Profile For Bill M.

Bill M.'s Info

  • Location:
    PA

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    9 months, 1 week ago

Bill M.'s Bio

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Posted:  54 minutes ago

View Topic:

Scale That Loaded Trailer

Too many drivers just send it like Ricky Bobby! We have a similar policy. If I'm relaying, I always get the paper scale receipt and leave it with the trailer, even though I use the CAT scale app. I am annoyed when I see a piece of paper with a handwritten note about the weights saying something like "11400 steer axle, 33700 drive axles, 32000 trailer, 1/2 tank of fuel in my 2019 Freightliner", on a load that "requires" scaling. I mean I know they're trying to be helpful, but that ain't doing anyone any good if they get in a tight spot. Here too, leaving nothing to chance, I scale the load. My company will never give a driver grief for scaling a load to make sure it's legal.

We had a message from the company earlier this month, "drivers are to scale all loads above XXX lbs...." That's fine, but the problem is this does no good if a relay load left somewhere has no copy of the CAT Scale ticket included with the BOLs.

This seems like common sense to me, yet I looked at more than a half dozen loaded relay trailers at a drop yard last night. Not a single one had a scales ticket with the BOLs in the nose box of the trailer, and each contained more than 30,000 lbs of payload, according to the paperwork.

Posted:  1 hour ago

View Topic:

Scale That Loaded Trailer

Dang PackRat!!!!

Overweight and seriously unbalanced! Good catch.

I rarely trust the shipper's weight. I always scale my loads. I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago - although the gross was <80,000 lbs, all of the weight was in the back of the trailer putting the tandems at >38,000 lbs with them at 41' on the center of the group, and 33,970 with tandems all the way back. Sheez! Yeah, that load went back to where it came from.

Posted:  6 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

When should you put your foot down?

Family first? I have huge respect for that! I've said it more than once in this forum; my family and health come first. Money is a common thing, easily earned if a person is willing to put their skills to work for someone, or themselves. And in today's work environment, employers are in short supply of good workers.

It sounds like you have it figured out. I think the majority of us are hard workers who enjoy getting the job done and making money for everyone.

But, time with family is something you never get back if you miss out on it. Just this year for fathers day I was given a photo collage of pictures, mostly of me with the kids and my wife, of course. These brought back a bunch of memories of our children when they were young, such great times together, what a tear-jerker that was. Those were powerful moments in time - cherished memories created only by taking the time to do those things. They were a reminder of another motto of mine, "spend time doing things you enjoy doing now, today because tomorrow is promised to nobody." I doubt any of us will be sitting around after we've long since retired thinking, boy, I wish I would have worked more overtime. Or, boy, I wish I would have taken all of those extra loads. No, none of us will. In fact, I can point to several family members who gave everything they had to their employers; they worked 70-hour weeks every week and slept all weekend, taking little time to do what they loved doing, even at the cost of their health. Some were forced into retirement because of health issues. Some became very sick afterward and spent their retirement, short as it were, with doctors and hospitals, not doing a single thing they wanted to do in their retirement. It was so sad to watch.

That said, when I'm on my employer's clock, I'll do what it takes to get the job done, short of risking my health and safety.

I wish you the best of luck with everything in the coming months and years. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

As a couple family members deal with their health issues it's more important than ever I'm around as much as possible to support them and take some of the burden off.  There's some mental health stuff going on at home and at times is difficult as we figure out the best treatment plan and how to avoid triggers.

Posted:  6 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

Do you mind sharing those diner locations with me? Lol. South Jersey is pretty nice.

I am not a fan of Pittsburgh, Thankfully, we do absolutely ZERO out of there. I covered Pittsburgh and Cincy as a sales and service technician in the technology industry, years ago. They were in my 3-state territory. I gave them up because I couldn't stand the traffic in those areas. Best thing I ever did.

I frequently have loads going into and out of Vineland, NJ. There are actually a fair number of places to park in South Jersey. There is a small diner in Monroeville and another diner in Southampton Township, both of which rarely have full parking lots.

