Profile For Dennis L

Dennis L's Info

  • Location:
    Monticello , AR

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 7 months ago

Dennis L's Bio

I had retired in 2016 at age 60 and then decided in 2021 to pursue trucking. I went to CDL training at age 66 with Prime Inc in Springfield, MO from Feb-Apr 2022. I upgraded to a company solo driver in May 2022.

I had a 38-year career with Chevron as a Petroleum Engineer starting in 1978 in Midland, TX after graduating from Colorado School of Mines. My first 16 years were domestic in Texas, Colorado, California and Louisiana. I then went international in 1994 for 22 years in Papua New Guinea, Angola and Kazakhstan.

dennis.longhorn@yahoo.com

Dennis L's Photo Gallery Group 1 of 5

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Posted:  1 day, 18 hours ago

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Audio books

“The Great Reset: And the War for the World” by Alex Jones

“The Bible” as read by James Earl Jones and Charleston Heston on Pray.com

Posted:  1 week, 2 days ago

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I love my company, but I think it's time...

Thanks Brett and Old School for your posts!

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I sure feel like I am complaining.

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Not at all. This is all totally legit.

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I will hit 2,800 one week and then be under 2,000 the next. I have averaged 2,100 miles a week (information from my DM) since June

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Those miles are terrible if your goal is to run hard and make as much money as you can without burning out. I mean, terrible. Most highly productive drivers shoot for 3,000+ miles per week. I used to average around 3,000 miles per week with a goal of about 3,200. I would be extremely unhappy if I had less than 2,700 in a week. It rarely happened, even when I ran regional and I was home on weekends.

I would focus on working with dispatch to get better miles if money is your main concern. I don't think changing companies will help because rarely will a company consistently just hand any old driver 3,000+ miles per week. You must have several things working for you:

  • You must have a great dispatcher. Not all dispatchers are created equal. Ask your dispatcher where you stand on the board. If drivers are averaging more miles than you, ask why that is and find out what you can do to get your mileage up near the top of the fleet. Do not be shy about this! Tell him/her straight up, "I can not live on less than 2,500 miles per week. I must average that or more consistently. What can I do to get up there?"
  • You must make all of your appointments on time. If you're late even 5% of the time, there is almost no chance you'll turn big miles. They simply won't allow you to haul their most valuable freight, which means the pool of freight you qualify to haul is less than it could be. You're missing out on opportunities. Get to the appointments on time.
  • You must pick up and deliver early once in a while. You mentioned this already, and it's not easy, especially pulling reefer. But it's doable. If you can even move one appointment up each week, you'll make more money. If you can do that two or three times a week, you'll make a lot more.
  • Find ways to get loaded or unloaded more quickly. Again, not easy, especially in a reefer. But there are always opportunities. I've watched guys walk into customers with boxes of donuts. Get creative. Tell a white lie if you have to. I used to tell customers, "Look, I totally understand you guys are busy, but I have another load scheduled after this one and if I miss it I'm going to lose about $300 this week alone. If you can do anything to get me out of here a little faster, I would be thrilled! If not, I understand and I appreciate your efforts. But I'd love it if you could!" Simple as that. Give it a shot.

You really have to hustle in this business if you want to turn big miles. You must learn how to work the system. You have to work the people at your company, workers on the docks, and even DOT officers once in a while. You must watch the weather, plan your trips around city traffic, and plan your fuel stops, scheduled maintenance, and personal affairs strategically.

Many times drivers have come here talking about changing companies because they're not getting enough miles, and we always tell them what I've told you. You must learn how to turn the big miles. They won't be handed to you. If you're not getting big miles where you're at, you almost certainly won't get them anywhere else, either.

I'm not against you changing companies in order to make more money. If you were turning 3,000 miles a week but found a better pay rate elsewhere, you'd be crazy not to take it. But I'm afraid you'll wind up in the same boat if you go somewhere else. I'd like to see you try to work the system and improve your miles here first. Once you've maxed out your potential at this company, look elsewhere, assuming you're okay with how everything else is going where you're at.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Winter storm

I’m currently in Saint Albans, VT. It has been snowing since last night. Roads are messy and slick.

I delivered this morning and had to put the traction socks on to get docked on a slight incline. Kept spinning without them. Tried locking the differential, etc.

I originally went to customer last night to deliver 2 hrs early to appointment. The load was rejected due to an issue with the trailer seal. Claims Dept got it sorted out this morning so I could deliver.

Now parked waiting on a load assignment, which is okay with me to allow I-89 to get cleaned up.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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One year with marten!

