Friday, March 27, 2020

Trip to Oklahoma.
First off, the old "POS" - piece of shit - truck - that's what they called it I knew nothing about this truck - was definitely that.  Smelly, old, falling apart, AC in the sleeper doesn't work, no mattress in the sleeper and other internal things. But the worst part?  Hit about 35 mph? And the front end would start shaking violently. Get up to 50?  It wasn't even funny. The whole thing felt like it was going to bust apart.  I texted the shop foreman about it. Yup, he replied, that's why we're getting rid of it.

They knew about the problem but were having me haul 40,000 net payload of Ethylene.  Was rather shocking, actually.

I thought, well, if it comes apart, I hope it doesn't cause an accident.  But it came to pass after stopping it, that taking off, the next time it didn't do it. So subsequent times it did do it, I pulled over immediately and started from stop.  I decided to get rid of the loaded trailer first and then head over to Oklahoma city. 

After parking that truck in the Peterbilt lot, they brought my truck over to where I was.  I said thanks, I'll give you the keys to this truck after I'm done, I have to move out of this one and into that one.  So getting into my truck, I felt nothing but warm air coming out of the AC.  Huh?  I fiddled with the controls, nothing was working.  Nooooo! It was 92 degrees in Oklahoma City yesterday.  So I drove the truck back to the service entrance and they were like, huh?  Umm, when I brought this truck in here, the AC was working perfectly. 

The man runs into the service area, pulls out the records and notes that they, for some reason, pulled the AC lines off to change out the turbocharger. A service tech came out and was perplexed.  He pulled out the AC machine and said he was going to evacuate all of the freon in the system to see if they forgot to put the freon back in.  He then went on for 10 minutes attempting to figure out why they even pulled those lines off of there.  Had nothing to do with the turbo and there was no ticket for checking the AC system. There wasn't one because there was nothing wrong with it.

An hour later - no, they hadn't refilled the freon, hence the system obviously wasn't working - and I was out of there.  But only to the lot next door, lol. I was out of hours and spent the night there.  This morning, I got up, took the truck a mile down the road to Blue Beacon truck wash and got the thing washed. After that? The oddity.  Rush hour traffic time and  very light traffic. I know, the town is shut down to Coronavirus, but the reality of it sinks in when you see with your own eyes the lack of people going to work.

Several hours later - Dallas - the same thing. Like traffic you would find on Sunday.  Everywhere I got, businesses are shut down with signs out front.  Even a Waffle House was closed. Not open and selling food out the door, totally shut down. THAT is very odd for Waffle House, they are the restaurant chain that stays open during catastrophes. 

AT 2 Loves, they had the soft drink fountains barricaded - literally, I mean barricaded - off to customers.  They had an employee working the fountain. Same with their roller grills.  Even guys after peeing or using the toilet in the restrooms were actually washing their hands! THAT  is an anomaly.  Public restrooms are gross because people use the toilet and come out and walk out without washing their hands.  Even weirder these people will talk on their cellphones while pooping and flushing the toilet.  But the new class of truckers is a lot of nasty people with very little hygiene habits.  So I am glad they had that stuff barricaded.  Keep that nastiness out of there. 

In the Carl's Jr. connected to the Love's in Van, Texas, the manager of the store told people to leave.  They had ignored the signs coming into the store saying "NO MORE THAN 6 PEOPLE IN THE RESTAURANT AT A TIME" and an advisory to stay 6 feet apart from others.  She was short and curt about it. 

Now, a 2 TRILLION dollar bill, passed. I can only say that I think it outrageous that we think we can spend this kind of money - that we don't have, dumping that much more into our debt load and that much more on required interest payments.  Trump is on now reading out a list of stuff the money is going to. I don't support Trump or any of the rest of them in this pork filled bill. The should have done a 1/3rd of that much to start with and related to the virus only.  But whatever, this country will eventually face austerity measures.  It will come to that someday.  All of this just motivates me more to get achieve my goal of having rental properties to sustain me in my old age. 

Anyway, I got back to town at 1:30 pm, got 2 runs for the weekend. Yup, she's been keeping me busy. Obviously I couldn't work without a truck but she's definitely making it up.  A run to Brownsville tomorrow and then a run to Oklahoma on Monday.   I don't know about making it back in Brownsville in 2 days - a lot of times that happens, but definitely not all of the time. 

I always take food with me anyway, but I'm not taking any chances.  4 days on the road coming up? Yea, I'm taking a small refrigerator full of food with me.  Eating junk in Truckstops is better than nothing - that old truck had no refrigerator so I took no food with me - but I'll be busy making food for the road in the next few minutes. 

And finally, the lady in the other house.  She was carted off in an ambulance over a week ago, put on a ventilator in ICU and has been in there ever since.  We aren't related, so they won't tell us what's wrong with her or if she's even going to live.  It's - an interesting - thought that we may all get this virus.  But, I predicted when they first came out with the news that it was in China - hadn't spread anywhere else at the time - that the whole world would get it just like any other virus that passes around everywhere.  And here we are. 

Umm, I think I"m done here. The politics involved with this virus is dumbfounding. People are dying, but both sides are playing blame games and politicizing it.  Shameful. 

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...