I cringe when I have a load going into or coming out of Newark, but South Jersey, I would rather go there than Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.

Posted:  6 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

Hi Anne,

I like to be the go-to person. I take pride in getting things done. But I won't sacrifice personal/family time for money.

As for this trip. I mean this with all sincerity, those two guys at the shipper were absolute professionals. Two good old Jersey boys just doing their thing, 'Geting'R'Done.' To date, the best I've encountered. When that young man called me pops, the look on his face was sincere and showed total respect. To be honest, I felt like he was my son just trying to tell me he wanted me to straighten that trailer up a little. Now, my experience in Northern Jersey a few months ago, I won't even talk about.

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I'm happy it worked out for you.

I know it goes against most of the thinking here, however at some point you have to stand up and say no. If you have important things to do like doctors appointments or family obligations those should take precedence over freight. I've learned the hard way if you say "yes" all the time, the requests never seem to end.

That said, it doesn't hurt to do them favors sometimes; as you will need one from time to time. Just don't let them walk all over you.

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Well said, EPIC. I don't think it goes against the TT grain, whatsoever. I believe it's more of the 'pay it forward/pay it back' mindset, myself.

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Way to get it done Bill. Glad it worked out for you.

I completely agree with you Bobcat. I've actually been wanting to write up a thread about this exact thing for a few days but I've been quite busy. I'll try to post it later today/tonight if I have time in a new thread to not hijack bills post. I just finished an early day to take the kids apple picking and have a fun family day. Far too often we tend to focus on being a team player. I completely agree that is one step to becoming your dispatchers go to person and maximizing your income. However we also can't lose sight on there being more to our life (especially family) than just moving freight and taking your time off when it's convenient for the company.

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Rob T., you are extremely well versed, and manage to 'table' emotions in your writings. I believe you should . . . do just that. Would be a great addition to the site; imho!

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I agree with Rob and Bob (unintentional, I swear ).

It's great to be a team player when you can, but when you can't then you can't. There have been times I said no. Some times I feel bad about it, other times I don't. Helping when you can gets you some discretionary leeway and understanding.

I let it slide because it was a Friday and it wouldn't effect my start time, but if it were a Monday I would refuse because it would ruin the rest of my week because of needing a 10 hour break.

However, if they would've said "we messed up we really need this moved" then maybe I'd be more willing to help, even if it meant jacking up the rest of my week and making less money.

The point of this long post ( is it too late to say long story, short?) Is that being a team player works both ways. There should be gains and losses for the entire time, not just one person.

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I'll overlook the "RobNBob" pundit, also...... LoLoL !!! Kinda like the 'Bob & Tom' show . . . my landlord's name was Bob (driver, too) and of course, my Tom . .when those two got together ~ it was the "Bob & Tom Show" on 18wheels !! Good days, man. Good times. (R.I.P. to Bob....a father figure to Tom & I both.. 4mil miler.)

This ^^^^^ concept/thread, would be EPIC, you guys. Entered into the cache of 'All Stars' on Trucking Truth. I agree 100%, and there HAVE been a few blogs that have 'touched on' this in the past; nothing with this level of reality, however.

To think; it all started with Bill being called 'Pops' .. in a 'Git'R'Done' moment !!!!!!

Y'all are awesome, guys.

~ Anne ~

Posted:  6 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

Ouch. Bad info, I don't like to hear that. Except for an empty trailer I was trying to find, I've never experienced that myself.

I always go the extra mile (no pun intended) unless I have a personal thing like doctors appointments. I think I shocked them my first month solo the first time they were trying to get me more miles (they are great at that) and I said I'd rather spend time at home with my wife and pets. I mean that sincerely. There is nothing more common in this country than money. If you have a skill and are willing to use it, you will always be able to get it. But time...time you NEVER get back, ever! It is far more precious than money.

But make no mistake about it, when I'm in that truck, I might as well drive it. I will maximize my drive hours every day, without putting myself and my freight in jeopardy.

