Cloverdale Indiana Pull 

March 12,13,14 2009

ShaZam ShaZam ShaZam   (Login TRUKPULR)
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from IP address 24.166.13

OK folks this is going to be a long writing. So get yourselves a beer, Better yet a 6 pk. cooler and get comfy and read on.

OK we all met at the River city fuel plaza here in Marinette  @ 8:00 to leave on this 500 mile road trip @ 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. We had three haulers in our little caravan heading down there. Bruce Wagner with Bad to the Bone, Billy Kirschner with Fast Forward in his Motorhome hauler and tag trailer. And Craig Emmes Cold Ethyl Mod truck on my big trailer along with ShaZam.

  My figuring was to get thru Chicago at 1:00 a.m. so traffic should be minimal. First fuel stop came at 180 miles into the trip when my truck hits ¼ tank it’s time to find a fuel stop. Seeing as I had the Two truck Hauler they all stopped when I did for fuel. So the first fuel up was in Port Washington WI.  20.485 Gals. Then back on the road we zoomed thru Chicago like it was Green Bay WI very few cars on the road. Only problem we seem to have is that the GPS unit doesn’t realize that I have a 45 foot trailer behind me and I’m not suppose to be in the express lanes with it. The next fuel stop was Hobart Indiana for another 18.859 Gals. and we where off again. If everything goes right next stop will be Cloverdale Indiana where we took on fuel once again 23.504 Gal. and had to pay a penalty of .07 Cents extra for not having a DOT number. We used 62.848 Gals. @ 496 miles = 7.89 mpg. Not bad when you look at the weight my truck was hauling. We arrived in Cloverdale IN. at 5:13 Wisconsin Time 6:13 IN. time and had Breakfast at the truck stop there, then headed to the Arena on Stardust Rd. just 1 mile away.

 When we got there the sun was just making it self visible there where a bunch of haulers there already so we found a place to park and then set off to check the place out. First guy we meet happened to be the owner of the building, So we asked if where we parked was ok with him. He told us you got here early and it looked good to him so we where OK for the weekend. It wasn’t 2 hours later some guy in a little Suzuki beep beep told us we’d have to move to the other side of the building, that this side was for Semi Haulers. Then we told him to go talk to the owner of the building cuz we had his card blanch to park here all weekend. Next thing you know we had 4 other open deck trailers parked next to us with a few of them being Red dog Board members.

 So it worked out great for everyone to get together and mingle. Everything up to this point was going Great. We had the haulers parked made three or four laps around the building checking out the other pulling vehicles and even had a beer or two at 8:30 in the morning. First thing out of peoples mouths where “gee you must be from Wisconsin “ Hell ya I’m from Wisconsin, I been up for going on 20 some hours it’s not like I have a drinking problem I was thirsty.

 OK Thursday was the day for us to play so to say, So at 11 a.m. one of the guys said maybe we should head to the motel and get register at the hotel. So we piled into Bruce’s Truck and headed over to the Cloverdale Inn. This is where the weekend started to go to hell.

 OK here’s the Motel review I posted in the review site. This is where this writing gets long so you better open another beer.

OK Folks I'm not going to sugar coat this at all.

 This Motel Sucks Big time ...

I reserved two rooms for the Truck pull that was going to take place on March 12, 13, 14 back on Dec. 3 2008, And was told the room rate was $69.95 for a room with 2 Queen size beds. We had a group of  8 guys which we have shared rooms before so we co-mingle will together so for us to share two rooms was no problem for the pull weekend. Well back in Jan. I stumbled upon this review site and was Shocked out of my wits end with the reviews of this motel. And I got back on the phone and tried to get rooms at one of the other motels in the area and found that all motels where booked solid, I also learned that the Econo Lodge Inn Franchise was moving to one of the other motels in the area and the Cloverdale Inn was now under new Owners and Management.

