Short Rant

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Griff
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Short Rant

#1 Post by Griff » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:03 pm

Well... if it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any at all. But, on a more positive note, my short rant is nothing, a will o' the wisp compared to those of fellow levergunners and other in FL.

So... I'm driving along I40 in AZ last night on my way to Reno... going down a long hill into Seligman, AZ... and over the tunes of Eric Clapton... I hear an odd rattling noise. So, I grab the shifter lever... and notice that it's a bit "wobbly". Not normal. And, when held in a particular position, the sound drops... but, the truck has a funny feel to it. So, since my speed is inching it way above 70mph... actually running away from 65 to now nearly 75, in less time that it takes one to read this... I start braking. All good, my speed drops, and I downshift... only the loudest clanking and clunking ensues! Oh, this is not good.

I was planning on stopping in Seligman for the nite, and so I let it continue... then, with additional braking I begin my descent down the off-ramp. I drop from 11th gear to 10th... all the untoward noise stops! I proceed running thru the gears in a reverse order until 5th, then simply brake at the end of the ramp and come to a stop. I shift to 2nd gear, and move thru the intersection. Up to 3rd, skipping 4th, I shift into 5th and pull into the truck stop parking lot. Back into a spot and settle in. I call a 24hr shop and describe the noise... oh, he sez, "that's probably just a snap ring came off your direct gear set, and shouldn't be a big issue for a 'gear' guy! If the others weren't making noise, just down use those two.

Ok, I count sheep and next I know it's morning. Start off and pull onto the entrance ramp and begin to accelerate. Since I want to get up to speed, I don't skip any gears as I usually do, and when I hit 4th, the same noise and loose, floppy shifter starts up. I quickly move into 5th, back into a nice rhythm. Ok, don't use 12th & 13th I remind myself. 70 miles to the 1st shop. Yep, they're open on Sat., but not for a couple of hours.... I can make there, it means I can only run @ 55, @ about 150 more rpms than I can normally run @ 65! Yep, those two overdrive gears are wonderful!

So at the shop... takes ½ the day, but they finally bring a few teeth the mechanic found in the bottom of my transmission. Okay, the transmission was installed when I had 967K on the truck, it now has 2.4M... and the trans had about 450K when I bought it! 1,924,xxx in total on the trans... ok, it was the only major component that hadn't been replaced. Was there a better time to do it. Not really, and this is just as bad! I have to have this load in Reno on Monday morning. And it's loaded on MY trailer. So I have to PAY someone to drag it from Kingman to Reno, and then back again! Plus the $6.6K to put in a rebuilt transmission. No shops seem to actually do any mechanicin'! Just swap parts!

After burning up the phone (cell) lines all day, I'm ready to check into a motel... Hey... what smart phones are for, right? Apparently, not mine. It chooses this moment to die. Dead battery. No sweat, plug it into the charger and get it going again. Oh, no... not this time buster. It wiped all my call history, contacts, and just about everything else. But hey! On the bright side, it reloaded all my apps. CRS, you'll be glad to know that your son's app came back up fine, I can all my favorite cartridges and loads... IF I were at home! Just about everything else works, just not my phone directory!

The good news, my son is on his way in his truck, no trailer, and will pull mine up to Reno, deliver the load and return my trailer... then bobtail back home and resume his vacation. And I'm sure that sooner or later, my phone will finally sync up with whatever it needs to and download my contact list. Maybe! The transmission rebuilder has a distribution center in Las Vegas, (folks actually do stuff besides gamble there, who knew?). They have one in stock and they'll have the new trans down here on Monday, the shop promises they will have it installed and I'll be on my way on Tues.! Just with a $6600 debt to pay! Luckily, I just finished paying off the new (now 3 years old) engine last month!

I don't know what the 3rd thing to go wrong will be, but it won't be a cat 5 hurricane! So, I count my lucky stars and pray for those that have that on the horizon.

Okay, it wasn't so short... but Rant Off!
Griff,
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fordwannabe
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Re: Short Rant

#2 Post by fordwannabe » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:22 pm

Oh the joys of owning a truck....thats why I went to Nursing school. Sorry bud, hope they get you rolling again soon.
a Pennsylvanian who has been accused of clinging to my religion and my guns......Good assessment skills.

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Re: Short Rant

#3 Post by gundownunder » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:03 am

THANKS GRIFF.

I needed that.

