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The Adventures of Daniel B.

Topic 1881 | Page 30

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Rico's Comment
member avatar

Don't you keep one of those pee things in your truck with you? I don't know exactly what they're called but you can get them at any pharmacy. They make them in men's style and women's style. Of course, one won't do you any good if ya gotta do numba two!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

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.

Trust me it was a truck driver. You just get a feeling. You will be surprised at the level of subhuman you will meet out here driving a truck. It's sad to have to say but it's every bit true. Bathrooms trashed. Diesel pumps torn up. Truck stop parking lots full of pee bottles and other trash.....and yes that includes bags full of poop. All this and a trash can will only be 10 feet away.

We are our own worst enemy out here on the road. Call a driver on tthrowing out trash on the ground and just unprofessional behavior and they are ready to fight to defend their right to be total pigs. Makes on sense what so ever

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

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.

There are multiple videos on YouTube about slideing tandems that may help you visualize the process.

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

Maverick,

Anchorman is correct. The best way you'll understand is to see it happen on a video. Basically, you push a button or lever near the drivers side tandems and it disengages the locking pins. You can only do this with the trailer brakes set. Then you drive slowly forward or backwards and your trailer slides.

Its really easier than it sounds. Check out some videos.

Jim,

It was a trucker. Believe me. Guyjax said it right and theres nothing else I can add to it. We are our own worst enemy. You'll be surprised what you see out here.

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".

Maverick (Tom H).'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Anchorman,

Yes seeing it on a video...duh, now I understand....loldancing-banana.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Maverick, the tandems are mounted on a sliding rail with holes in the rails and a pin that locks them into the hole you want them set at. When you release the pin that allows them to slide on the rails. The way you move them is you set the brakes on the tandems, then you can pull forward or back up the tractor which will slide the trailer forward or backward on the rails until you get it into the position you are trying to get.

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".

Rico's Comment
member avatar

One of the most impressive things I've ever seen a driver do was pull into a Wendy's lot in Linton, IN. I was behind him when he signaled his intent to make the right hand turn into their driveway. My first thought was that this driver must be on drugs cause there is no way he's going to get that truck into that driveway. Much to my amazement, I watched him get out of his truck one time, assess the situation, get back into his truck and slide the rear tandems and fifth wheel several times until he got the truck exactly where he wanted it to go, all without hitting or running over a thing! He slid the rear tandems, then moved a little. Then, the fifth wheel and he moved a little more. Back and forth he went until, like magic, he got that big truck into that little space. I only hope that someday I will be as good a driver as he is.

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".

Jim M.'s Comment
member avatar

Guy and Daniel,

I believe you, trust me, I've seen enough "messes" made by the same people that have to use these things everyday, it makes no sense and you just wonder, as you so aptly put it Guy, "sub-human". And lets not even get started on how these things get enough graffiti in them to make a sharpie go dry... good grief!

If they put as much energy into their jobs as they do making a mess or creating drawings and rude comments, imagine the progress that could be made?!!

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, I'm back from my hometime.

This thread will be ending soon. I'm being routed to Springfield for classes to become a trainer.

My hometime was dominated by the DMV. I'm trying to get my Hazmat.

I studied hard for days and made my first trip to the DMV. Apparently, their systems were down so that was a wasted day! I was so confident and all the material was fresh in my mind too.

The next day I went with my wife to the DMV because she had some business to deal with other there as well.

We both went to the "help" desk that is the first step for everyone and I tell the lady I'm here for my hazmat test. She asks me if I went through the background check and I answered "yes" politely. She then says "do you have the paper that they sent you?" to which I reply "no I didn't bring it." She then tells me she cannot let me take it until she sees that piece of paper.

Umm, so I took fingerprints and they sent those electronically, yet they cannot send a confirmation letter electronically stating that I passed the TSA background check?

We both walk out and I'm a bit cranky. I call the homeland security number for hazmat and ask the lady if that's true that they need to visiually see my letter. She said that is false and they send it elecontrically. She was quite disappointed and stated that the DMV lady should know that and if she would have checked she would have seen that I was approved on her computer.

So about 15 minutes later I head back to the line. It has grown by now. This time we get a different associate who wasn't coo coo like that lady.

So we get our tickets and wait for slightly over two hours for number to be called. It is about 4:08pm in the afternoon right now. The employee tells me that since its been over a year, I'll have to retake all my tests again and pass before they can ever add the hazmat on.

So my plan was to go there and take the Hazmat. Now I have to take General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicles, Tankers, Doubles & Triples, and Hazmat as well as my Class C permit test!

What the hell!

And since its past 4pm they cannot let me take the commerical vehicle tests. So I only took the Class C permit test that day.

My wife thinks I'm ****y because I always say driving a car is super easy and I also think that I'm a better driver than a 4-wheeler. I don't know how that makes me fool of myself. Driving is my profession, and its obvious that a truck driver will almost always be a better driver than a 4-wheeler. Anyways, in her book I have an ego because I think I'm a better driver than a 4-wheeler. I don't have an ego, made it clear to her many times. An ego in trucking is an accident waiting to happen. I don't understand woman...

Having said that, she was hoping that I would fail my Class C permit test so she can rub it in. I'll be a Class A driver who failed a Class C test that 16 year olds take. It was obviously for fun, she's a sweet girl. But she just wanted to put me back in my place.

