Profile For Matt M.

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    7 years ago

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Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

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How safe is it to stop in Laredo, TX?

Oh, also mind the truck route if you go through Carrizo Springs. Couple hundred bucks if you don't, lots of guys miss it even though there's pretty big signs.

Posted:  4 days, 22 hours ago

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How safe is it to stop in Laredo, TX?

Safer than any metropolitan in the country. It used to be bad there, and you definitely want to keep your wits about you if you go into Nuevo Laredo, but it's pretty safe on this side of the border.

Sometimes you will get holdups there if you are getting transloads as the driver bringing it across can get held up in customs. Also i have found many border receivers only take cash as far as lumpers/unloads go if you are in the reefer world.

Make sure you keep those tires properly inflated, it gets real hot down there.

Posted:  5 days, 23 hours ago

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Load lock replacement

I haven't heard anything, but would definitely advise locking them up. People steal anything. They sell them at truck stops, but I haven't paid attention if they've been out of stock.

Jesus I hope Prime doesn't still do this (noticed this thread is from several years ago). I've never purchased a load lock except the initial two from when I first got out of training. I have something like sixteen at the house just in case I have to drop trailers getting back to our dedicated load (used to be a common occurrence). I find them in drop trailers all the time.

Both of my dispatchers at Prime have messaged me about charging me for load locks once, and I went into a tirade and never got bothered about it again. I remember my first year at Prime they had sent out some message they were "getting out of the load lock business". Yeah...well I'm out of that business too. On the same token I don't bother anybody when I drop trailers with load locks in them.

It helps to have extra, I've sold some at beer yards that require two load locks and guys show up without em.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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The Effect Of Vehicle Weight On Stopping Distance

"The test trailer was simply added to add weight for the test (only 4,500 lbs - hardly a load for an 18 wheeler), and the trailer braking system was not used."

They were tested at GVWR plus the 4500 lb axle weight of the unbraked trailer. GVWR happened to be 50,000 lbs on both of the tractors in the study.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Inspectors on the road for International Roadcheck this week

Got put OOS today in Van Horn, TX. Several dps officers in the eastbound cmv pullout coming into town.

Got me for an abrasion on an airline, wasn't leaking. I told him I was going to donate to the defund the police movement and he laughed. At least he let me drive over to loves to replace the line.

First ticket in seven years, I don't suppose Prime will fire me.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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The Effect Of Vehicle Weight On Stopping Distance

Https://www.nhtsa.gov/document/class-8-truck-tractor-braking-performance-improvement-study-report-1-straight-line-stopping

For some reason hyperlink above isn't working for me so that's the address of the study. Sorry I'm not good with computers, that's why I drive a truck!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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The Effect Of Vehicle Weight On Stopping Distance

NHTSA Test (pdf)

Here's an actual test of different types of brakes on a couple of class 8 tractors in two configurations. They are tested at Light Load Vehicle Weight vs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. LLVW was tested bobtail and GVWR was tested using an unbraked trailer.

The LLVW stopping distances were all considerably shorter than the GVWR (check page 8 for LLVW stopping distances and page 11 for GVWR stopping distances).

The peterbilt took 38% longer to stop at GVWR and the Volvo took 25% longer to stop when tested with s-cam drum brakes than at LLVW.

Maybe the handbook was written before ABS was prevalent?

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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The Effect Of Vehicle Weight On Stopping Distance

My personal experience says an empty trailer stops sooner. I have locked up the brakes on a fully loaded trailer at 55 mph (construction zone where they had trucks run the left lane closer to the construction, dump truck whipped right out in front of me at 5 mph). I've never locked em on an empty trailer, but I have braked hard enough to make the trailer skip as some folks have pointed out. The empty definitely stopped sooner.

The formulas for braking distance referenced here make mass a wash (essentially they set the kinetic energy formula equal to the work done by braking formula and since both formulas contain mass they wind up cancelling each other out). What they don't account for is that the braking systems in use cannot supply enough force to match static frictional force.

Thus a formula 1 car stops faster than an escalade, which stops faster than a semi, which stops faster than a train.

That said I always want to be heavy in inclement weather.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Hole in the wall food places

If you ever park at the T/A or Loves in Troutdale, OR (east side of Portland) do yourself a favor and walk up the hill behind the outlet mall. There's a few neat places there, but Ristorante Di Pompello is some amazing italian food.

Used to hit it up everytime we ran fedex up there.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

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Prime Flower Loads

I've done three flower loads, one in training and then I've done two with my wife. If you pull up my truck in the system a message pops up everytime "per doctors orders flower allergy" or some such...we don't do them anymore.

All three were multiple stop driver unload. Trailer loaded floor to ceiling, front to back. One trailer some of the flowers were palletized, the other two no such luck. Felt like I was going to die by the end of each load, although we got several comments that we were much quicker than most Prime drivers, ha. I don't remember using load locks at all, not sure how you would as there are like 50 different sized boxes (gladiolus are the worst).

The physicality of these loads is a challenge, but the schedule of driving and unloading is I feel far more dangerous. The one I was in training for I was so tired behind the wheel I was hallucinating. It was like a 48 hour run with something like 13 stops. Both drivers up to unload, and it's hard to sleep when you are sweating your balls off. By the time I started nodding off, bam, another stop. Then it's my turn to drive. I almost got into a wreck and that adrenaline kept me up for the rest of the run.

The last one with my wife we were both exhausted by the end, started making mistakes. I ran over my foot with a loaded pallet jack. We were both beat to hell. I remember messaging dispatch when we got the load "I thought we were friends...".

Posted:  7 months, 1 week ago

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I 40 NM & TX still a mess!