I agree with Rob and Bob (unintentional, I swear ).

It's great to be a team player when you can, but when you can't then you can't. There have been times I said no. Some times I feel bad about it, other times I don't. Helping when you can gets you some discretionary leeway and understanding.

At FedEx, I've had dispatchers give me bad information or lie to me. Bad info if they didn't know better or lie if they did. Check out my day of changed plans thread and I mentioned how they told me I could use an extension later in the day. That was a lie because they can't extend drive time and I can't use an extension if I have enough information to know I'm going to need it. That's when the team player stuff goes out the window. I don't appreciate being put in a bad spot or lied to and this isn't the first time it's happened.

I let it slide because it was a Friday and it wouldn't effect my start time, but if it were a Monday I would refuse because it would ruin the rest of my week because of needing a 10 hour break.

However, if they would've said "we messed up we really need this moved" then maybe I'd be more willing to help, even if it meant jacking up the rest of my week and making less money.

The point of this long post ( is it too late to say long story, short?) Is that being a team player works both ways. There should be gains and losses for the entire time, not just one person.

Posted:  6 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

I hear ya. I said no a few weeks ago when I knew my clock would run out while I was in the docks of a consignee in Michigan. I'm not a yes man all the time, just most of the time. lol

I'm happy it worked out for you.

I know it goes against most of the thinking here, however at somepoint you have to stand up and say no. If you have important things to do like doctors appointments or family obligations those should take precedence over freight. I've learned the hard way if you say "yes" all the time, the requests never seem to end.

That said it doesn't hurt to do them favors sometimes as you will need one from time to time. Just don't let them walk all over you.

I frequently have loads going into and out of Vineland, NJ. There are actually a fair number of places to park in South Jersey. There is a small diner in Monroeville and another diner in Southampton Township, both of which rarely have full parking lots.

I cringe when I have a load going into or coming out of Newark, but South Jersey, I would rather go there than Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.

Posted:  6 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

What's up Real Diehl? Thanks. I went to Lumberton.

I'm Glad things worked out for you. It's great when something unexpected happens in your favor. South Jersey traffic is not nearly as bad as North Jersey. Unless you hit shore traffic on Friday evenings during the Summer. Where exactly did you go in South Jersey?

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Getting the job done even when you don't want to or don't think it can be done!

Long before I got into trucking, my motto had always been, "if it needs to be done, get it done." Still is. Now and then, no matter what your occupation, you will be asked to do something you don't want to do. We've all been there. Maybe it's a Friday night, and you want to get home early. Maybe you want to go fishing. Maybe it's just that you want a few more hours off work. In trucking, maybe the run will take you beyond the date you want to get home. But, sooner or later, it's going to happen.

Well, that's precisely what happened to me two weeks in a row. Two weeks ago, I wanted to get home by Friday afternoon, so I could start early on Sunday to get home on Thursday night for 3 doctor's appointments I had yesterday. Thursday night, my dispatcher called me and said here's our plan for today and tomorrow. The plan involved me picking up a live load 153 miles in the opposite direction of home on a Friday at 1500. For a few reasons, I immediately knew that I would not get home on Friday. One, there wasn't enough drive time to do it; two, my 70-hour clock would come into play on Saturday. I said, you reeeeaaally want to run this load, don't you? He said, "yes!" I said, ok, let's run it. I didn't complain about it, I just said let's do it!! We already know the outcome, but if you want it done, that's what we're going to do. Then, Friday morning, on top of that, the trailer I picked up needed a DOT inspection. I could have left it for someone else, but that's just not right. So, I ran it to the Love's and spent a couple of hours getting it inspected. I picked up the load and shut it down for the night. I managed to get home Saturday with about 30 minutes on my 70 hr clock, but now I couldn't leave on Sunday because my 34 hr would run until 11pm Sunday.

I have to admit, I was not thrilled about it because I knew I would only work four days last week, and if anything went sideways, I wouldn't make my Friday doctor's appointments. But I didn't complain.

