John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985


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Chicago IL - Clearwater FL - Auburndale FL - Anaheim CA

Friday 7th June. Started at 0830 hrs with instructions to deadhead to Romeoville IL, which is on the outskirts of Chicago. I was given the load at 0800 hrs with a pick up at 1000 hrs, it was obvious that I was going to be late. As it turned out, I did not arrive until 1200 hrs. Did not get loaded until four o’clock in the afternoon and then I pushed on to Indianapolis where I parked for the night in the Flying ‘J’ on the 465 ring road. The load is for Clearwater in Florida for delivery 1300 hrs Monday 10th June, so I have plenty of time to get there.

Saturday 8th June. I was out of bed at 0600 hrs after a very good nights sleep, had a wash and shave, a quick cup of coffee and then I was on my way. Stopped for fuel at the Flying ‘J’ in Franklin KY and then pushed on, only to be held up by a series of road works in Nashville and two serious accidents on the bridge which crosses the Tennessee River. I finally made my scheduled overnight stop at the Flying ‘J’ at exit 320 on the I75S. I had a meal of soup and chicken salad and then spent some time on the phone to Yvonne and then Adam. Did some work on the computer and then went to bed.

Sunday 9th June. Today was another fine, warm and sunny day. I had a shower and shave and pulled out of the truck stop at 0700 hrs. Had a very easy day on the cruise control and managed to average sixty-one miles an hour for the 8 and quarter hours that I drove. I pulled into the Flying ‘J’ at San Antonio on I 75 S, fuelled up, had a meal of Cajun chicken and salad and then spent the evening on the laptop.

Monday 10th June. I arrived early at Clearwater, and was fortunate that they put me straight onto a dock and unloaded me. I was told to report to Curtis at the Lakeland Depot and he gave me instructions to load at Auburndale FL with a full load of Orange Pulp for delivery on Friday morning 14th June at 0700 hrs in Anaheim CA. This is a distance of some 2500 miles and I felt that I was not being given enough time to do the run legally. Still, nothing changes in the transport industry, no matter where it is. Once loaded, I made Marianna FL which is near to Tallahassee FL, the capital of Florida. Had a burger in the Truck Stop and then went to bed.

Tuesday 11th June. This was going to be a tough day, as I had to do the miles, but not show too many hours. I finally managed to cover 700 miles and logged only 658 for a 10-hour day. I am now in Sealy TX, which is between Houston TX and San Antonio TX, with the New Mexico border some 718 miles away. So it is looking that I will still be in Texas tomorrow night. It was really hot today; I would think it was in the 90’s, so I lowered the temperature on the load by five degrees, as the motor seemed to be working all the time. Mind you, these American fridge trailers, because of their thin walls, are not as good as the trailers from Europe.

Wednesday 12th June. Because of the hours of service regulations, I was only going to be allowed to drive for eight and quarter hours. With the usual fifteen minutes for the pre-trip and another fifteen minutes for a needed fuel stop, a maximum of eight and quarter hours for the day. This means that I can do the same tomorrow, but I am still 945 miles from Los Angeles, so I am going to have to do a night shift tomorrow night.

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