Doomed voyage, part three

2010 February 28
by Hedon

We made it through the night without getting the truck stolen because honestly who was going to steal that hoopty? After breakfast we loaded up our stuff, checked out of the motel and headed over to the sales lot to give the truck back to Mr Pants-on-Fire. The night before we had cleverly planned a route that avoided the interstate and only included one right hand turn. That’s why it pays to be smarty-pants types.

I did much better with the shifting the second day. Oh… I still had no speedometer so I didn’t know how fast I was going, but things seemed to be running much more smoothly. Thank goodness shifting really was like riding a bike. Anyway, I was rapidly approaching the only right hand turn on the route when a damned truck pulled up to the stop sign. Sigh. I sat at the stop sign and turned the wheel to the right all the way to the stop. Then I started rolling forward… right toward the truck sitting at the stop sign. When it finally became painfully obvious to both me and that other driver that I wasn’t going to make the turn, I surrendered and backed up to make the cut. Thankfully Stace had my back and was holding off traffic.

Finally made it to the truck lot and pulled up to the fence. Shut the truck off and started to get out to meet with Stace. Remembered that the driver’s door wouldn’t open. Thought no big deal I’d just get out the passenger side. No dice. Passenger side door wouldn’t open from the inside, either. Rolled down the window and tried to lean out far enough to reach the outside door handle. Nope. Arms too short. Damn… trapped in the truck. Had to just sit there and hope Stace would realize that I wasn’t  getting out of the truck. Sent her mental message to come investigate. Which she did. And thankfully she let me out of the death-trap. Cause she loves me.

We walked in to hand Mr. Pants-on-Fire the keys and let him know that we weren’t interested in the truck. At some point during the conversation, I mentioned that the turning radius was ridiculous on that thing. I told him about trying to make a right-hand turn at a stop light and having to back up to cut it tighter. He actually had the nerve to say, “Oh yeah, the guy who took it over to have the Dyno run told me that it wouldn’t turn right. Don’t let that stop you cause we can get that fixed up real good before you take the truck.”

Dude! Are you kidding me? You knew the truck wouldn’t turn right and you didn’t say a thing? What the hell is wrong with you? Well we made it clear that we simply weren’t interested in the truck and he proceeded to try to sell us a Columbia that he had sitting on the lot. At that point, I’m pretty sure Stace’s expression spoke volumes. Every muscle of her face told him in no uncertain terms that we wouldn’t buy a Diet Coke and cigarette from him if he were the last supplier on earth. We hit the road.

Thanks to Mr. I-Lie-for-a-Living and to my well-reasoned-but-as-it-turned-out stupid decision to have the Dyno run first, that trip was quite costly. There was the $250 Dyno, the rental car, the motel, the food…. Ugh! What a waste. In order to try to avoid the weekend being a total bust, we stopped on the way home and spent the day with Chaos and LittleOne.

We met up with them and all went to the Aquarium. LittleOne was too damned cute in the Aquarium. She ran from one exhibit to the next and excitedly pointed out each fish tank. She wasn’t too sure about touching the little interactive shells they had on exhibit, but once I did it she decided it was ok. After we ran all over the joint, we hit the gift shop and told her she could have one thing. She picked a hat. You know who else wears a hat all the time, don’t you? That’s right — it’s me! What a smart kid. :)

After the Aquarium we drove around for a while then went to this little steak house we found down there previously. Man they have some of the best steaks I have ever eaten. It is hard to describe the joint. But we always have an excellent meal when we go there. And LittleOne was extremely good. I didn’t really think about it until Stace brought it up later, but we were able to take a two-year-old to a rather upscale steak house on a Friday night and she didn’t cause any trouble at all. I’m not sure if any of the dating couples even realized she was there. We did have the waitress remove the burning candle from the table, I mean she is a great kid but she’s not a saint or anything.

We took Chaos and LittleOne home then had to drive for three hours back to the house. What a doomed trip on the truck front. The worst part was that we were back to square one on the truck hunt. Ugh! I am so sick of this shit. If you think you’re tired of reading about it, just think how tired we are of living through it. Will this truck purgatory never end?

6 Responses
  1. 2010 March 1

    My goddess! That must have been a nightmare. Here’s hoping the perfect truck (at the perfect price) is just around the corner.

  2. 2010 March 1

    Whoa, it sounds like soooooo many of the trucks I’ve driven for the dealership (who has decided that I can’t identify them anymore…shall they become TWMNBN II?). There was one on the western slope in Grand Junction without any brakes. That is to say that it wouldn’t pass the DOT brake test. I declined to drive it back to Denver because of the, you know, “hills” they call the Rocky Mountains between us. They were very not happy about that, but hey, my life is worth more than $110. To me anyway. Other aspects were just as nice: No passenger seat at all: it had belonged to a bedbugger who obviously used the space for overflow household goods. What a piece of crap.

    And that sales unit, not mentioning the lack of ability to make right hand turns – par for the course in sales land. I picked up a big dump in Phoenix whose right door didn’t even have a handle. Just cables hanging out the empty square on the door. Nice. Can’t tell you what a pleasure it was to hoist my heavy suitcase over the drivers seat, over the gearshift and into the footwell on the passenger side every evening and morning.

    Yah, it looked good, but I am not surprised to see that the sales units in your part of the country are the same as the ones out here at TWMNBN II. After all, they aren’t drivers and don’t even know what they are selling. And the younger they are the more they seem to be affected by testosterone poisoning because they think they are drivers.

  3. 2010 March 1

    These sort of encounters just tune you up for when you find a decent truck – now you’ll have some experience and a far better idea what to look for and what you want. It is truly surprising to me that people actually buy crap like that truck and think they’ll make money. If they didn’t sell, the dealers wouldn’t offer trucks like that with that many problems clearly evident.

    Don’t be disheartened – they are still making trucks and people are still trading in decent used ones out there. It’s just too bad y’all have to play Diogenes to find one.

  4. 2010 March 2
    punxxi permalink

    Hey, I think you did the wise thing in having the truck dyno’d 1st, it saved you a lot of time and the money you spent was little compared to what you could have been out.

  5. 2010 March 2

    well crap!….i was hoping this was the one that was gonna get you back out there…..but like jeffro says, it gives you more experience ….i agree that there are good trucks out there and the right one for you guys is just waiting for you to rev it’s motor!…nice that you salvaged the trip with a visit to the little one!…..

  6. 2010 March 2

    Hey I hate it when you write a whole comment and it gets deleted because the word verification doesn’t match! You will only see %80 or so of the rated horsepower of an engine after it has been diluted through the drive train, transmission, driveline, differentials, axles, wheels etc. So if you have a 470 horse engine you will only see (470x.8=376) 375 horses or so at the dyno so that is a good thing. The rest of this truck needed some serious TLC. That is sort of what you are in for with a used truck unless you know the person who is selling the unit. Air leaks are the worst things to track down because everything in these trucks is run by little air valves and once they get dirty oil in them, well, they are leak monsters. I did see a large sleeper 120+ sleeper kenworth in Tulsa for about 35 G’s. This is a buyer’s market right now. I know that in SLC at the Freightliner they have trucks very similar to our truck, same year with less than 140,000 miles on them for almost the price of a new regular truck and since they are repo’d used units, they are easier to get with a good down payment. Also Arrow trucking just went under a couple of months ago and their loss is your gain. The banks don’t want the trucks and they are selling everything. Just my two cents. Good Luck over there.

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