Take the following week. Wednesday, I get a call from the same dispatcher. He said, we have a load in New Jersey we want you to pick up. This time I thought to myself, "New Jersey?" Uggghh. The only thing on my mind was traffic and limited parking. He said to take a look at the plan when you get to the next stop and give me a call if need be. It's south Jersey. So, I did. I calculated the time and checked every truck stop I could. I didn't see a way it could be done. Mainly because of anticipated traffic. I didn't have enough time to get there and overnight at the shipper. I've never been to south Jersey. I am expecting heavy traffic; I mean, it's Jersey. Not wanting to get hung out to dry on parking at 1800, I shut down about 2 hours out.

Here's where I began to grumble to myself. I thought, man, two weeks in a row, I'm being run away from my home with clocks ticking. Only this time, I could miss those doctors appointments, which usually cost money to cancel less than 24 hours from the appointment. This is the first time in trucking I was not happy with a given situation and thought it inconceivable that they didn't see that I probably won't get home in time for at least my first appointment. I was not happy. But, I was running the load without saying anything to anyone. I just pouted like a little boy. LOL.

The next day I woke early enough to beat the traffic but not too early to get there before they opened. Well, I made it into the shipper exactly when they opened their doors. There was absolutely NO TRAFFIC to deal with. I was shocked. I walked into the drivers entrance and I was greeted by the friendliest dock worker I have ever encountered. I had already signed in before he walked up to me. He checked the load and gave me my paperwork. He proceeded to give me a tour and explain exactly how things would work; pull into dock 13, we'll load you, someone will come out and tell you when we're finished, then you can leave. "Have a nice day, and may your travels be safe!" Total professional. I'm feeling good about this place.

I had a little trouble backing in, it was tight on all sides. I did my GOAL, and checked the dock/trailer interface. I was askew by about 6 inches. As I was walking back to the truck to reposition, the forklift operator came out, and he said, "hey pops." I turned around and was greeted by a big guy. Younger, maybe in his twenties. He's got a smile on his face and asks me if I can tighten it up for him. I said, count on it. He got an even bigger smile on his face and said, "thank you." Never in my life have I been called "pops." But the way he said it, it felt like a compliment. Like he was paying respect to me because of my age, not making fun of it.

About one hour later, I was loaded and ready to go. The same young man came out to tell me the dock was clear. He said thanks for coming in today, it was nice to meet you; wherever you are going, have safe travels. Total professionals and genuinely decent human beings. It seems like they get their job. I get out of there in no time flat and start the 8-hour journey home. By now, I feel like I'll be home in time.

As it worked out, I made it home with about 50 minutes on my drive clock after thinking I wouldn't make it home until early Friday morning and might miss my morning doctor's appointment. All because of a great dispatcher who knows the territory, and a motto - just get it done. You can send me to south Jersey anytime.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

How would you feel

I feel what you are saying. What we see out there is terrifying. Accidents just waiting to happen. But, like someone just mentioned; I'd hate to see the backup at the scales.

I live in Western PA. There is a stretch on route 19 near 80 where I often see state troopers will have a pickup truck pulling a trailer, pulled over on the side of the road. Usually a landscaper or a local driveway asphalt operation. I do believe they've made it their mission to educate these drivers and help get them in line. That, or it's a new revenue stream for them. lol

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

How would you feel

's

I would rather have all licensed drivers educated on big rigs and motorcycles.

Agreed.

I think every trailer should read "if you can see my mirrors, I can't see you" and be educated on safe following and passing distance on trucks. A real "doing this could kill you" type of thing.

Agreed

I still remember the movie Mechanized Death from high school drivers Ed. Go watch it on YouTube. I only got 1 ticket my whole life.

If it's the same film I watched in high school, I remember it being very graphic. It certainly got my attention.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

What's your favorite and least favorite part of driving big rigs?

I second that!

