August 3, 2009
70 photos total
I wander out of the bedroom bleary eyed and half asleep. I grab my camera from the dining room table and take the day's first picture.
Kitties wrestle in the floor at my feet.
The clock above the stove in my kitchen gives us our first time check.
I pull a bottled Coca Cola from the fridge and take my daily supplements. I take niacin, selenium, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin.
I get some clothes out of the dryer I need to finish folding and put them in a pile on the bed beside my still sleeping wife, welfy.
She doesn't stay asleep for long, though.
I have some errands to run this morning. The weekend before, I bought a pickup truck, and I need to complete the transfer and registration of it.
So I leave my house...
...and head out of my neighborhood.
I drive through downtown Frankfort...
...across the Kentucky river...
...up Capital Avenue...
...and past the capital building toward the west side of town. It's foggy this morning, making it hard to see the capital really well through the mist.
I'm heading to my insurance office. I still haven't received my proof of insurance in the mail so I want to get them to print me a copy so I can go to the courthouse and take care of the transfer. Unfortunately, they don't open until 9am.
So I go back home, and call work to let them know that I have to take care of this before I can start working.
So I decide to cook breakfast. I have some jowl bacon I bought over the weekend and wanted to try. I hadn't had jowl bacon since I was a kid.
I fried some eggs to go with it, naturally.
And of course, I made breakfast for the missus, too, before she headed-out for the day.
Now that it was almost 9, I headed back across town. The fog had burned off and I had a much better view of the capital as I drove by.
After obtaining my proof of insurance, I went to the County Clerk's office.
On my way back home, I stopped at a hardware store to have some spare keys made for the pickup.
I keep a keyring in my garage with a all the spare keys on it, so it was the first place I went when I got back to the house.
By now it was almost 10, so I called work to let them know I was ready when they were.
Then I showered and shaved.
I checked Facebook real quick, afterward.
Work finally calls me back and I head for the office.
I drive a flatbed 18 wheeler through the southeast and mid-west every week. Yes that's right, I squandered my English degree for a life on the road. I quickly pack the truck with my laundry and some food.
I check the Qualcomm for the particulars of my first trip of the week.
I start my logbook for the day, which offers a convenient time check. There's a time warp, though. While I live in the Eastern time zone, my logs are kept on Central time, since my "home terminal" is in Birmingham, Alabama.
I hit the road, taking U.S. 127 out of Frankfort.
I drive past fields bursting with tobacco.
The coming weekend will bring the world's largest yard sale to the area: The 127 yard sale stretches from Alabama to Michigan. All along the road, people are beginning to setup their stands.
I pass through the town of Owenton....
And later, Sparta....
...before arriving at the Ohio River Valley, and the steel mills of northern Kentucky.
I arrive at the mill and begin to setup in the staging area. I pull the things I need from the headache rack on the back of the cab.
I lay them out on the deck of the trailer: two beveled timbers laid inside 3 coil racks and overlaid with 3 rubber friction mats. I also lay out 4 chains, 4 chain binders, 6 steel edge protectors and 2 plastic edge protectors. Here they only load coils in a "suicide" orientation.
All setup, I radio the guard shack with my pickup number and they instruct me come inside. After weighing my truck and trailer on the scales, I drive through the coil yard.....
...to the loading area. Large lift vehicles lumber about, placing coils onto the trailer of waiting trucks.
Here, I have to wear my hard hat and eye protection.
Soon I'm loaded with my suicide coil. They call it that because, most shifting loads occur by moving forward due to sudden breaking or accidental impact. If this coil were to break free of its restraints, it would roll right over the truck. The coil weighs over 45,000 pounds and could flatten me like a pancake.
I quickly add a couple of chains then move the truck back to the staging area where put on the other two. I throw a strap over the top and pull out my cheater bar to tighten down the winch.
The finished product looked like this:
I receive my bill of lading and soon am on I-71 south.
By law, I had to stop within the first 50 miles and perform a load check, then every 150 miles after that. Just before I get to Louisville, I stop at a rest area and check my tie downs.
I go to the restroom and wash up. I'm covered in dirt and grease from handling the chains and binders.
My clothes are covered as well, so when I get back to the truck, I pull some clean clothes form the closet and change.
I make myself a couple of turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch before getting back behind the wheel.
I hit the road and navigate through Louisville and get on I-65 south, which will carry me almost entirely to my destination in Alabama.
In a couple of hours, I enter Tennessee.
And not long after that, I enter Nashville.
I stop at a Pilot truck stop just north of downtown, on Trinity Road
I perform a load check and take a photo of the parking lot as seen from my trailer, looking backwards.
I need to use the restroom, so I go inside the truck stop.
I grab myself a snack.
Soon, I'm on the road again. It's after 6, so the evening rush hour has thinned by now and the trip through downtown is a breeze. Soon, the skyline of the city is in my rear view mirror.
Within an hour dusk begins to settle as I cross into Alabama.
A little before 9pm, I stop in Priceville, AL at a truck stop to do my final load check of the trip.
I take a couple of photos from the parking lot - one of the scales. . .
. . .and one of the fuel island.
I take another photo of myself while in the truck stop restroom.
In about another hour, I arrive at my destination in Fairfield, AL , just a few miles west of Birmingham. It's a steel manufacturer that uses the coils to produce whatever it is that they make.
Now that I'm empty, I head back into Birmingham. My company has a terminal there and my truck is due for service. As I drive through downtown, I try to capture the skyline, but because of the darkness it comes out all blurry.
I talk to my wife some on the phone while driving to the terminal.
I arrive at the terminal and end my phone call. I get out of the truck and walk around the lot a bit. Trucks are parked on the lot near the garage.
I go into the driver's lounge to use the restroom.
I return to the truck and check LiveJournal before going to bed.
I set my Screaming Meanie to wake me up the morning, which offers us our final time check of the day.
I lay down in the bunk and take a final picture of myself. Goodnight!