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  #11  
Old March 25th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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cleusk cleusk is offline
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Glad to hear from ya. I knew were probably out there trucking, but I had no idea you were trucking that hard. I wish you the best of luck and remember this when you feel like giving up - nothing lasts forever.
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  #12  
Old March 28th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop View Post
In the optimistic words of the slightly strange but usually upbeat hippie comic artist, R. Crumb.... Keep on Truckin'

We're all making what sacrifices we can, but it sounds like you're busting your hump harder than many people are.

Glad to hear you are ok - I was wondering why we hadn't heard from you in a while.
Wow I guess Giant12 is reliving his SFOT dream- lucky. I never worked with you sir and feel I missed out.

Yeah my trainer got me this gig and I do love it, but I'm just wore plumb out when I get home. I guess I kinda know how a railroad worker feels. I'm going to try and make it in more, but I may seem incoherent at times. Right now I have been up 27 hours.

I just let time slip and wanted y'all to know I did not leave on bad blood or anything like that- just family first. Then SFOT family second. The computer is just not that important anymore. The only other forum I'm on is pumpkindriver which is all about trucking and Schneider specifically, although owned by a Walmart driver who is a 14 year ex pumpkindriver. Great forum if you like things about trucking. I usually lerk there lately as I know my job well now and have no time and don't understand how other drivers care to make the time.

Not to get to sappy but I missed y'all. Is everyone employed right now? What happened with Alan Cochrum as he was let go from the Fort Worth Star Telegram about the time I left? His profile states he is still there.
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Last edited by Jason Garrett; March 28th, 2009 at 03:40 AM.
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  #13  
Old March 28th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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cleusk cleusk is offline
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27 hours?! You have nerves of steel.

Yes, family must always come first.

Not everyone's employed. Some are barely employed. But we're all hanging in there.
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  #14  
Old March 28th, 2009, 05:07 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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The hubs and I are still employed and in no imminent danger of losing it; in fact, he's working 50-hour weeks. Unfortunately, we have a catch-22 there: as gas prices go up, so does the amount of overtime he's offered. So we have to hope for higher pump prices to stash more money away..grrr. I wished he'd worked there last summer.

We are having to cut back though, but only because of knee surgery for me (over $700 total out of pocket, including co-pay and physical therapy) and 2 unpaid days off he had to take for it (he was only 2 weeks or so away from being able to take accrued leave time), then 2 weeks ago foundation repairs set us back an unexpected $110. Now we have all these little one-time expenses that keep taking money away from savings/unsecured debt payments, like an alarm permit, a new refrigerator water filter, fixing a tire, etc. We aren't able to save as much and both of us reduced what we're contributing to our retirement plans, but making adjustments is the first step. We're sure we'll catch up eventually, it's just not going to be quick like it has in the past.

I complain about it as I handle our finances, but then I remember that it could just be so much worse. I have nothing to complain about: we're both gainfully employed, we both have retirement accounts, neither of our cars are in danger of being repo'ed, our house isn't anywhere close to foreclosure, I had medical insurance to pay for that surgery, and house insurance to fix $4700 of bad foundation... My only complaints are that I haven't been able to pay everything on time lately, and my pool needs some work done to it that we can't afford right now. That's pretty damn good.
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  #15  
Old August 16th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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Default Here I am...

So everything has been work work work lately. I have not been around as most of you know due to my grueling schedule. When your a family man only home for 48 hours, well all communication is done on the phone or in person. I have actually been home since July 10. I slipped, spun and fell out of a trailer I was sweeping. Landing on my right side, I hurt my ribs, elbow, hip and fractured my ankle. First time in my life I have needed crutches. I would have been here sooner, but I was in the middle of a new computer build and just recently felt like completing it. I went from a P4 to a new AMD quad core and the difference in performance is like night and day. I will probably be around for a couple of weeks until it is time to ride that steel horse again.
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  #16  
Old August 16th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Twisted Twisted is offline
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Glad to hear from you, Jason! Sorry to hear about the accident, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise since it gave you some much-needed family time at home. Hopefully your ankle is better so I don't have to give you wheelchair lessons!

Tell everyone hello and I hope they are doing well!

-Michael
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  #17  
Old August 17th, 2009, 03:55 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Good to hear from you, brotha!

