This has been a long time coming as we have been home A LONG TIME!!!
Well to get on point a little better, I’ll start with our last trip out.
July 8, 2011 we left out with Amanda and headed to Cashmere and Wenatchee to get loaded for Pottsville, PA.
The trip started like any other, spent days looking for a load; negotiated the rate for the load; agree on the terms for pick up and delivery and other such details that are necessary and get a confirmation for the load. With all that done we did the shopping and headed out.
We got loaded the following morning and saw some really pretty areas of Washington then headed East.
Photo by Amanda, Yellowstone River, MT
The weather was warm then hot, but it wasn’t quite as hot as the heat wave that blasted the area last month we were just ahead of that.
As we head out we are trying to plan the trip so as to be driving during the daylight hours and shut down during the night.
This way Amanda can see the damage that the flooding has caused in the mid-west and I can contact any brokers that may have a load back that we are interested in.
However, I was having a tough week. I wasn’t finding anything and with the fact that we had to get Amanda home for an ‘orthodontist appointment’ (that had been changed and we were never told). So I was stressing trying to make all the dots connect and get her home in time for the appointment.
We got unloaded and the headed to the nearest truck stop so I could continue to look for a load and as we pulled into the truck stop, Chris notices a sudden hissing noise and when he examined the motor he saw the anti-freeze dripping.
Now to better explain why this is a problem, last November he had Evan’s Coolant put in the truck and as this is a Water-less Coolant there shouldn’t be pressure in the radiator. So with there being coolant dripping and pressure in the radiator there is a problem, now I am not really looking for a load home as we have a major problem and decisions to be made.
Chris calls his mechanic and together they did a little trouble shooting; in order for there to be pressure there is a blown gasket or possibly a cracked head. So they did a ‘bubble test’, for those of us not mechanically incline this is where you take the over flow hose and put it in a bottle of water and if it bubbles the head gasket is blown.
Well there were no bubbles, so it should mean the gasket isn’t blown and the head is not cracked, right? Problem was there was still pressure in the radiator.
So the decision is made that if we head home we can get it fixed at a lessor cost than if we wait around for a shop in Pennsylvania to find time to fix it, plus we had a dead line with getting Amanda home.
So we headed home, without a load because if we did lose the motor while under a load this just created more headaches and incurred more costs to get said load delivered.
So we get home without further incidents and get the truck in the shop for Monday morning.
It is thought that the thermostats were the problem (Chris was skeptical of this being the problem), so they were replaced. It took a week for this to get accomplished (not making us happy campers).
On the following Monday we head down to get the truck as we needed to get back to work but until I know the truck is fixed I don’t accept any loads.
Chris fires up the truck and there is still pressure in the radiator. So NOT the thermostats and now we still have a problem.
Turns out the head gasket had blown out many miles ago, CAT guy said more than 120k. This was also the cause of a slow oil leak that Chris had been asking about for years and was told it was nothing.
So the head is taken off and was going to the machine shop to get resurfaced. Next bit of bad news, some serious cracks were seen and a decision had to be made. So now we buy a new head ($$$) hoping to do some preventative maintenance on the motor. You really cannot afford to broke out on the road.
Over all we were down from July 17th through August 8th, we left home on the 9th and are hoping to get some steady work to pay for all the work that has been done.
It is true though, everything breaks after the warranty expires.