Thank you for visiting my BlueJ Imagery Blog Site again! :0)
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Most of you already know how much I love it out west, and how when I began trucking, I envisioned being a long-haul driver, going coast to coast and everywhere in-between, right? Now that I’ve been out here a year and a half, I picked up on how a few things work as I continually pursue to get what’s called a “longer average length of haul” with my current employer. There are a lot of factors (which I won’t spin off to at the moment) which determine, or even curtail, where company drivers are dispatched to at Schneider. It starts with where you live, and branches out from there.
Since my home-base is Shenandoah Mountains of VA, I basically run in the Eastern 37 states, of which I trimmed down even more by staying out of the miserable congestion of New England, making me more of an “Eastern 24”. For perspective, not every company separates things out the same, but since a huge amount of drivers overall are looking to have good ‘home time’ to tend to their families, it’s a planning nightmare for dispatchers to get east coast folks all the way around the country, *and* get them home consistently, so that is basically what drives this eastern 37 kind of thing at my employer…
My leadership team has listened to my pleas for a year and a half regarding my desire of a 48 state type driving role. Well, I’m thrilled to say that my perseverance paid off! My inquisitive, analytical, and driven personality finally found the right audience for my request. That combined with good timing, has landed me a fresh opportunity here at Schneider, and I’m pretty excited to share it with you!
This new role would not be a great fit for those types who need the home time I mentioned above, as I will be out 4-5 weeks at a time and then off a week. Within those 4-5 weeks there will be a few times I’ll have a day and a half off, which will be so cool, and once I get a handle on the account, I’ll be able to set-up and plan things for these short stays!
This account is pulling a flatbed trailer! So that’s exciting as well, and I needed to complete a training program here at Schneider. I’ll tell you: It was my best training experience of all so far here at Schneider. It’s amazing where things take you in life, because of all the things in trucking that I learned at the start if my career, I almost was convinced flat-bedding would not be an option for me. I didn’t think I had strength for tarping, which is typically a requirement. Not because every load is tarped, or that the driver is the one to always tarp when they are, but the driver would need the ability to tarp, just in case something happened enroute, too. I hadn’t considered there would be an instance where tarping ability would not be needed. That is, until the Eastern Regional VP of Van Truckload here at Schneider suggested our PODs account! Have you seen the moving & storage PODs over the past decades?
I trained last week, passed all tests, and am now officially transferred to this account. I even did a quick assignment this week… it was actually a recovery load where the driver could not complete final delivery due to issues with his equipment. So I went out to DE and NJ, picked up his trailer, and completed the 3 deliveries he had on his trailer! I start fresh Monday morning with my own first load. I’m looking forward to the new challenges, and the routes out west, and will keep ya’ll posted via photos of all the new terrain I’ll be traveling. I asked my trainer to take a few pix of me (the two above on the trailer, and the 3 below as I tossed the straps). The rest I took with my drone, or my phone. :0).
The way this account runs, in general, we pick up 3-4 POD units from different locations, and then can potentially run 2,000 or more miles before delivering. Some places I believe I’ll drop a few and pick up a few… more to be learned as I crank miles out. I keep my trailer so no more dropping and hooking, now it will be strapping the containers down and securement checks at specified and federally regulated intervals during my trip.
Enjoy the photos; more to come :0)
Thanks again for your support of my art and joining me on these adventures.
To the next set of thousands of miles & smiles,