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The Adventures of Daniel B.

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Jopa's Comment
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We used to deliver at Walmart for US Xpress. They were also drop-n-hooks with plenty of empties but we were also treated to a catered dinner, free movies in their employee movie theater, and a $50 gift certificate for shopping in their stores.

Man Daniel...you really got on their bad side! They treat everyone else like gold!

. . . and I heard official greeters make a cool $45 an hour!! That's where I'm headed if this truck drivin' thing doesn't pan out like it should ($200,000 a year, three week paid vacations AND every weekend off and . . . )

Jopa

smile.gif

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Current Load: Deadhead from Salt Lake City, UT to Idaho Falls, ID. Then deliver to Denver, CO. Total Miles: 900. Pays 400$ Total Weight: 70K. Freight: Chobani Yogurt

Last night my DM gave me a local delivery to do as a favor. Again, I'm his go-to-guy so I gladly accepted. He then gave me this nice load to Denver. The local delivery was to the Costco D/C in Salt Lake City, UT. The appointment was at 0530 and I arrived at 0515. They unloaded me lightning fast and I departed with BoL in hand at 0600. Nothing to really talk about with this load.

My next load was possibly the best load I've hauled in a long time.

I spent the day at our terminal for repairs. Got the repairs done and the mechanic went above and beyond to get my repairs done. Salt Lake City terminal is my homebase and I'm there very frequently. So ever since I joined Prime I've made it a goal to befriend everyone there especially the mechanics.

I talk to the orientation lady and joke around with all the shop guys. Heck, even the recruiter over there knows me as well as the security! One of my first loads for Prime was a Snickers load and I had a lot of overcount on it. So I kept about 700$ worth of Snickers. Our Claims Dept. told me to keep them since no one ordered them. So here and there I hook the shop guys up with an entire 40$ box of king size Snickers. Its an investment...

Why?

Because I want special favors. I also wouldn't mind a friend to talk to here and there, but more importantly I want bonuses! If I take my truck to the shop I want the mechanic to want to do a fantastic job because he likes me. And its been working. Whenever I ask for anything to be done to my truck they always do it and then some! This time the mechanic completely revamped my bunk heater and relocated the control panel switch for it in a much more convenient location. I never asked him but he did. There's a whole lot more stuff I've benefited from but I will not post about it because it will get the person fired. But let me assure you, its a giant advantage to have everyone like you and if you're coming into a company be sure to make yourself be recognized by everyone.

I also talked with my DM. We really didn't talk about anything important. There's just nothing to discuss with him. But he knew I was in the terminal and I wanted to stop by and say hello. I don't want to be a stranger. I want to be on his mind, and in time he will recognize me as a friend and just like the shop guys, he will do favors for me when need be.

Anyways, I deadheaded about 200 miles to Idaho Falls to the Chobani Plant. Before I left for my pickup and after my local delivery I stopped by the terminal for a trailer washout and to top off the reefer because this is going to be a drop and hook. My DM sent me a message to verify that my trailer is washed out and fully fueled. The washout guy was a driver not long ago and he told me to be careful over there because they are very strict and will turn away drivers for the smallest things.

He kind of gave me a scare but I had to proceed. I arrived for my pickup in the morning and spoke with the guards. They inspected my trailer and verified that my reefer is in working condition. It was indeed a drop and hook , but unfortunately my preloaded trailer is an old trailer. So I'm exchanging my brand new 2014 trailer for a crappy trailer. Oh well, at least I don't have to get this live loaded.

I drive around the building and stop on the dirt area. I walk into the shipping and receiving door to be greeted by two very nice people. I checked in and was given all my information and my BoL. They also had a sign up that said they give free yogurt upon request. So me being a cheap Russian that I am, I love free things so I asked them about that and they said they'll bring me some gladly. Chobani is by far my favorite yogurt, much better and healthier than that artificial Yoplait crap. Needless to say I was thrilled. I was only expecting one of those 1$ small tubs of yogurt.

I was given an entire box of yogurt. 12 of those small containers of yogurt. Wow!

