A Day in the Life Delivering Plants for Prides Corner Farms
Week of May 15th, 2017
Planning and preparation is critical to making good deliveries. Checking Google Earth the night before to see exactly the size of the location and where to enter with a tractor-trailer for instance is very important. Selecting the correct routing with departure and arrival times can be one thing on Google maps and another time and route altogether on the Garmin GPS in the truck. Having a print version of the road atlas for trucks, is still essential in this digital, satellite age.
Driving to Long Island for instance you can be routed an extra half hour 45 minutes longer so you have to plan ahead by studying the map for the right exit numbers to the streets that will take you to your destination. The driver has to be aware of the many low overpasses in Long Island, Queens and the Bronx. Sometimes the truck GPS will send you in a strange round-about route to avoid some low overpasses which can add an extra 30 minutes to your delivery time. Knowing which overpasses are marked 12’ 10” or 13’ 3” that you can drive through even though my trailer height is 13’ 6” is also a hard earned bit of experience that can save you time.
The real key to a day in Long Island is that fabulous drive down I-95 from New Haven to Greenwich. It’s really a crap-shoot because one minor fender-bender can instantly back up traffic 5 miles, which is time you will not make up for the rest of the day. If you're not passed exit 27 in Bridgeport by 5:45am at the latest, it’s stop and go pretty much all the way to Greenwich.
Meanwhile 30 miles to the north on I-84 other Prides drivers are having a more pleasant experience heading towards Hardscrabble, Newburgh and points west. There is a little build-up of traffic in Waterbury but not bad at 6 to 6:30AM and then it’s smooth sailing until Danbury but even then you don’t get behind schedule, especially if your headed north on Route 7.
It is now officially the busy season and with that comes the long hours big miles and cart break-down/pick up.
We have been making many large one stop deliveries in the past two weeks and leaving large numbers of carts all over the Northeast for our new guy Josh to keep track of. Sooner or later we were going to have to start picking them back up and this was the week. The crew at Adams in Poughkeepsie really bailed my butt out of a long day by helping me break down and stack over 40 carts, or I would still be there. That does not happen at most locations, and might not happen again as the season starts to crank up.
We do some scenic type driving runs in this part of the country that helps balance off the drudgery of getting to Long Island the Bronx or being stuck in traffic around Boston.
Today I had a 3 hour drive to Monticello New York and once past some light traffic in Danbury and Newburgh, the geography began to change into long climbs with views of mountains and farmland right in front of me. From there I made my way back up the New York Thruway to the Mass. Pike before exiting onto some flowing country roads to Chatham, N. Y.
But there are some pot holes out there that can rip the steering wheel right out of your hands so we have to remain vigilant.
We have reached full capacity crazy time and I only get to see other drivers with a quick wave out the window as we pass each other at the farm or driving down Route 87.
Until next time (after Mother’s Day),