Still Loving Life

We have been so busy and life has been crazy. We really wanted to make it to the Colorado State University Spring Football game to watch our son play.  Colorado sucks for freight and so it is hard to go there and get back out.  Had a brilliant idea and booked a solo load from Atlanta to Fife Washington.  We arrived in Atlanta and made our deliveries and then Anne’s friend Leslie from college picked us up and we headed to a restaurant for dinner.  Our two daughters drove down from Chattanooga to join us and we had a wonderful evening.  Anne went on home with the girls and I went the next morning, Wednesday, to pick up our Washington load.  I left Atlanta and headed to Chattanooga and we parked the truck for a day and a half.  We headed out Thursday evening for Colorado.  Got to Fort Collins Friday afternoon and had a great visit and dinner with my great friends Ron and Michelle (and Kaiya)then off Saturday morning for Football and then lunch with the team and coaches.  We then met our son and Elizabeth, his girlfriend for Sushi.  Easter morning we met them again for a wonderful breakfast.  I miss these two so much and the visit was much needed.  We then headed off to Seattle to make our Monday delivery. The truck has mostly been running awesome but it was in the shop twice this last week.  The first time really hacked me off.  We had a squealing belt so on our way into Seattle we stopped at the TA in North Bend, the mechanic (I use the term loosely) Said we had two bad pulleys.  They ordered the pulleys and we went on to Fife to make our delivery and our pick up and made plans to come back that afternoon to get it fixed.  We got back to the TA about 4:30 and put the truck in the shop.  My parents were waiting for us and we headed into North Bend for dinner.  Awesome time with the parents and we get back to the truck stop.  I ask the mechanic if we are done and he says “well, as much as I can do” he then shows me that the tensioner pulley does not fit and he could not get it on.  The part was $371.  He then says “you can take it with you and maybe someone else can get it on”.  He was very pissed when I explained that no, I was NOT going to take a part for $371 dollars that did not fit my truck.  So the idler pulley they did replace ended up costing me over $500.  A total rip off but not much we could do.  To top it off we still had a squeal but it was different.  I think the belt squeal had masked another noise that seemed to be coming from near the turbo.  The truck ran and we did not seem to have a loss of power so we decided to get the load delivered to Tennessee and go home to get the truck worked on.  We had a really nice run with good but a little windy weather.  Made our first two drops near Nashville and then headed to Knoxville Wednesday night to get close to our last delivery.  We parked at one of our favorite hidden spots behind a strip mall on the West side of town that had a great little restaurant in the parking lot.  The Smokey Mountain Brewery Grill and Bar.  A very nice sports bar with very good food.  Super quiet night and very restful then made the delivery at 8 am and headed the 109 miles to home. Took the truck in and it turns out we had an exhaust leak behind the turbo.  Six hours of labor and a couple of other little things. $1,100 later we are ready to roll again.  We have been having another problem with the oil temperature rising when we go up hills.  We can control it by slowing down but I was suspecting the oil cooler was going bad.  We had it diagnosed  and yep, another $1,700 bill we need to plan for.  Oh, I forgot to mention the $4,400 we just spent for new tires and shocks and the $600 we spent for a broken spring and an alignment.  lol, we sure are getting rich trucking!  That said we are still doing OK.  We have a lot of debt right now as we had to borrow to get the tires and we are still paying off the loan on the engine but we are making it. For Anne’s birthday which was a month ago I am taking her to Key West Florida for a three day weekend with some wonderful friends next week.  As a huge bonus, freight rates into and out of Florida look pretty dang good right now so it should not be a financial hit. It has been a great week with lots of family time and good loads.  Heading off Sunday evening for a couple of round trips up to Pennsylvania before we head down to Florida on Thursday. As usual, life is pretty dang good……….except for the stupid Mariners.

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