Alive And Kicking👍

Topic 17624 | Page 1

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PJ's Comment
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Hello everyone. I have been MIA awhile but I'm still hanging in there. Just enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with my family and starting the next chapter in my driving career. I can't believe how fast the past 3 years have gone. It has been very diverse too say the least. I have been very blessed and proud of my accomplishments in this industry. I have pulled dry vans, refers, and tanks in my short career. I have worked with some of the best and brightest and learned something everyday. About 2 months ago I was approached by a local Granite company where I live and basically recruited to come work for them. They are NOT a trucking company in the normal sense. They manufacture their own products and deliver them on their own trucks. I will pickup a preloaded trailer at the plant (2 miles from my house) and go make the deliveries and come back. They matched my average weekly pay at my former employer without blinking an eye as a guaranteed minimum each week. They have what I assess as above average equipment and I will be home every weekend and major holiday. I won't have to compete for my loads and I can just do my job. Amen to that. My truck isn't neutered, No electronic anything on board at least till December, and I'm actually expected and trusted to be a professional. They have a good CSA score and aren't in bad graces with DOT. I go out on my first load tomorrow. Run a load up to Bailtmore and run back through Va and pickup a imported block and come home. Sounds straight forward enough. A tenured driver is going with me to show me the ropes so to speak on the paperwork and securement. And how to use the onboard crane to off load with. I'm looking forward to this chapter and being able to actually have a set schedule and home life. I hope everyone here had a safe and blessed holiday season and 2017 brings safe travels to all

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Tractor Man's Comment
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It sounds like you have paid your dues, and good things have come to pass. Congrats on a job well done!

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Big Scott's Comment
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Congratulations and good luck.

PJ's Comment
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Thanks ya'll. One could say I have paid my dues, but it's all been very worth it. I guess Old School has corrupted me 🤔🤔 However all my flatbed buddies say I'm not truly a real flat bedder since I will never have to tarp anything. The trucks don't even have any onboard. First time with a spread axle trailer also. I'm always up for a good challenge though.

PJ's Comment
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Guess I need to remember how to change the photo also lol

Pat M.'s Comment
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Thanks ya'll. One could say I have paid my dues, but it's all been very worth it. I guess Old School has corrupted me 🤔🤔 However all my flatbed buddies say I'm not truly a real flat bedder since I will never have to tarp anything. The trucks don't even have any onboard. First time with a spread axle trailer also. I'm always up for a good challenge though.

Isn't it nice not to have to tarp? Just secure an roll.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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Tarping or not tarping, you are a flatbed driver. There are truck companies that they pretty much only haul flatbed loads that don't need tarped. R E West springs to mind. They haul farm and construction equipment mostly. And industrial heating/AC units. They don't carry tarps either. If a load needs a tarp then it is time to break out the Comchecks. LoL

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey great to see you back PJ! Glad things are still rolling along nicely for ya!

First let me mention one quick thing for our visitors regarding your new company:

They are NOT a trucking company in the normal sense. They manufacture their own products and deliver them on their own trucks.

For folks new to this industry, this is referred to as a "private fleet" and they tend to be great companies to drive for. Tyson (the chicken people), Pepsi, Budweiser, Walmart, and Kroger (grocery chain) are all examples of companies that own their own private fleets. They're not 'just' trucking companies per se. They're normally retailers hauling goods to their own stores or manufacturers hauling their own products to their customers. Most of the time these private fleets use outside carriers to supplement their fleet. For instance, Walmart has their own fleet of trucks but they also contract out a lot of their freight to companies like Swift and Schneider.

And that concludes today's lesson!

PJ, didn't you lease a truck at one time if I remember correctly? Obviously you're not leasing one now so you've decided to take a different path. Are there any insights you can give from that experience that might help us better inform people in the future who are considering leasing for themselves?

A tenured driver is going with me to show me the ropes so to speak on the paperwork and securement....I have pulled dry vans, refers, and tanks in my short career

So this your first flatbed job, correct? If so, we have something for you! Two things in fact! They're two of the newest additions to our High Road Training Program:

Interestingly enough that NYS coil endorsement could be a huge help even though you don't need the endorsement. I'd say hauling gigantic blocks of granite can't be entirely foreign when compared with hauling gigantic steel coils. I mean, if you get one to the back of the head it's not like you're going to say, "Oh thank God that was only a 25,000 pound block of granite and not a 25,000 pound steel coil!"

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Let us know how your first run goes!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Brett, thanks for the information, as usual you are a wealth of knowledge. Your memory is very good sir, I did lease at one time. That lasted a year and I went another direction. I have purposely kept my opinion of that experience off of here. I remember posts would come up from time to time about it and it wasn't a topic for this site, so I respected that and didn't post about it. I am more than willing to share it if you would like. It was one of those learning experiences that made me better and provided a wider knowledge base, some would call it wisdom🤔. It's like anything else in this industry, not all things work for everybody. I have been very successful with all the folks I have worked with for one simple reason. I took your advice from the very beginning of simply working hard, and always being professional with a great attitude. That has made me a shinning star without exception. So if any new folks here don't believe that it does work I am living proof that it does. For the folks here that don't know me I will share this I got into this industry later in my life, after retiring from a 30 yr career in law enforcement. It gets me out of the wife's hair a bit, and pays for my toys. I am not relying on this income to take care of my family. That said, my tolerance for certain things is not real high. I have the flexibilty to try things and if it works, great. If it doesn't work then no major harm done. Lessons learned. I am truly blessed to be in this position at this time in my life.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Hey ya'll, well after 2 weeks at the new job I am completly happy and thrilled with it. They had me make 1 run to Bailtmore with another driver. He was awesome and we got along very well. He exposed to to a very wide range of things. I soaked it up like a sponge. The boss called him when we were on our way back to see how things were going. His first comment to the boss was "you had better have his truck ready when we get back". His next comment really took me by suprise " He's got it and the best hire you've made in a long time". He felt the need to explain to me afterward. He was impressed I listened to his instruction and actually applied it. He went on to tell me my attitude is top notch and he felt I would not only do the right things, but represent the company very well. I was very humbled by his comments. I was just being me. I made a run to Mobile Al by myself and things went well. The customer even called the office to let them know how impressed they were with my attitude and they enjoyed working with me. I didn't do one thing special, I just did my job with a good attitude. I have the old truck. It's an 05 International Eagle. It was rebuilt about 100k ago and drives better than some newer ones I have driven and no DEF👍👍 I go back out Sunday so we'll see how it goes.

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