The Adventures of Daniel B.

Topic 1881 | Page 5

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Old School's Comment
member avatar
It's cold outside, sure feels good to not have to be handling heavy tarps and wrapping my freight like a Christmas present.

Daniel, there's no better way to get yourself warmed up than wrapping up a nice big old 47,000 pound payload of cargo for your customer! The one thing that photo of me in the snow folding my tarps didn't show was that underneath those warm clothes I was sweating! Gotta love that daily work-out. One man prefers jogging, another man enjoys riding a bike, some of us are just weird in that we enjoy wrapping our freight up.confused.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

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But... If anything did go down. I had my dash cam operating and it saw it all. So my back is covered.

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What make and model dashcam to you have? How do you like it.

I have the Top Dawg dash cam sold by every Pilot, Flying J, and Love's.

It's actually on same right now at Loves for 79.99$ but the normal price is 99.99$. So far I love it I have no complaints. It's easy to access old videos and very used friendly. It records very well and in HD quality.

My only complaint is that it's almost useless in night driving. You can only see what your headlights can see, so just a few feet from the bumper.

It's neat to be able to watch yourself drive. The videos overwrite each other automatically so it's always recording. If you need a video you need to plug it into the PC and transfer it to your computer otherwise the video will eventually be overwritten with a new recording. If I stop driving at 8pm, I can watch video up to 6 hours before the time. So at 8pm I can watch videos from 2pm.

It's a fantastic gadget and I highly recommend it. I urge you to get one, it could save your job. I can't tell you the peace of mind it brings me knowing that I have another set of eyes on the road.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Continued...

11/14

I thought my day was over but it wasn't. Apparently while I was going to spend the night at my receiver, Ernie was 15 miles from me! So I just had to stop by to see that KW for myself. I was going to take a 10 hour break at the receiver and deliver tomorrow while on sleeper berth but I would be able to come back tomorrow morning and still deliver on time. The only downside is that I needed to start my 14 hour clock since I had to drive back here in the morning. But it was worth it in the end.

Let me tell ya, that KW he has is even sexier in person! I've never seen such a beautiful truck. It was huge! The interior was just as good. Everything was leather and the bed was much bigger than mine. It had plenty of storage and even had a table that rolled out. I want one haha!

Ernie is a great guy! Had many good conversations and he even showed me some stuff on how Prime operates with their macros and Qualcomm. Much different than how we do it here at Central but ill adjust. Thank you very much for everything Ernie. I'll be coming into Prime a lot more confident now.

I enjoy the Trucker Tracker very much. Thank you Brett for creating it. It's been a great privilege to meet so many people from Trucking Truth.

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.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/15

Current load: Florence, SC to Rochelle, IL - 899 miles plus 180 deadhead miles. Total weight- 73,000

I woke up today at 0700 and had my appointment for my delivery at 0800. I did the usual morning routine. Took out my gps, took down the blinds and stretched. I do a 10 minute pretrip in the dark. I arrived at my delivery at 0730. My next pickup is a preloaded trailer that will be picking up at a drop yard and takes 3 days to deliver. So I honestly don't have any trip planning to do. I know I promised you guys that I would explain my trip planning in detail, but I honestly have yet to be in a situation where I needed to trip plan effectively. I've been very very slow ever since my DM got fired.

So like I said, I arrived at my delivery at 0730. The security guard was a jerk. Talked down to me like hes a big boy. I don't get why people put themselves on such a high pedestal, you're a security guard at a shipper - grow up. Whatever, he's temporary. Just get the junk off my trailer and ill be happy.

I spend 15 minutes waiting for a man to come to me and give me a dock door. He shows up at about 0750. I get docked within a minute and I go into the receiving office to give them my BoL's.

Office lady was nice. They usually are unless you're at walmart. My lumper service was prepaid so that was a plus. I only have 16 pallets this shouldn't take long at all.

I patiently wait for them to unload my trailer. I peel two grapefruit and peel the skin off of them so I can eat something healthy when I'm driving to my pickup. I also make eggs while I wait. Well, welcome to the refrigerated division. My trailer was done being unloaded at 1315 and I got my bills at 1330. That's right folks. Starting from my appointment time at 0800. It took them 5 1/2 hours to unload 16 pallets. I wasn't even mad at this point I'm used to it. I ensure that my depart time is written on the bills so that I can get paid detention pay.

