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Hannah Jones: Summary of Ride-Along with Steve V.

As most of you may know, last week I was out on the road with Steve V. I wanted to go out so I could experience the issues that our drivers face on a daily basis and see what a driver’s life is like out on the road. We were supposed to be out Tuesday through Saturday, but Rick needed our help delivering a load so we left on Monday instead. When I got home I found out that I had surprise plans for Monday that now had to be rescheduled.

Our first load was a delivery at Sherwin Williams in Fredericksburg, PA. We left on Monday morning. That night was my first time sleeping in a big truck. I slept on the top bunk all week. The first night I didn’t have too much problem sleeping. I just needed to learn how to work the APU. I was extremely cold that first night. The day was pretty uneventful.

On Tuesday, we ran into traffic on the interstate we turned on the CB to see if there was talk of an

alternate route. On the fly, Steve decided to try an alternate that we overheard. We followed the route not knowing if it would take us where we wanted to go. As we were about to get back on the interstate we ran smack dab into SW in Fredericksburg. We made our delivery in Fredericksburg and were put on a St Mary’s, PA to Princeton, KY and Mattoon, IL. From there the views just got better. I got to experience tight turns on the square and how the truck reacts when going up hills on our way to St. Mary’s.

On Wednesday we made it to Leitchfield, KY without very many issues. During my time on the road

Steve was able to ask me any questions he wanted. He made inquiries about why he has to do certain procedures and I was able to let him know the reasoning behind them. I finally figured out how to work the APU to my liking.

On Thursday morning we made our first delivery in Princeton, KY and in the afternoon we arrived in Mattoon. We had to run an empty over to Rural King where I got to see the new guard shack and entrance, before we could head out with our next load, that delivered to Obetz, OH.

On Friday morning we made our delivery into Obetz, OH and received our next dispatch. We were on our way to our next pickup in Newark, OH when we saw traffic starting to back up on I-70. We turned on the CB to get the details of what was going on. We heard that the interstate was flooded.

We researched a route that would help us detour around the flooding. We detoured to Highway 35 traffic was backed up there too. We heard over the CB that there was a fatality. Luckily, Steve used his years of driving experience to get us turned around in a residential area and we were rolling again. What should have taken one hour took over two hours to get to our next shipper. Towards the end of the afternoon we were dispatched on a city load to complete after dropping at Steve’s parking location, so I got to experience the fluctuating end times of a truck driver.

On Saturday it was smooth sailing. I was hoping nothing would go wrong so we could get home to enjoy life.

Recap, I got to experience a lot of the situations that drivers go through every day. This includes having to leave out early, getting dispatch to a park location, getting a load for city work at the end of Friday, sleeping in the truck, seeing how the truck reacts with every type of hill, stuck in traffic, road construction, stuck behind a fatality, dealing with shippers and receivers, sending in etas, how PeopleNet messages sound when messages are read, working the APU, and planning the trip with an atlas.

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