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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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New York - Westfield MA - Sikeston - Los Angeles

Sunday 14th July. It was a very hard day’s driving, with horrendous traffic problems throughout the whole journey, but especially at the George Washington Bridge in New York. It took about 45 minutes to travel 299 yards, because all the cars were pushing in right at the toll booths and the stupid so and so’s were letting them in. Although I paid for a lumper, I did not get empty until 2320 hrs, so I slept in their trailer yard out of the way of everyone.

Monday 15th July. The qualcomm sprang into life at about nine o’clock with a load of ice cream from Breyers at Framingham MA to collect at 1500 hrs, but with instructions that if I got there early, they would possibly load me. I must be five pence short of a shilling to believe that, because when I arrived at the factory I was told that the load was not booked until Tuesday. I was straight on the phone to my dispatcher and I can tell you that I was not very polite to him. I did not tell him that the shipping manager had said that if I was prepared to stay there all day cooling down, she would load me in the evening. This she did, and I was loaded by 2015 hrs and then went to Sturbridge to weigh the load and get some fuel. As it was late I then slept there the night.

Tuesday 16th July. I actually covered 830 miles today, but of course my logs will only show 613 miles to Congress OH, even though I made it to the Weigh Station at Verona KY on I 71S south of Cincinnati OH.

Wednesday 17th July. I drove the last four hundred miles back to the yard in Sikeston MO. I had the truck serviced and a few defects remedied, and then I had it washed at Kellers Truck Stop and then booked into the Ramada Inn for the night. Managed to get my washing done and then went to bed.

Thursday 18th July. I tipped my load at the Atlas Cold Store and then loaded the trailer at Breyers South Plant for Neil Overton who was going to Georgia. I was told that I would be loading for Henderson NV in the morning.

Friday 19th July. I loaded my trailer 5408 at Breyers South Plant for Henderson NV, which is right beside Las Vegas. I am also loading at the same place for onward delivery to Mira Loma CA which is near Ontario CA. This is for delivery on Monday morning at 0930 hrs. The Las Vegas is for 1400 hrs on Sunday afternoon and is going to be very hard work getting it there on time. I left the yard at 1600 hrs and stopped for the night just past Oklahoma City OK at the Flying J on I40.

Saturday 20th July. I showered and then fuelled, then started the long slog westwards. New Mexico is very hilly and as I was struggling up another long hill, the CB crackled into life and I heard a trucker say – and I quote “ Dunno what’s up with that Pullen Truck, but it sure ain’t healthy”. I feel that just about sums up the performance of this truck when it is pulling up a hill. I booked off at Gallup NM recording the day’s mileage as 649 miles but in actual fact I pushed on to the Flying J. at Winslow AR which was another 133 miles further on. Once again it is another late night.

Sunday 21st July. It was wonderful scenery around Laughlin NV but very hard work for the truck. Very long and very steep hills, but I eventually made the Cold Store at Henderson and was quickly unloaded and reloaded for Mira Loma CA, which is near Ontario CA. The run to Los Angeles was terrible because of all the holiday traffic from Las Vegas going back to LA. Also, because of the very high temperature – it was over 100 degrees – the fridge kept shutting down. This was because the compressor was getting too hot and automatically shutting down. This meant that I had to keep pulling over into the desert to reset the alarm and set the motor running again. I had to do this at least twenty times in two hundred miles. I finally made Barstow and met up with Tony.

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