Saturday, December 3, 2016

Penner No More.

Drive-by picture of the Sam Houston Statue on Interstate 45, just before sunset.
A Weeks Work.
____ I finally ran out of patience with Penner International after 15 months of waiting for the job to reach it's full potential. They had some good customers, plenty of trailers and some good runs but I never got more than one decent trip a month. The miles just never amounted to what I needed to get a decent wage. I had a reliable truck and always made myself available for any job but finally gave up waiting for things to get better.

____ The new job is a couple of cents a mile less but promises to make that up by giving better runs than Wisconsin. Ruby Truck Lines main destination is Texas and I started with a load of peat-moss to Laredo. The reload was from Houston and straight back to the Steinbach yard. Orientation was just a couple of hours on a Friday morning, I loaded my stuff into the new truck and set off for a Monday morning delivery. I was given a Kenworth W900; which is still in production, but mine was manufactured in 1998. It might have done 2.4 million kilometres or it might be 3.4 million.

____ The truck has recently been rebuilt after a roll-over and appears to be in good order; I couldn't fault it. A 500 bhp Detroit Diesel, 13 speed Eaton-Fuller transmission, lots of dials, a brand new mattress and a Jake-brake that could wake the dead. Different in so many ways from the Cummins-engined Volvo; it took most of the week to get used to the forward-set steer axle, high-hood and lack of rearward vision. The reversing geometry will take a lot longer to master after being spoiled by the Volvo's wide cab and set-back steer axle.

____ It was nice to have the shorts on for two days, and to be honest, getting away from the Canadian Winter was a big attraction when it came to applying for the job. Day-time high in Laredo was 28 degrees C while Manitoba had a high of 28 degrees F. I feel a lot more enthusiastic about this job than I ever did about Penners even though I have been given an 18 year old truck to drive. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that I had a 27 year old hobby truck at the interview.
Ruby Truck Lines # 94.

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