 When we got there I was told my reservation mistakenly got lost and they didn't have any rooms with two Queen size beds at all. So the gal behind the deck said sorry. When I told her sorry wasn't going to cut it she said she had to get the manager. Which was the mother of this find family run business. After a little wheeling and dealing we ended up with 3 Rooms with a Single Double bed and we ordered one roll away bed for one guys young boy to sleep on which they said they had, And one of the guys said he had a sleeping bag with so he'd sleep on the floor no problem. So everything was set we had Rooms 110, 105, and 201

So we headed to the room to get settled in. First try the key wouldn't open my rooms door but after four attempts it finally work, Had to hit the handle really fast. OK we can live with this. The roll away bed never showed up so the kid slept on the floor. He was ok with that.

 Then once in side the room things got better. Yes the room was run down, our feet seemed to stick to the carpet, and the ceiling coating was falling off above by the window, The Curtain in the room was half ripped down, We turned on the heat and the guy staying in my room went to take a shower before we went back to the pulls for the evening. Well he told me the shower didn’t work, the diverter somehow got broke on the downspout. As I was leaving the room for the pull the House keeping gal was going by so I asked her to come in the room and see if she could get the maintenance person to fix it so we can take a shower when we get back from the pulls that evening, She said she’d pass it on to them.

So ok Mikey used two towels to take his sponge bath, one on the floor and one to dry his body. And I used one wash cloths to clean up a bit from the drive down there, And I brought my own towel with so I was covered there. I also brought my own pillow with cuz of the review I read.

OK reports of the other three rooms I paid for. Room 110 didn’t have heat. It had a space heater instead, TV Remote didn’t work the room was missing the microwave, and the refrigerator wouldn’t turn on, the door wouldn’t stay closed you had to slam it really hard to get it to latch.

 Room 201 was the best room of them all, I guess the shower worked great the heater you could actually control and the carpet wasn’t to bad, it wasn’t till they opened the frig. and seen the furry thing growing in it that we called a gee o pet, so nothing went into it to stay cold.

OK so we head off too the pulls for the evening. Pulls got done at 11:30 that night and it’s now been 36 hours since I been to sleep, so all I wanted to do was go to the room take a shower and go to bed. When we got back to the room nothing was done to the shower and the room was at 102 dreg. Cuz the heater only had hot or cold setting it seemed. Good thing was it took all of 5 minutes for the room to get cool again with the gap around the door letting in the cool 22 dreg. Evening air.

 So up at 6 and I took my sponge bath and got dressed for the day at the pulls.

Upon leaving my room I went to the front desk and asked once again to get the shower fixed, cuz sponge baths just don’t cut it with me, unless I’m in the hospital. Lucky for me the guy that does maintenance in the building was by the front desk when I was in there and he said he’d get it fixed right away.

So over to the Truck stop for breakfast.

OK folk I had a Full day of pulling Friday the pulls started at 10 a.m. and they called it a night with 3 classes not finished at 3:30 A.M. So back to the motel to find the shower was not fixed. Well Ok what you going to do at 3:30 a.m. so Exhausted I fell into bed after washing up with the same wash cloth as I did this morning seeing how House keeping seemed to have missed our room for cleaning this day.

So OK we had to be back at the pulls by 8 a.m. so they could finish the classes they didn’t get to the day before. On my way out I stopped once again at the front desk and told the gal sitting there that IF that shower wasn’t fixed when I got back from the pulls that day I was calling my Credit card company and stopping the $488.00 payment on the hotel, And uttered it would be nice if house keeping could do my room today as I was walking out the door.

OK the afternoon Pulls got done at 6 p.m. none of us made it into the Saturday Night Pulls so we loaded up the trucks and headed to the pizza joint in town for supper. Dam good Pizza there by the way and great service also.

OK back to the motel to get in bed early to get a good night sleep for the 9-hour drive home on Sunday.

