Profile For Kal-el T.

Kal-el T.'s Info

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    Rookie Solo Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    2 years, 3 months ago

Kal-el T.'s Bio

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Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Update and Overtime Gripe for Local Drivers

I appreciate the thoughts, y'all. Thank you.

Posted:  3 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Update and Overtime Gripe for Local Drivers

So if some of you remember, I first came here with a serious issue in my life concerning obtaining my CDL. Thankfully all went well in the end and I began my career as a driver driving OTR for a decently paying company...at least far better pay than the mega-carriers are paying.

I drove OTR for 7 months, then my kiddo's grades started dropping, I wasn't home to stay on her behind, she was living with her grandmother and taking advantage of the lighter living conditions; not as much authority from dad. When her grades started dropping, I started looking for local routs that would at least come close to the pay I was getting and allowing me time home every night.

I found a fantastic job, outside of a few gripes I have, but at least I am overall happy with the company. There have been some issues, but most I will not discuss unless at some point I decide to part ways. Any gripes outside of the one I am about to give would be illogical to discuss since they are somewhat irrelevant for now.

So here is my issue that not only applies to my company, but any other company who I feel hides behind this law.

So back in 1938 or 1936 (if memory serves me) there was a law written that trucking companies did not have to pay overtime until after 50 hours. From what I understand, this differs from state to state, but in my state, it is 50 hours. Not every company does this, but from the research I have performed, most companies that are not Unionized will take advantage of this law and hide behind it as if it is their Heater Shield.

So pretty much, I turn down any volunteer "overtime" due to them using this law to deny overtime pay pre 50 hours. I work my 40 and I am done unless they deem a Saturday mandatory, which usually happens about once a month on average. Sometimes more, sometimes none.

Talking with other drivers, it seems a mix of drivers are either okay with this, or outraged with this. It sends a clear and loud message to me and drivers who share my opinion; "Your time isn't even worth that of a hamburger flipper's job."

I know that I am not some special voice for truck drivers to back in some stance against the machine here, but wow...how on Earth did truck drivers ever become okay with this?

What is your personal views on the subject? I know this does not affect all drivers, but drivers like myself, it most certainly affects. It's even a bit insulting when I am asked to work "overtime." To me, I am thinking, 'How is this considered overtime if you aren't paying the overtime?'

But alas, I'll leave you with that and am interested in people's opinions. Thank you.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months ago

View Topic:

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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months 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, 4 months ago

View Topic:

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.

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