Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A day from hell.  Started out okay, I guess.  Woke up before the alarm went off, saw my hours reset and decided fire up the truck, drive around the parking lot, refuel and head out.  I parked there last night on purpose: get into a place where I can refuel without going anywhere.  Get it done with my pretrip inspection logged the same.  And, not have to stop all day long after leaving.  I thought, anyway.

The day...didn't go as I wanted it.  My stomach started getting queasy. What did I eat? stuff in the fride, it's cold, it's fresh, there is nothing wrong with it ... and .... I hadn't had any since the night before. The only thing I got at truck stop was a hot cup of coffee. Next thing I know?  TMI - too much info.  Got off the Interstate quickly is what I will say, and too late.

After that.  I stopped 4 times to deal with "this".  I was feeling very crappy too,l I figured a bug, not just bad food.

So, I drove 517 miles dealing with all of that.  But that wasn't the supreme deal of this day.  Ohhh, noooooooooooooooooooo. I was driving through Indianapolis on the hazmat required alt route.  I don't remember, it's Interstate designated but it's a loop around it.  I'm driving along, whoopdee do - and suddenly?  The freaking truck starts slowing down - rapidly - as if I had slammed on the brakes. I was in heavy traffic, in the center lane.  My instant thought was get the thing off the highway or I'm going to be stopped in the center lane. I glanced to my right side and saw traffic was far enough behind, I cranked that truck over to the shoulder where it stopped just after I had gotten it over there.

I had an idea what happened, but I had to go back and look. Sure enough. This trailer - is not like any other trailers that are out there.  They put in all these safety mechanisms, but this particular one, I have been afraid of since I started working for this company. The rear of the trailer has a cabinet with doors on it.  There are 2 plungers that the door pushes in when you close it on the left side.  When those plungers are in, the air system is all fired up/full.  When you open those doors? It releases all the air to that system including the brakes.  The brakes lock up.

And sure enough. One of those plungers? The nut that holds the plunger screw into place was loose. They have no jam nut on it to keep it there.  The roads I was on were brutal, rough, extremely bumpy, the road basically knocked that sucker loose. But note: there are ways to prevent this from happening and I'm shocked the manufacturers of this thing didn't see that or implement it.  Especially with something that can just shut the whole damned truck down. I had noted that this setup didn't have any jam nuts on it from the get go, I didn't do anything about it because - I'm the newbie here.  But, these are brand new trailers and a radically different style than their old ones - and when I say old, I"m talking 30 to 50 years old.

Whatever. I get to 9 miles off from my destination.  I am not  going to sit in front of a plant for 11 hours with no access to a bathroom with this stuff going on.  I'm at a small truck stop, I hope it's open all night, cause I might need it - allll night.  Tho my system seems to be at least stopping all of that if nothing else





















Made it home last night at 1:05 am.  Amazingly, many drivers take 4 days to do this trip which almost always only takes 2.  I'm not sur...