Profile For ambrose_johnson

ambrose_johnson's Info

  • Location:
    Fort Sill, OK

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 year, 7 months ago

ambrose_johnson's Bio

American, model railroad buff, civil engineering buff

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Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Motel parking can be the real chitz sometimes.

I've never like the internationals either. Fortunately, we only have 2 or 3. My current tractor is a 2018 Peterbilt with a little over 850k miles. I'm happy with it.

International trucks were better made and designed when they were once International Harvester. Older-model International moving trucks I've rented from Penske in the past were not nearly as bad as this latest one, it seems. It has airbag suspension on the rear but a lousy suspension on the front. It bobbed up and down quite frequently like a coin-operated charlie horse. A large highway paint mixer shaker.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Motel parking can be the real chitz sometimes.

Well. I have arrived safely in Des Moines, IA. Weather not too bad. I discovered the manuals in the truck's bin above the sun visor. I read the one on the radio to figure out how to set the clock. I read another manual to figure out how to "temporarilly" disable the pesky lane-departure noise-maker. There is a switch on the dash for that but you have to hit the switch again every 15 minutes to turn it off again while driving.

Many large trucks I see will hug the white line along the shoulder and often the tires will touch the white line or cross over it somewhat. It is normal to do this to maintain greater distance from the lane on the left for safety. I don't like to be too close to oncoming traffic on two-lane highways. So, I like to cower right close to the shoulder when traffic passes me. Also, going around curves, it is human instinct to hug the line on the inside of a curve. A shorter curve radius means less centrifugal force on turns.

The stupid lane-departure thing was not designed with real human driving instinct in mind. It just makes noise and interrupts the music playing on the radio. Wheels are going to touch lane markers from time to time. This is why there are notches, tick marks, carved into the pavement along lane borders. Big loud tire HUMMMMMM!

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Motel parking can be the real chitz sometimes.

That's whatcha get for using Penske and not U-Haul lol. Who has a bigger footprint in the moving industry, and far more road side repair people.

I started renting Penske moving vans and car trailers back in 2006. They had nice modern equipment as compared with UHaul and they gave me a 15% militsry dicount being that I;m an Army Vet.

UHaul used to have gasoline-only trucks so I thought the Penske diesels to cost less on fuel in the long haul. The Penske International 22' truck I rented from Boise, Idaho to California did average 13 MPG on that 750 mile trip over the Sierras towing my heavier Oldsmobile even. I did the math. So, the International trucks now are even getting crappier MPG on diesel and diesel, the chit on the bottom of the barrel, is higher priced than gasoline.

UHaul gas trucks, I was once told, used to guzzle gasoline at only about 7 MPG on the highway so the Penske diesel in 2006 at 13 MPG back then seemed like a more attractive alternative. But these days, I don't know anymore.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Motel parking can be the real chitz sometimes.

This Penske 26' van stinks to boot.

- 2023 model made in Mexico -roughest-riding truck I've ever driven -a/c blows cold air for 20 seconds followed by warm air for 20 seconds and the cycle repeats itself...a/c should be blowing at a constant temperature once set like every other a/c-equipped vehilce I've ever driven -damn cupholder in driver door is big and pokes me in my left calf -nice Cummins engine but no blower....truck is anemic uphill -I can't figure out how to set the clock in the radio head unit -I can't shut off that stupid lane-departure warning thing...it honks three times like a goose whenever I ride along the white line at the shoulder -this thing is a pig on diesel fuel: averages a paltry 10.2 MPG just highway driving in flat states like Oklahoma and Kansas -split cab seat with uneven surfaces instead of a solid flat smooth flush bench seat so lying down to nap over this split seat is not very comfy

I liked the older Penske International brand trucks I've driven in the past much better. Do any drivers here hate their late-model Internationals?

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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Motel parking can be the real chitz sometimes.

It's so nice they have a truck parking lot at the Motel 6 in Lawton, Oklahoma...

....but....

1. the stupid thing is dirt and mud, full of big potholes, puddles after the rain, no asphalt, concrete or even gravel

2. no lighting in that lot, hard to see backing at night

So, I got mud all over the bottom of my shoes, mud on the cab steps and the floor mat on the driver's side of my truck is all dirty! Some mud got tracked into the motel room even as vigorously as I wiped my feet on the rough asphalt near the motel and the door mat in front of my room. Mud caked up the shoe sole waffles in my otherwiswe nice Nike Air Monarchs.

I will have to take a broom and sweep the cab of my rented 26' moving truck before turning the damn thing in. I don't want those jerks to hit me with a cleaning fee coz the motel was to cheap to even pave its truck parking lot. There were a number of tractor-trailers parked here at this Motel 6 last night including a rig that said "Panther" on the side. It had a big, sprinting black cat logo.

