Life by Three Clocks

Image0077Life on the road, is so very freeing, as long as you follow a few simple rules.  I live my life by three clocks, 11, 14, and 70 hours have become the most important hours of my meager existence.  I can only drive for 11 hours each day, with out a 10 hour consecutive break. I can only be on duty and driving, for a total of 14 consecutive hours each day. And I can only work a total of 70 duty hours in 8 days.  Sound confusing, it’s not really.  If you can drive for 8 1/2 to 9 hours each day, you never run out of time, because at the end of the 8 days, you start getting the hours from day 1 back at midnight.  So you see on day 9 you’re getting the time from day 1 back, day 10 you get day 2 and so on.  That way you can run nearly continuously without having to do a reset.

Now if you run out of duty hours on the 70 hour clock, there is a little thing called a 34 hour reset.  If I remain off duty or in the sleep berth for 34 consecutive hours, it resets all my time.  The problem with a 34 hour reset is… your setting, not running, and hence not making any money.  It’s always best to manage the hours instead of letting the hours manage you.  Easy to say, but not that easy to accomplish.  I did well while I had students on the truck, because running as a team you can spread out the drive time.  As a solo, it can be a little more difficult, especially when the load delivery time is fairly pressing.

I have to admit, I like running solo far more than being a trainer.  It’s my nature you see, I’m just a lone wolf, and prefer to be alone.  Nothing but my own thoughts, and a little music to keep me company.  Of course there is the traffic around me, but there is no changing that.  I’m enjoying my time as solo for a little while, kind of taking a breather from being cooped up in the truck with a stranger for a little while. 

Being a trainer is a little strange for me.  Imagine that you just got your dream car, say a Corvette.  Now meet a random person on the street, not knowing if they can even drive, and toss them the keys.  OH, you also have to get in the passenger seat and ride with them!  To say the least, it can be a little nerve wracking.  I was lucky, my first two students were not all that bad.  Other than a few personal quirks, that had nothing at all to do with driving, we got along just fine.  They helped me run the extra miles, and make some money.  After a month and a half though, I had to take a breather.

I’ve been running solo for two weeks now.  I even managed to get a load through Fort Worth with enough time I could take a 34 hour reset at home.  I’ve enjoyed it to be sure, but I will have to pick up another student soon so I can make the miles.  Right now I am a phase 2 trainer, which means that I am to teach them the business end of the job.  It's all about fuel mileage, maintenance, paperwork and managing hours.  Once you get that down, everything else falls into place.  In theory, the students are supposed to know how to drive.  After I complete 6 months with no accidents, I can become a phase 1 trainer, where I would be teaching them how to drive.  I actually think that will be more fun.

Until then, I just keep on rolling, living my life by three clocks.


Sandee said...

I'm learning a lot about trucking from you. Didn't really know a thing before. I get the three clocks and it makes good sense too.

I'm glad you are enjoying your time alone on the road with your music. Many feel as you do.

Have a terrific day. :)

Eric S. said...

Thanks Sandde, I just thought some of you would like to learn a little about trucking, LOL.

tashabud said...

I'm with Sandee on this one, except that I still don't get the 3 clocks. I'm such a nincompoop. Tehehe.

Looks like there's more to truck driving than deliving goods from point A to point B.


kkipp said...

Eeeek . . . numbers . . . your elder sister HATES numbers. But it sounds like you've got it down to a clear routine.

I'm sure I'd rather be lone wolf than trainer also. I suspect that's fairly typical of high-country folk.


lisa said...

What a WONDERFUL blog you have! I have so enjoyed reading many of your posts, and I look forward to visiting you here.

Have a wonderful evening wherever you may be.

kkipp said...

Hey there wee bro--I was great to see you, even though the time was short. Mother asked you looked, and I said, "Well, he looks well. Healthy, relaxed . . . content." Hopefully you'll have a chance to lay over for a day or two sometime out here. I'd love to show you house and tour you around our wild and wonderful area.

Hugs, Kel

Linda Makiej said...

Beautiful photos here!!
So happy to have found you to follow!

Toyin O. said...

Very interesting post, thanks for sharing.

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kkipp said...

Are you all as sad as I am to see Eric's new job has left him with no time to write for us? *sigh*

I keep checking, keep hoping ... thank goodness he has so many links to wonderful blogs by other folk to offer balm whilst I pine for the wee brother's thoughts/tales.


tashabud said...

Hi Kell,
Yes, I'm very sad as you. I miss reading his wonderful posts also.

But, I'm so happy to finally have met your brother! Like you said in one of your comments, he looks well, happy, and content. I guess it's a great trade off.

Happy weekend to you, Kell.

cheryl said...

Been wondering about cha Eric. I hope you're alright and enjoying life :)

Lilly said...

Hi Eric, just thought I woud drop in, and see how you are doing. Hope life is treating you well and your still writing.

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