The Adventures Of Daniel B.

Topic 1881 | Page 7

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Woody's Comment
member avatar

Yup, it was a scary one. I was heading back to my hotel through Greenwood when I heard the warning siren going off. I got up to my room and was watching out the window. The sky was black and the clouds were moving as fast as I have ever seen.

My thoughts go out to everyone that was hit by this storm. Hard to imagine driving up to your house and seeing nothing but a pile of wood and debris.

I was really glad when I saw your facebook update that stated you had pulled over and were safe.

Woody

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/18

Current Load: Rochelle, IL to Louisville, KY - 380 miles. Total weight is 70,000.

I woke up today at 0630. I just couldn't sleep anymore. Made myself eggs and watched Undercover Boss for hours on my phone. I love parking near a major city because that's the only time ill ever get good enough Internet to watch movies.

Before I started driving I spent about 20 minutes making sure the weather was going to be safe to drive through. I also spent about 15 minutes doing local directions. I was a little hungry so I went to Denny's but everytime I go there the prices shoo me away. It's redicilous how expensive meals are at truck stops. I came back inside my truck and ate a delicious pineapple that I got for a dollar at ALDI.

My appointment was at 2100 and I had about 260 miles to do. So I decided to leave at 12. I don't really care about my 14 hour clock and I left slightly earlier because I was going through Chicago. I made a few stops along the way. I65 was pretty dirty from yesterday's tornado. Signs were bent and damaged. Cones were thrown all over the place. There was still a few cars in the ditch and I saw a few bent trees.

truck drivers picture of the open road on I65truck drivers picture of road signs bent by the wind on i65

But overall it was a good day. The wind was fierce in some areas. But aren't we all used to it?

I had the pleasure of seeing someone hauling this monstrous load. It was a convoy of about 5 trucks and many escort cars. These things were big! (That's what she said)

oversize flatbed load with metal pipe

I stopped at the Pilot in Gary, IN to get fuel. I fueled up about 105 gallons of diesel and a few gallons of DEF and 10 gallons of reefer fuel. I spent about 11 minutes on duty. I did a quick walk around and a quick stretch and I was on my way. The sun was going down by now and it was definitely a good view.

truckers beautiful sunset scenery photo

I arrived at the receiver about three hours early. Little did I know they actually had three different addresses. So I went to the first one and I was told that my delivery is further down. I kept going and went to the second Americold and it wasn't that one either. It sure would help if it wasn't dark! I finally get to my location and talk with security. We do a walk around and he inspects the seal as well as the reefer fuel level. He writes down all my info and then tells me to go to the shipping and receiving office. I drive slowly and the building is on the left. I see a giant sign that says dont park in front of the building so I park between two trailer towards the left and then head into the shipping and receiving office.

Here's what I don't get. We truckers are disciplined to read every single sign on the road. Even if its not intended for me, I probably read it subconsciously without knowing it. So how in the world do you miss a giant sign right in front of you... This might be a good reason why the employees typically don't like us.

c.r. england tractor trailer

I really want to drop this trailer and pick up my preloaded trailer going to Louisville, KY. So I become a kiss ass temporarily to get what I want and to avoid doing a live unload. Like always, the charm never fails. I'm to drop it into a dock door and bobtail out to get my preloaded. I break the seal and open the doors. I take both my load locks and put them back on the truck. I back it in and send about 5 minutes doing my macros.

I arrive at the shipper 5 minutes later. I give the security guard my pickup # number and he gives me a paper with all the information. I take it to the shipping and receiving office and the lady gives me my BoLs and I'm on my way. I find the trailer and hook up to it. Take out my flashlight and inspect to make sure im properly coupled by looking at the kingpin of the trailer and ensuring that the locking jaws are around it. I'm going through IL, IN, and KY. So the maximum kingpin setting allowed is 42.6. I set it at 42'.

Before I head out the gate I make sure all my lights are working, I put my padlock on the trailer door, and I look over the BoL and verify the correct seal and info. I send in my macro and I'm good to go!

Now I have a decision to make. I can park at the truck stop a few miles from me in Rochelle, IL or I can drive through Chicago when the sun is down and then park.

Option 1: I park at the truck stop and will have to drive about 380 miles tomorrow and have to drive through Chicago during the daytime. Ill still make it on time but it would make tomorrow more difficult because ill be going through Chicago.

Option 2: Suck it up and continue driving. I have my fuel stop on the border of IN and IL and its 100 miles away. If I make it there ill be out of the Chicago area and won't have to worry about it tomorrow. However, I'm tired and I kind of want to rest. Ill still make it on time.

