We left to start our trip to Tampa last Wednesday evening. I took the laptop, thinking I could plug into the hotel wireless and complete a blog I was working on and blog during the trip.
HA. So did not happen!
My laptop has a firewall on it, that prevents any but my home wireless to connect with the internet.
Nope, let me rephrase that. It connects, it just won't let any websites load.
So needless to say, I have not had access and even though we had a great time, I did have some downtime that I could have been on the computer.
So. Not. Happy. About that!
We went to Tampa for the Florida State ATA (American Trucking Association) Truck Driving Rodeo Championship. My husband placed 2nd in his local rodeo. He always gets nervous and has never placed even close to the top, so this was a really BIG deal for him. Not only for him, but for every driver that gets to go to state. Only the BEST of the best get to go and participate in the State Championship!
The reason we left Wednesday evening was because my husband, Kenneth was asked to drive his truck and pull one of the Wal-Mart billboard trailers that they were taking. Pulling the "billboard" meant he had to be down there by noon on Thursday, instead of 3pm like everyone else. He drives out of the Alachua, FL distribution center. Once he hooked up to the trailer Thursday morning, I followed him the rest of the way into Tampa. They have to take a test on the first night there, on rules of the road. Almost like the test they have to take to for their CDL license, but harder.
The rodeo is a road course set up with cones and takes them through a series of six problems. Hopefully the pictures will give you a better idea of how difficult this course is.
So prepare for picture overload!
This is the billboard trailer.
See above where it says, 1 Million Accident Free Miles? That's my honey drove those 1 Million Miles!
This is Kenneth on the course. He was 5th from the last driver to drive on Saturday! Tell me he didn't have plenty of time to work up a good case of nerves!
There were several classes of competition. He drove in the 5 axle class. He normally drives a 5 axle, but with a sleeper tractor as you can see from the picture above where he is in his truck. They try to put you in a truck that does not belong to the company you work for. Occasionally, you'll end up with a trailer that belongs to the company you work for. But that is how he is in a Winn Dixie truck and Fed Ex trailer.
Our friend Jimmy, on the course. (He is from the same town we are, and they transferred to the Alachua DC with another friend at the same time.)
Spectating: myself, Charlotte & Regan (Jimmy's wife & daughter)
All of the truck drivers from the Alachua, FL DC that participated
The WalMart drivers and management that placed in State were all from Alachua
They have an executive challenge where each participating company picks one executive, that has never held a CDL to run the same course as the drivers.
The drivers, in order to place, have a combined score of the test, a pre-trip (a safety check that drivers perform on their truck and trailer prior to leaving, every time they start a trip.), and the road course.
And last, me goofing off in the car leaving the awards dinner and ceremony.
So that is where I've been this weekend, and why I've been absent from blogging.