Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Things Don't Always Go As Planned

Sometimes the best of ideas don't always go as planned.
That would be true of the journey the pipeliner and I just came to the end of.

Last fall some late evening talks with our son-in-law to be led to the great idea of starting our own trucking business.

With absolutely no idea what we were even getting into we decided to look for a semi tractor.

It wasn't long before we found the one for us.

We signed the papers and brought it home.
Little did we know,
this was the easiest part of our journey!

The truck needed a good scrubbing to remove the old pin-striping.

We picked out our logo,
and off into the world of trucking we went.

Oh my gosh,
there were so many papers and forms to fill out!
Applications for one thing and then another.
Thankfully I was able to be-friend another local trucker who gave me a lot of important information I needed.
He hooked me up with some wonderful ladies at an insurance agency that took care of state and federal forms that I had no idea how to fill out.

We found a local company willing to hire us to haul loads for them.

But shortly after we got the truck on the road we had a falling out with our driver.
Actually he had helped himself to a cash advance from our credit card.
Now we had the jobs, but no driver.

Luckily we found another driver pretty quick. 

I was figuring out load numbers, where the load was going to, and how much the load would pay.

The book work was a whole other story.
I decided to take a class at our local college for that.
Once I started learning Quickbooks, I loved it!
My class was small and my teacher was great.

It took a lot of work trying to get our foot in the door of some existing companies.
Our main commodity we hauled was dried distillers grain.
A bi-product of ethanol.
That led us into hauling a new test product of enogen corn into the ethanol plant.

When you haul a load one way,
you want to find another load to haul back.
Nobody wants to come back with an empty trailer.
Somedays I spent hours on the computer trying to get backloads set up for the following week.

We were hauling out of state.
The paperwork that has to be done every week for this is insane!
Recording miles drove out of state, miles drove in state,
fuel used for tax purposes, and then there was billing for all of the loads.

No you know why my blogging came to an abrupt end!

Just when everything started clicking,
we had driver problems again.
It just amazes me how some people casually treat a good paying job.

Thankfully the pipeliners cousin came to the rescue.
He was laid off of his job for the winter.
That worked good until he got called back to his line of work.

The next driver wasn't  fond of having a woman as his dispatcher.
He wouldn't answer my calls.
He used J's cousin as a go between him and I.
That wasn't going to work at all!

At this point I was afraid the pipeliner would want me to go and take a driving class for my CDL license.

Then there were all of the little things that needed repaired on the truck and trailer.

A truck fully loaded with corn missing the driveway and getting stuck in the ditch.

That one was almost a $500.00 tow bill!
(the driver got it unstuck before the tow truck got dispatched, whew!)

When we received our insurance renewal
(almost fell over when I opened that bill!)
it was time for the pipeliner and I to sit down and have a serious talk about the business.
We were making just enough to pay all of the bills, 
but if something seriously went wrong with the truck
we going to have to pay out of pocket to have it fixed.
Was it worth it?

The decision was made,
time to put the truck up for sale!

Our days of trucking were over.

It took a month or so but both the truck and trailer are gone.

The pipeliner feels disappointed that we some how failed.
I think we did pretty good for walking into the whole adventure blindly.

You never know if you can succeed if you don't try.
 Somethings you try,
and you don't succeed.

But you always come away with a lesson learned,
and that is not a failure!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

It is berry pickin season!

One of my favorite times of the year is upon us now!

Strawberry pickin season!

It is a short season thats for sure!

We are very lucky to have a u-pick berry patch close to our house.

This is actually a picture from last year.
The day we went to pick this year was quite different.
We had a huge amount of rain over the weekend and things were quite soggy.
Actually when I called to see if we could come to pick,
they said yes but bring your mudders.

We even had to be driven out to the patch in a gator.
To many deep puddles to walk through.

Some rows the water was so deep it above the grandsons rainboots.
But like I said the season is so short,
and lots of rain makes the berries mushy fast.

We did come home with two big flats full of juicy,ripe berries!

I got busy and made 20 jelly jars of jam.

A few jars a gave away to family and friends,
A few got sold at the Farmers Market.
The rest will go down in the cellar to save for our toast on weekend mornings.

I did save out a few berries to combine with rhubarb for a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie!

Our rhubarb had a very short season this year too!
I was lucky enough to find a neighbor that had extra and was willing to share.

Someday I hope to have a big enough strawberry patch to keep my berry stash full all winter long!