Profile For Kal-el T.

Kal-el T.'s Info

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    Rookie Solo Driver

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    1 year, 11 months ago

Kal-el T.'s Bio

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Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

I was an RF Specialist for Spectrum and other Internet companies in Kentucky. Once Spectrum took over Time Warner, I pretty much had enough with the corporate mentalities of these companies who micro manage like nothing I have ever seen before. I decided then it was time to move on to something I could retire from that is far less micro managing...and besides, I have always wanted to be a Truck Driver ever since I was a little kid, after riding out with my grandfather and uncle and after watching Smokey and the Bandit. So now, here I am, driving for Trade Winds Transit for 6 months now and still rolling.

Posted:  1 year ago

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New Yorker magazine article about truckers

Just touching up here before bed...

The truck drivers being asked to leave where on the property of the rest area, not on the road or ramps. I couldn't see any logical reason for police to run them off in that situation. The truth is, the infrastructure for Truck Driver Parking is sadly lacking, I'm sure we can all agree on that. It's like a game of musical chairs, eventually somebody will be left without a chair to sit in. However, I hear where you are coming from, but this wasn't the case for this particular night.

As far as the Electronic Logs and how much time we have to sleep and nap, I don't run drop and pulls, I have to sit at the terminals while waiting to be unloaded, then drive someplace else to reload. You would be surprised how quickly that will eat up your priceless On Duty time, leaving you with an equal driving time to on duty time ratio. However, I feel if the DOT truly cared about anything other than money, they would allow us to go off duty and it not count toward our drive time so that we could take a nap without it conflicting with our drive time. What instead happens is that you have drivers pushing themselves when they are sleepy behind the wheel because they don't want to use their drive time for napping. We see it all the time on the road when drivers are swerving all over the place. According to gsgattorneys.com, drowsy driving is within the top 3 causes of truck driver related deaths. So clearly the ELD's have not corrected that one bit, I would even argue that due to the nature of how the ELD's function, the number of drowsy drivers are no better now than they were in the 1970's and 80's. Just an educated guess, not being stated as fact.

As far as DOT weigh stations, I'm sure there are some who will allow you to weigh your loads and adjust your tandems on your own without consequences, which ones I have no idea. What I have seen is a good portion of them are closed during off hours and even will block the entrances with barrels, but if they truly were concerned about safety rather than the cash they can collect from us if we get caught slipping, they would have a digital readout outside for us to see so we can take care of weight limits on our own, this way they would not have to keep the stations manned 24/7.

That's my two insignificant cents, not that my opinion matters, I won't be changing truck driving life with my little opinion regardless, heh. I have just one pebble of an opinion in an ocean, hardly enough to create a wave, haha.

Posted:  1 year ago

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New Yorker magazine article about truckers

This may be a little too blunt, but I personally cannot wait until the last old time trucker dies, so I no longer have to hear that tired old complaint, "I can't make money unless I'm on paper logs." Honestly, I have no sympathy for them, those guys brought the elds on us because they could not be trusted to follow the rules that were in place.

If the Electronic Logs didn't cause more accidents than the paper logs did, I would agree. In the old days truck drivers could pull over and get sleep without being penalized for it. Now, because the drive time ticks away no matter what, we have drivers falling asleep at the wheel because they don't want to waste their drive time sleeping. It becomes a catch 22, a Pandora's Box. The ELD's did not fix anything, they made the problem worse, IMO.

Posted:  1 year ago

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New Yorker magazine article about truckers

In just my short time truck driving, I can say that the Electronic Logs have caused more harm than good. I remember being young, going on the road with my Grandfather who was a truck driver, if he got sleepy, he could pull over at any time without being penalized for it. Now, if we get sleepy and pull over to catch some sleep, our drive time keeps ticking away regardless if those wheels are turning or not.

It makes me realize that the DOT is not here to keep us safe, I don't think they give a damn about keeping us or other drivers safe. That becomes apparent when you are actually penalized for doing the right thing and taking a nap if you are sleepy by keeping your drive time clock ticking even when you are technically off duty.

