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The Adventures of Daniel B.

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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11/25

Current Load: Joppa, MD to Reno, NV - 2600 miles. Total weight is 71,000.

Today wasn't a bad day. It could have gone better, but it's nothing to stress about.

I woke up at 0300 today and started driving at 0330. I was parked all alone so it wasn't too easy doing a pretrip inspection when it's pitch black and you can't see anything around you. So truth be told, I kind of rushed my pretrip inspection. I just checked critical things like lights, drain air tanks, air lines/grommets, checked if seal is intact, and checked to make sure my jaws are around the kingpin. I didnt want to hang around outside being all alone in the middle of the night, was concerned about my safety. So honestly my actual pretrip took about 3 minutes but I logged it as 10 minutes.

I was parked on a mountain summit so as soon as I started driving I had to go down a 5% grade for 5 miles. I spent a little time heating up my engine. I didn't want to be going down the hill with everything being frozen.

I drove about 3 hours nonstop and then went to a Love's.

My dashcam stopped charging. It was still under the exchange policy at Love's so I stopped by and exchanged it. Bagged it up and got a brand new box in return. The entire process took roughly a minute with no hassle. This new box came with another 30 day exchange policy. That's the good thing about buying from truck stops. It may be slightly more expensive but if the product fails, it's not a hassle to replace immediately. If I bought it at Amazon it would have saved me a little bit, but I would be screwed right now!

It was roughly 0630 by now and dispatch should be working. So I sent a message to my DM asking him if he would like me to drop my load at the terminal and give me a different load to take to CA. The reason is because when I deliver to Reno ill go home immediately. The distance between my place and Reno is 120 miles. Those miles would be unpaid. But if I took a load into CA then I would get additional miles. In the end, it really didnt matter to me. It's just 120 miles.. But my DM insisted.

He sent a message back saying there's no loads going west from Utah. Not surprising. But then again it really doesn't matter. Knowing that I don't have to drop it, I now have all day to get to the terminal. I stop at a parking area in WY because there's sheep literally 15 feet from the fence. So I stop and walk to the fence in hopes of maybe petting the sheep and taking pictures. I brought apples to bribe them. It didnt work though, the sheep walked away from me. Damn!

I get to the terminal and wait in line to go through the hated inspection bay. I wait for 50 minutes until I'm finally in. Before I go any further, I would like to say that everytime I go here, I get red tagged. Everytime. I honestly can't remember a time that I came here and wasn't forced to sit all day long.

I get my tractor fueled up and behold! They're red tagging my trailer! Though I was kinda upset and angry, it's not surprising. Like I said, I get red tagged everytime. So I take the trailer to the trailer shop and that forcefully ends my day.

My plan was to get out of there as soon as possible and do an extra 180 miles towards CA. That way I can sleep in tomorrow because I would only have like 350 miles to do. But since my trailer is red tagged then I have to end my day.

After parking my truck, I attended the quarterly live safety meeting. Along the way I walked past the orientation classroom. And I heard the "instructor" talking about making 100 grand in a year if you lease. Typical central bull****. Excuse my language, but I hate how fiercely they push the lease. That's actually the main reason I'm leaving soon. Poor rookies..

After that I got lunch and then washed my truck for 1 1/2 hours with some pressure washer. Central doesnt provide us with tractor washes . So if we want a clean truck we either have to pay it out of our pocket or we spend hours washing the truck with a pressure washer. It would be really nice if we got a tractor wash once per month or something. But it's fine. I drive it, but it's not my truck so honestly I don't care about how it looks. I only washed it so it'll look good if friends and family want to see it when I'm home. I have enough things to care for in my life. So I try to not care for a lot of things to make my life easier.

Today I woke up at 0300 and started working at approximately 0320. I took two breaks and ended my day at 1300. I worked for 7 hours and 6 minutes, of those hours, I drove 6 hours and 51 minutes.

For a total of 406 miles today.

Even though my day got cut short. I will still make it home on the 27th.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Of topic here..

Wow, this thread just reached 100 replies! shocked.png

I didnt think it would last this long to be honest. Haha!

