January 27, 2004--It's been a while now since the new "Hours of Service" rules went into effect. I really haven't seen any impact personally. The new rules more closely followed the way I drove anyway, so the rules haven't affected the way I drive. They only affect the way I log -- I just make sure I'm following the new rules. The new rules state that you must stop at least 10 hours for an overnight break. I typically stop at least 10 to 12 hours. It may have also caused shippers and receivers to load and unload more quickly, though the jury is still out on that.

Right now I'm waiting to unload near Atlanta, Georgia. After that I may have to take a load of beer up to Newark, New Jersey. That might be interesting, since the entire East Coast of the U.S. is currently experiencing major ice and snow storms.

Driving over-the-road is not an ideal lifestyle, but it's the only one I've found that doesn't cause me to become depressed. Even during the times where I have to sit around killing time out on the road, I never feel depressed. When I am home every night and every weekend, depression and dissatisfaction always seems to set in. I'm fortunate I found a lifestyle I find not only tolerable but also enjoyable.