Friday, July 16, 2021

My First Year as a trucker

My first year of trucking was not easy! I had my truck to myself -  that was a positive. I had long distance trips which I could schedule however I wanted as ling as I made the appointment. Some places want you there not a moment too soon, such as Walmart. They might give you a door an hour early, but that's it. What I would do is, I would try to be more than 24 hours early. Then I would look up the nearest company terminal to the customer and call my manager. I would ask my manager if I could drop my load at the yard and call it a day for that load. Why? Because, I would be free to take the next load, and do it all over again. If they didn't have a load for me after taking mine off me, they would have to pay me for sitting for 24 hours. But if I was sitting with that gosh darn load, I wouldn't get paid extra. See what I'm saying? Those of you who found this blog as part of your research before getting into trucking, find out about T-calling your loads. That's what this is called. 

I enjoyed meeting fellow truckers and having long conversations about all kinds of things while doing laundry in the company yards. I only did my laundry in company terminals. It was my way of doing errands at home. The company has terminals all across the country, so that helped. Sometimes we would introduce ourselves, sometimes not. Just talk and call it a day, everybody into their little trucks / aka apartments, and do it all over again next week I have lists on my phone; lists of truck stops that are close to grocery stores, especially Walmarts. Walmarts that have truck parking, Mom and pops truck stops that have groceries and or Wi-Fi. 

When I came back from training with Carlos, I had to start packing my sht at home. I had made up my mind while on the road with him that I was going to give up my apartment and live full time in my truck. The company yard is closer to my boyfriend's place than my LA apartment, so I was going to be able to see Derrick one way or another. He could come check out my #TruckerLife or I could go over to his place or whatever. His presence in my life wasn't going to be the deciding factor of whether or not Iw as going to pay rent for an apartment I wasn't using. He was already one of the motivating factors of why I went into trucking. I didn't tell my boo, Derrick that I was putting in a notice though. I didn't feel like being judged or lectured. My mind was made up, regardless. In fact, I didn't tell anybody. 

I packed most of my stuff but kept things like beds still in their own place because I was planning on taking a few days off once my lease was officially up, rest in the apartment one last time and then make the move. I found myself a mailbox. I searched and searched for one close to a freeway, one that I'd be able to pop into while driving a truck, and be able to pick up my mail. It had to be one whose lobby stays open 24/7, so I can always have access to my box. No pun intended. I found one in Ontario, the address I keep linking to on my blogs and youtube channel. This one stayed open 7 days a week but not 24/7. I searched for storage where I was going to store all my stuff. I did donate my furniture. The charity places didn't want clothes. I did a few trips from my place to storage. It's one of those things that look like they can be done in no time at all but end up taking so long! The afternoon of my move, which happened to be Derricks birthday but I mistook his date for a different date because of how we write dates in South Africa and how they do them in The States. Oopsie! I am famous for not forgetting birthdays and this is the one I f*cked up. Imagine that! And I was moving, maybe if I were at home, chilling, it would've occurred to me. If we had those kinds of relationships where I could tell him I was moving out of my apartment, and he would bring his truck and help me move, maybe it would have come up (no pun intended haha).

In the process of moving all by myself, I decided to call a stranger. Someone I hadn't seen since my great escape. 

Press Play!

Calvin! Yes, him! Our beloved WASband! There were items of mine I knew he liked from when we lived together, so I gave him first dibs. He dropped what he was doing and was there in no time, flat. This was going to be my first time seeing this person since moving out and there I was moving out again. Was I looking forward to the meeting? No but I wanted to let him have the things and I didn't think he was going to kill me that day. If he wanted to, that would have been the perfect day cos nobody knew he was coming, or that I was moving. Spoiler alert! He didn't kill me! 

How was the meeting? I had talked to him since moving out so it wasn't like this person came out of nowhere. To answer your question. I don't know. He got emotional, and ran towards me for a hug. I smiled, it wasn't bad. He also helped me load my stuff into my car. Not long after ex hubs arrived, did charity truck arrive as well. They took what was theirs and left. They were quick. I vacuumed and left. Calvin postponed his appointment with his customer to help me finalize everything. He took some of the stuff that didn't fit into my car and put in his car to bring to me at the storage at a later stage. That was nice. 

Back to my lists, I also have a list of truck stops that have post USPS (US post) drop boxes. I learned that this was necessary when I wanted to mail my notice to apartment management. The letter was stamped and good to go but I had to figure out how to find a mail drop box. Later on, I noticed that some truck stops have FedEx, UPS and USPS boxed. When you live your life entirely on the road, these are not the little things. They're a big deal. They make your life convenient. 

Day before what I thought would be  Derrick's Birthday, I brought it up. He was like "when is my birthday?" My heart sank! I immediately knew what I did with the date! I missed my boo boo's birthday, wtf? To top it off, I was with my ex that day, haha! Oh well! He wasn't an ass about it. We did talk on his birthday, we talked everyday, it's just that I didn't make it special. That made me feel not good considering how special he had made my birthday

My plan, being on the road, was that when I happened to have a load in Southern California, I would arrange to see Derrick. I would also arrange a formal hang out time on my off days, etc. Well, it so happened that whenever I was in town, he would either be out of town with his boys, like that one time! Or he would be at his parents, out of state. I wouldn't tell him I was coming, I would first find out where he would be and then say it. When I came back after his birthday, I made sure to take him to a place he liked. We went to an expensive Sushi place. Luckily for his ass, he deserved it! The food was so good! It was a fun, relaxed night out, then back to his place, then to the truck the following day or two.

My fridge was big enough to fit food for two weeks. I would buy food to cook for the week ahead and store food for the following week, and stock up the following week etc. Meaning, I always had back up, just in case someone would try to catch me with my pants down. It wouldn't happen. My diet at the time was just meat. And Eggs. Once in a while, I would go completely vegetarian. I guess my body would be craving veggies. Other than that, just meat, no fruit, no vege. 

My evenings came early because I started my days early. I wanted to make sure I always found parking at the end of the day. I didn't want to be trying to squeeze into the last parking spot either. I would then, use wet wipes to freshen up, I always took off my shoes in the driving area and had mats in my sleeping area. I would watch some tv shows while eating dinner. I had fridge and microwave, so warm meals. I would then finish the tv shows in bed. I talked to Derrick on Facetime every night as well. Sometimes for hours, depending on everyone's schedule. 

I get up 2 hours before work, do a little meditation, do my gratitude journal, sometimes I do this at night, as I'm going to update it now after this blog; drink 2 liters of warm liquids, could be herbal tea and or apple cider vinegar, shower and then get on the road. By the time I drive, I will be feeling nice and relaxed. There's nothing worse than rushing cos you didn't want to get out of bed early. And there's nothing worse than being late due to your own fault. I love the feeling of not being bothered when someone cuts in front of me, of of even letting a bunch of people in because I'm in no rush. OF course, I don't let them all in at once, cos you've got to consider other road users. 

I would love to hang out and do another blog but I've been up since 1:30 and I've got to get up at 3 tomorrow. let me unwind and go to bed. Thanks for stopping by!

@BabalwaBrook on all social