I will try very hard to not let it get this long between posts.
I am really missing summer. My poor feet have been cooped up in real shoes for a couple of months now and the shorts are all put away. This is not easy on me.
So, the load Anne mentioned on December 1st with all the bad weather was a very high value load. Almost 3.5 million dollars worth of Playstation 3’s going to Chicago. What killed me is the way they locked the back of the trailer. They put three seperate seals on it and this big metal bar. They might as well have posted a big sign the said “HIGHJACK THIS TRUCK”. Just dumb if you ask me. I will post a picture of the lowe seals below. They also had a cable wrapped around the bars at the top of the doors.
We are loving the new reefer fleet and our new fleet manager. Johnathan was awesome and we really like him but we are with an FM who pretty much gets her way ALL the time. She has been with the company 14 years and we never sit. We always have a pre-assign before we drop a load. We love it. We went to Chattanooga last week to get the truck worked on. We were due for maintenance but as we turned for Tennessee from New Jersey the truck started running aweful. Lost power and shaking. We were not sure we were going to make it but the grandkids are in Chattanooga and our friends Bandit and Sandi were there getting their truck worked on too and Phyllis had given them a couple extra days off so they could play with us. We pulled in to the terminal at 2:00 AM Sunday morning and got the truck checked in and went to sleep. Sandi and Bandit came and picked up in thier rental Escalade. Katie came up from Atlanta (Anne’s friend, see earlier posts) and we went out to play. It was Katies birthday and the next day was Sandi’s birthday. I am not going to go into too much detail about this day, partly as it is a bit fuzzy, but we had a blast. After we recovered a bit on Monday, wel, I recovered a bit, Anne needed a nap. We went to Jason and Anna’s house While Anne slept I ran and picked up Sandi and Bandit at the airport as they dropped off the rental and took them to thier truck and they went back to work. The shop was done with everything they could do to our truck but there was something very wrong with the engine and the Cummins rep was working on it. They had to order some parts so another day in Chattanooga. I drove back to the house and got Anne and we ran to Costco where we ended up buying each other our larger Christmas presents. I have been wanting a new camcorder and I wanted to get her a tablet computer as they are so much easier in the truck than a laptop. We went home and I watched the kids while Anne took Anna out Christmas shopping. A very nice afternoon for all of us. We then all went out to a wonderful dinner.
So I called the shop the next morning and they told me the Cummins guy could not figure out what was wrong but call back in the afternoon. We gave the kids their presents and had a very nice morning. I called the shop at 2:30 and they said the truck was fixed! Just as we were ready to stay another night. Packed everything up, said goodby to Anna and the grandkids and Jason drove us to the terminal. We got everything put away and we were off and running. It turns out we had a bad injector on the engine. It is running great.
I cannot remeber everywhere we have been but we dropped a Fedex load in Hermiston Oregon and they had us run empty to Sumner Washington, got there at 6 AM and the load was cancelled, so they sent us to pick up a loaded trailer at the Portland drop yard heading to Houston. We get there and the bills say the load is almost 44,000 pounds. That is very close to our max so we headed to the TA truckstop in Troutdale to weigh. We had a problem. Even with the tandems (trailer axles) moved all teh way forward we could not get the drive axles on the tractor legal. Max allowed is 34,000 on the drives and we are at 34,260. Normally you would take the load back to the shipper but it is Saturday and the trailer came from our drop yard. No shipper to go to. Weekend dispatch can be…..problematic. We sent a message and asked what to do, our weekend FM said he would ask and get back to us. We wait about 90 minutes and call, that guy went home and we have to start over with the next guy. Same story, we wait 90 minutes and send a message asking if they have a solution. Message comes back from a third person “Solution for what?” All I want is a message on the truck computer saying to run with the load. It is so close I think I can talk my way through a scale house and we are over a thousand pounds short of our 80,000 total gross weight. The problem is that if we do get a ticket, it starts at $500. After a lot of messages back and forth I get the one I want “Run with the load but do not fill the fuel tanks over half way” Kind of a pain to fuel every 400 miles but we are off. One nice thing about the load is we are going through Fort Collins at dinner time (would have been lunch time if we could have gotten out of Portland on time) so we stop and have dinner with Shelby and Scott. Back on the road and running through Kansas. About Colby Kansas we get a message to meet another team in Oklahoma City and swap loads. They are going to Houston for Christmas and their load is going to Riverside California near where we are spending Christmas. We meet at 2:00 PM today and we headed West……….RIGHT INTO A MASSIVE STORM. We are shut down in Amarillo Texas. I 40 is closed from here all teh way to Albuquerque New Mexico. Hopfully by noon tomorrow we will be back on the road. We are finally pulling a reefer trailer however. After over three weeks on the reefer boad, it is about time.