Friday, December 23, 2016

Heading Out

I pulled into the yard, parked my car, and went over to my truck to start a trip from Omaha to California. It was just before dawn and a crisp 20 degrees outside. I unlocked the truck and put my suitcase in the storage compartment under the sleeper.

I raised the hood, checked the oil, scraped the ice off the windshield, and then climbed up into the cab to start the engine. The Cat engine had manual glow-plugs on each cylinder that had to be warmed up before starting. Once the cold engine started, it rattled like a fuel dragster waiting at the starting line.

I turned on the heated mirrors to clear the ice and got back out to do my safety check. I went around the truck to check the tires, springs. and lights. I checked the refrigeration unit on the trailer to make sure it was maintaining the correct temperature.

Once I was sure everything was good, I closed the hood and got back into the cab. I brought my logbook up to date, verified the load manifests, and headed out.

I put the 13 speed transmission into 1st gear and eased my way out of the yard into the street. The oil in the transmission was still cold and stiff so I double clutched very deliberately as I worked through the lower gears.

Once I go onto I-80, the engine had warmed up to where almost all you could hear was the whine of the turbo through the twin stacks. The transmission was shifting smoothly as I made the last shift into 13th gear and got the truck up to 70 mph. The Kenworth tractor, the big Cat engine, and the 45' Utility trailer were all now working in sync.

Another potential adventure had begun!

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