I hope I am not jinxing us.
So we got the truck out of the shop. I want to say everything is fixed but I can’t. They found two air leaks and fixed them, found the fuel injector for the aftertreatment system was clogged and said that fixed the regen issue (it didn’t) and there was an issue with an oil bypass filter that was causing the oil pressure to spike down and that is what was causing the engine shut-off. So no transmission issue and that problem was fixed. No idea what we are going to do about the regen thing but we just need to run and make money. We were VERY happy with the dealer in Seattle so we will be going back there again I am sure.
The fact is, we had to get back to work. My tan is getting embarrassing.
We picked up a load with four drops heading to South Carolina. It is a full trailer full of Yamaha outboard engines. US Xpress would have definitely designated this a “high value” load as the retail value of an outboard is about $100 per horsepower. That means a 200 hp motor is worth $20,000 and we had a bunch of them. We are really loving having Shelby and Bella with us but it is getting a bit cramped in this truck. Taking her to Chattanooga so she can check it out before she moves there.
We headed out Thursday evening and Anne got us a couple hundred miles and I took over. We rolled into the big town of Three Forks Montana at about 11:00 AM for fuel….both for the truck and for us. Wheat Montana Bakery & Deli is in Three Forks and we love this place. They grow the grain, make the flour and bake the bread. It does not get any better than this. They also make a kick ass pancake mix. In my post-trip inspection (you check out the whole tractor and trailer before and after your shift) I found we had a trailer tire that had lost most of it’s tread and we also had a tail light on the trailer that was out. It was now Anne’s turn to drive so as soon as we got to someplace bigger she would stop and have the tire replaced and the light fixed. I go to sleep as we head towards Billings. This also means it was Anne’s turn to break the truck. She has to go to three places in Billings to find the correct light but she gets it done. We stop for fuel in Hardin MT and she notices a florescent green fluid spraying out at the bottom of the front grill. It is a tiny leak. She decides she needs to wake me up. Something had hit the bug shield behind the grill hard enough to push it back and put a hole in the air conditioner condenser. A rock or a bird, we will never know. The condenser looks like a smaller radiator in front of the actual radiator. When the leaking stops, we are going to lose a/c. Not good when you are heading to South Carolina in August. It is only about 70 degrees so we can shut off the a/c for now but we going to have to get this fixed.
I drive through South Dakota that night and we roll through Sturgis about midnight on Friday in the middle of the motorcycle rally. Did not really see anything from the freeway except the many spotlights and searchlights from the main stage where Toby Keith had just finished his concert (or maybe it was Kid Rock) Shelby was disappointed I did not wake her up to see….nothing. About 9:00 AM we get to Sioux Falls and head South on I-29. I call the TA in Council Bluffs and they tell me they do not have the condenser and the nearest dealer is in Omaha. Dealers are only open until noon on Saturdays. So I call the dealer in Chattanooga since we will be going through there and they tell me they have the part. I call Bill, owner of Farm2Fleet and he goes by the dealer and gets the part for me. Have I mentioned how much we love these guys? I can get the condenser installed easy at any number of places. Right after I get the text from Bill “Got it” We pass a Volvo dealer right next to the freeway in Sioux City. It is only 10:30 here so I call the dealer and yes, they have the part in stock. I take the next exit and head back. It cost me $100 more here but the Sapp Brothers Truck Stop in Percival Iowa has no line and we can get right in. We get to Percival, check the truck in, take showers, have lunch and the truck is fixed. Another $850 “invested” in this truck. The important thing is, WE HAVE A/C! Wow, does this thing blow cold now. We obviously needed a new condenser anyway.
We get to Chattanooga early Sunday morning, call Jason and he picks us up. We are 400 miles from our first drop and that will be at 5 AM Monday. So we get to spend the day in Chattanooga. Played with the grandkids and headed to Champy’s for some awesome fried chicken. Bill and Lauren met us there and so did Tom, our new VP of Operations. I asked the Hoods if they would “babysit” Shelby and Bella while Anne and I ran down to SC to make our deliveries. What a stupid idea this was. it was like giving Lauren the keys to the Lamborghini and saying “drive slow”. I am sure our daughter (who is having a blast) will never be the same.
We made our four drops in SC, where it was 98 degrees with very high humidity (but 65 and a bit chilly inside the truck, yea), and then booked a load heading back to Atlanta. We are at the Costco distribution center now where they are unloading the 7000 pounds of gold toe socks. We are then picking up here in Atlanta and heading back to Seattle. Picking Shelby up on the way if we can get her away from the Hoods. Will drop Shelby back in Colorado where she can start packing for the move in a month.
A cute note. Our Daughter-in-Law Anna took Shelby out yesterday shopping for houses and apartments. She started the day looking at $700 places and the last one she called Anne about was $1250. So typical. lol
So we are booked out since we will be delivering in Seattle on Saturday morning and already have a load out heading back to the Southeast. Going to actually feel good to just keep moving for a few weeks.
Two full weeks of loads, back to back. Kinda like having a job.
Oh, this is kinda cool. My son CJ plays Quarterback for Colorado State University. They hooked a GoPro camera to his helmet in practice a couple of days ago. Three minutes long and pretty interesting.