Favorite part is driving them, least favorite part is everybody else on the road

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

May need help moving on from Roehl

Why all the Ruckus Uncle Truckus?

Be patient and expect everything that can go wrong in tucking will go wrong in trucking. Expect that you will be waiting around a long time for a lot of things. Just wait until you hit the fuel Islands and the driver in front of you is taking a shower, and you're unable to pull away until said driver moves their truck whenever it pleases them.

Seriously though, be patient, and things will work out. You will, from time-to-time feel like you're being punished or someone is out to get you. That is not the case. I've been solo for six months, I'm in my third truck already. When my first one broke down, the company I work for put me in a hotel the same day, then flew me home the next day. One week later, I drove 2 hours to pick up a truck from a repair shop. They reimbursed me for mileage and tolls. It's gonna happen! And, to your point, some of my things were left in my first truck, and I still haven't been reunited with them.

You'll get through this, but you won't get away from paying back that money.

I'm sure you're in good hands with Roehl. Good luck.

I recently completed all initial training with Roehl's GYCDL program and have been waiting over two weeks to be assigned a truck with a lot of mixed messages along the way about when and where I am going to actually pick up the truck from. I live an hour east of Roehl's terminal in Appleton, Wisconsin (which is where I did GYCDL) and was informed by my management a week ago that I was to return to Appleton at the beginning of this week to pick up my new truck. That day I was informed that I was not going to be picking up my truck in Appleton but rather at their Marshfield, Wisconsin terminal the next day. So I drive two and a half hours to get to Marshfield the next day and as soon as I arrive I get a phone call from management telling me that I am now going to need to fly to Dallas to pick up a new truck from their Dallas terminal. Mind you that they had about a dozen new Freightliner Cascadias prepped and ready at Marshfield but apparently none of those were for me.

Now I'm just sitting waiting on more information about some potential flight to Dallas. A big problem is that I have all my stuff ready to transfer into my new truck in my personal vehicle and I can take very little of it on a flight. So I'll have to be routed back to Wisconsin to get all my stuff and I don't know how long that will take.

If for some reason things continue to not work out I'm going to request that my contract be rendered null and void due to the fact that Roehl is not enabling me to fulfill the terms of said contract and I will refuse to pay $7,000 for my GYCDL debt obligation. I understand that there is a truck shortage but honestly I've been led to believe so many things over the past week that I'm very distraught that the company simply cannot get their things together and keep feeding me bad information.

So I have a CDL-A and experience of basic company training, what are the best options for OTR in the event that I need to look at another company to work with?

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

1st week done!

Right on Jaybird. Do your thing and ignore the loud characters; some people like that are lashing out because of their inadequacies and are looking for someone to commiserate and validate their misplaced anger. Heck, many of them will probably be here today and gone tomorrow. I've seen this everywhere I've ever worked; it's not just trucking.

Keep on keeping on!!

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Volvo VNL 760 or Freightliner Cascadia

I had the 760. I didn't like the lack of storage inside, it always felt cramped even though it's bigger. You're right about the mileage; I averaged about 0.5 mpg more in the volvo, especially in the mountains. But, in the midwest I average right at 8.5 - 8.7 in both trucks. confused.gif

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A sad day last Tuesday as I returned my Volvo VNL 760 (Roxie) to our corporate office in Marinette, WI. Roxie had only 193,000 miles. Veriha has an entertainment fleet of trucks, most are white Volvos, which mine was. There are a limited number of these trucks in the fleet. With the entertainment fleet expanding, the long lead times on new trucks, and me not interested in running in the entertainment fleet, I had to swap trucks.

My new to me truck is a 2019 Freightliner Cascadia with over 444,000 miles. Nothing wrong with that. My take on trucks is that I'll drive it as as long as it is in safe operational condition and can pull a trailer. But there are a few things about the Volvo that I prefer over the freightliner. Roxie had an inverter, refrigerator, microwave and was governed at 70 mph. I rarely drove 70 MPH unless I wanted to pass someone or had to make time, and I only traveled 70 MPH in a 70 zone. Most of the time I drove about 67 MPH in the 70 MPH - I'm not a fan exceeding the recommended speed but will travel about 2 mph over from time-to-time - l know a lot of truckers don't appreciate that. I had a driver berating me on the CB for traveling 57 in 55. I didn't say a word back to him. I just kept driving.

