O/T Ryder- The True story (long but a good read!)
Now that Ryder's reimbursed me for the tirp...here's the details, and we all know the devil's in the details:
The wife drove me back to Wisconsin. We loaded her car up and traveled back to Spokane with nly some problems in Montana. My 1400 mile trip was not so nice.
When I got there Deidra told us that she’d only calledto arrange a crew for to load the truck the night before. There'd be no help to load the 24’ truck on shuch short notice. Deidra had forgotten her assignment. I’d asked her a month and a half before to do that. And so it started. We were lucky that a few frinends hear about the problem and came over and helped me load the truck.
The next day was Friday and I took the Ryder truck up to Jerry’s Towing to install the car carrier, which already had the Jeep on it. The truck wouldn’t go over 20mph and was belching black smoke. They told me the truck needed to warm up.
Dumb but happy, off I went…. And the truck wouldn’t go fast enough to go on the freeway so I decided to go across the freeway and take the access road. It was closed, under construction and that forced me to go to the I94 and Roberts entrance. On getting onto the freeway I still couldn’t go over 40mph and the truck was warm. I limped into the St. Croix Scale house on the Minnesota side and called Ryder Road Side Emergency. They told me to drive the truck up the freeway to Midway where there was a service site.
Now the truck couldn’t go over 15 mph… and I pulled off the Scale House to a frontage road, called Ryder and waited 2 hours for a Tow Truck.
In the Mean Time… Deidra was to drop her car off at a frends house in the Twin Cities and I was to meet here there. She’d ride back to Spokane with me and we’d all have a great thanksgiving. She called my cell and I told her to meet me at the repair site.
The truck was fixed and would do up to 50mph! At about 4pm we were on our way dropping off the car and fighting rush hour traffic west. We drove into the night. I wanted to stop in Bismark or Dickinson ND. It was not to be.
Fourty miles west of Fargo the truck de-powered and warning lights came on. At 1pm we finally limped back to a model in West Fargo and called the Ryder Emergency line. They told me to check a few things on the engine… where upon I climbed up this Semi, opened the hood, checked the items, and promptly fell off. I hit the tire and then the ground. Wow, those Semi bumpers are high!
Well, we were told to take the truck to a service center (no coolant in the radiator) and we drove it another 15 miles to Fargo and the site. At about 1pm we were on our way again after they’d replaced a thermostat housing seal. But, they couldn’t back the truck up and hook it to the Jeep trailer. I guess they didn’t have any truck drivers there. It was a real hoot watching Deidra try to guide me back to hook up the trailer. It took a half an hour to hook up that trailer. Then we were off….
At last we were off. We made it to the Exit sign in their parking lot where the warning lights and buzzers came on again…. I drove the truck back to their service bays and two hours later they found that the head gasket was blown and the coolant was leaking out due to compression blowing it everywhere. Taking the time to hook up the trailer prevented me from being 40 miles away and breaking down again.
Ryder was called and told we needed a new truck. A new truck wasn’t to be had… and we were told to get a motel. The service site told us to drive the truck to a motel… and we found the first one we could get to… about a mile away across I-29, a Microtel Inn.
We spent three days there waiting for a new truck. I made several calls to every Budget/Ryder line I could find and no one would/could help me get a truck, or a car, or a pickup, or anything. I was not pleased with Ryder by this time.
Sunday afternoon I went down to the truck to retrieve my charging cell phone. I was twirling the Ryder Truck Key on my finger.. and it had a fob on the key ring like they give you at a service station to keep you from stealing the keys. Well, the elevator door opened and the key went flinging off my finger. It made a beautiful arch in the air, twirled a couple of more times and then dropped out of site between the elevator and the floor… and dropped three floors straight down to the bottom of the elevator pit. The Motel Manager informed me it would be $90 to call Otis repair and have the key retrieved. We set the call up for the next morning.
The next moring Mr. Otis came and retrieved the key, took pity on me and told me… No Charge! I could have hugged the guy, but that wouldn’t have looked too good.
Deidra and I went across the parking lot to Arbby’s for lunch. There were three ND State Patrolmen sitting in a nearby booth. I told Deidra that when they were about to leave I’d ask if one of them would do a safety inspection on the truck. Deidra thought that was a good idea.
Well, the Troopers got up to leave and I spoke to them. The told me that they didn’t do these type of inspections outside of Weigh Stations or unless they see something really wrong with a truck while observing it on the freeway. Then it happened…
Deidra spoke up… as only Deidra can:
“Well, I have a roommate in college that was on the Internet and has a recipe for Napalm! Maybe I could call her and we could make some and blow up the truck!”
It was then that I considered the wisdom of having children around me… out of the mouth of babes… even if they are now 25 years old.
The three Troopers turned in unison and looked at Deidra in disbelief as to what she just said. Then she repeated statement.
I was speechless. Finally recovering my voice and my sensed I told her to be very, very quiet and that her remark was neither appropriate nor desired. All I wanted to do was avoid arrest by this time…and no further State Patrol action ensued.
