Profile For Harvey C.

Harvey C.'s Info

Harvey C.'s Bio

Raised on farm, drove small trucks hauling grain to elevators, worked in finance for 30 years, returned to my own farm in 1994. Our son has been driving since August 2020, with Marten Trasportation since March 2021 and loves it.

email: harveyc@gmail.com

Harvey C.'s Photo Gallery

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Posted:  10 minutes ago

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Lug nuts missing

I don't mean any disrespect to anyone but the focus of educational studies in our public schools has placed a great emphasis on math, sciences, writing, etc. with many vocational programs dropped. Many people don't even know how to add oil to their car. I lost our one and only farm employee two weeks ago at age 36, he had a spontaneous aneurysm. He was good in many aspects of farm work but not with mechanics and destroyed two of his own cars. We hired a second employee in January to be trained as a farm manager. It just didn't work out and his mechanical skills were even worse. He was late to his first day of work. Something was wrong with his hybrid car. He made the 50 mile trip to work and something went wrong with his charging system, he said. I went and picked him up 15 miles from the farm. He was trying to diagnose with his phone and internet search. No luck. That night went back and then he says his car showed low fuel before he left from work and he found out his housemate had driven his car some. He didn't think he needed to fuel up before leaving the town in which he lived. He was out of gas! About a month later he texts on Monday morning and says he will be late, needs to put on spare tire as he got a flat tire on Sunday. Waited until Monday morning to change it?? Then, two weeks later, he reports he's going to be late again, all of the lug bolts on that same wheel are now broken! There were other problems just with his regular duties but these other things alarmed me as to how he would treat his equipment.

In some countries people must learn how to make some car repairs before they can get a regular driver's license. Seems like it would be a good thing to require here also.

Posted:  1 day, 21 hours ago

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Two Month's Experience Reflections

Well, I thought I would check in since it's been a minute. I've been solo for two months now (9 weeks, specifically). I took hometime at the end of my first week and then just last weekend, so that was a 7 week straight stretch of working (with one 34 hour reset in there).

I've been averaging right around 2,500 miles per week. My take-home pay has been $850-900/week after taxes, health insurance, 401(k), etc. Overall, I'm making close to what I made before in my office job, though I work more but have fewer expenses now (no apartment/house, and I'll probably sell my car soon).

I've been learning plenty as I go, such as:

-I'm learning to pace myself. I tend to work for long stretches of weeks at a time, so sometimes if I have some time on a load, I've learned to take a moment when I need it. I've reduced my expenses, so I don't always have to be running at "maximal productivity." For me, this is about the experiences along the way, as well as the paycheck.

-I like to alternate one night at a truck stop (for a shower, to resupply a bit) and one night at a rest area (quieter, more nature and space to walk). This rhythm works well for me, and I've found some great rest areas with little hidden trails.

-Since my trainer was a lease operator, there was a lot I needed to learn on my own as a company driver: how to get reimbursement for scale tickets, how fuel bonuses work, etc. Since we drove team, we never had to use the split sleeper berth provision (someone always had time on their clock), so I've been learning that and how to swing my hours to fit the loads.

-My backing has improved greatly, though I realize I still have good days and bad days in this regard, so I just make sure all my days are "careful days." Sometimes I think, the harder the hole, the better I do at backing. Go figure...

-I sometimes get "stuck" in a region of the country, bouncing around the southeast for a couple of weeks, for instance. I know this makes sense logistically. I've dropped little hints to my fleet manager that I like going out West, but I still feel like I have to earn my place before I'm too forthcoming with such preferences.

-Reefer can be tough... some weeks I feel like I spend a lot of my time fueling reefers for drop-and-hooks, as well as getting washouts. I've been thinking a lot about what hauling other kinds of freight might be like.

-Sometimes things are really busy, and there can be tough days. But on the whole, I find being solo MUCH EASIER than being in training. My biggest challenges during training were living with someone else in a box and trying to sleep in a bouncing truck. Neither of those are factors in my solo life.

-In sum, I'm learning, gaining needed experience, and LOVING IT out here! Best job I've ever had. I love spending my days listening to music and audiobooks, seeing the scenery, enjoying my own company, and way less stress than my office/supervisory job before.

So, that's me, 21,000 solo miles in.