Fact, this is the first time ever that a shipper was kind enough to actually give me something. First. Time. Ever.

I was happier than a kid with a giant lollipop. I honestly couldn't wipe the smile from my face. Everyone here was so kind and generous. I've never experienced feeling with a shipper in my entire career. For the first time ever, I actually felt appreciated. I really did! The average shipper treats us like crap and can't even give us a smile. I'm lucky if they toss me a "drive safe". Not to get emotional or anything, but this place actually touched me. This has been the only time in trucking that I felt special and appreciated. I can't express how good it feels to be appreciated when you're the scum of the earth in everyones eyes.

I went back to my truck and opened a container up and ate a yogurt. It tasted better than anyone I've ever had and I eat yogurt a lot. I literally sat there feeling like a king eating a yogurt.

Such a small gesture means so much. They'll never realize just how much something like this impacts our day. Something so small to the average person is such a blessing for us.

You're probably sitting there in confusion about this. But believe me, no shipper or receiver will ever care about you and some even make it obvious. So that one time when a shipper treats you amazingly means a whole lot! This has been the best pickup of my life!

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

After I ate my delicious yogurt I took a picture of what I got and sent it to my wife. She was shocked that I was given anything! I had a smile that just could not be taken away.

I dropped my empty trailer and hooked up to my preloaded trailer. I verified the trailer number, seal, registration and inspection papers. The tandems wouldn't slide so I spent almost an hour fighting that. I finally got them to move after I used the curb and my red clay bricks for chocks.

I called dispatch for a live loaded call. This is Prime specific. They basically just want to verify the information that you sent and that you're going to the correct address. They didn't have any information on me and the computer showed that I was still in Salt Lake City even though my Quallcomm shows that all my messages got sent. So that took a little while to update them on everything.

I get down the road very confident and in a happy mood! I parked in the beginning of Wyoming at the Little America Travel Center.

I have tomorrow to drive and that's it. Just under 400 miles! I like to start early so I set my alarm clocks for 0330. And when I set my alarm clocks, I set about 10 of them to guarantee that I'll wake up. I woke up at 0330 and until 0400 I kept silencing my phone every minute. I seriously fell asleep and a minute later woke up to an alarm, shut it off then went back to sleep for a minute. Did that repeatedly for 30 minutes before my body demanded that I sleep more. I cancelled all my alarms and fell asleep and woke up at 0600.

Since my last hometime I've been waking up in the middle of the night just to stay ahead of my tight schedule. Today I didn't need to but I only wanted to do it so I will be comfortable with my delivery. But my body disagreed, it was too fatigued.

So, I get up at 0600 and make breakfast. I start driving at 0630. Nothing really big happened after this point.

WY was extremely windy and I was pretty much battling the winds all day. I got to my favorite place in the lower 48. The rest area in Elk Mountain, WY.

That place is on top of a mountain west of Laramie. There's a trail that you can walk. I've been here a few times in the winter time but its always been way too snow packed and you can't walk anywhere without sinking in feet of snow. But today its mostly melted!

I climbed over three fences and just kept walking. This place is amazing!

I walked for about 20 minutes to a place that was littered with elk foot prints. Did I forget to mention that this place has the coolest rocks around? No person ever walks where I'm at so the pickings were good. I'm not a collector, but the rocks over here just dazzle so I feel bound to take them. I walked away with my hoodie sinking from the weight of the rocks.

While I was walking I noticed a large pile of snow. The ground was flat, and the snow was about 6 feet tall. Snow plows can't get where I'm at so this was all just snow that accumulated over time.

It was extremely windy here, much more fierce than it is on the road. It was pushing me around left and right. My wife called but we couldn't hear eachother very well because of the wind!

Overall, this place just relaxes me. Its always nice to step away from the truck and go for a walk with nature.

I stopped in Laramie for a shower and then continued to my delivery. My delivery has onsite parking so I got here at about 1500 and am spending the evening here. Enjoying the LTE internet connection which I haven't had in two days.

