It’s amazing how quickly the feeling of success can fall to frustration and self-doubt. Not that long ago (yesterday actually), I had the wondrous task of changing a slack adjuster on a rather beat up Kenworth. This truck’s unit was 14, so for ease further on, we will call this truck 14. Seems fitting. Anyways, 14’s rear right slack adjuster was right screwed. It wouldn’t adjust, it was over-greased, and it was covered in all sorts of dirt and grime. Enter the rookie mechanic. So, as instructed by my Foreman, I crawl under the unit to change the slack adjuster. Probably way too confident for my own good, but it’s just a slack adjuster, right?
Wrong. The slack I pulled off was a real bugger, having to pull off air lines in order to get to the damn thing. The store room does not carry this particular adjuster. A whole host of problems. This whole time I’m getting more and more anxious to finish the job. Finally, after about 2 hours the right part shows up…aaaannnnd the pushrod clevis is wrong. Well, damn. So, here I am pulling this brand new out-of-the-box slack adjuster apart so it will fit on the original push rod clevis. Little did I know, the suppliers had provided a conversion kit for the slack! Of course it was already apart when I discovered this. But that’s for later. So here I am with this disassembled slack, trying to get it to fit on the original clevis. The adjuster is one of those piston style ones, with two mounting pins. I’m under this truck, trying to get my pin holes to match up. Large pin goes in without a hitch. Small pin…. Not a chance in Hell. This is where the conversion kit comes in.
Now after tearing the new slack adjuster apart, I come up from under the truck cursing and swearing because I had to rip this truck apart. AGAIN!! Of course it all goes together like butter on toast. It takes me 5 or 10 minutes to finish putting the slack together. Voila! Job done. Except for one little issue. Remember that airline I had to pull off? Well, it’s still off. Here I am running around like mad getting this line reconnected. Finally she’s done, after about 5 hours.
My employer pushes hard for SRT Times. Lemme tell you, my SRT time was not only exceeded, it was blown clear out of the water. Sure I had to wait for parts, but still! I tell you, it’s not cool when you go into a job expecting it to be a cakewalk, and it turns into a complete failure. Not cool at all. I guess the lesson of the day was ‘Check the boxes!!’
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