Trip #3 of Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.

When this trip ends we will have delivered 15 trucks to the auction lot. For all the work, sweat, and miles of bumpy roads we have only just put a dent in the line up of trucks to be moved.

This trip I am moving a flatbed trailer along with a truck. It has been many – many – years since I backed under a trailer. All I can say for myself is I did a pretty lousy job of it. Missed the entire 5th wheel with the king pin at first. It took me several tries to get it right.


Driving on the highway and looking at my mirrors is an unusual sight for me to see the trailer back there.


We all three stopped at the Love’s Travel Center in Santa Nella, California to get the lug nuts torqued. Some tires had been replaced on these trucks and had not had the lug nuts checked after the recommended 50 mile drive.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with truck wheels I will give you a small dissertation on the way of truck wheels. Pictured below is a rear axle wheel. You will see a small round area in the center of the wheel which has nuts. That is the axle hub. The lug nuts are behind that along the rear wall of the tire rim.


The tire specialist had a tool that is nearly as long as an average person is tall. That is the “torque wrench”.


A socket and extension bar is placed on the nut. The long handle has a break midway up the shaft that applies 475 foot pounds of pressure on the nut to tighten it up to specifications. Both of my front wheels had a couple nuts that were fairly loose and required some extra pumping action to get the proper torque.



Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to have a set of wheels come loose. I was following Joe a few years back when I watched a set of his rear wheels take off along the shoulder of the road. A few bounces and the tires and wheels separated. One wheel went hurtling through the ditch and up the other side on the right rolling down a side road then launch itself over a fence and get list amid a bunch of pipe. The other wheel took off to the left, after separating from the other wheel. That one went barreling through the median, up onto the busy highway just missing an oncoming tractor trailer, then off over a fence and lost to the trees and weeds.

Let’s just say it is one memory that has been burned in my brain.

Hope you will be enjoying your day today. I need a shower and something to eat.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

2 responses to “Trip #3 of Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • gardenpinks

    Losing a wheel on a car is bad enough but to have wheels come off a truck must be a heart stopping moment. I remember that incident of Joe’s. Not very long ago Rod was driving down the field track when he was overtaken by his wheel! All the bolts had sheared off completely. He managed to get over onto the grass before the car listed to port 🙂 He said the wheel went at a heck of a lick bouncing and rolling down the hill where it hit a boundary wall, luckily it didn’t go over the wall but came to rest this side of it. It could have been a bit awkward to go knocking on the neighbours door and asking for the wheel back after it had bounced into their garden:D
    Son-in-law came to the rescue and collected the runaway wheel and replaced the bolts and, touch wood, all has been well since.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      What a hoot! Sorry Rod for laughing while reading Lynn’s description of your eventful few minutes of sheer terror with colorful expletives (I would imagine – at least I would be turning the air blue!)

      I’m very glad to learn that all is well and your Brilliant (since you guys don’t say Awesome 🙂 ) son-in-law rescued the day for you both.

      Love you – Leslie

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