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Friday, April 23, 2010

Charlotte Truck Center

Charlotte Truck Center
My truck broke down on the entrance ramp to south I-77 30 miles north of Charlotte, NC.

I was on my way to Augusta, GA to pick up my load for the weekend. As I drove on the entrance ramp, my truck stopped moving forward. I kept pressure on the accelerator - nothing.

I called an "on the road" service truck. They came out, changed my fuel filters, which had just been changed at my recent oil change, but could have been bad if I picked up some dirty fuel.

Nothing. They attached their mobile diagnostic unit to my engine. Nothing. They said something was wrong that their mobile unit could not code.
So, I called Charlotte Truck center, the closest freightliner center. They called a tow truck for me. An hour later I was hooked up to the tow truck and on my way to the truck center... I keep up perfectly on all of the maintenance recommended for my truck and NEVER wanted to be part of this scenario.

We pulled into the center. It was very busy. When I signed in, I found out they were so busy they would not be able to get me in until Monday, it was Friday at noon. =(
They had a Red Roof Inn shuttle bus to pick up stranded truckers. I gathered my stuff, including laundry and emptying my frig, since I would be in the motel all weekend and the Red Roof rooms had refrigerators! I got into my room and "settled in". Put my stuff in their the frig in my room, went down the hall and put my laundry in and then sat on the bed and turned my computer on. Now...what to do until Monday!!??
On Saturday morning I decided to walk to the truck center, about 1/2 mile away. I got into my truck and grabbed a few things I thought I would need for the rest of the weekend. Then walked back and went the other direction a mile to buy some things at the Rite Aid Pharmacy up the road. As I was walking I saw the Saturn Rest and Rehabilitation Center. See my blog to find out what came out of that!! Very Fun! ( "Started as"just" an Idea)
So, after waiting out the weekend..Monday morning came.....

I walked back to the center. My truck was still in the lot. I got in and laid down on my comfy cozy bed to wait. I didn't wait long, about 10 minutes, and my driver door opened. They were here!! They reattached the drive shaft that needed to be disconnected to be towed, they hauled out the battery charger as the battery died over the weekend and drove it, slowly, with no acceleration, into the repair bay. The diagnostic tests began.

As much as I have enjoyed the power and ease of my 335 HP Caterpillar C-9 engine, (Cat C-9) it turns out it has a design defect. The HEUI pump (pronounced: Hewey) shaves off little metal flecks, like metal dust. They get into the fuel as it is pumped to my fuel ejectors, clogging up the ejectors and therefore taking away all of my acceleration. Not only did the HEUI pump have to be replaced, but so did all 6 ejectors, at a cost of $457 a piece. By the time I drove out of there Tuesday afternoon, with the Roadside service truck, tow truck, motel and repairs, it all came to over $6,000, as well as losing the weekend load, all-in-all it was very heavy hit for me.

Special note: I do want to say I am very thankful for James, the Service Dept Head and Don, the certified Cat Engine Mechanic. They were very informative, patient and kind in helping me with all of my questions and concerns. James patiently answered everything I asked and Don took out the little magnifying glass and light and showed me the little metal flecks he was telling me about. They made a very "painful" situation for me as easy to take as could be taken. And I appreciated, very much, the reduction they were able to take off of the retail cost of the parts.

This is the first time in my life I have owned my own "HOME". So, I know these are upkeep costs like all home owners deal with. It is all new to me, but I am still very very very very thankful I have this wonderful truck!! I have pictures on the sidebar of this blog.

I am now back On The Road. I had a load to Maryland and now am on my way from Richmond, VA to Chicago, IL.
God is so Good and takes care of me Mtt 6:25 -34
Life is Good.

1 comment:

  1. What a story Mom! You are an encouragement to me. Having such an attitude with such an abrupt and large sum of monies needed to be spent...