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putting the old beast out to pasture
Location: Knoxville, TN

Russell and I are headed for the company terminal in Atlanta tomorrow. The old beast, as stormodacentury once called her, is being put out to pasture.  That's right folks, I'm getting a new truck!  I was expecting this to happen sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as the odometer was quickly approaching the 400,000 mile mark.  It's happening a bit sooner than I anticipated.  I'm not looking forward to lugging things out of one truck and into another, but I am looking forward to a new truck.  Hopefully it's a new, new truck so I don't have to worry about moving again for a while.  This will make my 5th truck in 3 years.  I'm also hoping to get a Freightliner, as they have much more roomier interiors; a necessity these days with the constant riding companions since I began training.

Anyway, in honor of the the ol' girl, I thought it'd be fun to do a little photo tribute to my time spent with her over the past year.  She is rather photogenic, and I have more photos of her than any other truck I've driven so far.

These first two photos were taken the same day as the one I use in my icon, at a warehouse in Denver.  It was a bright, sunny day and I had just washed her the day before, so she was pretty, shiny and awesome looking.

When I think back over the course of a year, she's been there for a LOT.  She took me to San Diego to see the Beastie Boys and my friend Cara.  At the literal other end of the spectrum, she took me for the first time ever into Maine.  She knows about a secret mission I made in Nevada that I never wrote about on LiveJournal because the photos turned-out so awful.  She survived Jason!  She's been parked under two different shoe trees while I oooohed and ahhhed.

I took the following photo of her while photographing the Indiana Shoe Tree. You can see the stray shoes floating in tree limbs above her.

I took these two at Sand Mountain in Nevada the same day I shot the wintry Nevada Shoe Tree pictures.

She's given rides to welfy, mandy_moon, queenkatieett,  and mrslk.  She even turned The Queen, temporarily into a "bad ass trucker".

She watched silently while I engaged in Hulk Hands tom-foolery with welfy...

...as well as fanciful games of Whosit? with mandy_moon, posing as Claude.

She was driven by stormodacentury and 12 other student drivers.  In fact she's helped me train every single student since I began training last October.

Here's a photo I took of Roger last winter on U.S. 50 in Utah with her....

...and one of Johnny in the San Rafael Swell, in Utah as well.

She even bore me to the town in North Carolina which bears my family's name....

...including the family cemetary.

She's been my home more than any other permanent dwelling for the past twelve months.  From within her small cab I have spent countless hours reading your journals, watching movies, reading books, listening to music, sleeping, eating, laughing, crying, and loving.  I've recevied the news of engagements, weddings, births, and deaths.

I've covered 140,000 miles of road and she's always asked for more.

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Awww.. it'll be sad to say goodbye to her!

I love the juxtaposition of that last photo.

thanks. yeah it'll be a little sad saying goodbye to her tomorrow. i'm sure it'll turn quickly to annoyance though when i have to start moving stuff out of her.

yeah. i can't imagine what it would be like to leave trucking altogether... at the moment it's something that is unfathomable to me

your second entry gave me an idea... maybe tomorrow i'll hafta to get Russell to take a photo of me hugging the truck goodbye :)

That was really cool.

My grandpa was a trucker, though he didn't do long haul stuff like you, and my favorite pictures of him are of him with his big truck. He was really meek and mild and small, but he looked so at home with that truck. Your pictures made me smile and remember Grampa Dube. Thanks.

Bye old beast. May the road rise to meet ya.

duuuuuuude.. your grampa's name was Dube? awwwwwwesome

Glad it brought back some nice memories for ya. :)

I'll miss the truck-lovin'. (rawr!)

I won't miss coming down with mono in the truck though.

Truck lovin was one benefit I loved when I drove truck :)

She's a beauty and hopefully the next one will serve you, as well.

With all of the adventures I had on this one, the next truck has some mighty big tires to fill.

That was a truly fine tribute to the ol' girl. It's to a smaller scale, but every five years when Dad sold his current taxi to but the next one, it always seemed to be a time of reflection and thinking about the highs and lows that that vehicle was around for.

Also, that first Sand Mountain photo is just beautiful. Do you mind if I snag it for my desktop?

In the third photo down, what's the white thing hiding under the air deflection thing?

The pics were great. I wish not to offend, but dude, those tanks need some polish. Wen we run into each other (not literally I hope) I will hook you up with some polish. I will even let you use my air powered buffer to get that mirror finish. Then she will be Puuuurdy

None taken. I'm awful at keeping my truck spiffy looking. Right now she's a mess. She probably hasn't had a wash in 2-3 months, much less a polish. I don't find much motivation to get out and keep someone else's truck in a constant state of shininess.

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yeah i have a lot of fond memories of cars, too... especially cars i drove when growing up. when my brothers and i get together, at some point, we can always count on the conversation turning to Cars From the Past and our various exploits surrounding them

Awww, it's a shame but the new truck'll be nice. Hopefully the Freightliner'll work out.

yeah me too. thing is, i have no idea what's gonna be waiting for me when i get down there. and being so lcose to the weekend, with plans on saturday morning, i'm not going to have the luxury of waiting for a freightliner to materialize. i may hafta take whatever they give me then consider doing a swap-out later.

What a great post.

I always have a problem saying goodbye to places I've lived, and your truck is as much a home as any of those places. Hopefully you'll be breaking in a new truck, and that will make the bitterness a little bit sweeter. :)

I always looked twice at the Werner tractors that I see on the road and wonder if it's you behind the wheel. There certainly aren't that many of them. I bet your going to miss that red truck of yours.


there's plenty of werner trucks... but not many bright red pete's ;-) that's the other thing i kinda dread, too... is getting a plain jane baby blue one again... i've kinda liked having a (work) horse of a different color :)

My ex-father-in-law drove a 34 ton Peterbilt similar to yours.

If you drive it on sand, is there a danger of getting stuck?

the photos from sand mountain are a little deceiving... it's a park area in the middle of the desert, so the road in and out is well packed and supports the weight of the truck with no problem... however, you are correct in assuming that deep, soft surfaces such as gravel and sand will make 'em bottom out really fast. in fact, that's how runaway truck ramps you see in the mountains are constructed. it's not the incline of the ramp which stops the truck (many are indeed flat)... it's the loose fill which comprises the ramp... it makes the truck sink and stop.

Ron Wanek, one of the owners of Ashley Furniture, loves his trucks. In the restaurant in the Arcadia, WI homestore, he has a photo gallery of Ashley tractors/trailers all over the US - in NJ in front of the NYC skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Continental Divide, etc.

It's entertainment. :)

Good luck on the truck. I hope it is roomy enough for as many Hulk Hands as you need on your journeys. :)

Werner has an annual photo contest for their employees, whereby the choose 12 photos to appear in their calendar every year. It has to involve a Werner truck in some setting. I've always thought it would be fun to submit photos for it, but my truck is usually so dirty that it's not worthy of that sort of photography.

Shit. That first one of the truck in Nevada seriously got me. Dammit.

And . . . remind me not to dye my hair black ever again.

Peeking in from welfy.

I don't have a particular interest in either trucks or photography, but these pictures are completely amazing.

Giving up cars is tough. Giving up a vehicle and makeshift home at once must be hella tough.
I hope you like your new one :)

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