Starcar's Comment
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Daniel...its like a good book...the more pages, the better the story !!!!smile.gif

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
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Daniel,

If I had known you was having trouble with your laptop when we met up, I could have looked at it for you to see if it was just something simple/easy to fix. In case you didn't know, I worked on computers before driving.

All these posts on this tread are very good stuff for lots of folks. Keep up the good work. Try to always take a few minutes to see what you have been up to during the day.

Ernie

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel,

If I had known you was having trouble with your laptop when we met up, I could have looked at it for you to see if it was just something simple/easy to fix. In case you didn't know, I worked on computers before driving.

All these posts on this tread are very good stuff for lots of folks. Keep up the good work. Try to always take a few minutes to see what you have been up to during the day.

Ernie

I'm pretty good with laptops myself. It's the charger that stopped working. It's not supplying power to the laptop. I have a replacement charger waiting for me at home.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, you answered a question I was going to ask. I was wondering about how the truck washes worked. Apparently with your company they don't give you much support with washing your truck. I wonder if other companies may 'give' you a free wash or two to keep the truck looking good. I imagine they would probably frown on you if you never washed your truck. Well if they don't give you the means to wash it, why should you flip the bill?

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, you answered a question I was going to ask. I was wondering about how the truck washes worked. Apparently with your company they don't give you much support with washing your truck. I wonder if other companies may 'give' you a free wash or two to keep the truck looking good. I imagine they would probably frown on you if you never washed your truck. Well if they don't give you the means to wash it, why should you flip the bill?

Exactly. Here's how I see it. In a way I'm a traveling advertisement. People see my equipment. They won't get a good impression about the company if my equipment looks like trash. There's so many people that we pass that are thinking about being a driver, a shiny truck gives them an interest in that company. If you're looking into becoming a driver and you're picking your company and you're always looking at the trucks on the road. The beautiful, shiny trucks will stand out.

I'm not saying that people pick their company based on how the equipment looks. But it does leave an impression.

Having said that, if they are too cheap to provide me with a wash here and there then I clearly shouldn't care either. It's not my concern if my tractor trailer is dirty and unattractive. Want to fix that problem? Then clean your equipment that the driver is using.

This honestly isn't a big deal and you shouldn't really dismiss a company because they won't pay to wash your truck. Considering how many trucks Central has it makes sense that this would get very costly. But it does speak volumes when a company is generous enough to provide washes.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

I half agree with Daniel. The equipment gets dirty, it's inevitable. Most of these companies are multi-million, or even multi-billion, dollar companies. They can easily arrange for washes for some reasonable price every once in a while.

For Schneider we can wash our equipment after every other preventative maintenance, so twice a year.

Sometimes I want my truck to be shiny and clean. Other times I think it's a waste of money because the truck will still run if it is dirty, and that's all that matters. lol.

I can't believe TMC pays for a wash every week, they must be making boatloads of money or something. But then again, every business is run differently, so who knows why they wash so much and other companies don't. It's not a deal breaker to be honest.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I half agree with Daniel. The equipment gets dirty, it's inevitable. Most of these companies are multi-million, or even multi-billion, dollar companies. They can easily arrange for washes for some reasonable price every once in a while.

For Schneider we can wash our equipment after every other preventative maintenance, so twice a year.

Sometimes I want my truck to be shiny and clean. Other times I think it's a waste of money because the truck will still run if it is dirty, and that's all that matters. lol.

I can't believe TMC pays for a wash every week, they must be making boatloads of money or something. But then again, every business is run differently, so who knows why they wash so much and other companies don't. It's not a deal breaker to be honest.

I agree. I don't really care about the exterior honestly. It's their loss to have a filthy truck on the road. As long as it runs well and up to date on maintenance. But it's a nice little incentive to provide your drivers with washes.

I'd be happy for 2 washes a year. But I don't get any. The local drivers get a wash every month. But OTR gets nothing. But like I said, I don't really care. But since we're on the subject thought I'd give my opinion.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Most major companies have wash bays at their terminals. Of course you wind up sitting in line for two hours most of the time, but you'll eventually leave with a clean truck.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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