If you enjoy this web site, please show your support.

Truck Driving Jobs

Truck Driving Jobs

Author Topic: Deerslayer  (Read 2545 times)

coloradogreen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2683
    • 10-4 Magazine
Deerslayer
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:57:28 PM »
We last left off with me dropping my load in West Point, Nebraska, a small town up near the North Eastern corner of Nebraska.

From West Point I had a long deadhead down to West Central Kansas. When the deadhead gets long, the rate goes up significantly to cover the additional empty miles.

The good thing about this particular dairy up in Nebraska is they keep empty trailers in droves, so, having an empty to drop at a dairy is never a problem. I hooked a near-new tanker, kicked the tires, checked the lights, and got to rolling. I got down the road a couple hours to Grand Island where I knocked off.

Got up early in the morning to -3 degrees. Real fun jumping out of the truck in those temperatures to check your fluids. I started the truck up and waited for her to warm up a bit before rolling.

Let's digress for a moment. Needless to say, engines have changed significantly from the time of Wee Willy and NHRS being my age. Decades ago, you had to make sure you were getting ready to go with quite a bit more time. If the engine was cold, you needed to let the engine warm up sufficiently before getting to work. In fact, on a cold morning, with a cold engine, if you hit the throttle hard enough while the engine was still cold, the engine could produce enough heat internally that the piston would expand and seize.

With modern innovations such problems are of little consideration anymore as far as most drivers are concerned. However, I still let the engine warm up, typically at least to 140-F on the coolant before I get to work. My thoughts are this:

Even though the pistons may not expand and seize, there are still numerous components, gaskets, etc. that a likely cold and stiff at -3 degrees Fahrenheit. Engines are designed to work within a certain range, and, the more often you keep it in that range, the better. So, to that extent, I typically do a warm-up, and a cool-down at the beginning and end of a day.

So, the engine is warmed up and I'm ready to roll. I was headed to a little town in Kansas, Rexford. Getting there from Grand Island you cruise 80 until you hit 183 and drop south through Alma until you hit KS-383 running into Norton. Once you're off 80 it's all two-lane highways to Rexford. Bounding little hills, open farmland, occasional small towns.

Once past Norton, 383 dives south again where it will eventually run into US-83. A few miles from the junction you come to the town of Selden, where Kansas really flattens out, but, prior to that you're still in the rolling hills.

It was still early, not much past daybreak in the early morning overcast dawn I was rolling up a hill with a slight left turn. Not far from the top I took a quick peek in the mirrors, and when I turned back...

"Sh*t!"

Standing right in the middle of the 65mph road were two deer. I got on the brakes as quick as I could. 383 has very little shoulder, and frankly you should never swerve to miss an animal.

The first one spooked and ran off, the second spooked, went left, and then went right...

Right in front of me...

THUMP!

I can't really repeat the obscenities and profanities I was yelling at the moment, but, my first thoughts was that the ride was about to get real rough as that deer went rolling underneath the truck and started tearing things up. Torn cross-overs, ripped air-lines, it was running through my head as I got the truck stopped and kicked on the fourways...

I took a look at the bumper... a large aluminum Ali-Arc brand brush-guard. It had done it's job. The grille, radiator, fenders, headlights, and bumper were all intact. Other than some hide and blood on the bumper, there was no front-end damage. I proceeded to look underneath the truck, expecting a gory scene with a dead animal underneath the truck.

And... nothing...

I inspected the truck, no torn fuel or air-lines, nothing leaking, tires all good, not a lick of damage...

I was a little perplexed... I walked up the hill to see the deer (no longer living) clear off in the weeds, about 10-feet from the highway in the ditch...

With the road clear, the truck good to roll, I made my way on down the road doing a little thinking on what had just happened. Interestingly enough a friend of mine (knows plenty about trucks, but doesn't drive) had been talking about those deer bumpers. He hates them, thinks they're ugly. They had saved the truck that day. The deer wasn't big, probably no more than 200-lbs, but, at 40-mph that's plenty enough to tear up a truck.

