2015 & 425,000 Miles Already?

Am I the only one that feels 2014 was a ridiculous blur? I’ve been told that the older you get, the faster time goes. This is very true to an extent, but this fast? Maybe it’s because I have a toddler in my midst. Or perhaps it was due to how busy we were with work this year. Either way, I’m already scribbling out 2014 to replace it with 2015.

I’m excited about 2015 for many reasons. First off, I’ve ended 2014 with rolling the first 400k milestones. I’ve officially hit 425,000 miles!DSC00879The cherry on top was a clean bill of health from the Acura service department. The TSX currently doesn’t need anything! Here is the invoice for the 425k oil 

But honestly, the thing I’m most excited about is work. At least how it will be done anyway. Most of you know that I am a Property Damage Appraiser and spend my days looking at wrecked cars that are covered, for the most part, by out of state insurance companies. Like this Camry…DSC02163This Camry is the end result of making a U-Turn without looking & there just happens to be a tractor trailer right there. This couple is lucky to see the New Year. The majority of what I see is repairable & not near this bad. In the winter months, I mostly inspect low speed minor collision damage. Most people are good drivers and going slow in the snow and ice. They just underestimate the ice part and slowly but surely slide into another car or curb. I see a lot of wheel and suspension damage for this same reason. The other 35% or so are all roll over 4WD trucks and SUV’s. This type of vehicle instills a very false sense of security in winter conditions. The 4WD definitely helps you go. But it surely doesn’t help you to stop any better. Most of these units end up on their roofs on the freeway median or shoulder.

So a typical day for me is to start the day with going thru the assignments & organizing by geographic location & making the calls to schedule. I’ll head out into the field, inspect the vehicle taking notes and pictures as I go. Then running to the next unit until I’ve seen everything on the days list. When I get home I have a couple hours to spend with my son Luke, then it’s into the bonus room where I have my office set up so I can start writing the estimates and completing the reports for the insurance carriers. Most nights I’m writing until 10pm to 11pm. This is how I’ve been doing it for the last 9 years now. I work every evening & most weekends. I haven’t had a real vacation since the Wife & I went to Maui for our Honeymoon 10 years ago.  To sum up, I work way to much.

I have an Uncle that used to say, “Work smarter. Not harder.” I’ve been giving this a lot of thought these last two years. I have not been a happy camper to say the least. My health has gone to pot. I’m tired all the time. I want more time with my Wife & Son. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very lucky guy. I have a job that I love. I have a Wife & Kid I love even more. My car is so awesome I started a blog about it. I own a home & so on. But I just haven’t been feeling it these last two years, & that needs to change.

So here’s my solution. I’m trying everything mobile this year. I’m also going to make it a goal to not worry about work so much. Not every assignment is a fire that needs immediate attention. I’ve spent the last several months setting up a new laptop to function as a independent station to use in the field. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot. It honestly could have been set up in a few days really. But I’m working with almost zero spare time. So it took a while.

So now my days will go something like this. I’ll still start the days organizing the assignments and calling to schedule. But now I will be writing the estimates at the car as well as the reports. Uploading to the office & texting the wife to let her know which car has been inspected so that she can invoice and upload thru-out the day. (Did I mention that the wife & I work together?) It will take some getting used to as I’m usually go, go, GO! during the day. I will not be able to see near as many cars per day. BUT, when I get home around dinner time, I will have nothing to write! I’ve already done it. I will have my evenings back. Or at least most of them. I will still need to write Supplemental damage estimates for cars that are at shops during the repair process. I will also need to write up time & expense files as well. So these type of files are still going to take up some evening or weekend time. But hopefully not much.

My turn around time will most likely stay the same. Or perhaps a small improvement over time as I get used to working this way. I still cover over 2/3rds of the state of Idaho. I’m giving myself about 2 months to get used to this new routine. Old habits die hard. But I think once I’m used to it, I will like it very much. A new way of doing business for me for a New Year.

The snow has been making it hard for me to see everything I want during the day as I only have so many hours of day light for good pictures. But here are just a few places that I’ve been in the snow so far:

The back of Lake Cascade in Donnelly

DSC00364Twin Falls DSC09752North of Idaho CityDSC09945The outskirts of PayetteDSC02481Battle of the Bovine (Trying to leave the outskirts of Payette) I rolled down my window and told them I would call Ronald McDonald if they didn’t haul Beef! They didn’t move. They knew dang well that nobody has cell service out this far. Finally, within 5 feet of them, I gave them a little Vtec exhaust note and they moved. Grade ‘A’ beef – 0. Vtec – 1.DSC02486

Another cow trouble makerDSC02488

McCall. They always get way more snow than us. Anyone care to guess what kind of car this is? The color alone pretty much gives it away.DSC03118

I ran across an older TL a couple weeks ago at a tow yard while there to inspect another unit. It caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, it was an Acura. Second, you dont see to many Acura roll overs. So I went to check it out. DSC03252When I got to the other side, I still thought it was a roll over & they had to use the Jaws of Life to get the driver out. DSC03255But then I got here…DSC03253& it took a good 30 seconds for my mind to process what I was seeing. Do you see it? Take a really good look. Click on the pic and enlarge it. Remember, it took me a good half minute & I was literally standing right in front of it.