Congratulations Donna!

Posted:  2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Trucking companies and COVID Vaccine

Call me a right wing conspiracy theorist, but I believe the vaccine is working exactly as intended.

Younger people of reproductive age are being deliberately harmed to reduce the population. This has been one of Bill Gates’ and WEF objectives with vaccines for several years.

I’m old enough to remember the Zero Population Growth movement in the 60’s

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Nine months in...

Thanks PackRat.

You won’t believe why I’m sitting for truck repairs. I found my right front fog lamp missing on Friday! It looks like it was cut out with a jigsaw or something. I wasn’t going to mention it because I didn’t want to start a debate about it.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Nine months in...

Way to go Bill! You’re doing great!

We started about the same time, but you’re way ahead of me now after my 5 months off. I got a message today that I’ve earned my 6 months Safety award.

I’ve been out 4 weeks now since coming back. Only about 7,300 paid miles compared to about 10,200 miles per 4 weeks during my first two solo months. A lot of sitting parked waiting to deliver or pickup (3 days), snow/ice delays (3.5 days), repairs to truck (2 days). So 8.5 days sitting out of 28!

I sat 40 hrs at Dodge City because I couldn’t move a delivery appointment forward without paying a $180 “work in” fee. When I checked in 1.5 hrs early for my appointment, I was told that the customer hadn’t scheduled the delivery, even though I had an appointment on my work order. So Prime ended up paying the $180 to get me unloaded after waiting another 6 hours. Otherwise would have waited from Fri until Tue to be scheduled.

At Another location in Tacoma I arrived at 05:36 for a 10:00 appointment to try getting unloaded early to make a second Stop appointment at 12:00. This receiver told me that he scheduled the delivery for 05:00 with the customer, so I was late and had to wait to be worked in. My work order said 10:00. Then the order was short 30 cases. I didn’t get to second receiver in Everett, WA until they had closed. So sat there overnight.

Then sat 3.5 day’s waiting for I-90E to clear up over Christmas weekend.

Two customers with communications failures between the receivers and Prime Sales about scheduling appointments.

I’m learning some hard lessons about needing to call ahead to verify appointments and to ask questions about work procedures at new locations (e.g. needing to check-in with lumper service after Receiving to get unloaded, cost me 5 hours! No instructions offered by Receiver).

I’m sitting 2 days now waiting on truck repairs after deadheading from Nashville to Kansas City area on Saturday to shift my truck out of TN. Missed out on a good load offered for Monday, but repairs won’t be done in time.

I’m going home in 11 days. I’m ready.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Happy New Year 2023

I just arrived at my delivery customer in Denver before the snow storm tonight. Can’t unload until after 21:00 Monday. So settled in for a break.

My wife and I are selling our big house closing Jan 23! Major downsizing and cost cutting in 2023 so that we can make it on our Social Security and my driving income.

So far we are blessed that I was able to return to work and that our house sold in one week for a very good price in December.

After a lousy week last weekend pay wise I’m looking at 3,000+ miles this week! Feast or famine in winter!

Posted:  4 weeks ago

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Students-check your attitude!

Great post. TwiztedBigD put out a YouTube video on this topic. His student got sent home partially for refusing to drive.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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A rook's attempt at a Veriha training diary

Thanks for the feedback Ryan. Take care!

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Good update Sandman.

Prime requires the tanker endorse for all drivers because we haul liquids in the box that exceed 1,001 gallons. Think beer, juice, bottled water, etc.

My Hazmat endorsement has gotten me a couple nice loads so far plus extra $50 per load.

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Your understanding of tanker endorsement reg is incorrect.

First, it's 1000 gallons or more, not 1001 gallons. Second, the volume of individual containers matters. Fir tanker endorsement to be required, each individual container must contain at least 119 gallons. So, bottled water would not be a load requiring a tanker endorsement.

Here's a mock scenario to consider:

You have a load of various size liquid containers going to multiple stops. Your total volume is 3,500 gallons. You have 4 containers with a liquid volume of 200 gallons, 20 containers of 100 liquid gallons, and 700 containers of 1 gallon each. That's over 1000 gallons for the load and individual containers of at least 119 gallons, so tanker endorsement is required, right? False. Once unloading the smaller containers a tanker endorsement would then be required, right? False. The containers of at least 119 gallons do not total 1000 gallons. The reg states that to require a tanker endorsement, the 1000 gallons must be in one tank or distributed among multiple tanks of at least 119 gallons. So, all tanks of less than 119 gallons do not count toward the 1000 gallon requirement, per regulation.