I got down to Rexford and picked up the load. Loaded on an older tanker with a slightly lower capacity, the tank was near full enough to have less slosh. Picking up gears I had the truck rolling up about 55mph just about to grab the big-hole. I had noticed a flock small birds in the roadway ahead of me. I didn't think of it, they typically fly off early on.

They started to flutter away, but one in particular caught my eye who had taken off late.

THUMP!

It wasn't my intention to go hunting today!

The little bird had caught the upright of the bumper and tumbled into the windshield and up and over the truck, leaving blood on the windshield.

Luckily, there was a truck stop shortly down the way once I hooked the big road. I pulled in and grabbed the squeegee and proceeded to clean some of the blood off the windshield and hood. The gory part? it was cold enough that the birds heart had managed to freeze to the aluminum upright.

Noting the blood on the bumper, hood, and rest of the truck (clear up to the top of the sleeper you could see spots of blood) I decided the truck needed a wash, both because it hadn't had one in awhile, and frankly they probably wouldn't be real happy with me rolling into a dairy processing facility with my truck bloodied up.

So, about Salina, after playing leap-frog with some FedEx doubles I rolled into the wash and got her blown off.

Young guy at the wash asked me if there were any spots they wanted me to focus on...

"Just make sure you get all the blood off..."

Which initiated explaining to the young gal behind the counter at the wash why I was getting blood removed from my truck. Turns out those words aren't heard often...

With the blood gone, it was on down the road, and eventually dropping the load in a suburb of Oklahoma City. The load was bound for Garland, Texas, but, with another load shortly on the wait-list and Dallas being covered in nothing but ice, I was diverted and headed straight for my next load as soon as I could be.

Can't say it hurt my feelings, either, it was my load home!

Troy.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 04:22:49 PM by coloradogreen »
Your friendly neighborhood vegan heavy haul punk.


"Suzie-Q"

IMAGES COPYRIGHT TROY MILLER/ 10-4 MAGAZINE

Contributor 10-4 Magazine

Hank's Truck Forum

Deerslayer
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:57:28 PM »

Truck Driving Jobs


NHRS

  • Regular Membership
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4479
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 04:26:19 PM »
10-4 on the hunting trip! Actually, never really enjoyed deliberate hunting, especially after I began driving. I've killed more things accidently that most hunters have on purpose.

I can also report, based on observation, a 150 lb deer consists of 50 lbs of meat & bone, 50 lbs of undigested grass, & 50 lbs of digested grass (which is rather unpleasant smelling).

As for the warm-up, used to sit, freezing in a cold cab to let ALL the heat warm the motor, not the heater-core, until the magic 140 F. As fuel got more expensive, once I saw the gauge being to move slightly (mechanical ether-bulb, NOT electric) decided to ease along REAl easy, turn that warm-up process into a useful few miles. Yeah, traffic hated that, but not enough to ever offer a donation for my fuel-bill.

Also did the same thing in reverse getting close to a shut-off destination. A driver was even riding along with me once, deadheading, & evidently he'd never considered doing that. By his remarks at seeing that, he was astounded that once we set the air by the café, just shut the truck off, being we'd done the cool-down cycle on the exit ramp & easing thru the yard.
If you don't ask, they can't say no.

tranquileman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1012
    • Hidden Mountain Sanctuary
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 05:25:08 PM »
Having smeared my share of critters into the pavement, I will say that it's never an easy thing to deal with. I'm no bambi-ist but it just bothers me because it's such a waste. I know, it comes with the territory, but...

And NHRS nailed it, pardon the pun, with the contents of the average deer! Got one with my car one very dark night years ago and my windshield was covered in "digested grass" so thick that all I could do was slam on the brakes because I couldn't see anything through the offal! Even the windshield washer wouldn't cut the stuff, it was nasty to say the least.

