• September 2010
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  • Visited

    States I have been to

    37 states so far

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Big news all around

Well lets see, where do we start? Well first off, on my last trip, I had my wife, Judy, along with me for the whole trip from Winnipeg to Texas to Vancouver to Washington to Saskatoon and back to Winnipeg. We had sort of kept it under wraps because we didn’t really want people to know that the house was empty for that length of time. But everything I experienced over that trip was also experienced by Judy AND it was the first time she had seen many of the states and some really interesting sights. I KNOW she will be along for another trip soon.

Then, just as I was thinking about taking some time off, my company phoned me and asked if I would take a run to Nogales, Arizona and take a trainee along with me. So this is the second trip in a row that the passenger seat had been occupied (this time either by him or me). I had heard rumours that I was getting a new truck, but (on Friday) when I talked to my company, that didn’t seem to be the case. So I planned on taking my regular truck to Nogales.

Well it is amazing how quickly things can change, on Monday while I was waiting at my loading point, I received another call from my company and was told about the change in plans.  I was now to return to the yard to pick up my brand new 2010 Kenworth T660 truck!  🙂

Well as great as this was, all was not good.  My new truck had 155km (about 100 miles) on it when I picked it up.  It had that new car smell that only a brand new vehicle has!  BUT on the way to Fargo, ND a warning light lit up on the dashboard, advising about high fuel pressure.  The gauge would max out and then return to normal and then repeat.  We stopped at the Kenworth dealer in Fargo,and after a couple of hours was told that it was a faulty sensor, and not critical, which is lucky because there was no replacement part available.  We were told to continue on, and it was time to play “catch up” on our time.

However, that certainly was not the end.  As we continued down the highway, just south of Denver, CO, another light and gauge issued arrived.  This one looked much more serious because it was an “High Oil Temperature” warning.  After pulling over to the side, silencing the annoying chime, we checked oil and continued on our way once the light had extinguished.  As we climbed hills, we noticed that the truck was now seriously lacking in power and the oil temperature gauge would slowly climb.  We limped our way into Albuquerque, New Mexico and went to the truck stop to contact our company.  We were told to go to the nearest Kenworth Dealer, which luckily was just a few miles away.  But on arrival, we were told that the tech had gone home for the night.  This did not please my company and the phone calls were under way.  Not quite sure what transpired over the next couple of hours, but a tech was dragged into the shop and eventually went to work on our truck.  This was an amazing thing because I was told the tech would NOT work after hours…but someone somewhere had a lot of pull.

After looking at the truck for a couple of hours, it was determined that a $5.00 disposable part had basically disabled a $130,000+ brand new truck!  This part was a screen in the oil cooler that was supposed to be removed at the first oil change, which was over 20,000 km in the future!  This screen was plugged completely, preventing anti-freeze from circulating through the oil cooler, setting off the gauge, light and chime!  Once the screen was removed we were back on our way, but extremely far behind and HAD to be in Nogales in approximately 12 hours and we were at least 8 hours away.  With some luck, good planning, and shared driving by my trainee and I, we made the delivery on time!

So now empty, we headed up to Eloy, Arizona and took a much needed break.  Which also allowed me to visit some friends in Phoenix.  One whom I have known since 1999 (hi Keli) and one who I had never met in person, but finally got the opportunity (hi Mark – I know you are reading this!)  🙂  But that is all for the next update…along with the strangest load I have had to carry so far.

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