The Adventures Of Daniel B.

Topic 1881 | Page 29

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Chris L.'s Comment
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Daniel has no CB in his truck. Maybe it was him and he couldn't hear you.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Current Load: Salt Lake City, UT to Modesto CA. 720 Miles paying 320$. Total Weight: 55K. Freight: 30 Pallets stacked to the roof with Red Baron Pizza.

Guyjax, I'm still out looking for your truck. In fact, I have a note on my dash with your truck number on it. So that whenever a Freightliner Werner passes me I can glance at the truck number and see if its you. Still looking for you!

This load will take me home!

I dropped my trailer in the evening, wasn't expecting a new load. But then I remembered that my DM preset me on a load TWO days ago. So all I had to do was message night dispatch to send me my new preset load information.

I get my new load, a preloaded trailer at the terminal going to Modesto, CA. Once again, Prime gets me home on time!

I struggle finding the trailer because the driver drops it in a place in the lot where preloaded trailers usually aren't dropped. But I eventually found it. I inspected the trailer as always and noted the damages.

This load delivers on the 7th at 0600. And I should get home on the 5th in the evening. So this load will actually give me a full day off on the 6th which won't count against my hometime.

I'm light so the drive was easy. Averaged about 8.4 MPG the entire drive.

I stopped for the day in Carlin, NV. Took a shower and went to sleep. The faster I get home the faster I get to see my wife, so at this point I'm just trying to go home asap.

I went On-Duty the moment I got my full 10 hour rest break complete. Did a pretrip inspection for 10 minutes and was on my way. I stopped in Fernley, NV for some fuel. My goal was to never take a 30 minute break today. Just start my day and end it before my 8 hour clock expired.

I fueled up only 50 gallons because thats what my fuel stop macro told me to do. I kept on driving without stopping. Donners was easy because I wasn't heavy and it was dry.

I arrived at my usual parking spot in Sacramento 7 minutes before my 8 hour clock expired. I logged a 6 minute post trip inspection and spent the rest of the evening at home.

I took the entire day on the 6th off.

I was reminded of the driver I tried to help and he overslept on his delivery so he was late. And I was determined not to make the same mistake. Thankfully, I didn't

I woke up at 0300 and my wonderful wife dropped me off at my sexy truck at approximately 0330. I was immediately on my way.

Here's whats on my mind.

I requested to be home on the 9th. Its the 7th and I just finished my delivery. So I was wondering if they'll ask me to start my hometime early or will they run me for two more days? I planned on talking to my DM about it first thing in the morning.

I get to my delivery in Modesto an hour early. Spoke with shipping & receiving and then the security. Nothing special. They have many dock buildings here and they're all labeled differently. I follow their small wooden signs and find building 'E'. My dock door was E11. So I follow the building around and see E 1-10 but no 11. There's a dock door that is after 10 so common sense tells me that door is my door. But do I really want to back up to a door that I'm not sure I need to be at?

I kept following around the building and didn't see anything. So I went back and walked to the door that I thought was E11.

The typical dock door has large font indicating the dock door #. But instead of that, this dock door has pen markings on it indictating that its door #11. So this is my door.

Didn't see that. I don't see why they can't just label it as #11 with large font instead of writing on the actual door with a pen.

Remember all of this was done at night in the dark, so I could hardly see anything.

I break my seal, open the dock doors and back up. Chock the tires then I went inside my truck and took a 10 minute nap before I had a knock on my door requesting to see my BoL.

I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted last night so I'm exhausted to say the least.

I get a message from my DM saying:

"morning you gonna be ok going home after delivery? let me know what your date of return would be."

He beat me to it!

I reply:

"I was actually going to message you about that. Sure, I'm fine to start my hometime early. Please set my availability to the 11th.

Here's how I figured that.

4/4 - I was in SLC. Just picked up my load and started driving to Modesto.

4/5 - I arrived at Sacramento in the evening.