It also shows when you are not permitted to use their scales at the weigh stations. If they were truly concerned about safety, they would offer us to use their scales at any time to make ourselves legal, they would not penalize us for sleeping by allowing us to pause our drive time if we take a nap and they would use the fines that they get from our violations to make a better infrastructure for truck parking. They also would not be having police officers telling us we cannot park at exits, forcing some people to drive when they should be down to find a safe haven. Some of these cops are very anal about parking for truckers. I have watched a trooper in Arkansas run off trucker after trucker in a rest area, truckers who were parking along side the road because parking spaces were out. It was hard to watch. That shows me they care not about our safety or the public's safety, all these examples shows me that this is about one thing and one thing only...the all mighty dollar.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

Please stop driving in reverse, you’re just showing off. Lol

Hahaha, that had me and a friend of mine cracking up, lol. Good one, haha!

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

I hope the camera and truck audio is recording when I get some of these F'd up places. I curse the sales people vehemently, then later, I call operations and tell them how jacked up, unsafe, or impossible a particular place was in actuality; not from some office desk. I also take tons of photos of the bad ones. There are 8 places I refuse to take a dispatch to or from, so far. These are my Black List.

My most recent issue was with another truck driver. I was actually shocked in the situation because I felt like he should have known better.

I was sticking to the farthest right lane because my exit on to another interstate was coming up. Next thing I knew, an on ramp which had two lanes was flooding in with cars. I hit my right turning signal to signal to the flood of cars that I wanted over in to that lane of traffic in order to make it on to my exit. Cars were not budging and looked as though they were purposely closing in any and all gaps to prevent me from merging in. Finally, another tractor-trailer rolled up behind them and looked as if he was backing off, I presumed to give me enough room to merge in. As I started to merge in, this guy punches it and closes in the gap which forced me back in to the lane I was trying to merge out of; I was floored.

Many times have I been in that same situation in reverse and seen other truck drivers in the same situation I had been in and because I fully understand how easy it is to get screwed in that situation, I will ALWAYS back off and give them space to merge in. Nope, not this guy, he blatantly closes in the gap and caused me to miss the exit and left me in a hairy situation. I blew my big horn at him and in return he had the nerve to blow his back. I got on my CB and said, "What comes around goes around, my man. When it does, remember this day and know you had it coming."

It's bad enough we deal with cars who do this to us, but to get it from a fellow truck driver is mind blowing.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Have two accidents on me one in 2021 & a fatality which I was at fault in June of 2022

I want to give the benefit of the doubt here, I truly do, especially after what I just went through. However, this one who has no punctuation, complete run-on sentences, (which by all means is no indication by itself) seems very, meh about the fact that he involuntarily killed someone as if life has very little value; and I honestly don't see a question. This individual wants advice as to what exactly? Advice on how to keep being a truck driver? Advice on the legal issues he is facing? Advice on how to cope with the fact that he was responsible for the unintentional death of another human being?

To the OP, it would help to know the circumstances of the accident, how you were deemed at fault, and lastly, it would help to know what it is exactly that you are seeking advice about. You left it pretty open for interpretation, so without knowing what exactly it is you are seeking help about, I don't think any of these more experienced truck drivers are going to be able to help you. Although this may not help in any way that explains what you are seeking help about, it may help to show some sympathy towards the fact that somebody died due to the accident that you were found guilty of; readers will see you in a much better light that will show them that you are worthy of a proper answer. As of right now, we have very little to go with in helping you.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

I'm curious to know what the Google images looks like for the area, to get an overhead view of all the options available to see if it was really the only option.

Sometimes on these narrow streets in congested areas, you just have to go for it, and let everyone else be Richards about it.

The Address was 5550 Whitaker Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124.

They own a good portion of that corner. They have a weight station that you have to pull in to (not much room at all, you have to turn as wide as possible to get your tractor/trailer in there) coming from towards the corner of Whitaker Ave, just before Goodfrey Ave. You go in on the Whitaker side, exit through the Goodfrey side. When you come out on Goodfrey, you take a left turn on to Goodfrey, the entrance to the alley dock is about half way between Tabor and Whitaker. If you google it, you will see a what looks to be a Flat Bed with a red tarp over top of it backed in to that dock.

