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the ramblings of the girl and the truck driver, trip 5, #4

10/23/18, 1:57 pm

From :  System

Your breakdown message has been received, if we have enough information you may not be contacted until services have been arranged.  Reply will be made over Qualcomm

From : 11454

10-4

10/23/18, 2:23 pm

From : BD705119

Response to Macro 31 sent 10/23 14:57: Arrow Towing Inc talked to Sharron eta is 1.0 hour

From : 11454  2:26 pm

10-4

10/23/18, 2:27 pm

From : BD705119

Response to Macro 31 sent 10/23 14:57: Arrow Towing Inc will tow you to PETER BILT of COUNCIL BLUFFS 2546 Mid Americ a DR I-29/80 EXIT-1B Council Bluffs, I

From : 11454  2:31 pm

10-4

Will we rent a car and head to desmoines for a loaner?  Or is it too early to make that determination?

10/23/18, 2:31 pm

From : BD705119

Response to Macro 31 sent 10/23 14:57 : they will look at truck and let us kno w what happened tonight

From : 11454  2:34 pm

10-4

10/24/18, 6:43 am

From : BD705119

Response to Macro 31 sent 10/23 14:57 PETERBILT OF COUNCIL BLUFFS/ Art they h avent a chance to get this in yey hop ing for later on today

Personal text to my fleet manager 10/24 7:20 am

Dang, I guess the truck had other plans.  We are waiting for service to diagnose engine death. Truck was towed! That’s crazy…  Do I need to call the consignee?

Texted reply from fleet manager 10/24 7:20 am

I’ll call em.  I saw they towed you in yesterday.  Not sure if I can get anyone to delv the load for us.  But I am Checking

Personal text to my fleet manager  10/24  8:28 am

Sharing info that I have.  Peterbilt says they may not look at truck until Friday.  Road repair said they would make another call to Peterbilt midday and push for an update.

Personal text to my fleet manager 10/24  8:49 am

Wanting to know if we should check out of this room.  Walk over to Peterbilt and spend the day there.

Texted reply from fleet manager 10/24 9:14 am

I am seeing if just stay checked in.  Makes sense to me.

My reply to fleet manager 10/24 9:17 am

Ok.  We will stay checked In.  Thank you.

10/24/18, 1:27 pm

From : BD705119

Response to Macro 31 sent 10/23 14:57: Art was on ly able to do a quick look over did no t find any thing obvious thinking it I s electrical. Have yet to get in for a full diag. No ETA at this time.

10/25/18, 6:36 am

From : BD705119

Response to <Macro 31 sent 10/23 14:57: Council Bluffs PeteArt; not in shop y et, very slim chance of getting in tod aymay be tomorrow but doubtful as the y are short man power.

From : 11454  6:53 am

I will check with my fleet mngr as to what I should do

Personal text to fleet manager 10/25 6:54 am

Good morning, Road repair informed me that Peterbilt may not look at the truck this week.  Please advise.  : )

Reply from fleet manager 10/25 6:57 am

Don’t really have a plan at this point.  We can’t come to DSM and just grab a truck.  They would have us go on the road to pick one up before that would happen.  Sure you don’t wanna do that.  I can’t get a rental or anything like that till I know truck wont get in today.  I’ll have to see what I can do

My reply to fleet manager 10/25 7:05 am

Ok, What do you mean, “ they would have us go on the road to pick one up?”

Reply from fleet manager 10/25 7:04 am

Like a truck that is at a shop for long warranty repairs and driver went and got into a different one on road, like our situation, but once its ready they need picked up.  Or a truck that a guy just quits and leaves it at a truck stop.  Stuff like that.

My reply to fleet manager 10/25 7:07 am

Ohhhhh…..  I understand

Personal text to fleet manager 10/25 7:19 am

I just spoke with Peterbilt.  They were sure it would not be looked at til Monday.

From : 11454  7:19 am

I spoke with Peterbilt and they were sure they would not look at it til Monday.

Now a continued abbreviated back and forth with my fleet manager,

Me: I am open to any assignment fetching a truck for the company if that would be helpful.  It would have us in motion.  It may also enable me to get my wife back.

Me:  we are close to check out time.  Should we check out or arrange for another night?

Fleet:  Trying to figure it out.  May try for a rental car home maybe or u want to go to STL for weekend?  Or if there is any trucks anywhere to get

Me:  I think rental car home would be a more complete solution.

Me:  in about 15 minutes I will pack up, check out and walk over to Peterbilt with our stuff and wait ther, unless you advise otherwise

Fleet:  now they are looking at getting you into a different dealer.

Fleet:  Not sure I can get it authorized yet.  Truck is not drivable right, would have To he towed if they moved it)

Me:  Would have to be towed.

Me:  I would even pay for the rental car if it can be arranged for.

Fleet:  They are moving truck to MHC Kenworth in Omaha.  Can look at truck tomorrow from sounds

Fleet:  I am checking on cost.  Standby

Me:  Stay in hotel room?

Me: Truck has been picked up separately and taken to Kenworth.  Trailer picked up and taken to a storage lot, as there is no room at Kenworth.  Trailer is at 3112 south 67 st. Omaha Nebraska 68106  402-553-1700

Me:  The load and 33646 has been picked up by other tmc driver.

Me:  we are waiting in lobby of super 8.

Fleet:  I am waiting on rental car info. I requested it.

 

The girl:

My view this morning as I look out the window of our room at the Super 8 motel is water puddles in the parking lot, Arby’s, Sapp Bros. truck stop, Pilot truck stop, American Inn, a giant American flag and interstate I80.

