Yup, you read it right. I have reason to start putting the little "Location:" thingie at the beginning of my LJ entries once again. After eleven very LONG weeks, I am back on the road. And I must say, they gave me...
Ain't she pretty? Picked her up last Monday in Allentown, PA and spent most of the week in Ohio tooling around the Toledo area. I'm not exactly thrilled with being in a Peterbilt, I've grown rather accustomed to the Freightliner over the past couple of years but... damn, ain't she pretty. I'm not quite sure I like the way she handles and I definitely don't like the loss of headroom... but. damn she's pretty.
I definitely won't miss that butt-ugly blue truck with the funky decals plastered all over it. Oh yeah, and besides looking great she sounds even better, in everyway. For one, there's the air horns. On the Freightliner Century the air horn is mounted beneath the fiberglass of the body which muted the sound. I have two of these baby's right on the roof - when I yank down on the cord, you know it. The 600hp CAT that's in her sounds mighty sweet, too. And when I lift my foot from the fuel pedal and the jakes are on, people are looking around to see what the hell is making that noise. The tranny is an Eaton-Fuller straight nine top-2, which was the transmission in my Freightliner which I hated. This one seems to be a bit better though, might have something to do with the CAT instead of the Detroit. I had a lot of trouble in the Freightliner with the top 2 wanting to shift smoothly. In this Pete it shifts rather smoothly, now the problem is sometimes it doesn't wanna make the auto shift at all and I have to clutch to get her jump up to ninth. All-in-all, I'd still rather have the Super Ten top-2 that was in the first two trucks I drove. Also, the twin 131 gallon fuel tanks are nice after the teensy 95 gallon tanks on the Century. I can get over 1000 miles under the tires before I gotta worry about feeding her. I also like the passenger side step box for storage and a much roomier side-box. The only real downside I see to working in her is her size. With the long wheel base and shorter turning radius, I can think of several regular places I have to back that are gonna be TOUGH with this monster. It's also tough getting used to those stacks, especially on my sight-side. I've grown accustomed to making the 45-degree backs while looking out the side window at my trailer when I'm in the tight part of manuever. In this Pete, I can't see around the stack.
The real downside though is the creature comfort factor. It's hard to tell in the photo, but this isn't one of the high-rise condo's - the top is just an aero on top of a rather low cap/sleeper. I stand in the sleeper, but the roof is only inches from the top of my head. In the Freightliner I could strecth my arms above my head and still not reach roof. Not only does it make it feel cramped in a very real, physical sense but also in terms of it's diminshed ability to store personal affects. The high-rise sleepers have a lot more vertical space to provide cabinetry and cubby hold space that just doesn't exist in this truck. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm gonna get all my shit and me and a cat in there. It's going to be creative I'm sure.
Did I mention she's pretty?
Anyway, I have lots more to relate concerning the big Midnight Sun reunion but it's getting late. Now that I'm back on the road and have made it home to grab my stuff (namely my computer), yours truly will soon be back in the swing of things with the journaling, especially with the reading. I hate falling behind and I miss reading all your journals, there just hasn't been enough hours in the day as of late. But soon my pretty... and your little dog, too!