Last night we got back late to the hotel in Cameron, Missouri after delivering my trucks near Peoria, Illinois. 10pm it was.
We slept in to 7:30 this morning instead of our normal 5 am. Outside of the hotel and on the street Joe’s trucks were parked. It took us just about an hour to get his chains, hoses, electric cord, and fairing straps off stored away then get him set up as a single.
Joe checked the tires on the trailer to make sure they were properly aired to carry the weight of our pickup then we went back to our room for showers and breakfast before checking out and leaving for Peoria.
As we neared the trucks, ready to leave, one of the trailer tires had gone flat. Joe brought out an air line and attached it to the truck’s supply line to get the flat tire aired up. Less than half a mile away was a truck shop so he headed over there to have the tire checked for damage. After a bit of work by the mechanic it was decided Joe had shoved some road debris into the valve stem which caused the air to leak out. No big deal to take care of. The mechanic reluctantly charged Joe $45 for the work done then we got on the road.
My Arizona daughter called me while Joe was taking care of business. She and I chatted for the next 40 minutes until all hell broke loose and I had to hang up on her.
It’s too bad I didn’t have the video feature of my phone documenting the next few interminable seconds.
Following behind Joe and trying to keep an eye on the trailer tire that had gone flat earlier, talking to Carissa also two black vertical lines rose from the right side of Joe’s truck to about three feet off the ground. What had he ran over?
The two vertical lines came down, hit the right shoulder and split apart. It was then I realized two of his wheels had come off his truck and are now running amok full tilt. Quick thinking I pulled on the air horn. Realizing that wouldn’t do any good because he was too far in front of me to even hear the blasted thing. Next I snatched up the two way radio and told him to shut it down he had lost his tires!!! That was when I hung up on Carissa.
The two tires stayed together for the next bounce rolled for a little distance then bumped into each other. The right most tire went off the road to the right and headed for a farm implement dealership. The left tire took off from the right shoulder across the left lane down the median and over into the oncoming traffic lanes. A tanker truck was coming at full speed and about to collide with the errant tire before it veered off into the ditch on the far left. Tanker truck and driver were safe and avoided the catastrophe unfolding right before my eyes.
Holy Moly!!! All this transpired in about 10 seconds and all I could do was watch it all happen in stunned disbelief as I too tried to get my truck safely to the shoulder and shut down.
Thank God no one got hurt and no accidents occurred because of all the excitement. There were three cars trying to pass me on my left but the drivers had enough sense to slow down and stay well back until the road was clear.
Now, as it so happens just about 1/4 of a mile behind us is a truck shop. Joe was able to get across the highway and go back a little way to get to the shop.
One of the wayward tires – the right one – had some how leapt a 6 foot fence and came to rest on a pile of water pipes stacked on some wood. The left tire had gotten lost in shrubs and weeds that were over 4 feet tall.
I had gone to the other side of the highway in search of that crazy tire. The weeds and shrubs were so dense that tire was totally obscured and hidden from view. I did brave chance encounters with an alligator (there are none in Missouri but this is my drama), snakes hiding in the brush (there are snakes in Missouri), ticks, and other unsavory insects like spiders in my search for that crazy tire.
4-1/2 hours and $450 later both tires had been found and mounted back on the truck. Off we went to get these trucks delivered to Peoria, Illinois.
If you find yourself on US 36 in Chillicothe, Missouri and in need of mechanical service Joe recommends this place.
These trucks are parked at the delivery point and I’ve had enough excitement for one day. I’m going to bed!