Ride Along On The Road With Old School

Topic 9380 | Page 6

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Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
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Serah,

That will be awhile yet. I am home right now dealing with cancer treatments. Hope to be back out in the near future (Sept/Oct).

Ernie

Old School's Comment
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So, would it had worked out if you would've put your log as "off duty"? I want to do the same thing while I'm out there, but I am unsure of where to put my line when I'm waiting to be loaded/unloaded.

Keilor, I recommend that if you are waiting at a shipper or receiver you use the sleeper berth line. That indicates that you are with your truck and waiting.

To gain the advantage of the split sleeper rule you will need to be on the sleeper berth line. You can learn to master this little trick by working your way through the logs section of the High Road Training Program, I highly recommend you do that it will help you in so many ways to manage your time so that you can be earning top dollar out here on the road.

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.

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
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Dang! I would have been right there mid morning. But a semi trailer roll over just south of Ozora took up all my extra time. Well, I waved!

Errol, I saw that truck as we were leaving there. It was one of the strangest roll-overs I have ever seen. The trailer was completely upside down with the wheels straight up in the air, yet he was still on the pavement. Sometimes I look at these truck accidents out on the road, and I am mystified as to how the ended up in the positions that they do. They are always a sobering sight.

Old School's Comment
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Well, we made it back to Delhi, Louisiana yesterday, and we had enough time left to take a damaged trailer over to a repair facility in Monroe, LA as a favor to my dispatcher. So, while I was in Monroe I took Abigail to dinner at:

20150723_174624_zpsx3mtr4fb.jpg

Here she is anticipating some of that good food we're about to eat while standing in the foyer waiting to be seated at our table. I'm sharing these things with you guys because I want you to see how you can manage your time to also enjoy yourself a little out here while living this OTR lifestyle. A little planning can go a long way to helping you maximize your productivity and your enjoyment of the job.

20150723_174710_zps6yqm5ycc.jpg

I want to continue on this theme of time management just a little by telling you about my next load. Just as I was nearing Delhi, I got a call from my dispatcher telling me he had a load going over to New Jersey with a stop in Virginia, and that he also had a little short run over to Vicksburg, Mississippi and back to Delhi, he had a few others also, but not much that interested me. I've got to tell you that I kind of get some special treatment around here that not everyone gets to enjoy in this career - I pretty much get to pick and choose my loads! I asked him if he knew what was going out on Friday (which was the next day - I needed to get a ten hour break in anyways) He said he hadn't gotten his list yet, because the SAPA plant was running a little behind on schedule. I told him I wanted to wait and see what he had for Friday and then I would take one of those loads. He was good with that because he had enough drivers to cover the loads he mentioned to me. Later on around seven o'clock in the evening he called and said he got his list and there was a load going to Farmington, Connecticut with one additional stop at Yarde Metals in Southington, CT. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! That is a run that I do all the time, and he knew I'd be glad to get put on that one, so that is what we are going to do next.

Now, let's take a look at our hours and decide how we want to handle this load. It is due in Connecticut on Tuesday, but since I like to get ahead of the game anytime I can, we are going to try and make this delivery happen on Monday. Our hours are kind of messed up because we took that day off at Silver Dollar City, and we took some time off at the house too. I've got about ten hours left on my seventy with something like four and a half hours coming back tomorrow and zilcho coming back the next day. I don't like the way this looks so we need to come up with a plan to make it work. Here is the way I'm going to handle it. We will sit here in Delhi all day today and sleep here tonight. We've got our laundry to do, and Abigail picked out a couple movies she was wanting to watch, so we will kill some time having fun together while we are also getting a 34 hour reset in place to help us with our seventy hour clock. If we have a full set of hours I can run this load wide open and make some good time on it, getting both stops delivered Monday. So, that is the plan - we are not going to leave here until Saturday morning. We are going to keep you posted on how it's going for us, but we will be putting in some really long days on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to make all this happen. I also know that we will more than likely have a back-haul load that will be picked up in Cressona, Pennsylvania from the SAPA plant there - that is what we typically do on this run, but it is not set in stone. We've got some hard running ahead of us, and the vacation atmosphere that Abigail has been enjoying is about to come to an abrupt end.

If anyone following this thread is leaning toward flat-bed work let me tell you one of the advantages to it is the ability to get your loads received early. I have never had a problem getting my receivers to accept me a day early if I can get it done that way. I'm not familiar with the other forms of truck driving and how they deal with this issue, but I can tell you that flat-bedders who will take the initiative to communicate with their customers can really stack up the miles sometimes because your receivers are almost always willing to get you in and unloaded in a timely manner.