A local driver is picking up my next delivery and he's dropping it at a drop yard. I ask for a trailer number or an ETA but dispatch doesn't provide me an ETA just a trailer number. I drive to the back area of my delivery facility and sweep out my trailer. The driver is picking up a load for me, I will not give him a dirty trailer in return - I'm better than that. So it takes me 15 minutes to polish the trailer. I send my macros that I'm departing and I'm on my way!

I get to my pickup which is 180 miles away. I get there and find the trailer number that I was provided. Sweet! Time to drop and hook and roll on out. I take the BoL's from the preloaded trailer and examine them. I find that my PO number doesnt match the number on the BoL and then I look and see that the delivery location is completely different from mine. I must contact dispatch.

I tell dispatch of the situation in detail. They tell me that that load should be on that preloaded trailer. I tell them that I'm right by the trailer and looking at the BoL and it doesn't go to IL like its supposed to. Dispatcher contacts the local driver and finds out that he didnt pick up the load yet for me. No problem! They send me a revised load information with the pickup facility location. It's only 5 miles away no need to get angry.

I get to my pickup location in Florence, SC and I found out I'm an hour late for my pickup. Not my fault. I have 2 hours left on my 14 hour clock and this place doesn't allow truck parking so I'm going to have to drive real slow for a mile. It's a completely deserted road so I should be fine.

There's apparently only 2 people working here. I give them my pickup number and the guy checks me in. Later the loader comes out and tells me that someone has already picked up my load. Wow what an upset. But he later goes back inside and tells me he looked at the wrong number. The only two workers then go on a smoke break for 38 minutes. I counted. That really hurt my clock. I got docked with only one hour left and I think I'm screwed.

It's been a long, boring day. I kind of give up on making it to the truck stop. I lay in my bed and fall asleep. I wake up to the loud beating from the unloader. He's done! I get up and turn on my truck to see how much time I have left on my clock (Qualcomm shut off). As its loading I pull forward so we can shut the doors and seal it. I look inside and tell him to wait on sealing it because I need to put load locks in there. The pallets were a few feet away from the trailer doors and they were as high as you can get them. They were touching the air chute on the top and very close to the ceilings. Definitely a tall load that you absolutely must use load locks on. I apply two load locks and he seals it. I look at the seal and compare it to the BoL and they match.

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.

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.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Continued 11/15

I go inside the truck and see that I only have 8 minutes left on my 14 hour clocks. Yep. I don't even slide the tandems forward, I just start driving to the pilot that's a mile away. I didnt have time to slide the tandems or to do much else. I arrived at the truck stop with 2 minutes left on my clock and park. Keep in mind that at this point my hours are expired so I'm traveling at about 2mph trying to get myself parked. I slide my tandems to the 40' mark and I scale myself. Now, I usually don't scale a 38k load. That's very light. But this one was very far back and I can tell that the trailer tandems have too much weight on them. I got my scale ticket and my driver axles read 28k and my trailer tandems read 33k. I will slide my tandems as far as the states that I'm passing through allow me to and I should be good.

Unfortunately there was no time for a post trip inspection for me. Sometimes you miss it. What can you do.. I will hibernate tonight and drive when I wake up. I'm very tired and its been difficult to write this post.

Today has been a very stressful day. My wife's side has been hurting and the doctor told her its her appendix and it needs to be removed. Yay for no health insurance. So we are trying to get something figured out all day. She might have to have surgery. And I won't be there for her through it.

I did finally get a new dispatcher. His name is Ross. He handled the situation about the wrong trailer number very well and he seems to have a good attitude. So far I like the guy, but ill like him more if I get better miles. My last week I think I did 1,100 miles. But he writes very neatly on the Qualcomm and communicates friendly and professionally to me.

I asked him if he's my new dispatcher and he said yep sure am. I then said "sweet! Nice to meet you. Please run me as hard as possible. And don't be afraid to put your trust in me, I haven't been late for a long long time and I will not let you down!

