Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 22, 12, 1:45 am   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 943
Planes, Plains and Prairies; Weather Changes; Under the Weather

Tour of Duty 30th November 2012 to 18th December 2012

I got word from the company about trucks going out of Dodge Center, MN. The company booked me an air ticket for Friday 30th November. There was light rain or heavy drizzle when I woke up early in the morning. I got shuttle to SNA and checked in and bags weighed 48 and 46.4lbs. I cleared security after queue and was patted down after opting out of the machine. My briefcase was checked and it took 14 minutes to go through security.

Southwest #3424 SNA-DEN B-737-700 Boarding Pass B33
Seat 23A Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 1:46, actual 1:50
Depart: Gate 18 Scheduled 07h40, actual 07h42 Taxi: 6 minutes
Arrive: Gate C29 Scheduled 11h00, actual 10h45 Taxi: 6 minutes


We boarded via jetway and the plane was not totally full with 110 of 143 seats taken. It was announced it was partly cloudy and 37F at DEN. Pushback was 2 minutes late and takeoff was to the west and over the ocean and we went into the clouds in under a minute. We broke through to sun in under 2 minutes then turned south and east.

At 0:11 the clouds broke and I saw the top of Mt. San Jacinto and Palm Springs and Palm Desert then we turned more to the north. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:22 and on again at 0:25. I saw the Colorado River, Lake Havasu, Parker Dam and Laughlin, NV at 0:31. I asw US93/95/Interstate 515 at 0:32 and Boulder City, NV. I got Vanilla Wafers at 0:34.

Seatbelt sign went off at 0:35, on at 0:54, off at 1:00 and on at 1:17. I got cup of soda at 0:48 then saw Lake Powell at 0:53 and Montrose, CO at 1:15. I felt descent begin and descent was announced at 1:17 and I saw the Rocky Mountains and there were some bumps on descent and some real good bumps as and just after we cleared the Rocky Mountains.

I saw downtown Denver and we turned north, east and south and landed north to south and we arrived at gate 15 minutes early and deplaned via jetway.

Southwest #642 DEN-MSP B-737-700 Boarding Pass B10
Seat 22F Cruising altitude not given Estimated flying time 1:30, actual 1:31
Depart: Gate C37 Scheduled 12h40, actual 12h38 Taxi: 7 minutes
Arrive: Gate H9 Scheduled 15h30, actual 15h21 Taxi: 4 minutes
Reclaim bags 20-21 minutes after arrival


We boarded via jetway and the plane was not totally full. Pushback was 2 minutes early and takeoff was to the north and we made turn to northeast. I saw the eastern plains of Colorado, Interstate 76 and the South Platte River. I got pretzels at 0:15 and we crossed Interstate 80 at the same time but I was unsure of exact location. There was a drink run and I got cup of soda at 0:43. I thought I felt descent begin at 0:52 but it may have been change of altitude.

Seatbelt sign went off at 0:55 and it was announced descent would begin in about 15 minutes. We crossed Interstate 90 at 0:57 and again I was unsure of exact location but expected to be over eastern South Dakota. At 0:59 I saw Sioux Falls,SD a little ways to the distance and at 1:01 we crossed Interstate 29.

I was unsure when descent actually began but seatbelt sign went on at 1:08 and it was announced it was overcast and 34F at MSP. I felt some bumps during descent and was unsure of the direction we landed and we arrived at gate 9 minutes late.

I got word from the company that the truck I was assigned was not ready but another truck just like it going to the same destination but with a different serial number was available so I got that number and got ride down to Dodge Center to make the pickup.