4/6 - Day off

4/7 - Drove 80 miles to my delivery and then 80 miles back home. This cannot count because I worked.

4/8 - Hometime starts since I'm not under a load and not working.

4/9 - Hometime since I'm not under a load and not working.

4/10 - Hometime since I'm not under a load and not working.

So 8, 9, 10. That's three full days. That's how hometime works.

Anyhow, I receive another message from my DM:

"Good, now just gotta figure out where to drop that trailer so you don't get tagged again."

Ouch! As I'm sure my small audience knows, last time I left from hometime my trailer had graffiti on it. So looks like they don't want me taking the trailer home.

Tip: If possible, always try to take the trailer home with you. If you don't, then you'll be sent to customers looking for one. A lot of these companies have plenty of trailers, but they aren't abundant unless you're near a terminal. If there's no empty trailer within reasonable distance from you, then you'll be relying on preloaded trailers and not live loaded loads. That limits what you can drive out with you.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
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In an attempt to persuade him to allow me to take my trailer home, I send a reply to my DM saying:

"I found a new parking spot. Much safer. That should never happen again."

The truth is, I'm still parked at the same Walmart that I usually park in. Its just this time I'm parking where all the cars drive by and not away from everyone else like I did last time. Even though its the same place, I betcha that it'll be fine!

He forwards that message to Safety. Safety replies:

"Awwwkaayy"

Sweet! Saved my own ass. But it cannot happen again! I gave them my word. If it does happen again, looks like I'll have to summon the Russian Mafia on their asses. Not good!

Anyways, I slept for a little over an hour. Got my BoL's back and parked in the front of the facility to check out. Check out process was smooth and simple. I then walked to the porta-potty (I think its called) that they provide for the drivers to use. Upon opening the plastic door, I discover that someone who used it doesn't know how to aim. The floor is drenched in ****. Good job, A-hole.

I don't understand truckers. Why trash something that your fellow trucker uses. We're supposed to be kind to eachother. Instead someone covered the floor in ****.

Some of these people are so immature. They seriously need a belt to the ass to discipline them. The good old Russian way of disciplining your kids would work wonders for these imbeciles.

Moving on. Can't say I'm surprised. Some truckers are pigs.

I stopped at the Blue Beacon in Lodi, CA for a trailer washout and a tractor wash. I like to come home not having to worry about a dirty trailer. And once again, thank you to Prime Inc. for giving their drivers a free tractor wash every two weeks. I come home with my truck sparkling everytime. Which never happened at my old company.

An hour later I get home. I know I won't be back for days for I stuff all my food into my cooler. I have lots of food that I don't want to throw away. So I'll put it in the refrigerator at home.

I'm not sure if I posted about this. But one of my first loads at Prime was a Mars Candy load. That load had a ton of overcount on it. In other words, cases that the customer didn't order. Claims Department at Prime told me to keep them. It was about 700$ retail price worth of candy. I know I've said it before, but I use it to make friends. Well, at least to get on peoples good side.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
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As I was parking, I noticed a small group of homeless people asking for money on the corner. I thought to myself, this is the perfect opportunity to befriend them so they'll watch over my equipment.

So I gave them an entire large box of King-size Snickers. They rejoiced! I had a small conversation with them. I made sure that they knew that I was the driver of that truck! Why screw over someone who showed such generosity to you? Also, remember, this is at a busy Walmart. So not know did I befriend the homeless people. There were probably a few dozen 4-wheelers nearby. So all of them saw a truck driver give the homeless a giant box of Snickers. That boosted our moral for sure! I'm part of an organization, otherwise knows as The Drivers of TruckingTruth, that is trying to turn the industry around. Our goal is to perhaps get the general public to respect us and not to frown on us. This small act of kindness did wonders considering many people saw it!

Anyways, I packed up all my electronics. I feel really good leaving it there this time.

