Profile For Ryan B.

Ryan B.'s Info

  • Location:
    Adrian, MI

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    6 months ago

Ryan B.'s Bio

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Posted:  13 hours, 58 minutes ago

View Topic:

New Yorker magazine article about truckers

Interesting that this discussion came up. My ELD has been malfunctioning, it failed to connect properly and although it showed me as SB, I woke up to find it in drive still for 14 hours, leaving me showing as in violation. On the technical side of it, when it's GPS module in it can't reconcile the location, it assumes that it's being driven. The final choice that I made after calling all parties and protocol was to note every event in the device and switch to paper logs until I accomplished a 10 hour, provided the unit was functioning. I then scanned copies of the paper logs into the unit as pdfs so that in the event of an audit they were present.

I say choice because one could have chosen to reset right there until they were showing as in compliance. The point is that I log what I do and do what I log, weather it's paper or ELD. I think the safer choice would be to reset there, but I think I took a reasonably safe path as well.

A further complication is that it shaved 14 hours off my 70. I'll have 1 hour left on the corrupted log tomorrow when I deliver. I'm going to take a 34 at that point because I want to minimalize any potential issues past what has happened rather than continuing to force events showing as violations.

Our ELD's have massive amounts of issues, especially with their docking systems. In this case, the device was in error. The driveline cant be edited at all, its perceived to be infallible. I'm extremely dilligent with mine, but sometimes electronics fail. I actually kind of enjoy filling out paper logs in the aspect of it really gives you an understanding of your clocks and time, also it reminds me of drafting architectural papers, I like clean lines.

There are many days with multiple appointments that I wish we could stop our 14 more than with the split berth. I also think that the sleep guidelines we take as standard are designed for only one type of circadian rhythm. There are many of us that work nights, swing and have vastly different sleep patterns.

There are also plenty of studies that clearly show an increase in fatigued driving and drivers in too much of a hurry crashing because they are forced to accommodate the ever-present 14 hour after it was implemented. Where in a natural work day, drivers could stop and rest frequently without having the pressure of the 14 hour.

I am with you on the aspect of the issues and limitations with the 14-hour clock. I have days where I need to take several cat naps and after doing so, I am good for 12+ hours, but my clock has already been started, and I could only stop it once. When I run out of hours, I am not tired. By the time I fall asleep, I am only getting a small amount of sleep once my 10 is up. So, I either lose out on time by sleeping longer, or get up and run as long as I can before it's time to sleep again. This is usually when I get into a pattern of using splits. I understand the need for a uniform regulation because without it, too many drivers would be running wild.

That issue with your ELD is nuts. I couldn't handle it. I would refuse to use it, on account that it's not functioning properly and go to paper logs. If it's broke, it's broke. That's what paper logs are for.

Posted:  16 hours, 52 minutes ago

View Topic:

Thinking about selling my house and staying in the truck

Definitely not worth continuing to pay rent. As suggested, put things in storage, which will be cheaper than paying rent. When you do need a place to stay, rent a decent hotel room for a few days. You will be saving roughly $10,000/year by not paying that rent. Climate-controlled storage unit for a house full of belongings can be secured at under $300/mo. Even paying for a hotel room here and there, it's not going to cost anywhere near the $900+/mo you are saving by letting the rented house go.

Posted:  16 hours, 52 minutes ago

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Well, definitely leaving my company

Hey Drew,

I just came across something in my email that may be of interest to you. Pride Transport runs Line haul OTR and Western 11 OTR with drivers out of ID. They pay .57 to .60 pm, depending on experience. It might be worth looking into.

Posted:  16 hours, 52 minutes ago

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I blew the air horn...... At a state trooper

Weirdly, I haven't used my air horn in years (other than honking at an arm pump.) I noticed starting out that often blowing the air horn would startle drivers causing bad reactions. Now days, If I see a situation developing, I'm just going to concentrate on reacting to that situation instead of throwing something into the mix that may make the scene even more chaotic. Just me, though.

That's solid professionalism.

Posted:  16 hours, 53 minutes ago

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Audio books

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A series of 5 books by author Stephen R Lawhead called the Pendragon Cycle. It's a Christian twist on the Arthurian legend. The first book is titled Taliesin. All 5 are available on Audible.

