Road Tested Living

At the Road Angel near Brownstone Illinois.

At the Road Angel near Brownstone Illinois.

About a week ago I had one of those loads truckers sometimes enjoy.  I had about 1000 miles on my trip, 8 hours a day I could legally drive, and 5 days to drive it in.  The best part is that the receiver was a drop so I could get it there early if I wanted to. Loads like this are nice as it gives you the time to stop and do things such as visit sites, stop by a casino, or restaurant you enjoy, maybe even do a little shopping. I was able to work my trip so that on Wednesday I could stop at the Road Angel near Brownstone Illinois, for the night.  Free showers laundry, and Wi-Fi who could ask for more?

After  a relaxing evening including a shower some laundry and getting some work done on the blog I went to bed.  Next morning I got up visited with Dock, Mary and the rest of the staff had a nice breakfast and about 1130 got on the road.  I had about 350 miles to go and did not have to deliver till Friday about 1300.  So far things were looking good and going according to my plans.

On the way there the weigh station heading Eastbound was open, so I pulled in along with a group of other drivers had my weights checked. I was legal, and  proceeded to the Petro Travel Center in Effingham Illinois to get fuel.  After getting my fuel and a cup of coffee to go I was walking back to my truck.  A good habit when you drive any vehicle when your approaching it is to look for anything that seems out of the ordinary or odd.    This load was heavy and heavy loads do have a tendency to press on the tires making them look as if they may be low on pressure even when they are properly full of air.  However this tire was sagging far more then normal.  I grabbed my air gauge and tested it.  Zero lbs of pressure. Huh???  It was full of air about 30 minutes ago when I started my day.  Thinking that there was a problem with my gauge, especially as this is a brand new truck with 13, 154 miles at that time so surely I can’t have a flat tire.  I pressed my hand against the tire and it wobbled,  Dang!!! it really is flat.  There goes my planned schedule and being done early for the day.

Piece of metal in my drive tire

Piece of metal in my drive tire

I began inspecting the tire and quickly saw a shard of metal sticking out of it.  I figured it to be a nail or a piece of scrap metal.  I then contacted my company to let them know of the issue and checked in with the shop.  They gave me an estimate of how long the repair would take and I went to grab some lunch.  A couple hours later they informed me that it was repaired, and to come and get my truck, and paperwork.  The shop man told me they had to replace the tire as it was not repairable.  I commented that I must have picked up the debris while passing through the scale area.

He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted my wrench back.  Wrench???!!!???  What are you talking about???!!!???  He repeated do you want your wrench back.  What wrench I asked. The wrench in your tire.  What wrench in my tire???  (By this point myself and a few other people were having flashes of Abbot and Costello).  The wrench that was in your tire he repeated.  Where is it I asked.  Over by the tire cage.  I went over to the tire and yes there was a wrench in my tire.  I had ran over a 3/8 open ended box wrench.  It had punctured the tire and damaged it to the point it was not safe to repair.

Anyone need a Wrench???

Anyone need a Wrench???

After about 3 hours of waiting I was back on the road. I was fortunate that I still had plenty of time left on the the trip to make an on-time delivery.  I actually showed up about 12 hours before my scheduled delivery time.  This included a few more brief stops for some groceries and other errands.

While I can look back and see all sorts of humor in this (it still brings me a chuckle and memories of my version of Whose on First) it also is a reminder that even small things can be dangerous.  So regardless of the size vehicle you drive always take a moment to check your tires.  A few moments of inspection can save you much aggravation later.

Anyone need a new wrench???  Has a slightly used open ended box wrench for sale.   Its a Bargain at 500 bucks…..

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I have been driving in the trucking industry for 9 years working for a major over the road refrigerated carrier. In "previous lives," I have worked as a police dispatcher while in college for Geology and Sociology, spent time in restaurant kitchens, and spent 9 years in retail electronics. Of all my jobs, I enjoy probably enjoy driving the most, with cooking not far behind. During my time as a driver my weight went up and my health went down. In the last few years I have made the decision to start taking back my health. RoadTestedLiving.com chronicles my story, as well as that of other drivers. It will share tips and tricks that, if they work for professional drivers with limited time, space, and equipment, they should be able to work for anyone. It also allows me to share my passion for the trucking industry, and good food with others. Simply put, Road Tested Living is all about Learning to Live Well from Life's Lessons on the Road.

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