Boredom and wanderlust have done me in again

I last worked on construction 4 or 5 years ago.
I was getting along on my pensions and rental incomes but I was getting bored.
Then I saw an add in the paper that caught my eye.
Looking for owners of diesel one ton trucks to deliver new travel trailers to dealers.
I applied and was accepted. I have now made four trips with new travel trailers and will leave for my fifth trip on Sunday.
It cures my boredom and appeals to my wanderlust.
On a typical trip I cross most of two provinces and five states and cross the continental divide six times (three time each way). A round trip is about 3500 miles and takes six days.
I can haul any size travel trailer on my regular drivers license, but I need a letter from the authorities in my home province stating that I am medically fit to drive commercially in the USA.
I am at the age where they talk about yearly medical exams and road tests. When I submitted my medical results, the road test was waived and my license was extended for another two years.
I felt pretty good about that.
I have had lots of adventures.
Truck trouble, road closures due to snow storms, food poisoning, very slippery ice conditions. 40 mph for four hours.
25 mph for 2 hours.
The weather is better now and driving is more enjoyable.


Good for you! Staying active and making some dough! Sounds like you have the essentials covered, so this is the “blow that dough” kinda dough! The best kind! Enjoy!

I’m still working, but this is probably my last full year. I worry a little about getting bored in retirement too.

There’s a lot of side hustles out there for retired folks. One that has caught my fancy over the years is to shuttle working folks to/from the auto/truck maintenance shops.It appears COVID has almost destroyed that specific side hustle, but maybe it’ll bounce back.

I am also toying with learning to Code and writing some useful ChE apps or programs. So far, my research is pointing me to learning Python. We’ll see. I’m too busy at work to do anything on it now. In fact, I’ve set a project aside I’m so busy.

I didn’t realize that nice truck of yours was just part of a bigger plan!

Meeting all kinds of characters is one thing you get out of life on the road. My dad drove a truck for a few years to save up enough to finish school. To this day he can show up anywhere and strike up a conversation with anyone. You’ll be sure to get plenty of adventure out of it, Bill.

Outstanding! Good for you!!

I met a fella whom was bored at retirement and now drives tractor-trailers. He is enjoying himself. since there is a need for long-haul tractor trailer drivers, i gave it due consideration. but opted not to pursue. fyi, the good companies pay you while attending training classes, including flights, lodging, and meals. the fella i spoke with was given a new truck to drive!

Interesting. I have been looking into retiring-working fewer hours, but was concerned about getting bored. But I don’t think driving would be my answer, as I never liked it.
I would be interested to hear of other options.

I like driving, and have driven dump trucks as a youth, with manual transmissions and split rear axles…but never got a CDL (commercial trailer) license. Dunno that the manual skills are worth much in todays market, most trucks in the US are now Allison automatic transmissions. But reversing skills (backing trailer to a loading dock) are still good, I can parallel park with the best of them…and those skills are notably lacking for a lot of the younger crowd delivering/picking up from our loading dock.

But I would have to think about it - doing it for money/deadlines.

Manual skills are still worthwhile, as the younger generation can’t drive them, so the manual transmission becomes an anti-theft device.

Heard that mentioned about my 3 1/2 things to drive (one has only two wheels). I ordered a 2015 to get it with a clutch. The very next year it could not be had.

Yes, I’m still here. I just finished my 14th trip. Over 40,000 miles since March.
Lots of adventures.
Some of those trailers are enormous.
Years ago I heard a comedian downplaying some town or other;
“There are two ways to get there.-
Take a plane or make a wrong turn on the Interstate.”
I can’t believe the quality or lack thereof of US diesel fuel.
Sometimes the engine runs so rough that it feels like rough pavement. (Sometimes it is rough pavement but not always.)
I have had fuel so bad that the engine quits and catches. Imagine a gas engine pulling fairly hard and someone quickly turning the ignition off and on.
You can’t run without a lot of diesel fuel conditioner in the tank.
Running on Canadian fuel, I never changed fuel filters. I went over 60,000 miles without changing a filter.
Now I have to change fuel filters every 6000 or 7000 miles.
Why don’t the big operators complain? What, and lose their discounts. I am seeing discounts of as much as $1.00 a gallon. It varies but you get the idea.
I can carry 136 gallons with both tanks full. So I save over $100 on discounts and spend $15 or $20 on a container of fuel conditioner. It will last for several fills.
I’ve been to Michigan twice now that way.
The first time my GPS told me to turn too early, the second time it told me to turn too late.

How long has the fuel been like that?

It has always been bad. When I started with the company, the owner warned me that I would need to use Fuel conditioner running on US fuel. I never needed it in Canada.
The last month the quality has dropped noticeably.
I need to add more conditioner than before and the fuel is frothy. I have just started getting the pressure buildup in the tank in the last month or so.
The pressure itself is not enough to be a problem, but it is a strong suggestion that more lighter fractions are being used in the fuel mix. More lighter fractions strongly suggests that more heavier fractions are being offset.
I took a sample of one of the poorer fills and if I get a chance I will check the SG.
Adding lighter fractions to the point that the SG is reduced 10% costs 10% in lost energy. Or a hidden 10% increase in price.
In very cold areas, winter diesel is typically 10% lighter than summer diesel and there is a corresponding 10% hit to power and economy.

I just checked my fuel discounts. Over my route, the discounts range from $0.493 per gallon to $1.278 per gallon.
The discounts change rapidly, sometimes more than once a day.
I use an app supplied by my company so I can’t share locations.