On this particular day, there was some type of construction going on, which was forcing cars to park all along the right side of Goodfrey Ave, I believe because they had that yard along side Whitaker fenced off. If memory serves, there was construction on Tabor Ave as well. Can't be 100% positive on that one though.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

I am fairly certain that I was completely in the right here, but wanted to ask some of you Vet Truck Drivers.

First, let me say, I am no Truck Driver. I am a man who gets paid to drive a Truck. I do not feel that I have enough experience to consider myself a Truck Driver. Hell, I just bought a CB Radio and am just now learning the lingo, so that should give you a rough idea of how newbie I am to the industry. Having said that...

My first time Alley Docking.

It was difficult getting there to start. This was in Philly, with double sets of roads side by side going the same direction, requiring cross overs. It was the first time I had even see anything like it. So just getting there was challenging enough.

The setting is a block of road that sets off by itself. There is only a few ways to get in to this road, but for whatever reason, perhaps to bypass traffic, people use this block of road frequently. It just so happens that this block of road is where the warehouse (setting in a downtown area) sits and the only way in to it, is to back your Truck up and take up both lanes to squeeze your trailer in to the slot. Once in the slot, you can back up far enough to clear the lanes, however, getting it in there when you have drivers who won't stop long enough for you to maneuver your trailer proved to be an insane headache.

I went passed the docking area to set my trailer up for a nice backing maneuver. There was a line of cars parked on my right, which made the space available even more difficult to maneuver, but I also had to be careful not to hit the parked cars. In front of me where cars that were trying to use any space they could find to drive around me, the onslaught of cars were relentless, not letting up, so if I moved at all, I risked hitting them as they tried to pass. The cars behind me were doing the same, refusing to stop so that I could begin the backing maneuver.

Finally, after sitting there with my signal on, trying to inch myself back any chance I got between the wave of cars, I inched closer and closer to block off the road so that I could back up and square my trailer in the slot.

As I am doing this, cars are STILL trying to prevent me from backing, even taking the sidewalk to get around my trailer. There was a break in the cars trying to get around, so I took advantage of this to start moving in reverse again. Suddenly, another car tries to beat the clock as the space on the sidewalk is closing, and this guy angrily honks his horn at me as he tries to squeeze through the tight space remaining, even though I was clearly in motion BEFORE he tried to squeeze behind me.

At this point, I became angry and blew my big horn back at him, then continued to finish backing in to the slot. Thankfully, it was a good set up as I only had to use two minor pull ups to get my trailer in straight. It was a complete nightmare for me and had me highly stressed out. It became very clear to me that people don't care that I am trying to get backed in, they only care that I am blocking their way. Had they let me do my job, I could have been out of their way in about 45 seconds to 1 minute's time, but since cars would not let me move without risking hitting them, it ended up taking upwards of 6 to 7 minutes.

So I have to ask, was I in the wrong? What can I do in the future to prevent this type of situation? I drive alone, so I have nobody to direct traffic and there was nobody available at this warehouse either. Did I have the right of way once I started my backing maneuver? Keep in mind, when I started the backing process, the coast was clear, no more cars. The cars started showing up after I had already started backing up...it's just once they started coming, they wouldn't stop which made this process take much longer than it had to.

If I was in the wrong, please explain how and what I can do in the future to not be in the wrong. Thank you in advanced.

Posted:  1 year, 1 month ago

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Update: My Journey After My Chaos

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my truck is governed at 73 MPH, which is a nice comfort speed for me on dry road days.

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Just what I want. A new driver doing 73mph and feeling comfortable while doing so.

Out west there are 80mph speed limits. Would you do that downhill also?

As I had mentioned: "I stick to the speed limits, pay attention to the suggested speeds of curves, take down hills at suggested speeds or slower"

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