Likely, the first thing you noticed is that the rear door is missing. At first I chalked this up to the Jaws of Life removal. But then I saw the rear door. It was still there, only it was pushed all the way into the driver seat!DSC03254Do you see it now? This wasn’t a roll over at all. Who ever was driving was WAY over driving and slid sideways into a pole or tree at aprox 60+ mph. The white you see on the bottom is not the floor. It’s the actual ground. Here’s my foot print on the ground “inside” the car…DSC03256The rear door was literally pushed into the driver door. Half the driver seat was folded onto itself. I would have taken pictures to show this, but there was brain matter (not kidding) & blood all over the cockpit. I felt that most people could do without those images. I’ve never seen a T-Bone hit this bad before. After speaking with the tow driver, I learned (not surprisingly) that the driver was intoxicated & the only one in the car. Thankfully.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in past posts, I put wrecks like this up once in a while as a reminder to anyone that reads my blog, that life is short. Drive careful & be safe. Watch out for aggressive drivers. Let them have the right of way, get past, or what ever they want. These drivers are ‘Ground Zero’ & you don’t want to be anywhere near them when their actions finally catch up with them.

Cars & alcohol have both been around for over 100 years now. So it’s no mystery what happens when you drink & drive. I personally have little sympathy for the drivers that end up like the guy in this TL. My sympathy is for the family & loved ones they left behind, or anyone else that may have been caught up in their ‘Ground Zero’ & their families & friends. Just be safe out there guys. Better to be late, then to never get there at all.

To end on a lighter note, The princess & I had our 10th wedding anniversary on Jan 1st (yes, we got married on new years day). Luke is now 2 years old now. The grandparents got Luke a little remote controlled Jeep for our anniversary. I’m happy to report that just after a couple times of showing him how to use the remote, he was driving the Jeep himself.

Since first starting on this post, I have also passed the 430k mark. This also is one of the reasons that I’m excited about my new work style and having evenings open again. I’ll have some personal time to put toward updating everyone on the blog on a more regular basis.  Any way, here’s the 430k mile oil change invoice from good old Lyle Pearson Acura.

430k oil

In closing I’d like to dedicate this last picture to all those that still have their doubts, that sadly, we are in fact living in the Matrix.DSC03165See you all again real soon!DSC03164

 

 

 

About clymerdude

A Property Damage Appraiser in the State of Idaho.
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10 Responses to 2015 & 425,000 Miles Already?

  1. Carlos says:

    That is a very bad accident. I thought the car was a two door coupe and not a sedan.

    You mention the following in your post:

    “The other 35% or so are all roll over 4WD trucks and SUV’s. This type of vehicle instills a very false sense of security in winter conditions. The 4WD definitely helps you go. But it surely doesn’t help you to stop any better. Most of these units end up on their roofs on the freeway median or shoulder.”

    I have a friend who is a big SUV lover. He says they are safer in accidents because they are heavier than regular automobiles and because of the law of physics, the heavier vehicle is going to prevail in an accident against a smaller, lighter car.

    My view is that I prefer a car for their maneuverability in emergency conditions. Also, cars rarely flip over in comparison to SUV’s. I have been reading a lot in the local news about SUV’s flipping over and passengers inside being ejected from the car and suffering mortal injuries. I also remember a time several years ago driving behind an SUV in the expressway at approximately 65 to 70mph. It was in Florida so there was no snow. Also, the pavement was dry. A car in front of the SUV suddenly got into the SUV’s lane and cut him off. The SUV took emergency maneuvers to avoid an accident and very nearly flipped over right in front of me. It was sickening to me how, due to the higher center of gravity, the SUV is so vulnerable to flipping over and becomes so difficult to control. It was an emergency maneuver that my TSX would have made without difficulty but the SUV very nearly flipped over.

    I don’t know what was the year of the SUV. I also don’t know if newer SUVs have roll over protection due to new Stability Control mechanisms that would prevent or minimize possibility of roll over (perhaps by lowering the car’s suspension at highway speeds?)

    Knowing what you know due to the nature of your work, if you had to buy another car, which would you choose. If you wanted to provide yourself and your family the safest vehicle, would you purchase an SUV or a regular car? And if your purchased a regular car, would that car be a coupe or a four door sedan. I have also read that four door cars are safer than two door cars. Something having to due to the fact that four door cars have additional side protection due to the beam that separates front and rear doors.

    Stay safe.

