Dec 16, 2011

On Your Mark. Get Set..... STOP!!

This week's breakdown officially started Tuesday night around 5pm. On Friday, around 5pm, I received the call that the truck repairs were complete. I personally think 3 full days is a bit ridiculous for a simple oil leak, a hub cap with a leaking gasket, and an exhaust leaking valve replacement. Pesky little O rings must be a pain in the ass to find, as I was told this was the hold up. A steel O ring that fits into a plug was the cause of my oil leak. I am still not sure if oil is what was coating everything under the truck because I have only added 2 gallons in a 2 month period. The shop assured me that it was not a leaking fuel line. At least they steam cleaned everything under the truck so I can keep an eye on it. I have my doubts though.

The boss had saved a load for me to pick up this weekend, so after I retrieved the truck, my intentions were to head towards New York. The first thing I noticed was a tapping noise coming from the area where the EGR shutoff valve was located. The valve that was leaking exhaust into my truck! And the odor was still seeping into the cab. This is the valve they just replaced. I also noticed that my warm dead idle oil pressure was running at about 12-15lbs. This is too low. It really shouldn't run below about 30lbs at a dead idle (sitting still). Next up was the excessive whistling coming from the turbo with a slight flapping sound. The sound of an air boot with a hole developing in it...

Because it is dark and raining, I have decided to wait until the morning to do any  further inspecting. So bright and early, I will determine if I shall return to the shop to check the valve. Because of so much down time this week, if I locate a hole in the boot, I will buy the boot and replace it myself. As for the oil pressure, I hope I make it through this delivery. I have no intention of any more shop time until after Christmas.

I find all of this to be simply ridiculous after 72 hours of downtime... But at least I no longer have to worry about the steer axle hubcap leaking oil.  YAY!!

On a side note, the last load I delivered, one of the dealerships claimed that fluids from my truck had gotten on one of the cars and dissolved the paint. The only corrosive fluids that I can think of that would have done that are brake fluid and battery acid. I don't have issues with either of those.  Pesky dealers will try to get anything over on you. This of course came after he signed off on a clean inspection of the vehicles...

Well, off to bed. I have a ton of things to do in the morning. Grrrrrrrr!!

Christmas Cheer

Sometimes it takes me a little while to get into the spirit of Christmas. This year, I decided to get a jump on it because I would not be home enough to enjoy the normal decorations at home, I decided to decorate the truck!!

Merry Christmas Everyone

Dec 15, 2011

Change of Plans

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I had the brilliant idea that I would shut my truck down during the course of the Holidays in order to get a few more pesky repairs out of my hair. Thinking that this would ensure my home time with family, I have been babysitting a few minor repairs needed on the truck. The Boss half heartedly agreed to my plan.

Guess what, I am now sitting on Day #2 of  Repairs. Not exactly what I had intended. This is probably eating into my home time for Christmas, but I will have a new hub cap, oil leak repair and exhaust leak repair. I was told to stop and check on the one leak, which I was trying to prevent until next week. Day # 2 !!  Exactly the reason that I was stalling. Still to come, a recall on a fuel line and the 60k service, which I understand takes a few days? WHAT??  I guess this is still better than being stranded in Michigan during the Holidays. But I do tend to get a little antsy while waiting around....  And I have more Christmas shopping to do. Doesn't help that I tend to "suffer" a little with seasonal depression. I cannot wait for 2012 to arrive, hopefully with my repair wish list completed and unlimited possibilities for the New Year... Yeah,I am going to own this one. Already have my resolution in mind too, and somewhat excited about it. So before I ramble too much further...

Dec 14, 2011

There's a First Time For Everything

With every first experience, there is an appropriate emotion. In car-hauling, with every "first", there is an appropriate amount of anxiety that follows.

I remember my first solo load of 9 Honda's. I felt so empowered. But I also felt the anxiety of not knowing if I had left enough room to make my turns. Did I really measure the load correctly for height. Did I strap everything tight enough. After leaving out with that first load, I was extremely nervous for the first two hours. I was scared to make a turn, knowing I would hear the crunching of the bumpers between the tractor and trailer. It never happened, and by the time I delivered the cars I was feeling pretty empowered.

With each load, I gain a little more confidence. With each load, I am still learning new techniques. Every single auction load is different and "theory" really plays a major role in how to load. There have been a few times that I was going to be challenged and a vehicle was pulled before I got the opportunity to test myself. I wish I had been given the F350 dually!! The Express Vans would have been nice!! But even the more manageable loads are able to teach me something.

This week, I was given a 8 Ford load which would have been a no brainer, but with 3 dealerships involved, I planned for efficiency. This is the first time I have placed a pick-up over the hood and the height had me nervous. Even though I used the drop pockets, I did not use the lowered chain pockets... Now, I know. This is also the first time I have placed my second unit so far back into the trailer. That had me worried too. Of course, the equipment is built to be used and guys have been doing this for decades. But, to me it is still very new and with each "anxiety" comes a certain satisfaction. "Hey, I did that and it worked!"

Now that I am beginning my own rhythm, I am actually looking forward to the harder loads. My trailer, while being quick to load, also limits my capacity. It is really kind of cool to test someone else's logic and see how it falls into place. So far, so good!! Did I mention that I love hauling cars!!

Dec 13, 2011

Scratch and Sniff

On a side note....

I rarely get personal on my blog, perhaps this is something I will attempt to conquer in the coming year. I have one resolution already in mind for 2012 and while it may be a challenging one, I am determined to implement it. But that is another personal post...

A few weeks ago, I managed to get by the apartment late one Friday evening. I quickly found that my washing machine was not working. I say quickly, but it was actually 2/3 through the cycle. I called for maintenance and was told that unless it was an emergency, no requests would be handled until Monday. It was an emergency, at least to me. I was set to leave on Sunday and really needed my work clothes to be clean. So, I loaded up and headed for the nearest laundromat. Ewwwwww!! Such a simple task, but I prefer to complete it in the comfort of my own home.

Not sure how quickly I noticed it, but..... Within days, my skin was covered in splotchy red welts. Reminiscent of mosquito bites, only twice as large and ten times more irritating. OH EM GEE!! Make it stop itching. Pretty sure I removed several layers of skin trying to alleviate the itch. Nothing seemed to help. This was weeks ago. I believe the irritation was due to the previous user of the washer or dryer having recently worked with fiber glass insulation. I was able to rewash all of my clothing and the bumps are subsiding.

Obviously, I did not get all the clothing rewashed, as they have started again. This time on my feet and butt. Week number 3 !!  Yeah, I am aware that whoever used the machines could not have cared less what residue they left behind, but needless to say I am MAD...

At least the washer at home has been replaced. And that my friends, is about as personal as this blog gets. For now, at least.

Dec 8, 2011

Car-Hauling Etiquette 101.1

I know this applies to all motorists in all situations, but as a friendly reminder.... Do Not Tailgate a Car-Hauler!!

I don't have any information regarding this accident, but it is definitely not a happy ending. I hope the ConWay driver survived!!

And in other news.....

There are only 2 reasons I did not apply the brakes in this situation. I did not want to damage the 2 cars on the back of my trailer. At this range, I can guarantee you that the Fed-Ex driver would not be able to see my brake lights anyway. Notice, there is nothing keeping him from the left lane except ignorance!!