John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985


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Dinuba CA - Gulfport, Mississippi

Wednesday 7th August. I had to ring in for information regarding my load. I might have guessed that I was to load at the same place as I had unloaded. The booking was for 1200 hrs but as is usually the case I did not get loaded until 2000 hrs. This of course meant that I would be working late again. I did not even get out of California, because just after I had fueled at Barstow CA I was going through the 22 miles of road works when I heard a loud bang and realised that I had blown a rear tyre on the trailer. I carried on for about another fifty miles and decided to call it a day at 0145 hrs in the morning.

Thursday 8th August. I was up at 0600 hrs and carried on to Kingman AZ where I stopped at the T/A Travel Centre for repairs to the wheel and the mud flap that was severely damaged in the blow out. I was ready to roll by mid-day and then found that the truck was suffering its regular fuel problems. I called into Peterbilt’s in Flagstaff AZ but they were not much help and even a call to Tom at Sikeston did not bring any useful advice. I have been told to go into Cummins in Albuquerque NM. I only made Sky City, which is about sixty miles short. I will have to see what tomorrow brings.

Friday 9th August. It was only an hour’s drive and I was in the Flying J in Albuquerque NM where I bought some additives that were supposed to disperse water and had various other attributes. I put this into the two tanks and filled up. The first test was going to be the long climb out of Albuquerque N M. Surprise! Surprise! There was an immediate difference, although it did miss on some occasions. I feel that it behaved itself relatively well all day apart from when I was in 7th Gear. It just does not like to pull in this gear at all without the usual bucking to and fro. I stopped at a restaurant on the 287 called “Catfish O’Harlies” and had jumbo prawns and catfish fillets with some salad. It was fantastic and most certainly more enjoyable than eating in the Flying J at Dallas TX where I made my overnight stop. I am now back on schedule and will make Jacksonville FL comfortably by Sunday evening ready for unloading at 0800 hrs on Monday

Saturday 10th August. I really cannot believe my luck with regard to the additives that I have been putting in the tank. Not only has it virtually stopped the misfiring of the engine, but also the fuel consumption went up to 6.1 mpg today and I am expecting something similar when I next fill up and check the consumption. I saw Billy in passing today on the I49, but of course the conversation was very short because we do not have the range on our CB’s to hold any sort of conversation. He was going to California. I booked off at Madisonville LA but carried on to the Flying J in Gulfport MS where I had a meal and did my washing. I now have less than 500 miles to Jacksonville, so all is going well.

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