I deliver tomorrow morning at 0500 then I will pickup up a preloaded at a drop yard and do the first delivery for it in Denver at 1000 then take the load to Salt Lake City, UT. I absolutely love how they keep me in the west!

Here's some pictures of todays travels.

This pile of snow is taller than me! jnfc.jpg

Bones. qj6i.jpg

The view.. zqbj.jpg

Another view.. nzf7.jpg

A rock that I found. Looks wicked! Looks much better in person, this picture doesn't do it any justice. x5ym.jpg

Take a look at the size of that print! 1lrbl.jpg

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Correction,

Twin Falls, ID

not Idaho Falls, ID

Sorry for the mixup.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

About your training and I70, here is what I would do.

The first trip you should drive and as you are driving explain the best speeds for the grades and the best gears to be in. My first time driving a semi ever was on a goat trail. (hwy 200 across Montana) All the instruction that I got was "this is how you shift". The shoulder on this road was the width of the white line because after that the ditch started. And to top it all off, it was hay hauling season. So hauling 45k in concrete manholes on a goat trail the first time you have ever driven a semi and a wide load coming at you. It is enough to make you a little nervous.

The reason I say you should drive or at least be telling them ahead of time what is coming is because I had a couple of hills that should have been taken in a lower gear (you know, the ones where you top an hill and the road disappears because it drops off so fast?) or the one where I was coming down the hill and around a left hand corner and BAM a stop sign. He could have warned me about that one. Yeah I got stopped just fine but it was enough to bunch your shorts the first time.

The guy with me had driven that road several times but he was too busy playing with his electronic devices.

I have a guy that I taught to drive and his biggest issue was staying over long enough for the trailer to clear the corner. He was always wanting to get back into the nearest lane too early.

I would say that you will know how this person drives before you even get to that stretch of road. You can also talk about different scenarios and give them suggestions on how to handle them on that stretch of road, things that you have experienced such as wind or ice etc.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Current Load: Denver, CO to Salt Lake City, UT. 530 Miles. Pays 255$. Total Weight: About 77K with both deliveries. Only 55K with the first delivery done.

This load was given to me by a replacement DM. My awesome DM is out sick so I have to suffer with DM's who don't know me. And in this case, I was given a 530 mile load that has 3 days on it.

This load also has two deliveries. One in Denver on the day of the pickup and the final delivery in SLC.

After I got done with my delivery in Denver. I sat down and thought about this load. It was a preloaded trailer at a drop yard 10 miles from me. Since I arrived at the delivery at 1500, I was about to get my hours back. My delivery location decided to take me early. They took me at roughly 2200. When they were all done it was about 0030.

I then made the gameplan to try to get to SLC today and try to do the delivery today. So here is what needs to happen:

I need to drive 4 miles to the TA and get a trailer washout. I'm not a dirtbag, I don't drop dirty trailers for others.

Then I needed to drive an additional 6 miles to the drop yard and drop this empty trailer then pick up my preloaded.

After that I need to drive 12 miles to my first delivery. Straight across Denver from the East side to the West side of Denver.

Lastly, I'll need to drive to SLC. All in one day!

The appointment time is at 1000 for the first delivery. So I might have to fight traffic.

So here's what I did. My main concern was my 14 hour clock digging into my drive time which will cause me to not make my destination. All that will be tough to do in a 14 hour period, especially if the first delivery takes a while.

Note: What I did was not following the rules. It can get you into trouble. So just because I did it, does not mean I advise you to do it.

I wanted to eliminate some things from my to-do list for tomorrow. But at the same time I cannot start my clock, that'll severely postpone my arrival. My goal is to drop spend the night at our terminal in SLC and drop this load there. Then be ready tomorrow morning with a load.

So, I put myself on Off-Duty driving. Was it legal for me to use? No. I was under a load.

I drove Off-Duty to the TA and got my trailer washout. Then I drove Off-Duty again to the yard to pickup my preloaded trailer.

Why? Well, I saved well over an hour tomorrow by doing this. Now I actually have a chance to accomplish my plan of getting to SLC.

