Florida is such an interesting place to drive through. You see so many different things. I drove through some very pretty citrus groves. I went past an orange juice plant where there were ten or twenty trucks, pulling open wagon-like trailers cumulatively loaded down with hundreds of thousands of pounds of oranges, lined up on one end of the building. Then on the other end of the building were four or five shiny food grade tankers pulling out with thousands of gallons of juice on board. Somewhere in the middle of that building was a giant fruit squishing operation going on, squeezing all that precious juice out of those oranges. I also drove through Everglades, and saw some wild alligators slowly meandering along the ditches right next to the highway I was on. One of the truck stops I was at had signs out warning us that alligators were in the area!
Here I am in Lakeland Florida, delivering some extrusions to GT Grandstands in their tight quarters behind the warehouse...
My first delivery was in Pensacola Florida, and then I followed that up with stops in Tampa, Lakeland, Miami, Doral, and the final stop, or the "consignee," as we call it, was in Del Ray Beach.
From there I was dispatched to the Port of Vicksburg to pick up a load of aluminum "sows" to deliver back to the SAPA plant in Delhi, LA. Here is what that load looked like...
That is 46,500 pounds of aluminum. These aluminum sows that we pick up at the ports come from all different parts of the world. Sometimes they will be from Dubai, or New Zealand. These were manufactured in Russia! I don't know why, but I just enjoy taking note of where some of this stuff comes from. In this day and time the Russians are getting into our e-mails and we are apparently buying our aluminum from them! Take a look at this label on these materials...
As a flat-bed truck driver I do a lot of things besides just driving the truck. As you can see from that load of "sows" I also have to secure the loads on my trailer in a way that is safe and compliant with all the many regulations we are required to work under. As you can see from this photo there is hard work involved, and it has the result of wear and tear on certain things like my clothing and my gloves.
I think it is time for me to replace this pair! Well, that is something I can do when I go home this next week. That's right, I'm heading home for some much needed rest, and just enjoying a few days with the folks that I love. I've also got some more surgery scheduled. It seems that my skin is going to help me be a constant revenue source for a few doctors in the field of dermatology.
I doubt any of you remember this place, but I stayed at the Oasis truck stop on this trip. It is an interesting truck stop just inside the Alabama border before you cross over into Florida. Here is a link to a post that includes some photos showing why this place is so interesting.
I am continuing to enjoy success at this career. I made the short list of three star drivers again this last quarter. It really is a big deal to be in this elite group, and it also increases your pay, as it gives one a considerable amount of bonus pay when they reach the goals required to be on this list.
Today is Saturday, and I'm sitting here in Delhi, waiting for my next load that will get me to Texas so I can go home. It doesn't load until tomorrow (Sunday) and then it will deliver Monday morning in Sherman, TX. After that I will "dead head" (running an empty truck) home to be with my family. I'm going to go ahead and stay home for about a week to make sure I'm ready to get back to work after the minor surgery I'll be going through, and I want to get a chance to go to church with my wife and see some of my dearest friends while home.