I went with option 2. I did not want to deal with the traffic tomorrow when I can just drive past it tonight. So I drove to my fuel stop and fueled the tractor and trailer. I couldn't find a parking spot at the Pilot so I had to go to the TA across the street. I found an easy spot in the very back of the parking lot. I did my post trip inspection and I went inside the TA to make copies and to turn in my trip pack.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/18

Continued.

I spent about 10 minutes finishing up my trip pack. I brushed my teeth and watched some Netflix on my phone. I check Trucking Truth and am disappointed to see that Brett has all the topics answered. Well, I'm not needed tonight rofl-2.gif

Total miles driven today 400

Total hours driven: slightly over 8

Total time doing work duties that wasn't logged as On-Duty: About 45 minutes.

Have a good night all. Thanks for tuning in....

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.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, God sure did protect you from that storm. I'm glad you are okay.

Your journal entry has generated some 'what if' questions. What if you would have come too close to the tornado? What if the wind would have flipped your trailer? Would that be counted as an avoidable accident? Would they be hardcore and say that you could have stopped sooner and not driven into the storm, hence avoiding the storm and the accident? I am just curious at how 'they' would look at this and decide if you were negligent or not. Thank God you got through safely!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Excellent questions Steven.

I don't believe a company would ever be able to get away with claiming that getting hit by a tornado was avoidable. I mean, have you ever tried to avoid a tornado??? I have. It's really, really hard to do!!!! rofl-3.gif

Now to contrast a tornado to other weather-related incidents - take a snowstorm for example. If you get caught in a snowstorm and wreck it is most certainly going to be an avoidable accident. Snowstorms don't spring up out of nowhere in a matter of minutes like tornadoes do and they don't hit so hard and furiously that you couldn't safely get parked. So your company would expect you to handle snowstorms and thunderstorms and other more predictable weather situations. But I would say things like tornadoes and lightning strikes are most often unavoidable.

Hookemhawk's Comment
member avatar

Excellent questions Steven.

I don't believe a company would ever be able to get away with claiming that getting hit by a tornado was avoidable. I mean, have you ever tried to avoid a tornado??? I have. It's really, really hard to do!!!! rofl-3.gif

Now to contrast a tornado to other weather-related incidents - take a snowstorm for example. If you get caught in a snowstorm and wreck it is most certainly going to be an avoidable accident. Snowstorms don't spring up out of nowhere in a matter of minutes like tornadoes do and they don't hit so hard and furiously that you couldn't safely get parked. So your company would expect you to handle snowstorms and thunderstorms and other more predictable weather situations. But I would say things like tornadoes and lightning strikes are most often unavoidable.

I think Brett's point about having an accident during a snow being "avoidable" and count against you is another reason to get off the road during snow storms. An earlier post by Daniel evaluated the struggle and stress of poking along at 10 mph during a snow storm earning essentially $6/hour (give or take).

Once I start driving I won't even think twice about pulling over during a storm when these variables start becoming issues:

1) some one else's safety

2) my safety/health

3) vehicle safety (preventable accident)

4) earning power (drive for $6/hr ??? No!!)

Few pros, MANY CONS to get off the road during the snow storm.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/19

Current load: Louisville, MY to Perryville, MD - 630 miles. Not loaded so no weight to report.

Well, my day started in the TA in Gary, IN. But I didn that's any showr points so I drove across the street to the Pilot to take a shower. It didnt start my clock because the distance was short and it didnt take over 4 minutes. I had 290 miles to my delivery in Louisville. My appointment was at 2200 so leaving in the morning wasn't the best idea. I left at 1300. Here is how I calculated on when to leave.

Appointment 2200

It'll take about 6 hours of driving.

I'm in Central time zone so ill lose an hour by going into Eastern time zone.

1300 plus 1 hour loss from time zones. 1400 plus 6 hours of driving equals 2000 Traffic from the IL area as well as Indianapolis and possibly Louisville. So I left at 1300 planning on getting their at 2000 but I left some free time in case of heavy traffic.

On my way to the delivery I experienced a 30 minute delay due to road construction on I65 in Indiana. I stopped at a Love's because my dashcam had stopped charging. I went in and got a new one for free. The entire exchange took less than 45 seconds that was amazing customer service.

I got to my delivery at 2045. They put me in a dock immediately and when I opened the trailer doors the boxes on the bottom of the pallet were very damaged. I hate preloaded trailers because they always load them like idiots and you can see how they load it. The dock employee says it always happens with Americold. They put the pallets in the wrong way so there was a huge space between the two pallets. They weren't touching each other.