*Tip: When changing log status. You can put in a statement about the status, or a remark. When I drove to the TA I put that the Receiver kicked me out of the property. When I arrived at the yard I put that the TA had no parking spots. Remember, all of this happened at about 0200. So both of these remarks are very believable.

I got to the yard and switched trailers. The driver put the BoL inside the small tube where the registration is supposed to go. So now the BOL looks filthy and beaten up. He also hid the second seal inside the reefer right under the engine. I can't explain this.

I finally go to sleep. And I only sleep for 4 hours. In total, since I had to deliver overnight and they always bugged me I couldn't get much sleep at the delivery. So my total sleep tonight is about 5 hours.

I wake up 4 hours later at 0830. My appointment is at 1000. This shipper only takes deliveries at the exact appointment time.

I go on the internet and check the traffic updates for the Denver area. It shows that there is a bad accident along my route and slow and go here and there the entire drive to my first delivery.

In a panic from seeing this data, I get dressed and hit the road asap.

I leave at 0840. I drive there and the entire drive is clear and not even an ounce of traffic. I get there at 0900 and am forced to sit for an hour. What the hell?

I originally planned on arriving at 0940 because they don't accept deliveries early and I have a lot to do today and I'm worried about my 14 hour clock.

And here I am, I just burnt an entire hour on a day where I really needed it. Today is not going my way!

I finally get to a dock door at 1000. An hour passes and my gauge still says that my drives are very heavy. Which means they haven't taken off many pallets.

I go inside and go to the dock. Ask him if he needs help and he said sure. This guy was a rookie forklift driver. I would know because I drove a forklift for 3 years. He was very slow with everything and often times lowered the forks when he needed to raise them. He was very confused about the controls it seems.

No worries, I just want this crap off my trailer. We worked together for an hour. During which time he backed out of my trailer too fast and caused the entire pallet to fall. That tall pallet was fun to restack. He also didn't realize that the pallet he was holding was sideways, and he tried to put it between two pallets. He caused 4 pallets full of heavy product to come crashing to the ground when the sides of his pallet bumped them.

The supervisor had to get on the forklift and finish me up while me and him restacked those hundred boxes. I wasn't upset, it was a nice physical workout and brought back memories to me of my warehouse days.

They finished me up at 1230. The supervisor witnessed me put on the new seal and signed for the new seal. I was finally on my way. Except my 14 hour clock is digging into my drive time. And from the looks of it. I don't think I can make it, and if I do - then that would be great!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I have very little weight on my trailer now and had to battle high winds all throughout CO and Eastern WY. It was snowing in WY just East of Laramie up in the mountains. I drove hard, only stopping once the entire day for my 30 minute break.

As the miles ticked down, it became very clear to me that I might be able to make it. But under one condition. If I edit my pretrip inspection On-Duty time because those extra 10 minutes is the only thing that will get me there.

So I could get it there at the last minute of my time. But if I did I would have not logged any Pretrip Inspection today and wouldn't have any time left for a Post-Trip Inspection.

I obviously decided against that. I really wanted to spend the night at the terminal and have full hours tomorrow to start the day. But its not worth it. So I stopped at a Sinclair truck stop only 30 miles from the terminal with about 29 minutes left on my 14 hour clock. What a shame.

Today, I failed hard. Think about it. I left at 0840, if I left at 0915 I would have still made it to my delivery and those 30 minutes would have gotten me to the terminal. I started my day too early, and paniced when I saw all that traffic. I should have looked at other sources because clearly this one was wrong. And because of that mistake - I didn't get to the terminal today.

So now I have to start my day tomorrow and drive only 30 miles. Then drop my trailer and wait for a new load while my clock is ticking. And my DM won't be there tomorrow.

Honestly, I screwed myself over. Today is a fail and I made one stupid decision that caused all of this. I mean, its not the end of the world. But this severely limits my driving time for tomorrow. I won't get a load immediately after the drop. It will probably take hours which means my 14 hour clock will kill my drive time tomorrow.

Shame on me. Oh well, time to move on.