I had trouble with this Penske equipment already. Yesterday, the car carrier lights were not working coz the pigtail wires were broken. It took three hours for a Penske-subcontracted roadside guy to come out and fix the thing so I got stuck in Lawton and day behind on my move. Lawton Oklahoma is a ****ant town near Fort Sill army post and the nearest damned Penske corporate store is in Tulsa. I had to pick up the truck and trailer from Storage R Us in Lawton. That operation was a total mess! These clowns don't service Penske equipment. They can't even fix a broken pigtail. A Penske store would not have sent a customer out with such broken equipment. I've never had mechanical issues with all the other Penske stuff that I took delivery directly from a Penske store over the 17 years I've been renting Penske trucks and car carriers.

I learned a long time ago to try to rent/pick up/return trucks only directly from the company that owns and services them and not some 3rd party mom-n-pop whose core business is self-storage or lawn mower rentals. Lawton, Oklahoma is a ****ant military town that I will glady depart this morning for good.

I'm headed now to my new home in Pleasant Hill, Iowa just east of Des Moines. Des Moines is a major city and has a bonafide Penke STORE and service department to turn my stuff in, at least.

I move in Friday morning at 10 AM into my central Iowa suburban home. My plan this morning is to get from SW Oklahoma with my car in tow and make at least Emporia, Kansas by this evening. I read online there are a number of truck-friendly lodging places there.

Please pray for my safe 700 mile one-way Penske moving van journey as Iowa is looking at possible snow showers and below freezing weather.

I hate the damned sky-high tolls in Oklahoma and Kansas on Interstates, not even private roads, so I will be shunpiking with my Garmin GPS in the 2023-model International 26' moving truck. Diesel fuel is still much cheaper than tolls and shunpiking only adds about 60 miles and 2 extra hours drive time to the whole trip. I have a cupholder mount for my Garmin Nuvi 1350 LTM that does OK in a pinch. My coolers are stocked with frozen foods as I hate the hamburger joints along the way. Even Motel 6's have micowaves in rooms these days. I'm not a choke-n-puke kind of guy. It's too bad there are no Culver's in Oklahoma and eastern Kansas that I'm aware of. I don't know if Missouri has them along the route I will be taking, I-35, once I bypass the Kansas turnpike zone and headed through Kansas City northbound. The Culver's restaurants in central Iowa don't seem to accomodate large truck parking anyway.

This Penske van I have is a diesel and the guy claims it should average 15 MPG. I did get 13 average in the Penske diesel 22' van I rented back in Boise, Idaho to California going over the Sierras even. It's all flat and open from Oklahoma to Iowa.

Posted:  8 months ago

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My new Iowa friend is considering driving.

I met a 35-year-old gentleman in Des Moines, IA this summer. He suffered a bad right-foot injury about 2017 while working construction and falling off a scaffold 20 feet and landing like a cat. I have been living in Des Moines in central Iowa since May of this year.

He wants to make at least $50K a year driving a truck with a CDL but prefers only a "40-hour work week". Local driving including cement mixers and dump trucks is especially appealing to him as he is a home lover with hard-hat work experience. His brother is a younger lawyer in West Des Moines and I have made friends with him as well.

I told him to check this website out as it has all the resources, including CDL training. I told him big motor carriers as Schneider, Swift, Prime and Hunt have a paid CDL training program.

Any recommendations for my new friend? He did even mention to me around the time I first met him that truck driving interested him. It would be ideal for him due to a foot injury in which he has metal hardware implanted by three surgeries. He recently looked into being a warehouse worker and forklift driver for amazon.com locally but no luck there. He says he has a perfect driving record; no DWI and no felonies. I don't know if he has any points for at-fault accidents. I've heard he totaled at least one motorcycle and a car since about 2012. He has admitted that he has been in alcohol and drug programs over the past few years. Vicodin abuse for foot pain, alcoholism, suicidal thoughts and depression. His life was never that grim before that work injury. I told him that as a driver applicant he would be tested for substances. He is planning to have doctors follow up with foot pain soon and he may possibly need a new surgery to fix his foot hardware. His right foot shattered upon falling from the scaffolding.

I told my friend to check out this site. I told him I had been interested in driving myself. Furthermore, I told this man that the American trucking industry is about 50K drivers short.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Electrification of motor highways in the future? My modest proposal.