I'm in a crappy dead end job that pays lousy money, and today I was driving around the fenceline and thinking I should ditch the job and buy a truck.
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Re: Short Rant

#4 Post by GunnyMack » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:45 am

Griff, just be happy that your truck didn't say F U I'm done and leave you stranded on the hi way in need of a costly tow! Or it let go and left you free wheeling with no transmission in heavy traffic and caused an accident!!
Yeah $6600 hurts your wallet, that's a lot of miles more to pay off but it could have been a lot worse!

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Re: Short Rant

#5 Post by Pitchy » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:06 am

Man Griff that`s a bummer and I pictured the whole story in my mind as I drove semi for a short time.
Glad ya got it figured out and will be on the road again to bad about the cost though.
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Re: Short Rant

#6 Post by Larkbill » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:38 am

You O/O's have all my admiration, running any small business is a challenge but being an over the road O/O is pretty close to the top of the list. I came to trucking at age 59, thought I would retire from my car dealer parts job, but oh well. I was lucky to land at a small private fleet hauling specialty equipment we have to set up and get operating before we turn it over to the customer. Child's play compared to the juggling act you guys do on a daily basis. How are you coping with the electronic log mandate?
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Re: Short Rant

#7 Post by M. M. Wright » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:25 am

Sorry 'bout that Griff. I too was an O/O, (Owner/Operator) for a few years. Got to run down nearly every road in the US and only ended up $8,000 in debt. We griped about the regulations and regulators back then, (1970). I can only imagine the hoops you must jump through today.
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Griff
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Re: Short Rant

#8 Post by Griff » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:43 am

gundownunder wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:03 am
THANKS GRIFF.
I needed that.
I'm in a crappy dead end job that pays lousy money, and today I was driving around the fenceline and thinking I should ditch the job and buy a truck.
Every event has two potential outcomes. Good choice to reconsider that buying a truck thought! I do love being my own boss tho'... when my wife lets me!
GunnyMack wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:45 am
Griff, just be happy that your truck didn't say F U I'm done and leave you stranded on the hi way in need of a costly tow! Or it let go and left you free wheeling with no transmission in heavy traffic and caused an accident!!
Yeah $6600 hurts your wallet, that's a lot of miles more to pay off but it could have been a lot worse!
Ugh... tow, bad things, I've been there, done that. THAT ain't no box of chocolates, you know exactly what you're gettin' there!
Larkbill wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:38 am
You O/O's have all my admiration, running any small business is a challenge but being an over the road O/O is pretty close to the top of the list. I came to trucking at age 59, thought I would retire from my car dealer parts job, but oh well. I was lucky to land at a small private fleet hauling specialty equipment we have to set up and get operating before we turn it over to the customer. Child's play compared to the juggling act you guys do on a daily basis. How are you coping with the electronic log mandate?
My truck is a '97, exempted from that bit of foolishness. If that changes, I'll probably sell the truck and look for a job as a "parts guy"! :o After moving to TX I took a job as a Contract Manager, (glorified buyer), that petered out after a run-in with a stupid, myopic city councilwoman. Been asked back twice, turned 'em down just last year... maybe if they ask again, I won't... the one stickin' point, telecommuting... they don't want to let me do it.
M. M. Wright wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:25 am
Sorry 'bout that Griff. I too was an O/O, (Owner/Operator) for a few years. Got to run down nearly every road in the US and only ended up $8,000 in debt. We griped about the regulations and regulators back then, (1970). I can only imagine the hoops you must jump through today.
Other'n the electronic loggin', there probably ain't a lot more regulation, mostly just changes in the same ol', same ol'. The de-regulation under Reagan and E. Dole as his Transportation Secretary eliminated a LOT of the roadblocks to operate in more areas, increased competition, and reduced freight rates. Every one except truckers thinks that's still a good idea. Except for the fuel surcharge, I probably make the same as you did back in the '70s. If this had happened in Dallas, it would have been much cheaper to take mine to a shop near me for way less money, and they would have rebuilt mine! This probably gave me warning signs, and if I was smarter, I would have recognized 'em.
Griff,
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There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!

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Re: Short Rant

#9 Post by BlaineG » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:31 pm

Dang and "pelosi", friend. :(
We've talked about my record short driving career. I really sucked at it and I'm glad I moved on.
Are you going to be on the wet side of WA anytime?
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Re: Short Rant

#10 Post by Stevie » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:50 am

My son in law decided he was going to make a living as a in-state trucker...grain..fertilizer..molasses .that sort of thing.

I told him and my daughter both that a truck has to be rolling down the road hauling something to make money...and when it's running it is burning fuel...tires and parts...near constant expense.

