Friday, October 25, 2013

Down and Out in DeQueen Arkansas !

We had just made a left turn at Idabel Oklahoma, and our axle broke! Chuck said he never really felt anything because our truck is so big. He looked in the rearview and saw the MotherShip following at a 20% angle! We were on a 4-lane divided highway. Narrow side shoulders with some grass and then it dropped off a bit to the right down to a rain gutter. Chuck pulled over as much as he could, but the MotherShip was still a bit catawampus to the road, safely off the road… barely!  I pulled up behind and put my emergency flashers on.  This was about 2 pm Thursday. Chuck called Good Sam Roadside Assistance and after about 20 minutes they located By-Pass Diesel & Wrecker Service. They have 5 locations in Arkansas and had someone available in DeQueen to come take care of us.

Daryl showed up in 45 minutes!  He crawled under the MotherShip for over an hour and competently repaired the axle enough for travel.  We drove another 45 miles into DeQueen to the repair shop here. Daryl followed Chuck all the way and I followed Daryl in my Trailblazer.
We arrived shortly after 5 pm, or thereabouts.  We pulled in to spend the night inside the fenced property to deal with everything tomorrow. We were all exhausted! By morning Daryl realized we were not going to find an axle to replace the broken one. Our axle is a bit wide compared to the norm.  However, there is a business nearby that could rebuild it like new and have it back to us by late afternoon!
So off our axle went, on it’s way to be rebuilt about 10 am.
Chuck and Daryl spend the time doing a lot of man-talk stuff and I went to WalMart to stock up. While in WalMart I decided to buy the resident office cat, “Sunny” some treats.
By 3:30 pm the axle was back looking brand new!

As I sit here typing away, Daryl is busy under the MotherShip re-attaching the axle!
It is now 4:45 pm Friday and the axle will be finished in a few minutes.  We also had to replace 2 tires and they should be on by tonight!
Daryl was nice enough to let us run the generator so we could get online and post this to you! We found out that not only does Daryl work here, he is the boss of this location of By-Pass Diesel & Wrecker Service! A very nice man and thank God, he is very knowledgeable and competent! He really pulled us out of a not to happy situation! We are now Happy Campers for sure.
So obviously we didn’t make it to Crater of Diamonds State Park, nor will we. We will spend one more night here inside the compound and head out tomorrow for a new destination! I will fill you in later about that!
Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of this trip goes well! We would really like to be in Apalachicola FL in time for the Seafood Festival!
That’s it from the MotherShip and DeQueen Arkansas! If ya’ll are ever out this way in Arkansas and need help… Daryl at By-Pass Diesel & Wrecker Service is the man to call!
Bye for now….   Geri, Chuck, Doogie and Radar!


  1. Wow! What an experience that must have been. Isn't it great that there are still folks around that know their stuff, even in small towns. Did the axle actually break, or was it a hanger or springs? Apalachicola oysters!! Oh, my.:-)

    1. Jerry, the hanger loosened and one side of the axle slid back to about a 15% angle bending the axle!

  2. The best tasting hams in the world are grown and prepared in DeQueen. Get one to make your stop very worthwhile. I did years ago.

    1. We asked Daryl about the hams and he just had ?????? all over his face. He didn't know about hams, just truck towing and axle fixing!

  3. OMG, you were lucky in so many ways. Thanks to Daryl for being able to put you back on the highway. But bummed about not going diamond hunting. I have a very strong feeling there's a big rock out there for you two.

    1. After paying the repair bill, we could use a big rock or two! :-) But we left DeQueen this morning waving goodbye to Daryl as we drove out. Now in Lake Columbia Arkansas! Near Magnolia!

  4. well. . .good grief. . .just glad all is well, and you can get back on the road.

    1. We got on the road today and everything was working fine except the weather.... rain, gloom, sprinkle, rain, etc etc. But we are here in a beautiful wooded campsite overlooking the lake. It's a county site with W/E $12 a night!

  5. Wow you never know when something like that will happen. Good to know no one got hurt and good to see that you will be back on the road quickly.

  6. A word to the wise..... crawl nder the rig and make sure the nuts are tight on the U-bolts..... that was another problem Daryl found ! Loose U-bolts could have been one of several reasons the axle slipped!

  7. Hi Geri and Chuck!

    I couldn't get your blog to open last night due to weak signal here. Maddening! I wanted so much to read what happened! Your description of the day had me hanging on every word. What an experience!

    I chuckled when I read about the cat treats. That is typical Geri!

    Thank God there are Daryls in this world! He reminded me of Brien who helped me when the brakes failed. So glad no one was hurt and you are on the road again...

  8. Yes, we were so lucky Daryl was on the Good Sam call list! He was very good at what he did! So was Chuck, to be able to pull over safely, under those conditions... makes him a great driver in my book. Yes Sue, it is the Brien's and Daryl's of the world that keep us safe on the highways! Sure glad they are out there!

  9. You guys handled this one like pros. It's good that Chuck managed to keep his cool, or else any other driver would've panicked already. When axles break, it usually means the truck is overweight; so for your next trip, check if the load can be handled by your axles.
    Bobby Ladson @


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