Cars and trucks someday might have trolley poles to pick up electric current going down the highway. These poles will operate robotically and automatically to switch overhead power lines to change lanes and exit/enter roadways. A minimum reserve of power will be on board as a smaller battery so operation of the car's power will be seamless while changing routes. Another possible way is to have slots in metal rails enbedded flush in the asphalt like steetcar tracks with robotic under-body electrical pickup contacts riding in them to draw current out of them to the vehicle.

Have the traveling automobile or truck pick up current like electric trains and trolley buses somehow.

Designing safe and efficient battery technology for EV's seems very troublesome.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Truck stuck on grade crossing!! Train coming!!! EEEEEK!!!!!

My my. There are some hostile folks here. This thread of mine started about RR grade crossings. Somebody here mentioned my weight or obesity. So this thread got out of hand and gravatated toward food issues. Who in the devil here is to judge me as to what I will do and never do here? Nobody here knows anybody here personally. There is a lot more to the motor freight trade than driving anyway. I might become a telework logiositics manager someday. I might become a diesel mechanic. Does one need a CDL to become a diesel mechanic?

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Truck stuck on grade crossing!! Train coming!!! EEEEEK!!!!!

It's not hard to eat healthy out of a truck.

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I am not making 5-star gourmet meals, but I am not eating junk food, either.

Not dumping on any person's occupation, I am just wondering and asking questions. That is all. I'm asking about having slow cookers and such reusable culinary stuff on board the rig. What does one do to wash kitchenware, pots and pans, for sanitary reasons? I can see using disposable food serving items as plastic cups, paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware that is disposable while eating out of a vehicle. I can see complete frozen microwavable meals. TV dinners. Preparing hot meals by using durable/reusable utensils without sinks, hot water, soap and/or a dishwashing machine seems not feasible to me. Does your truck have an automatic dishwasher on board? I doubt it. A navy ship or cruise ship has a galley for this purpose. Trains have kitchen cars or dining cars with all these provisions. On a commercial airliner, frozen or refrigerated complete meals that are commercially packaged are simply warmed up by the stewardess in some sort of oven. I believe the commercial airplane even has a sink and running water in the food prep area or galley. Space astronauts drink Tang through a tube on flights.

I can see and appreciate that life on the road as a driver has special logistical concerns. If one is strictly a local driver, then a brown bag lunch or a personal cooler and a thermos might suffice for the shift. I see the future of motor freight as having autonomous driving for long distance and perhaps reserving human drivers for short distance. Robots don't need sleepers, food, water, toilets, beds or showers. Railroads in some parts of the world are already doing this. Have human hands involved within the first few and last few miles of the long freight trip.

I'm a practical person and like practicality. I'm an analytical and logical person.

And no, this motor freight occupation like any other, is not for the masses. Being a librarian might not be for you if extreme quiet drives you crazy.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Truck stuck on grade crossing!! Train coming!!! EEEEEK!!!!!

On my truck, I have a crockpot, microwave, a Bullet blender for smoothies, and an ice maker for smoothies. Just as Rob described, I start out my day by putting veggies and some manner of protein in the crockpot. I keep beef and chicken bullion cubes for flavoring. It takes about 20 minutes to put everything in the crockpot and turn it on. I set for 10-hour cooking. On my 30 minute break, I use fresh fruit and ice to make myself a smoothie. Anything that I buy out of the store, aside from fresh fruit, is zero sugar.

A local driver in a day cab, like Rob described, is going to have a bit of a challenge to eat healthy. But, it's not a challenge that can't be overcome. It takes a desire to do it and thinking things through. Todd, the way you are talking, it's like there is no possibility for a truck driver to eat healthy, no matter how bad a driver may want it.

It just seems awkard to me to try to make a "house" or a "kitchen" out of a truck. The sleeper unit is not a travel trailer or a motor home for sheer spaciousness. I prefer to have a sink, a cupboard, sewage, running water, a dishwasher, a stovetop, a range oven, a microwave, an LP grill outside and counter space for serious meal preparation. The only way I have lived out of a vehicle was by renting motel rooms along the way and having coolers full of cold stuff for sandwiches. I would have throw-away picnic supplies. The rented motel rooms often would have a microwave and a small fridge as well as tables, chairs and counter space. Not to mention a big bed, a shower, a bathroom sink and a commode.

I gather decades ago, say 1980's and earlier on, many drivers frequented roadside diners for their meals regularly. Some were branded choke n pukes. The likes of Mel's seemed a typical hangout for gear-jammers and double-clutchin' coffee-drinking nuts. Alice looks like a fine waitress. Mel was too cheap to hire a competent chef though. The service from the lovely waitresses was nice but the food stunk, supposedly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezC1X-45uWA

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