seriously cold….

December 18, 2010

And I thought I knew what cold was. I’ve unloaded commercial freezers. I’ve built shelves in them; I’ve repacked tons of food boxes into them. Once I even craved an ice craving in one. To keep ice cream at the right temp, a freezer needs to be 0 to -10 degrees. I wonder why I worry about starting my truck with a true overnight temp of -11. And a wind chill of about -35 degrees. And then add the snow. While there may not be a lot on the ground, it’s blowing around above the 2inches of ice on the road. These people are hardy people. Seriously hardy people. You just can’t get warm in this type of weather. Even a bathtub won’t stay warm enough. It takes a very large water heater and a shower. Thank God I’ll be ready to roll Monday mid-morning.

This sunrise was neat, with the reflection of the camera in the windshield being pretty cool. The bugs on the windshield not so cool!

What a trip I’ve had getting to this point. I turned in my trailer to Mercer Monday, Dec. 6. The wear and tear was paid out of the escrow monies I had in my account. I left with about $500 in my fuel and $100 in my license escrow accounts. These monies will be used to settle whatever they determine I owe them. I was paid up a week before I got back to Louisville, so I’m not sure what I may owe them, but I know they do.

I started with my company on Monday morning. Good thing starting early, maybe I can get out early. Started my driving test after lunch at the restaurant we’d eat at all week. But the truck won’t power pass 1400 rpm, not enough to move the truck. Thinking it is just ‘cold [it’s actually about 14degrees], keep limping to the highway, ½ mile away. But I decide to shut it down on the on-ramp and call a wrecker for a tow back to the yard. The next morning it’s towed it to the Kenworth / Cummins dealer down the street. I think the turbo has blown itself up and tell them that. Mistake one! Turbos blow more often in the winter than in the summer, I’m told because of ice that may be forced through the blades of the turbo. Thank God, I have a warranty. Wednesday morning Kenworth calls and says the turbo is fine but the fuel filters are clogged, they’ve started to ‘gel’. The water in the diesel fuel freezes and won’t flow though the filter fast enough for the engine to move the truck. I added a couple of gallons of the fuel treatment I’m supposed to use but apparently not soon enough. I’ve learned once it starts to gel, the returning fuel has to be hot enough to melt what’s in the filter before it gels completely. And because the truck sat all weekend, the fuel was already ‘gel’-in! And the water pump had finally broken and anti-freeze was all-over under the truck. Again the warranty comes to my rescue. But I learned when you tell a repair shop what you ‘think’ is wrong with the truck they look there first. And are charging you for every minute even when that is NOT the problem. So, it’s better to say nothing but it broke down.

The planes-on-a-stick I thought was neat. I wonder how many times it took them to land like that?

This learning experience put me a couple of days behind and has moved back my ‘rolling out the gate’ date to Monday, Dec. 20. I’ve already called the main office in SD to be sure I have all the paperwork, permits, insurances and licenses I need to get out the door. And I do. The truck has been inspected, the decals applied and the QualCom installed. Yep, ‘little’ brother will be listening in. But I’ll have more freedom then when I was a company driver. And I’ll be running more miles. And THAT is the goal with this move. I have to really start studying the HazMat regs so I can add that endorsement to my CDL soon as that was a requirement of leasing onto this company and staying in AZ.

I’ll update this for all of you next year as I get moving. From the frozen north country, wishing all of you a wonderful Merry Christmas, again.


I’m in Peru, IL freezing my rear end off. I’ve been accepted to MCT, an owner operator only company, part of the COMCAR company out of FL. I finished off with Mercer Friday afternoon and drove north to the cold county.

I start getting to know the company on Tuesday and should have a first load on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. MCT says they have the miles I need without sitting for days between loads. I’m hoping this new start will fit in with where I want to end up.

I’ll post again as I finish up here and get headed out.

Wishing all of you a wonderful, blessed Christmas.

take a trip on Route 66…

December 6, 2010

Heading out of Camarillo, CA with 4550 pairs of China made shoes headed for KY. Stopped in at Mom’s for awhile. We had a nice breakfast and short visit before I had to get rolling again. Stopped in Tulsa to see Tommy and Chrissy and the girls. Had a nice lunch at a pizza place the girls could play at. Then off again following the modern route 66 towards St. Louis, MO. Haven’t been sleeping well and was really tired. So I was glad when I found this hotel on old route 66 and stopped for the night.

In the morning, the diner was open and through the window I could see people were gathering already. The windows were clean, meaning it was a good place to eat, so I walked over to fill my belly. Doug, the owner greeted me with a hot cup of coco. Man, it freezing out there, I replied to his smile. ‘Wait till winter actually shows up, then you’ll see the wind really blow and it gets colder then witches…well you know what I mean,’ he answered in mid-sentence as he walked to another customer’s table. While I was having breakfast, I had the truck fueled up and checked over.

The attendant found an oil leak and suggested I take it over to Pete’s to check it out. Asking where Pete’s was as I wasn’t from here, he just pointed down the street, saying, ‘the town’s just not that big anymore, it’s real close by.’ Pete was just opening up and found I was missing an oil cap; he just happen to have an old one he gave me. Thanks, Pete I yelled as I pulled away.

Floyd’s was stilled closed as I was leaving and I didn’t need a hair cut anyway. But I bet the chairs are just as comfortable as the ones I remember from long ago. You may remember, with the big pillow backs, and arm rests, the strap to sharpen the razor hanging from the side of the chair and the metal foot rest the barber adjusted to your size. Now-a-days, I almost fall out of the chair at the ‘salon’.

And all this was at a rest area just south of Lebanon, MO on Interstate 44. Pretty cool way of remembering a great highway of long ago that’s missing many of her parts.

I found this in the front yard of a house in Mom’s community. They had several other large characters in the front yard. Since it was daylight, I can only presume there are lights to go along with the rather large fellows.

It’s cold here in KY. About 19, cloudy, and it feels like snow. Snow is forecasted by those who never go outside!