Chicago At Christmas 2005 Day 1

by Rhonda
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I am not thrilled about going to Chicago in December so close to Christmas. At least I get to take "my" truck, the one I used on all the Dallas trips. I am driver 2 on this load. I top off my fuel in Missouri because it's cheaper. I will need the fuel to run the truck some for heat while I take my breaks. I will not freeze or be uncomfortable in a truck. I do my best to not idle long for heat/air conditioning, but these stupid laws being put on the books that prevent idling come from the same people who start up their vehicles just to drive across the street. Ooops! I'm rambling. This subject really gets my blood pressure up!

This truck is running rough. It just came from the mechanics where it was given a new EGR valve. My highway speeds are OK, but at an idle or while waiting at stop lights it acts like its going to die. It's not hitting on all cylinders, and it has very little power at the low speeds. Maybe the turbo is clogged because it's been going from high-idle to shutoff, instead of going from high to low for 1 minute first in order to cool off and clean itself out. All I know is what I was taught, and if it doesn't go through the proper stages it can cause problems. So many drivers just do not care.

Getting hungry so I get my sandwiches out of my cooler next to me. With all the gel packs I put in there my turkey sandwiches will be just right. I can hardly wait for the first bite. I have fruit and snacks too. I reach in and get the first sandwich out and it is warm--too warm. So is the second sandwich! CRAP!! I can not eat this and get food poisoning. I feel the floor under the cooler and it's very warm. This never happened to me before, so is it this cooler or the truck? At least the fruit and snacks are still OK.


I pay my toll on I294 and just get to top speed when we all came to a stop. I was in the right hand lane and there is a sign up ahead that says "3 LEFT LANES CLOSED 1 MILE AHEAD". I am just so thrilled to see that Chicago traffic has not changed since Oct of 2004 when I did my last trip here. Construction in December. What a mess! What a crock! I am just thrilled to be here!!

I make it to my delivery point in Des Plaines and sign in. I get to back into an enclosed dock which I hate doing. Its so dark that you can't see the dock you're backing into. You have to get out and look at where you are before backing in. Some of the docks do have lines or markings on them, but this time I'm not that lucky. After putting it in the dock I go inside the building. The person unloading my truck asks me if I can help him because they're short handed and busy. Every pallet is put on a scale and the weight is written on the top and side. I agree to help him because things will go much faster if he can just stay on the forklift. Another worker joins us later to hurry up and get this job done. They are getting ready for their Christmas dinner/party tonight. Soon I am done and I go to the Des Plaines Oasis for my break. I go inside for a hot meal and watch the airplanes taking off and landing at O'Hare. Back at the truck it is still very warm inside. This truck has excellent heat. I start it and let it run for a little while. It's very cold here - temps are in the single digits. Soon I shut it off and get some sleep. I wake up around 10 pm to run the truck for a little while to heat it up in here again before going back to bed, awaiting the adventures that I'll have tomorrow.

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