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The Adventures of Daniel B.

Topic 1881 | Page 31

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Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

I thought you hated Wally World???!!

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guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

You had to retake ALL the test even though you currently hold the highest class license for a civilian? That is just nuts. California and their backward ways. In Arkansas we only have to take whatever endorsement test we are wanting and if we pass they add it to our cdl.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Jopa's Comment
member avatar
That is just nuts. California and their backward ways.

No Guy, you got it backwards . . . its "California, That is just nuts." Been here my whole life and watched this place go from the smartest, cutting edge, business friendly place to the People's Republic of California with all of the bad side effects you can imagine. Used to have the 4th largest economy IN THE WORLD and now is so far in debt that I don't see any real way out for us. Willing to shut down the whole west side of the valley agriculture and put countless people out of work and out of business to save a small fish from the water pumps that is not even a native species . . . this used to be a conservative state with common sense politicians: Nixon - not my favorite - and Reagan both came into national politics by way of California. Now we have Moon Child Brown for governor and Boxer & Feinstein for Senators . . . both considered dumb as rocks . . . not to mention Pelosi ("We have to pass this legislation to find out what's in it!") Without a doubt the single most stupid statement ever uttered on national television . . . .geez . . .

Jopa

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EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

California is just one off those states that hates truck drivers. 55 mph speed limit, cops everywhere looking to ticket you for any reason they can find, and super restrictive regulations. It is why at 18 I moved out of their as soon as I graduated from high school!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

California is just one off those states that hates truck drivers. 55 mph speed limit, cops everywhere looking to ticket you for any reason they can find, and super restrictive regulations. It is why at 18 I moved out of their as soon as I graduated from high school!

Do they hate truck drivers or do they love them as a source of revenue?

I think it's love!

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Current Load: Twin Falls, ID to Assonet, MA. 2552 Miles. Weight: 70K

Few things you should know:

This load is the one taking me to Springfield!

I'm picking up Chobani yogurt again! Hopefully they'll share some with me like last time!

My previous load was a potato load on the floor. Very dirty trailer!

Alright, I finished up with that hellish place in American Falls, ID. I hope I never have to go there again! That's the type of place that makes you despise hauling reefer.

I got my next load and automatically assumed that I'll be dropping it in Springfield. The pickup location is only 100 or so miles from me. My trailer was absolutely filthy from this load! I don't think its ever been this bad before.

I find a Blue Beacon in Jerome, ID. However, if I went there then I would be adding about 25 miles to my day. Its not along the way like I always aim for. I go to my fuel stop, some small travel center in Twin Falls, ID.

I fuel up and notice that theres a truck shop in the back of the lot. So I wonder to myself if they do trailer washouts. I drive there, can't hurt, and ask them if they do trailer washouts. They answered yes and I warned them that my trailer is really bad. The associate walks out to my trailer with me to take a look. He agreed to wash it.

I back up to the trailer washout spot and they inspect it to determine the price. The average washout cost is 34$, but they charged me 55$ for the added labor. All in all, this trailer washout took 50 minute. I kid you not! This was the longest washout I've ever had. However, its not as bad as you think. Consider this, I would have spent about 12 miles driving to Blue Beacon then I would have to wait in line (like always). Believe me, I've waited more than 50 minutes for a washout at Blue Beacon. They are convenient and quick when you're in the building, but it takes forever to get inside. Having said that, I prefer smaller businesses even if I have to pay with a comcheck.

I get it washed out and head to the Chobani plant. Show them my washout reciept and was given instructions. Same old deal, drop this trailer here and pick up this trailer. Inspect it and be on my way.

This load was light so I didn't have to manage my gears on the hills. It was an easy drive. My 14 hour clock was running thanks to that 1/10 rated facility in American Falls, ID. So I had to cut the day short, I parked in Snowville, UT at the Flying J. I hate that Flying J. They never have showers available, and when they do, it seems like they are down for repairs.

I found a nice parking spot. It was a nice spot definitely, but very tight.

I went for the setup and started backing. A few seconds later I realized that this spot is just too hard to get into. I could if I really really tried, but what's the point?

So I stopped what I was doing and hunted for another parking spot. Found one quickly and it was just a straight backup.

