Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Down But Not Out

It has been a few days, but since my last post I've been running like mad and getting the job done.

When I last posted I was heading to Plainview, Texas to pickup a load going to New Mexico. However, it was not to be.

About half way to Plainview dispatch called me and begged me for help. They had a load which was missed and was running two days late in Friona, Texas at the Cargill meat plant.. The load was going back to Ft. Worth and they really needed it taken care of.

Being the nice guy I am I told them I'd take care of it. I turned through Lubbock, Texas and headed up the back roads to Friona and got there about midnight. Luckily the load was already ready for pickup, it had better been since it was supposed to be picked up on Friday and it was now Sunday morning.

I looked at my options in regards to how many hours I had left and how far I had to go and decided I'd make a run or Wichita Falls, Texas and then camp out for a few hours and then pull it in the rest of the way.

I got into Wichita Falls about 6:30am and parked it. I had only planned on sleeping 3-4 hours but ended up crashing for a full ten hours.

Once I got up, I checked in with dispatch, took a shower and started the three hour trip to the AWG distribution center.

I arrived about 9:00pm and dropped their load, then at dispatches request I ran up to the yard grabbed another trailer and headed back down to the AWG DC to do a midnight run to Midland/Odessa, Texas.

Luckily for me when I got back with the trailer I was supposed to drop my new load was ready so I picked it up and took off just after 10:00pm.

This particular run was a two store stop and I was hoping that each stop wouldn't take that long, and good for me it was. I got into the Odessa store and even though the store didn't open for another hour once I got there they got me unloaded and I was out by the time the store opened.

I hopped down Highway 191 into Midland and unloaded the second part of the load and made my MT call. Dispatch told me to run up to Plainview and pickup a load going back to the AWG DC, and since I was out of driving hours I told them I was going to camp out in Big Spring, Texas then drive up and pick it up. No problems there as the load wasn't going to be due till Wednesday morning.

After a good sleep and a shower there at the TA I headed up to the Cargill plant in Plainview and picked up my pre-loaded trailer and started to head out.

Now, things started to go downhill from there.

I got about thirty minutes out of Plainview and the truck broke down, it had overheated going up a hill.

After going over the truck to see if there was a problem I could not find anything, I even repositioned the trailer to redistribute the weight on the drives.

I spoke with Tom on the phone about it and he suggested I head up to the TA service center in Amarillo, so I turned the truck around and limped it up there. Luckily it didn't stall out again, but then again I was only doing 50mph instead of my usual 62mph.

I called dispatch and let them know the issue and they were glad I made it to TA without having to be towed. That would have cost the company close to $2000.00 to tow the tractor and trailer the 75 miles to the service center.

I got in just at midnight and checked into the shop. They said it was probably the thermostat as I told them I didn't hear the cooling fan kick on while going up the hill as it should. Unfortunately they said it would be 3-4 hours before they could get me in the shop.

At 3:30am they called and said they were ready for me, so I moved the truck into the bay and they got to looking at it and said they were unable to work on the engine due to the configuration of the system in this truck.

So, luckily again for me there was a Freightliner dealership with a 24hour shop across the street (if I had known about it I would have gone there first!) to get it worked on.

After calling dispatch I went over to the Freightliner shop, dropped the trailer and checked in at the service bay. They said it would be no earlier than noon before they could get to it as they had nine trucks in line ahead of me for service.

I crashed out in the truck. It is now about 10:45am on Wednesday and I'm watching them move trucks in and out of the shop. Hopefully my time will come soon ...

[Miles Driven Since Last Post: 1342]


spiritwalker said...

My head is spinning. You've been gone since Saturday night, right?

Texas Mike said...

That's correct, left Saturday evening around 8pm.