I hit a black bear with the tridem tires on a super-B one morning. I saw him on the side of the road and said, "please go back into the woods Mr. Bear..." He didn't and when my tires hit the poor guy, he literally exploded. Didn't feel a thing either. Coming back the next day there was just a big blood stain on the road.

My current ride has a big ol Magnum Moose Bumper, but as fate would have it I haven't had the opportunity to try it out, yet.

Got a buddy, who's not a truck driver, who calls himself the Roadkill Ranger. If there's a recently deceased critter on the side of the road when he comes by, he gets whatever he can from it.... mmmm, raccoon stew...

......If your going to be different, try not to be thin skinned.....

I hope they never find a cure for Eleutheromania

NHRS

  • Regular Membership
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4479
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 06:40:02 PM »
Sometimes the near misses are comical.

 One fine day, a rabbit decided to try out-running me (old Cummilong HRF 180. Was a decent bet). He stayed in the middle of our lane, so it was easy enough to center-up, straddle him, & then look in the mirrors to see how that worked out.

He was still in the race, although now in 2nd place behind me. Needless to add, he soon reconsidered his position, & ran for the shoulder. Must have been an unusual event in his life, 4 axles with 10-20's dusting noisily by, both sides.

Another time, rainy drizzly day, a 'posum came slowly strolling in from the shoulder, only looking downward, like he was sad or looking for coins. No traffic, & although I'll never swerve, the slightest correction to the left would give just a little bit more room (hitting a 'posum is like hitting a brick), might make it work.

I looked in the mirror immediately & both the drive axles & the trailer tandems JUST missed his nose. In fact, the air slipping passed the side-walls actually pushed his head back slightly each they passed his nose.

Dejectedly again, he slowly turned around, & trudged back toward the shoulder.

And pheasants! They are so inherently lazy, they wait 'til the last dog's dead before they'll finally fly. Then instinctively, they go for the headwind if there's any breeze, which often makes them fly TOWARD the truck, & immediately TRY to turn away.

Watching such an exercise one afternoon, this pheasant got turned, just in time, but the eddy currents on the lee-side of the trailer showed that he was involuntarily capable of stunt-flying. He was down near the ground, then instantly up to the top edge, then upside down awhile, before the trailer got passed.

The meanest one I ever did was, late one strong-wind afternoon, hauling local, my wife would get off work & ride the last trip with me. The geese were coming back north from winter-over, feasting on stubble fields, then heading back to the Platte River to nest for the night, against a horrible north wind.

They'd found an altitude only about 20 feet up that was their best deal, & when I had a small flock directly over the truck, I'd back the fuel & run-off out, then hit the Jake. Instinctively, they'd turn around, headed back south. Now, that wind was easily 25 mph, their air-speed was about 40, so instead of slowly going north at 15 mph, they now went south at 65.

By the time they turned back north again, they were at least a half mile or more south, with all that quickly lost ground to recover. My dear wife accurately called me some very unflattering names.

About the 3rd time I pulled that stunt, I learned that geese are like the Imperial Star-Destroyers in "Star Wars". They dump their garbage before warping hyper-space. That time, my hood got well splattered with goose-poop. Needless to say, my wife thought I had that coming.
If you don't ask, they can't say no.

Oso2

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4816
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 09:57:08 PM »
I hate killing things with my truck. Last week I too killed a deer. I didn't have a moose bumper, but I did have a nice steel bumper set forward about 2". The only damage to the hood was a small break along one of the fenders. It wasn't visible unless you put pressure on the general area. I suspect my company will return the truck to the leasing company as is, and not bother mentioning it(!)

I have very little doubt that without that bumper my truck would have suffered considerably more damage. I never saw the deer before or after as this all happened on a dark, snowy highway in the backwoods. It's not like I could safely go back and look.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

NHRS

  • Regular Membership
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4479
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 07:52:26 AM »
I hate killing things with my truck. Last week I too killed a deer. I didn't have a moose bumper, but I did have a nice steel bumper set forward about 2". The only damage to the hood was a small break along one of the fenders. It wasn't visible unless you put pressure on the general area. I suspect my company will return the truck to the leasing company as is, and not bother mentioning it(!)