Important Tip: Know your boundaries!!! Know what you are capable of. I could have easily continued trying for this parking spot but I decided against it. No one likes driving away from a parking spot in defeat but you cannot let it bother you. Never take risks and never gamble. I don't want to brag, but I'm almost at 1.5 years of experience with 0 accidents. There are a few rules I follow, and those rules are:

Don't take risks.

Take it slow. Don't get in a hurry.

If you're not sure about a backup then get out and look.

Don't ever let yourself get too comfortable.

Heighten your senses in truck stops.

Don't ever think that you're amazing at backing or anything else in trucking. Confidence is good, but overconfidence will lead you to void using GOAL and you'll develop an ego. An ego in trucking is a death sentence.

Please, Please, Please. Learn from what I did. I tried to back up to a spot and instead of risking it, I backed off and looked for a different spot. Seriously, I cannot stress this enough and all the moderators would agree with me. Why risk a backing accident when I could just drive around a find a parking spot in the back? Who cares about the extra walk, don't be under the impression that you don't need the exercise.

And honestly, that kind of attitude will help you out a ton in your trucking career.

Anyhow, I had to "rant" back there. That topic is extremely important. Know your limits guys, and don't push them!

I did my post-trip inspection and then went inside my truck to get all my shower stuff ready. Its getting kind of cold, so I turned on my bunk heater only to discover that its not working!!

Yikes! Obviously, its going to be a cold night! So I changed my mind and decided to take a shower in the morning to thaw myself out. I could get sick if I take a shower now and then sleep through a very cold night.

I didn't sleep very well at night. It was colder than I thought it would be. Its awful with no bunk heater! I woke up two hours before I got my hours back because I just couldn't sleep anymore. My pillow was starting to freeze me. I got up and the temperature of the inside of my truck was 39 degrees!

Shivering, I packed up my shower stuff and headed for a shower at 0500. This shower was extra-great considering my body was an ice cube.

Everyday in trucking is different. You just never know what will happen next!

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Anyways, I got back in my truck and my hours didn't come back just yet. I wasn't cold because I just took my hot shower. But I heated up some soup for myself to help keep me warm.

I scheduled a shop appointment on the Qualcomm and then called the shop myself to make sure that they can take me on such short notice. Like always, they told me they can take me. The shop in our terminal in SLC in by far the best I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

I message my DM and tell him that I'm rerouting myself to the SLC terminal for repairs. Told him about my bunk heater. Next I told him my ETA to the Springfield yard for my drop.

He sends me a message back saying that we cannot drop this load at Springfield because its too far out of route. He then tells me to drop the load at the SLC terminal and then do repairs and after repairs he will find me a load to get me to Springfield. Fine with me!

So I arrive at the terminal in SLC and my trailer gets red-tagged because reefer maintenance is past due.

Tip: Red-tagged means the company is putting that truck/trailer out of service.

One of the mechanics fixes my bunk heater in 30 minutes! I tell my DM that I am ready for my next load. I go inside the building to see him but he is surrounded by drivers and has his eyes glued on the computer. He looks very busy, so I decided to leave him alone.

And my next update will be about my next load. Here's a sneak peak!

For the first time ever, I'm hauling a trailer that doesn't have my companies name on it!

purple Prime truck hauling Jim Palmer trailer

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.

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.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Current Load: Salt Lake City, UT to Springfield, MO. 1241 Miles paying 552$. Total Weight: 47K Freight: Detergents, Cleaning Supplies

This load only puts me at 47K. Sounds easy right? Wrong.

I'm driving through WY, NE, small portion of IA and MO. All of these states have strong winds at this time. It would have been better for me if I was 79K gross.

I'm also running under my 14 hour clock because of the bunk heater repairs. I received my next load that will take me to the main terminal in Springfield while I was grocery shopping. Its always easier to get into stores without a trailer! However, the pickup time was approaching even though I had just gotten the load. So I had to be quick with my shopping.

My DM had trouble finding me an empty trailer so he found me a Jim Palmer truck for me to take to the main terminal. Apparently, Prime bought Jim Palmer trucking.

I found the beatup trailer and proceeded to the trailer washout bay. I'm not used to having trailers with rusted rims, I'm obviously getting spoiled.

