Yesterday we delivered a load for Amazon from Georgia to Pennsylvania, quite a long drive. By the end of it, we were exhausted and ready for a break. Thankfully, we were also out of hours, so we were required to take a 34-hour reset, which gave us a full day to rest.
We parked at a Flying J truck stop in Maryland, which was attached to a Golden Corral restaurant. It had been quite some time since I’d had a bountiful, hot meal, so I was grateful for the opportunity.
I spent the rest of the day taking care of smaller tasks, such as showering, doing laundry, and updating the music on my phone. I also took the opportunity to download some podcasts, such as the fantastic Lore podcast (which I adivse you all to check out). While music is enjoyable, it doesn’t quite keep you alert behind the wheel. Podcasts and audiobooks, however, keep you much more alert, since you’re engaged with what the speakers are saying. Podcasts are typically free, so they are a fantastic alternative to audiobooks. I listened to three episodes of Lore while driving to Pennsylvania, and they kept me entertained and alert throughout the drive.
I also had the pleasure of having phone conversations with my wife and mother while I was on the road. Having a bluetooth headset is a godsend, allowing me to stave off the loneliness of the road by staying in touch with loved ones. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
Speaking of social interaction, I’d like to remind you all that you can contact me directly from my blog by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page! Feel free to ask me any questions you might have, or give me links to good podcasts or other resources I might enjoy. I’d love to hear from you!
One of my loyal readers recently asked how team drivers stay safe when sleeping while the truck is rolling down the highway. Good question! There are actually restraints on the bottom bunk that keep people from rolling out of the bunk in case of an accident. Here’s what the restraints look like from outside:
It’s not a bad setup, though it only really helps in the case of a head-on collision. If we tip over, the sleeper will still wind up falling into the wall.
I had some trouble with the free wifi at the truck stop today. It wouldn’t let me download or update any of the apps on my phone, nor would it let me post these pictures to my blog from my phone. My laptop was able to do whatever I wanted it to, but the phone was restricted. Why would they block app updates and image uploads? I’ll tell you: to convince you to pay for their premium wifi. Fortunately, I’ve got a VPN service which allows me to tunnel my connection out of the lockdown enforced by the truck stop wifi. I enabled the VPN and it allowed me to post the images, update my apps, and use the internet unhindered. Thank goodness I’m tech savvy enough to know how to get around their restrictions… I feel bad for everyone who isn’t.
I also spent some time today playing Fallout 4 on my teammate’s Xbox One. I was having a great time until the truck’s APU (auxiliary power unit) quit working and shut off the console. Turns out the battery was run down, which wasn’t supposed to happen — our truck is supposed to automatically start its engine and idle when the battery is low in order to recharge it. Apparently this wasn’t working, and the APU turned itself off. We’d left the marker lights on (those are the lights around the truck and trailer that make it more visible at night), so perhaps those had been draining the battery too quickly. After we turned off the lights, the batteries seemed to charge a bit better, but we still weren’t convinced they were charging like they were supposed to. Hopefully we won’t have to take it into the shop. That will delay us significantly.
Tonight I’m going to make some “fish tacos” with tortillas, tuna fish, and various condiments I’ve got in the truck. Not quite as fancy as you’ll find in a restaurant, but tasty and filling and inexpensive. Truck stop food and fast food are both unhealthy and expensive, so it’s important that we buy groceries and make our own food as much as possible. Unfortunately, our refrigerator doesn’t work, so we aren’t able to keep perishable foods in the truck, limiting us to foods that don’t require refrigeration. It’s not an optimal situation, but we manage. Perhaps, if we are forced to take the truck in to replace the APU or battery, we can have them replace the refrigerator as well.
Before that, however, we’ll have to finish our 34-hour reset and deliver our next load, headed from Maryland back to Georgia. We’ll be heading out tomorrow afternoon. Until then, I plan to make the most of this opportunity for a little R&R.
Stay tuned for more updates!