Okay, I'll jump back in here tomorrow at some point and let you take a look at what we're hauling on this load, and also let you know where we end up for the night when we take our break.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
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If anyone following this thread is leaning toward flat-bed work let me tell you one of the advantages to it is the ability to get your loads received early. I have never had a problem getting my receivers to accept me a day early if I can get it done that way. I'm not familiar with the other forms of truck driving and how they deal with this issue, but I can tell you that flat-bedders who will take the initiative to communicate with their customers can really stack up the miles sometimes because your receivers are almost always willing to get you in and unloaded in a timely manner.

So very true. Pretty much every customer I've interacted with has been more than willing to accommodate an early or off-hours delivery. Communication goes a long way! That's how I've managed to rack up several 3500+ mile weeks, even when I have a pickup and drop every day or two. Sometimes I can unload super early in the morning before the business is even technically open because I've called ahead and asked very politely and professionally what the earliest possible unload time would be. Then I get reloaded somewhere close by, call ahead to the receiver and again arrange for the earliest possible unload the next day, or occasionally even arrange for an after-hours delivery that same day. More than once I've had crew bosses tell me they'll keep a couple guys on overtime just to get me unloaded that evening. Flatbed customers rock!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Serah D.'s Comment
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Serah,

That will be awhile yet. I am home right now dealing with cancer treatments. Hope to be back out in the near future (Sept/Oct).

Ernie

Ernie, you will get through this. I do wish you a speedy recovery.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

If anyone following this thread is leaning toward flat-bed work let me tell you one of the advantages to it is the ability to get your loads received early. I have never had a problem getting my receivers to accept me a day early if I can get it done that way. I'm not familiar with the other forms of truck driving and how they deal with this issue, but I can tell you that flat-bedders who will take the initiative to communicate with their customers can really stack up the miles sometimes because your receivers are almost always willing to get you in and unloaded in a timely manner.

double-quotes-end.png

Sometimes I can unload super early in the morning before the business is even technically open because I've called ahead and asked very politely and professionally what the earliest possible unload time would be. Then I get reloaded somewhere close by, call ahead to the receiver and again arrange for the earliest possible unload the next day, or occasionally even arrange for an after-hours delivery that same day. More than once I've had crew bosses tell me they'll keep a couple guys on overtime just to get me unloaded that evening. Flatbed customers rock!

The other day in Billings I called two days before to find out when they were open for receiving. He asked when I could get there, and I said whenever you want me there. He unloaded me at 6:00 a.m. even though their posted hours start at 7:30. He opened the gate and closed it behind me both times - on the way out he said, "If I leave it open, all kinds of trucks start pulling in here!"

I was able to get to my last stop the same day in time because of that early unload, which helped me get a load that afternoon instead of the next morning. It all adds up, and as Old School and Persian Conversion said, communication is key.

Moving quickly to help them get their job done efficiently also goes a long way toward building good will. And helping out by pulling dunnage off the truck as they unload or guiding the forklift driver to the center of the trailer when they can't see it helps to. It's a team effort, but every day you might be playing with someone on your team you've never met before.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Serah,

That will be awhile yet. I am home right now dealing with cancer treatments. Hope to be back out in the near future (Sept/Oct).

Ernie

double-quotes-end.png

Ernie, you will get through this. I do wish you a speedy recovery.

Thanks, all is going well. Have 3 more radiation treatments left. Then I go see Dr's later part of Aug to hopefully get the all clear to go back to work. Technically I have been home since the end of Apr, so yeah, I have a very healthy dose of cabin fever.

Ernie

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School commented:

Errol, I saw that truck as we were leaving there. It was one of the strangest roll-overs I have ever seen. The trailer was completely upside down with the wheels straight up in the air, yet he was still on the pavement. Sometimes I look at these truck accidents out on the road, and I am mystified as to how the ended up in the positions that they do. They are always a sobering sight.

Rather than interrupt your thread, you can see my photo of the accident here: One fine morning on I-55 in Missouri

The Dude's Comment
member avatar

I'm sure you didn't because you guys were on the wrong side of the state, but we're you by chance able to take her to see the tiger when you were in LA?

And as far with communicating with receivers in flatbed and potentially getting unloaded early, I've had a lot of good experiences with this too. I usually always call my receiver contact when I'm on my weekend load to see if they have overnight parking at their site. Multiple times this has resulted in someone coming in to unload me on a Sunday, putting me in front of the line for a good load assignment on Monday morning.

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