He replied with a simple "thnx". So we'll see where this adventure leads! I've been awake for about 15 hours now. I've had to deal with two customers today and I only drove 180 miles today.

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.
Brian's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear about your stresses today Daniel. I hope your wife gets better! Depending on the medical facility you can work out certain payment plans and sometimes if the hospital is big enough they'll waive fees.

I hope things turn better for you, and you keep your head up high.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Daniel...I'm sorry that you are on the road while your wife is dealing with her medical issue. It happened to TSB and I. He went into the hospital on the road...I flew to GA to be with him, and drive the truck to deliver the load. I broke my leg fishing (I know, I know, and no I didn't catch anything) and had to have surgery, and 3 more surgeries after that. TSB panics when I get hurt and he isn't home...so it was hard on him. And a year ago I broke the same leg (femur this time) while laying vinyl. Another surgery, and he wasn't home. So drivers have to remember that life goes on at home without them sometimes. And they don't need to feel any guilt about not being there. Drivers are out there doing the most important part of being a family. They are keeping the weather off, and the food on...and in the end, thats far more important than alot of other stuff. Your wife is in my prayers for healing, and you both, for financial mercies.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Daniel, sorry to hear the problems your going through. Head hi my friend, it's bound to get better.....Your family is in my prayers.....

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/16

Current load: Florence, SC to Rochelle, IL - 899 miles plus 180 deadhead miles. Total weight- 73,000

I have 10 more days on the road before hometime. I sure can't wait! I've been very slow lately and it's just making the days seem longer.

I woke up today and did all the morning things. I woke up and it was extremely foggy outside, I was in no rush to start driving so I took my time. I put my tandems at the 40' mark yesterday, today I woke up and put them on the 41' mark because that's the maximum allowed in the states I'm driving through. I reweighed myself and it looks a slightly better. My drive axles are now 29,380 and my trailer tandems are 31620. That's as close to even as I can get.

The fog has cleared and I think I'm ready to start driving. I fuel at the Pilot but only 50 gallons since that was the maximum my Qualcomm told me to get. Once again, I'm in no hurry because my load has all the time in the world to deliver. I start driving and make a stop at Abbots Farms in SC. They had a small area for truck parking and traffic made it slightly difficult to get in there. I had to run a curb. They had fireworks too but I can't buy any of that. Since basically every firework is illegal in CA unless its one of those boring ones made for a preteen. CA residents have no idea what a real firework is. I hate living in CA.

Anyways where was I? I bought a jar of organic, non flavored, pure honey for my wife's mom. It was honey but in the center of the jar it still had that bees wax in it. That bees wax is so delicious. You haven't lived if you haven't tried it before. She will love it!

I continued driving 25 miles to my next fuel stop and filled up about 75 gallons to top myself off. I spent about 12 minutes fueling today in total. I have a chat with a local tanker trucker, well he talked to me first. I spent about 20 minutes at this fuel stop in total and I was on my way. I kept driving through the mountains and the sharp curves. I hate having a trailer where the product is stacked all the way to the roof. It feels like it wants to flip over at every single curve and turn even though I'm well below the speed limit. On those curves the speed limit was 50 I was going about 45mph. I got passed by a US Express driver and he must have been going 60 because he passed me just as quickly as a FedEx or UPS driver does - except FedEx and UPS travel at 75mph not 60. 15 miles later that US Express driver has a cop behind him. I didnt let him pressure me into speeding and risking me flipping over. Take your time folks, it'll save your wallet and maybe your career/life. The load that I'm under you have absolutely got to take turns and curves very slowly, it will easily flip if you don't.

I drove about 337 miles today. My day started at 0900 and ended at 1800. I was in no hurry because this load has three days on it. Three days to do 800 miles. I will wake up tomorrow whenever I feel like it and drive whenever I feel like it. There's no chance I can drop it, I already asked. I miss my old dispatcher so much!

I'm very worried if ill make it home on time. I deliver in Louisville, KY on the 19th and ill be ready for a load on the 20th. That's 6 days to get from Ky to Ca which is roughly 2600 miles. I honestly don't think ill make it home on time for Thanksgiving. And if I don't, I promise ill stay away from TT that day because I'm going to be so angry that I won't be home with my wife. That's the only day she has off that week and I won't be a happy driver if I miss it. Combine that with firing my DM I won't be happy with my company.