Last week I got a tank of diesel that immediately dropped my fuel mileage by about 10%. I figured I had been a victim of “light” fuel and asked the station owner about it. He made an odd face and denied any knowledge - that station is now on my list of places to avoid. Only about 28K miles on my work truck,
but that is the first instance of poor fuel I have noticed.

When i purchased my diesel truck, i was told to be sure to buy only from locations of high volume consumption. Once while in fairbanks, a bad quality lot of diesel got dropped off and several people ended up with trucks in the shop. i never had problems with any diesel source in USA & Canada and i cannot remember the last time i changed fuel filters . . . probably 6+ years.

i suspect the diesel fuel supplier w/ fuel discounts knows there is a quality problem; hence, the performance issues.

Interesting. In Australia we’re restricted from some specific models of vehicle as our fuel quality is acknowledged to not be as good as other places, but certainly we’ve never seen the sort of issues described here in terms of affecting mileage.
We (generally) don’t have the lower temperature issues either, certainly not where I am although there are a few locations far further south that may experience issues.

Hey Bill, there you are!
Sounds like fun. I hope you aren’t eating crap food seen on any and all videos of haulers. That stuff will fix your “good medicals” fore shore…

Also, I hope you don’t sit longer than 2 hours at a time without a leg stretch. Otherwise that’s just asking for blood clots.

I suspect a lot of your US diesel whoas are due to the huge number of sellers, very many who know nothing about what’s happening in their tanks. Things growing in the tanks. Things dying in the tanks. Tons of water in some tanks from rain or condensation that never get removed and are creating a nasty festering goo. Diesel is organically active compared to gasoline.

In world sailing no one pours diesel directly into their craft’s tanks. They run it thru a filter into their tanks.

On/Off bucking in vehicles has either been air showing up in the fuel line or water. Probably not air your case.

If your routes are set I’d try a trip fueling ONLY at the big semi truck-stops and see if you have a markedly improved fuel situation. Maybe stop using the idiotic company “money saver” program that doesn’t consider a station’s mass-throughput.

Sounds like you’re having some nice adventures. I bet you could swing an amazing Youtube Channel and pentuple your income.

Happy trails.

It’s really good to hear from you, Keith.
Where to buy fuel is a challenge.
The devil I know or the devil I don’t know?
We get really good discounts through the company at Pilot Flying J truck stops.
I can hold 136 gallons of fuel and I fuel up with the big boys.
We are on “rack” pricing.
The company buys the fuel direct from Pilot plus a small fee to the truck stop owner for pumping.
Basically our price is based on the price that the truck stop pays.
I am free to buy my fuel elsewhere, but I am afraid that I may just be paying more for equally bad fuel.
When some of these big truck stops are busy they may be pumping several thousand gallons an hour.
In the last month or so, the quality has deteriorated;
Now the fuel has a sort of greenish froth or foam.
The froth is affecting the automatic shut-off nozzles and they are not shutting off cleanly as they did before.
In Canada, I never thought about my fuel filter;
I ran over a year and over 60,000 miles before changing the fuel filter.
On US fuel I was getting about 14,000 miles between filter changes. Since the last drop in quality it looks as if I may not make 10,000 miles on the fuel filter. Tomorrow I will be buying a spare to carry in the event that I have to change the filter on the road.
By the way, the filter housing has a D/P cell that monitors the pressure drop across the filter and tells me the percentage of life left.
I don’t eat that much on the road and I carry frozen meals in a cooler. I refreeze each night in my motel room.
I count on losing an hour or two in traffic jams south of lake Michigan.
Pulling into Joliet at 10 PM with 30 minutes left on my clock and finding that my motel reservation had been cancelled was sort of an adventure.
Parts falling off of the new trailers and doors flying open is fairly common.
One trip I was pulling a heavy trailer, (weights range from around 7,000 lbs. to 14,000 lbs) and was concerned that I may be a little overweight but they usually wave us past the scales.
Fuel was cheapest in Roberts WI so I filled right up, about 950 lbs of fuel.
Ten miles further, just inside Minnesota I got run over the scales. As the numbers were coming up for each axle weight, and I was trying to read them all at once, a green sign lit up;
I proceeded slowly, JUST AS FAST AS I COULD.
Looking at ND, MN, WI, IL, and IN, our discounts are ranging from $0.067 to $1.185 per gallon.

Well dang, that blows my theory about big suppliers! That sounds like horrid fuel.

Maybe you need to put in a fuel polisher? A lot of boats have them. A pump sucks fuel out the usual suction port and forces it thru a filter right back into the tank. It’s constantly sifting out any suspended stuff. Often these craft get crummy fuel, or the tanks which can be hand laid-up into the hull, shed crud. Even worse in violent wave conditions all the bottom silt gets shaken and stirred into the fuel column, usually in a storm, where the engine is desperately needed to not be choking on bad fuel. I saw some neat videos of before and after polishing.

Diesel around here is about $7 so I try not to use my truck much to avoid buying it at all.

What truck do you have you can stuff more than 100 gallons into??

Excellent to hear from you.

Chevy 3500 HD dually, with an added 100 gallon tank behind the cab.
Google locations for “Pilot Flying J”.
My app is showing under $5.50 before my discounts in California.
My price is at the big truck pumps, so check the price at the passenger pumps. You may have to fuel up with the big boys to get the best price.

Adding a plumbed-in fuel tank is problematic due to DOT regs for equipment and approvals.
A tank on the deck falls under different approval regulations.
I have a 12 Volt transfer pump and a hose and nozzle.

Thanks Bill for those details! Cool setup.
Closest Flying Pilot J to me is 50 minutes in no traffic and today’s price is $6.48. LOL