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Have you tried the Warlord Chronicles trilogy by Bernard Cornwell? A pagan twist on the Arthurian legend. Or the Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte which is a Roman twist on the Arthurian legend.

As for audio books, wish I could because I'm an avid reader, but listening to someone else read will put me right to sleep.

I haven't tried them, but I will certainly give them consideration.

Posted:  16 hours, 53 minutes ago

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Just a funny trucking picture to brighten your day

Holy Wrong Way Docking, Batman!

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Yet another one I'd like to know the whole story on......?

I am wondering how it's possible to accomplish that. It seems like a whole of work to achieve such a position.

Posted:  3 days, 14 hours ago

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Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

Im not going to get in trouble for making sure I'm lined up perfectly. Or getting out to double check that they're no obstructions between me and the dock.

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I like to do one or two extra pull ups just to be perfect when faced with impatient and rude cars trying to get around when I'm backing into a dock

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Not me. I always give a wave, nod, and thank you. Someone else's impatience and rudeness can be tempered with a kind gesture of thanks. We are the public face of our company, and also that of our profession. Why would I try to make my job harder, or invite further anger? That would be counterproductive.

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To further expand on this idea...

You never know who may be watching. It would be rather embarrassing to do something less than professional and later learn that an influential person with a driver's company witnessed a driver's actions. This could also apply to an influential person with a customer of a driver's company. I assume that someone with influence on my job security is watching when I am in or around my truck and/or wearing company apparel.

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With that particular instance in that specific scenario. Don't let yourself get caught slipping. That's my point.

Posted:  3 days, 18 hours ago

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Just had my first steer go flat and want to make sure I'm not getting the 2 year over confidence.

My guess is that driving into colder weather was the cause. When nearing 0⁰, tire pressure can be difficult to maintain, so if you were parked for a while and it was cold, it's possible that the bead was loosened without you being able to tell during pre-trip. Weight of the truck while bouncing on the road can then lead to an air leak, which then causes a flat tire. It's not a blowout because it was the tire coming off the rim, essentially the opposite of what is commonly seen in summer months with tire blowouts from increased pressure.

Posted:  3 days, 18 hours ago

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Sharing how I got what I needed today and resolved my concerns.

This is a great example that often our DMs, FMs, etc are simply middle men and have stuff coming down from higher within our respective companies. I think it's easy to think that this point of contact is capable of doing anything and that it's a matter of choice. They have rules, regulations, and company policies to follow, just the same as we do as drivers. It goes a long way to use that effective communication and to have empathy as needed.

Posted:  3 days, 18 hours ago

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Advice on Where to Apply or Give Up

It sounds like you are taking ownership for the accident without trying to make excuses for your own mistake.

I think you will be able to find another employer. It may take some time, but I think you should be able to convince a company out there that you have learned from this. One thing that I will mention, just as a driving suggestion for all, when another vehicle, especially another large truck, begins signaling to move over, anticipate that it's because of a slow vehicle in front. With that anticipation, you can slow down 3-5 mph. That small amount of speed reduction actually decreases your stopping distance dramatically. What this is basically doing is giving yourself more time, in case you do have to reduce speed significantly. You don't want to initially slow down more than 3-5 mph because other drivers, 4-wheels mostly, may start doing unpredictable things in moving around you.

As far as where to apply, look at 2nd chance companies. You will be able to get some idea of which companies by typing "2nd chance" into the search bar on this site.

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Semi-Retired ;-) CDL B to CDL A, Lord willing!

Received a call from my FM asking me to come in to the yard to get a truck assigned. Ok, be there tomorrow by 8:30 am. Arrive with my wife, bc the plan was to be dropped off and she'd take the van back home, get my work tablet up to date with a few apps, and get ready to inspect the truck. Hmm? Paraphrasing here,... "Where's the truck? According to GPS it should be right here beside the building we're in, but that wouldn't be right bc that's the employee parking lot. Oh, there it is. This is the Volvo dealership building, not the one we're in. Wonder why it's there?" After a few phone calls, it's determined that it wasn't done at the dealership yet, so my wife and I have a seat and wait; and wait... By now it's after 10 am and I ask if it will be okay to leave the yard and he says, "Sure take your time; I'll call you when it's ready."