Trip: Dodge Center, MN to Edmonton, AB 1,309 paid miles
Make: 2013 International
Model: Cement Mixer
Transmission: Automatic
Route: US14 to Interstate 35 to Interstate 35W to Interstate 494 to Interstate 94 to Minnesota 210 to North Dakota 210 to North Dakota 13 to Interstate 29 to Interstate 94 to US83 to US2 to US52 to Saskatchewan 39 to Saskatchewan 6 Ring Road to Saskatchewan 11 to Saskatchewan/Alberta 16 (Yellowhead Highway). Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: $4.099/gallon at Flying J Minot, ND
Lowest diesel price USA: $3.949/gallon at Cenex Steele, ND
Highest diesel price Canada: $1.199CAD/litre at Flying J Saskatoon, SK
Lowest diesel price Canada: $1.159CAD/litre at Husky Lloydminster, AB
Permits required: MN Trip Permit; SK Tridem Permit
Border Crossing: Portal, ND/North Portal, SK


I got the truck and had a chat with a driver for another company. I barely got started and spent the first night in Owatonna, MN. Saturday I awoke to cloudy skies and highs were in the mid to high 40'sF. It was a routine day and then I encountered fog near Fergus Falls, MN. I found the cheap motels in Fargo were full up so I diverted to Wahpeton, ND and spent the night there.

Sunday morning I phoned up Bible Baptist Church in Wahpeton, ND and someone came and took me to the morning service. The sermon was on Hebrews 7:22-25 Jesus saves to the uttermost. I took some pictures of Wahpeton, ND and Breckenridge, MN including the headwaters of the Red River then was taken back to the truck and got rolling. It was 50F in Fargo when I took on fuel, unseasonably warm for anywhere in North Dakota in December.

When I left Fargo it dawned on me that most of the gauges failed. The odometer was stuck on "1400" and the speedometer and tachometer were not working along with the oil pressure gauge, voltmeter and fuel gauge. The air pressure gauges were working. I stopped in Steele, ND to take on more fuel and found that a motel that was across the street burned down. I spent the night in Bismarck, ND.

Monday I notified the company of the problem with the gauges. I found out the dealer in Bismarck would be unable to look at the truck until Thursday the 6th and the dealer in Minot could not look at the truck until Wednesday the 12th so I notified the company of that fact and the company talked to the customer and hours later I received word to drive and deliver the truck "as is" and hope nothing else goes wrong. The trmperature in Bismarck got up to 51F but when I got to Minot it was 15F and I plugged the truck in when I shut down and it was 9F when I went to bed in Kenmare, ND.

Tuesday morning it was cold when I woke up and it was 12F in Minot. The truck started OK but the drum did not turn right away. I found out power was out on the US side of the border. The drum finally started turning and I proceeded toward the border. I crossed the border. North of Yellow Grass, SK the wind picked up and I encountered ground blizzard conditions. I plugged the truck in and spent the night in Craik, SK.

Wednesday the weather was good to start and there was blue sky and it was 6C/43F in Davidson, SK. Conditions changed and I encountered freezing rain as I approached Dundurn, SK. I heard that it was snowing hard in Saskatoon and snow started in Dundurn while I was having lunch there. I waited until the snow diminshed and heard it stopped snowing in Saskatoon so I got rolling. I took on fuel in Saskatoon and road conditions were bad there. Conditions were somewhat better after leaving Saskatoon bu it started snowing before I reached North Battleford. I plugged the truck in and spent the night in North Battleford, SK.

Thursday it was -16C when I woke up in North Battleford. I took on fuel in Lloydminster and found out I would not make it to the dealer in Edmonton before the cutoff. I continued and saw a spectacular sunset in Innisfree, AB. I arrived in Edmonton and dropped off the truck and left the paperwork at the service desk.

A friend of mine came and picked me up and I spent the night at his house. Next day I was taken back to the dealer where I got the signed paperwork and the delivery was complete. Then I was taken to YEG and phoned the company and the company booked me on a flight leaving that very afternoon.

I checked in and checked my bags which weighed 46 and 49lbs. I cleared security and preclaeared US Customs before heading to the gate.

US Airways #668 YEG-PHX A-319 Zone 2
Seat 5F Cruising altitude 37,000 feet Estimated flying time 2:50, actual 2:51
Depart: Gate 80 Scheduled 15h20, actual 15h26 Taxi: 10 minutes
Arrive: Gate A8 Scheduled 18h37, actual 18h34 Taxi: 7 minutes


We boarded via jetway and the plane was not full. It was announced that it was clear and 23C at PHX. Pushback was 6 minutes late and takeoff was to the south southeastand we went into and above the clouds within 28 seconds. I saw layer of clouds then we turned more due south and I saw snow covered prairies. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:20 upon reaching cruise.

