Comments By Harvey C.

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  • Harvey C.
  • Joined:
  • 7 months, 1 week ago
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Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Newbie Trucker Dad Giving Advice - and Stories

I've never read so many figures from the parent of an adult that won't post here on TT.

And now you have, congrats.

I posted here before my son has no desire to join forums. There are probably hundreds of thousands of other truck drivers that don't post on forums. I am active in many types of forums, on the other hand and try to share information that I think is useful and to try to gather information. I try to be a person with constructive comments whenever I can and hope the figures I posted may be of use to someone thinking of getting started.

My wife does bookkeeping for our son and we also handle financial affairs for my parent's estate, my aunt's trust, my older brother's trust, and our own business affairs. We both have finance backgrounds so numbers are something we work with. Our son learned from both my dad and us the importance of "saving for a rainy day" and we're proud he is doing well.

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

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Newbie Trucker Dad Giving Advice - and Stories

Sorry if you are hurt if I don't bother responding to some comments that are not worth it.

For those that may be interested, our son Michael (“Jay”) completed his first year of driving last week and is doing well. He had chosen on his own to start out with CR England and that was probably not a good choice but he had limited prior work experience since he had been a college student and that reduced his choices. CR England required new drivers to do team driving. His first two partners were bad trouble (one was fired and the second may have been also) but his third partner was great and they remain friends even though he switched jobs on Michael’s first day off and took the truck to start a solo driving regional position. Another bad choice for Michael was by taking the first alternative driving job CRE offered him a dedicated Dollar General fresh account. He did gain lots of experience in backing up. He had lots of delays in being allowed to unload and too many equipment problems. There was no guaranteed weekly pay for this job so breakdowns and long detentions often hurt his earnings. Long detentions seemed largely because of rapid growth by Dollar General which resulted in many new managers and staffing shortages (i.e., “sorry, I’m the only one here, you need to wait three hours until I have another employee coming in”). This makes it very tough when you are scheduled to make seven deliveries over a large area.

He has been driving for Marten Transport on a dedicated account for just over four months now and says he “loves it.” He originally reported to a regional manager but a DM was hired. She was new to the job and there were some delays in getting new dispatches but that has improved and he likes working with her very much. He drives mostly in California, Nevada, and Utah with some trips to Oregon and Washington. Some stops are drop and hook. Most deliveries are finished within three hours. One customer in Oregon had him unloaded in 20 minutes which was shocking and they said that was typical there. He wants to go back, lol. He earns 49 cpm plus 2 cpm premium pay if he meets all requirements which is nearly always the case. 17.5 cpm is paid as detention pay which seems higher than elsewhere. He almost always works 12 days and then has 2 days off. He started with a guaranteed weekly pay of $1175 but that increased to $1300 last week. This comes into play on the weeks he has days off. He did forget to turn in paperwork on time a couple of times and that disqualified him from receiving the minimum pay and that hurt his earnings since those were partial weeks without many miles. He gets paid detention pay and breakdown pay and is paid extra for working on major holidays. He’s learning and improving. He has a nice Kenworth T680 with APU and stays much more comfortable on SB breaks than when he worked at CRE. He installed a refrigerator and microwave and mostly eats on the truck.

Below is a summary of his first year’s earnings:

$718/week average for first 5 months at CR England (2020) $912/week average for next 3 months at CR England (2021) $1,240/week average for first 4 months at Marten (plus $3,500 sign-on bonus) $52,519 total for first year. Based on earnings for past four weeks and higher guaranteed weekly pay, he should make about $76,000 in his second year. He has saved/invested over 50% of his earnings thus far. We could charge him rent for the 4 days a month he is at home but have no need for that.

I have now been in direct contact with five members of this forum and appreciate your help in getting answers to Michael. Also, Michael has reached out directly to Scott and he appreciates your help. He's figuring things out on his own much better, thanks again.

Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Photos, oddball things

Our son's dog needed to see the vet so my wife and I drove over and had dinner in Reno, NV and met our son at a dirt lot after he left the Sparks Walmart DC. We took a bit of a nap and woke up to see four horses walking by the car. There are wild horses in the area. I gave my son a head's up to watch out for the horses next to Hwy 439 as he came our way, especially since was dark. He said he knew, he saw a dead horse next to the road a few days later. There are a lot of big new facilities built in the area and I imagine this happens routinely, unfortunately.

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Posted:  2 months, 2 weeks ago

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Mom died tonight

So sorry for your loss, praying for you. Hope you are able to get back safely and take the time you need.

