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Midnight Special in Fontana: A Long Day's Work Pays Off

Midnight Special in Fontana: A Long Day's Work Pays Off

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Old Feb 15, 19, 1:43 am
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Midnight Special in Fontana: A Long Day's Work Pays Off

Tour of Duty 11th February 2019

I learned about a trip from Livermore, California to Fontana, California. I did not immediately accept the trip in the hope something better would pop up but nothing did so on Friday the 8th of February I contacted dispatch at my current preferred company that I contract with. I accepted the trip and booked a flight from LGB to OAK. We agreed on the timeline of the trip: I would get the truck Monday afternoon and deliver it Tuesday afternoon. I intended to spend Monday night in Bakersfield then finish the trip Tuesday and allow time for another trip to (hopefully) pop up.

Monday rolled around and I rolled out of bed and got ready and got transport to LGB. and checked in and checked bags which weighed 40 and 45lbs. I cleared security and did not opt out in the interest of time but I still received a partial patdown. My briefcase received additional screening. Total time from beginning of check in to clear of security was 29 minutes.

Southwest #4144 LGB-OAK B-737-700 Boarding Pass B17
Seat 21A Cruising altitude 36,000 feet Estimated flying time 1:01, actual 0:56
Depart: Gate 2 Scheduled 10h00, actual 10h04 Taxi/hold: 14 minutes
Arrive: Gate 22 Scheduled 11h25, actual 11h20 Taxi: 6 minutes
Reclaim checked bags 16 minutes after arrival


I boarded via rear stairs. I was told the flight was booked 140/143 but there were at least five empty middle seats including the one next to me. I heard some names announced and it seems that some passengers did not turn up for the flight. It was announced it was 46F at OAK. Pushback was 4 minutes late and takeoff was to the northwest. We turned due west and I noticed the water level in the Los Angeles River was considerably higher than usual due to runoff from recent rain events. I saw Long Beach, Torrance, the South Bay, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Redondo Beach before going overwater at 0:03.

We turned north and made landfall east of Malibu at 0:05. We crossed US101 at 0:06 and crossed California 118 at 0:08. I had a panoramic view of much of Ventura County and I saw the Point Magu Naval Air Station to the distance. We crossed California 126 at 0:09. At 0:10 drink orders were taken and I saw snow on the higher peaks in Ventura County. I saw Santa Barbara and vicinity to the distance at the same time. At 0:16 we went over the south San Joaquin Valley and I saw Maricopa at 0:17 and Taft at 0:18. I got pretzels at 0:24. I got cup of soda at 0:27. I had a good view of the central coast of California as we progressed north. I got a glimpse of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains out the right window. I saw snow on some of the higher peaks of the Coast Ranges. I saw Coalinga, CA at 0:28.

I felt descent begin at 0:34. At 0:39 I saw Hollister, CA with Monterey Bay and the Monterey Peninsula to the distance. At 0:41 we crossed California 152. At 0:42 I saw Gilroy, CA. At 0:44 I saw clouds increase. Seatbelt sign stayed on the entire flight. We crossed Interstate 680 and I saw the south San Francisco Bay at 0:51 and I saw the Dumbarton Bridge at 0:52. We crossed Interstate 880 at 0:53 and I saw the San Mateo Bridge at 0:54. Then we went over the Bay and landed south to north. We arrived at the gate 5 minutes early and we deplaned via jetway.

After I reclaimed my checked bags I went outside and ordered ride to the shipper. There was some delay as the driver seemed to be confused as to exactly where to pick me up. Finally the driver came and away I went to the shipper. I checked in, loaded my gear and did the safety inspection.

