So, today, I’ll give you a short vignette that may (or may not) be of interest! Last week, we went from Henderson, Colorado to Orlando, Florida. Then, from Orlando to New York and New Jersey, and then back to Colorado where we are now sitting. One evening as I was driving along the freeway toward Orlando, the truck just stopped. All systems down. The lights went out, all power was gone, and the truck was coasting along the highway going from 65 mph to 0. That little event necessitated a tow to the Kenworth dealer in Jacksonville, Florida, 85 miles away from where we were. Now, after you’ve experienced towing a tractor-trailer, you will probably never again complain about having to tow your car! Just hooking up a tractor-trailer to the wrecker is a time-consuming experience in itself, not to mention the expense. Almost $800.00!
We stayed in the Jacksonville Kenworth facility for two days waiting for the emission system on the truck to be repaired. Thankfully, we were able to spend one night at a nearby hotel because the Kenworth trucker lounge was mediocre at best. Still, there were countless hours spent in that lounge. We rejoiced when we got out of there and were back ‘on the road again.’
Unfortunately, yesterday, as we were cruising along happily to our delivery location in Denver it became obvious that the truck was losing air at a rather rapid rate. A semi will ‘lock up solid’ without air. We immediately called the Kenworth facility in Denver to see if they could repair the truck and get us out in one day. We were thrilled to find that they would be able to look at the truck within six or seven hours. If the repair is not too extensive, and the parts are in stock, we have a chance of getting out in time to pick up our next load tomorrow.
One of the things that most people don’t realize is how long it takes to get a truck in the shop, how long repairs take, and how much money is lost. Not just on a tow or the repair, but in the time that the truck is not moving. Then, there can be additional expense if you’re in the middle of the load and miss your delivery appointment! Because there are so many trucks on the American highways, there are always trucks ahead of yours – even when you call in advance, so a 6-hour wait to have the truck diagnosed is good news, and the possibility of getting out tomorrow is worth celebrating!
So, here’s the scoop on what’s going on while we wait. Since drivers often have to spend days in the trucker’s lounge, dealerships try to be accommodating and hospitable. The Denver Kenworth is a 24-hour service facility and the trucker’s lounge is a step above the one in Jacksonville. In addition to a TV and recliners, there’s a washer and dryer (we are washing our clothes right now!) and a room next to the bathroom that has a shower. (I’m going to take mine as soon as I’m done writing this blog!) Now, you might wonder about taking a shower at a truck dealership. First, you wear shower shoes (you do this in the truck stop shower as well), and second you bring your T-shirt, since a dealership does not provide towels like a truck stop does. Yes, we use T-shirts for towels!
Here’s a little peek into the window of my toilette. I have become so accustomed to using T-shirts instead of towels, that I no longer use towels at home. I have bright colored T-shirts in several sizes that match my shower curtain and bring a touch of whimsy to my bathroom. T-shirts have great absorption, they can be incredibly soft, they are inexpensive, and they dry quickly (unlike a thick towel!). It’s T-shirts for me! Now, if you want to try this at home without supervision, two tips will help:
1. T-shirts don’t slide down the body as easily as a towel, so gentle patting is more effective than a vigorous rub. A vigorous rub will cause the t-shirt to simply fold in a roll.
2. Before you begin to dry, do a ‘squeegee’ move on your body with your hands to remove excess water. Your T-shirt will stay drier for longer. Actually, this is a useful thing to do before drying with a towel as well. (This was something I did not know before I got into trucking!)
Somehow all of this has led me to paraphrase Jesus’ words from Matthew 6:34. “There’s really no point in worrying (or even wondering) about tomorrow. What’s on today’s plate is quite enough. In fact, it’s a feast. So, just pay attention to what’s on that plate today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” And, what’s on the plate right now is that we should be back on the road in a few hours, with clean bodies, clean clothes, and a healthy truck. And, we’ll go pick up another load of organic milk and head back on down to Orlando, and see what happens tomorrow!