Tag Archives: Portales New Mexico

Problems in Drive-Away and some thoughts on Joe.

I spent an hour this morning going through my 11,000 plus photos for today’s topic.  I got distracted in my task.  Not anything new with me and my brain functioning.  I get distracted very easily.

Focus, Leslie.  FOCUS!  Okay, now that that is out of the way….

We had picked up trucks on October 27th in Southaven, Mississippi.  Southaven is right on the state line of Tennessee and Mississippi.  My boom pump had gone Kaput before my last delivery in South Sioux City, Nebraska on October 25th.  Had to hire a massive forklift to lift my boom enough to take the chains loose for the back truck to be lowered to the ground.  That was $200 and I was so freaked out about the whole matter I forgot to take pictures.

Arriving in Southaven to hook up trucks going to Portales, New Mexico we had to hire a wrecker to lift my boom while it was attached between the two trucks.  The wrecker would lift the boom thus raising the back truck’s rear wheels off the ground.  Once up at the appropriate height the chains could be fastened around the rear frame of the truck and looped through the yoke of the boom.  This secures the back truck firmly and safely while driving the highways.

Wrecker to lift my boom

Wrecker to lift my boom

This was another $250 for about 10 minutes of work.  I think we are in the wrong business folks.

Nah.  I don’t think it would be financially feasible for us to cough up about $250,000 for one of these huge wrecker trucks to begin with.  The thought of scrabbling around on the ground in the rain, snow, ice, wind, hail, mud, and on 100 degree plus hot asphalt pavement to hook onto dead trucks at the side of the highway is not my idea of a days work.

What can I say?  I’m a wussy.  I like my comfort.  Don’t care for discomfort.

We were a little over 50 miles from the Oklahoma/Texas line when the water temperature gauge on my dash began rising.  170 degrees is the normal operating temperature of the radiator water in big trucks.  Sometimes 180 degrees.  Not much higher than that.  Sometimes the temperature will rise to 220 degrees when driving on roads with steep inclines or there is a moderate to stiff tail wind which does not allow for air flow through the radiator grill to keep the engine cool.  When water temperatures reach 220 degrees there is an engine fan that kicks in to cool off the engine.

The gauge was  hovering around 225 degrees.  We were going up some pretty steep hills in western Oklahoma and eastern Texas.  We had some pretty gusty south winds that day as well.  The temperature would go back down to 180 degrees and I just kept a close watch on the gauge as I continued down the road.

About 15 miles in Texas on I-40 I began to smell antifreeze.  Just little hints of it.  That only occurred when the temperature went up to 200 degrees.  About 40 miles into Texas on I-40 I really began to smell antifreeze.  The temperature gauge was steadily on the 220 mark and now I was getting concerned.  About 10 miles ahead of us is a Safety Rest Area.  Over the hand held radios I told Joe to stop at the rest area, I told him of my over heating problem and we needed to take a look at it.

By the time we got to the rest area I had antifreeze all over the right side of my front truck and it had sprayed out to my back truck.  The stench of antifreeze was highly noticeable now.  We had to switch the trucks out at the rest area.  Joe had to take his front truck off for the switch.  Not having a proper operating boom was a pain in the butt.  We managed to get the job done though.

Delivering at the location in Portales I talked with the shop manager and informed him of the over heating problem with the NOW back truck.  These four trucks were supposed to be put to work that afternoon or the next morning.  This little set back would make work in Portales a little bit of a problem.

The shop manager tipped the hood and had a look at the engine.  To my surprise he said “This is an easy fix!”  Seems that a hose blew off somewhere near the rest area in Texas.

Hose piece missing from the coolant line.

Hose piece missing from the coolant line.

This shop manager knows his way around the guts and inner workings of these truck engines.  He said he looked for the tell tale sign of the area most covered in antifreeze, which is the white coated area on the red engine.  That is where he saw the missing hose piece.

That's the problem

That’s the problem

So, after all the heart thumping adventures of the month it was a relief to know that my vigilance had been warranted and no damage had been done to the engine.

Okay, okay.  You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Joe…other than the fact that he is MY HERO and can make anything work.

When I first signed on to do Drive-Away at Coldiron Companies in 2001 I was asked by a person working there “What do you see in Joe?  He is such a scary guy!”  That question stumped me.  Joe?  Scary?  What is this person talking about?  Joe isn’t scary.  He can be a bit intimidating at times….especially if you don’t know him.  Okay, he can be intimidating at times EVEN if you do know him.

I’m not going to say that his “Bark is worse than his bite” because there are times when his bark is just as bad as his bite.  Don’t believe me?  Well you might want to ask a police officer who has encountered Joe and not been cowed by the “Official” nature of the badge.

Joe has one of those faces that makes a person want to tread carefully upon first meeting him.

Joe in his work face.

Joe in his work face.

Here is a closer view of Joe and his work face.


Joe with his normal relaxed face.

Joe with his normal relaxed face.

You don’t get to see the Joe I know.  The one that has a smile that can warm a person’s heart.  Makes me all mushy when I see it.

Joe's smiling face

Joe’s smiling face.

Then there is the little boy that comes out of him from time to time that makes me laugh so hard that I choke.  He played with an onion bag one afternoon and  had me in tears from laughing so hard.

Joe with an onion bag

Joe with an onion bag

Then a couple years back he was going to be cooking a ham for his New Year’s Day feast.  That bag went over his head and he tried to look scary.  Didn’t work.

Joe with another bag over his head

Joe with another bag over his head

This crazy and scary dude is the man that I love.  He puts up with my mood swings and my reluctance to work.  He lets my complaints roll off his shoulders and keeps me going everyday.  I am very blessed to have this man as my husband.  Thank you Lord for my Joe.

Is there someone in your life that you have been blessed with?  Let them know that you think they are AWESOME!