I have lived in Fort Collins Colorado for 13 years and I love it. We are looking for a place in Chattanooga and I love it. I have lived in Los Angeles and I…well….I worked. So it was not fun in the sun, it was just hot. Seattle, however, is HOME. Anne loves it here also but LA is still home to her. I think I have mentioned it on here before but our plan is to buy a 40′ boat and moor it in downtown Seattle on Lake Union. After living for almost three years in a truck a boat is gonna seem huge.
So we are in Seattle for SeaFair Weekend and a Semi-Family reunion. Dustin and Jill, my Nephew and his Wife who are Air Force Officers, are in town to show off my latest Great Nephew. Very much looking forward to meeting Brantley tomorrow. My youngest sister is in town with her two boys from Wisconsin and we brought Shelby, our youngest (ALMOST 21) with us. We swung through Colorado on our way from Georgia to Snohomish WA and had dinner with my son and his girlfriend and Shelby. Packed Shelby and her dog Bella into the truck and continued on to Washington. We will be here a bit. Why???
The dang truck is in the shop again! and again!
So, after we finished the “tiger load” as everyone at Farm2Fleet calls it, we booked a load from Oklahoma City to Dallas GA. A little town NW of Atlanta. We are having a new problem with the truck and we still have not found anyone who can fix the old problem. The constant “regen” issue is still happening but as we rolled out of the wild animal sanctuary in Maine all of a sudden the engine dies. Anne is driving, she pulls over to the side of the road and we are panicking. We have a load of live, dangerous, animals and we NEED to keep rolling. The trucks starts right up again and we are off, A few miles down the road it happens again….and again. I am thinking we have an electrical problem. It happens a few more times while Anne is driving. Then it is my turn. When it happens to me, I figure out it is something in the transmission. It is happening when the engine is trying to shift under heavy acceleration. Even though we have an automatic transmission in this truck, it also has a clutch pedal. I figure out that if we have any speed to work with, I can depress the clutch and let it back out once the engine completely dies and compression start the engine. So on we roll. We NEED to deliver these animals on time. And we do, we get to Oklahoma and I am sure Anne wants to do a wrap up on the trip so I will leave it there. We are, however, exhausted. The stress of the live animals and the truck problems have taken their toll.
We decide we are going to get the damn truck fixed. A friend of ours and fellow F2F driver recommends his mechanic in Heflin Alabama. A wide spot on the road. We have lots of time on this load so we stop to see Matt. He is awesome and gets us right in but he does not have the parts or the computer software we need. He tries a couple of things but decides to send us to the Volvo dealer in Atlanta. We go to deliver the load and it turns out the shipper had loaded the wrong product. It is the product listed on the Bill of Lading (so not our fault) but it is not what the consignee ordered and they refuse to unload it. I call the broker and he says, “let me get authorization for you to take it back to Oklahoma” NOPE, I say, “that is not going to happen” I booked a not very well paying load out of Oklahoma to get to a good freight location and I am not going to take a low paying load back to a crappy freight location to start the process over again. So we sit at the dock for almost four hours while they try to figure out what to do. They finally agree to off load the cargo and have another truck pick it up later. It is now late Thursday afternoon. We head to the Petro truck stop on the West side of Atlanta. Anne calls her friend Leslie and she picks us up and we go out to dinner. Leslie then drops us off at Katies house and we settle in. Friday morning I take the truck to the Atlanta Volvo dealer and we wait, (OK, and play. We are, after all, hanging with Katie). On Monday I call the service manager and he says they have not figured the problem out yet. I call again on Tuesday morning and I get the same answer. I ask him what they know so far and he tells me they have not even pulled it in yet. WHAT? I said “when will you get to it” and his response “tonight or maybe tomorrow” I tell him not to touch the truck, we are coming to get it. I go online and book a load to Seattle leaving that afternoon. I have Anne drop me off at the dealer and I go to pick up the load while she packs us back up. I get loaded (the truck I mean) and head to the Petro where Katie drops Anne off with our stuff and we are off.
So, why is Shelby in the truck? She hated her job and was feeling pretty alone in Colorado. She has been planning to move back to California but it is just so freaking expensive to live there. We have not been home to Colorado since March. Why? No freight originates in Denver. It is very hard to make any money going to or from Denver. Anne talked to Shelby about maybe Seattle for a new home. Shelby said “why not Chattanooga?” SWEET! We have been talking about moving our home base to Chattanooga since we are always there. This does not replace Seattle but as a second home. So we are looking for a place in Chattanooga that we can share with her. To that end, we are taking Shelby with us to Chattanooga so she can check it out. We will then drop her back in Colorado on the next round trip and she can start to prepare to move.
We struggled all the way across the country with this stupid transmission issue but we got to stop for lunch in Three Forks at the Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli, a place we love and then again Anne got to show off her favorite gift shop in Haugan Montana and Lincoln’s 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar. We always stop there also
So we are settled in until the dang truck is fixed this time. Truck is at the Volvo dealer South of Seattle and they are working on it. I have received a couple of calls from the mechanic and progress is being made. We hope to get out with a bill under $2,000. Fingers are crossed. It costs us more than that in lost revenue just not running every time we are down. We NEED to get this stuff fixed. We are just going to really enjoy family for a few days and not worry about it. Then we are going to run our socks off.
So I am hanging with all of the wonderful women in my life, my wife, two daughters and my mom (and my dad is doing great). Life is pretty dang good.