The Adventures of Daniel B.

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Hookemhawk's Comment
member avatar

My answer to "Situation/Question of the Day".

I'm with Eddie. Get the load delivered on time. (that one day run looks like a risk) Take the two days to do it, then manage your time to get you home.

Daniel, what average mph do you use when trip planning? How many minimum hours per day to you try to run?

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Enjoy your holidays.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Alright, I'm glad I got a few answers. You guys make good points. But I opted to stay the night at the shipper and get my reset. I know you guys think this is risking it, but let me tell you why I made this decision.

This is actually my way of trip planning. In full detail. Listen up, it's good stuff. And hasn't failed me since I can remember.

Firstly, doing 630 in a 24 hour period is easy. Lets say I started driving at 11/21 @ 0700 and I have only 24 hours to do it. If I drive 10 1/2 hours I will easily do 600 miles. Lets assume I drive my maximum hours BUT I only manage to do 550 miles that day.

I start at 0700. Add 10 1/2 hours of driving. Add a 30 minute break. Add 30 minutes for fueling/pretrip/post trip inspections. -------------------------- Equals an 11 hour and 30 minute shift. Assuming only 1 break was taken. But lets add another 30 minutes just to simplify our math and make room for restroom breaks and all that.

A 12 hour shift from beginning to end. Assuming only 1 break was taken.

I will work from 7AM to 7PM. Then I rest.

7PM to 5AM I am resting to get my hours back (this is the 10 hour break).

I get my hours back at 11/22 @ 0500 and I now only have 2 hours to deliver this load.

Total load was 630 miles Yesterday I did 550 ------------------- 80 miles left until my delivery.

I get my hours back at 0500 with a 2 hour window to do 80 miles. EASY!

Now, these calculations are generous. I can easily do more than 550 miles in 10 1/2 hours of driving. So even if I take a 34 hour reset I will still easily deliver the load on time. Always use lower number "just in case". Instead of using 600 I used 550. I have extra time just in case. You always want to give yourself some space.

I calculate 10 1/2 hours of driving because you can only work 11 hours in a day. If you combine pretrip/post trip/ and fueling that will make your drive time go down.

So now we know that even if I take a reset, I'm not really risking delivering the load on time.

Now let me explain the other advantages of my decision.

Taking a 34 hour reset will make just 1 day a little tougher. But think about it, that's one day only. Working a little extra one day is a small price to pay for getting your 70 hour clock back.

Now until hometime, I won't have to worry about my hours. I won't have to depend on recaps. Since I took a reset I can now drive as much as I want instead of being restricted to however many hours I get back that night.

Yeah I could make it home on time with my recaps. It woulda been close. But think about the peace of mind I will have this next week to not have to worry if ill make it or not. I only had 30 hours on my 70 and I have about 3400 miles left until hometime. That 30 hours will disappear so quickly with me working 11 hour days. In a few days ill only be able to drive on my recap hours. The luxury of not having to manage my hours and just be reckless with them is a good feeling.

I got loaded at 1800. So the sun is going down. Why would I force myself to night drive when I don't need to? And besides that, how far will I get on that first day. It's 1800 when I drive out the gate. If I do 180 miles only it'll be 2100. Next thing you know I'm night driving when I don't need to be.

Whenever I trip plan, I obviously don't always aim to work a full shift. I usually plan on a 9 hour shift. So you won't always trip plan to use all your hours. But for this load we needed to - that's why I aimed to use all my hours. Trip planning a 12 hour shift is usually how I plan a busy day. 12 hours gives me plenty of time to drive my hours dry.

It's important to do what you're comfortable with. Someone who is on their first month will not feel comfortable doing what I do. So always do what you're comfortable with. Whatever gets you that on-time delivery. If you don't feel comfortable doing what I explained then by all means don't. But working extra-hard one day and in return getting a full 70 hour clock back is a great trade.

I hope I helped with my explanations and I do hope it wasn't confusing. And if it was then please ask questions. This question was simply a learning tool. The sole purpose of my journals is to try to educate others about trucking using a different approach. These are real life situations that you're following. I hope someone learned something.

Please provide feedback/ questions/ concerns. Thanks for replying guys.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

Daniel that was an awesome and detailed explanation. That needs to be laminated and handed out to new drivers lol. Brett, you should create "stickies" in the forum.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

My answer to "Situation/Question of the Day".

I'm with Eddie. Get the load delivered on time. (that one day run looks like a risk) Take the two days to do it, then manage your time to get you home.

Daniel, what average mph do you use when trip planning? How many minimum hours per day to you try to run?

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Enjoy your holidays.

I like to average myself at 50mph when trip planning. You aren't always able to go full speed. You always want to give yourself a cushion with everything you do. Give yourself some extra time "just in case" for trip planning. If a pound of fuel weighs 5 pounds then overestimate it to weigh 10 pounds. You always want to provide a cushion with everything.

