Profile For Matt M.

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    5 years, 4 months ago

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Posted:  6 days, 22 hours ago

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ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers


Just read this article yesterday. Driver doing everything right and finds himself being sued by a lady that lost control and wrecked into him. A lot like the recent Werner case recently where a jury awarded the "victim" nearly $100 million. In that case the car lost control, crossed a median to crash into the truck, and then sued. Pretty sure that got vacated but still.

I'm all for these idiots that are too busy with their cellphone to notice stopped traffic going to prison when they plow through a bunch of people, but some of these civil cases against trucking companies and their drivers are insane.

Posted:  6 days, 23 hours ago

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Anybody been to the caves?

Been to the Kraft caves in Springfield a few times, and a couple other places. There was some caves I want to say northeast of Kansas City out in the boonies that we loaded at that was pretty crazy. A truck caught on fire in the caves, and they had to evacuate. I remember that one we had to drive all the way to the back of the cave system and it was really foggy and couldn't see much of anything.

Posted:  1 week, 1 day ago

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Got busted going 21 over, down the grapevine.

Tejon is actually 35mph, which frankly is ridiculous with modern trucks. It's a 5 mile 6% grade. Then again this fella said he overheated his brakes on it.

As everyone else said, get a lawyer. You don't want reckless on your record. They will get it reduced.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Hos rules about passenger seat time

No problem, good luck.

I think in general otr company driving, the super solo scenario is not going to be largely successful. There will be times you can drive that way, but overall operations is just trying to cover loads with trucks and won't be able to necessarily cater to getting you slower loads. Maybe there are some companies that will though.

That said there are niches and we kind of found one. We only run 4,300 miles a week on the account we run for so we both are only working a little over 40 hours per week. There are two stretches where we run straight 24 hours. There are two where we run straight 15 and shutdown kind of like the super solo team. I only take one 30 minute break a week the way it works out, so I only drive more than 8 hours one day a week (the other 24 hour stretch is coming off home time so I drive 7, the wife drives 10-11, and I drive 5 to our destination). I know, I know, bad husband lol. I do all the docking and dealing with customers though.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Hos rules about passenger seat time

We drive in Prime Inc's refrigerated division. The irony is I never haul refrigerated freight anymore, but we jumped on a dedicated account they have that's all dry loads, frequently hazmat.

I enjoy reefer, but appointment times are more varied (often in the early am hours) and you will be sitting at docks more often than dry van. Also spending time getting trailer washouts (dry vans are usually wooden trailers that you don't really wash out, just sweep). The work is steady year round though, people always got to eat. It seems most company's offer a higher per mile rate to offset the extra downtime.

It's not uncommon at some grocery distribution centers to be sitting for 8 or 10 hours to be unloaded. I enjoyed pretty much any downtime I could get running team though, so it never bothered me much. This is because they often break down and repallet your stuff for individual stores. This is usually done by lumpers you have to pay. Your company reimburses you.

I enjoyed refrigerated but if you are allergic to sitting in docks or 1am appointment times, you may like dry van better.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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Hos rules about passenger seat time

There is no team in America that would log on duty time when they are chilling in the passenger seat. It makes me think of people that log on duty while sitting in a dock. In the refrigerated world, you would be driving about 1,000 miles a week if you did that.

I team with the wife. If the truck is moving, whoever is not driving is logged as sleeper berth. Whether they are in the jump seat or the sleeper. Sometimes she will come up to chit chat or smoke, but most of the time she's in the back sleeping. Team driving is one hell of a schedule, not too often they both are going to be up front unless it's a training situation.

We would run up against our 70s back when we did cross country round trips when we were otr drivers. We could cover about 1350 miles in a 24 hour period, after 6 days we'd both be plum out of hours. The trick with teams is you can get both drivers a 34 hour reset by shutting down for ~ 24 hours. One drives their full shift, shut down 22 - 24 hours, the other drives their full shift. Both drivers were off duty for 34 hours.

Running 6000 and even 7000 mile weeks for weeks on end gets very exhausting. The money is great though.

Posted:  1 week, 5 days ago

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90 Backing

Well if you've only attempted 90 backing four times, you are no doubt not going to be good at it. Have to get those attempts up one way or another and you will get better.

I trained at Prime and I practiced for two hours on the pad before taking my test. Aside from that I backed the truck twice through the entirety of my psd/TNT training. I'm in no way condoning that is proper training, but I was fine when I went solo. I for sure got some looks when I was backing those first couple months, but I never hit anything. I might have considered hanging myself in the truck a couple of times out of embarrassment though.

Anyways, good luck and I'm sure you will be fine once you get more experience trying the 90 back.

Posted:  1 week, 6 days ago

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Fueling and pre trip at the same time

It's fine to pretrip while fueling; however, placarded vehicles are a different story. From the Hazardous Materials Compliance Pocketbook:

"When a marked or placarded vehicle is being fueled, the engine must be shut off and a person must be in control of the fueling process at the point where the fuel tank is filled."

Likely to get caught? No. But it is illegal.

Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Prime TNT

I'd just stick it out, TNT is such a short amount of time. Keep your eye on the goal. Take iniative to clean yourself. I don't think there are a great many tanker trainers.

