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i was born in the back seat of a greyhound bus

left Frankfort on Thursday morning, deadheading to Nashville with a short run back over the border to Morgantown, KY. Then I popped back down to Springfield, TN and picked up a load going to the Washington, DC area. This afforded me the opportunity to spend the night at home in Frankfort en route to the east coast.

he truck has been running nicely since the additional repair work last week with the exception of someting wrong in the fuel system. It had actually started a few weeks ago while out west. When descending grades and engine was required to provide some of the braking power, the check engine light would come on, then got back off when I accelerated again. It only did it on occasion and so infrequently that I had forgotten about it. It began doing it a lot on Thursday and and by Friday morning, it was staying on for long periods of time after the smallest of grades, taking forever to go off again and only after a long bout of acceleration. What's worse, I was experiencing a degradation in power while the engine was on, and some sputtering. I stopped in Charleston, WV and had the fuel filter changed for good measure and that seemed to clear things up. No more check engine light... for about 100 miles then it started coming on again on the grades and got steadily worse, but not as bad as before.

hile having not one, not two, but THREE tires replaced on a loaded trailer I had picked-up in Williamsburg, VA on Saturday morning, I was browsing through the shop store and saw a jug of Howe's Power Klene, a lubricant and cleaner for diesel fuel systems. I bought a jug figuring, what the hell, and put it in the tanks the next time I fueled in northern Maryland on my way to Tobyhanna, PA. There was an immediate improvement, but the check engine light still comes on every now and then. I'm guessing the fuel injector is just old and dirty and that it's been causing diesel to back-up into the filter housing on downgrades, tripping the sensor. I'll keep giving it treatments to see if it cleans it out enough that it's not something worry about any more, or at the very least, until I can talk with someone in the shop back home.

n my way to Tobyhanna, I picked up Tim, a fresh out of trucking school student. He's a young guy, all of 21 years, and from Lowell, Massachusetts. He has an exotic accent that suggests he may originally have come from the Caribbean, but I'm not sure. When I asked where he was from all he offered was Lowell and I'm not the prying type. I'm only going to have him for a few days though. When he was assigned to me, I called the student department and told them about my plans to train mxpwr. He's currently on a trainer's truck, but they're having a little bit of what you could call a personality conflict. The original plan had been for me to get mxpwr after his PTO midway through training, but now we're coordinating a crossing of paths in Omaha on Tuesday and he's planning to forgo the time-off and just do the whole thing straight through. I explained all of this to them, but they still wanted to get Tim on the truck with me rather than having him sit in Allentown all weekend. Besides, he has a great chance of picking up another trainer really quickly there.

ight after picking-up Tim last night, I was getting ready to merge onto U.S. 22 east when I experienced what felt like a loss power of power accompanied by a loud hissing noise. My first thought was "What now?" as I pulled over onto the shoulder of the ramp. After a cursory examination, I deduced I was losing air rapidly, which is what the loud hissing was. The loss of power was actually drag from the spring brakes engaging due to the loss of air. With the brakes set, the air stopped leaking. I let the tanks recharge with air and while leaving the trailer brakes set, I released the truck brakes and the hissing began again so I hopped out and grabbed my flashlight to inspect. I crawled under the truck and found the air hose attached to my brand new brake chamber disconnected from the fitting on the frame of the truck. They shouldn't have had to have removed it to replace the chamber, so I'm guessing maybe they had knocked it a little loose while working on it and the lovely roads in the DC/Baltimore area had taken care of the rest. I was able to thread it back on and tighten it up with my trusty channel locks and it was all good.

o, right now Tim is driving us to Anne Arbor, MI where we have to deliver in the morning. We just got on the Ohio Turnpike. He did rather well across the mountains on 80, considering it's his first time driving; he's a little weavy and gear grindy, but that's par for the course with the new guys.

'm still getting a late straggler or two on the gams photos. There's still time! These legs belong to fujerica, my proverbial mama bear. Mama bear's got it goin' on.

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Omaha? I can make you lunch or dinner if you're in the neighborhood...

If I beat mxpwr to Omaha and have to wait around on him, I might take you up on that offer.

Woo Jessica!

Aw, Tim is so cute. He does look awfully young. And skinny!

