Profile For Chris M

Chris M's Info

  • Location:
    Pinson, AL

  • Driving Status:
    Rookie Solo Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 3 months ago

Chris M's Bio

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Chris M's Photo Gallery

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Posted:  2 weeks ago

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When Written Directions & GPS unit BOTH fail?

How about that closed exit? Was I wrong to take the East exit since the West was closed off? Should I have taken the next exit? Pulled over on the side of the highway instead of leaving it?

Yes, this was your biggest mistake. You've just learned that making assumptions when driving a truck, is the quickest way to get yourself in trouble. You can never assume that you'll be able to find a place to turn around.

When you encounter a situation like that, where there is an A/B exit and yours is closed, my advice is to stay on the interstate, find a spot to pull over, and check your atlas and Google maps. Because worst case scenario, you'll have to drive to an exit that you can then use as a u-turn, and most likely be able to take the exit you needed, while coming from the opposite direction. Once you've gotten off the interstate, there's no guarantees what you'll encounter.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Experienced dry van driver switching to flatbed all and any advice welcome.

Load securement is one of those things that in my opinion, looks more complicated than it really is. There are multiple ways to secure every different load, but they can all be boiled down to one simple concept: restrict the movement of the load in all directions. No matter what the load is, you want to keep it from moving forward and backwards, side to side, and bouncing. Just keep that in mind at all times.

Whatever company you start doing flatbed with, as long as they know you've never done flatbed, will teach you the basics, and they'll teach you specifics of how you haul certain loads that are typical for them.

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing different securement methods on different loads, but they all follow the same basic principles.

So yeah it definitely feels complicated when you're looking from the outside, but with a little bit of training, you'll start looking at loads from a distance and know exactly how they need to be secured.

Posted:  2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Experienced dry van driver switching to flatbed all and any advice welcome.

Hey Stephen I did the exact same thing! I started my career pulling reefer, then spilled dry van for a while, then made the switch to flatbed. At this point, it would almost take an act if God to get me to switch back! I absolutely love flatbed.

My advice is to go for it. Not sure who you drive for, but if they have a flatbed division and you're satisfied with the company, make the switch and see how you like it.

Being an experienced driver, the learning curve won't be as steep as you might think. You already know the physics of the truck, and I'm sure you understand time management and dealing with shippers and receivers. That all stays pretty much the same, you've just gotta learn the best methods for keeping the freight attached to the trailer lol.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Let me see y'all's flatbeds

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I don't mind this freightliner. I definitely like the color better than the other company trucks lol

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How did you score that tractor? I plan on going into Swift's flatbed division.

It was a lease-op truck that was turned in by the driver before the lease was completed. They've closed the flatbed lease program, so now if a truck is turned in before the lease is completed, they give a limited time to find someone to pickup that lease, but if no one takes it, they put it in the company fleet.

When you complete your flatbed training and are ready to be assigned a truck, they let you walk through the empty trucks and take your pick. This was the only one available that wasn't white with the big S on the side lol.

Also, I definitely give a thumbs up for Swift Transportation. I get paid well, get good miles, and there is a wide enough variety of regular freight that you get to experience the different tie-down techniques and requirements.

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Let me see y'all's flatbeds

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I don't mind this freightliner. I definitely like the color better than the other company trucks lol

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Is that a dark gray or a green?

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It's gray. Darker than "champagne" but lighter than "gunmetal" lol

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

View Topic:

Let me see y'all's flatbeds

0875933001530232526.jpg

I don't mind this freightliner. I definitely like the color better than the other company trucks lol

Posted:  3 weeks, 3 days ago

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Heaviest Weight You've Hauled...?

I picked up a load of lumber, 2x6's in Washington. I had 3 bundles of 18ft on the front of the trailer, another bundle of 18ft, plus 3 bundles of 16ft on the rear. I hit their scale and was at 80,840 gross. So they replaced the 18ft bundle that was on the rear, with a bundle of 16ft. So I had the 3 18ft bundles on the front, and 4 16ft bundles on the rear. Scaled again and this is where I was (phone didn't like taking a picture of the electronic sign)

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Exactly 80,000 gross lol. I had to cross a DOT scale to get on the interstate, before I could ever get to a cat scale. I was holding my breath, and the DOT scale showed 79,980. Big relief!

Posted:  3 weeks, 5 days ago

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ELD sticker / DOT # photos taken. Safe?

Huh? You've been contracted to take photos of people's DOT #? I'm confused. Can you explain?

