So, about the first of the year, USX announced that they were changing the idle parameters of the trucks. We were not happy about this. What they did was when you brought the truck in for service, they changed the computer so that the truck would not idle for more than five minutes unless the outside temperature was below 28 degrees or above 70. This is to save fuel and with over 6000 trucks, it was kind of a big deal financially. The problem is that you really have to have the truck idling to use the coffee maker or the microwave. It also means that if it is 68 degrees outside and you are sitting all day you do not have air conditioning and in the sunshine, it can get very hot in the truck. It is really not that big a deal and we could solve it by buying our own truck and paying for our own fuel to idle. (we may do just that). To avoid this, however, I have religiously avoided any of our terminals when we had maintenance due or needed any work done on the truck. USX does not have any Terminals with shops in the Western US so I have made sure we were in California or Seattle when we needed work done……….until today. We are in Georgia and more than 5000 miles overdue on our Periodic Maintenance (oil change and lube) So here we sit at our Austell GA terminal. I brought the truck here because I have heard glowing reports from other drivers that they are very quick and very good here. Walked into the shop at 06:00 and they pulled the truck in by 06:30. We need the PM done and we also need all four batteries on the truck replaced. (that was really what got us stuck, we could not shut the truck off for fear it would not start again) They are telling us we will be done by about Noon. This would be awesome since we have had to turn down load after load this morning. Killing me. Now that we are actually IN shop status the load offers have stopped coming but there is obviously a ton of freight that needs to move from here. We need to get moving after being off for eight days last week.
We thought this was all going to be avoided since they told us to come to the Tunnel Hill GA Terminal and pick up our new truck. The entire reefer fleet is getting new trucks with stairs and catwalks across the back so we can legally do a pretrip and perform maintenance on the refrigerator units on the trailers. Twelve hours later we got a message that they were out of the new trucks until next week and to head to Atlanta. So here we sit……..