Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bertha and The Beast

A year ago, when my boss and I were trying to figure out if we were actually going to start offering mobile hearing services, driving a big truck and trailer was theoretical and I didn't worry about it. However, when we bought the trailer and it turned out to be 40 feet instead of 30 AND I stood in front of it and thought it was the biggest trailer in the entire universe, then I started to worry a little. I remember driving the truck for the first time, longing for my little Altima. I worried that I'd never learn to drive it and the trailer.

Almost 10 months later, Bertha and the Beast are like old friends. In fact, during May and June, I spent more time with them than my own family and friends. They were the only ones around on my birthday. They have witnessed Shawn's kisses, my reconciliation with Dad, scenic landscapes, and more cuss words and whistling than I care to admit. So, without futher ado, here are pictures of Bertha and the Beast.

I took these pictures at the Guernsey Armory. This one gives you an idea of how big the truck is. The trailer doesn't seem too bad, does it? Check out the next picture.

This picture shows exactly how big the trailer is. The ironic thing is that we only use a little more than half of it for testing. The very back of the trailer is where the electrical outlets, spare tire, and extension cords are stored. You can't see this from the inside of the trailer, it's like a false back, or something. From the back door to the back of the trailer (before the false back) is where I do the testing (next picture). From the back door to the goose neck was used for training by the previous owners, but I use it for storage. The goose neck is hollow, so perfect for storing things I don't need often. The room behind the front door contains some chairs, a counter, and two cupboards. This room I use to store things that I need on a fairly regular basis but not enough to justify cluttering the back room. I didn't take a picture of this room because at the time it was mega messy. Yesterday, I spent a couple hours reorganizing and cleaning, so it looks tons better. You'll just have to take my word for it.

There are three phone booth-size sound booths in the trailer (we're looking from the middle of the trailer towards the rear), the one on the far left is being blocked by the middle booth's door. Those two are always quarreling. There is a bench on which people who are waiting to be tested can sit. I sit at the "command center". That's my comfy black chair, my laptop that controls the audiometers, the audiometers (the three small rectangles fastened to the black mounts - the previous owner had bigger audiometers), and the printer. They automatically administer the hearing tests - all I have to do is push Start and monitor for any problems. It's actually a pretty handy set up, though it does need a few adjustments to make it perfect. All in good time, though.

So, there you go. Now you know what I drive and where I practically live while on the road.


Ben said...

That thing's crazy big! I'm pretty impressed.

Framed said...

I can't believe how big this is. You drive that around the country???

Alyson said...

Wow! Pretty amazing! I hope you will take us on a tour when we come down to visit.

Cardine said...

Wow. That is big enough that a person could live in it! I can't emphasize enough the coolness of you driving that thing.

julie said...

Ben, yes it is CRAZY big. I still think that I'm a little crazy to be driving it. :)

Framed, yes, I drive it around "the country". Actually, mostly around this state and some of the bordering states. Someday, though, it'd be really cool to drive it around the whole country. I was offered a chance to do testing in Tennessee but had to say no due to a scheduling conflict. I was really bummed.

Alyson, I'd be happy to take you on a tour when you come down!

Cardine, I've thought that actually. I could just turn the first half of the trailer, currently just used for storage, in to a little living area. There's even a bathroom on board, though not currently in use because I don't want to have to deal with emptying it, if you know what I mean.

James and Melissa's Family said...

Well I am glad that you finally posted "Bertha and the Beast". Although I already have seen you driving that thing, so I know how big it is. I think that you are one cool person to be able to drive it! Way to go!

Lori Clark said...

Thanks for posting the pictures, I've wanted to see the truck and trailer, pretty impressive. I looks like you have a pretty cool job.

Mellissa said...

I agree that the trailer didn't look that big until the second picture. Good grief, girl! Once again, I'm just glad you're the one behind the wheel, not me!

tearese said...

thanks for the visual, I am so impressed!