Here's some views:

Wyoming can totally change in a matter of 5 minutes.

trucking scenery picture of open road in Wyomingtrucking scenery picture of open road in the snow in Wyomingtruckers scenery picture of the mountains in wyoming

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

Jim M.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel,

The "play-by-play" is awesome, it really helps me to better grasp what it is you all do out there and how planning is key to anyone's day.

Those pictures are really amazing, so beautiful.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Current Load: Salt Lake City, UT to Othello, WA. 670 Miles. Pays 300$. Total weight 74k.

First of all, sorry for not updating in two days folks. I've been stuck in the woods with hardly any signal.

I woke up the next day in the morning and drove only 30 miles to the terminal. I sent my DM a message telling him that I'll be ready for a load in an hour in an attempt to expedite me getting a new load.

I got to the terminal and went through the washout and inspection bay. I then dropped the trailer and sent another message saying that the trailer has been dropped and I'm ready for a new load.

I quickly drove bobtail to Smiths Food and Drug to buy some groceries. Didn't need a lot so didn't spend a lot. I then walked to Little Caesars to get some delicious pizza. Hey, gotta treat yourself sometime, eh?

A few hours later I get a new load picking up a preloaded trailer from this terminal and taking it to Othello, WA.

This load has plenty of time on it. Only 670 miles and I still have plenty of hours to drive it today (4-1-14) and it delivers on the 3rd at 1415.

So in the end, my mistake didn't cost me anything. But I don't like making mistakes. Lesson learned.

I find the trailer with the driver already hooked up to it. He's the guy dropping it here for me. He hasn't dropped it yet because its raining and he wants to wait it out. But he gets the message that I don't feel like waiting for him so he gets out and drops it.

I hook up to the trailer and inspect it. Looks good, but dirty. So I took it to the trailer wash bay and got it sparkled.

I was finally on the road again in the afternoon.

This load takes me to WA from UT. That means one thing!

I'll be passing by Plymouth, WA and get to see Starcar and her husband again!!smile.gif

I drove to the TA in Boise, ID and parked there for the night. Obviously no parking spaces so I had to play "make a spot".

I woke up the next day and drove to the Pilot in Stanfield, OR. Took a shower.

I called Bill (Starcars husband) and told him I'll be there in 20 minutes. Met up with Bill at Crossroads truck stop and had lunch with him for a little over two hours. Starcar couldn't make it this time unfortunately.

After I hung out with that retired trucker I drove the last 80 miles to my delivery and spent the night over there. I arrived in the evening on 4/2 and my appointment time was at 4/3 at 1415. So had to hurry up and wait.

I checked in and asked them if they can take me early. Like always, they say that they'll do the best they can.

I'm in a small town in WA surrounded by farmland. Not much internet reception here so couldn't update this thread or answer questions like I wanted to.

I slept the night with no alarm clocks. Woke up and played some videogames.

I got my next load. It picks up 20 miles from here and goes to IL. But I have hometime so I ask my DM if he would like me to drop at the terminal in Salt Lake City, UT. He apologizes to me because he forgot I had hometime coming up. No problem, I told him. But I did get a confirmation to drop the load.

My delivery took me early thankfully because my pickup was at 1530 and I would surely be late if this place took me at my appointment time. I get unloaded in 45 minutes and get my BoL back to me.

I park in the back of the facility to sweep out my trailer. There is no washout nearby or on route to my pickup. I go in the back to discover that my air chute inside my trailer is ripped off about 6' of it. So I spend 30 minutes fixing that. Cant get loaded with a torn air chute! What a mess!

Well, that concludes this update. I really have to drive right now and can't put it off any longer.

Here's some pictures from the drive to WA. This is the infamous Cabbage Hill.

truckers scenery pictures of road and beautiful sky at Cabbage Hilltruckers scenery pictures of road and beautiful sky at Cabbage Hilltruckers scenery pictures of road and beautiful sky at Cabbage Hilltruckers scenery pictures of road and beautiful sky at Cabbage Hill

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.
Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

Nice Pic's I hope I get to see stuff like that when I get rolling with Prime...:) I was Accepted today and Now I just have to get my start date..!

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