So ok they know this...but I mean really!...He buys an ancient Peterbilt that supposedly is in tip-top shape despite the years and miles. So 80,000 miles later the engine gives it up and needed rebuilt....then after some tires and air bags and brakes(the things trucks eat-up besides diesel and oil and filters)...he loses a u-joint on the rear drive-line...so instead of getting the truck towed to the nearest repair facility(or simply removing the rear drive shaft and limping home on the front drive axel)..son in law tries to chain the rear drive shaft and go. Ruins the rear axel and needs a $3000+ differential!!....And then about 60,000 more miles his engine rips again...mainly because he wants power and won't have his Cat engine turned back to rated power....

Ahh the joys of trucking!!...My daughter had to get a job or two to feed the kids!

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Griff
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Re: Short Rant

#11 Post by Griff » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:39 pm

Been "sorta" there and done "sorta" that, got the T-shirt to prove it!
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Griff,
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There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!

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Re: Short Rant

#12 Post by Sixgun » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:14 pm

Griff,
If it makes you feel any better, I can relate to your misfortunes. I too, had a horrible day. I put the loader on the Kubota today and went out back to destroy some wild roses..these woody plants have thorns and grow like crazy and these things keep creeping out and you have to destroy them from time to time. Anyway, I got the tractor in a marshy area and got mud on the tires...just the front tires. So......I drive back up to the house and went to get the power washer out of the barn and the dang thing had a FLAT TIRE. It was one of those little tires, about 8" in height. It was so tiresome (no pun intended) to wheel the pressure washer 25' to the air compressor but I did it.....THAT was a two beer pull. After I get the pressure washer to the air compressor I realize I could have just lifted the air hose from the compressor and walked the hose to the pressure washer!!!!! All that sweat for nothing!

Hey! For the misfortune you had, you lucked out. 2 mil on the trans...it did not own you nothing....your boy saved the load.....you had the means to replace the trans as to finances and your cell phone saved you A LOT of walking and leg work (no pun ntended) to find the repair shop to put you back on the road. Shyt happens and the truck Gods made it a smooth transition for the repair.-----6. (I really did get mud on the tires of the tractor and the pressure washer did have a flat :D )
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Re: Short Rant

#13 Post by JohndeFresno » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:08 pm

Bad stuff should NEVER happen to a Clapton fan!
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Re: Short Rant

#14 Post by winchester1886 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:13 pm

Back on the road again yet Griff,been there done that, been thinking about you hope you are up and running. Good luck. Les D. MACK driver from downunder.

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Griff
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Re: Short Rant

#15 Post by Griff » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:20 pm

Yep, back up & running! Shop got it all buttoned up on Wednesday 'bout noon. Finally found a good load outta Las Vegas going to Chicago... the one bad point! Left Kingman about noon Thursday, (my time) after a leisurely breakfast. 1st impressions: 1 - Wow, is this thing QUIET! At least 75 decibels less than the old one, even before it puked! 2 - Just how tight it is. I slip-shift, no clutch except starting & stopping. I have to pay attention and make sure there's no tension on the gears, or it just doesn't want to come out. The top 4 gears are split into high & low, operated by an air powered plunger. To shift from say 8 low to high, you move the red button from back to front, then ease up on the throttle, as gear tension is released gears inside the tranny are slid, and when you've dropped the requisite rpms, it completes the gear change. It used to clunk pretty badly, not anymore! Quiet and silky smooth!

I didn't get out of Vegas until 2pm yesterday, but that meant I got to see this:
IMG_0049.JPG
And while I'm at it, if you have the opportunity to travel I80 thru Kearney, NE, stop at the Archway Monument & experience the Great Platte River Road exhibit.
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Griff,
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GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!

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Re: Short Rant

#16 Post by Sixgun » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:24 am

Good news Griff!..yea, there's something about new gears....everything is all nice and titty....errr....tighty.....almost gives ya a new lease on life.....at least that's how I felt after the new trans in the old '89 Jeep.......and yes, you take nice pictures......does the rainbow mean your orientation?........

Well, gotta go buddy...I'm gonna try to get up before noon tomorrow. :D ----6
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Re: Short Rant

#17 Post by wolfdog » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:59 am

Glad you are back up Griff. Biggest problem with building transmissions is getting parts. Last time I built an 8ll it took over 2 weeks to get the pieces. I could have had a rebuilt the next day. Luckily down time was not an issue.

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Re: Short Rant

#18 Post by piller » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:44 pm

Just my 2 cents worth. It appears the costs are that high because the manufacturers know that you have little or no choice.
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