Saturday, February 4, 2017

Eighteen-Wheelers Can't Stop On A Dime.

Six Days.
____ "Eighteen-wheelers can't stop on a dime" is an often heard phrase that is perfectly illustrated in a scene at the start of the film "Convoy." The Duck comes over the brow of a hill and straight into the sheriff's speed-trap. He pulls onto the shoulder and anchors-up; the expression on Dirty Lyle's face says it all. "Well. Is that thing going to stop or not?" Many a British lorry-driver, that now drives in North America, remembers the first time he hit the brakes and was surprised by the poor retardation of US built trucks. A disc-braked European six-axle rig an stop on a six-pence. My driving technique changed dramatically when it became clear that the old-fashioned drum brakes needed more time and space to do their job.

____ I rarely get into emergency braking situations and rely a lot on engine-braking. I could have two out of the ten brakes completely inoperable  and not know about it. This is just what happened on the latest trip and it was left up to a couple of Texas State troopers to point it out at a roadside inspection just south of the Texas/Oklahoma state line. Luckily, everything else was in order and I didn't get a fine but I did get an Out Of Service order. It was the fault of the ABS valve operating on the left-side drive axles. A local truck-service company came out and fitted a new valve but only after a five hour delay.

____ This was after another five hour delay at the border on Sunday morning; the load was entered as "paper" when it should have read "peat-moss." All this meant that Tuesday's delivery at Huntsville, Texas, didn't arrive until Wednesday morning. After that, it was over to Waller for a trailer exchange and back North. A load destined for Saskatoon on Monday; but with enough time for me to go home for a log-hours reset. A cold night in Sioux Falls, but I bet it will be colder in Saskatoon.

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