Walk in the room and the heater was shut off, bed was made, And the Shower was Fixed. Hot dam. Then I was looking for the Towels for the floor none in sight, the towels we had used that morning where now hanging on a Clip hanger next to the sink and the other one hanging on the back of the bathroom door. Wash cloth and floor mate where gone. Glad I brought my own towel to use, but Mikey got the short end of that stick.

Sunday morning Check out was Drop the keys off thanked them for fixing the shower and told them how upset I was about the towels and wash cloths not being replaced with clean ones. 

 This place needs to be condemned and knocked to the ground. 

 OK so now we can get to the pulls themselves, As you can see we had one hell of a good time all the way around. 

So Ok Thrusday night they had the 470 Super Stock class run and they’re where a few guys from the Reddog’s message board there to pull. Walter Smith and I where talking and dissecting his run and he said his R’s where down 800 compared to what he usually would run at a pull.  So I was thinking in my head that I had planned to run a 650 gear and that I wanted to run it at 8000 Rpm’s which would give me 31.28 mph wheel speed, but when Walter told me he missed his rpm goal by 800 and his truck would be like a 600 in my truck I knew maybe I should drop 2 gears down and run a 450 gear. Only problem was I didn’t have one in the box of gears I had with, I had a 400 but I was afraid of then being to low and not getting enough wheel speed to haul it to the end. And then talking to my buddy Bruce he brought up the question of well what rear end gear was he running and what tranny gear did he have in the truck. Two very good points. So I decided to stand pat on my gear choice and just run the first class to see where I ended up. So as I was in Staging after Bruce pulled he told me that I might want to rethink the gear selection again seeing how he only turned 7200, which was 800 less, then he wanted to turn.  Well at that time my box of gears where on the trailer and there was only two truck in front of me, then After I told myself there wasn’t enough time they let this other truck that showed up late pull in front of me. So there would have been time had I had the gears with me. I usually have one gear up and down from what’s in the gearbox in the truck just for last minutes decisions like this. But I only had the gear up in there today.

 Oh well they flag me to the line and I back up to the sled. Wow my starting line routine is really rusty right now. So I told myself just make sure all the switches are on before you leave the line. When the dropped the hook on my truck I felt the back end like drop a inch. I thought wow that’s one heavy hook. I got everything tight and then they had a bunch of mass confusion on the track with the Tractors and leveling crew because the Orge broke and had to be towed off. So I shut down ShaZam and waited to them to get there acts together. So upon restarting ShaZam I now had to reset all the recording devices I have onboard. When they gave me the green flag I gave ShaZam the normal two stabs of the throttle to clear things out and put ShaZam in 3rd hit the tach record and eased out to the 20 foot mark and feed into the throttle easy but steady and had it wide open by the 100’mark. I watch the track and the tach very close on this run and the R’s came up very slow hit 7600 and then headed back down and as I hit the 220’ mark it seemed like the tires just let go of the track and I spun out at the 252.3’ ok I finished out the classes at 15th out of 19 trucks. Hey I didn’t finish last I said … SO ok lets learn from this and change tires and come back and do better in Super Stock.

OK so went to change tires and got to the pass. Rear and it was stuck to the hub. I just got these tires and rims and the rims are the 2-piece design that you bolt together and the opening would hit the hub and I had to machine down the hubs to fit inside of them. Apparently I’ll have to take that one hub down a little more before the next pull.  So After getting a big hammer from Donny Skankis I got the tire off and the DOT tires on. Borrowed a 450 gear from Donny, and was all set for the evening 530 Super stock session.

So we had a few hours to kill till the evening session started so we had a little grilling party over at Alan Pages trailer. Hot dogs on buns some killer cheesy potato dish, and cookies and chips.. The good stuff that life is made of. We had some great talk and a few laughs, and then it was off to get serious again inside the building.

