Profile For Alex K.

Alex K.'s Info

  • Location:
    Reno, NV

  • Driving Status:

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 week, 1 day ago

Alex K.'s Bio

Hello!

My name is Alex, I live in Reno, Nevada, and - I'll be honest - I'm NOT a commercial truck driver. :-0

I do, however, massively respect the industry, and I'm interested in learning from the community! :-)

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the co-founder of a tech company that provides weather-related software to solve weather-related problems. One of our offerings is an application that helps drivers (of all kinds) and their assets arrive at their destinations safely.

My intent is not to market our products, but merely to understand the community / industry, and to connect with the awesome individuals active on this forum!

I strongly believe empathy and understanding are massively important in life, and my ultimate goal is to better empathize with and understand the intricacies of this intriguing, engaging, and absolutely ESSENTIAL industry.

I look forward to our discussions!

- Alex K from Reno, NV

Page 1 of 1

Posted:  3 days, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Thanks for sharing that, Kearsey! WYODOT seems like a consistently reliable source.

And thanks for the insight, BK. I'm glad your two weeks of training with Schneider was maximized thanks to your excellent trainer! But, I can certainly understand how you'd feel a four-to-six-week training schedule would be a little more reasonable.

Posted:  4 days, 4 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Indeed!!!

Better trained drivers.

More legal truck parking locations within 100 miles of metropolitan areas.

Thanks for the input, Bill! Gathering more legal truck-parking locations within 100 miles of city centers might be something we can help out with. However, better-trained drivers is definitely out of our purview, hehe. :-D

BUT, I'm actually personally interested in everyone's thoughts on the driver-training front!

This might be worthy of a new topic in-&-of itself, but I'm curious - is the general consensus that drivers tend to be under-trained these days?

Generally speaking, I'm noticing a recurring theme of a "golden age" of commercial driving where truck drivers were held in (rightfully) high regard, but then that somewhat dissipated over the years thanks to a few-but-impactful bad actors that misrepresent the industry as a whole.

This might be a jump, but would I be off base in inferring that certain CDL schools have experienced a decline in training services over the years in lockstep with overall perceptions of the industry? Not unlike any other type of school, I'd imagine that not all CDL schools are created equally, and not all mentors / trainers are equally adept at imparting their knowledge.

Complicated tapestry of factors, no doubt, but interesting nonetheless!

Posted:  4 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Alex,

Besides the page of apps that you saw in Ann's pictures, I also get text messages from WYODOT. You have to sign up on an actual computer/laptop and you can pick any roads in the state of Wyoming to get reports on. I get reports for I-80, US 30 and US 287 from Laramie down to the border with Colorado. They are the same as the overhead signs and they do get updated fairly quickly.

It's pretty quiet through summer. Winter time with storm warnings, I can get upwards of 100 a day.

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Hi, Laura (a.k.a. IDMtnGal)!

Thanks so much for sharing both of these posts / screenshots. :-) Lots of interesting insight here. You touch on a lot of points with regards to user sign-up experience, how targeted notifications can / should be, general complexity, and - at least in your experience - the possibility that accurate and up-to-date information can be disseminated.

I really appreciate how you took the bull by its proverbial horns and curated your own set of tools!

It sounds like the I-80, US 30, and US 287 from Laramie to CO's border notifications are pretty targeted for you. Just curious - when you say you can get 100+ notifications for that neck of the woods during winter weather, do you generally find that abundance of info to be helpful, or would you say it can get to a point of "information overload"? No doubt, winter weather makes for LOTS of "activity" in that area, hehe.

Posted:  5 days, 2 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

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Aggregated information in one source would be helpful. PackRat mentioned being able to access the information needed from one source or another, but I think we could be more efficient in those moments if we had a source to turn to that compiled the information and had multiple means of dissemination. Thinking about like a weather band broadcast that has more inclusive information. Live streaming sources with updates. Information put out over CB. Hopefully I making this idea clear, but it's basically gathering all of the available information on a particular weather, traffic, emergency event, etc and then going through the information to find the most accurate reports. Once aggregated, it is then disseminated to drivers and dispatchers through the means that I mentioned. This would obviously require a team of highly trained people with significant resources.

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Thanks for this, Ryan! Super well-thought-out.

Once again, this is great food for thought. And, a s you mention, implementing an ideal this intricate would take a lot! That said, it's good to establish "the ideal 'moonshot'" situation and go from there. :-)

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Indeed!! Well said, all y'all.

