The Adventures Of Daniel B.

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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I look at this thread and I just smile and nod, I've had almost every one of these problems when I was out there. I feel your pain! But hey, another day in the life right?

Champaingn IL...I just broke out into a cold sweat. Did they send you to the Kraft plant? I still have nightmares about that place, a rookie with two weeks experience shouldn't be sent there. I think I was being punished!

Yep, to that Kraft plant. I swear everytime I go there I have a bad experience.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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Yep, to that Kraft plant. I swear everytime I go there I have a bad experience.

Okay. I'll bite. Can we take a short intermission for someone to tell the story about the Kraft plant?

Daniel B.'s Comment
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11/12/13

Current Load: Champaign, IL to Union City, GA. 600 miles. Weight- 78460.

What a day! I woke up at 0700 as usual. Couldn't sleep anymore. I woke up with a lot of snow all over my truck and my mirrors completely covered in snow. Haven't had that in a while. My appointment time for preloaded trailer is at 0900. I call the shipping office immediately and ask for a status update on my trailer. No surprise, I'm told they don't have any empties to load my freight onto. I call back at my appointment time and they just put a trailer on the door but haven't started. I call back at 1030 and they're still working on loading my trailer and it should be a few more hours. I call back at 1130 and the trailer is loaded!

Off we go!

9 minute pretrip inspection followed by some hot rooibos tea to start the day. I get to the shipper and all is well. I drop my trailer and park to call the shipping office about my preloaded trailer. I get the trailer number and find it. All the way in the back cramped up against other trailers. This is going to be difficult to get out. Gotta love the Kraft in Champaign IL... I read my BoL and the temperature on the BoL states to maintain at 95 degrees. Common sense tells me this is a dry load, but I don't trust shippers. So I send a message over the Qualcomm letting them know that the temp on BoL says 95. Just to cover my back, my dispatcher understood and all is good. Just playing it safe! The BoL also says that the load weighs 43,700. Not good. I'm usually at maximum with that weight and this shipper has a tendency to overload the trailer tandems.

Now the tricky part of getting it out. I don't just turn and try to get out. Won't work I can tell. Instead I go forward and then back it up towards the building to make my turn easier and so it won't hit the other trailer as I'm getting out. I do this about 4 times and I feel good about it now. So I go forward and make a sharp right and go as close to the trailer with my hood as possible, then back up to angle myself and then make a sharp right and I'm good to go!

I look at my kingpin setting rule for each state. I'm going through IL, KY, TN, GA. And TN has the lowest of 41' so I set my tandems at the 41' mark and head for the CAT scale. I scale myself out and as predicted, I'm overweight on my trailer tandems by 300. I'm in no mood to sit all day while they fix it. So I move it two holes and drive out with my trailer tandems being at roughly 33600 and 42' from the kingpin. Ill be driving through TN at night so I doubt they'll notice.

I drive 3 hours nonstop to my fuel stop and spend 7 minutes to top everything off. Then tradegy strikes!!!

I get a message from my DM saying that he's been fired. Oh my goodness! You've got to be kidding me! I call him and leave a voicemessage. I love this guy and I really don't want to be with anyone else, not even if I was offered a raise. I finally get ahold of him as he's driving home. He tells me that some drivers complained against him that he was mistreating them. My DM has a brief history of that because he's more strict with his drivers. He tells you what you did wrong and won't hold it back. So this was the last strike. He knew me by name even though he had 68 drivers in his fleet. I thanked him sincerely for everything and for developing me into the driver that I am today. I gave him so much garbage when I was a rookie and he always told me what I did wrong. I had trouble accepting it, I think my age has something to do with that, but eventually he got through and he was always a learning experience to me. I mourn his loss and I don't think Central will be the same anymore. From that moment forward, I predicted that my loads will be junk all over again like they were in the first months.

Yeah, I was angry. My DM was with Central for 14 years and he was with me until day 1. It was definitely emotional to lose him and it still feels bizarre. I continue my driving with 1000 things on my mind. I call my trucker friend to vent and we talked for a while. My plan for the day was to get to my delivery but my ETA to get there would be at 0230 the next day and I've been awake a long time. I park it just 2 hours away from my delivery. Meanwhile I get calls from two people at central. One just a normal dispatcher letting me know ill get someone else tomorrow. And then some corporate guy named Wallace called. He's very high ranked. He told me if I preferred male or female dispatcher and I giggled and said it doesn't matter. He then proceeds to tell me that they will do their best to run me hard and get me an experienced DM and that I'm valued and they don't want me to leave. Bump of BS if you ask me but thanks for the time.

I get my next load! Oh boy! Was I right that my loads will suck from now on???

My availability is set for 11/13 @ 1300. I get a load picking up on 11/14 and delivering at night on 11/15. 170 miles. Haha!! I don't want to come off as disgruntled - but I knew this would happen. I ask politely for a load that can keep me busy, they tell me to contact dispatch in the morning.

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.

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".

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Dispatcher:

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.

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.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Continued...