There was a drink run and I got cup of soda at 0:29. At 0:37 it was announced we were crossing into US airspace 20 miles west of Coutts, AB but extensive cloud cover blocked view of the ground below. It was also announced that early arrival was expected at PHX. I felt bumps and seatbelt sign went on at 1:17. At 1:32 clouds partially broke and I saw sunset over the Great Salt Lake.

At 1:46 water was offered. At 2:02 I saw a FedEx MD-11 at a lower altitude. At 2:17 I saw what looked to be the lights of Las Vegas to the far west. I thought I felt descent at 2:25 at twilights last gleaming. At 2:30 initial descent was announced and it was 71F at PHX. At 2:37 I saw the lights of the Phoenix area with just a little twilight left. I saw the Loop 101 at 2:40 and we turned east and I saw Interstate 17 at 2:43. Then we turned south at 2:45 then west and I saw the lights of the East Valley and South Mountain. We landed east to west and arrived at gate 3 minutes early and deplaned via jetway.

US Airways #55 PHX-MSP A-320 Zone 3
Seat 25F Cruising altitude not announced Estimated flying time 2:36, actual 2:33
Depart: Gate A6 Scheduled 19h50, actual 19h46 Taxi: 13 minutes
Arrive: Gate C11 Scheduled 23h53, actual 23h39 Taxi: 6 minutes
Reclaim bags 22 minutes after arrival


We boarded via jetway and the plane was not totally full and there was an empty middle seat next to me. It was announced broken to scattered clouds at MSP. Pushback was 4 minutes early and takeoff was to the west. I saw downtown Phoenix and Interstate 17 and 10 then we circled around to the northeast and seatbelt sign went off at 0:23. I felt light chop and seatbelt sign went on at 0:28 and off again at 0:42.

There was a drink run and I got cup of soda at 0:44. Seatbelt sign went on again at 1:16 due to bumps. I thought I felt descent begin at 2:05 and descent was announced at 2:07 and it was overcast with light snow in the area of MSP. We landed east to west on a wet runway and snow was on the ground. We arrived at gate 14 minutes early. I got shuttle and spent night in Bloomington, MN.

Saturday I got ride down to Dodge Center, MN. I made the pickup and when I opened the passenger side door the bottom of the door contacted the metal walkway and there was paint damage.

Trip: Dodge Center, MN to Edmonton, AB 1,382 paid miles
Make: 2013 International
Model: Cement Mixer
Transmission: Automatic
Route: US14 to Interstate 35 to Interstate 35W to Interstate 494 to Interstate 94 to US83 to US2 to US52 to Saskatchewan 39 to Saskatchewan 6 (Ring Road) to Saskatchewan 11 to Saskatchewan/Alberta 16 (Yellowhead Highway)
Maximum elevation: unknown
Highest diesel price USA: $4.069/gallon at Cenex Kenmare, ND
Lowest diesel price USA: $3.929/gallon at Cenex Steele, ND
Highest diesel price Canada: $1.219CAD/litre at Flying J Saskatoon, SK
Lowest diesel price Canada: $1.159CAD/litre at Husky Lloydminster, AB
Permits required: MN Trip Permit; SK Tridem Permit
Border Crossing: Portal, ND/North Portal, SK


I got the truck on a Saturday afternoon. I notified the company of the paint damage and I discovered soda stains inside as well. I cleared the Twin Cities then snow started near Monticello, MN. The snow was not too bad and I exited the Interstate to take on fuel in St. Cloud, MN. When I re-entered the Interstate after fuelling the road was totally covered with snow and conditions were going downhill. As a result I plugged the truck in and shut down in Avon, MN.

Sunday it snowed all day. Due to bad road conditions I elected to stay put. I was providentially hindered from attending church due to blizzard conditions. I went across the street that evening to get dinner. Late that evening the snow started to wind down. I spent a second night in Avon, MN.

Monday dawned bright and clear. It was 0F when I woke up and the temperature dropped to -4F before I started the truck. The truck started but it was a while before the drum started turning. It took a while for me to dig the truck out and clean enough snow off to get started. When I finally got started I saw 6 trucks in the ditch, 3 of them jackknifed and several cars in the ditch within the first 25 miles. I was glad I stayed put on Sunday. Weather was good for the most part though roads were icky at first. I experienced a snow shower in rothsay, MN. Temperatures rose to 12F and I spent the night in Jamestown, ND.

