So….I had my first accident. It was just a fender bender and a combination of me being distracted, tired and just bad timing. We will get back to this later.
We had a great week coming out of home time from my Fathers 80th birthday. It was a complete surprise and I heard him exclaim twice that it was the best day of his life. A pretty significant statement for an 80 year old. And I quote “I have never been in a room with all the people who love me and that I care about” That was actually a paraphrase but very close. It was so nice to spend time with my brothers and sisters and all of my Nieces and Nephews. My Nephew Brett and I TOTALLY dominated at Canasta. That was a very good night. I love my huge, crazy family.
We got back on the road and headed to Phoenix on the first of three high value product loads in a row. HVP loads are kind of a pain as we cannot leave the truck unattended. One of us has to be in or near the truck at all times and we have to send a message in every time we stop for any reason. Miles are Miles however so we did our Amazon.com duty and sucked it up. From Phoenix we ran to Toledo Ohio and then back to Sacramento California. Weather has just been awesome. Blue skies and warm everywhere…..until we hit Reno. As we crossed into California we were told that it was snowing hard on Donner Pass and chains were required. We decided when we started that we were not going to chain up ever so I pulled over and grabbed my tablet to check the weather forecast. The storm had just started, it was Monday night and the storm warning was in effect until Wednesday morning. 30 hours! I could not help myself, I decided we (and by “we” I mean “me”) were going to chain. Chains went on pretty easy and the drive over the pass was uneventful. Got the chains off on the other side and headed on down to Sacramento. As I was coming into town the freeway splits, four lanes go left and three lanes go right. It was 6:45 am and rush hour was getting into full swing. I was only driving about 45 miles per hour. My GPS told me go right so I moved over one lane. I looked down to check my truck computer at the wrong time. Looked up and traffic was completely stopped. I slammed on the brakes with about 150 yards to the car in front of me. This is where our very light, 10,000 pound, load failed me. With no weight in the trailer I got no help at all from the trailer brakes. I could actually feel the trailer skipping. I hit the little Nissan Altima going about 5 mph. Really just a fender bender……for me. The poor lady in front of me lost her trunk. The good news is nobody was hurt (other than my pride) and I did not get a ticket. Our bumper, grill and radiator where damaged and the truck could not be driven with the radiator leaking so a tow truck was called. If you have ever seen the movie Cars and know the character Tow Mater, you would have freaked out when the tow truck arrived. This guy WAS Tow Mater. I am posting a picture below. Awesome guy. We did the tow of shame and got towed to FedEx to drop our load. Then towed to Penskie Truck Body Repair in Woodland to get the truck fixed. They were awesome. They had the parts ordered and truck torn apart that day. We checked into the Holiday Inn Express, rented a car and proceeded to spend way too much money on food and alcohol. Only 48 hours later the truck is fixed and we are back on the road. We grabbed a load in Valencia California headed to Nashua New Hampshire and we are rolling……..
Very weak internet where we are sitting tonight. I have a bunch of pictures and another post I will try to get up tomorrow.