This isn't the first time for me; I have owned trucks before but for Ellen it's a brand new experience. Ellen admits to a little nervousness but together we will make this work, I just know we will.
We had planned to buy a truck this year but our Daughter, Amanda, decided that this is the year to get married. We decided to put off the new truck idea but over the few months since Amanda gave us the news we realized that if we were careful we could still do it. We headed to the local Freightliner Dealership in Joplin and met with Salesman Cameron for some information. He was very helpful as you can imagine he would be.
The truck we wanted, a 2017 Freightliner Cascadia wasn't on the Joplin lot, it was in Kansas City but getting it to Joplin was easily accomplished. We met the truck, made sure it was truly what we wanted and settled on a price. Most Truck outlets are happy to add a few things to the order thereby making the customer happy but I think we stretched it a little - and got away with it. I am not stupid though, we know they still made a good profit.
Today we took the truck back to the dealership because the XM radio we had asked to be installed didn't have an XM antenna hooked up, actually the AM/FM antenna was unplugged too so nothing was working. It didn't take long to correct that issue and now we are at home waiting to be assigned to a load that will see us back on our dedicated route from Salem, Illinois to Laredo, Texas.
Being on a dedicated route gave us the luxury of knowing exactly what we will be doing so crunching numbers before deciding to actually spend all this money was made a whole lot easier. I was surprised to learn that we had to do a "Change Over" course which would familiarize us with the way CFI takes care of their O/O's. That was very useful and I found the whole routine far better than the last time I went down Owner Operator Lane.
Once the truck was actually in our hands we had to take care of the Qualcomm installation which was really a waste of time considering that in a month CFI will begin installing the replacement for this system, People Net. There was a long list for installations so it took a while to get the truck ready. While waiting we did the job of transferring our gear, it's a pain (you know where) but it is amazing the number of things you had lost or forgotten about that show up during the move. The worst part of the whole thing was replacing the Snow Chains, my back is still aching and we did that two days ago.
I was happy to install a new CB Radio and put an old antenna back into service. The old "Monkey Made" antenna not only looks good, it works great too. Threading the antenna cable through the door and the dash was fun of course but made easier by the traditional wire coat-hanger. I had been concerned about powering up the radio but apparently concerned about my concern, Freightliner had taken the time to add a power cable in the front overhead exactly where I was mounting it. Thanks Freightliner.
We are looking forward to heading out tomorrow and will let you know how everything works out.