Monday, February 28, 2011
Our Truck breaks down in Ohio
and then our rental truck breaks down after we have been home in Nebraska!
It seems like I’ve been gone for a month! Where has it gone? My time is probably somewhere out on the interstate, where I have been traveling for the last 3 -4 weeks ago, 10 days ago, and more recently yesterday and today!
Back to the beginning. Before our truck broke down on the interstate, smoke billowing all over the place. Before we had to unhook our flatbed trailer, that had our recently purchased tractor on, and left it, along with the truck, at a truck dealer in Ohio. And before the rental truck decides to break down on us, a day before we were to return to Ohio!
Hubby and I left the beginning of February to visit parents in PA. We drove home this time, so that we could bring a tractor home from Ohio. We drove 14 hours to near Columbus, Ohio and stayed an evening with Hubby‘s nephew. The next morning we drove about 2 hours to see this tractor, pay for it, leave our flatbed at the place, and continue on to visit our parents. 5 hours later we were at Tom‘s mom’s place.
We visited hubby’s relatives, near Harrisburg, PA, for 3 days. We helped his mom get out and go to lunch each day, and to her Dr appt. We left on a Sunday morning to travel through State College to have a late breakfast with 2 of our college professors, who are now in their late 80’s. They and their wives met us and we had a great visit!
We continued 3 hours north west to visit my parents for 3 days. My mom has slight dementia, and after visiting with my family the first evening and next morning, we helped my dad clean. We took them to town to shop. And we made sure mom and dad had a cooked meal each night, instead of the instant meals from Meals on Wheels, which are great meals for the elderly. It was just time for something different.
After 3 days visiting my folks, we left the next morning to pick up our tractor and drive halfway home. We did manage to get the trailer hooked up and the tractor loaded, which took some finesse. It’s difficult to get a tractor, that has a front end wider than the flatbed trailer’s wheel wells, onto the trailer. The previous owner of the tractor moves trailer homes, and he knew exactly what to do. We were on the road shortly after. We figured we would go about 7 hours, stop for the night, and go the last 8 hours the next day. We got 2 hours down the road.
Then we see the smoke. Did we blow a tire. I wish. We stopped and checked all tires, on both the truck and trailer. None were hot and smoking. Hubby noticed some grease, and after looking under the truck, saw that we were leaking some fluids from somewhere. The smoke was coming from the oil hitting the hot muffler and anything else that was hot, causing the smoke. We crept to the next exit and headed for a gas station. It was 4:30 and we needed to get to a repair shop before closing!
Hubby put more transmission fluid in, after buying all he could from the small gas station. We asked where there was a repair shop close, figuring there had to be something within a few miles. All small towns have at least 1 repair shop. How can gas station attendants not know what businesses there are in a town with about 500 people? Finally, another person getting gas said there was a garage just a mile down the road. Geez. Now it’s almost 5 and we wanted to get to some garage before closing.
We pulled up in front of the garage and you guessed it, the garage was already closed and no one answered the phone number. I’m on the computer, goggling to see what repair shops are in the area. I first had to goggle the town and find other towns near us. Then hubby says to goggle GMC or Chevy Truck dealership, and good news, there was a dealership within 10 miles, and they did repairs.
The repair shop was closed, but they would see us at 7:30 the next morning. We slowly drove the 10 miles and parked at a hotel. Early the next morning, hubby takes the truck over to the repair shop, unhooks the trailer after blocking it up with lots on concrete, and checks in with the service center. Later that morning, we get the verdict. The torque converter and oil pump needs replaced. This is a major repair. More bad news….there are only 4 repair kits in the country! At any dealership anywhere! And we had to commit to the repair before the repair parts would be sent to us! Well, that’s a no brainer, since we can’t go anywhere with the truck leaking transmission fluid everywhere. Then, the parts include special bolts, and there were NONE at any dealership. The bolts had to be ordered at the manufacturer!
The one bit of good news we had is that the dealership got us a rental car at dealer price! $30 a day which is great. When they saw we had a truck, they gave us a rental truck for the same price. We had brought back some furniture from Tom’s dad and we didn’t want it sitting in the back of the truck, wrapped in plastic, for who knows how long, and in what type of weather!
We left the truck and headed home. 13 hours straight. Home at 1:30 in the morning! We left Tuesday, Feb 8, and had been gone for 10 days, traveling over 2500 miles by truck, and approximately 44 hours in a truck. And I couldn’t go to sleep. I sat with a glass of wine for another hour. At least I slept in until 8:30! But hubby was up and going at 7, to go to an ag farming clinic!
We waited patiently for the service center to finish the repairs. Parts came in the following Tues and Wed, and the truck was done last Thursday. Weather wouldn’t cooperate. We woke up at 4:30 Fri morning to leave. But with 3-6” of snow in our area from the day before, and Iowa looking bad for Friday and Saturday’s travel, we wisely stayed home and waited for roads to clear.
We had snow flurries Friday, but it quit snowing later in the day. Saturday, we went to take the rental truck to fill with gas to be ready early the next morning to leave. It would barely move! We pulled out of our driveway and went about 100 yards, and turned around and pulled it back into the driveway. Now what?
We called the rental company in Ohio and told them the truck wasn’t running right. Engine light was on, as well as other dashboard lights. They told us to take it to repair. Ah…it’s now running right. Here it is, Saturday morning, and the places we called close at noon. A dealership in town told us to try to get it to them. Luckily, when we restarted the truck and didn’t leave it idle long, it ran fine, except for the engine light stayed on. The dealership said to leave it, and to call the 800 number for the rental company to rent a different car in town. I had followed hubby to town, so I took him over to the airport to rent another car. What an ordeal!
Recap; We left Sunday morning to get our truck in Ohio, remember, the one that broke down 10 days ago while we were hauling back our tractor (that we just purchased). And we left only after we get a rental truck, come home from Ohio, ready to leave this past Sunday to go back to Ohio to get our truck, and what does the rental truck do, but break down on Saturday!
We rented a "Nanny's" car. I do not like small vehichles! It was bright orange/red color. We did not lose it in any of the gas station parking lots!
Hubby and I spent yesterday driving 13 hours to Ohio. The only good thing about that little car was that it sure was good on gas mileage! We picked up our truck today, and we’re driving the 13 hours home.
Hubby and I have only crabbed at each other twice, and that's only because after the 2nd offense (of his), we quit talking to each other! We are handing each other snacks though. LOL
And that’s been my February! Today is the last day. I hope March is bright and sunny and dry!
I’ll let you know in the morning if I’m sane. Wonder if my horses remember me.
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