I was doing some trucking in California 3 years ago, and had a hell of a trip. I left Chicago, bound for Compton,CA. I was thinking…’Awesome, I love long trips!”
The trip out to California was great. My delivery was at 8am…I arrived at 5am, took a nap delivered, then left. The day was perfect so far. Dispatch didn’t have another load so I was going to the TA truck stop in Ontario, California,
to eat shower and wait.
I was driving up I-405 and then Murphy’s Law hit. I ran over something in the middle lane...a shock absorber, I thought.
It poked a hole in my passenger side tank. I had full tanks! I had fuel blowing out of the middle of one, so I pulled over.
I had fuel pouring down the highway toward a drain so I was kicking dirt onto the
side, to slow it down, so the fuel didn’t get into the drain. I called our company mechanic and he said to keep on driving!
I called CHP and reported a fuel spill. CHP, hazmat and the fire department came to the site. The fire department used a wax glob to seal the hole to stop the leaking, and then left. The CHP office said, ‘pull your truck ahead to we can get the spill cleaned up’.
I pulled the truck forward and it started to leak again, so another fire department was called out along with a tow truck! The tow truck was about to hook onto me, when he broke down! It gets better.
The fuel lines were fixed enough to where I wasn’t leaking and the fire department and CHP say ‘you’re good to go’.
One of the winning trucking stories of our
‘Worst Load’ Contest.
By Joe Pritt
I then decided to go to the TA and get it fixed. I pull back onto the highway and was approaching the I-5 ramp and notice I was leaking again! I stopped and found some tar/glue that held my Qualcom line on the truck and
patched the hole.
I finally made it to the TA, and went inside to shower and eat. After eating, I felt sick and went into the rest room, where it will suffice to say, another ‘sick driver’ messed on my boots! I was so mad that I had to take my boots off and wash them in the sink!
I told the fuel desk about the repair I needed. Every employee that worked there, just had to inspect the damage. I then called my dispatch to inform them about the damage. Their response was ‘ just don’t use the tank on that side’. So far, trucking in California wasn’t all that much fun!
The next morning, I was dispatched to make 3 pick-ups near Indio, California. The fuel tank started leaking again! I went to another TA who said they would replace, not patch the tank. I then found another mechanic who disconnected the fuel lines and capped them, but they didn’t drain the leaking tank! I had done enough trucking in California for now!
I was released to return to Chicago and was headed eastbound and all was going well until I got into Nevada and my reefer shuts down. I get the reefer running again, and crossed into Utah. When I got as far
as Cedar City, UT, the tank starts leaking again. I parked the truck and went and got JB Weld and welded a quarter to the tank. Problem solved.
Why didn’t anybody, including me, think of doing this before?
I had dinner and pulled back onto I-15… and my tank strap broke, dragging the tank to the next exit to the TA. They refused to fix it, so I made a ratchet strap from my shower bag.
I make it through the Wyoming port of entry and my reefer breaks again! I spend 3 hours in Cheyenne, WY at the TA, just to get it going and spent a ton of money, too!
I leave the truck stop headed for Chicago. I had no further problems until I get pulled into a scale house in Illinois! They asked me for my driver’s license, which I don’t have because the CHP officer put in his pocket and forgot to give it back to me!
The scale house was good enough to let me go and finish my run and when I received the license back, I was able to fax them a copy of my license.
It was 2 years later, before I decided to do any trucking in California and wasn’t really happy to be there. This trip really did happen and I won’t mention the company I drover for but needless to say, I quit shortly after that nightmare of a trip!