Glad it's working out well for you and you're enjoying it. Are you finding it challenging to eat healthy? Michael gained some weight in his first six months but has since lost that.

Posted:  2 days, 22 hours ago

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Weird break areas

Well, this isn’t weird , but I parked at a casino for the first time recently. This was in West Memphis at the Southland Casino. Big lot. Not many trucks there when I parked, but when I left the lot was full.

Michael parked at an Indian Casino NE of Sacramento (in Lincoln) last year. I had told him about it before when he worked at CRE but he ended up not needing it then. It's convenient, especially if you're otherwise going to run into commute traffic. This one is nice, they have a large area dedicated for RVs and trucks and will shuttle you to the casino, just give them a call and they pick you up. Michael walked and was glad to see that they had Panda Express in a food court there. He almost always eats on his truck but can't pass up Panda Express, LOL.

Posted:  2 days, 22 hours ago

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Bizarre encounter with another driver

Glad that got worked out with help of police, Bruce. Did you call his company? Would be good for this company to know about their "mon".

Posted:  3 days, 22 hours ago

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Only one year work history cdl training rejected everywhere

Great news, Kevin, and good luck.

I had thought of mentioning CR England where my son started almost two years ago. He had less work experience than you, had gone to college but decided to quit and drive instead. He had a mixture of good and bad experiences there but after putting in 7-8 months he was eligible to get hired with Marten 14 months ago and he's been loving it. Hope you do well.

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Walmart journey, take 2

Thanks. I had read that and shared with Michael previously but wondered if the new drivers had a different type of assignment. Turtle had explained how company drivers typically had different types of loads than outside dedicated drivers. As I recall, the dedicated drivers did most of the reefer loads. I read something that lead me to believe that the big hiring push was to replace some of the dedicated fleet. Is that correct?

Michael's former team driver at CRE came on to Marten a few months ago on a dedicated Walmart fleet so Michael is familiar with his schedule since they talk frequently.

Harvey here is a link to Turtle’s WMPF diary:

Turtle’s WMPF Diary

Search on “Walmart”; there is a ton of info on running Walmart stores and Sam’s Club.

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Brandon, congrats!

Michael was home for a couple of days and just left this morning. He loves his work at Marten and may just stay there but I told him about the expansion of WalMart's private fleet and shared with him local postings by WalMart. What type of schedule are you expected to run? Home daily, weekly, or ? Michael is happy to be on the road for 12 days and home for about 2 or 2.5 days but at some point hopes to get married, start a family, etc. and being home more often might be a good idea for that. He's not yet got the 30 months either but just something for him to think about.

He delivers to WalMart DCs sometimes and I'm wondering if you will mostly deliver to stores or run between vendors and DCs since that has been something previously done by outside drivers.

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Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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Walmart journey, take 2

Brandon, congrats!

Michael was home for a couple of days and just left this morning. He loves his work at Marten and may just stay there but I told him about the expansion of WalMart's private fleet and shared with him local postings by WalMart. What type of schedule are you expected to run? Home daily, weekly, or ? Michael is happy to be on the road for 12 days and home for about 2 or 2.5 days but at some point hopes to get married, start a family, etc. and being home more often might be a good idea for that. He's not yet got the 30 months either but just something for him to think about.

He delivers to WalMart DCs sometimes and I'm wondering if you will mostly deliver to stores or run between vendors and DCs since that has been something previously done by outside drivers.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Why Does This Crazy Stuff Keep Happening To Me?

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His weekly revenue share pay from Prime could be $6,000 to $8,000 per week.

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He chose the words "weekly take home pay." That's my point. There's a monumental gap between revenues produced and take home pay. Revenues don't really mean anything in this business. Everyone has lots of revenue. It's the guys who can maintain a decent operating ratio who end up being successful.

That's the important number. Normally I would ask a guy mouthing off like that about his operating ratio. Usually they look at me like I'm from another planet. I just decided to divert this conversation to the fact that his fly was hanging open.

I'm ashamed I didn't try to go into my educational role. I just couldn't muster it.

I have an owner/operator friend that seemed to do okay but he quit after his wife died at a young age a few years ago because he needed to be around for his children. I still had a suspicion that he was o/o more because he wanted to be his own boss than because of greater earnings (based on his personality and comments he had made.