We go to Bob Evans for brunch, then drive around the area just to waste time, then go to Hobby Lobby and Big Lots to shop and waste more time.

Around 2 pm get a call, "Can you drive to the dealership and pick up the truck and bring it back to the yard?" "Sure, no problem." Get to the dealership and located the service dept, go inside, and get the key.

The truck is a little rough looking, very dirty; definitely needs some lovin'. I whip out the phone camera and started taking time/date stamped pics of the damaged items as I walked around the truck. (Thanks to PackRat for the tip!) Opened the door and kabaam! Whoa! The smoke smell 'bout knocked me out. Took pics of the uncleanliness of the interior, as well.

Got the truck back to the yard, parked it in the bobtail lot, and went to talk to my FM. He says, "How's the truck?" "Filthy"! I showed him the pics and explained how awful it was inside.

It was determined to let the cleaning dept. see what they could do and he'll call me when it's ready.

I get the call 2 days later and he asks that I come in to inspect the truck and that when I get there to give him a call and he'll come and inspect it, too.

Arrive at the yard and call him up to let him know. As I'm still on the phone with him, I open the truck door and kabaam! Only this time it is has a clean dirty kind of smoke smell, haha. He comes down to inspect and he is of the same opinion.

I explained there is no way I can "live" in this without being sick. Imagine what it will be like with the heat on!

We chit-chatted for a short while and he mentioned, "Well, let me see what my options are. I'll call you Monday."

Bit of a rollercoaster ride of emotions; excited, bummed, and hopeful. Praying they'll just put me into another truck.

It's possible to get that smoke smell out. It's a bit expensive to pay for the proper treatment needed to do it, but it is possible. It's likely that you will simply be assigned a different truck and the company will probably save that truck for a heavy smoker.

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

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

This fatality accident happen last year the first accident I wasn’t at fault I can take criticism well this fatality accident happen as in the country road I was traveling didn’t physical have a stop sign posted but is a four way on google so they are trying to put me at fault but it is a legal process going on with my lawyer as we are trying to fight it due to city violations…. Just was asking for opinions on the matter never said I didn’t care about that person life because I do I just recently finished physic therapy 2 months ago

You have no career in trucking, at all, so long as that last accident remains an at fault fatality accident. Even if you are exonerated of any wrongdoing, you still have 2 accidents on your record. It could still remain a preventable accident on your record, even with a favorable ruling in court because that court case is about financial liability. Whether or not an accident is considered preventable is a traffic court and insurance matter.

Wait, a four-way intersection without a traffic control device for any of the four directions of travel? Something isn't jiving here. Where was this? When you say "city violations," what do you mean? Was there a stop sign present that got taken down by theft or another means? Are you and your lawyer trying to argue that a sign should have been there while there hasn't been when for as long as anyone knows? Are you trying the "it was obstructed so I didn't know it was there" angle? If it's one of the former, then there could be cause for exoneration. Here's the kicker: If there had been a sign that was removed, often there is other signage to alert of an upcoming stop sign. It falls upon the professional driver to see that a stop sign SHOULD be there, even if it is no longer. That's basically situational awareness.

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Truck washes

My company has a Blue Beacon account for classic truck and trailer exterior washes and trailer washouts. We are allowed one exterior wash per week. It's billed directly to the account. I typically get my truck washed once every 2 weeks. When the weather is like it has been, I usually just let the truck stay dirty. It will look nice and clean for 50 miles rolling down the highway. After that, it's right back to looking like Pigpen (Peanuts, anyone?).

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

Changes, changes, changes

Biggest changes, more terminals to stay at, more company shops to use and more company truck washes.

Sounds like a win, at least from the perspective of a driver.

Posted:  4 days, 5 hours ago

View Topic:

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.

Put in the time and the work like you have and you should be able to call your own shots like that. Those of us still on the greener side of "Go" kind of have to take it as it comes. We really have to pick our spots when taking a firm stand like that. Years of safe, reliable driving buys a substantial amount of power to wield for a driver.

Posted:  4 days, 7 hours ago

View Topic:

Considering a Trucking Career - Advice?

In addition to the great information from these two veteran drivers, I would suggest reading posts on here about drivers training new drivers, about issues we face on the road. These posts will give you a real world view of what driving a truck for a living is about. There's no sugar coating here. No one tries to put a friendly and welcoming face on an industry that can be harsh and brutal. The members here are friendly and welcoming, but the business of trucking isn't.