Just says "crack kills brother!" the next time he moons you.

Posted:  1 month ago

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Be careful out there


I do love their dot website, easy text only way to check road conditions.

Posted:  1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Team driving with Prime

Howdy Errol, I team with the wife at Prime. When we ran OTR reefer we averaged in the low to mid 5k range on miles. Lots of i80. Lots of West coast to the NE and back, some SE too. Lots of produce, FedEx, beer, and meat.

We now run dedicated, bouncing between Texas, Alabama, and Cali. We are home a couple days a week, and run pretty soft at 4300 miles a week. With the recent changes Turtle mentioned I got paid $1,416.74 gross plus $215.20 in travel allowance for 4,304 miles last week. My wife made about the same. Including travel allowance we were right at $150k together on our w2 last year (on this same dedicated account), and I figure we both just got a $5k annual raise with the changes ($10k total).

We run every week, OTR is typical day off for every week you are out. Prefer you to be out 3-4 weeks. They would make more than us because team bonus over 4k miles is at $0.30 cpm to the truck which we only get 300 miles of because we always run the same route.

Breakdown of my weekly pay: - Base rate of $0.25 for all miles truck moves - additional stop beyond 01/90 $10 ea - wellness bonus $0.005 all miles (for my sick pay being capped at 48 hours) - service bonus $0.01 for all miles over 4k (on time delivery for preceding 12 weeks I think) - safety bonus $0.01 for all miles over 4k (same as service just not hitting stuff) - team bonus $0.25 to the truck for miles over 3k, $0.30 for miles over 4k. This gets split between drivers. - fuel bonus was $92.00 but this varies (a little, around that every week) - hazmat pays $50.00 per trip, did not have this bonus this week - travel allowance is $0.05 for all miles

My wife gets paid the same, I think her base rate is only $0.24 but I might be wrong.

All in all I've been happy enough we haven't looked for anything else. We might could make a little bit more doing linehaul, but we'd be running a lot harder too.

Posted:  1 month, 4 weeks ago

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Prime inc- 4th day of home time

Usually your dispatcher will message you when he gets in on your return day asking if you are ready to roll. Sometimes they'll have you pre-planned already. Depends on your dispatcher really. Both of mine have expected me to be available at 8am on the "5th" day.

If you want to go before that just message dispatch letting them know you are available.

Posted:  2 months ago

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Crazy stuff

It always seems to happen in bunches. Had an unlucky run a couple of weeks ago myself.

My a/c stopped blowing cold in Brady, TX. Next shop on route is...El Paso, 470 miles away. Outside temp only got up to 107, and I couldn't tell you how hot it got in that truck, but when I stepped out of it in El Paso it felt cool outside. I checked the temp there and it was 104.

Petro can't fix, we head to Freightliner. They fix it and it goes out again 30 miles down the road. They fix it again and we get a load to Laredo, TX. AC goes out again coming out of Laredo. I deliver that load in Dallas and take it to another Freightliner.

If it had gone out again, I was about to drive the truck to Springfield and give them an ultimatum. Hard to run a team truck with no AC in TX/NM/AZ/CA, which is all we run.

If anyone saw a naked guy and bikini clad lady driving a Prime truck around I apologize. And I was wearing boxers!

Posted:  2 months ago

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Hours of Service changes

Expect everyone fueling to take 30 minutes.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Self-Driving Trucks Will Carry Mail in U.S. for the First Time

Had another Tesla driver decapitate himself earlier this year with autopilot when he drove underneath a semi trailer. Just released the findings of the investigation the other day.

I had a forward collision critical event from my on-guard tripping on a 16 foot overpass last night. I don't think we are near ready, but there's too much money at stake so they gonna keep trying.

Carry on my headless son You'll be in pieces when you're done Lay your severed head to rest Autodrive no more...

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jury Duty

I'm just poking, I don't blame you at all (or the op if he can get out of it).

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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CB saves the day

Good deal, over the years I've had a couple of useful cb conversations.

We didn't bother installing a cb in our newest truck, and I haven't really missed it. My blood pressure is probably better for it lol.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

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Jury Duty

If you want to shirk your civic responsibility, you can try Old School's method.

Else, let Prime know the date and they will get you home. My wife and I have both gotten jury duty (she got selected to serve as well) and Prime got us home both times. I ran a load when she got selected, luckily it was only a couple of days. The defendants wife threatened to kill the jurors, was quite exciting lol.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Brakes question

Moisture, grime, rust, and what not can build up in the drums and then sitting for awhile can make them stick a bit.

I've always been able to fix that with reversing then driving though, never had to bust out the hammer.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Flatbed company for student driver?

Prime Inc does cdl training and has a flatbed division you can go straight into, although it's a pretty far cry from "smaller company." We have something like 8,000 drivers. Most of those are in the reefer division though.

One caveat with Prime Inc is they require you to pay for your flatbedding equipment (chains, straps, tarps, etc), which is two to three grand if I remember correctly. These come out in weekly payments of like $50 a week. You are paid $700+ weekly while in training, after you have obtained your cdl (usually a week of orientation, a couple of weeks as a student driver, then six to ten weeks of team driving with a trainer where you begin getting paid).

There's a driver here Turtle that had a very successful first year in Primes flatbed division.

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