Monday, June 14, 2010

Trucking Woes

There has been trouble in the trucking business lately.

As you may know, Christopher works with my parents and is the foreman of the dump trucking company. My dad brought Chris home from over the road and bought 2 dump trucks to keep him going. We bought the trucks about a year and a half ago. This one is Chris's baby. It's a 1991 International. It came to us as a beat up white cab. We had the bed put on it and painted and other repairs.

It is a beauty and sounds even better!!!

Well, Thursday afternoon on Chris's last load, his truck lost power while he was driving down the road and started blowing out white smoke. A couple of the guys from work headed out to try to fix it. Nothing they did seemed to work so they brought it back to the quarry. Friday a mechanic from Cliff's Truck Repair came out to investigate.

Just about the worse thing that it could have been was the problem. Apparently the turbo shelled out into the motor. I don't understand all of the details about what this does, but based on Chris and my father's reactions, it wasn't good. We got the final report on Saturday. Basically the head is now bad as well as the pistons and injectors. So we now have to rebuild the motor that is in it.

Now, I know what you are thinking, the truck is old and things happen. That would be true had the motor been the original motor. See truck motors last about 800,000 miles before needing a rebuild. But the problem is that this motor only has 30,000 miles on it. The original motor in the truck blew last summer and we put in a new $13,000 motor.

The main reasons that a turbo goes out (so I have been told) are dirty air and dirty oil. We had neither. The air filter looked brand new and was a few months old and Chris services his truck regularily. In my dad's business, maintenance is a big deal especially when you are talking about expensive machinery. Plus when the machines are down, you aren't making any money, so it pays to have them ready to go at all times.

So what was the cause of the problem? Poor workmanship in assembling the motor. When you buy a motor for something like this, certain parts of our truck had to be sent to the manufacturer to place on the motor to get the warranties valid. And apparently this wasn't done correctly.

Now, I will say that we had major problems with the company that we bought the motor from a year ago. The man took our money and parts to the motor and then stopped returning our phone calls. For something that we were promised would take 10 days to get the motor, took over a month. Then we only got the motor back when we had the police involved. Needless to say, it was a nightmare.

So this company not only caused us problems back then, but have again. I couldn't even begin to describe what they did so that it would make sense to anyone but a mechanic, so I will not even try, but just know that this company assembled it incorrectly. I guess we are lucky that it ran as long as it did.

Needless to say, I have two men in my life that are just sick/heartbroken/pissed about this whole deal. There will most likely be some sort of action taken against the company who sold us the motor. That guy should have done more investigating about us before he tried to screw us over. My dad is a stubborn hardass who will eliminate your business if you mess with him and then there is me, attorney-to-be. Watch out.

Chris's truck should be back and working in about a week, but for the time being, he will be driving the Kenworth.

Hopefully things will get better.

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