Posted:  4 weeks, 1 day ago

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Winter storm

I’m rolling again in route to Twin Falls, ID to pick up a load to Wilmington, IL. Gone from snow and ice to very strong gusty winds with empty trailer.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

Snoqualmie Pass was closed from midday Saturday to Sunday 09:00. Then reopened with chains. After a couple hours the chains restriction was removed. However, there was still winter weather advisory and ice storm warnings until this morning.

I just wasn’t going to take the risk with ice! Too many photos of jackknifed trucks that probably hit ice going too fast!

Today is a dang gale warning and heavy rain where I’m sitting. Landslide warnings in mountains due to heavy rain saturation.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Well, it has been fun

Congratulations on retirement. Enjoy

Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

I’m still feeling the effects of the weather in Washington State. I’ve been parked since Friday evening.

Monday morning I reported to Dispatch that there was still an “ice storm warning” along I-90/I-82 corridor until 04:00 PST 12/27 in my route to pickup a load in Wenatchee, WA (was supposed to pickup last Friday night when i shutdown due to chains on Snoqualmie Pass).

So, Monday morning Sales pulls the load assignment from me to find a closer truck to run it.

Tuesday morning the routes are open as I told Dispatch yesterday. Now I’m sitting waiting for a new load assignment.

3.5 days so far. I’ve inquired with my FM about some layover pay to make up some of my loss. He is back from his holiday this morning.

There was freezing rain reported Monday afternoon when I would have been driving if I had gone for it yesterday. If it was rain or snow I would have gone, but I don’t want to risk ice at this point.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

I-90 now closed both directions over Snoqualmie Pass due to the ice. No time frame yet to reopen per WSDOT.

Amazed me to see a lot of “super truckers” and four wheelers putting on chains to attempt the pass last night and this morning before it closed down.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

My rookie winter season is throwing it at me!

At least I didn’t slide into anyone last night trying to get parked. Another driver very nearly did.

I read in a winter driving thread where someone said “they will never put on chains”. PackRat replied that “you may have to inorder to get to safe parking or in a parking lot. “

That is what happened to me last night. The kitty litter wasn’t getting it done, so I put on my tire socks to get traction. Even that was uncertain. Had to use idle creep to get moving. I pulled straight into a back in space. It was a zoo out here with drivers trying to move and park.

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Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

I-90 EB from mm34 (where I’m parked) is now closed due to adverse conditions. WB is still open with chains required on Snoqualmie Pass.

I heard the emergency vehicles sirens a few minutes ago. Hope whoever involved is ok.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

An ice storm moved in since 0300 PST across the Pacific NW. impacting I-90 and I-84 corridors.

I won’t be going anywhere today.

TA ice rink!

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Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

I’m parked at a TA on I-90 in North Bend, WA waiting for the chain law to be removed on Snoqualmie Pass. I’m east bound to a customer in Wenatchee only 112 miles away. It is 573 miles if I backtrack to I-5S to I-84E to I-82N to I-90E to Wenatchee to avoid the pass.

The drive from Everett,WA to North Bend was ok this afternoon until the last 5 miles or so. Then it got nasty with slushy and icy roads with some freezing rain.

Getting into the TA to my reserved parking spot was a big challenge. I’m empty and lost traction on the inclined parking lot. I ended up putting my tire socks on to get parked. I parked to avoid tire socks for the pass! This lot is solid ice with rain on it now. Very slick. I experienced my truck sliding sideways a couple times. Very scary.

I’ve notified Dispatch that I’m shutdown due to weather and will not make my first two customers appointments tonight and Saturday morning. Sales says that I can get there whenever I can do it safely. Just keep Dispatch informed.

It will probably be best to sit here until the pass opens by Saturday night or Christmas Day as the snow turns to rain with warmer temperatures.

I’d burn fuel going the long way around and cannot get that far in one day anyway.

Getting out of this parking lot will be another challenge.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Winter storm

I’m sitting in the Seattle-Tacoma area since early this morning. Made a delivery and now picking up a load with two local area stops Thurs morning.

It was cold and slick coming in here this morning on I-5. I’m going to park tomorrow afternoon after my delivery to sit out a 34 reset to allow the winter storm moving in Thurs night/Friday morning to pass. Expected significant freezing rain and ice. Will warm up into to Saturday and rain several days.

The ice and high gusty winds scare me. Makes driving very stressful.

Not sure when Prime will find me a load out of this area with the holiday weekend

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