[Date: August 24, 2014 at 5:03:59 AM PDT]
An excellent observation about people –
A polite me –
Dave’s Trucking Adventures (cont…..)
This week I had the pleasure of visiting Nampa Idaho with a truck load of (mostly) air, and 40 pieces of fibreglass wizardry totaling less than 10,000 pounds of cargo. I’m talking shower and tub enclosures for the good folks in southern Idaho. Here’s a picture of Unit 990 taken slightly before 7:00 a.m. on Friday morning –
Waiting to unload at the plumbing wholesaler yard. American driving rules are slightly different than those in Canada. Driving to Nampa ID from Armstrong BC stretches the American rule of 11 hours maximum driving time in one day. The distance as recorded by 990 was close to 1020 km. This is an average of just over 90 km. per hour for 11 hours. Just try it sometime. Oregon Interstate 84 pegs trucks at 55 mph. and the total time driving in Oregon was 4 hours. Just saying…… The trip was completed on time without breaking any rules. Gotta love that, dontcha?
On the return trip home, I tried a suggestion from another driver re: route en route. The dispatcher Ryan gave me his secret recipe for achieving the task in 11 hours of driving, which I followed to a “T” on the outbound trip. Coming home, I thought (fool that I am) trying a different route that someone swears is faster AND shorter seemed like an erstwhile endeavor. I am basically a gullible naive and simple man. The return trip took well over 12 hours of driving. The Canadian rules allow up to 13 hours of driving in a 14 hour “on duty” cycle. My log sheet says I did that very thing – 1200 km. in 13 hours. Don’t look too close at the details on my log sheet……..
All this driving allowed plenty of time for the driver’s favorite pastime……. thinking! There are a few other well loved pastimes such as watching idiot drivers attempt vehicular homicide or pondering why in the world driving a big truck ever appealed. This trip, the long, kick-my-pants for trying a new route trip, the nasty 14 hour (if you believe my log) trip, I chose to think.
I thought about driving in my beloved home province of British Columbia. Following are 5 immutable laws of the road applicable to B.C.
1. All towns, burgs, villages, unincorporated municipalities, cities and assemblies of one or more homes with a collective name are at the bottom of a hill, or have AT LEAST one hill. If there is no hill (or mountain) see point 2.
2. All connector highways MUST TRAVEL THROUGH THE CENTER of the aforementioned assembled assortment of hovels, huts, lean-to’s, buildings, structures and relics in such a manner and direction to be identified as the “main street”
3. Starting a ridiculously distant point from the outskirts of any entity identified in point 1 there must be posted signage restricting the use of “engine retarders”, Jake brakes, “pipe” and / or exhaust brakes on peril of heavy fines for breaching the local noise bylaws
4. Any traffic light use CANNOT be synchronized if there is more than ONE LIGHT in any given section of highway
5. Important route or direction signage MUST HAVE AMPLE FOLIAGE / OBSTRUCTING STRUCTURES / BE MISSING to make simple and quick comprehension a challenge. Night lighting is not obligatory
Consider the Okanagan Valley, specifically Armstrong to Osoyoos. The distance via highway 97 is a scant 124 miles. If you run Google Map or Mapquest to estimate time, you can get it down to just over 2 and one half hours IF YOU RUN THE PROGRAM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Thursday last it took me just over three hours during the day due to the first 4 laws above (I know the route so number 5 isn’t a factor). That’s about 40 mph average. Why? Holiday traffic. Slow speed limits. The Canadian version of the world wide pastime “Construction Zone”, and it’s attendant restrictions – usually speed reduction or stopping for single lane traffic or heavy roadwork equipment. No synchronization of lights. Or, conversely, “synchronized” to some astronomic speed that if you DID get through more than 2 greens, you’d be hauled off to jail for “dangerous driving” (whatever that entails).
Why does this matter? Most truckers are paid by the mile. Or by the kilometer (if you’re a Monarch ass-kisser or Euro-weenie (or both)). The longer a truck runs, the more fuel it burns (generally speaking). Slower delivery is more expensive delivery (in most instances). Drivers working exclusively in large centers (or geographical anomalies like the Okanagan) are often paid by the hour because no one would accept to be paid by mileage – it is often sporadic and unpredictable.
Today, Sunday the 24th, I am taking good old Unit 990 for a trip to Portland OR. The U.S. portion of the trip is approx. 440 miles, estimated at 8 hours. That’s averaging over 60 mph. Why? Laws 1, 2, 4 are NOT enforced. What could be an easy 10 hour day will be an 11 hour day, minimum. Alas, Interstate highways will never get to the Okanagan Valley.
It’s 4:30 a.m. PDT. Time to get outta here…………….
This rant is short because Sunday is all driving. Go team, go!
Summary of situation –
POLITICS, POLITICIANS, WACKJOBBERY, HUMOROUS, STUPID
GLOBAL WARMING (OR WHATEVER)
Patrick Moore is a Canadian, a Greenpeace co-founder. In this video he speaks his mind about global warming, Greenpeace, education, and energy. This should be MANDATORY viewing for all people in the world, especially children:
Of great interest to me was his mention of “fast neutron reactors”, already feasible (in China and Russia), which use spent reactor fuel. The “waste” fuel being stored in Nevada from the past 50 years will provide 5000 years of fast neutron reactor fuel. Gotta love technology! There may be a way off this planet yet…..
Dr. Moore has a wry sense of humor which is on display in this video. His website here:
THE CULTURE (THERE IS ONLY ONE)
What is the future of “work”? A short video titled “Humans Need Not Apply” surmises a future where 45% or more of conventional work is performed by “bots”:
GUNS, GUNNERS, GUNNERY
The sixth installment of The Science Network’s Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival:
Not impressed am I. Rain? In August? WTF? Good thing I’m driving a lot. Takes my mind off the weather.
Joe (Traveling) Mekanic
p.s. Ramirez travels well –