Anyway, the Freightliner is governed at 65 MPH and doesn't have an inverter. However, it has far more storage space and the air conditioner is far superior to the Volvo. It seems to be a smoother and quieter ride but the acceleration and hill climbing power are not nearly as good as the Volvo - because of this I've reduced the max speed on my GPS by 4 MPH to ensure a more accurate estimated time of travel when trip planning.

To be honest, I became attached and still have some separation anxiety. Moving forward, I won't be naming this truck or any other truck for that matter, unless I someday go the owner operator route - but I'm not interested at all in doing that. So, this truck will be known for what it is - truck 1215.

Anybody else have experience with both trucks? What's your take?

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I am driving a Volvo VNL 860 and before this truck I had a Freightliner Cascadia for several weeks after my first truck was put into retirement, which was an 860.

I believe that the 860 is slightly larger on the interior, compared to the 760, but otherwise the same.

Volvos get better fuel mileage. My company provides weekly information to us in the top drivers for fuel mileage. Volvo is always better than Freightliner by about .5-.7 mpg.

When this truck is either retired or passed on to a driver coming out of training, I will take a Volvo with some age over a new Freightliner.

The things you pointed out already, I agree completely, comparing the two trucks.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Volvo VNL 760 or Freightliner Cascadia

Typo.

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I've been driving the Freightliner Cascadia for a couple of months now. All I have to say is I prefer the Freightliner over the Cascadia. That is all.

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Prefer the Freightliner over the Cascadia?

Was that a typo?

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CB radio

right on!

CB etiquette 101

1- This is not a trucker movie. Just talk normally. Leave the"10/4 Good Buddy" & " Smokey Bear" lingo back in the 70's where it belongs.

2- Be kind and respectful. The anonymity of a mic causes some people to turn into immature children. Don't be that person.

3- Nobody cares if it's your favorite song or Bible verse. Don't play it on the radio, we don't want to hear it.

4- If you are riding along with another truck and want to have a long conversation, take it to another channel. Leave 19 open for short, informative communications. The guy riding a mile behind you may want to continue monitoring the channel without listening to you two babble on.

5- If someone warns you and other drivers of a hazard / road delay, give them a quick thank you.

6- Warn others in kind.

7- Trust no one's story. The guy didn't really leave his wallet at home, the gold necklace he's selling for gas money isn't real, and the radio Rambo isn't really going to meet you in the parking lot to kick your ass. They're all trolling you.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

Volvo VNL 760 or Freightliner Cascadia

I've been driving the Freightliner Cascadia for a couple of months now. All I have to say is I prefer the Freightliner over the Cascadia. That is all.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

View Topic:

CB radio

Breaker one-nine, this is... (use your first name or your own call sign you make up), then say or ask what you want (I'm rolling east bound on 80, any word on what the road conditions look like between 107 and 116? When I wanted to say something to a specific driver around me, say I notice they have an inoperable tail light, I'll break in and say "hey there East bound Prime driver, you got your radio on?" If they answer, I'll tell them. IN this case, I don't say my name unless they ask me. You'll pick up real quick just by listening in on the radio everyday. But, it's usually quiet unless you're near a city or truck stops. Truck stops is where things get real interesting and where there is always a lot of chatter.

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Ryan, I hope you don’t mind, but I want to piggyback on your CB topic. I plan on getting a CB soon, but have never used one before.

I’d like to see comments about current CB etiquette for new users. A tutorial would help us new users.

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Plenty of room on this ride. The view is great. Have plenty of healthy snacks and sugar free drinks, too.

I have been thinking the same things. Like, how do I introduce myself when sending out my first transmission?

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