Tuesday I started feeling under the weather after I made a stop in Bismarck, ND. I stopped at Wal Mart in Minot and got some Zicam as I was starting to feel bad. I spent the night in Minot, ND.

Wednesday I felt I was in no shape to drive so I renewed my motel room for another night and stayed put and got some rest and stayed in Minot, ND.

Thursday I proceeded as far as Kenmare, ND and shut down early and rested there for that night.

Friday it was foggy in Minot and it got up to 21F. The fog cleared before I crossed the border. I was not sent to Immigration and I cleared pretty quickly and was on my way. Starting in Estevan I encountered ground fog and the visibility was 200m (one-eighth of a mile). The fog was similar to the tule fog found in the Central Valley of California this time of year with one difference: The fog was freezing fog. As a result I went slow and shut down, plugged the truck in and it got down to -16C by the time I went to bed in Weyburn, SK.

Saturday it warmed to -8C by the time I got up and I got rolling. I encountered fog around Davidson but the fog cleared by the time I reached Dundurn. It got down to -19C with wind chill of -27C in Saskatoon where I took on fuel and I saw ice crystals. I continued afterward and plugged the truck in and spent the night in Radisson, SK.

Sunday morning I was taken to Harvest Baptist Church in Radisson, SK. The sermon was on John 1:29-36. Then I ate and got rolling. I spent the night in Vegreville, AB.

Monday morning I got up early and it was -24C in Vegreville, AB and I saw the cloud formations as the sun was coming up. It took the truck awhile to warm up but I finally got started and delivered the truck in Edmonton. My friend was unable to get me so I hired a taxi to YEG.

When I arrived at YEG I rang the company and the company booked me an air ticket for later that evening so I had a lot of time to kill. It started snowing that afternoon.

I checked in and checked bags which weighed 46.2 and 46.0lbs. Then I cleared security and my briefcase was inspected and then I precleared US Customs before proceeding to the gate.

Alaska operated by Horizon #2583 YEG-SEA Dash 8-400
Seat 3A Cruising altitude not announced Estimated flying time 1:40, actual 1:40
Depart: Gate 86 Scheduled 18h37, actual 18h31 Taxi/deice: 28 minutes
Arrive: Gate C2D Scheduled 19h42, actual 19h44 Taxi: 4 minutes


We boarded via jetway. It was snowing. It was announced winds were out of the south and it was 37F at SEA and we would have to de-ice before takeoff. I heard 71 of 76 seats were taken but the seat next to me was open so I had more room. Pushback was 6 minutes early and we de-iced then takeoff was to the south southwest. There was a drink run at 0:33 and I got crunchy snack mix and cup of soda. At 0:51 I got refill of soda and more snack mix. Seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. I thought I felt descent at 1:15 and felt descent for sure at 1:22 and felt bumps during descent. I saw precipitation during descent and saw lights of Seattle area as we landed north to south on a dry runway and we arrived at gate 2 minutes late. We deplaned via stairs and went into the building.

Alaska Airlines #468 SEA-LAX B-737-800
Seat 6A Cruising altitude 33,000 feet Estimated flying time 2:14, actual 2:11
Depart: Gate C16 Scheduled 21h10, actual 21h59 Taxi: 13 minutes
Arrive: Gate 69B Scheduled 23h42, actual 00h32 + 1 Taxi: 8 minutes
Reclaim bags 16 minutes after arrival


We boarded via jetway. The plane was almost full. We sat at the gate and it was announced the pilots were late arriving. Finally it was announced there was rain and it was 58F at LAX. Pushback was 49 minutes and takeoff was to the south. Seatbelt sign went off at 0:18. At 0:34 I got snack mix and at 0:35 I got cup of soda.

Seatbelt sign went on due to bumps at 0:50 and off again at 0:58. At 1:25 I got another cup of soda. I felt descent begin at 1:48 and seatbelt sign went on again at 1:56. I did not see lights due to cloud cover. We went into clouds at 2:06 and broke under the clouds and I saw the coast at 2:08. It must have been raining and we landed west to east on a wet runway and arrived at gate 50 minutes late. After I got my checked bags I got shuttle and came home.

