Frozen Fuel Line
When I was a newer truck driver, I felt like idling my truck was a big deal. I didn’t want to idle the truck even if it was cold. Well I found myself in Missoula Montana on an average winter morning. I made my delivery around five in the morning and proceeded to the back of the lot to sleep off my 10 hour break. I shut the truck down and turned on the bunk heater and off to sleep I went. I don’t mind the cold so it didn’t really matter to me that the high of the day was 22 degrees, I had plenty of blankets and a bunk heater. I awoke about 3 in the afternoon stretched, did my pre-trip inspection and got ready to take off down the road.
As I am crossing the 120 mile stretch of Interstate 90 from Missoula to Butte Montana I can’t help but notice that my three quarters of a tank of fuel is not moving at all. As I approach the I-90/I-15 split I get a craving for a McDonald’s hamburger. So I proceed on down to the Rocker Pilot that is just after the interchange. As I am approaching the exit I notice that the weigh station at the end of the ramp is open, this weigh station was rarely open back then. So I proceed down the ramp to the weigh station as routine as can be. I get down to the scale plate and right before I get ready to go across the plate my engine dies!?!?!
At this point I am starting to freak out a little, you never want a problem at a weigh scale. I sit there and try to crank the truck over and get it started with no luck. As I am sitting there doing this I came to the realization that I probably had frozen the cross line between the main and slave fuel tanks and that it had pumped all the fuel to the one side and I wasn’t drawing any fuel to the engine. So the D.O.T. officer comes out and gives me the “What the hell is wrong with your truck?” To him I replied, “Well, I think I’m out of fuel with half a tank.” This comment I guess did not set well with him and he proceeded to curse me and threaten to take away everything including my birthday! He then tells me that I have 5 minutes to get the tow truck out here or he’ll call them himself. I informed him that I was already on the phone on hold with my company and it would probably be faster if he called the tow truck. Again, he did not like this answer and called the tow truck immediately. After apologizing profusely to the officer and getting towed the 300 feet over to the fuel pumps I got my truck started, got my hamburger and was off again. The lesson here is always idle your truck under 30 degrees to keep your fuel from freezing. Thanks for reading and as always be safe out there.