Hope you're on the mend - those rib injuries can be brutal - no laughing, no coughing, no sneezing, no lying on your side without shooting pains.

Keep fighting the fight!
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  #18  
Old September 1st, 2009, 03:22 AM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Good to hear from you Jason...but sorry to hear about your little mishap...as for me I am still moving freight on former Santa Fe rails between houston and temple. With the slowdown of business putting me low man on the totum pole I started getting bumped alot...and after it started to have an impact on my ability to have a steady paycheck I started working in the yard in houston. Working an afternoon transfer job that interchanges with either the UP at Engelwood or the PTRA at either their Northyard or Pasadena yards. Having been on several jobs that all do interchange work...you would be amazed at the amount of traffic comes out of the Port of Houston...mostly from the many petrochemical plants along the ship channel...but some from ships as well. After almost 13 years with them, I feel pretty safe and the risk of being furloughed looks pretty slim at this point...I feel fortunate to be working considering every terminal in texas has 25-100 men furloughed. I saw the writing on the wall early...in anticipation of having to work in the yard I rented a townhouse in the clear lake area of houston to avoid a daily commute of approximately 90 miles each way. Biggest worry right now is what is going on in the atlantic...yes once again hurricane season is upon us and we are about a quarter of the way through the most active part of the season...September has been the most active month in years past...after enduring 2 storms now...Rita in '05 and Ike last year...i think we can all handle a quiet season.
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  #19  
Old May 20th, 2011, 02:52 AM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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Default Re: In these hard times...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop View Post
In the optimistic words of the slightly strange but usually upbeat hippie comic artist, R. Crumb.... Keep on Truckin'

We're all making what sacrifices we can, but it sounds like you're busting your hump harder than many people are.

Glad to hear you are ok - I was wondering why we hadn't heard from you in a while.
Well here I am again. My first day back in 09 after my injury was my b-day dec 6th and it has been crazy. We picked up a new customer and until this winter I have been turning 600+ mile days, 5 days a week basically going to Fort Smith, AR from Denton. Then my backhaul back to Mesquite and back to denton. It is a full 14 hour day. If denton gets me out on time, then I am done around 2:00 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, If I am out late then it means battling afternoon rush hour in Dallas, at the end of my shift- yuck. I'm sorry I have not been here guys but during the week I have no time, I don't even have a TV in the truck. On the weekend I get about 48 hours which is great for a truck driver but bad for a social life. My best friend and almost brother is 20 mins away and I think I saw him 4 times last year. He and I are so caught up in this career thing that our wives talk to each other more. I don't social network either... On the weekend, my wife and I rest or do family things and a great bit of it goes to prep for the next week.

Now with that all being said, this has been a rewarding career and a great dedicated lane. I love the people and the pace, it fits my skill set well. My family is affected by the rising prices but I started making more and the recession has not phased us by the grace and mercy of God. The hardest part is being away from my family from Sun afternoon to Fri afternoon.

I had the opportunity this year to become an IC lease operator on my terms and I jumped on it. I am not an owner operator as I lease a truck but it affords certain freedoms to me. However, it also means more headache. The pros outweighed the cons and I went for it.

It has been a weird year though. I got my truck Dec 27th and have had things happenthat have never happened to me. In 350,000 miles the only thing that happened to me driving was hitting a coyote in the middle of a Minnesota night. It only partly cracked my bumper. Then there was the ankle fracture in 09. This year my customer has made changes and now I go to different customers in Fort Smith or Muskogee- still great miles though. I got caught in every major snow/ ice storm this year in Oklahoma. I had a fellow driver and friend fired for losing control in ice on a bridge over Lake Eufaula. He is blessed that the Jersey barrier held up, otherwise it would have been a cold swim. I got stuck in a ditch twice in Muskogee a week apart on the same road a mile apart! It snowed heavy both times before I left the plant and this road has no delineators or markers. The snow feel so fast and the wind blew so hard that it filled the ditches in an hour and it was a game of guess where the road is and I lost. When you get of pavement in a foot of snow, a semi just sinks and both times if I fought it I stood a chance of hitting a fellow motorist. $450 each time for a 20 min winch job. The first time when they got me out, it was a 4 mile drive to the truck stop. Longest 45 mins of my life trying to play miss all the stuck cars. I then got stuck at the truck stop as I had never had a need to stop there and didn't know they had a 30 ft grass area in between the fuel and parking, most don't. Fellow truckers helped me and two hours later I was parked 50 ft away. On this run I had a load going to Paul's Valley on the opposite side of OK. I was stuck at the truck stop for two days. On day three the three hour run took twice as long and felt like I was driving in a cow pasture. OK can't plow to save their life. I guess they can't afford the blades and road damage. They have plows but they never put them down all the way. I also had a OK plow truck hit me twice with rocks.