I'm now on hometime. it is the 8th as I type this. Sorry I've been busy at home as well as on the road.

Last night I had a dream about trucking. This is my second full day off and I'm already missing the open road. I have it in my blood, can't escape even if I wanted to.

Folks, trucking will do a handful of things for you.

1. It can break your relationship.

2. It will make you the outcast of the family.

3. It can make you broke if its not for you.

Or...

4. It will give you a steady income

5. It will strengthen the love between you and your wife.

6. It'll get in your blood.

Its either you love it or hate it. It can ruin your life, or it can make you enjoy even the smallest things you never noticed.

I'm at home. Sitting on the couch. Nearby I have:

A faucet

Restroom that's only 10 feet away

A free shower where I don't have to wear sandals or pay for

Stores that I can go to where I don't have to ask myself "Will I fit?"

Appliances such as an oven, microwave, blender, and I don't have to worry about my trucks batteries as I use them.

A nice, gaint TV.

My friends and family are all within 10 minutes from me.

Now step back and realize that this is all things I don't have when I'm on the road.

A water bottle is my faucet.

Restrooms are either a mile away, sometimes there are none, sometimes you have to walk across the truck stop parking lot with idiots racing by you.

I better hope I have shower points to shower. And don't forget my slippers. That feeling when you get in the shower at home with your bare feet. Feels so unnatural to me... Yet, you're reading this thinking about becoming a trucker and you have never noticed that small feature you have that I don't. Means the world to me, means nothing to you.

As a truck, you can't get into restaurants parking lots. Sometimes you have to walk miles if you want some kind of food.

Better hope you have an APU. Otherwise your truck must be idling or else your batteries will drain from a microwave, blender, etc.

I don't have a TV in my truck. I miss having a TV. You sitting there, there's a chance you'll have to live without a TV. And if you do get a TV, it won't be anywhere near 30".

My friends, family, and my wife are usually thousands of miles away from me. If anything happens, I won't be there. I've been at this long enough to know that you'll get into situations where your wife will need you. But you can't be there for her. I can't explain to you how ****ty that feeling is.

Folks, these are just a few realities that you'll face. Its a huge lifestyle change. It really is. Consider everything and don't be blinded by the money.

new purple Prime tractor-trailer

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Jopa's Comment
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Donners was easy because I wasn't heavy and it was dry.

Hey Daniel, I didn't hear a honk as you went by . . . what's up with that??

Jopa

smile.gif

Rico's Comment
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A small tv shouldn't set you back that much. I have one I am planning on taking with me.

Maverick (Tom H).'s Comment
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Welcome home to CA, enjoy your home time. This tread is very interesting to read and is aiding me in my decision to join the ranks of driving or to find something else...(i'm still in the deciding phase). the training program on here is excellent as well Brett, thanks for having this information.

Jim M.'s Comment
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Daniel,

You said, "Upon opening the plastic door, I discover that someone who used it doesn't know how to aim. The floor is drenched in ****. Good job, A-hole." You could be referring to a trucker in this case, but consider for a moment that it may not have been...

I was in construction for over 25 years, let me tell you, even if a site has a chain link fence around it does not mean in any way that the only way a "porta-potty" gets defiled or abused is from one of the workers themselves. It certainly could be, but not always. The general public can be equally as gross and disgusting when iota comes to the use and care of these things.

Just saying... in the end we never know who the perpetrator could be.

Jim M.'s Comment
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Oops... sorry; I forgot to say, enjoy your much needed and deserved "home-time"!!

Maverick (Tom H).'s Comment
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Daniel,

So I have never been involved with trucking at all so all the information that I read on this site is great. and I am continuing my journey through the training program, but what I don't understand is when you talk about moving the tandems , I know that you are moving the axles on the trailer because of glancing through the section of weight and balancing. but if the trailer is loaded, I'm not understanding how you are able to move the tandems on the trailer, do the wheels roll freely when you are moving them? Thanks.

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".

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