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By the way, good God the storage situation in these 2021 freightliners is awful. We don't even have space for all the stuff from our 2018. Not sure what we are going to do, glad I don't have to live out of the truck otr style anymore.

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Really? The 2021's have less storage? I thought they were the same as the 2018-2020's. I haven't been inside a 2021 yet. I'm curious...What did they change?

Sorry, missed this.

In the sleeper the "pantry" cabinet is smaller, with open space on top. No more fridge cabinet, just open space to place a fridge. There is a microwave cabinet. More open space, less cabinet space.

Much smaller closet. Small storage cabinet on top of closet, again with open space on top. Pull out drawer no longer has storage, it's just a flat desk that pulls out. No more open storage area next to lower bunk for glasses, phone, etc...

Pull down ladder underneath top bunk because there's nowhere to step up anymore. Honestly the ladder is a pain in the ass.

The front is the worst. Very small side cabinet above each seat that I constantly hit my head on. Where the lower netted area was in front of each seat is a cabinet with door. The above area is really shallow width and oddly shaped, and not reachable while seated (and I'm 6'4"). No glove box. Door pockets are much smaller. There's no area in the dash to store things like pens, fuel cards, etc...so it all goes in the "glove box" that's in front of you above your head, so you just reach around till you feel what you need.

Whatever engineer designed this obviously never spent any time in a truck. I'm sure we will get used to it, but I don't like it at all. Wife is driving right now but if I think about it I'll snap a couple of photos tomorrow. Have to go to dealer on my day off because bay 21 set my speed as 58/58 :/. Last truck was 65/65, don't know what's going on at Prime lol (I am a company driver).

Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

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I 40 NM & TX still a mess!

You can thank me for the snow. I was a smart ass about the weather to my fleet manager and without a doubt invoked that storm.

We were driving to Springfield to get a new truck, I hammered down through it with 10k of hazmat in the box. Since we run dedicated in the south I don't really get to drive through snow anymore. Definitely saw some wrecks. Tucumcari was the worst spot when we went through.

By the way, good God the storage situation in these 2021 freightliners is awful. We don't even have space for all the stuff from our 2018. Not sure what we are going to do, glad I don't have to live out of the truck otr style anymore.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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EFS Fuel Cards Glitch

Prime's went down and were back up around 0600. I'd just pay for fuel and get reimbursed. Would suck for the company losing their discount though.

Posted:  1 year, 4 months ago

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Team Drivers

Probably easiest on folks to run in the same twelve hour period all the time, so their body is accustomed to being awake at the same hours every day. That's not how my wife and I ran though.

Generally she would run during the day and I would be the vampire, but we would get off kilter all the time.

If we ever got loads that had time to do rolling resets we would do that (I drive a full shift, take a ten hour break, I drive another full shift, now my wife has been in the sleeper berth for 34 hours).

Also if we were slow for whatever reason, our sleep schedules would start to synchronize and it would turn in to whoever was less tired would drive.

Also managing hours so that you keep your hours somewhat even. You may run loads that require more day or night driving for a few days, you don't want one driver with ten hours and the other with forty hours on their seventy hour clocks.

It's chaotic, and one of the main reasons teaming is much harder on people than solo driving. I don't sleep well on a moving truck, and I've been teaming for several years. There are times where I'd be driving and have only slept maybe four hours in the last two or three days. My wife sleeps better when the truck is moving, so she's always well rested at least, lol.

But any team wanting top miles is going to have to do some of those things where they get off their "set" hours, outside of a dedicated route.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Is anyone driving trucks to Alaska and back?

Fairchild and Lynden are two that I know of that run Alaska. If given a chance I would probably run up there once just to do it but not something I would want to deal with on the reg.

Four different hours of service to mess with (maybe elds simplify all that), and some pretty treacherous weather up that way.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Freightliner M2 106 Air

0785271001579043407.jpg

Air dryer on my cascadia. It's near the passenger side steer. I have two tanks, one behind the cab and one under the cab. If I flip down the def cap cover or battery cover there's cords I can pull to drain that one.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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What would you do? (Icy roads)

That's a tough situation, if I saw somewhere safe to chain up I would (a regular interstate shoulder would not be safe enough) so I could limp off at the first exit. Would try to make it to the exit very carefully if I was in that situation. Ice is tricky though, if you go too slow you are going to be stuck in short order.

If you have a cb and see a salt shaker, holler at em and they'll help you get off. Most of them run radios.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Prime TNT Question

I think it might be freight. Due to the ways the holidays fell, the wife and I ran wild Christmas week and New Year's week and we got several (rolling) 34s in.

Between the blizzards in Nebraska and West Virginia I'm glad to be back on our dedicated route.

We averaged just under 4k miles per week which is no bueno for an experienced team. We did have to stop through Springfield to route home back to our normal route, but other than that I drove through the bad weather and there was nothing else to slow us down. They did give us some equalization pay to make it a bit more palatable.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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High-hooking a trailer

You can feel the fifth wheel hitting the trailer apron when backing under a trailer. If you don't feel it, you better get out and look as is mentioned above.

Not a bad idea to just look everytime, I have seen someone punch their fifth wheel through the front of a trailer that was too low. Personally, I just watch my tires going under when I back under a trailer. If I have any misgivings I'll pop the brakes and take a look.

Posted:  1 year, 5 months ago

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Sometimes u do know!

I wouldn't trust a t/a tech to air up a tire. Watch them any time they are working on your truck.

There are some good ones out there, but there is a lot of terrible ones.

Gary is a great road advisor btw, I wish he was still mine lol.

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