To bad for her. Passed that test with only 2 wrong. Would have been 0 if I had known I would be taking it.

Anyways, the day is done.

The next day, and my third attempt at trying to take the damn test! I go to the DMV on my last day at home. Today I'm available for a load so I must be quick. Thank you CA DMV for swallowing up my hometime!

I get my number, talk to a representative. Take another picture and the lady asks me which tests I want to take. I tell her I want to take all of them right now including Hazmat and she gives me a stare. I explain to her that I'm a current driver and I'll be given my load out of CA today so today is my last chance until next month.

She gives me all the tests. Damn, lots of questions!

A few hours later and a headache or two later I finally finish! They took about 10 minutes to grade my tests.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I was standing in the back trying to remain calm. But honestly, theres a lot of material I forgot. I simply cannot study all the material in one evening. So I was hopeful, but wasn't expecting an ace on every test.

She gives me back the tests and said I did a great job and passed all of them including Hazmat , expect for one. I failed Doubles & Triples. She gave me back the test and I was shocked! I don't know what happened, maybe brain fatigue? But I missed half the questions!

Ya know, this is my thread where I document everything. Unfortunately that also includes my 'stupid' moments. I would be a liar if I pretended to be perfect. So I have no problem including my failings.

Anyways, she offered to let me take it again! I was thrilled!

So I took it once again and barely passed. Haha! Looks like I need to study Doubles & Triples. Its really hard to answer questions about the material in that section when you've never hauled a dolley or ever seen one up close.

But I passed all of them and thats what mattered! I got my interim license with Hazmat on it and my hard copy will come in the mail in a week. My DM was pleased to hear that I got my Hazmat.

I also got my next load. Picking up in Atwater, CA going to American Falls, ID. Seeing as how I must go to Springfield as soon as possible, this didn't look like a good load for me. But the load planners have proven me wrong many times at Prime so I don't question them anymore.

Fact: I've never arrived home late for hometime. So far I've always gotten home on the exact day I requested or the day before.

The pickup is slightly over two hours away and has a window of 0800-1500. Nice window! But its getting late so I must leave quickly.

The first load they give me almost always has plenty of time on it which usually allows me to stay home an extra day or half a day. This load is no different. I had gotten a trailer washout before going home so I can drive there without worrying about anything. No graffiti on my trailer this time. I made friends with the homeless people and they looked out for it.

During my drive to my pickup I trip planned my load in my head. I wanted to stay home as long as possible and still make my delivery on time. This load is sweet potatoes on the floor (no pallets).

Here's how I trip planned this load.

Sacramento, CA to American Falls, ID is 670 miles.

I picked the load up on the 11th and it delivers on the 13th at 1100. Obviously this is a load that I cannot drive there in one shift so I must include a 10 hour rest break. Since its only 670 miles I don't have to start driving on the 11th.

Things to remember:

I don't care about my 70 hour clock because I'm heading to Springfield and will get another reset there. So no balancing my hours.

I'll gain an hour by going from Pacific to Mountain Time Zones.

Donner's Pass will slow me down.

Let's see...

If I leave at 0700 on the 12th.

0700 + 8 hours of driving nonstop = 1500. Take a 30 minute break = 1530. Drive three more hours = 1830 when I stop for the day.

Lets assume I only do 500 miles. 670 - 500 = 170 Miles left.

I get my hours back at 0430 with 170 miles to go. I can do that in 3 hours. So I'll get there at 0730. Add an hour for the time zone.

ETA: 0830. Appointment: 1100. Too soon..

Lets say I leave at 0900.

0900 + 8 hours of driving = 1700. Take a 30 minute break = 1730.

1730 + 3 more hours of driving = 2030 is when I'll park.

Again, lets assume 500 miles.

I'll get my hours back at 0630 with 170 miles to go.

0630 + 3 hours of driving = 0930. Add an hour for time zone = 1030. Appointment 1100.

Perfect!

That folks, is how you trip plan! But jeez, I only did 500 miles in an 11 hour driving day? Remember, Donners Pass will slow me down. Its always best to leave a cushion.

So I came home for the evening and hug out with my friend and wife. Went to sleep and woke up and started packing.

I departed at approximately 0930. Not exactly my plans but oh well.

And the rest is pretty boring. I drove 7 hours nonstop and took a 30 minute break at my fuel stop. Continued driving and the same all thing. Nothing to really say except I was driving.

Anyways, I arrived at my delivery at 1045. I should have left earlier so I could have arrived at 1000, but I would rather spend that 45 minutes with my wife.

Tip: Always trip plan to arrive an hour before your appointment time. Always make a cushion for the unexpected. I didn't this time.

I arrived at my delivery facility and this place is disgusting! There was a bunch of things we needed to do ourselves like check in. They provided no directions so it was a mystery the entire time. I also had to hunt for a restroom for 30 minutes. Not even joking, 30 minutes! I finally found an employee sitting at the break room and she said I cannot use their restroom because its only for employees. What the hell is that all about! I deliver for you guys and you can't even treat me half decently by providing a restroom? I finally find a porta-potty located about half a mile from my truck. This place is awful and the employees are even worse. And here I sit typing this entry, its already been 2 hours after my appointment time and it looks like I have 2-3 hours more. I'd rather be at Walmart, and thats saying a lot!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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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