Posted:  2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Local burn out, missing the chicken lights & chrome

I'm not a driver but have posted here about my 23 year old son's experiences a few times and will just share what he is doing in case that is of any interest to you.

He got his CDL from a local private school (not the suggested route here but it got him enough of an idea if this was something he wanted to do after dropping out of college). He worked for CR England for 8 months, was forced to do team driving and his third partner was great but then that partner wanted to do regional driving back east so my son took a Dollar General refer dedicated route which had a lot of frustrations for him (broken equipment, waiting at stores for hours before they would let him unload, etc.) The pay for some of those weeks were low due to long detentions, broken equipment, etc. So he decided to look for driving jobs elsewhere.

He looked at DOT Transportation first. Very little written about that here but those who have driven for DOT are largely very happy with their work. DOT allows flexible work schedules and pay is good. Of course, if you take a job that is 4 days on and 3 days off, you make less than 5/2, etc. Not sure if they have openings in your area. My son applied for them but did not get hired, probably not enough experience with 7 months.

Next he applied with Marten Transportation after I pointed out a posting on Indeed to him. The recruiter steered him into a position that was a bit different than the one he was looking at. He has been at that for 4 months and typically is on the road for 12 days and off for about 2.5 days. He came home yesterday morning and asked him how he likes it at Marten and he replied "I love it." He drives a dedicated route for Nestle, though some other work sometimes gets mixed in. He drives out of Stockton yard, going from from stops mostly in Springville, Utah and some other stops in Utah, Jurupa Valley, CA, Tracy, CA, Lathrop, CA, Lemore, CA, and some trips to Oregon and southern Washington. He originally reported to the regional manager but a new DM got hired and he loves working with her and she lets her know she appreciates his efforts, etc. He makes a lot less than you, last week was about $1,550 with 3,000 miles (he gets 51 cpm plus detention and breakdown pay. In his second week his transmission had serious troubles and truck was in ship for most of the week and he got paid the minimum weekly pay of $1175, worked about 1.5 days. This week he had a hazmat load and will get paid some extra for that, not sure how much. He had a hiring bonus of $3,500 which was paid at 30, 60, and 120 days. I see some posting snow for much more. He gets to bring his truck home (usually just tractor) after submitting photos of where he would park it here on our farm (he lives at home). Besides his days off, he sometimes stops by here if he has extra time on his way to a next stop for shower or even sleeping a few times in the past four months. He drives a Kenworth T680 which took a bit of time to get used to (backs up faster, different noises) but he likes much better than the Cascadia he drove in with CR England.

There is such a demand for drivers that I would think you could find something that can work for you, except all the fancy lights.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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Newbie here, but does this pass the sniff test?

When my son was looking for a change I helped him look using Indeed and it seemed to be pretty good in showing different job offerings a trucking company had. I don't know how comprehensive this is, they might only post jobs they are most aggressively recruiting for (and maybe recruiters get paid more for filling those positions)? I searched Schneider at Houston and only saw dedicated and part-time jobs there:

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Schneider+Trucking&l=Houston%2C+TX&radius=50 (sorry, posting hot link wouldn't work)

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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What are current state of affairs of drug testing regulations?

I don't know where your friend got his information, but as far as I can tell it is bogus.

I believe he got it on the Internet but I once read that Abraham Lincoln said you can't believe everything on the Internet! :)

Thanks for the clarification.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

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What are current state of affairs of drug testing regulations?

A friend recently told me that "the feds" are removing marijuana testing requirements for truck drivers because the industry needs more drivers. I replied "I don't think so, I've read of many people who have been denied employment due to presence of marijuana in hair tests recently."

But it got me to wondering where he would have got this idea so I did some searching but came up empty. On the other hand, I found this article where 11 trucking companies petitioned FMCSA to allow hair follicle testing. From a quick read, it sounds like hair testing is not allowed by FMCSA in meeting testing requirements. I believe this means that trucking companies must still test 50% of employees with urine tests in addition to any hair follicle tests they do. I believe I've read comments here at TT that the hair follicle testing is required by FMCSA, but I might be mistaken.

The article also states that FMCSA deferred replying to the petition saying HHS was taking up the matter but some say those regulations are too lenient and others say they go too far. Big surprise there.