Note: This concludes my truck driving and likely my flying for 2012. I have plans (DV) to drive down to San Diego on the 24th and have Christmas at my niece's place. I plan to drive back home Christmas evening and then on the 27th I plan (DV) to drive to Las Vegas for a Street Preachers conference and return home late on New Year's Day.

Last edited by Loose Cannon; Dec 22, 12 at 3:51 am..
Loose Cannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 9:01 am   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: TK M&S, BAEC, EK
Posts: 141
Thanks a lot for sharing. This has to be one of the most unusual trip reports I-ve looked at and it was certainly an engaging read.
michlflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 1:01 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: A few airline and car rental companies
Posts: 4,282
Ditto that. I'd love to drive some of these routes though not for work. I'd be pulling off and checking out too many interesting places along the way!
__________________
Flight Memory * FROM THE BOTTOM OF SOUTH AMERICA TO THE TOP OF AUSTRALIA
-Now with embedded pictures!
Seat 2A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 7:03 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Denver CO
Programs: HHonors Gold, National Emerald Club, no airline affinity status
Posts: 1,275
LC, I have always enjoyed your trip reports. I do have a few questions. I assume you are limited on how far you can drive during a certain period. How far can you drive in a day and how many mandatory breaks/stops do you have to take during the day.

Keep the great reports coming.
__________________
Insert witty quote or website here ---->
HawaiiTrvlr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 7:38 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AUS
Programs: AA Exec Platinum, DL Platinum/MM, Hilton Diamond, Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 4,624
Very interesting. A window into a working life most of us have no clue about. Thanks very much.

I'd also be interested in hotel reports for each of the stops. Does your company pay your food and lodging costs?

How far ahead do you plan your Sunday stop or do you just ask at the motel about local services?

Do you have any control over your flights? YEG to MSP via PHX is certainly not the most direct route.
__________________
2014 Upgrades: AA 34/34 comp, 4/4 domestic SWU, 2/2 intl SWU; DL 0/0
2006-14 Flight Stats
Stripe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 7:48 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN USA
Posts: 1,780
Winter time in the midwest!
bowdenj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 9:23 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr View Post
LC, I have always enjoyed your trip reports. I do have a few questions. I assume you are limited on how far you can drive during a certain period. How far can you drive in a day and how many mandatory breaks/stops do you have to take during the day.

Keep the great reports coming.
My body normally tells me to stop before my logbook does! Legally I can drive up to 11 hours before having to take a minimum of 10 hours off. I have a 14 hour window to do the 11 hours of driving once I go on duty. In other words once I go on duty (usually start by safety inspection) I must shut down for my 10 hour break within 14 hours or less. Also I cannot drive if I have worked 70 hours in the last 8 days. That's a real basic rundown of the rules in the USA. There is a provision for a mandatory break of no less than 30 minutes after being on duty for 8 hours however my body tells me to stop a lot sooner than that!
Loose Cannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 22, 12, 9:28 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Very interesting. A window into a working life most of us have no clue about. Thanks very much.

I'd also be interested in hotel reports for each of the stops. Does your company pay your food and lodging costs?

How far ahead do you plan your Sunday stop or do you just ask at the motel about local services?

Do you have any control over your flights? YEG to MSP via PHX is certainly not the most direct route.
Normally the company includes the lodging costs within the mileage rate. There are circumstances when the company pays the hotel. I ALWAYS am responsible for my food costs. I save receipts for lodging and deduct a set amount each day out for meals & entertainment.

Where I attend church on Sunday is an integral part of my trip planning. Sometimes I check the Yellow Pages, sometimes I consult databases or directories and there are some churches I've attended more than once.

I usually don't have control over the flights as the company normally tries to book the least expensive. However I balked at flying Spirit once as the fees would far exceed the basic price of the air ticket. YEG to MSP via PHX was on US Airways and their western hub is PHX. Delta does have nonstops to MSP but they are usually a lot more expensive.
Loose Cannon is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 3:06 am.




SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.