Sunday, February 27, 2011

Trouble No More

Dec. 3, 2008

Current mood:surprised

Well I got some strange news.  Out of nowhere I was told to come back to Chattanooga, and turn my truck in.  No, I didn't get fired.  I got a new truck.  It was kind of a badge of honor driving Trouble, truck 10540.  She was the oldest truck in the fleet that was still on the road.  When I turned her in yesterday she was at 574,000.0 miles.  She was over three years old which is the limited lifespan of an over the road semi-truck. 

As my co-driver and I were headed back to Chattanooga we were told which truck we would be getting.  She's number 12711, a Freightliner Columbia, one of the newer trucks in the fleet.  You see, as trucks come in they get numbered in chronological order.  This truck has only about 40,000 miles on it.  The previous driver had only driven her only about three months.  They were moving him into a brand spanking new Freightliner Cascadia.

So the original driver has to move all his things out before we can move our things in.  At least he is not a smoker like the original driver of Trouble.  Although, he does chew tobacco.  I already bought the Febreeze to clean the smell and stains.  It did wonders when I first inherited Trouble.

Speaking of which, we had just about gotten the kinks worked out worked out of her.  Sure, there was the fact that we had to pad the door seal so that wind wouldn't come through.  We also had just about gotten that smell out of her.  We also had to watch the air tanks.  She had a very slow leak that the mechanics couldn't find.  It never got worse, but we had to keep an eye on it.  We also had to watch, and make sure that she didn't idle out, because she wouldn't come back on for 10 minutes.   (Note: When after a truck idles for about 8 minutes, the check engine light will come on.  If you don't hit the fuel pedal in the next two minutes, the truck will shut off.  You can usually just turn the truck back on, except for Trouble.  You had to wait about 10 minutes to restart her.)

So now I have a new truck to name.  I'm of the old Asian belief that an infant will tell you their name.  Trouble gave us her name when we first inherited her because we had so much trouble getting everything situated and repaired on her.  We had to put her in the shop twice before hitting the road.  Eventually, she will give tell me her name.

I am glad that the higher ups decided to give us a Freightliner Columbia instead of a Cascadia.  The Cascadia is Freightliner's new tricked out model.  However, they haven't worked the kinks out of it yet.  They decided to make it very aerodynamic, but by doing that they added a few problems.  Namely, there is no place to put your antennas.  You can't connect them to the side mirrors or air defectors.  My satellite radio monster truck antenna has no place to connect on a Cascadia.  So I am thankful that I have a Columbia model.

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