Friday I was loaded with three 210bbl 16'x6' fiberglass tanks headed for Evans, CO. As in sixteen feet wide. I had an escort, and we were on I70 west of Colby, KS. Single escorts run behind wide loads on four or more lanes. He hollered at me that I was really smoking. I looked in the mirrors, and sure enough, there was a rapidly growing cloud of white smoke issuing from the right side of the truck. As I slowed down, the smoke was pouring from under the hood, so everybody around knew it was serious. I threw on the flashers and pulled over as far as I could so the tanks didn't hang out in traffic - that meant I had to park over halfway into the ditch.
Before I even popped the hood, it was really obvious that the culprit was antifreeze - it was coating the whole right side of the truck from the firewall back. After raising the hood, it was very easy to find the culprit - a hose had split and coated the hot turbos with engine coolant.
What really irks me is that this hose is less than a year old. The old one was bellied out, so I replaced it and another hose on the upper end. This is a high dollar hose - not just your average black rubber one. They are known as "silicone" hoses, supposedly long life and able to stand extreme temperatures ever so much better than the black ones. They are also expensive - the two hoses cost close to two hundred bucks when I replaced 'em.
I was only a few miles from Colby, so I broke out the Droid and started searching for parts. Nobody in Colby had this exact hose. I'd
One of our drivers happened by on his way home from Utah - he went to Colby and dropped his trailer, and bobtailed back out to my escort and I. We'd set up the required emergency triangles and I was continually on the phone. When my compadre (who is senior to me and more experienced) got there, he decided the first thing to do would be to get me off the interstate. We would cobble up a temporary repair with duct tape, refill the radiator (I had two gallons of premix antifreeze), dolly down my trailer, and get to the next exit about a mile away. He'd get under my trailer and take it to a point down the road to meet another of our haulers, who would take the load on to Evans - they were really wanting those three tanks. If the repair held, I'd go to a truck stop at Colby and wait on my compadre to get back.
We had to take the hose off to get a good wrap, which apparently we did. Plus, his roll of tape was some pretty sticky stuff. The radiator cap isn't one of the twist'n'lock on types - it screws in. In order to relieve pressure, we left it loose and taped it down so it wouldn't decide to unscrew itself in search of a new home. Hopefully, if for whatever reason the water temperature came up, any pressure would find it's way out the cap rather than the taped hose.
Meanwhile, I did have a generic hose or two available at Binder Central back in Garden. I never did try to find one in Colby. I gotta admit, I had very serious doubts that I'd make it to Colby. But, I did, and when my compadre got back, we finished filling the radiator with water, and pointed both rigs back to Garden City. Obviously, we made it. I switched the engine fan on manual as well - to help keep thing cool.
I had to trim the new hose on one end - it was about four or five inches too long. You can see that this hose hooks into a metal tube that also has a short hose by the radiator. Other truck manufacturers have different setups, and different parts.
I also got new hose clamps. The originals and these aren't just regular ol' screw into slots hose clamps - they are the "center pull" heavy duty style.
The regular style just don't stay tight enough for trucks - especially during big temperature swings. I get enough "cold water" leaks - where the continual heating and cooling breaks the seal of the hose to the metal, and the clamp has stretched a bit allowing a tiny bit of slack. Fall is a time of tightening hose clamps, even using the heavy duty style.
I also had to find some straight antifreeze, too. Most of the readily available stuff is pre-mixed 50/50 water/antifreeze. Since I'd added a couple of gallons of water, the freeze point had been raised. I put in three gallons of straight - which isn't all that easy to find. I'm also carrying an extra generic hose now, too. I've got the old upper 45 degree hose as a spare, too. I also carry extra belts and fuel filters - just in case.
I'm pretty sure this hose will last at least a week - in theory, it should last for several years. But, the high tech high dollar hose didn't last much more than six months, so there you go. I'm a little more equipped for that possibility now, though, so I'm not gonna worry about it.
Not too much - heh.