In a couple of weeks, he’ll be 15. He started Driver’s Ed a few weeks ago. He is taller than his mother and will soon be taller than me. He is a fantastic bowler, a great saxophone player, a newly certified Storm and Tornado Spotter, and a pretty cool teenager that still likes to hang with his parents.

And he is STILL my baby.

No matter how old he gets I suppose part of me will always see him that way. Most parents probably see their youngest this way. I guess I am in denial. Him getting older means I’m getting older, and we just can’t have that now, can we? Part of me just doesn’t want him to grow up. I can’t stop it though. Time marches on and on and on.

Forever My New Cascadia

In a couple of months, she’ll be 3 years old. I started driving her in October of 2017. She is a 2018 Cascadia and has 364,000+ miles on her. In another year she will have half a million miles. She is fuel-efficient, sitting at 9.89 mpg lifetime. She runs great, looks great, burns no oil, and has been pretty trouble-free.

And she is STILL my New Cascadia.

No matter how long I drive her I suppose part of me will always see her that way. Most drivers probably see their “new” truck this way. I guess I am in denial. Her getting more miles means she’ll soon be moving on to another driver and eventually sold. I don’t want to move out of her, we know how much of a pain that is. I can’t stop it though. Time marches on.

Growing Up and Growing Older

I stay out 2+ weeks at a time. Due to the current “situation”, I have stayed out much longer than usual out of an abundance of caution. Being gone that long allows me to notice changes in him that I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I was home every couple of days or weeks. His recent growth spurt really shocked me. He grew over an inch after only 3 months out. It was a shock, but it still happened.

Just like my kid growing up, as my truck ages it changes. 

Being in the same truck every day can also blind us to changes in our vehicle. Small little noises and vibrations can just become part of the “character” of our truck, so much so that we don’t even notice or think about it. But those things can be the sign of bigger issues.

Pay Attention to the Small Stuff

A little vibration could be a tire out of balance or a wheel bearing going out. A whining noise could be a belt. That odd smell could be a leaking hub. Ignoring these can lead to much bigger problems down the road. Taking care of small issues early can not only save you time but can help save you or your company money. 

It may be nothing, but don’t put off checking these issues out. Any odd smell, sound, vibration, pull or anything that doesn’t seem right should be checked into as soon as you can. It may be nothing, but why chance it? Better safe than sorry, right?

Always do your pre-trip. Look for changes or leaks. Check the pressure in your tires, and keep them properly inflated. Don’t forget to do inter-trip inspections as well. Do your scheduled maintenance on time.

Everyone thanks for reading.  Be safe and stay healthy. 

Now I have to prepare to go home and face the humiliation of being shorter than my son.

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Clark W Reed

Clark Reed of Roscoe, Illinois is an OTR company driver and trainer for Nussbaum Transportation based out of Hudson, Illinois. He has been driving since 2005 and has driven van, reefer, and tanker. He currently hauls dry van to all lower 48 states. Clark is passionate about MPGs and how driver habits influence them. The lifetime average of his 2018 Cascadia is 9.75 mpg, with eyes on 10. Clark, along with Henry Albert, was one of the seven drivers in 2017's "Run on Less" by NACFE, a road show, demonstrating what fuel efficiency can be obtained with existing technologies.

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