Friday, January 27, 2012

Ranger, Texas

So, I thought I would update the map with some facts about a town I go through!  Ready to hear about Ranger, Texas?

Ranger started out as a camp for..... The Texas Rangers (law enforcement guys) that would train there.  Just like almost every town in Texas, it was formed when the railroad came through in 1880.  Ranger is also home to Texas' 3rd oldest airport.  Amelia Earhart landed at it at one time!  The discovery of oil in the area is was really put Ranger on the map.  Ranger got up to nearly 30,000 people in town at it's peak.  They also had massive flooding at that same time & really made a big mess there in Ranger. 

Old picture of Ranger during the oil boom
When the boom settled down, farming took over.  Peanuts, wheat, goats, cattle & hay are the major Ag products that helped Ranger out.  Ranger college was established in the 1970s and today is known as a good junior college sports college.  Around 2,000 people call Ranger home today. 

Ranger College football
Ranger is just off of I-20 to the North.  You can't really see it well from the interstate, but at night - you can see the lights of it.  There's a Love's truckstop in Ranger but I don't stop there much at all.  I use the tire shop there from time to time, but probably only twice in the past 8 months. 

Love's truckstop in Ranger, TX.  I have only bought a tire there twice.  Fuel & tires are expensive and service is slow.
There's also Ranger hill.  Ranger hill is one of the bigger hills you will go up on Interstate 20 in Texas.  When there's snow or ice, it is famous for shutting down.  There is a lot of criticism over how they don't spread salt on it in a proactive manner and it stays shut down a lot.  There's also a lot of accients on that hill as well.  Even without snow or ice.  I usually get slowed down to about 60 going up Ranger hill.  I slow way down and go down a gear when going down it so I don't go too fast.  Coming from the mountain West, Ranger hill is pretty small and silly to me and I have to agree it could be taken care of better by the highway department, but I can't worry about it too much. 

Exit before Ranger hill with traffic shut down during a little bit of snow.
Ranger is at exits 349, 351 and 354.  It's about an hour's drive from where your school is!  I hope you guys are having a good week!

--Mr. Walker

Gotta go!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good Rain

FOUR INCHES of rain!  That's how much rain the DFW area got in places in this recent storm.  That is a lot of rain!  Did you guys enjoy it?  I sure did.  It made driving tricky, but I was super careful. 

You have to be super careful when it's raining!
The rain poses one heck of a problem at the steel mill in Midlothain.  With that much rain, the holes we back into to dump our scrap in fill up with lots of water.  So much water, it covers up the WHOLE tire on my trailer.  I had 3 flat tires on Wednesday morning when I dumped my load.  I had to wait for the tire guy to come and get me fixed up so I could go back out to West Texas.  Luckily, I have a sleeper and I laid down on my bed and caught a nap! 

What a new truck's sleeper looks like.

This is what my truck look like inside. 
 Last night, the workers at the steel mill used a giant magnet to pick up metal in the water so I could back up without getting a flat.  It sure makes it tricky trying to have a good safe, normal dump at the steel mill! 

I did get a couple of large pieces rejected and got held up at the mill while they loaded it back.  This week has been tough since I've been held up every night so far.  But, hopefully this week gets a bit more smooth as it goes on. 
Until next time, have a great weekend!

--Mr. Walker

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Schedule lately

So, someone thought it would be a good idea to show you guys my routine & schedule since it's about normal so far this month.  So, here goes...

Wake up 12:30pm - 3:00pm
Breakfast/Lunch - my wife is a very good cook.  But my first meal after waking up is usually leftovers from lunch.

Is this what you look like when you wake up?
Chores - wake up - 6:00pm
Chores are usually working on the house, cleaning and organizing.  It seems to be never ending since we moved here in May.  We went from a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a garage to a 2 bedroom 1 bath house.  So, there's a lot of organizing to do!  This is when I take my shower, too.

Supper - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Again, Mrs. Walker is an incredible cook.  She keeps me very well fed. 

Family time - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
I usually play with Lindsey.  Maybe watch the start of a football or basketball game.  Sometimes, Lindsey goes to bed around now & I get to help her go 'night-night' as she says. 

Leave for work - 8:00pm to 9:00pm.
Since it's cold, I will let my truck warm up for about 10 minutes.  Then go from Snyder to Sweetwater.  Takes me about 35-40 minutes. 

Pre-trip Inspection - 9:00pm. 
I will start the truck first.  Check the oil, coolant levels, the tires, the lights, and air lines.  I will start my log book for this trip and pull out of the yard.  Lock the gate behind me and head down the road. 

1st stop - 9:30pm
Wes-T-Go Truckstop in Tye, Texas.  I will use the restroom and get my coffee.  If I need to add air into any tires, I'll do it here.  They also have a tire shop in case I need a tire. 

Arrive at Steel Mill - 12:30am - 1:00am
I will scale in, go to the inspection shack, wait to get my instructions on which place to dump my load after inspected and paperwork filled out.  Dump my load, get in line to scale out, scale out, and I'm on my way!

Coffee Stop #2 - 1:00am - 2:00am
There is a Love's truckstop in Midlothian, TX.  I will catch my logbook up and use the restroom if I need to.  I will get my coffee again and head back West. 

Interesting Coffee design.  I drink mine black.  No cream, no sugar.
Fuel Stop - 4:00am - 5:00am
Wes-T-Go truckstop in Tye, TX again.  I will get anywhere from 95 to 130 gallons of diesel depending on the truck.  It takes me about 20 minutes or so depending on how busy they are.  And YES - sometimes I have to wait in line at 4:00AM to get fuel.  They can be busy all the time.  I will get a cup of ice water and head West again!

Sweetwater yard - 4:30am - 5:30am
I will do my post-trip inspection, catch all my paperwork up and put my truck in position to have it loaded and start my pickup and let it warm up.  I will lock the gate behind me and head home. 

Snyder yard - 5:00am - 6:00am
I will drop my paperwork off in the drop box.  Sometimes I have to drop off keys or other items. 

I'm home - 5:30am - 6:30am
I will quietly come in the door.  Drop off my lunch cooler, hang up my coat, and get ready for bed!!

Schedules and routine are important for everyone.  Does your family have a routine that you guys do daily or on the weekends? 

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while.  I'm having trouble finding my past few blogs, I don't know if there was an error getting them posted or not, but I'm going to keep doing my weekly blogs at a minimum.  Hope you guys are having a great January!

--Mr. Walker

This past snow storm earlier this week dropped a few inches of very wet snow!  We have had more snow than many parts of Minnesota!!