Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pud Load


Morning, rest area east of the KS-CO state line on I70. I've always wanted to check out free internet access at one of these - so I got up earlier to do so.

The truck I've been driving had issues Tuesday. I was noticing some vibration. That is not unusual - steer axle tires wear out of round a lot on these trucks. The cranes we carry really load up the front axle. But, I happened to glance at my differential temperature gauges (one for the front driver, one for the rear, plus one for the transmission) and the front diff was pegged. Uh oh.

So, I pulled over and put my hand on the housing. Yep, burned my fingers. I was able to get it to the nearest truck stop. I'd been running with an owner operator so I had another trailer to work with. Another one of "our" (another owner operator's truck and driver) trucks happened to be there as well. We waited for the repair shop to look at the drive axle to check it out, but we got tired of waiting and decided we had it diagnosed correctly. When I let the clutch out, it would really crack. If I threw the interaxle differential switch on, it quit. So, it was the power divider.

So, we used my crane to "deck" one of the trailers onto another. If we didn't do that, someone would have to "bobtail" to that location to pick up that trailer. Much easier to load it and carry it with us. We used another of our drop deck flatbeds to haul the tractor back home. All we needed was a loading dock, which most implement dealers have on their lots. The local John Deere dealer was the place.

So, into another truck. This one is an International 9900i we bought new last year. The driver is s out with carpal tunnel surgery, so I'm driving it. The load is six 100 bbl water tanks that are 10' diameter and about six feet tall. So, it's a "narrow" load as far as wide loads go. Yeah, I know, it sounds weird, but after hauling sixteen wides, a ten wide is pretty easy.

The motel I stayed at had internet access advertised, but the reality? Not so much. I was put in the furthest room from the office on the second floor of two. Well, I had internet access in the hallway or in the lobby, but that isn't where I wanted it. The owner kept insisting no one else ever had any problems, so I showed him. This laptop picks up signals pretty well. The Comfort Inn next door had three access points I could pick up, but the required a username and password.

He wouldn't give me a different room, either. I'd already gone down to replace a defective remote, and the replacement didn't work either. They need to invest in some batteries.

A lot of these motels have a Linksys router from Wally World in their office where their cable, DSL, or satellite modem is located, and expect that to be an enterprise solution. I've yet to see a Linksys router/wireless access point handle more than about ten or fifteen users, or not be rebooted once a day. This guy was just clueless. I'd expect no one with a laptop had even used the room. So, I'll try somewhere else next time, there are plenty of places in the area to stay that I can park.

Well, better get back to work. Y'all take care now.

1 comment:

McGehee said...

"Morning, rest area east of the KS-CO state line on I70."

First place I saw on Google Earth was just a parking area across the highway from Kanorado, but apparently there's one on each side of the highway in Google Earth's low-res area between Kanorado and Goodland.

I hate those low-res areas. HowTF am I supposed to spy on people?