This is day 3 of waiting for the truck to be fixed.  Day 3 of the shop saying that they won’t get to it this week, day 3 of the company waiting to make a decision as to what we are to do and us waiting for all of that to get sorted out.  As I write this, I start to feel a little crazy.  No truck, no car, surrounded by big roads, big trucks, terrible food options and we are not free to leave the truck…the company will tell us

what to do when they tell us.  In the meantime, we wait.

I decide it’s better if I don’t write about this.

Yesterday, once they told us to stay checked into the room, we knew we would be here all day and were free to roam….we decided to explore Omaha.

Walking outside, we just miss the bus so head over to the truck stop to find out how often it runs.  Very friendly people but widely varying responses

from 10 minutes to an hour.  We think probably it’ll be an hour and head out to wait on the bus bench.  An hour later, downtown we go.  Wandering around the Old Market District, we find a store to buy a belt for Adam….then new boots and a hat!

They love him there and think he is someone famous.  He is so handsome in his new hat. Next stop, coffee shop and we decide to walk back to the motel.  There are bike trails all over and we can walk on these trails all the back.  Up and over the Missouri river, we discover the state line between Nebraska and Iowa.  The walk takes a little over 3 hours and we stumble into the room, starving…we heat up our soup and search the big TV for something to watch.

This morning, we are in limbo again…waiting to know whether to check out of our room and go sit at the Peterbilt service, go after another truck, rent a car, pick up a truck or stay checked in and here another day.  We wait again and they will tell us again when they tell us…then we can do something.

I write this and read it to him.  We talk about this situation and how common it is for truck drivers.  He has always told me what a great, driver driven company this is that he works for, but I don’t see it…not like he does.  I don’t have to though, do I?  It’s his work and his life.  For me to be critical of what is happening…to take it somehow personally…is to believe that what he is doing is harming me.  That is not the case.

Yet…I wonder at these trucking companies and at the demands, we, as consumers, put on the men and women that transport our needs wherever we need them.  There is a huge shortage of truck drivers in this country.  Who can live this life?  With 36 hours a week off.  This is literal.  The rest of the hours of a week, you are not allowed to leave your truck.  You go where they tell you and get there when they tell you to arrive.  Drive 11 hours, work 14 hours and then sleep.  Then something like this happens, a break down…with their truck, by the way…and the driver is put on hold for however long it takes.  Often with very little information so he is not free to move about, explore, plan or even really rest.  It is 10:45.  Check out is at 11.  He has communicated this to his company.  Now…the lack of direction is affecting more people than him or even me and I’m getting frustrated.  I take deep breaths and start packing up. If we are checking out in 15 minutes, I should be madpacking this room.  He is taking a shower.  If we are staying, then I can relax.  A message….his fleet manager cannot get a rental car approved yet…we don’t know and have nothing to tell the front desk.  It is 10:55. They are still volleying options within the company.  I question their driver driven philosophy as I watch the life a driver must lead in order to be successful.  This company has a lot of trucks on the road.  Possibly this happens often and a driver is waiting in a dark motel room or truck stop lounge waiting to know what he is free to do or not to do for days at a time.  Another truck driver staying here has been here 13 days!  13 days!  Who can tolerate working for people that would leave you hanging for so long with seemingly no regard or respect for your time… and then how does it feel to that person with no other options apparent.  It’s a lone life for the most part.  Free spirit.  That works and it sounds very romantic as people imagine being free to drive all around this country and see all the things that he sees and talks about.  He is suited for this life because he is so good at living presently, looking for beauty and humor and anything remotely interesting. He also loves community and home life and connection.  He thrives socially.  He loves to be home, loves to come home.  It’s complicated.   I know he feels pressure at the situation we find ourselves in because I am here with him, waiting to hear something from someone and getting frustrated at a company that doesn’t seem to respect our time or our lives.

I’ve thought and often said that this life requires the strength to stay in the present moment.  It reminds me of this over and over.  This is our situation so I can be frustrated, wave and stomp and vent or I can accept that it is our situation and stay right here without thinking it should be any different than it is.  The practice, right?

Well. I am sitting now at a little table in the corner of the lobby of the super 8 motel with a pile of our bags and coolers.  We had to decide to leave the room and check out, but have no place to go, or can go until we hear from the company.  It is still raining.  They have sent another driver to pick up our drywall load and deliver it… but didn’t tell us that was happening.  The driver called from there to ask where the paperwork was.  Adam has made a run through the rain back to the Peterbilt shop to get that sorted out.  All the while, we have received no direction or answers from the company about what we are to do.  It is 12:30pm.

Do you live in this world and just know that there is nothing you can do about any of it as the minutes and hours and days go by.  The truth of the matter is yes.  Often…I am reminded of my trip to Kenya.  There was a lot of waiting.  I would even say the trip was about waiting…and being ok with it. For some reason it was easier to do in Kenya….so absorbed in the landscape, the people and the stunning moments.  Why do I fight it now.

Fear I suppose.  Afraid I won’t get home?  Of course I will get home.  I don’t have an ID or credit card.  I forgot them when I left….a first in my life.  I am anxious because of that and worried.  I am going to contemplate that and see if I can get back here and enjoy the show.

I watch a truck loaded with chicken cages drive by now.  Truck after truck moving out onto the highway on it’s way to someplace else.  At this very moment, I see Adam’s trailer drive by attached to the other truck.  Bye bye.  I wait now because I know he will be running in wet any minute.

I am so very grateful for this man and the things I am learning with him.

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