I aim to work 9 hours per day. That way I'm able to put up numbers in the 500's daily but at the same time keep on driving and not be forced to take a 34 hour reset because my recaps are too inconsistent or too low coming back.

Everyone had their own way of how they like to manage their days. Me and Old School strongly disagree with each other on this. I prefer making my hours perfectly even in an attempt to keep driving everyday. Old school prefers to run as hard as possible and deliver as fast as possible in hopes that they'll accept his delivery before his appointment time, that way he can move onto another load.

Both work. It's really up to you on how you want to do it.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel that was an awesome and detailed explanation. That needs to be laminated and handed out to new drivers lol. Brett, you should create "stickies" in the forum.

Yeah, except I really wish it paragraphed my adding instead for bunching it all together. rofl-3.gif

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Daniel, I wish I would have seen it sooner, sorry was graduating CDl School. At least I have a good reason, rather than a poor excuse. I would have though selected what you did for the very same reason, peace of mind getting home for Thansgiving with the family.......I should be back in Ar. sat night if all goes according to plan....

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Current load: Louisville, KY to Perryville, MD - 630 miles. Total weight: 75000

I woke up at 0630. I got my 70 hours back at 0700. You have to remember that your logs go by your companies time. Central is based out of Utah. So my logbook is on mountain time.

I had the required 34 hours but not the two periods of 1am-5am. Sure it was 6:30am where I was at, but it was 04:30am in mountain time. So since my logbook is mountain time and I'm currently on eastern time. I get my hours back at 0700. 0700 for me equals 0500 mountain time.

I would have loved to start driving earlier, but I couldn't.

I walked to the shipping office to cook my chili for breakfast. I didnt have anything to eat and didnt want to make an additional stop for food. I would have cooked eggs but they went bad during my reset.

I drove at 0715. After doing my pretrip and verifying my routing. It was 6 miles from where I was at to the interstate. The entire 6 miles was a busy road with lots of lights. Needless to say, it took 15 minutes to finally make it to the interstate. I was in a major city so as expected I will probably encounter traffic.

I get on the interstate and almost immediately it's slow and go traffic. I later find out that there's a stalled garbage truck on the road ahead of us and an accident between two 4 wheelers.

I finally make it out of Louisville and heading towards Cincinnati. Beautiful city! I drive for 330 miles until my fuel stop. To avoid another unnecessary stop, I took my 30 minute break after fueling. When I am trying to run as hard as possible I try to avoid stopping.

The Qualcomm told me to fuel 50 gallons but I accidentally fueled 59 gallons. Got caught up in washing my windshield. I fueled DEF and the reefer. I spent a total of 9 minutes on duty.

Then I went on sleeper berth and parked. I took a 45 minute break, have myself an extra 15 minutes. This is why I trip plan and give myself a little cushion. So if I want to sit for an additional 15 minutes I won't have to worry about it.

I take off again and I don't stop driving until I have to park. The bad thing about my delivery area is that it's near Washington D.C. There is very few places to park. I had exactly one hour left on my 11 hour clock. Which was not enough to make it to the TA in Baltimore and definitely not enough to make it to my delivery. I searched for the furthest place I can park that I can make it to. I can't make it to the TA and I can't make it to the delivery. So I had to look for something before that.

The area is very limited. I had to park it 120 miles from my delivery. I had an hour left to drive but there was simply no where to park beyond the pilot that was within an hour. I ended up driving 10 hours today unfortunately.

I aimed to get to my delivery location but that wasn't going to happen. I experienced heavy traffic in Louisville and PA is always a pain in the ass to drive through. So I got as far as I could.

My day started at 0700 and ended at 1830. Almost a 12 hour shift.

I drove for 560 miles in 10 hours exactly. My pretrip/ post trip/ and fueling came out to 31 minutes. So I worked a 10 hour and 30 minute shift today.

While I did not get as far as I had hoped. I will still easily make the delivery on time. Tomorrow I will run hard as well. Except tomorrow I have a delivery and a pickup so it'll definitely be a tougher day. I hope the roads are safe enough to go home. As soon as I pick up my load tomorrow I am driving to deliver in Reno, NV and then go home. This entire shift, I only took one break.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

Interstate:

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

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

Daniel, great thread here with lots of great info for all of the new drivers. Gives them a good idea of the trials and tribulations they will be facing no matter what form of trucking they get into. Bottom line(s): 1) you have to be flexible, 2) you have to keep a sense of humor and 3) probably most important, find a way to have some fun. Keep up the great reporting and hope you make it home for Thanksgiving.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

11/22

Current Load: Joppa, MD to Reno, NV - 2600 miles. Total weight is 71,000.

Before I begin, I must be honest. I had to take a few moments to remember that it was the 22nd.

I woke up today at 0530. My appointment for my delivery was at 0900 and it was 120 miles away. I would need to make my way through the Baltimore and D.C. area.

