Diesel therapy

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Sorry, BB, but the thrill ain’t gone yet.

I’m waiting for the day I don’t get a chill in my spine when I hear the engine of our truck turn over. There’s absolutely nothing in the world like the beefy chug and catch of a Detroit Diesel, especially one that’s broke in good and has deep bubbly pops of perfectly sync’ed valves in oily chambers. The power these sounds represent is thrilling. I love it, and I’m waiting for the day it’s not one of my favorite things, but I don’t foresee it happening any time soon.

There’s an unmistakable bond between truck and driver — Ace DeReu described it perfectly in his Life of a Trucker #17 profile: “I take care of the truck, because it takes care of me.” I don’t drive our truck, but I sure as hell love it, and taking care of it is money that is never once disputed.

I’ve watched George cock his head like a dog more than once, to listen to something I would have never noticed. “Shhh. Listen.” I hear nothing, but two seconds later, an O-ring seal that was the wrong size is sucked through and shredded to flapping confetti, making the truck sound like a giant whoopee cushion. “Oh yeah. I totally hear that, and I don’t like it. Make it stop.”

Nothing will make your day go to Hades quicker than a giant whoopee cushion sound, instead of a beefy, bubbly sound. Anyone who’s ever owned a truck knows the feeling; that cold, sick pit at the bottom of your stomach, signaling the immediate need to poop money when you’re financially constipated. It’s awful.

We have been extremely fortunate since our rebuild — our beefy, bubbly is just getting broke in good from it, and it’s been a long time since we had a scary engine sound. She purrs like a kitten, we’re forever grateful to Bruce Mallison and the boys over at Pittsburgh Power for the great work. I really didn’t realize how very addicted I am to the sound of it until we had her parked for a few days on home time.

“I’m going out to start the truck.”

“You don’t need to. I turned the battery bank off.”

“Oh. Well it needs to be started anyway, doesn’t it?”

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“Not necessarily.”

“Well I’ll go start it and run it for a few.”

“You just want to hear it, don’t you?”

“I’m only thinking of the truck, here. I think it needs to be started.”

“Unh hunh.”

And that’s how you end up spending an hour of home time, sitting in the driveway, idling in a vehicle you just spent the last three weeks in, missing home.

Diesel therapy. The thrill ain’t gone.

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