That comment about gross revenues not meaning anything in the industry reminds me a lot of what I have seen in agriculture. Some folks that are "top producers" (highest yields) are spending more money then they are making with higher yields. One of the thinnest margin businesses is the egg industry which would go from rags to riches and back to rags a couple of times in one year sometimes. I heard a loan officer joke once that the typical line by the grower was "yeah, I'm losing a penny a dozen but am making it up in volume."

When Michael was about three of four months into driving with CR England he was really having a good time with his team driver and said he and his driving partner had both been talking about maybe someday buying their on trucks to have more independence and control, etc. I cautioned him that I was no expert in the industry but that I would expect the companies he might contract with would give the best loads and routes to their own trucks and company drivers and if/when there was a slowdown in freight that they would be more focused on keeping their own trucks moving. Michael is very happy with the way things are working out at Marten for the past 13 months and has never brought up the o/o idea again. I imagine some folks aren't happy with where they are at and think that being an o/o will make things seem better.

Although over 30 years ago, I remember how my dad and his partner and let an o/o have a free spot for his mobile home on one of his farms just for added security. The guy had been there for a couple of years and then blew an engine and needed $7,000 for repairs. So my dad and partner bought his trailer for $7,000 and charged him modest rent. Less than a year later he was then unable to pay rent and moved out. I'm not sure what other problems he had but it sure didn't seem to work out well for him and I wonder how many save up money for necessary repairs that will surely come up.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Interstate highway construction history.

I know almost everyone here loves to hear about how things are done in California. :) There had been a long-time push to build another large canal to export water from the great northern part of the state to those huge population centers down south. This has been rejected a couple of times (and now the state has been pushing for one or two huge tunnels instead) but officials figured they would eventually get their dream canal built and in the 1970s when I-5 was being built there are some large sections a little west of I-5 where they excavated soil for an elevated freeway and began building the canal in the meantime. If you check a Google Map for "Flag City RV Park" and zoom out you can see the section of the incomplete tunnel. I'm guessing the state owns this property. People come and fish there sometimes but a lot of aquatic weeds have taken over most of it.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Mobile carrier outages FYI

The outage maybe started last night or this morning, biggest hit started at 9:15am Pacific. I know you team when training, hope you can sleep well.

I team. And in 38 hours that where we were.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Mobile carrier outages FYI

You drive pretty dang fast to make it through that many states today! :)

The downdetector is filled with actual people reporting outages, no hype. CNET said if people rebooted their phone that seemed to help but it didn't help me.

Current Downdetector page shows it is almost back to normal now and mine is working fine.

I have both Verizon and T mobile .. went through WA, OR. UT, WY IA MO KY IL TN.... No issues

Probably hype just like masks 😂

Posted:  1 month ago

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Mobile carrier outages FYI

LOL, so all of the scams come from outside of California?

It seems Verizon is hardest hit but searches show all carriers are having some troubles. Verizon is apparently hardest hit in California, maybe on some satellites affected: https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/verizon-wireless-customers-report-outages-across-us/

The front page of https://downdetector.com/ shows all carriers were affected but that the outages are declining. I only posted this in case you were having problems that you couldn't figure out. My tractor mechanic was having troubles and I told him I just had some troubles and Linda said Michael had text her about the issue. I tried calling my mechanic standing right next to me as a test and got "invalid number". Some people were guessing the Russian hackers might be at work but most placed the blame on solar flares.

FYI - if I move out of California it will be due to the politics and taxes here, not the problems with mobile service, LOL The weather here seems to nice to justify leaving .... yet.

Must be a Kookie-Fornia thing. I've experienced no issues. The various telemarketing scam calls still making it through to the junk box today.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Mobile carrier outages FYI

The solar flares have been interrupting all radio signals that rely on satellites and maybe more and started being experienced last night. All of the Qualcomm units rely on satellites just like mobile phones.

Of course trucking operations were conducted without all of these electronics but now they rely on them much more. Hope things continue to work for you.

Starlink recently lost 54 satellites due to solar flares, $$$ poof!

Michael runs short trips quite often when he is approaching home time and gets frequent calls to get alerted to new loads, etc. or change in plans due to helping out another fleet.

