Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Always a Rainbow

Today, on the way towards home, I was on I70 just west of the Johnson and Eisenhower Tunnels. Climbing the grade, I saw I was catching a Pathfinder pulling a single axle trailer with a much wider wheelbase than the Nissan. Following was a four door import. The Nissan with the trailer was taking up two lanes - there are three lanes eastbound to the tunnels. I was in the middle lane. The car seemed to be running interference for the truck in the middle lane - when he wandered over, it protected his "six."

So, I watched this for about ninety seconds, because my truck was outpulling their rig, and it's curvy. I considered using the far left lane, but I wasn't running as fast as traffic in the fast lane. Besides, he seemed to get it together and stay in far right lane. I figured he saw me coming.

I was easing up on him and suddenly he started drifting into me. I heard some crunching noises and saw something glittering explode to hood level. He still hadn't noticed me, and in fact, was about to collide with the front of my truck with his Pathfinder.

I laid on the air horn. He had been gesticulating and shaking his head, too busy talking to his passenger. He immediately pulled over. I did not - there was very little shoulder and a guardrail there. It wasn't a safe place. So, I went on up the hill until the shoulder widened, stopped and inspected the damage.

Apparently the trailer tire and wheel got up against my front wheel and shattered all the plastic chrome nut covers, which was the glittering trash I had seen. The chrome hub cover (brand new, I put it on last week) was dented. There was as tire scuff on the fender drop behind the front wheel.

He had to be running beside me crabbing that little trailer against my truck. It was a very close thing that he didn't get his truck into mine. I couldn't move into the other lane because of the traffic - to avoid him, I'd have to shove someone against the center "Jersey Barrier."

I never saw them again. I called in to CHP to report what had happened. I didn't want to be accused of hitting and running. They had not received any phone calls from anyone else about the incident. I flat out told the dispatcher he was not maintaining lane discipline and it was his fault. She agreed, and we figured they wouldn't want to report it because it was their fault. Who knows, he might have been drunk or high, suspended license, no insurance or whatever. The dispatcher told me if they didn't show up real quickly, to just drive on. She had my company name, and my name and number.

I hope he got a flat tire, the moron. If I hadn't had the new hub cover installed, he might have broken the sight glass on the hub oiler, and I'd have been parked until someone could come out and put in a new one. Trucks like I drive use gear oil to lube wheel bearings, and there is a hub with the outer wall made of clear plastic, so the oil level can be checked. There is a plug in the center that can be removed to add oil. The plastic is durable, but it can age and crack. It won't take a direct hit, though. I'd have made sure the idiot would have to pay for that, had it happened.

I am continually reminded that fifty percent of intelligence levels out there are below average. Driving with his head firmly ensconced in his rectal area on a very busy and dangerous road only proves it to me.

So, I managed to get through Denver without incident, and the further east I went the more showers I ran through. This picture was taken about two or three miles east of the Kansas/Colorado border. Into every life some rain must fall, but sometimes, there is a rainbow. My day could have taken a far worse turn if that moron had actually hit me hard. There are some large dropoffs there, plus spinning out may have caused him to roll. His day could have been worse as well, but at the moment, I have little sympathy for his problems.


Sezme said...

1. Glad no one got hurt. That could have been really, really bad.

2. Nice pic.

threecollie said...

Wow! That was one close call...what an idiot!!

Anonymous said...

Just getting caught up on your road stories. Raises my blood pressure reading about it. Glad there's still a few pro's like yourself running 18-wheelers.

Bob's Blog said...

sorry you had that experience. Our nation does not appreciate truck drivers like we ought.