Well, today's been a frustrating day. I end my day at 2330, long day. I take a shower at Loves and somehow I manage to have just energy to write this post. Forgive me if I seem to be venting in these posts, but trucking can be very irritating sometimes. I still love the job though, the challenges are always fun. I am really upset about losing my DM. My honest opinion - I feel like I lost my DM because a bunch of pansies can't handle the reality that theyre terrible drivers. They need someone to hold their hands, walk them on the beach, and tell them that everythings going to be alright. Whoever complained needs to grow a pair and get laid. Excuse my opinion, as I said its very frustrating to have someone else ruin your good times. We were very close and I kind of feel heartbroken to be honest. I named this thread an adventure for a reason - you never know what will come next in trucking

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Wow, Daniel I'm so sorry to hear that news. I had a crazy day myself in which I was so tired at the end of, I couldn't be coherent enough to make a sensible post about it. I'll get to it maybe tonight or during a break somewhere today.

I also think that I have a great DM and I'm not sure how I would feel if he got canned. I know it's a tough break, but I just want to tell you that it's a bump in the road. Now I don't know if you will be staying at Central after the first of the year or if you are going to move on to Prime, but either way, both of these companies have been around and they've got some great dispatchers with loads of freight that they will be giving to their best drivers.

I know it makes you feel like you're starting all over again, but just think abut all the valuable lessons you've learned over this past year. Because of the foundation that you've already laid in your career, it won't take long at all for a new dispatcher to realize "Hey this guy's got what it takes to make my job much easier". And when that light bulb goes off in their head, you'll be right back to getting all the miles you can possibly handle.

Change is inevitable in this business, I know you know that, but when it hits us right in the gut it kind of feels like it's a little too close to home. Hold your head up! You're gonna get through this "tempest in a teacup" just fine, and I predict even better off for the future.

This is "Trucking Truth", and your thread here only proves that to everyone who will read it in the future.

"Keep on Trucking" Daniel, cause you've got what it takes, and I'm really proud to call you my friend!

Dispatcher:

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.

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
member avatar

Thanks Old School! Yeah it's tough and I'm just trying to stay positive. My first load without my DM is a 170 mile load that has 2 1/2 days on it. My DM would never give me that haha! I am still planning on heading to Prime and honestly since this happened im 110% sure ill go to Prime. Not because the grass is greener, but because Ill have more opportunities to further myself that don't require leasing. I'm just going to try to get through this last month and a half.

Yesterday we didnt have the time. But now I have the entire day off after I deliver at 1300. Tracey, hit me up!!!

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.
Danny S.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel Sorry to hear about the loss of your DM , Life just stinks sometimes doesn't it? I know you will will get through this with the a positive attitude because as I have followed your post I know you have what it takes to come out on top of the situation.

I look at my kingpin setting rule for each state. I'm going through IL, KY, TN, GA. And TN has the lowest of 41' so I set my tandems at the 41' mark and head for the CAT scale.

You made this statement about the kingpin settings for each state, where do you have that information, is it a downloadable file or something? Been looking for this information so I will have it when I hit the road soon.

Thanks Danny S.

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".

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.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry guys getting ready to chose a school and don't know: What is a DM?

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.
James925's Comment
member avatar

Michael, a DM is a driver manager. You'll learn all the shortcuts when you're out there and living and breathing this stuff. Looking forward to hearing you're adventures.

Steven, the Kraft plant is a huge dc (distribution center, and as I remember, wasn't in the most desirable neighborhood) where they literally pack trailers in with inches on either side in their "drop lot." As Daniel mentioned, it can be a pain to get the trailers out, and for me when I went there, with all of two weeks experience, it took me 45 minutes to back in my trailer cause it was so tight there. If the Conway driver wouldn't have helped me, I'd still be there! And as you can see they have problems loading the trailer per Daniels story. It's just a big ball of confusion for any driver, as Daniel has experienced. I went there two times too many!

Daniel, sorry to hear about you're DM getting fired. I don't think that you're DM got fired for just telling drivers about themselves, I'm sure it was for other things that unfortunately just added up. I had a decent dm, and we definitely had a rocky start my first month, but after that, I realized how to deal with him, and we had no problems after that. Good dm's are hard to replace, and by the sound of it, you're not off to a good start! I got a load one time from weekend dispatch, gave me a 200 mile load in Tennessee with three days to get there. Unbelievable. Luckily I got rewarded with a 1900 mile load after.

So keep on rolling man, and know that this will pass. We've been there! Just do you're job professionally like always, and here's hoping you get rewarded with a 2200 mile load and an extra day of hometime.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Kiwi303's Comment
member avatar

Your DM gone? That must be pretty upsetting! Now you need to build a new relationship with a new person... You didn't ask the bigwig if you could have your old DM back? :D

You made this statement about the kingpin settings for each state, where do you have that information, is it a downloadable file or something? Been looking for this information so I will have it when I hit the road soon.

Thanks Danny S.

I believe a book called the Rand McNally Truckers Atlas has that in the supplements, along with state rules on steer axle weights etc. I've seen references to that book around a few times. Pop down to the closest truck stop and bave a browse through their bookstore, I beleive they also list all the truck stops so you can plan your driving to end in a truckstop after X miles/hours instead of stranded at the side of the road when your hours run out.

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.
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