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Fuel for Thought

  • Surprise run!
    By Dale
    Posted Oct 2nd 2009 12:00PM
    Business is still booming, and I’m enjoying it thoroughly! Today I had a ”˜surprise’ run! Better back up I guess. Yesterday, I had a short delivery from Zanesville area over to Dayton in the morning. Went back home to catch a nap, figuring I’d get back out. Later in the day, I accepted another relatively short run from Hillsboro, OH to Andersonville, NC... just about 260 miles... I had been hoping for a longer run, but accepted it, and took off. I didn’t take extra drinks or anything with me, because that short of a run, being in a van, it’s usually cheaper for me just to run back home than to stay out.
  • Visiting Mount Pilot
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 29th 2009 6:03PM
    Today I had another beautiful drive thru familiar territory. I left about midnight for a delivery just outside of Winston-Salem, NC. The drive down was all in the dark, but still familiar... down thru Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia, just into North Carolina. After delivery I headed back home, as I needed to attend the funeral viewing for an old friend’s husband. Isn’t it funny how funeral homes become sort of reunions? We see people we haven’t seen in years, and promise to keep in touch... but somehow it seems life always gets in the way. I realized tonight, if it weren’t for funerals, I would never see some people.
  • Trusting an Expedite Company
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 26th 2009 4:00PM
    As I drove away, I thought about what it took for him to trust his business to me. I realized of course, he didn’t know me, but he was trusting that FedEx knew what they were doing. In that moment, to him, I WAS FedEx ... and his perception of that company will forever be based on what service I provided. It made me realize the responsibility I have in representing my company, my business, and myself to customers. Do I appear professional? Is my van clean? I can answer yes to both... but what if I had shown up in flip flops and a dirty t-shirt, and trash fell out of my van as I opened the door? What if I had tossed his precious electronics willy nilly into the back of my van and slammed the door? I dare say, it would have been the last time he used us.
  • Headed South
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 22nd 2009 5:30PM
    Today is officially the first day of fall. From the temperatures, you sure can’t tell it, but I could really see the colors changing on my trip south. I woke up this morning in New Jersey, and got a call to go to Allentown, PA to pick up a run headed to Knoxville, TN. It wasn’t scheduled to pick up until 2:00pm, but I took a chance and went in early... luckily, it was ready, when I got there at 1:00. For a bit though, it didn’t look like I was going to be able to take it. It was two skids, which I can haul... but one of them was oversized. They were expecting a dock high truck, not a van... and had planned accordingly. My company dispatched according to size and weight though, and since they were told 2 skids, and just under 2400 lbs, they sent me.
  • Just a Jersey Mornin
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 21st 2009 6:26PM
    I left home Sunday night with my load bound for a suburb of Newark, NJ. As planned, I got in early enough to miss the worst of the rush hour traffic around Newark, but still ran into some pretty crazy stuff. The speed limit here is 65, as in many other sections of the country, but it seems to be only a suggestion here! I discovered that running 65 on I78 makes you not very popular LOL. Over all though, it was a nice run. I had 1200 lbs of freight on, which made the van ride nice, and with the new front end alignment and tires I had done last week, I had a smooth ride, and even a little better fuel mileage than normal. I left home about 9 last night, drove thru Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and then of course New Jersey. Traffic was light and I made good time, arriving at my delivery around 7 am.
  • Back to the East Coast!
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 18th 2009 2:50PM
    Today was a pretty easy day, just running the same route twice. I was scheduled to go back in service at 10am this morning, but got a call about 8:30 asking me if I could run down to Piketon, OH and take a short 100 mile run over to Zanesville. It paid ok for the time involved, so I said sure and ran it. That put me only about 60 miles from home, so I just ran home, and started to relax and play on the computer. Of course, as things go, I immediately got a phone call asking if I’d go back over by Zanesville and pick up a run going to New Jersey for Monday morning. They were having trouble getting a truck for it, and it was one of those “I need your help” calls LOL. The customer had requested a straight truck for the load, but my company didn’t have one in the area close enough to make pick-up on time.
  • Inspection Time!
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 17th 2009 2:36PM
    I spent the day at home today, out of service, taking care of some errands I had put off, and getting some van maintenance done. Since I needed to be home, I had hoped to get a run this way, but it was not to be. I had one load going to Toledo, but after I picked it up, the shipper changed their mind, and I had to take the freight back. That’s never happened to me before. I’ve had ”˜dry runs’, where the freight wasn’t ready, or something, but this time, I was actually a half hour down the road, and they decided to ship it by plane. I guess it really had to be there! It was just “a bit” frustrating.
  • Headed to New York!
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 15th 2009 2:31PM
    I’m sitting in Binghamton, NY today, relaxing after a run from West Virginia. Once again I was driving thru familiar territory to the pickup.. going down thru Ohio on Rte 35, thru Gallipolis, and on down by Charleston, WV. As I said in an earlier blog, I’ve traveled this route many times, as we have family in the area. It was nice as always, to see the familiar sights, and familiar roads. I noticed the leaves are starting to change... there is still plenty of green left, but the oranges and yellows of fall are starting to peak thru in the hills of West Virginia.

  • Busy few days!
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 13th 2009 6:52PM
    It’s been a busy few days for me. I’ve ran to Detroit twice, and then over to Big Rapids, MI. Seems business is finally picking up for our industry. Wednesday night, I picked up in a small plant near Columbus, OH. I really don’t understand how the people work there. I worked in a factory many years ago, but conditions were good compared to this place. The product they manufactured involved fibrous material that was run thru machines and cut into various shapes. As I walked in the door, another driver was blinking and shaking his head as he headed out to get air.
  • Labor Day
    By Dale
    Posted Sep 8th 2009 6:29AM
    Well, I hope everyone had a great Labor Day! I ended up deadheading home to Ohio from Memphis, arriving home on Saturday. I had hoped to get a run heading home, but it was not to be. I really hated to deadhead home that far, but I had made plans (and promises to family) to be home for the holiday. To be fair, my company did offer me runs while I was in Memphis, but they were all going South... either Texas, Louisiana, etc... which would have put me too far away to come home. Sometimes you have to weigh the income vs family time. It’s good to have income, but with family coming in, the kids home from college for the weekend and my wife actually off work (!) I felt the better choice was to head home.