I came into this career with very much the same mentality that I really enjoy driving and the idea of being paid to see different parts of the country was exhilarating. Well, driving a truck is so much different than that. It's not a paid vacation. I very much enjoy my new career, but it's more difficult than I anticipated when I first began the process to start this career. You don't realize how big and difficult an 80+' commercial vehicle is to maneuver until you find yourself in a situation where space is limited.

Use this site to gather as much information as you can. When you have questions about things you are reading, post questions, as many questions as you can think of. After a period of time, you will be well informed to be able to make a sound decision on whether or not to move forward with a career change to truck driving.

Posted:  4 days, 9 hours ago

View Topic:

Alley Docking and Impatient Motorists

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I like to do one or two extra pull ups just to be perfect when faced with impatient and rude cars trying to get around when I'm backing into a dock

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Not me. I always give a wave, nod, and thank you. Someone else's impatience and rudeness can be tempered with a kind gesture of thanks. We are the public face of our company, and also that of our profession. Why would I try to make my job harder, or invite further anger? That would be counterproductive.

To further expand on this idea...

You never know who may be watching. It would be rather embarrassing to do something less than professional and later learn that an influential person with a driver's company witnessed a driver's actions. This could also apply to an influential person with a customer of a driver's company. I assume that someone with influence on my job security is watching when I am in or around my truck and/or wearing company apparel.

Posted:  4 days, 9 hours ago

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Well, definitely leaving my company

Ordinarily, I would 100% agree with the points being made here. That is not to say that I disagree here. I just want to offer another point of view to consider.

Sometimes a stressful situation is exactly what is needed in order to see what a company is about. If any company driver is under load and stranded in any location because of weather, it's expected to be compensated for that time because the driver is sitting with that load for the benefit of the company. For a company to act like this compensation is optional is abusing the onus put upon drivers to air on the side of safety. On the flip side, why should any driver for that company sit with the load unpaid?

Laura brings up a great point that when going through the application process with a company, get a clear understanding of what is and what isn't paid with that company. There are three possibilities here:

1) Drew forgot to ask about accessorial pay like breakdown and inclement weather pay.

2) Drew did ask about accessorial pay and the recruiter was not truthful about company policy.

3) The company is violating its own policy because money is tight and it has many drivers in the same situation as Drew.

Whichever of these is true is now inconsequential because he is now forced to sit with a load without compensation and no manner of talking about it will change what was or wasn't done in the past.

Drew, I think it would be wise to think long and hard about moving on. Given your location and the prospect of facing this type of scenario every winter, I wouldn't be inclined to let that company have another winter of getting work out of me without pay. However, you are a grown man. You are capable of assessing what is best for you without waiting for things to improve to make the decision. There is something that you can ask your company to see what the response is. Ask dispatch about leaving the load and the truck at its current location while you find a way to get home, since they are not paying you to sit with the load. If they refuse that, then give the company an ultimatum: Pay you to sit with the load or expect the company to figure out on its own how to babysit the load without a driver onsite. They want the benefit of a company driver without the exposure of having to compensate a driver when things don't go well.

Posted:  5 days, 6 hours ago

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Wyoming 1/29/23

Not that it should come as a surprise,

But there was two separate pile ups on I-80 yesterday. If you are planning on going through Wyoming, you will likely be sitting. I am currently at the Love's in Berthoud,CO south of Cheyenne waiting for this to clear. Just a heads up. They are expecting 20 hours minimum and it is still snowing there.

I saw footage of it through The Weather Channel app. It's pretty bad, from the footage.

Posted:  5 days, 8 hours ago

View Topic:

Under what circumstances would you stop to help?

A few months ago I witnessed an accident. I didn't see a way for me to be helpful in stopping, and I perceived that the truck would be in the way, more than anything. I called 911 with the information I had to provide and kept driving. Car on fire with someone inside, I am stopping, if at all possible. Someone wandering around near traffic, I am stopping to try to keep the person out of traffic. Obviously calling 911 is the very first thing. Anyway, the situation would have to be imminently life threatening, and I am in a position to possibly prevent it from being such. My company supports its drivers making that decision on our own.

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