    Carlos

  2. clymerdude says:

    Hi Carlos! It almost seems like I’ve been depriving you, as your comment is akin to a blog post in itself. Haha. To answer your question would be a blog post all in itself. There are a myriad of scenarios that you could put both a car & SUV in and the outcomes will be different in each. I obviously own the TSX like you, but we also have the RDX. It’s true, the RDX is not a large SUV like the Suburban/ Tahoe or Expedition/ Explorer, but still in the SUV class. The answer really depends on the driver. Your friend is right in that the SUV would fair better the the sedan it hit due to it’s size & mass. But a lot of that has to due with the height of the bumpers of both units. The bumper on the SUV would likely be a full foot higher that that of the sedan. The bumper is the height that the particular car in question was designed to take an impact. Unfortunately, cars are designed to be hit by other cars of roughly the same height. Same with the SUV. They are designed with other SUV’s in mind when it comes to impact. When the bumper of the SUV (about a foot higher than the cars bumper) hits the car, the SUV bumper hits the car above all of it’s designed safety features. Such as the front & rear reinforcement bars behind the bumper covers. The side impact bars in the doors (which also happens to be where the side impact airbag sensors are located)

    Lets say a car runs a red light & T-bones another car on the drivers side. Both cars safety features line up, so the sensor in the driver door of the car being hit triggers immediately and deploys the side airbags in time to prevent the drivers head from going into the window or B-Pillar of his own car. He is protected properly. Now lets replace the car running the red light with an SUV. Again, the SUV bumper is a foot higher than the safety features in a car are designed to handle. So instead of the SUV bumper hitting the impact bar in the driver door and triggering the airbag in time to help the driver, the SUV bumper has gone thru the driver door or even window, and has already struck the drivers head/shoulders (depending on the height of the driver) and either done serious damage, or killed the driver before the airbags have a chance to ever deploy.
    So in this sense, the SUV wins.

    But when you factor in the maneuverability of the SUV, which is not near as good as a sedan. You have to conclude that this may contribute to a higher ratio of accidents based on the fact that a sedan may have been able to stay on it’s wheels or avoid the wreck vs the SUV possibly not being able to do either. Again, it all comes down to the drivers skill level. But if I was a betting man, I’d say that if someone took the time to do the research, I’m thinking they would find that there are more deaths in the car vs. SUV, then SUV/SUV or Car/Car.

    Our RDX is all stock & is a pleasure to drive. It handles great and feels secure. The AWD in the snow and ice makes a huge difference. However, We do not overdrive the vehicle. Doing what we do for a living, we have a constant reminder of happens when you drive like an A-Wipe. But if i Had to choose, I would take the Sedan over the SUV any day. The SUV & PickUp Trucks have there uses for sure. But for everyday safety and comfort, I prefer the Sedan for my family.

    As for the difference in safety between a Sedan & Coupe. Your B-Pillar extra strength comment is true. But only to a marginal percentage. Both versions of the car are basically designed the same. The real difference in safety would be in a Coupe that is only designed in a coupe. Like the Scion FR-S. Or the NSX. Neither of these cars have a sedan version. Unlike the Honda Accord Sedan & Coupe. The Accord coupe is the modified version of the sedan. So a small percentage of safety is sacrificed. Not saying the Coupe is unsafe by any means. It’s just the sedan is the original conception and not the modified version. Now the NSX is the only conception there is. So all the safety features are specifically designed for the Coupe version. There is no sedan NSX.

    Hopefully this all made sense to you and it helped. Maybe even answering your question. 🙂

  3. Carlos says:

    Thank you Josh for taking the time to write such a detailed and thorough response. I do remember my friend mentioning that SUV vs car scenario where the SUV T-Bones the car on the driver’s side or passenger side. Like you said, since the SUV bumper is a foot higher than a regular vehicle bumper, the damage to the occupants of the car will be severe. The bumper of the SUV would cause mortal injuries on the occupants of the car. Sometimes I just want to drive a Tank. I would not matter what hit me on the side.

  4. tysonhugie says:

    I still can’t figure out what kind of car that is that’s covered in snow in McCall. But that white TL + pole @ 60 mph = wow! Sounds like work is keeping you busier than ever. That’s pretty sweet about the process change with instantaneous uploads that will allow you to get some time in your evenings back. You deserve a break – let me watch Luke while you & Princess take a vacay!

  5. clymerdude says:

    Thanks for the offer Tyson. We’re actually kicking around the idea of taking our first vacation to the Oregon coast this summer. A whole week! I also have a management meeting in Vegas end of Feb & a week long Heavy Equipment training in Texas later in the spring. So we’ll see how it goes… oh & the car in McCall? Think Domestic crap, vintage late 80’s/ early 90’s.

  6. Carlos says:

    By any chance, Is that green vehicle under the snow a Geo Tracker, Geo Storm or Pontiac Aztek?

  7. tysonhugie says:

    I completely overlooked the fact that the white TL in this post is wearing 15″, 20-spoke wheels from a 1991-92 Acura Legend sedan. Just thought I’d go ahead and mention it now! Want to meet me for “Sushi Ya” in Twin today for lunch?

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