While in Denver yesterday I procured a new trainee. His name is Bill. He was a driver for 2.5 years but has been away for a while. Due to this fact, he only has to complete 70 hours of training. In short, he knows how to drive, he's just a little rusty and needs to learn the peculiars of working for my company.
Unbeknownst to me, I shot myself in the foot by obtaining him. See, I thought this would insure me getting home in a timely fashion this weekend, but when I let my dispatched know I had a trainee onboard again, one who could already drive... she asked me if I would be interested in taking a load from Ferdinand, IN to Bakersfield, CA to be delivered on Saturday. I respectfully declined, as I was denied an opportunity to go home last weekend, and had already been formulating plans with welfy who was coming for a visit to Kentucky.
Later that morning, while talking with my dispatcher by phone about some paperwork I needed faxed to me, she said "You're not entirely off the hook on that California run". Apparently, it's a fairly hot load and they don't have many options at their disposal for getting it there. She said they were looking for another way to make it work. I told her that I'd be hard pressed to have it there by Saturday, as with my current load, I can't even make it to Ferdinand to pick it up until late Thursday night.
So later in the afternoon, I received my pre-assignment for the next load: I was going to Bakersfield.
Around midnight, after striking a particularly nasty bump in the road, the "check engine" light illuminated the dash. After speaking with road breakdown, it was determined that it was a transmission problem. Specifically, 8th gear is "missing" in the Top 2 auto. This same thing happened just a couple of weeks after I got the truck back in November. It stranded me and Russell in Scranton for a day.
So now I'm sitting in a Freightliner dealership in Wichita. I've been informed that their transmission mechanic doesn't come in until 7:30am, so I'm at least sitting here over-night. At the moment it's unclear what this will do to the California trip or the weekend.