in the APU shop again…

November 29, 2011

Wrote this on 11-23-11 and for whatever reason couldn’t publish it. Now it works…Oh well! enjoy.

And then there was the Lexington school load. Not on a main road, but a side street without any way of getting a truck and trailer into the area they wanted me in. Yet as most schools are designed, there are cars in places cars shouldn’t be, an island with a stop sign in its middle and many concrete dividers between parking areas. I started backing up the street towards my hopeful unloading area. As I neared the turn into my blind side around the concrete parking spot I knew I couldn’t avoid it. So, I stopped and lined up on one side of the street. They were not happy, thinking I should drive over the concrete parking spot and grass area. I told them I wasn’t going to damage my truck or trailer or the sewer cover I’d have to drive over. Seven hours later they finished and the paper work was signed. With a note I refused to back up into the driveway.

I picked up the FedEx load in Fairfield, OH the next evening. And it was a HazMat load going to Irving, TX. A HazMat load requires certain routes around major cities and I have to be sure the paperwork is in a certain place in the truck [which is different than where I normally do]. Doesn’t sound like much of a deal but I wasn’t a happy camper. When I accepted this load, I wasn’t told there’d be anything HazMat on it. And that was probably what caused me so much grief. For two days driving to TX. Then looking for the address of FedEx in Irving, I found out the load really was suppose to be delivered the next day. But I talked my way into dropping the trailer early.

I’m parked in the Landstar terminal which is a combination of dirt, rock and soft spots. Which when it’s wet the soft spots can shallow a truck. As we drive back and forth, turning right and left, in and out around the parking lot we ‘tear up’ the parking lot causing even more soft spots. Having been stuck in a soft parking lot I had to be pulled out of, I’m a little concerned about getting out of the very wet parking lot tomorrow. Only time will tell.

I’ve been 4 days without a working APU. Again every time the unit starts it runs for a couple of minutes then shuts down. Parked in front of the shop I started the unit a couple times and it didn’t start. Yet as soon as I pull into the shop bay the unit starts up and stays running. Long story short, the tech notices on starting the alternator runs up, then down before it runs up again and stays there. Like it coughs before it gets going. He convinces his boss the alternator should be replaced on a warranty. However, they won’t pay for the labor. As the shop has no ‘manager’ on duty [everyone somewhere else today] they have to call someone else. They call the Thermo King area rep to see if he’ll pay the labor. He does. Another blessing I so often forget about.

I pray we’ll all be safe this holiday season, using Thanksgiving to remember our blessings. Living in America we take everything we have for granted everyday. Today, look around your world where you can change someone’s life, if only for a day.

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November 29, 2011

this is a test, only a test. had it been a real emergency you would have been directed to someone who could actually solve this problem

Yes, it does seem like early mornings are my best time of the day. Probably because there’s not as much 4-wheel traffic. And it’s quieter with not as many distractions to take my focus away from the road in from of me. Of course, I also witness the birth of another day in all its splendor. These first photos are from this morning as I head towards San Antonito. The clouds reflect the rays of sun light against the darkness of night.

I was able to capture the full moon between two trucks waiting out their ‘rest period’ over night.

I was able to spend a little time in Phoenix this last week. I had to buy a new phone . But as I was setting it up, the touch screen wasn’t working properly. Then the alarms wouldn’t ‘sound’. I decided to return the phone for a full refund. I was able to get a replacement of the Dash3G I have. It hasn’t been working since I bought it and have complained over and over in the last 18 months. But the ‘new-to-me’ one isn’t working any better it appears. I can upgrade my phone in Dec and my contract with T-Mobile is up in March. So soon I’ll have to get a real ‘new’ one. It’ll be a touch screen but not sure which one yet.

I joined Mom and 2 of her friends for a dinner of chicken and dumplings at their favorite restaurant. For me, it was a nice change of meals. Will unload the first half of the chairs I’m hauling in the morning just north of Houston. Then head to Lexington, KY to finish the load.

This is a picture of the same sunrise, simply a different angle of the camera. It’s amazing that a simple change in angles will give you what looks like a different picture.

The weather in Tx is mild with sunny blue skies.

This is from a few days ago.

Hope everyone enjoyed the ghosts of Halloween a few weeks ago. And it’s turkey day ahead of us. And they are putting up Christmas in the stores already. You better be good, better be nice or Santa Claus will skip your house!!

Another beautiful sunrse. Sorry the picture taken at 65mph doesn’t give it justice. The bright rays breaking out of the clouds is refreshing and gives me hope.

the colors aren’t very bright yet but they are changing…

I’ve now been leased to Landstar 4 weeks. While looking back it hasn’t been near as bad as I thought it was at the time. I’ve been a lot busier then I think I was! I’m finding it’s really time consuming finding a well paying, long distance load. A lot of them are less then 500miles, which many

times isn’t worth taking it. And it will probably simply put me into [another] poor location looking for a load. It’s a learning experience, and it’s been steep at the bottom getting started. But the last few weeks have been better and right now I’m feeling much better.

Let’s recap the last few weeks. I pickedup copper core out of the Port of Houston going to north of Dallas. Next morning, made three stops with electrical wire, ending up in Pensacola, FL. That same day took a load of clothes to Central FL. Then had some work done on the truck, 2 days. Then the weekend, with no load, waited 2 more days. Then ended up dead heading to Orlando to wait [3 days] on a VERY CHEAP load that took me out of Fl going to Ft. Worth. BUT before I even emptied out in Ft. Worth had a load to pickup in Dallas. It was kitchen /bath cabinets, with 4 stops, finaling out in

Columbia, SC. And before I emptied out the last cabinet had booked a load picking up in Charlotte, NC going to Fontana, CA. With drop/hooks on each end. Now, this is how I thought it should be!!

While I don’t have a load out of CA yet, I do have 4-5 agents who do have loads out of there looking for me. I’d be surprised if I have to wait more then a day or two.

Part of the ‘trick’ is to have enough days between pickup and drop so agent can find a load for you. And being in better locations is certainly a bonus.

I’m still having problems with my APU. It gives off a fault code [after 2 minutes, it just shuts down]. But so far no shop [I’ve been to 7 dealers] has found the reason why. Last week after it faulted, I reset it, and let it restarted itself a few mntes later. Over 20 times in 3 hours it would start then shut down on it’s own [I was watching a movie]. And every time I would reset the controls, hoping it wuld keep running. But it didn’t. However, I was happy, because now maybe we can find out what the problem is. After I parked in the ThermoKing parking lot the next afternoon [they make and service this APU] I thought I’d start the unit, just to be sure it didn’t work. But it did work! Five times I started it, ran it for 5-6 minutes, stopped it, restarted it. Repeating the cycle again, again, etc. and it didn’t shut down. O, well. That was 5 days ago and it’s been running like brand new. Until some time this morning. It fault coded and stopped on it’s own. I restarted it several times this morning and each time it coded and shut down. Afer I stopped this evening, I started it again and it coded, twice. Then on the third try, it kept running….O, well. I’ll take what I can get out of this unit…

Will spend the morning calling for a load out of CA and looking on the Landstar loadboard. Have to put in 600miles tomorrow. Then into CA the next day.

As you put together your Thanksgiving plans, might I suggest you think about serving others this year. It’s a great time to volunteer at a food bank and or a street mission / shelter. Trust me, they are always looking for more willing hands. All help is appreciated and no training or special skills are required. Just a willing heart and the right attitude. I promise you will never look at life again the same way. We are all so blessed and should give back a little. And in person is the best way. You don’t need to dress up, just show up!!