Super glad Ryan joined us, with his wit & wisdom. Always great to have some 'good hands' (new to US!) up in here!

Thanks, for sure ~

~ Anne ~

ps: I sure hollered to Brett about the photo conundrums, assumedly fixed; but I still can't share the 511, sorry!

Look (again) in my gallery, and once more, in that of IDMtnGal. If you care to!!

Thanks, Anne! I was able to check out more pages of your photos, and I DID find the screenshot of all the 511 apps! (Thanks for fixing that image-page-navigation issue, Brett.) It's a really good illustration of why all-in-one solutions might be very welcome... yet are pretty darn difficult to execute, hehe. I'm glad downloading multiple apps is a viable option, though! I'm 100% a proponent of ANYthing that helps keep everyone safe out there.

Additionally, I fully hear / respect anyone that's a bit skeptical of an app trying to solve a problem like this! Plenty of 'em (apps) will come and go without really solving anything... especially if financial gain is the sole (and soulless!) motivation (...just to briefly address your last point there, Ryan).

And, as we're all aware, not all problems can be solved by merely throwing tech at the issue. Of course, knowing what specific challenges exist and what current solutions are in place (no matter how cleverly & uniquely improvised) is crucial to any progress! But, your point about personal responsibility and preparedness is really, really well made, NaeNaeInNC. :-) THAT is something for which no amount of technology can directly account!

Posted:  6 days, 3 hours ago

View Topic:

New to forum; not as new to trucking

I have a year of OTR under my belt, and in that year I have experienced just about everything a driver may expect to experience, both good and bad. I work for a company located in north central Ohio and live in southeastern Michigan.

I look forward to learning from drivers who have been doing this job much longer than I, while also being a resource to those thinking of trucking and those who have just started.

--Ryan

Hey, Ryan! I feel like you have a cool perspective in that you're experienced enough to be a source of knowledge, yet everything about making the leap into OTR is still fresh in your mind since it's all happened within the past year.

Out of my sheer, "non-driver" curiosity, would you mind sharing a thing or two you wish you'd known right out of the gate? :-) Maybe something that would've enhanced the "good" or avoided the "bad" that you speak of...?

In any case, all the best to ya as you continue along your OTR journey!

Posted:  6 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Aggregated information in one source would be helpful. PackRat mentioned being able to access the information needed from one source or another, but I think we could be more efficient in those moments if we had a source to turn to that compiled the information and had multiple means of dissemination. Thinking about like a weather band broadcast that has more inclusive information. Live streaming sources with updates. Information put out over CB. Hopefully I making this idea clear, but it's basically gathering all of the available information on a particular weather, traffic, emergency event, etc and then going through the information to find the most accurate reports. Once aggregated, it is then disseminated to drivers and dispatchers through the means that I mentioned. This would obviously require a team of highly trained people with significant resources.

Thanks for this, Ryan! Super well-thought-out.

Once again, this is great food for thought. And, as you mention, implementing an ideal this intricate would take a lot! That said, it's good to establish "the ideal 'moonshot'" situation and go from there. :-)

Posted:  6 days, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

ALMOST dropped my trailer!

Whew! Sounds like lots of drivers have had some similarly close calls. Yikes!

Since I'm not a commercial driver myself, I can only attempt to empathize with the litany of things that could go wrong out there and the crazy-long checklists necessary to stay safe.

At any rate, just wanted to say I think the level of "radical ownership / accountability" displayed in this thread is really, really admirable. Readily admitting one's mistakes is not only the respectable thing, but in this case, it seems to serve as a great reminder / learning opportunity for everyone!

Posted:  6 days, 19 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

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Thanks for adding that, Alex; and you are most welcome. Safer things to haul, out that way, ask Daniel B. Seriously, I have no clue where Rhino disappeared to, but he got into USF/Reddaway pulling doubles and triples, pretty quick.

Most LTL guys don't worry about chaining too much; point being!!!

Stick around; Anytime you wanna yap 'OHIO' .. let me know! We are a 'VALLEY' state, but not the 'ValleyGirl' chatter, haha!

