I decided to enter this profession was that I have one of the best views from my office. As we made our way through The mountains of Oregon I was reminded that no matter what happens today or the next, there is always something beautiful to see and all I have to do it open my eyes and heart to bask in it.

And so it begins…


Today starts the first leg of my journey into becoming a truck driver. In a few hours I will say goodbye to the Olympic Peninsula that I have called home this last year and will set off in a Greyhound (ick, I know but it’s what the company provides) towards Salt Lake City, UT. I will spend 4 days in orientation before joining my trainer on the road.

There are many unknown factors in all of this and to make matters worse, I have a head cold that makes me feel like I’m about to explode.