Sunday, June 3, 2018

After all that with trying to get the truck fixed, especially the AC in the sleeper, I drove over to the shop where they had done the work, parked my car there, got in an drove.  When I got to the yard to hook up the trailer, doing a pre trip, I noticed the front right turn signal not working. Upon further inspection, who knows what they did. They fixed the marker lights only to make the turn signal not work?  I swapped out bulbs from one side to the other, no go.  I checked the fuses, none of them were bad. 

Fuse box poorly illustrated for what's what, so I checked a bunch of them.  After that? Well, I don't have a light tester with me so I can't find out whether there is even power going to it or not.  I couldn't find anywhere where they might have messed with the wiring.  Now, why they would call their work completely and not check it out? No clue.  Fixing one thing only to break another is not a finished product, it's shoddy mechanics.  If I get pulled over by Troopers, the first thing they check is lights. Any lights out, they write you up.  I've gone to the trouble to make the company aware of the situation.  The shop closed early yesterday, I couldn't take it back to have them fix it.

Anyway, I just went ahead and drove the truck.  Got to the plant, only to find out that the pump had quit working to pump the ethylene into the tanks.  Well, that had happened earlier, the pump came back online, but now they were behind. So, I sat there quite a while waiting, my turn finally came.  He got me loaded and I was about to leave when I noted the weight.  Huh?  Turns out he had taken the word of the driver before me about the weigh master telling him my weight on the phone.  Why he asked that dude for MY weight I have no clue.  It was WAY off.  This is a heavy trailer.  I had my weight written right on the ticket that I give him, which he always checks.

So, I had to sit there and wait even longer to get the excess unloaded from the truck and then, finally get out of that place over 4 hours later.  I was already 5 hours on the clock, no chance I was going to make it to Brownsville, not enough hours. But I drove that thing for hours and hours without stopping anyway, just to get some miles between me and the plant and also to ensure that I was going to get through Houston, I didn't want to hit morning rush hour traffic. But thinking about it, lol, it's Sunday and there won't be any rush hour traffic.  I have it stuck in my head that it's a weekday for some reason.

Turns out I made it much further than Houston.  I drove 463 miles before stopping. I still had an hour left on the drive clock but it was 11:00 pm and I was wasted tired.  No thanks.  It just stinks not to make it straight down there because if there is no trailer available to pick up, the detention clock starts the minute you drive into the yard and start waiting.  Nothing I can do about it, sometimes that happens on this run, fortunately not too often. At this point, I won't mind finding a trailer down there, turning around and just start heading back up and get the crux of the driving down on a Sunday instead of a weekday. I'll find that out later.

Meanwhile, I'm stopped at a Love's with a "mechanic" shop.  But they don't do much mechanics there.  I asked anyway, told them the situation, "We don't do electrical work here".  Yea I didn't think so but it was worth trying.  The thing is, there is an inspection station about 20 miles south of me.  It's always open during the weekdays, sporadic on weekends.  I always get the pass to not stop - my truck has pre-pass and it always gives me a green light meaning blow by the place and c'ya.  Hopefully it's closed today and I won't have to worry about it. There's a TA down south, it's out of route but after I get a trailer I may just drive the 25 miles out of way and see if they can fix it. They have a real mechanical shop with real mechanics. 

Look the real problem is the International Roadside check that fires up for 3 days starting on the 5th, which is 2 days from now, Tuesday.  You can read about it here:  Their main focus this year is electronic logging devices and do you have it properly filled in.,  Yes, I think I do, but I guess I'll find out.  I can't remember any year where I didn't get pulled over.  Well maybe a few, but your odds of getting a level 1 inspection are good, it's likely going to happen, you need to be prepared. They check the lights on any level of inspection. So, it is what it is. If worse comes to worse, I'll drive the thing back to that shop - providing I even make it there without getting pulled over, they do inspections year round, just during this annual event, they have sites set up EVERYWHERE and pull over as many trucks as they can - and have them fix the damn thing and perhaps give them a small piece of my mind for giving me a truck back that has a mechanic created problem. 