Haven't had any problems. My dispatcher never calls me. Maybe a dozen phone calls in 6 years. The Qualcomm has 3 different communication systems so if the cell network doesn't work. The satellite connection does. Not a big deal.

Not worried about solar flares. Truckers did this without phones and GOS years ago. I can too if I have to.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Mobile carrier outages FYI

Some others here are probably experiencing problems with mobile connections and this can affect the ability of dispatchers calling you (as Michael had trouble with a short while ago) and maybe even your ELD units sending messages. I have had trouble locally and this seems to be a widespread problem, probably due to solar flaressolar flares: https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/news/x2-flare-r3-strong-radio-blackout-20-april-2022-utc-day

Down Detector presently shows a large increase in reported problems with all carriers. https://downdetector.com/

I have had better luck sending text messages

Posted:  1 month ago

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Weird/Interesting Loads

I didn't want to start a new thread on another recent Michael experience, but I think it's fitting here. I had shared with Anne earlier and she asked me to share, so here goes. She said Tom had never heard of something like this before, something for Michael to laugh about eventually.

It's not so much the load contents but the logistics. After coming back from Utah and dropping off a load near the Port of Stockton yesterday he was assigned a drop and hook at a nearby customer he had never been to before. He drove around trying to find the trailer he was to pick up and finally saw it at a dock and the light was green so he started to back up to it but a business type guy comes out. He explains to Michael that this is a union site and he's not allowed to back up to the dock, he needs to wait until a yard dog pulls it away. So he waits a while for that, hooks up, goes through his paperwork. There's a problem, the load is supposed to be in a dual temp Carrier trailer but it's in a single temp Thermoking trailer. He talks to the business guy and is told to drop the trailer and the yard dog puts it back at the dock and he wants for the load to be loaded onto the correct trailer. Whey they are done, the business guy says to just go ahead and back up to the dock, he's waited long enough, lol. I guess the union workers won't complain if they screwed up and loaded it on the wrong trailer. He then asks Michael if he knows what he's supposed to do when he delivers it to Target. Michael looks at the paperwork, no instructions there, so he says "I hope I don't have to unload it." The guy says "No, but you need to stand on the dock and check off the paperwork as each pallet is unloaded. Michael delivered the load to two Target stores in SoCal last night and this morning and said he's glad he doesn't normally have to do those. He's usually in sleeper berth during unloading.

His other unusual load was last year, a 700 mile haul of two pallets from Michael's Stores (dried flowers?) to two locations in Utah. Total weight of load was 83 pounds. No wind problems, fortunately.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Celebrating 1 year total in trucking this week

Congratulations, Moe.

Are you, by chance, at the Jurupa Valley yard now? Michael got there a short while ago.

Posted:  1 month ago

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A Bloody Mess!

If nosebleeds happen to continue to be a problem there is a medication that can help. After mom died I lately took care of my dad's medical needs and he would rub his nose a lot because it was itchy and he had a period when he was having nosebleeds. He was on Xarelto (a blood thinner) so it was even worse. I took him to an ear nose throat doctor and she prescribed something that he applied with a swab to the inside of his nostrils to make skin and/or veins tough (I don't recall exactly, maybe 5-8 years ago) and this worked very well for him.

Good luck with this problem.

Posted:  1 month ago

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1 Year Anniversary - Michael's Dedicated Marten Job

Marten did not have him shut down. Chain requirements went up while he was underway towards the beginning of a storm and snow was not heavy, only about an inch of snow on the ground at the time. He was headed east, as was the storm, and it did continue to snow for quite a while after he passed. More snow was coming so CalTrans apparently put up chain requirements necessary to avoid problems. As I said in the first post about this, he called dispatch and they told him to use his best judgement. He would have had to chain up even to get to turn around and head back downhill. Weather forecast had called for less than 1" of snow for the entire storm (I had looked myself since I watch the weather often, both for rain here on our farm and snowpack for summer irrigation). His manager was fine with it after this was explained. He had shut down for weather a few days earlier and then again a few days later (yesterday, for high winds near Wells, Nevada). He has never driven ahead when chain controls were posted in advance and has had inclement weather pay at least 10 times.

Where are you driving for Marten and what sort of fleet?