Here is how I trip planned:

120 miles take 2 hours exactly.

0900 subtract 2 hours = 0700.

So if I leave at 0700 and keep a speed of 60 mph I will make it exactly on time.

Then I added an hour to make time for traffic. I also have a fuel stop before my delivery.

So if I leave at 0600 that gives me 3 hours to do 120 miles.

So with my trip planning complete and me being confident about it. I drive away at exactly 0600 after 7 minutes during a pretrip inspection.

I drive and obviously encounter traffic the entire way. It wasn't always bad but there was always some kind of congestion. I didnt study local directions because I've been there before and know the way.

Huge tip: get a good memory! It will make your life a lot easier if you can remember how to get to a facility after only being there once. Going to a place for the first time is stressful. If you memorize how to get there for the future it will save you a lot of stress later on.

I arrive at my fuel stop at 0820. I fuel for 8 minutes and immediately head off to my delivery. I arrive at my delivery location at 0840. I talk with security, sign papers and we both walk to inspect the reefer fuel level and verify the seal. All is good.

Like always, I chat with the guy. Getting on their good side yields many advantages. I talk to him about thanksgiving and the weather (just things that are easy to chat about). I then tell him that as soon as I deliver this I will then pickup a trailer and will be driving home to CA for thanksgiving.

Without me ever asking, he tells me he will see if receiving will allow me to drop the trailer and pickup an empty trailer so I don't have to wait for hours. Well, he asks, and the office approved it. At this point I am absolutely thrilled! So I take off my padlock, slide my tandems , and drop the trailer in the dock door. As I said before, the pallets were all the way to the last centimeter of the trailer and up to the roof. So I backed up extremely gently just to avoid any trouble with those pallets. The doors were open and if they leaned they could have tipped over. I got it backed into the door. Went to the receiving office and got my paperwork signed. I then coupled to my empty trailer and wrote down the trailer number.

I sent my macros and gave the trailer a inspection.

I drove 5 miles to the pilot that I just fueled at. I parked at the back of the pilot and swept out my trailer.

Tip: You don't always have to washout your trailer after every load. Sure, do it when you can. But don't do it if it'll be an inconvenience to you. The big guys won't tell you this, but you can save a lot of time just by sweeping it out. It takes me 15 minutes to polish it with a small broom. Unless you find a trailer washout directly across the street, it'll likely take much longer than 15 minutes to get it washed out. I sweep my trailer about 75% of the time.

I got my trailer cleaned out very nicely and quickly grabbed a subway sandwich and washed my hands. I spent a quick 5 minutes to study the local directions for my pickup. They were very easy!

I arrive at my pickup location with a fully fueled trailer at 1030. The appointment time was 1100. So I made both of my appointments on time! Security tells me that it's already preloaded. Today is just going to good.

Security inspects my trailer. I open the doors for him and he says it looks beautiful in there. It writes my information down and tells me where to drop my empty trailer and tells me my preloaded trailer number. I slide the tandems on my empty trailer and drop it. I hook up to my preloaded trailer and inspect it. Everything looks great.

I wait for the receiving person to show up for 10 minutes. They finally do and I get my paperwork signed. This load is another load that's stacked up to the roof. It's 146 pallets and they used every inch they had in the trailer. Security puts on the seal and I put my padlock on.

Before departing I parked to slide my tandems. The states I'm about to go through require 41' from kingpin to last axle. I'm at about 41.8. The tandems won't slide. I mess with it for 5 minutes and leave it alone. Ill fix it later.

Tip: Are you cheap like me? If so, save money by building your own wheel chocks instead of buying them for 30$ a piece. Take a treated 4x4 lumber and cut it to be about a foot long. So it'll become 4"x4"x1'. Have two of them and use them as a wheel chock. It works well. Boom, I just saved you 60$ + tax.

I then drove for an hour and quickly scaled my load. While my tandems were way heavier than my drive axles. I couldn't really do anything about it for now. I'm already slightly above my states maximum kingpin setting so moving it back isn't acceptable. I leave it alone ill fix it after IL since the states after IL don't care about where your trailer tandems are.

I then drive my hours out without stopping. There was many mountains and a whole lot of rain.

I did a 7 minute post trip inspection. And here I am writing this. Tired as can be.

My day started at 0550 and ended at 1930. During this time, I never took a 30 minute break. 570 miles. 10 hours 58 minutes worked.

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".

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Let me correct myself.

10 hours and 58 minutes was driving and On-duty.

I spent about an additional 2 hours and 15 minutes working but logging it as sleeper berth. This included sweeping out the trailer, running in to get the cat scale ticket, dealing with customers and working with the drop and hooks.

So in TOTAL. I worked about 13 hours and 15 minutes today. I spent my required 30 minute break dealing with my pickup at the facility.

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.

CAT Scale:

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

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

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

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.

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