Monday, March 23, 2020

Another 75 miles down the road and I could have at least gotten breakdown pay for a day or - well probably much longer but they would have brought me back before then - and get some money out of this trip. Instead, 26 miles out of town, the transmission went out on the spare truck.

I take no responsibility for someone else's shit shifting the gears. Because that's likely what it is and that is very likely the guy that drove the truck before he got fired's doings.  I drove the truck around 1,200 miles before this happened. But, who knows how it looks on me having 2 separate trucks breaking down in a week's time?

Anyway, I made a left hand turn at a light in Henderson, Texas and got a few hundred feet, shifting gears, when the thing went into this loud clunking sound and trucking not moving, clearly coming out of the transmission and clearly - well likely - bearings gone out on a spline and/or broken off gears from faulty driving.

I was pissed.  $1,100 trip down the drain.  I knew what was going to happen.  Another driver would be sent to pick up the trailer and a tow truck to get the truck.  Actually, it was up in the air after contacting my interim manager - Clarice - and her telling me that between drivers off, drivers doing reset and drivers set to do runs tomorrow, that she didn't have anyone.  I don't always believe terminal managers, they have a lot of pressure to keep product moving. But what was I supposed to do? I had already called the terminal mechanic and let him listen to the thing when I put it in gear.

But, Clarice sent a driver that was going to be going on an Oklahoma run down - he arrived quickly, motivated by getting off that horrid Oklahoma run and the prospect of getting more than double the money, he was actually happy about it. I wasn't. I was counting on a beautiful paycheck next week - meaning 2 Fridays from now.

Although I blamed the previous - fired - driver - and yes I still think he brought this about - we are also dealing with trucks with mega miles on them.  I'm on 35 years of driving, I have never burned up a clutch and I have never trashed a transmission.  So whatever happened, was already going on before I ever got in the driver's seat.  I can tell you, with only 448,000 miles on it, the transmission shouldn't be giving up the ghost.

My truck - the one at a Peterbilt shop in Oklahoma - had a bad turbo. I knew that, but it was nice to hear that my analysis was right on. They are fixing it, according to the shop foreman at my terminal.  It's an easy fix in truck mechanics world, it won't take long, I'd like to go up and get the thing tomorrow.  Or the next day at worst.  I dunno, I'll ask Clarice about that tomorrow.

For today? Just sucked that I lost out on that much money.  I might have made $175 at max.

Good news? Krogers in the town where the yard is at? Had some stuff. Milk - for the boys, beef - not alot and limits, but still. Paper/tp aisle empty except for Kleenex, so I got a 4 pack of them just in case. And an abandoned case of water which I quickly grabbed up and put into my shopping cart.  They were sold out in the store of water to the point the water section is filled with Coca-Cola products.  I found it - funny actually - that they had removed the entire egg racks, it was just an empty, rather large, slot in the giant cooler.

We're not going to starve, tho I never expected to.

I had to clean out the spare truck of my stuff today. Just unbelievable.


Now Monday.

Still reeling at the prospect of losing that much money because of a junk truck.

I have no idea what's next. I mean, I should be getting sent to OKC to get my truck - but I've heard nothing from Clarice. It doesn't matter I guess, the day off will be used to go around to a few stores in town and see if I can find some beef and chicken.  Probably not going to be any toilet paper, but I scored a 4 box pack of Kleenex yesterday, those will work if/when the rest of the supply we have is gone. 

But if I hear nothing about getting my truck back by the end of the day? I'll be texting the shop foreman about whether they finished it or not.  It's  just a turbo charger. Easy access. 4 bolts hold it in, some tubing to have to remove, not a big deal. 

The Dow continues to tank. From a high in the 29,000 range not long ago, it's not in the high 18,000 range. That's a lot of wealth wiped out.  I  wonder if my oldest brother took his money out of the 401k he had going?  He also gets a pension.  Business shutting down. People staying home. Money not being made.  Now the government wants to throw money at us.  A mere pittance of what it will take to survive an extended period of no cash flow, it's a waste of taxpayer dollars and they shouldn't even be considering it. I can see offering small business loans - that eventually has to be paid back.  Other ideas I might get on board with, but a trillion dollar package?

It's going to be interesting to see where we are at in 3 months.  And also interesting how long I will have work - provided I get a truck again of course - and when production in these plants starts winding down.  In my view, it's not a matter of if, but of when.  It's all interconnected, the economy. 

Anyway, it's raining out, but that's not going to stop me from heading up to the stores and at least seeing if some supplies are available.  Maybe it will keep others from going? Lol, I'll find out soon enough. 

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...