They also did check the brakes, I'll give them kudos for that, I can tell when I hit the brakes it's much tighter.  That's another focus, brakes. A level 1 inspection has them checking the truck from front to back. They even get on creepers and get underneath the truck.  Cracks, oil or air leaks, loose wires, anything and you get written up.  Anything really bad and they will put you out of service. 

That's kind of going to possess my thoughts until it's over and more importantly, until this light issue is fixed. 

I had a fitful sleep last night. Too many thoughts running through my brain.  It's the next morning now, but I got up 2 hours before my 10 rest reset was over.  I did that to at least ask them if they could look at it, but they admitted they can't fix electrical problems. 

Onto other things. I"ve really been weighing this idea of getting into car payments again.  I have that Jeep, it's old but it runs good and mostly in good condition. A few body issues and the headliner needs replaced and fix the AC, but other than that it's really in pretty good shape.  Gas guzzler, but even with that still cheaper than a truck payment and higher insurance to have full coverage.  I don't pay full coverage for old vehicles.  If I get in an accident that's my fault, oh well, send the thing to the recycler, get a few hundred in scrap metal out of it and move on. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do and therefore, I am going to do nothing about it.  Yet anyway.  Actually, if I could find the right deal on a truck, I would go for it.  But, they want a lot of money for old trucks with high miles.  Why would anyone pay 17k for a pickup that has almost 200k miles on it?  How long before it starts having all kinds of mechanical issues?  Alternators, water pumps and injectors don't last forever.  And that stuff costs a lot to replace if you take it to a shop.  I don't want someone's leftovers at a ridiculous price.  I want something at or near 100k miles tops.  These aren't semi trucks made to last hundreds of thousands of miles, millions of miles even, they are pickups and they simply don't last that long.  I'm just in awe that they ask so much money for such high mileage vehicles.

I'm not doing it.  I don't even think the financing I have will allow high mileage and for good reason.  I've seen some high mileage trucks going for 3 grand cash that still look good. That might be doable, then if it needs work you don't feel so bad about it.  You only paid a few thousand for it, what's dumping another couple grand into it? 

Well, my friends have bought an above ground pool.  Getting it this week sometime.  And already having a party this coming weekend.  I was, of course, invited but my manager has a penchant for sending me out on weekends. Of course she does, longer tenured drivers that have the apparent privilege of demanding no weekend work.  It just irks me because it's part of this company's deal: you agree to work on weekends.  Well, that should go across the board, not just for new people.  I have gotten some weekends off, but not that many.  I couldn't commit, of course, but here's to hoping that I can get it off.  I already had to ask for a day off on the 11th to get most of my teeth work finished.  That's very important to me and I would have pushed the issue with my manager had I needed to.  I will have to remind her because she doesn't seem good at keeping these dates on a calendar. 

I probably sound overly negative.  Just everything that's going on right now.  There are always positives in life.  I still have decent health, I have 2 beautiful dogs that love me, I have a wonderful son and a lovely mother still alive and kicking and even driving.  I'm responsible for the bills of 3 houses but they are mostly paying for themselves. I have a job that pays well if nothing else about it seems good.  I just get hung up on broken down trucks and companies not immediately getting them fixed.  And also, a company lying about giving you a new truck to lure you in.  That was a lie, there is no getting around that. 

I just need a good vacation and go somewhere.  I was digging through my stuff looking for my passport.  Can't find it but I know it's in one of those boxes. I want it out and be able to look at it. It motivates me to think about flying over the ocean and seeing a new land.  I dunno how it is going on a vacation alone, but I'm quite content being by myself as long as I have at least intermittent contact with real humans (in person, social media is interesting but it doesn't replace personal contact).  I think I got that from my mother.  She is content to sit up at her property, alone, for weeks at a time. She goes to meetings here and there up there, but most of her time is spent reading books, putting together puzzles and just enjoying the outdoors.  She does have a goofy dog with her tho.

It's not that hard to strike up conversations with strangers anyway.  I'm probably more on the outgoing personality side of things when it comes to that. 

Well, 25 minutes and I can take off. Think I'll do my pretrip and get ready to get rolling. 


Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...