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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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Mira Loma CA - Salinas - Joplin MO

Monday 22nd July. I was up early and drove the last 100 miles to Mira Loma, where I unloaded promptly. I was then instructed to make my way to Salinas CA where I would be loading tomorrow for Kroger’s in Louisville KY, for delivery on Saturday morning at 0730. Need a quick load tomorrow to get some miles under my belt or it will be another very hard slog to get it there on time. Tony and Billy were both at Salinas in the Pilot Truck Stop.

Tuesday 23rd July. I went round to the pickup point in Salinas at 0700 hrs this morning, only to be told that the berries would not be ready until 1500 hrs this afternoon, so it was back to the truck stop for the day. Tony finally got his loading instructions and what a good one it was. Load at Ruiz foods in Dinuba CA for Kissimmee FL. This was a very nice 3000 miles trip, with ample time to do it in, with a Sunday evening delivery. I returned to the loading point at 1300 hrs, hoping for an early load, but unfortunately after waiting until 1900 hrs I was told that the berries would not be available until 1300 hrs tomorrow at the earliest. This only confirms what I have been saying all along. The dispatchers are not interested at all whether the driver earns any money or not. The driver is just a bum on a seat. Still, I knew all this before I started, so I suppose I must not complain, even though it goes against the grain to witness the total incompetence of the whole industry here.

Wednesday 24th July. Now for another day spent waiting for the time to load. Because of the time difference between Missouri and California it means that even when I am loaded, my logs will have to show Missouri time. As it turned out, I was very lucky, because I went to the packers at mid-day and was loaded by three o’clock. Then went to the Pilot Truck Stop and weighed. Load perfect, I left Salinas CA and after a nine and three quarter hours drive I was at the Flying J in Kingman AZ. With California’s speed limit being 55 mph for trucks, I have had to book more hours than it actually took.

Thursday 25th July.  A very good day today, after having fuelled at the Flying J. Kingman AZ I pulled out of the Truck Stop, wound the old girl up to 75 mph, flicked on the cruise and just sat back and admired the scenery all day. Traffic was a bit slow through Albuquerque NM but I still made Santa Rosa NM, covering 578 miles in eight and a half hours driving.

Friday 26th July. It was another one of those easy days, with the sun shining, very little traffic and the truck on cruise control set at 75 mph. I stopped for fuel and booked off on my log at Big Cabin OK, having done 572 miles, but continued for another 57 miles to the Petro Truck Stop in Joplin MO, which is one of the best. I had an excellent meal of catfish and French fries with a couple of cups of coffee.

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