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Kudos to Swift

Right now is a great time to get started with Swift. There are lots of us who have been with Swift from the start of our careers and are perfectly happy.

Over the last few months, they have really put an emphasis on improving life for their drivers. Starting next month, all company terminals will have free laundry. That might not sound like a huge deal, but when it's $3 to wash and $3 to dry a single load at the truck stops, that adds up.

I've actually heard alot of drivers say "they're only doing these things for driver retention". Uhhhhh duh? They spend alot of money to train drivers, and contrary to alot of the online reviews, they don't want to screw you out of money and miles until you get tired of it and quit. They want their drivers to stay and be assets.

Everyone at Swift is aware of their reputation, and I honestly feel like there is a push going to legitimately try to improve that reputation.

Posted:  1 month ago

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SWIFT Drop and Hook?

Yeah I'm thinking there may be some confusion. "Drop and hook" is different from "No touch freight" which I think was probably where the 99.9% figure came from.

Drop and hook means you get to a customer, (shipper or receiver, doesn't matter) you drop the trailer you have in their yard, grab another trailer and leave. That will work out to higher than 50% I would say, but definitely not 99%. There will be some weeks where you may do 4 drop and hooks with no live loads/unloads, and the next week may be the complete opposite. But you won't be having to unload anything by hand.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Securement of Cargo Question

You're taking a legalistic approach to trucking, instead of a common sense approach.

No you can't stop in the middle of the road to check your load. That's stupid. The rules don't say you must drive exactly 150 miles and then check your load wherever you are. If you plan your trip like you're supposed to, and you know there's a rest area 125 miles away from where you are getting loaded, then stop at the rest area and check your load. It's simple common sense.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Automatics for Millenials?

I'm not sure if this is a troll post.......

Are you aware that almost all of the major companies are already deep into transitions to full auto fleets? Or is that the whole point, and this post is sarcasm? Usually my sarcasm meter is working better than this lol

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Companies that offer true OTR driving

Refrigerated companies often have longer runs. When I pulled reefer for Swift, I saw 45 states. Pulling dry van for them was much more short haul, and regional feeling.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Taking the Dog with you OTR

Almost all companies who offer a dog policy, will have restrictions on the size, and breed of dog that you can have with you.

I've had my dog with me for a while now and I love it. My biggest piece of advice, is please please please always have your dog on a leash. A few days ago I was walking my dog, and another dog came running around a trailer and came right to us. Luckily, neither my dog nor his were vicious, but it could have been a real problem. The other driver apologized and said he didn't know I was back there with my dog. But that's the whole point. You never know who might be around the corner.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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WHY DO CSR DO THIS ?

You can't just ignore the preplan. As a company driver, when you're sent a preplan, it's not really the company "offering" you a load. It's the company telling you what your next load is, unless there is a legitimate reason for not taking the load. Not having the HOS available to complete the pickup, or delivery on time, is a legitimate reason. Thats why the counter option is available. Always counter with the times you can legally make. I've only totally rejected a load twice, and both times were due to having a hometime request that was important, that the load would interfere with. Both times I got a message apologizing for the oversight and the load was removed and another load found.

But bottom line, a preplan is not a question of whether you're assigned that load or not.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Do women ever drive flatbed?

I actually saw a lady flatbedder yesterday where I was delivering. She was putting her tarps up as I pulled in behind her. I didn't get a chance to speak to her, but she looked to be in her late 40s to early 50s. So yes there are women out here!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Swift Upgrade Test

Phoenix definitely has a larger amount of empty trucks and it is all around a much nicer terminal. I can't stand going to jurupa Valley lol. My personal preference would be Phoenix

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Truck Stop Advice: Fiance' driving from San Antonio to Tacoma, WA

Have him download the "Trucker Path" app. He can see all truck stops, rest areas, Walmart, and what amenities each place has, as well as parking availability

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Taylor Swift saw me....😜

The NASCAR trucks were heading from Pocono Pennsylvania back to Charlotte G-town. Most of the teams are based in Charlotte. I always get a little giddy when I see those haulers haha

Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

Double clutch

He needs to tell the company that he doesn't know how to shift. If they've hired him under the assumption that he is proficient at driving a manual, he won't be able to get trained on it quickly to the point of it not being painfully obvious that he's new to driving a manual. If he comes clean about it, they may be willing to train him, but if not, if he tears something up or is completely inefficient (highly likely) they won't be happy when they learn the truth.

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