Saturday, June 19, 2010

Truckin - Electrical Issue

I did get the truck repaired. Got an advance from the carrier to fix two problems. The first that caused the power issue was with the Eaton VORAD system. It had a problem and caused a link error between it and the other two computers onboard the truck.
The second problem was with a control valve that sets the pitch of the vanes in the variable-vane turbo called a V-Pod. That little gem cost me $650 to replace. So between the two issues, I racked up $1300 owed to the carrier. If I don't get recertified, I'll owe them.


What can I say today? Pretty bummed out about my first attempt at getting recertified for my CDL. Everything but my glucose levels were ok. So now I'm on meds for Type II Diabetes. A real shocker and wake up call. I may get a chance to get cleared before I go home on the 7th of July. If not then, then I get one last chance while at home. Failing that, I don't drive and will be looking for a job near home.
What happens to the truck? Either I am employed and can continue to make payments until I sell it or call the bank and tell them where to pick it up.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Truckin' - Just when you thought...

things would be ok, another problem come along uninvited. On the way to the shipper today, the weather was getting more wet. Around Cedar Rapids the sky opened up a deluge of rain. It was hard to see anything in front of the truck and lasted several minutes. Then the truck's turbo just stopped making boost pressure and my speed simply dropped to about 50 on the flat.
Without any boost the engine is functioning in "normal aspiration" mode and doesn't make much horsepower. I had to pull into a closed weigh station to get off the highway with all the rain and waited for it to let up. I then topped off the coolant level and checked the fuel filter through the sight-glass and found no problems there. I then sent a break-down message to the carrier telling them of the problem. After speaking with one of the guys in Road Assist I limped into Waterloo, IA about 25 miles away and dropped the trailer off at the shipper.

An interesting thing happened when I turned left at an intersection on the way to the shipper. The turbo spooled up and provided boost pressure and the truck accelerated through the turn as if nothing was wrong. When the truck and trailer straightened out, the turbo spun down again and during an up-shift, the Eaton VORAD failed and the speedometer reading dropped rapidly. I am convinced the problem is electrical.

So now I sit, again. The dealer isn't open so I have to wait to get checked into the service department in the morning. This truck seems to becoming a very expensive liability. With just enough miles to pay the bills at home, there isn't enough to keep the truck and APU running. It's quite frustrating and maddening.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hurry Up! and wait.

Ok. So I get to my destination and deliver the load. That was day before yesterday. So again I'm sitting. I shouldn't complain too much though. The DOT 72 hours inspection blitz is going on. I feel good about my equipment being up to snuff. But the delays and multiple times you can get pulled in for one is a pain. I should be grateful that I'm sitting this time.

I have my DOT physical coming due and will be back in Olathe, KS to get it done.

Nothing much else going on. Just finished the club newsletter and sent that out and decided to read up some more on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. A book I received titled Narrow Gauge In The Rockies by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg details the history of the narrow gauge empire. Very interesting reading on how it was built and how well it thrived. Even more amazing it stayed in revenue operation into the 1960's. Two parts of this vast system remain in operation as tourist lines. The Durango and Silverton Railroad is the shortest of the two. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad operate far more track than you'd think. The states of Colorado and New Mexico own the latter while the former is self sustaining.

Time to head in and get a bite to eat.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Every wonder why someone tells you to go get something and are surprised when it isn't there? Seems odd to me that a company that spent tens of thousands of dollars for satellite tracking devices for their trailers wouldn't know where the empty ones are! Hmmmm.

After spending a few hours running through and around Kansas City, KS and MO, I did finally get to a place where there was one. And Wonder Of Wonders, they didn't know what number it was. Must have fell through the cracks. Mighty big cracks that is.

After getting better from being sick for two days and losing an 1100 mile trip, Things have gotten a tad tougher this week. Fuel prices have dropped and so have fuel surcharges. I wish the customer would understand that when I'm hauling their stuff, they pay for the fuel. Fuel Surcharges are a pain in rear. Looking forward to getting my HazMat endorsement in the near future and have a few more doors opened for it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life and Truckin'

Been driving pretty hard at night. I think with my trouble sleeping during daylight hours when everyone else is up and working, making noise and such, my immune system has weakened. I wasn't feeling very well yesterday or the day before and today I'm feverish. Could be that what my daughter had on my last day home finally tagged me. I had to give up a load with two stops in Chicago and one in Indy. Standing was an effort with my legs shuddering as if under great strain just standing. I tried to refuse the load but was denied. My contract states I can refuse loads so the carrier I'm with is in violation of its contract. I'm not going to press it. Need the job still.
I intended to visit the main yard in Olathe, KS to see if there were any drivers waiting on a load since it was on the way to Chicago anyway. I told them what was up and the guy made a call to somebody and as usual, presented it in a way that made me look like the bad guy. Sweating with fever and leaning on the counter to stand up, he finally looked at me and asked if I was alright. I said to him that if I was alright I wouldn't be asking to have someone else take this load. i also told him that my refusal was denied and I needed rest to recover. He terminated the load to the yard and freed me up for the rest of Sunday. I hope I feel better in the morning. I hate being sick out on the road.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Truck: My APU I use to keep me warm/cool and the batteries charged has stopped working. Stopped at a service shop in Greenwood, LA but discovered a part was bad
the they didn't have in stock. So now I'm in Dallas, TX to get the thing finished and operational again.