Well with all the trucks and tractors that pulled that day I had a good ¼” of dust on ShaZam so I got my wonder wand out and dusted off ShaZam. She looked better for about 20 minutes and the dust started to collect again. Well the evening session started almost on time and I was the 18 truck in the class of 23 to run so I had time to head down to the far end of the track to watch a few trucks run before I need to head for staging. First truck I wanted to watch was Alan Page and he broke at the 100’ mark and my buddy Bruce was right after Alan.

 Bruce Hooked up and yanked it 294.9 which looked really good at that point as He left the track he was in 1st place. I met him at the end of the track gave him a good job the gear selection worked great and I’d meet him at the parking area to see how the replay tach readings read for his run. Everyone was happy at this point. Then Geared Up hooked next and put his truck into the sand pile for a full pull. Which I thought they just might reset the sled if the next truck hit the sand pile also.

From the starting line end it looked like the next truck was in the sand pile but the distance came in at 293.5 I said to Bruce there in the pile and getting 293 there something wrong here. But they stood pat on the sled and won’t reset it. Number 7 truck broke and next up was my Buddy Cory Lim a Roddy as I call him. He put a spanking on that sled and put his truck so deep into the sand pile the sled came and smacked his ass end and caved in his box sides. I finally got to the line and got all hooked up to the sled knowing I had to put it in the sand to play any more that day. And once again when they dropped that hook on my truck I swear it must weigh 300 pounds My truck actually dropped a 1”.

So I get the chain all tight put it in neutral to clear the engine and I feel the sled start pulling me back, he pulled me back a good 15” and I know I didn’t tug the sled when I tightened the chain up So I don’t know why they did that other then he wasn’t on his line to begin with, but he should have been.

 Anyway this time I had the small gear in and I knew the r’s would come up faster this time and they did. I rolled it out of the hole about 2’ and steadily added more throttle till I hit wide open by the 75’ mark and ShaZam hit 7800 but still not the 8000 I wanted and by the 225’ what ever stage this guy hits at that point just blows my tires free and I stopped at the 282.8’ mark. So Ok I put 30’ on my first run and ended up finishing 11th for the day. Which I didn’t know that till today and now I’m bummed cuz that’s just one place out of the money.

 So stopped and got my weights and headed back out to the trailer and loaded ShaZam up. Bruce and I are all done for now and Craig and Billy had to pull yet tonight and again on Saturday. So back in to watch the rest of the boys pull and get me some more of that Carbon monoxide.

They called the show off at 3 a.m. with three classes to go which included Billy and Craig’s Mod class So they had to be back at 8 a.m. to get there classes in and get ready for the rest of the days pulls. 

PPL Mod class Craig took 12th and Billy took 13th and in the 650 mod class Billy took 11th and Craig took 12th and for Craig he was happy with his finish seeing the caliber of trucks there and his small 572 motor. So we got the trucks all loaded up and ready for the trip home sat around for a beer or two then headed back to the pizza joint for Supper and a good nights sleep for the long drive home tomorrow.

Sunday Morning 5:30 a.m. the alarms going off but no body seem to want to get up so crash for another hour up at 7:00. Check out of the hotel and head to the truck stop for breakfast. OK on the road by 8:00 figure to be home by 4:30 or 5:00 for the most part the ride home was good, no major traffic jamb the only thing was I took the wrong lane and ended up going 20 miles out of the way to get back on I94 bypass but I wish I stayed on the back road thru Chicago that dame Toll way cost me 25 bucks to get thru it. And it was half under construction and the other half was rougher the hell. All in All we had a great time down there in Cloverdale. Next year IF we happened to make the trip down there I’ll be booking my Reservations at the Motel 6. We got home at 6 p.m. so we made good time but not great time.

OK Fuel mileage for the ride home we put Craig's truck on backward to put more weight over the axles. Lets see if it helped or not ok we used 64.087 Gals to go 465.4 miles = 7.26 Mpg

 For the complete trip it’s 961 miles and 126.935 gals = 7.57 Mpg. Not to bad for hauling 19,200 #Dan