I gave dispatch a friendly reminder today of my hometime and they said they are working on getting me home. We'll see how that goes. I am honestly doubting them because I don't see me going from Ky to Ca in 6 days unless its just a 2600 mile straight shot load. With deliveries in between I'm inclined to doubt I will make it. But I have to try to trust them which is very hard to do.

I would like to include my hours for the past 8 days:

11/09: 123 miles driven. 2 hours 28 minutes worked

11/10: 0 miles driven. 0 hours worked

11/11: 176 miles driven. 4 hours and 15 minutes worked

11/12: 503 miles driven. 9 hours and 15 minutes worked

11/13: 157 miles driven. 3 hours and 45 minutes worked

11/14: 315 miles driven. 6 hours and 37 minutes worked

11/15: 205 miles driven. 4 hours worked

11/16: 337 miles driven. 6 hours and 30 minutes worked

This last week I have only done about 1500 miles. Disappointing.

Deadhead:

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

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

Daniel...I'm sorry that you are on the road while your wife is dealing with her medical issue. It happened to TSB and I. He went into the hospital on the road...I flew to GA to be with him, and drive the truck to deliver the load. I broke my leg fishing (I know, I know, and no I didn't catch anything) and had to have surgery, and 3 more surgeries after that. TSB panics when I get hurt and he isn't home...so it was hard on him. And a year ago I broke the same leg (femur this time) while laying vinyl. Another surgery, and he wasn't home. So drivers have to remember that life goes on at home without them sometimes. And they don't need to feel any guilt about not being there. Drivers are out there doing the most important part of being a family. They are keeping the weather off, and the food on...and in the end, thats far more important than alot of other stuff. Your wife is in my prayers for healing, and you both, for financial mercies.

Wait a minute......... broke your leg fishing? I am an avid fisherman, both freshwater and salt. I have all sorts of alligator, shark and sting ray encounter stories I could tell you, plus jelly fish, drunk idiot and stepping into holes and almost drowning. I have to know how you broke your leg fishing. Fishing is supposed to be relaxing.

We had a boat for years. Just a 16 foot open skiff with a 25 horse Mariner salt water engine. Down here in Ft Myers, we have miles upon miles of inloand salt water grass flats, and the fishing is just great. Plus the wildlife you see is better than a zoo. Just beautiful waters and the islands give you great protection from the weather. My wife blew her knee out stepping down into our boat off a dock at low tide, and had to have it rebuilt. Freak thing, the boat went out from under her, and she fell in the water. I was terrified, because the dock supports are covered with razor sharp barnacles. She missed all those and came up laughing, and did not even realize she had injured her knee. The next day while walking, her right knee just gave out, and she fell on her face. Ended up having to have it rebuilt, and that took her about 2 years to get back to normal. We love to vacation in the mountains, and go on hikes, so it took her a year before she could walk up and down hill in the mountains with just a cane.

Not making fun of you, and I know how it is. My worst scare in fishing was about 10 years ago, I had gone about 3 miles up the coast into a wild area, and waded into a tidal creek trying to find some of our local big game fish. (Called a snook, it is an inshore fish that is just dynamite on light tackle.) I ended up walking into quick sand and sunk to my arm pits. Now, quick sand is not like the old movies, but the danger is, this was low tide, and I looked at the water marks on the trees and saw that it was about a foot higher than where my nose was. There is an old trick to getting out of quick sand, and what you do, is lay down in it, and use your mass to give you leverage to work your legs out. I did that. I came out covered in mud and slime, and left one of my tennis shoes in the muck. When I got home, my wife, who never curses, told me I was a @#$^%ing moron for going off like that by myslef. rofl-2.gif

OK, dont want to hijack Daniels excellent thread, and thank you and Old School for your guys blogs. Good stuff. When I get out solo, I am thinking about doing one of these too. I love this site, and all you experienced drivers. You folks helped me get where I am and I would love to give back! Keep trucking Daniel. Good info.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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