Friday, November 21, 2014

Oh Yeah!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Guns In Trucks

Many years ago a bonded carrier could carry a gun.  Today that is no longer the case.  Today the only way you can carry a gun in your truck is if you have a permit in the state that you are carrying the gun in.

I have purchased two shotguns in my life and they were purchased solely for self defense.  One was a 12 gauge and one was a 20 gauge.  It is extremely fortunate that I never used these weapons.  If you are in a remote area and need immediate help, a gun does come in handy.  Protection of life is the most important thing a person can do.  Sometimes, simply the threat of force can ward off even the most ignorant people. 

If people think you are armed, they will most likely stay away if they were intending harm. Perhaps they will think twice if they think that they themselves may end up hurt or dead upon initiating an aggressive act. 

Not so long ago a trucker parked in a vacant lot in South Carolina.  His name was Jason Rivenburg.  He was shot to death in his truck.  Had he had a gun, he could have defended himself.  You would think that truckers, like ranchers who live in remote areas, should be able to protect themselves in remote areas by being able to carry a gun.  The odds that law enforcement can arrive in time are slim to none.

There are many drivers who carry guns out here.  Most of them are either deputies in their home towns, or are permitted to carry guns in the states that they travel through.  I'm not a fan of everyone carrying guns, but some people need them more than others.  In a country with 300 million people that has just about as many guns as there are people, its impossible to ignore the prevalence of gun ownership in our society.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Turbo

I'm trying to do something with this truck that I've never done before:  Reach one million miles without changing the major components under the hood.  Of course, maintenance is the key.  Everything must be greased on schedule, every filter changed on schedule, and every lubricant must be sampled to check that it's doing what it's supposed to.

Most of the other drivers I talk to will regularly go through component after component.  Wearing everything out far before it should be.  We do about 100,000 miles a year.  And our max speed is 58 MPH.  We will go faster depending on what the customer demands, but on average our loads have enough time to get there at 58 MPH.  We never idle the engine and I mean NEVER!  Idling these engines is death to the internal components.  The turbo is not designed to be run at an idle.  When the engine is idling, the turbo isn't spinning at its optimal rate and the turbo just doesn't handle this for a prolonged period.

The older engines without exhaust gas recirculation handled idling much better then these new emissions compliant engines.  Without a turbo, the engine is useless.  The blades in the turbo can become pitted and the internal parts wear out.  Over time the turbo can fail.  Mine has lasted over 700,000 miles so far and it passes every inspection I throw at it.

Every 100,000 miles, I adjust the overhead valves in the head.  When I get this done, I throw the truck on the dyno.  So far at 700,000 miles, I'm still getting 70% power to the ground.  That's pretty good.  It indicates that the turbo is working and everything is chugging right along.  I could tweak the systems on the truck and tune it for more horsepower, but when the original configuration is tinkered with, it pushes the components to their limits.  This can result in more performance, but at a higher price.

There are aftermarket turbos that would yield more power, but with more wear and tear on the other internal components of the engine.  The battle is on to maintain this truck as it ages.  The last truck we had went to 1,030,000 before it completely failed, but we replaced the engine and ran that engine out another 300,000 miles before we traded it in for a new model.

As with any business its about return on investment. The longer you can successfully run the truck, the more of a return you get.