~ Anne & Tom ~

Interstate Road Conditions

ps: AGAIN, in my gallery, is a copy of Laura's (IDMtnGal's) 511 apps.. I SURE can't post it here, and neither could she!! Wonder what's up with that.... Brett??? New 'photo' app going on ?!?!?

pps: You get the gist; MOVE TO OHIO, confused.gif dancing-dog.gif confused.gif

Hehehe, you make a compelling argument for Ohio, Anne! And thanks for including the Interstate Road conditions link. thank-you.gif

I actually did try to check out your images, and only the first page of your gallery will load for me...? So, unfortunately, I couldn't find the image of the 511 apps, but I appreciate you pointing me towards it nonetheless!

(FYI / A Friendly bug report for the main man, Brett! When I click "Next Group" in Anne A's image page, the page just reloads to the same first group. I've tested this on both Chrome and Safari in case that helps. Also happy to provide ya with any more info that might be helpful! Thanks, Brett. :-) )

Also, just wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone that's responded to this thread so far! Everyone's been really welcoming, friendly, and genuinely helpful. A great community, indeed. smile.gif

Posted:  6 days, 23 hours ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

If you're investigating the feasibility of developing an app or some sort of service it might be helpful to have push notifications for when chain requirements have changed, either on a particular route or within a certain radius of current location, etc.

Hey Harvey,

Thanks so much for the input! Sincerely.

We do have a weather-while-traveling app that's been out for a while, and our goal is to help people and their assets arrive safely.

Of course, anything we can do to help people arrive LESS STRESSED is a definite goal of ours, too! :-) I really do think something having to do with chain-control notifications would be in keeping with our goal of safety, but also reducing stress.

It's really good to hear this sort of feedback that supports our direction of thought!

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Here is my recent experience on donner.. in May mother's day weekend. We were at the bottom of the mountain about to climb, passing the last truck stop before the point of no return. DOT and the weather channel... And the state dot app stated that chains would go into affect in about 5 hours. The officer told us 'you have plenty of time to make it over before it gets worse.". It was snowing but nothing sticking.

2 Miles away they were forcing everyone to chain. Now it was too late to park it.

After I got the chains laid out and was securing them, DOT came by and said "lifted, get moving". Wasted a ton of time packing the chains back up.

On Cabbage both 2022 and 2020 weather reports and DOT said chains not required. 2022 Easter weekend weather app said 45 degrees at top of cabbage. All sunny. At the bottom it was bright and sunny with no jacket needed. We got to the top of cabbage and the snow was so bad that I made my student park and had to create a path at the rest area.

In 2020 at Cabbage the light up sign came on as I was passing it "chains required within 2 miles". There was no place to stop at that point. The next parking area was 17 miles away. I would rather have signs and indicators before I can park and make that decision to go. I personally think the weather changes too quickly in some of these places which explains the miscommunication with the DOT officer on Donner or the weather apps on Cabbage.

Hi, Kearsey!

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Ugh, I'm genuinely sorry to hear about your hassles on this front. Lots of time wasted, and - no doubt - no small amount of stress experienced.

You've reiterated a great point about weather being... well, weather, hehe. It can change at pretty dizzying rates, and it sounds like some miscommunication between DOT / signage / any weather apps is inherent. This is all really interesting and super good to know!

Also, your point about having signs and indicators well before that "point of no return" is well taken. I'm sure it's not always possible (again, thanks to weather doing its ever-and-quickly changing thing), but it would be great to have all the information that's currently available well before it's too late to stop.

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

In California it seems that they sometimes have too many choices for information. Some CHP offices might post on Twitter before CalTrans updates QuikMaps, etc. I have not tried to compare it to calling 511 at the same time. I noticed some discrepancies last winter when my son was asking me if I had seen any changes when he was trying to decide between "no" and "go". He got through fine and just thrown for a surprise when they threw up chain requirements while he was going over even though there was only about an inch of snow but it was just starting to come down hard (more than forecasted) and I don't think any system is going to give a warning on that.

Hi, Harvey!

Thanks for this info and the anecdote! I agree with you when you say there can be "too many choices for information". Being spoiled for choice isn't always a good thing - especially when it comes to situations that are time-sensitive and require decisive action.

I also agree that the weather is inherently fickle, and its predictability can often be beyond the capabilities of any systems in place.

Living in the high desert of Reno, NV, I'm ALL-too-acquainted with weather changing on a dime, outpacing apps or weather reporters. This unpredictability absolutely poses a pretty legitimate challenge to any weather info system that are in place. I suppose, the goal is to provide proactive and actionable weather data as up-to-date and as accurate as possible!

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

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Of the top of my head, I can't think of anything new that I would need to know that I cannot already determine through the internet, the CB, talking with other drivers, my cellphone, or my own driving experience.

