Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Behind the Scenes... the Making of Tales from the Road

For some of you this blog will be a snoozer, but I've had many people
write and ask questions about how we do what we do.
The questions have ranged from:

How do you work from the road?
What is an average day like?
How do you blog from all the places you go?
What's it like pulling that big 5th wheel?

I've gotten lots of repeat questions from different people, so I thought that if I'm getting them from
some - perhaps more would like to know.

How do I work from the road?

Working from the road is no different than working from a home office.
You need certain things in both places for it to work effectively.

First you need the type of job that allows it -If I was a school teacher - it would be pretty difficult.
Second you need a boss with an open enough mind to allow you to prove the concept works
Third - I need a good internet connection.
Forth, I need a way to stay in touch via phone.
Fifth, I need the accessories (printer scanner etc).
Finally - you need to have the discipline to remember the job has to come first...  period.

I have one and two covered.

My internet connection is provided by a Verizon MIFI device.

This little device is like a cell phone but wirelessly provides me high speed internet.
It's about the size of a credit card, just a bit thicker.
At also provides a wireless signal so that 5 computers can all share the same connection
at the same time...  no software required.

I can drive down the road with it running and receive email on my laptop, iPad, cell phone etc.

I use special software that allows me to securely connect to my office network in upstate NY
over an encrypted connection so that I can upload or download sensitive documents
safely.  I can print something out on a printer in NY from a campsite in Arizona with ease.

My office phone rings on my cell phone so I am connected virtually 24/7...  just like at home.

I have a printer and scanner, both portable size, that give me the final piece of the puzzle.

Last is the discipline.  I guess I'm fortunate in that dept.

I make sure that I work extra hard to deal with problems that arise IMMEDIATELY.
With the freedom comes responsibility.

Driving down the road, Kate will read me my email and I'll dictate a response so that most
times the person sending gets an immediate response.  Of course there might be times
where we are temporarily out of range of internet but now a days not often.

My usual day starts about 5am local time.
I grab a cup of coffee and immediately get on the computer and address any 
issues that might have come in over night.

If we are traveling that day - I get 3hrs work done before we move.  If not - more.

There are many times when I might need to pull over and get on the phone, or
on the computer to address something more detailed.  If so - so be it.
No big deal.

After our day - I usually work from 4pm or so to finish up any lingering things
that I could not take care of during the day.

It's funny, but without the distractions of working in the office I am usually able to
see things so much clearer and from a different perspective.
Same for the phone.

Enough about work...  I think you get the picture

Blogging is my second job.
once again you need a good internet connection.
Then you need the discipline to do it after your work day is over.

Many times I just want to go to bed but I have you - my loyal readers - who immediately
start sending me emails any day I miss a post.

Its good to know that you enjoy the blog.  That's what makes it fun for me.

Good internet and a free account with Google Blogger is all it takes to start.
Perhaps a camera too.

Before I upload any photos, I first process them thru photoshop to reduce the file size
and make them faster to upload....  remember I'm on a mobile connection.

Other than that - it's easy.
Again - it just takes the discipline to stick with it.
That's why I have great respect for my other blogger buddies out there who also post.
It's a lot of work posting and we love to hear back from our readers.

OK...  Lastly - pulling the 5'ver.

Being an ex Over the Road Trucker helps, but is certainly not required.
For me pulling this thing is second nature.
Our combined weight is 25,000 lbs and we are 56' long
so some things must be considered...

You must be patient and not tailgate.  You can't stop as fast as a car.
Everyone is going to want to cut in front of you.  Let them.  Don't fight it.  You'll lose.
Keep leaving space for them to do so and not get upset about it.
Be careful on long downhill grades...  you can burn out and lose your brakes
if you go to fast and use them too much.
I go down hills at a speed that allows the engine to hold me back and not use the brakes.
This saves them for emergency use.
Try not to turn down a dead end.  (its not fun when you do)
Watch out for low bridges.
Don't try to drive thru the McDonalds drive-thru.

Backing takes some practice but in no time you'll back into spaces like a pro.

It's really pretty easy to pull a rig like ours.  It just takes a realization of what
you have back there, and a acceptance that it's not a car so don't expect
to drive like one or make the same time.

Its not the destination....  it's the journey.

For those of you still awake - thanks for reading.
Hope you found this informative.  

Maybe we'll see you out on the road!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic recap of the process, WiFi rig and effort that goes into being remote and blogging. I challenge anyone to try takes a ton of effort. Congrats road warrior!


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