Enjoying the time off!

I am not sure if I would call the last two weeks a vacation, I have been working hard but on projects unrelated to trucking. My boss called me and said the 1.4 million mile truck I have been using had to go into the shop. He couldn’t understand why the transmission needed to be rebuilt, the head gaskets were shot and the brake air tanks were bad and had to be replaced. To make a very long story short, the total cost for the repairs were in the neighborhood of $3,000 – $4,000 dollars! The owner of the company, who I might add doesn’t have a clue about anything to do with trucking, couldn’t understand why it cost so much to keep this truck running. I’ll give you a clue, Mr. “Boss”, THE TRUCK HAS ALMOST 1 1/2 MILLION MILES ON IT’S ODOMETER!

About three weeks ago, I pulled into a Washington state DOT inspection facility and “volunteered” for a #1 inspection! In the career of the DOT inspector, he has only had a couple of drivers, including me, to volunteer for a #1 inspection. I felt unsafe in this truck, I wanted to make sure from the standpoint of a DOT officer that this truck met the minimum standards to stay on the road. For instance, the seatbelt latch was held together with duct tape! I didn’t show that problem to the officer, for I know I would have been placed out of service until the latch was replaced. I knew that the new part was sitting in Seattle and it would be repaired that weekend.

What does it take to get unsafe trucks off the road? Why don’t the owners of these fly-by-night companies understand that trying to fix an old horse doesn’t necessarily make good business sense? Penske truck leasing offered our company brand new trucks at a cost of $1,500 per month, per unit! The company is paying at least that on monthly repairs per truck, averaged over a years time. Just does not make sense to me.

So I sit here at home wondering what my next move will be. Do I look for another job? Do I become a dispatcher or freight agent? I will keep you posted on new developments in this weird world of trucking!

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