The good news is that we are making enough to keep paying for the repairs. Kinda.
We have had an eventful few weeks. Planning on the move to Chattanooga and running hard. We picked up a pretty cool load in Birmingham Alabama, it was a full trailer load of lighting for Logitec for their exhibit at the PAX Expo in Seattle. Whole load weighed 7000 pounds. (we love that) We get to the shipper and as I am backing into the loading dock, alarms start going off. Low air pressure, my brake buttons pop out and the truck stops. I have to hold the buttons in with one hand while I finish backing in. I figured I must have been resting my foot on the brake pedal or something. I rev up the engine to build air pressure and the needles do not move. I call the Volvo dealer in Seattle since they just fixed two air leaks and ask what I should look at, he tells me to crawl under the truck and check just behind the transmission. I do not make it that far. As I crawl under the truck I find a black cylinder attached to the frame with a hose going in coming from up near the engine and a hose going out to the air tanks. There is air spitting out a hole in the bottom. I do not know what this thing is but I guess (correctly) it is the air dryer. I know we have one but I have never seen one before. I call the dealer back and tell him what I found and he tells me that is what it is and it is definitely broken. I do not have a spare air dryer (of course) so I ask the mechanic if I can bypass the air dryer by connecting the two hoses, he says yes but they are different sizes. I certainly do not have the parts. Luckily, the shipper tells us they are not ready to load us and it will be a couple of hours. They have no idea we cannot pull out of the loading dock. We know a great mechanic in Heflin Alabama about 150 miles away. I call Matt and ask if he knows anyone in Birmingham. He gives me two numbers to try. The first one I call is awesome. They have mobile road service and they understand what I need. From the time I make the call, we are (temporarily) fixed in less than an hour and the guy even replaces a tail light on the trailer that just died for free. The whole repair cost $105. That is freakishly cheap for a semi.
We get loaded and we roll to the Convention Center in Seattle. We make it to Seattle (the North Bend TA) by noon on Sunday and cannot deliver until Monday morning so we get the truck washed and my parents come down and we go out to dinner at an awesome restaurant in North Bend called, oddly enough, the North Bend Bar & Grill. Again, this is one of the reasons we love this job. We get to the convention center in downtown Seattle and it is a pretty cool delivery. I would love to meet the engineer who figured out how to put the loading docks on the 4th floor and get trucks in and out. It was a bit of a challenge which I love. We got out and ran down to Fife to pick up our load to Arkansas and booked a load from Arkansas back to Denver so we could be home for Labor Day, CJ’s Football game and to pack up and move.
The first two were fun.
We had a very good time at the CU – CSU football game. I saw a bunch of old friends tailgating and even though the bad guys won, we had a blast. We headed up to storage early on Monday to load up our 10×20 storage unit. CJ and Lizzy came up and helped and we got it done in about four hours but it beat the crap out of us. Temps in the mid 90’s and Anne and I both hurt ourselves. We took the truck and trailer home and decided to do the rest in the morning. We had started out thinking we would fill about half the trailer and we could book a partial load to pay the fuel costs for the move HAHAHAHAHAHA. We packed this baby to the very back. CJ had school and practice and meetings so he was not available so I called Labor Ready and hired a couple of guys for four hours to help us load. Let’s just say that Anne and Shelby were stronger than the two old guys they sent. They were very nice and polite but not real hustlers. I guess I do not blame them since I found out that they only get $7.75 an hour of the $25 an hour I was paying. So with the doors closed, we took showers and got rolling to the Southeast. Shelby driving the pickup and I drove the semi.
We arrived in Chattanooga on Wednesday night and checked into Jason and Anna’s awesome bed and breakfast (not really a bed and breakfast, they are just amazing hosts and we get to hang out with our awesome grandkids) and took the truck to Cummins Thursday morning for a service appointment. We are finally going to get this dang regen issue figured out…….we hope. So with the truck being looked at we go out home shopping. Our issue is finding a home close to town with the room for our furniture. This should go well.
What we want and what we want to spend are two different things. The exact place I would want would cost about $2,000 a month and that is not in the plan. Our long term goal is still to buy a boat and put it on Lake Union in downtown Seattle for a summer home. If we go broke on housing in Chattanooga we will never get the boat in Seattle. We found an awesome two bedroom loft exactly where we wanted on the Southside for a bit more than we wanted to spend. Walking distance to everything. Two negatives, parking was across the street and the bedroom walls did not go to the ceiling. The walls are fine for a couple but not too awesome when your daughter lives with you. We also got a call from Cummins while we were out looking, the new dpf filter that was installed by the Volvo dealer is cracked. The part alone is $2,500. gulp. So now, while are still looking, I am panicking about prices. Anne, of course, is working to calm me down but I am a bit stressed. I find an apartment way out of town. It is out by the lake and although the apartment itself is pretty awesome, three bedrooms, 1500+ square feet, a pool and a great kitchen. The location is not at all what we were looking for. Why are we here? Price. Anne calms me down again and we head to a location I had seen apartments near the North Shore and we find a pretty cool place. All of the features of the last place but three minutes to town. We have filled out the application but are still looking. We would rather have a house.
So, we went Friday afternoon and picked up the truck. Just LOVED paying the $3,500 bill. Thank God we had the money. Then we drove over to the Volvo dealer and met with the GM. I explained that the dpf filter was cracked because his mechanic had not calibrated it (the truck computer confirms this) and I asked for help on the bill. I stayed calm and Anne worked her magic and he was pretty awesome. He said he would investigate and get back to us on Monday. We know they will pay something and maybe the whole bill. We will see. Whether or not we stay homeless kind of depends on this 🙂
We are sitting here this morning looking for a load. We kinda need to make some money.