During my recent road trips between here and McAllen, I noticed an increase in the number of long haul trucks and truckers. Sometimes, a convoy with half a dozen together. Mostly obeying the speed limit, occasionally not.
Much of the things we buy, groceries, gasoline, hardware, clothes, gets to the final retail outlet via truckers.
My exwife’s parents were truck brokers from Pharr Texas. I was always amazed at the nonchalant attitude the truckers had about heading out for a 1500 mile trip. The brokers would call out “I got a load of cantelopes going to Oregon; who wants it?” Or “I have a load going to Minnesota” only to be answered by several truckers, who grabbed the slip, and headed to the produce shed to get loaded up.
The RGV Texas used to be a real powerhouse of citrus, melons, and various vegetable suppliers for the country, and all these products had to be trucked out.
I asked a buddy of mine (also a truck broker) about why the railroads aren’t more competitive with over the road truckers.
He laughed. He did not explain.
I just figured it was no contest that truckers pick up a load wherever it is, and drop it off where it is needed. With the railroad, one is limited to where the rails are, and then…a truck may haul it the rest of the way.
My brother worked at a caliche pit for 20 years. The operation was huge. They mined the caliche, and trucks lined up beginning at 6 am, and got loaded up at the scale house. Caliche is cheap. Places that do not have it naturally occurring in the ground have to buy gravel, which is basically crushed rock to various aggregate sizes. Some of those drivers would come and load up several times a day…every day until the job was done.
Caliche is used on road beds, pre foundation for homes and buildings, oil rig pads begin as a caliche bed…all delivered on site by truckers.
Here at the ranch, our property is largely on a huge caliche vein. Not much topsoil for in ground farming on our ranch. It’s too hard to even dig post holes.Other areas over the hill, are rich acreages of farmland.
They bought a gigantic bulldozer that arrived at the railhead, then hauled by a flat bed with a shitload of wheels, thousands of dollars of permits to haul it thirty miles to the pit. The blade came separately; another huge object. The blade had to be 10-12 feet high. The tires too were monsters.
As far as the truck traffic on the roads, I-35 is horrible with trucks. Three lanes from DFW area to San Antonio, trucks everywhere.
One of the truckers biggest road worries is the weigh station. You’ve seen ’em…all commercial trucks stop for weighing when flashing. The fines can be steep for too much weight on the axles.
It’s rare to see a trucker pulled over by state police, because chances are, they’re in trouble. Speeding tickets for truckers are very bad.
So many rules and regulations; insurance, logs, all crap they all have to carry. Limitations on how long they can be driving in so many hours.
I read a post over at Scratching To Escape about the trucking business and costs. That is what inspired me to write this post.
I actually looked into getting a CDL a couple of years ago, and decided no. I had no idea the shit one has to know…are you certified on air brakes? or hydraulic? Both? great, you’re worth more money. Clean driving record? even better.
The oil companies in central Texas advertise looking for folks with CDLs every day. The oil business relies on trucks. You’ve seen ’em; giant Haliburton semis hauling god knows what the contraption is, mobile vacuum trucks…all require drivers with CDL.
Given the increase in general population, cities are growing, all requiring goods delivered to meet the demand.
I went into town this morning to purchase some Raid Fumigators, my personal favorite in the house scorpion killer. I found a scorpion a couple days ago, coming after me in the kitchen after I sprayed outside.
The Fumigators were $17.99 at the local hick town hardware store.
No fucking way, so I drove to Kerrville Home Depot and got them for $12.97. I bought four 3-packs. The money I save driving to the ‘big city’ more than paid for my gasoline. Damn greedy bastards in hick town can keep theirs.
The a/c in the Ranger worked great. It’s supposed to be 95 here today, and 100 later this week.
No rain in the forecast, so I guess the rodeos will be on here this weekend.
Sure could use some rain.
I got my black diamond watermelon seeds and some okra to plant in the raised gardens. Those two like the hot weather. I just gotta get up earlier to plant them.
Our house in McAllen is now listed, and have had a couple of showings, with more today and the rest of the weekend.
We left stuff at the house, that we just could not cram into the car. We didn’t care at the time. It was probably a mistake, and we’ll have to maybe deal with it if it doesn’t sell quickly. The realtor did not take any pics of the middle bedroom where we left some stuff. She did not take pics of the master bath walk in shower as we left a basket of cleaning supplies in it.
As I said, we were so burned out from moving, packing, unpacking, unloading, loading moving that we just didn’t care any more. Hopefully it won’t come back to bite us in the ass.
We have enough money for one more round of mortgages and associated bills before we withdraw more money for the next round in late June.
The realtor suggested that we not replace the carpeting as no matter what you install, it won’t be right for the new owners. The showings thus far had comments related to the condition of the carpet.