The two biggest things we need out here:

Better trained drivers.

More legal truck parking locations within 100 miles of metropolitan areas.

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Yeah, I've heard a lot about the issues surrounding viable parking locations.

I'm not sure what it's like outside of Nevada / California / into Utah, but I know there are a lot of our truck stops out west are simply closed, and drivers have to make ad-hoc parking and facilities arrangements. It sounds frustrating.

I'd guess that drivers with regular routes eventually find their own parking areas that are legal and work for them, but I'm sure that's a big challenge when it comes to new, unknown routes.

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Hay, Alex!

Welcome to Trucking Truth, for one.

For two, MOVE to OHIO, hahaha!!

What PackRat DIDN'T share .. is his lady friend's secret cache of all the places/states/laws, for every season; she's got built into her phone; all the 511's !! Ms. Laura, IDMtnGal ~ I can't get the pic to load!!

It's all the "511" apps for EACH state in your lanes. It's in MY photo gallery and hers, as well. SORRY, I tried. It's awesome, tho!

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: A CB is still a necessity, to many... should be for most, if not all.

pps: If you'd put the 'Reno, NV' in your profile, you'll get a LOT more replies and/or chatter within Trucking Truth.... !

Hey, Anne and Tom!

Firstly, thanks so much for the warm welcome. :-)

Secondly, moving to OH isn't at all bad advice, hehe. In fact, I love Ohio! (I spent a lot of time during the summers in Alliance, OH as my grandparents lived there.)

That's a really interesting / really slick system having all of the 511 apps for each state. It sounds like great aggregation of data. This is great food for thought.

Also, I can imagine that straightforward, human-to-human CB interaction can prove to be pretty darn invaluable on the road. "Cutting-edge tech" can be helpful and serve its purpose within reason, but there's simply no replacing the "human element" in plenty of cases!

Finally, thanks for that great piece of advice! "Reno, NV" is now proudly displayed on my profile. :-)

- Alex

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Yeah, I've heard a lot about the issues surrounding viable parking locations.

I'm not sure what it's like outside of Nevada / California / into Utah, but I know there are a lot of our truck stops out west are simply closed, and drivers have to make ad-hoc parking and facilities arrangements. It sounds frustrating.

I'd guess that drivers with regular routes eventually find their own parking areas that are legal and work for them, but I'm sure that's a big challenge when it comes to new, unknown routes.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Great info, PackRat. Appreciate your thoughtful replies!

Are there, perhaps, certain pieces of information that are less obvious than daily chain controls that you think knowing in advance would help to improve safety or convenience?

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Thanks for the reply, PackRat!

This may not be your experience, but I've heard this signage - while available and present eventually - sometimes doesn't give drivers the advance notice and details they'd prefer.

I know certain routes are the only available option, and sometimes crossing a path with chain laws in effect is simply part of the job, but would you (and anyone else reading) find it helpful to know the latest about what's to come in terms of chain requirements along your trips on a day-to-day basis as well as state-by-state? Of course, weather can change quickly with chain requirements changing in lockstep, but I'd imagine even a little extra notice might be helpful.

It seems like things can get a little complicated from state-to-state, too, since so many things seem to vary. For example, there are different chain ratings (e.g., California's R1, R2, R3 ratings), different distances allowed between the posted chain notifications and the point at which chains must be installed, different rules regarding "traction devices" vs normal chains, and so on...

I'm curious if all of this info is something drivers just have to live with looking up and figuring out on the fly each day. :-)

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

View Topic:

How do you feel about the ways chain restrictions are communicated to drivers?

Hey, everyone!

I know it's summertime in the northern hemisphere at the moment, but I live in Reno, Nevada - where we see some pretty snowy winters and treacherous driving conditions. We also have a near-by mountain pass that sees a LOT of chain controls during the winter called, Donner Pass. Donner Pass has TONS of truckers bridging that gap between California and Nevada, and I know this can be pretty rough in the winter.

Even outside of my corner of the world, I've heard that chain controls are often times not well-communicated to drivers. (e.g. The signage isn't always clear, chain notifications don't make it drivers' ways until it's too late, etc.)

What experience do you all have on this front? Do you agree that communicating up-to-date chain controls to drivers is a problem?

[Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I work for a weather/travel technology company. We're looking to make life on the road safer for commercial drivers, so here I am looking to learn and connect with the community! :-) ]

Thanks, everyone!

-Alex

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