I have very little doubt that without that bumper my truck would have suffered considerably more damage. I never saw the deer before or after as this all happened on a dark, snowy highway in the backwoods. It's not like I could safely go back and look.

Always gotta figure in the risks you're adding when stopping on a road, 4-ways flashing. You yourself are then becoming a safety hazard.

Most often, that deer (now a carcass) will bounce away like a baseball smacked with a bat. If it did stay on the road, your truck may well have passed over it, tramping that carcass down to a height manageable for golf-cart-sized vehicles.

Most potatoes are smarter than the average deer. If anybody needs evidence that the Creator has a sense of humor, deer provide that. And, once deer finally make a decision, nothing whatsoever can change that. They have NO plan-B for options.

Which means, I think the one Colorado caught was sick or insane. Deer are rarely smart enough to display indecision. Indecision is caused by thinking too much. Normal deer have a default-setting of thinking not enough.

Case in point- my last year driving, the day-guy came to our change-drivers truckstop one late afternoon, with the rear bumper of our trailer bent outward from the trailer, at about a 45 degree angle beyond straight-behind-the-duals.

We delivered to a lot of convenience stores that were on the "cozy" side as regards customer parking & our drop-lids to unload gas. I assumed some pickup truck or substantial-sized car had infringed too close to the area our tanker demanded.

Wasn't the case at all. A deer tried to run across the road, ahead of the truck, & started doing that so late, lagged just inches from running behind the truck, catching the edge of the rear bumper, bending it way out.

In the "old days", almost as many deer hit my mid-trailer-mounted spare-tire carrier, as my bumper hit.
If you don't ask, they can't say no.

Paccar 105

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3796
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 03:05:14 PM »
Halloween time? :D :D :D

All EU-trucks have a mirror above the right door.
It is so you can see besides your right front wheel.

The highest placed mirror in this picture.

You see it has a small gap between it and the door?
The gap is in the travel direction.

Guess what?
Pigeons are the most stupid birds there are.
Might be great at finding their way home but they have no common sense.
If you are a pigeon and you see a truck flashing his lights,sounding his horn........what do you do?
You play chicken with that truck.
End result?
That gap is smaller then then average pigeon.
It got stuck there ,down to 1/3 off it's size.
Now if you squash something in one part.................another part has to take up the slack.(or  the extra tension)
In this case it was his belly,it exploded..................leaving his intestine hanging at the side off my cab.
A pigeon has a long intestine,real long.
Lets just say i had no more appetite for the next few hours.

ps how did i remove it?In those days i had a steel rod to measure my fueltanks. ;)

NHRS

  • Regular Membership
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4479
Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 03:46:01 PM »
A CHP told this tale to a pal of mine decades ago.

He was "staked out" late that night watching old 99 in the Central Valley, & a semi roared past, somewhat faster than was legal. Of course, this trooper gave chase.

Upon stopping, the wide-eyed driver hurried back to the cruiser, informed the CHP officer than a huge bird kept trying to get in his cab, & he couldn't go fast enough to get away! At one small town, this driver had slowed down & the huge bird left, but returned to terrorize him the moment he regained speed. This happened in a time long before AC, so on hot California summer nights, rolling up the windows wasn't an option.

Under the excuse of getting this truck's registration, etc. (which they'd eventually do anyway) this trooper escorted the driver to the cab, mainly to see if he could find what kind of dope this driver had taken, to speed up the obvious de-tox procedures he was certain would be needed.

What they found was, a large owl had wedged in between the west-coast mirror & the vertical bracket immediately behind it. The owl was trapped & still alive, & at speed when it felt the wind, it would flap, trying to get free & fly.
If you don't ask, they can't say no.

Hank's Truck Forum

Re: Deerslayer
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 03:46:01 PM »

Truck Driving Jobs