I don't have a strong opinion on the matter but suppose someone that might use marijuana once during home time would lose their job and license even though they could be safe while on the job and that would be an injustice. My son does not use drugs of any type (except sometimes ibuprofen) and no alcohol. I usually don't have more than a couple of alcoholic drinks a week, never shortly before driving. I have two brothers who have a long history of drug use and it puzzles me how people can be so different.

Posted:  3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Guy got lucky

Sorry to change subject, but how are scrap cars secured to a trailer? For quite a few years they are covered by netting and I don't recall if they are chained down or what. Yesterday about a quarter mile west of a 2 lane bridge near our home a flatbed driver had pulled over and the furthest rear stacks of cars had nearly fallen off or tipped over his trailer. I looked but couldn't tell what type of securement was used but wondered if there is much cushioning effect left in cars after being compressed/smashed. This guy was parked in a tight spot with the slope of the shoulder making matters worse with not much room for someone to come and fix his load. He was outside on the phone when I passed by the first time and again an hour later.

About 50-55 or so years ago near here a young lady was killed with a piece of car transmission being hauled for scrap went through her windshield. I'm guessing there were other accidents that lead to the eventual requirement of netting these loads.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Considering a career in Redding CA

I'm not a truck driver and some folks here may blast me for giving advice, so take it for what it's worth. :)

LTL linehaul is generally not recommended for beginners but here is a thread of someone that made it work very well. I like learning and read this 35 page thread with great interest, almost made me want to give it a try, lol: https://www.truckingtruth.com/truckers-forum/Topic-4501/Page-1/ltl-trucking-my-linehaul-job They get home every day and home for weekends. I see Old Dominion has a center in Chico which is an hour away which would make for a long daily commute. Further, they might not take a beginner but maybe you could start somewhere else for a year if you think this would work for you. Earning potential is very good.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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California Highway Patrol Traffic Info

I recently included a mention of the CalTrans QuickMap which is pretty good for showing road closures, etc. I don't think I made mention of the CHP site that provides some good information on incidents, often enough to let you make a guess how long you might be held up in traffic, etc. My son is presently held up on his way back from Utah and had asked if I could monitor for a bit but he ended up pulling out at a rest stop ramp anyways since it was bad. The CHP site is CHP Traffic

To make use of this you need to have some understanding of different CHP districts and that may be hard if you're not very familiar. In this case, I checked the Truckee office since it was just west of the Nevada border on I-80. These incidents refresh automatically to show updates. For some reason, I had trouble getting the Truckee district to load on my Android phone but fine on my computer. Here is an example of the details you can see.

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Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Game: Guess the State

Laura didn't hit any bridges in Chicago?

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Weighing at scale and sliding tandems

Someone posted previously that the Truckers Slide Calc app was simple to use and helpful for them.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Good news everybody

If you haven't read this 35 page diary of a beginner starting out in line haul for Old Dominion, this is well worth reading. LTL Trucking - My linehaul job

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Good news everybody

Congratulations!

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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What is a IPCS test?

I had two rotator cuff surgeries 20-22 years ago and my arms weren't weakened by it. Are you still having some sort of pain or weakness? Since I had some experience after my first surgery I started physical therapy on my own a day or two after my second surgery and at my follow-up appointment a week after surgery my doctor said I was already good to go. I'm older than you and still have good strength so if you are still having problems maybe you need to see another doctor. I made sure I saw an orthopedic doctor that specialized in shoulders. I even switched medical insurance to be in a group that had the doctor I wanted to see. I think specialization is very important.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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First load as lease operator

You might turn a profit if you brought some contraband toilets to California!

Posted:  4 months ago

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Is there ever a good time to BUY a truck?

Something about this has come to my mind several times when this subject has come up but I haven't read it mentioned before.

My son once mentioned he would like to some day own his own truck. I told him that most drivers say it's a bad idea and I agree with that. But one reason I don't see brought up is that there is likely going to be some periods of time when there is a slowdown in the business just like any other. If a company is hiring owner operators to supplement their own fleet and there is a slowdown in volume it just seems to make sense that they would keep their own fleet running first. Some companies push leases more than others. It seems that this is a way to increase the trucks at their disposal without the overhead they would be stuck with if/when there is a slowdown.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Trip planning through LA

This appears to be part of a $135.5 million repaving project with 210 going on over several years, spending some of the crazy high fuel taxes they charge here with 2017 Prop 1. From what I can see, closures are from 7pm to 6am and some weekends. You can search here for some details: CalTrans

Posted:  4 months ago

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Trip planning through LA

I just remembered, that CalTrans has an app called QuckMap that is useful if you're doing much driving in California.

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