While the trailer was getting washed out I trip planned the directions on how to get to my pickup facility. Wasn't too hard. It was directly across from the Central Refrigerated terminal!

Does anyone remember Rob? He made this thread not too long ago.

Rob's Thread.

This guy has worked harder than anyone I've ever met to get into school. He had a lot going against him! He has my respect for his efforts, so much so that I've made it my personal mission to assure his success. I communicate with him here and there and give him quick advice and tips via phone call or text messages. And he's in training right now at Central.

So I called him up and he was free. Just finished training! But I was at my pickup location getting live loaded. I went inside and politely asked the forklift driver if I can disconnect and go to the terminal for some quick repairs that the mechanics forgot to do. Told him it would take less than 2 hours. Yes, I lied. But that sounds better than "I wanna meet up with a friend" to which he would have probably denied my request.

So I disconnect from my trailer and find Rob walking on the street near the terminal. We decided to meet away from the terminal so no Central employee sees him hanging out with a Prime driver.

I show him a bunch of things. We talked for a good while. Gave him tips and pointers for his driving test tomorrow. Then I gave him some hands-on lessons about driving the truck.

truck driver standing next to purple Prime truck

By the time I was loaded and ready to go I only had 3 hours left on my 14 hour clock. So I decided to drive it and get as close as possible to my 14 hour clock ending as possible.

I have 1241 miles.

If I can do 150 miles today. Then I'll have roughly 1100 to go. And I can do that in two days.

So I drove the load and parked in WY for the night.

I woke up in the morning at started driving at roughly 0730. High winds all day long. Nothing really special though. I parked for the night in NE.

I did have some fun in NE. There was hardly any vehicles on the road and I just fueled up which means my fuel data on my Quallcomm reset.

So after the fueling I drove the best I possibly could and see what kind of fuel mileage I could get in one gallon of fuel. This was in WE NE.

v486.jpg

Yep!

I continued driving the next day and had to get to Springfield by the end of the day. NE was windy but wasn't too bad. However, IA was terrible!

There was a Volvo that passed me and his truck was slanted so far to the left that I could hardly see his passenger side mirror when he was slightly ahead of me. My trailer at times was at a slight angle. And my trailer skirt on my drivers side was bending so hard away from the trailer it looked like it might rip off. It was pretty bad and I proceeded with reduced speeds. Like I said earlier, I knew this wind was going to slow me down.

I finally got to Springfield and my delivery is 2 miles from our terminal. So I drove to the delivery and the security let me in. However, the receiving desk denied me because I was too early for the appointment time. They told me to come back. They always do...

I told the security and it upset him more than it upset me. He said thats total bs. I agree, but I have no power here. So I drove to our terminal and tried to navigate that jungle.

I'll wake up early tomorrow and delivery my load. My training starts on Monday so I only have a few more days with my truck.

Nebraska... 3wig.jpg

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Current Load: Springfield, MO to Shawnee, OK. Total Miles 272. Pays 121$. Freight: A non-hazardous chemical for Exxonmobil

I woke up the next morning and delivered my load in Springfield. It was only 3 miles from the terminal so I didn't start my clock when I drove there. It was a decent place, but my dock was in a dirt area and there was a giant mud pool that made it difficult for me to back up to my dock. I kept slipping on it and I had to blind side back it because of the pool of mud.

I went to sleep while being unloaded, but it really didn't take them long.

I got my next load going to Shawnee, OK. Its a preloaded trailer at our yard so I once again drove to the terminal and didn't start my clocks.

Tip: Remember, the minimum status on your logs is 5 minutes. Which means if you drive 3 minutes and then put yourself back on sleeper berth then it'll count those 3 minutes you drove as sleep berth. You cannot be on a status for only 3 minutes, minimum is 5.

I found my trailer and hooked up to it. Inspected it and noted the several damages.

I drove to Shawnee and had to empty my wallet out because of those damn tolls! 16.50 is insane, I hate OK! Nothing really important happened along the drive. A crash almost happened on the left lane beside me because a 4-wheeler wanted to do a U-turn in the interstate by crossing the median for only authorized vehicles can use. And he never used his turn signals, so the cars behind him had to slam on their brakes.

I get to my delivery and as always, they cannot take me early. Notice the pattern?