I’m sure we were the topic of conversation amongst the North Dakota State Patrol for a few days.
Later in the day I called Ryder about the truck. They said they had a truck and it would be in Fargo by 3pm and they were hiring a labor crew to swap the load. The crew arrived at 2:30pm and the truck finally was towed to the Motel parking lot at about 4. It took the crew of 4 guys a little over 2 hours to swap the load. They did not do near as good of a job as we'd done.
By this time it was about 6:30 pm… and I decided to say the night… I was tired.
The next morning I got into the new truck to warm it up… and shifted the gearshift and the gear-shifting knob fell off in my hand…. I called Ryder again. Two hours later the truck was ready to go… they’d glued the shift knob back on and were holding it together with a hose clamp! I was not inspired.
But by 10am were left Fargo heading west. The new truck was a blessing, as it had a little more noise proofing inside the cab and a speed control. The speed control was important… as I did not want to use the one leg and foot to travel another 1100 miles. The last 300 miles had nearly killed my ankle, and I think it was one of the reasons I fell off the truck…. All good things come to those who wait!
We finally were headed west! Oh Joy and we spent an uneventful trip traveling to Billings. Oh, that was nice!
The next morning it was off to Bozeman as our first stop. The weather in the high area between Billings and Bozeman was Rain and light snow mix so I turned on the wipers for the first time. The passenger side was making quite a noise and the driver’s side wasn’t cleaning well. We stopped in Bozeman and fueled up the truck… and were off. I got a call from Teresa who had received my Email from Fargo. She wanted to know how the rest of the trip was going. I told her that since we were finally able to leave Fargo thing were going without incident. She seemed pleased.
No sooner had I hung up than the passenger side wiper arm went flinging off the truck. I called Teresa back and told her: “Guess what just happened.” There was an audible sigh and she said: “Now what.” And I told her I’d stop at the next exit and replace the parts. So, in about 6 miles it was back to a truck stop and replace the wiper assemblies… both of them. When I took the driver’s side wiper assembly off, it was just hanging… nothing really keeping the assembly on the truck.
Then we were off again. The truck really performed well through Butte and on to Missoula. I’d not remembered the drive as flat as it was… 65mph all the way. The truck had a problem with the speed control by this time. So, with the speed control out, I had to try very hard to keep the truck at 65mph… it wanted to go faster, and so did I. But I felt the Montana State Patrol would take a dim view on this. Heck, it was the fastest that the Jeep’s ever gone!
The trip over the Blue’s was uneventful and we pressed on to 4th of July pass, just East of Coeur D’ Alaine Idaho. The truck hit a new low speed up that pass, 25mph… but it made it as Deidra and I encouraged it up and over. We'd had a goal when leaving Billings to make that pass in daylight. It was dusk when we pulled the hill and we were treated to a beautiful sunset while in the mountians.
Then we had to try to control the truck going downhill. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. What fun!
The final leg of the trip was entering Washington State. We crossed the Spokane River and slowed on the approach to the Weigh Station. As we stopped for the scale a loud ear splitting buzzer came on. No warning lights or anything else came on with it. The oil pressure, electric’s and the engine temp were OK… so on we pressed. We drove abut 8 miles to where we bought the house, pulled in and called Ryder again. They said to turn the engine off and confirm it comes on with brakes, but if nothing seems wrong to drive it home. So off we went… the final 20 miles home with that pesky warning buzzer singing out as loud as it could. Ryder said that if something happened that they’d tow the truck to the house and we could unload it at that point.
When I finally got home it was about 7pm and Deidra and I were very tired and just thankful to have made it home. We were also thankful that that buzzer was no longer on. I called Ryder and confirmed with them that the problem did come on with brakes. They said to let them know when the truck was unloaded and then to call them back so they could arrange to have the tuck looked at. It took two days of pretty steady work to get the truck unloaded. We've since found we were insane to move some of that Junk! I though that we'd done a good job of de-junking. I was wrong. But by Saturday it was done. I died on Sunday.. and by Monday I felt a little better. I called Ryder to tell them the truck was ready to be looked at by their service company. They told me that they’d have someone right out to look at the truck.
One Wednesday I called Ryder to find out why no one had come to look at, or pick up, the truck and trailer. Ryder then told me that I’d have to pay for the service call if there was nothing wrong or take the Truck back to the Service Center in Spokane and drop it off. I was not pleased. I told the agent I’d gotten different information from the same center a few days before, that this was a safety issue… the truck would not move until looked at and that I’d call Corporate and bid the agent a not so fond good by.
So, I called my new friend Teresa, from Ryder, and she was shocked. She called the Emergency line and they treated her rudely… ( well Duh!). Finally by about 11:30am a nice man from Advanced Truck Repair in Spokane came and got the truck and trailer and the trip was officially over.
Then the negotiations began with Ryder not offering a whole lot on their part. By Thrusday I had them to agree to 50% off the truck rent, food and lodging while on the trip. It pays to be nice.
So now you all know about the trip….the next move will be on the backs of my Son-In-laws, taking me to my grave! My only advice is that if you have to move... God help you!