I’m celebrating six months with Marten this month. Best move I made for myself. I skimmed over this and the thread is a week old so I don’t have all of it down pat, it from what I saw about weather pay….. if your son chains up when Marten has him shut down from my understanding it’s grounds for termination, we have a no chain policy. In fact Marten prefers we shut down if chains would be needed regardless of state requirements for road conditions.

This winter I’ve shutdown and been shut down a total of about 7 days give or take, my fleet manager has never said a word bad about it.

Case in point we had a driver jack knife her rig on 84 a couple months back driving during inclement conditions (ice from my understanding). She wrecked the trailer and tractor (the latter of which is still parked at our Wilsonville terminal awaiting transport back to Mondovi , WI headquarters to be scrapped for parts). She lost her job. Marten don’t play round, tell your son if he feels the need to put the chains on, park it and send the message in Qualcomm asking for the bad weather PO. It’s not worth it to me to lose this very lucrative opportunity when I get paid to keep my job and my license secure

Posted:  1 month ago

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1 Year Anniversary - Michael's Dedicated Marten Job

Gary, I never dismiss your comments, advice, etc. I respect your experience as a professional truck driver. Sometimes you do make mistakes, however, so I won't always agree with what you say.

You wrote recently that drivers don't get paid detention when off duty. That was wrong. You wrote that reputable trucking companies don't let their drivers advance loads with chains and that is not correct. Laura reported her experiences with that and I mentioned a driver making daily trips to Reno that chains up often.

Honestly, if Michael ever posted here he would not come back after getting some of the harsh comments that get made here. He needs to be coached along gently at times and will sometimes misunderstand a suggestion as a personal attack (he's had a full psychological test that helps explain why). Here I see it is often described as "telling them the truth" but this is frequently not done in a constructive manner. This site is described as "The friendliest, most helpful one on one advice you'll find anywhere." but it often does not come across that way. Instead of coaching people along, some have more of a habit of putting others down. I was an internal auditor for about 20 years and my job was to find problems and to help companies make improvements. The language I used was an important part of how management and employees accepted my recommendations. I worked with some others on my teams that frequently used harsh or offensive comments.

This is not a game for me. I am interested in the industry and like sharing insights with Michael and sometimes I like to share Michael's experiences that might help others or for those interested in his journey.

Someday we may meet, Linda and I are spending more time traveling, headed to Virginia and North Carolina soon.

Happy and blessed Easter everyone.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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1 Year Anniversary - Michael's Dedicated Marten Job

Michael has crossed Donner roughly 100 times in the past year (about 50 times each way), maybe more as he's crossed it three times this week already. Earlier this week he shut down in eastern Nevada due to wind and then headed west very early the next morning to miss snow from a prior small storm. When chain restrictions are in the forecast or already underway, he has discretion to go south through Las Vegas. Weather forecast was for 1" total for the day, it is highly unusual to have significant snow this time of year although I once had to chain up on June 21st at Truckee, that was back in the mid 1980s when there was much less information about weather and roads than we have today.

I will try to make it clearer, he had no choice but to chain, the chain requirements went up after he was underway and he could not turn around at that spot and would have had to chain up to get to the next off-ramp. Michael did not break any company policy. As I stated in my first post on this subject, he called after hours dispatch and they said they could not tell him to drive with chains but to use his best judgement. As Laura stated, it seems the reaction from his DM was just an over-reaction but she was okay once Michael explained the situation with her. There are many trucks driving through the area on a regular basis with conditions like yesterday morning. Reputable companies with drivers making prudent decisions.

I’m familiar with Donner Harvey... enough to know 1” can quickly become 18’ of wind driven blindness. I’m also very well versed on chain policies and understand when conditions warrant chaining, they do not want us driving. I witnessed more than one driver receiving disciplinary action in cases like this. Donner is not to be messed with under any conditions and has taken many. I’ve crossed it in my PV and when I was OTR the very beginning of my career.

How many times has he crossed it?

Stevo, I addressed that earlier today already. There about 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. and most of them don't belong to forums, it's not the way they like to spend their time or the manner in which they like to communicate. I've done a lot of writing of reports and emails over the years and I've been active in many types of forums for years.

P.S. Forgot to add, I been wondering the same thing, why hasn't your son joined here himself? Can't he speak for himself?

No offense, Harvey, just asking, since I too have wondered why he hadn't joined TT, and get any info / tips & tricks here, 1st hand......

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