The nearest truck stop is 20 miles away. However, about a mile down the road I noticed an abandoned warehouse with a large dirt area. I decide to park there for the night, a bit of a gamble considering I don't know if I'm allowed to. But we're out in the country, hardly any towns around me. Hope I'll be fine.

Well, cops drove by but never seemed to care. Thank you guys! My appointment was at 1100 and I arrived at 1020. This was a very simple process. I arrived, spoke with security, handed BoL to receiving and then backed up. This backing was a blind side back because there wasn't enough room for a proper setup on my drivers side. But I have two docks open so I had plenty of room! I got backed up and unloaded in two hours. I swept my trailer and shortly after I received my next load.

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.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Current Load: Elk City, OK to Tipp City, OH then Detriot, MI. But I'm dropping it in Springfield, MO. Total Miles: 550 because of 150 mile deadhead. Paying 244$.

My DM apologized to me out of nowhere for giving me bad loads. Basically, I'll get to Springfield on Saturday and will have to take two days off. He wanted to keep me running hard until Sunday but it didn't work out. He apologized profusely for it and assured me he tried the best he could, but the loads weren't there when he needed them.

Another moment where you can distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd! Instead of getting upset and angry like the average driver would, I instead will be polite and sincere. He tried, I believe that he did. No reason to get upset, it is what it is.

I sent a message back saying

"No worries Lance. Nothing goes according to plan in this industry, we both know that."

Instead of blasting him for his mistake, I was kind about it.

Another brownie point for me!

In case you're not clear. He should have kept me running hard until Sunday. But I've had nothing but slow days on Thursday, Friday, and will be off Saturday and Sunday instead of running some miles. He's trying to make sure that I'll get to my classes on time on Monday, but at the same time keep running me hard to maximize my hours. Unfortunately, the loads weren't there. No reason to blame him for it.

So I drive 150 miles to my pickup location and I stop for fuel along the way. My pickup has a window of 1500-2359. I arrived at 1830. I was told that they aren't ready for me and to go park at Walmart and they'll give me a call when they are.

Well, its 2230 now, still no call and I'm tired. So I went to sleep. I was woken up by the phone call at approximately 0130. I drove to the facility and backed into my dock door. I then went to sleep again to be woken up at 0430 by the forklift driver. They were finally done!

I inspect the seal and inspect my paperwork. Everything looked good. This load weighs 44K so I have to balance the load pretty well. This load is also very trailer heavy! I balance my Drive axle at 32K and my trailer axle at 32K. Just to make sure, I scale it out at a Love's along the way. Everything looked good so I continued driving.

I had arrived at Springfield and gave my paperwork with the scale ticket to the guys at the desk. I then take my trailer to the wash bay because that's the rules! I wait an hour in line and finally get the trailer sparkled. I then get a phone call from Prime, apparently the driver picking up my load cannot find the trailer. So I inform them that I just got out of the trailer wash bay and I'll drop it in a minute. They understood, and quite thrilled to hear that I got it washed for the guy.

So I drop my trailer and the guy comes to pick it up. Apparently this driver is a new CDL instructor here at Prime with his first student. So I ask him a few questions and take the opportunity to get a grasp on how the classes will be. It was funny watching his student try to figure out how to put the glad hands on the trailer. Man, brings back so many memories!

Anyways, my day was done.

And...

That was my final load as a solo driver with my Pinkle truck!!!

I took the rest of the day completely off. I met up with Guy DeCou from TruckingTruth and spent the evening with him. We heard lots of complaints and we had a 4-way conversation that involved me, Decou, Decou's trainer, and some know-it-all trucker.

That super trucker was out of his mind! He said he ran 140,000 miles in three months, does 7K miles a week as a team, does 4K miles as a solo every week. He was an idiot, and I enjoyed arguing with him on many matters and questioning him. Decou also had a laughter out of it, but then started to get a headache from him. So we left. Decou's trainer came up to me to ensure that I did not listen to everything that wacko said, I told him that I knew that he was full of it. Decous trainer was a good guy, glad he cared enough to make sure that I wasn't severely misinformed.

Classes start on Monday!

Ken, Jopa and Exquizit are arriving today at Prime. So I get to meet three more members from TruckingTruth!!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Deadhead:

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

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.

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.

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