I then went to sleep and got a call from the wife. We woke me up. Then I realized that the do I employee has been banging on my truck trying to wake me up. Haha! Oops! I get my bills back expecting to see a bunch of damaged boxes. I was pleased to see that they accepted every box and put that none were damaged. Awesome!

I was given two loads earlier today and they were going to get me home. I had a pickup at the same place that I was delivering to and I was going to take it to Perryville, MD and then I have a pickup on the 22nd in MD that's delivering to Reno, NV on the 27th. That's some amazing miles and will get me home right now time! I doubted them, but they came through.

I then talked to receiving and asked if they can load me tonight instead of tomorrow. My appointment for the pickup is 11/20 @ 1700. They told me the product isn't ready yet but will be tomorrow morning. I then go to bed since they can't do anything else for me.

By the way, remember a few days ago I got held up at a delivery until 1330? I said that I put my departure time on bills so I would get detention pay. Well, I requested it today and I got approved for 56$. So I got paid 56$ for them taking too long. Whenever you qualify for detention. Make sure you write on the BOL the time you got your bills back. You could be denied detention if they lack your departure information. Remember this guys!

So I'm going to be extremely busy from now until thanksgiving day. From the 21st to the 27th I have to do a 630 mile load and then a 2600 mile load. That's 3200 miles. I will update my journal as much as possibly but I will be putting up 640 mile driving days. So forgive me if it take a while to find the time to do this journal. Going home is my #1 priority after being 6 weeks out and I will not be stopping frequently.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Daniel that is great news you'll be home for Thansgiving.........

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/20

Current load: Louisville, MY to Perryville, MD - 630 miles. 75,000 total weight.

Well, this place said yesterday that they will load me in the morning. That didnt happen. They loaded me on my appointment time which was at 1700. So I sat all day. They took me an your early and loaded me within an hour. The loader installed the seal on the trailer and told me to head inside for the paperwork.

The load is 30 pallets of waffles. They are all the way to the trailer doors. And to the roof on height. Dangerous load, I will definitely have to drive extra carefully especially on curves and turns.

One thing I've noticed about my new DM is that all his drivers love to call him instead of use the Qualcomm. He constantly tells us that he's not taking anymore phone calls because he has 7 drivers on hold. Today he sent us a message that he has 5 people calling him but he has no messages on the Qualcomm from anyone. He constantly asks us to use the Qualcomm to communicate with him.

I had a good conversation with my new DM today. He messaged me to ask about my situation with the shipper. At the end of the back and forth Qualcomm messages I say to him "thanks for everything. Will do! And as a side note I hope your drivers stop calling you all the time and learn to use the Qualcomm to communicate."

He replied "I do too sir, I do.."

I do think he's starting to like me. I've been good so far and have been having a good sense of humor as well. I always like to joke around a bit with everyone, it helps lighten the mood.

I will be going through Salt Lake City on my way home and will stop by to meet him and do my live safety meeting for the quarter. But that's for another day.

Today I had a major decision I had to make. As captain of the ship these kinds of decisions are up to you.

My current load delivers on the 22nd in the morning. I have 30 hours on my 70 right now and my recaps are just barely enough to get me home. So for the next week I will constantly be wondering if ill have enough hours to make it home on time.

Here's the decision;

My shipper loaded me at 1800. I can drive a few hours today and tomorrow and get to my delivery in Maryland tomorrow. Doing this will make my next two days easier since ill be spreading my 630 miles with an extra day. But the negative is that I will be worried about my hours and if I can make it home.

Or I can sit for the entire day today and drive 11/21 in the morning. Since I spent all night last night here I will get my 34 hour reset if I drive tomorrow morning. If I do this I will have to sit all day on the 20th and not drive a single mile, which will force me to do 630 miles in a small amount of time. So I sit today, but on 11/21 I will have to drive about 600 miles. But then ill have a full 70 your clock and won't have to worry about hours.

To the aspiring drivers.

What would you do in this situation? Should I sit all day and get a 34 hour reset then run hard tomorrow? Or should I run today so I won't have such a difficult day tomorrow, but in turn I won't get the 34 hour reset. (I could still manage without the 34 hour reset)

What would you do and why? Please participate folks. These are decisions that you will be forced to make one day so get your practice in today!

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.

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.
Eddie B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, Thanks for all the info. It is great following along on your trips. Glad to hear you will be home for Thanksgiving.

As far as your question goes for sitting and getting your reset or leaving right away....my response would be that I would leave right away, I see no reason to run hard for the day if you don't need to. If you are trying to run hard to make up for the time you sat to get the reset, you could have any number of problems that would screw up the whole trip. That is just my opinion....

What was your decision?

Have a safe trip and a great holiday with the family, you have definitely earned it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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