Profile For Matt M.

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    5 years, 3 months ago

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Posted:  1 day, 7 hours 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 day, 8 hours 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:  5 days, 21 hours 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:  5 days, 22 hours ago

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Hours of Service changes

Expect everyone fueling to take 30 minutes.

Posted:  3 months 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:  3 months 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:  3 months 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:  3 months 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, 5 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, 6 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.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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4 months solo. I have questions?

If you receive an inspection along with the warning you will get csa points. If you received an inspection it would have been a paper you had to send to your carrier.

My wife got csa points for a headlight being out (during the day no less), and she received a warning and an inspection.

I have no idea about the accident. I wouldn't worry about it too much, these are pretty typical things for a first year driver from what I've seen.

As long as you aren't jumping ship after 3-4 months I don't think they will affect you much. Just don't hit anything else, and keep on top of those pretrip and posttrip inspections (and I like to do a quick walk around when I stop midtrip as well, to check tires and lights mostly).

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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SLOW DOWN in adverse conditions

My wife and I have pretty much always ran unless the road was closed, but we did shut down on i80 once when we saw about 300 vehicles in the ditch between Des Moines and La Salle, IL. We saw a handful of wrecks as they occurred, and while I could control the truck at the speeds I wanted to go it was just too dangerous with all the knuckleheads around us.

It will pretty much keep happening, folks are willing to put their life on the line to save 5 seconds.

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

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Well, I'm stuck.

Sounds like a rough day. When the road re-opens you should stop by Punxsutawney and go groundhog hunting.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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How is That a Truck Route?

US-62 in Arkansas is gnarly.

I had a Tyson load that picked up in Dardanelle and they wanted me to pick up one more pallet in Broken Bow, OK before heading to Cali. I swore I would never take AR-27 and AR-28 again. Nothing but loggers and burnt out houses there. There was one mountain curve so banked I thought the truck and trailer were gonna go tumbling down the mountain.

That was with a few months experience, I'd kinda like to do it again with an empty trailer to see if it really was that bad. Lots of 15mph curves for sure.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Questions about Prime

Wouldn't worry too much about the school thing, they might want some kind of verification that you were doing that. My wife had a large period where she was unemployed and Prime just asked for a reference to verify (I thought that was funny myself).

I wouldn't worry too much about the lightweight vs condo thing until you get up to Springfield and look at some of them. It's easy enough to get into a condo, and lightweights aren't too bad.

I'm 6'4 and 200 lbs and had no trouble in the freightliner lightweight, and my wife traveled with me for a few months in that truck. If you take out the passenger seat you can bolt a fridge to the floor in it's place, lots of guys strap a microwave to the top of it as well. You can bolt a tv to the window frame of the sleeper, I'm guessing 32 inch or smaller would fit.

Also, the lightweight pays $100 - $150 more per week, that's easily an extra five grand a year. I team with the wife now so we run a condo, but if I went back solo I would go back to a lightweight truck.

Finally, I believe Prime has some of the best training in the business, but it is largely dependant on who you get as a trainer. Its very much a hands on style of training, so its really the two of you in a truck getting it done. They have set up some kind of match-making for trainers and students, but I haven't trained since that went into place so I'm not sure how effective it is.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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First time to ever see a steer tire blowout

Steer tires are definitely the worst to lose, thankfully I haven't ever had one in a truck yet. Always good to know what to do so you don't make a poor decision at a critical time.

Basically you want to hit the accelerator until you get the truck under control. Here's an old video discussing it:

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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First Time To Seattle

If you want scary try to park at the Loves in Tacoma!

There's some pretty spots up there, I always liked running over to Wenatchee to load apples in the winter.

It can get kind of hairy in a blizzard though. They usually take pretty good care of 90, but when Snoqualmie gets 10 feet of snow in a week not a lot can be done.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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2 Year On Time Delivery Award

Grats! My wife will be dissapointed, she was hoping the girls rings would be different (more girly lol). She should get hers next time we go to Springfield.

Keep up the great job!

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Route from Seattle to New Orleans to avoid snow and mountains

Running team we have run primarily coast to coast runs, and many times in winter we see i80 is shut down in Wyoming or is going to be and have run i76 down to Denver and ran across i70.

It certainly has the potential to get bad there but it can be perfectly clear even in the winter.

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

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Route from Seattle to New Orleans to avoid snow and mountains

You could also run i5 down to Portland and then run i84 across and down to SLC, if you don't want to run i90 over to i82 in Washington. That will add 100 miles. Not quite as bad as running down to Cali and i84 looks pretty good across Oregon right now, even through the blue mountains (Pendleton OR to Baker City OR).

Once you are at Salt Lake City follow my advice above.

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