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June 27, 2004 -- My Dad drove me back down to my truck this morning. I made it to Pauls Valley, Oklahoma around 2:30 PM this afternoon. Right now I'm backed into a door waiting for them to finish unloading my trailer.

I got one of those new cell phone cameras a couple of months ago. I haven't really taken many photos with it up to this point because sending a photo via my cell service carrier's "photo messaging" service was a difficult, involved and time-consuming process. I just bought a special USB cable that allows me to connect the phone directly to my laptop computer, thereby making it possible for me to transfer the photos directly from the phone to my laptop's hard drive. This not only means I can drop the extra photo messaging service charge, but I can begin to experiment with the cell phone camera in earnest, essentially taking an unlimited amount of pictures. Since cell phones are so ubiquitous virtually everywhere people congregate, it's extremely easy to snap photos while looking to the casual observer as just another cell phone junky endlessly messing with his cell phone. There are plenty of times with a camera that LOOKS like a camera I feel weird about snapping photos in casual, non-tourist type situations. With a camera that looks to the world like a modern cell phone, that self-consciousness element is removed.

This is a photo I took of myself earlier today standing next to the open door of my truck while I was parked at a truck stop waiting to go to my delivery appointment at the warehouse I'm delivering at.

This is a shot of the driver's side of my truck.

I was parked next to a truck pulling a flat bed trailer hauling a load of pipes.

For the International readers of this blog that are interested in American trucks, these are the connectors that connect the truck's brakes and lights to the trailer it's hooked up to. I imagine that these are standardized connections throughout the world, but you never know. The blue and red connectors are for the air connections and are called "glad hands." The electrical connector in the center is called a "pigtail."

This shot of the front of my truck faces a typical rural Oklahoma landscape.

This shot is taken from the same place as the photo above except I turned to my left. The truck that's pulling the load of pipe is in the foreground and a "Days Inn" motel is across the street in the distance.

I was messing around with the camera and snapped the photo below. The cell phone camera is not great quality, but it puts a tiny, disguised camera in an ordinary everyday object that I carry around with me on a belt clip. I believe it works remarkably well considering how tiny it is, and it doesn't increase the size of the phone whatsoever.

This is one of the aluminum fuel caps. There's a 100 gallon fuel tank on each side of the truck.

This is one of the many stupid warning labels that the manufacturer has felt compelled to put on the truck. This particular label warns drivers that if they don't hold on good when climbing in or out of the truck they can fall and hurt themselves. Every driver knows this, but people (including me) do get careless at times and end up injuring themselves with a fall or near-fall, sometimes severely enough to put them out of work.

This is the warehouse where I'm currently at waiting to get unloaded.

This particular warehouse makes drivers dolly down their trailers and completely disconnect from the trailer while the trailer is being unloaded. They do this to prevent accidental drive-offs while the fork lift operator is still going in or out of the trailer while it's backed into the dock.

This is one of the dock doors at this particular warehouse.

While the trailer is being unloaded, when the un-loader inside the building extends the dock plate inside the trailer, the red light comes on. In this shot, the green light was on because the unloading hadn't started just yet.

When I refer to a "reefer unit" this is what I'm talking about -- the diesel-powered refrigeration unit mounted on the front of the trailer. Reefer units usually have a range of -20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit to +80 degrees. All contemporary reefer units are computer-controlled and have a large lighted LCD display panel. On the driver's side of many reefer trailers there's a panel with lights in it enabling the driver to look in his mirror while he's driving and note the reefer's operating status. If the reefer develops a problem while the driver is driving down the road a warning light will start flashing, thus alerting the driver there's a problem with the reefer operation that needs immediate attention.

This is the belly-mounted diesel fuel tank mounted under in the central area of the trailer facing the driver's side. The fuel that's used in the trailer for refrigeration purposes is exactly the same type of fuel that goes in the tractor. However, fuel used in the trailer is always referred to as "reefer fuel." Tractor fuel is similarly always referred to as "tractor fuel." The reason for the two different fuel terms is because tractor fuel is taxed with road taxes, whereas reefer fuel is considered "off road" fuel and is normally sold cheaper since there's no road tax added to the price per gallon.

This shows the front of the reefer fuel tank.

This is the "landing gear" that is cranked up and down by the driver when he hooks or unhooks from the trailer.

This is the "hand crank" that cranks the landing gear up or down. This is typically the hardest work I have to do as an over-the-road driver.

Anyhow, that gives an overview of some of the stuff I do and the equipment I work with.

After I get unloaded and leave here I'll deadhead home to Northwest Arkansas. I'll probably get home sometime early Monday morning. When I get there I have to unload the stuff out of my truck into my pickup, complete and turn in my paperwork, then head home.

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