Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Truck Woes

Well the truck is certainly acting up in an expensive way. Just got it back from the shop for APU service, three new batteries, a three axle alignment and tire rotation only to have it break down within 1000' of leaving Trans Am's yard.
Yep, you read right. 1000' from Trans Am's yard and another 800' to the Freightliner dealer in the direction I was already heading to go pick up a load. The tow bill for an 800' tow? $300 smackers. And that's only the beginning.
After pulling out the driveway of the yard I pulled up to the stop light and just as the truck stopped I felt a particularly harsh shift into second gear (out of 10). Nothing particularly wrong with this as it has done it on occasion on rough roads at slow speeds during approach to a stop. Always has. Even the other two trucks before this one did it. It's an apparent glitch in the speed sensors and the gear speed sensors in the transmission computer algorithms. When various shaft speeds can't quite mesh the shifting mechanism very well, it falls back on a "best case" scenario. Ultimately it feels like it jams in to gear. But I digress.

When the light went green, I started out as I normally would in automatic shift mode. When it was supposed to shift, it didn't. I switch it to manual mode and an alarm sounded and bright red "F" was displayed on the gear selector display stating the transmission computer faild. When that happened, it wouldn't switch gears. "ECM 130" was now displayed on the main LCD panel where the mileage should be. And letting my foot off the accelerator to keep form over-revving the engine did nothing. The computer locked up and I was running flat out at about 4 miles an hour at 2200 RPM and it wouldn't come down. Once I got clear of the intersection, I pulled into the center lane to keep from blocking through lane traffic and switched off the ignition. No way around it. Once the engine speed died down, I switch the iginition on again and again the engine ran flat out to its RPM governor. Switching off the ignition again, I coasted to a stop. It's possible I could have gotten to Freightliner but with traffic, turning left into their driveway was unsafe. Road Assist was contacted and the company sent out a "Big Hook" to tow me 800' into Freightliner.

So we are not yet heading home and I'm losing money horribly. It would take a miracle to pay all the bills this month in time to say nothing of September's bills. This is getting very frustrating and I'm more and more thinking about getting out of the truck and back into an office.

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