I miss you. Landlord painted the rest of the closet doors today so the house smells all paint-fume-y. I hope he puts them on tomorrow.

Yeah, in that picture he looks like a little kid playing 'tend-like.

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your posts are alot like mine when I started driving.. I waited and waited forever for a frickin trainer.. finally got one and he was older than dirt and smelled really really really bad.. but alas, he taught me alot of stuff.. I should look him up again..

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when you're trapped in a little box on wheels, thats important..

I left IT, went trucking for awhile, then back into IT.

I've had a few students that were equally as hard to live with. It cuts both ways. ;-)

I thought that post captured the very essence of your relationship with your trainer.

Heh. About a week and a half ago, I picked up one of our tractors at the lease company in Buffalo, took a trailer out to Syracuse, and came back. When I was swinging around to dock the trailer when I got back (making a U-turn in our yard), I heard a pop and saw a puff of dust from under the trailer tandems. When I looked out the window, I noticed that the red line (which had been replaced) had pulled out of the glad hand, so that the glad hand was still attached to the trailer, but the air line was hanging from the tractor.

Heheheheh. I haven't had a whole lot of air woes, so far. Most of them have been in the category or non-functioning trailer brakes which I was the first to catch (read: actually do something to get them repaired). The thing which irks me about things like trailer brakes or trailer tires (especially THREE OF THEM) is that either the previous drivers a) didn't bother to pre-trip their trailers or b) didn't want to waste the time to get them fixed so they drove on them and left it for the next driver (and the next, and the next) until I got stuck with it.

And of course, I'm too much of a team player to let it slide so I'm the one who ends up sitting at the truckstop getting trailer repairs.

Of course, I figure I'm least likely to be the guy who ends up in a jack-knife or rollover due to some preventable mechanical failure.

ya mama bear! woot!

sounds like you need the services of a ride along mechanic :D

Oh to dream. I've always thought the perfect road team would be two drivers and at least one of them was a qualified diesel mechanic.

Of course the problem is where you'd put all the heavy duty tools you'd need. I'm hoping to build a good relationship with the shop back home for general maintenance and repair. They seem like good people and they have a fair price on their labor.

yeah, one of the downsides of owner operating I guess..paying the repair bills!

And that is nothing to sneeze at. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get through the next few months relatively trouble free. I need to stockpile some operating capital.

btw..Lowell...birthplace of Jack Kerouac *tips hat*

I knew he was from New England from some old radio interviews I've heard of his. I just didn't know where.

Maybe I should turn my focus to trade school. :^P

You know that scene in The Jerk when Navin is working at the gas station and he puts the power-grinder on the car, pushes the button the it sends him flying off to the side?

I have this image of you trying to take the lug nuts off a truck with a pneumatic wrench. You'd pull the trigger then you'd spin around like a pinwheel.

'dat's me! I try not to take sides but I will passionately defend any friend I feel is being hurt needlessly. :-)

btw, may I add you? I particularly like your profile page and uhh, well, you just kinda seem like my kind of person... whatever that is.

sure thing! welcome aboard :)

Hee! *Waves to Tim* I'm a "neighbor" of his, from Tewksbury MA, one town over from the lovely city of Lowell.

I've always liked the whole concept of "the "Check Engine" light, which I've never had on any car I own. It always sounded to me to be akin to going to the Doctor to be told "There's something wrong with you. I have no further information."

Yeah, I know what you mean. At least, for us lay people. But the auto's computer can return fault codes telling a mechanic what sensor set it off. In the case of trucks, there's actually a way the driver can do it. It makes the Check Engine light flash in different patterns which is a code telling you what sensor set it off. I really need to get a manual for this truck so I can decipher the fault codes. I'm pretty sure on this one, though. Dirty or failing fuel injectors is my diagnosis and I'm sticking with it.

Now I'm off to search for Freightliner manuals.

You may want to look in to the injector timing. The truck I'm in now had an issue very similar to how you explained it.

Yeah, I figure it's something with the fuel inejctor setting off a sensor. I just don't know what. I really don't have the moeny to a) stop rolling and b) to pay the repair bill at the moment so I'm just going to try the cleaning treatment for a while and get some miles in. It seems to be helping.

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