Trip: Livermore, CA to Fontana, CA 395 paid miles
Make: 2018 Dodge 5500
Model: Flatbed with bucket
Transmission: Automatic
Route: Interstate 580 to Interstate 5 to Interstate 210 to Interstate 15 to Old Route 66
Maximum elevation: 4,144 feet Tejon Summit Interstate 5 one mile south of the Los Angeles/Kern County line, one mile south of Frazier Park, CA and two miles north of Gorman, CA
Diesel Price USA: 3.639$ per gallon at Flying J Patterson, CA


I got started and it was early enough that traffic was moving well through Livermore and over the Altamont Pass. The weigh scale on the east side of Livermore was open and I went in but I was not pulled in for inspection. I stopped in Westley where I took a short nap. Then I took a call from dispatch and was asked about my ETA. I learned the truck turned "hot" as it was needed the following morning for a demonstration. The customer really wanted it the following morning. I told dispatch I would do my best but I would not make any guarantees. I did not want to promise something than not deliver. I left my phone in the truck and went inside Carl's Jr. where I had late midday rations. When I returned to the truck I learned that dispatch was "blowing up" my phone as the customer was not happy with the answer. Dispatch said I would get paid 150$ extra if I made delivery by 10h00 Tuesday morning. I looked at the situation and as the truck had only two axles I was not bound by the 55mph truck speed limit as the vehicle was one unit and I was not towing anything. The California 55mph truck speed limit applies to trucks three axles or more as well as all vehicles towing anything. I looked at the time left relative to hours of service constraints and realised that I had a shot at making it to Fontana within my 14 hour workday if there were no undue delays. I rang the customer and made query about a possible after hours delivery. The customer asked me my ETA and I replied "very close to midnight" and the customer was agreeable to coming out to receive the truck and gave me another number for after hours contact. I let dispatch know that I would try to deliver that night before my 14 hours was up.

I got rolling and stopped in Patterson to take on fuel. I got some Dr. Pepper to stay caffeinated. I continued south on Interstate 5 and got off at the Harris Ranch exit near Coalinga. I took a short nap, used the facilities then went to Harris Ranch Express where I got a Tri Tip sandwich for my evening rations. Afterward I continued south on the 5 and just as I was about to climb the "Grapevine" I approached the weigh scale. The electronic sign said "ALL TRUCKS ENTER SCALE" but that switched to "SCALES CLOSED DO NOT ENTER" just before I reached the offramp for the weigh scale. I continued on and climbed the Grapevine and ended up slowing to about 45mph on the upgrade. I made a pit stop in Castaic and rang the customer to give an update on my progress and revised ETA. There was some construction and some slowing in Santa Clarita due to lane closure then I took the 210 to the 15 and a very short stretch on old US route 66 before making it to my destination with just 14 minutes remaining on my 14 hour clock. Delivery was completed at midnight Pacific Time (02h00 Central Time) and I contacted dispatch with the good news that the delivery was complete. I got transport home and arrived home at about 01h00 on Tuesday to end what may by shortest tour of duty to date.

Dublin, California

My ride from Livermore, California to Fontana, California
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Old Feb 15, 19, 1:55 am
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WN4144 LGB-OAK 11th February 2019

Pictures of Southwest Airlines flight from Long Beach to Oakland

At the gate prior to departure from LGB

Snowcapped Mt. Baldy in the background

Snowcapped San Gabriel Mountains in the background

Los Angeles River with higher water levels due to recent rain

South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula

Redondo Beach

Malibu and vicinity

Panoramic view of Ventura County

Point Magu Naval Air Station to the distance

Snowcapped peaks of Ventura County

south San Joaquin Valley

Service

Coalinga, California

snowcapped Coast Ranges to the distances

Crossing Interstate 680

south San Francisco Bay and Dumbarton Bridge

Over the Bay on final approach to OAK

At the gate following arrival into OAK
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Old Feb 15, 19, 2:01 am
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Missing Picture from Previous Post

Picture of Redondo Beach from WN4144 LGB-OAK 11th February 2019
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Old Feb 17, 19, 6:40 pm
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So why would a Dodge pickup like that need to stop at the scales anyway?
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