Major Upgrade!

I finally purchased a GoPro Hero 8 Black camera and will be creating driving videos to post on YouTube. I’ve been working with my cell phone camera, but it wasn’t really doing a good job.

The videos will appear on this YouTube channel:

Tanker Dave’s YouTube Channel!

Time Sure Flies

Wow, I can’t believe how much time has gone by since my last post. It’s been crazy busy. Once you get into a routine, it’s just day after day. When I get home, I’m not really interested in working on the computer. I should post while I’m delivering, or stopped on break.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been to Flagstaff, Winslow, Page, Kingman, Yuma, Tucson, Sierra Vista, Bullhead City, Marana, and Safford, as well as numerous local hangers and airports. I’ve even been back to Boulder City, NV a couple of times.

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Delivering in Flagstaff.

Counting Down

Well, my last day at my current cubical farm job is May 14. I start training at the new company on the 15th. Should be interesting.

Yesterday I went to the Kinder Morgan class in Phoenix so that I could get “carded” at KM Phoenix. Now I just need to load three times with a trainer so that I know what I’m doing and then they will issue me a loading card.

It’s getting closer!

Tested Times Four

Yesterday morning started with a visit to the MVD office in Casa Grande so that both of my boys could get their learners permits. After that, I had to take four tests myself.

  1. Drug Test – Waiting for the results, but sure I passed.
  2. CDL Skills Test – Pre-Trip and Backing Skills – Passed
  3. CDL Road Test – Passed
  4. HazMat Endorsement – I could not take this until the background check was completed and I had received my CDL license. You can’t get the HazMat endorsement on a permit. – Passed

So, four down. Once the company gets the drug test results back, hopefully they offer me a position and I can start driving again. I am getting excited now!

The start of something new…hopefully.

Well, this afternoon I have an appointment set for my CDL Road Skills test out at the Goodyear MVD office. I’ve spent a few hours driving in circles and practicing my backing and shifting, so hopefully I remember enough to make it through this successfully.

My biggest concern is forgetting to point out something on the Pre-Trip.

And then when I pass that, I get to take my HazMat endorsement test. My fingerprint clearance has already come back from DHS.

Back behind the wheel?

Well, it had to happen. I had given up my Commercial Drivers License (CDL) back in 2015 because I did not think I would drive commercially again. I was a dispatcher for the company, and did not want to go through the hassle of renewal, etc. if I was not going to use it.

Fast Forward to 2021. I am tired of working in a call center and looking at going back to what I was good at. I am going to go back to driving. So, the first thing was to get a DOT Medical Exam completed and then apply for my CDL Permit (Taking multiple written tests). With those two hurdles behind me, now I need to start practicing for my Driving/Skills Tests. Once I pass those tests (in the presence of a MVD Inspector) I will get my CDL back and I can start driving again.

My plan is to stay local in the AZ area, hauling tankers. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do you have a death wish?

Gas Station Delivery

In my industry, Safety is paramount. We train our drivers to always error on the side of caution and safety.

One of my drivers came in and relayed a situation he had tonight at a station in Southwestern Arizona.

When a driver arrives at a gas station to make a delivery, he has to park the truck in a specific location in order to reach the connections for the underground storage tanks.  Drivers deploy orange safety cones around the perimeter of the area, and nobody is allowed to enter the area while the delivery is being made.

Apparently, a pickup full of high IQ people tried to run him down in the station. The driver drove over the cones, and came directly at the trailer. My driver put himself between the truck and the fill hoses. At this point, there is 400 gallons per minute of gasoline flowing through the hoses and into the tanks. Any breach in the hose could result in a fireball that would destroy the station.

So, my driver is yelling at the pickup driver (who was female) to stop. The driver is lurching the pickup forward a little at a time, apparently trying to get the driver to move.  By the time the truck actually stopped, it was on top of the drop fittings that connect to the ground, and inches from disaster.

Two drunk guys proceeded to exit the truck and start threatening my driver because he was “in the way.” This particular driver has an extensive history in law enforcement, and had started working for us when he retired from carrying a badge and gun.  While Idiot #1 is telling him that he’s “about to feel the pain,” he’s telling both of them that they are about to make the biggest mistake of their lives.

While this is going on, apparently several other customers at the station are starting to gather behind our drunken tough guys. The obvious intention was that these idiots were about to “feel the pain,” and then spend a long time in Federal custody, while they healed.

Cooler heads finally prevailed, and the drunken circus loaded up and departed, still yelling threats of violence.

What they didn’t realize, or seem to care about, is that what they were doing can be classified as Domestic Terrorism. They were interfering with a Hazardous Materials unit, attempting to cause a spill, or worse.  Their best case scenario would be that Homeland Security would have to pump daylight to them for the next few years. The worst case scenario would be a big hole in the ground, and a few dozen fatalities.

Why would you tangle with a fuel tanker, either parked or moving?

Snow? In Arizona? Nahhh.

Those folks over at the Arizona Department of Transportation. They really know their stuff. All of the way up from Phoenix, on I-17, there were message boards displaying warnings about “Winter Driving Conditions” ahead.  Most of the way to Flagstaff the roads were clear and mostly dry.

And then you top out on the Mogollon Rim and run into this!

Next time, I’m staying in Phoenix.

Driving in the snow! NB I-17 approaching Schnebly Hill Road, south of Munds Park.