Speaking of cows and why I have a little time to post... A month ago my customer was behind and I got out late- about 03:30. I was about 30 miles into my run and had an on coming car on a two lane hwy that we use to catch 75 north. All of a sudden, and thanks to the on coming lights creating that black vortex in front, I see an animal just standing on my side of the right white line. My brain said deer in fact my brain said doe. I had no time and it that situation we are trained to hit the animal and I did. If we swerve we could lose control and flip over or jack knife or both plus I had oncoming head lights and would hit the animal anyway to avoid a head on with a car. It was a very hard impact and my truck pulled hard right as I hit the animal about right/ passenger headlight. This is at 65 mph. I pulled left but again fighting too hard will flip you over as when you pull left and you leave pavement you nose dive to the right and its like the truck trips on those front tires pointed the other way. Especially in the scenario I was in- my truck pulled right because my right steer tire went flat on impact and was the only tire mark leaving the road. On impact, my cruise did not shut off. I did not hit the brakes until I was in grass. I saw the big black mass of a forest and just accepted what was going to happen- I'm going in. It felt like a crash landing, but the forest acted like a runaway truck ramp and even kept my truck upright as it should have flipped. I hit my head and banged my knee but no blood. I made it. The reason I hit my head is before the forest I jumped a creek and in landing it tore my front axle and fuel tanks completely off. I didn't really have much off a seat belt bruise because I was launched up wards into my overhead storage which has been my greatest injury, basically a jammed up muscle spasmed neck but not as bad as it should of been. Plus a knee sprain and deep bruising in a few places. If I had left the road a little to the left I would have hit the concrete drainage pipe for the road and flipped, a little to the right and I would have took a 8 ft nose dive into the creek and would have been killed as I would of probably been crushed by the trailer. They told me I killed about ten trees and one on the passenger side opened my truck and peeled back the trailer like a sardine can. The first responder civilian could not reach me. It took the fire fighters awhile to cut a patch to me. They had to jaws of life my door striker, first ambulance ride as a patient, first back board and neck collar experience. It took 6 guys to carry my 250 lbs out of the woods, but better than 6 guys carrying me to a grave.

The punchline- Truck Drivers are held accountable for every wrong move. I had a buddy one time hit a deer and it ran off. The only evidence that saved his bacon was a little patch of hair in his bumper. I could hear the on coming driver's witness account and my heart sank, he said I just left the road. The whole time I sat there I kept thinking, please find the animal! Firefighter at my door asked, did you fall asleep? No sir, I said, I hit a deer. Firefighter in the distance, no he hit a cow, no make that two cows! That is why the hard impact and the flat steer tire, I hit a momma and a year old calf, a cars worth of cattle with a bumper that has a three foot plastic end. The funny part, I was listening to a man on the radio teach about why Hindus' do not eat cows...

Everyone tells me I am lucky to be alive and walking, but as a Christian there no such thing. It is providence- either God allowed or caused it to happen for my good and His glory. Period. Furthermore, I think He caused it. Why? Had a fellow driver literally two miles in front of me. Why did He do it? Don't know, but as a Christian I have a promise it is for my good-- Romans 8:28. That promise includes the worst thing you could imagine happening to you. Why is not the proper question. What is it that you want me to learn Lord in my daily life, in growing more like You Jesus? The answer is always the same- read your bible and pray.
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96-99 Rides, Park Services and a short unsuccessful stint in plumbing.

Currently Independent Contractor with Schneider National Inc.

Last edited by Jason Garrett; May 20th, 2011 at 03:06 AM.
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  #20  
Old May 20th, 2011, 03:25 AM
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Jason Garrett Jason Garrett is offline
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Default Re: In these hard times...

I have pics but they need to be resized and it is bed time.
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