Profile For SOBER-J

SOBER-J's Info

  • Location:
    Salem, VA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    4 years ago

SOBER-J's Bio

I started my driving career in 1998. Drove a class B milk truck. Yep I was the milkman. I was there for 6 years but man that's hard work pushing those hand trucks loaded down with a couple hundred pounds of milk. Started getting really bad back problems. My dad drove big trucks when I was growing up and so did several of our family members. Hey, its in my blood can't help it but wouldn't change it. Started checking into how I could get into driving the big trucks and how much I could make. It was better than the milk route even coming straight from driving school. Think I made 27 cpm at first, if I remember right.

Finished driving school with Schneider in 2004. Started driving for them in Jan 2005. Ran all 48 and Canada for a year with them then got a local job in Roanoke VA. That was great until they lost all there local freight. So I switched to a small flat bed company to run from Lynchburg. Usually went out just far enough to get back home every evening, sometimes would have spend a night out in the truck. Then the same thing pretty much happened again, they lost a lot of there runs that kept you close enough to get home daily. That was the end of 2008.

Heck by then I had a little chunk saved so decided to make a career change and get into maintenance. Went to Virginia Western and did the 2 year HVAC degree. Pretty much did that because the AC was the only thing around the house I didn't know how to fix and I enjoy working on the house and fixing things. Did maintenance at a daycare for couple years but they weren't doing any AC work. That's when I took job at the apartments. We do all the heat and air work there.

Once your a truck driver its tough to go back to a job and work side by side with folks 8 hours a day. I had to learn that the hard way. Been missing being in that big truck just about ever since I left it.

Well that's about over now. I will be with US Express in just a couple more weeks after I work out notice with the apts. If you see one the trucks, see if its me in there.

I'm SOBER-J over

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Posted:  4 years ago

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Vote on a new logo and motto for TruckingTruth!

Cool my pick is winning!

Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

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Trucking with US Express

I guess if everything goes right and I pass my road test by this time next week I will be back in a big truck. Orientation starts Monday bright and early for three days. Not sure the plans after its over. They keep saying I will have a road test then be getting my truck. Not to worried about the plan cause they can only do a couple different things. Either give me some loads and get me home for the weekend, or run me though the weekend then bring me home the next weekend. I'm ok with either.

Been nice chatting with you all and talking trucks. I will certainly check in when I can.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Is it possible to return to OTR trucking after a bad experience over 10 years ago?

Anything past ten years is gone and not to be worried about on the DAC report. A lot of big companies use it. If you can show 18 months verifiable driving in the past ten years try talking to US Express. I been out quite a while myself but not as long as you. You may have to go back to school or training but if you want it then it's worth it.

I' Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

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About to take my test and really worried about the driving portion...

I was trying to remember that myself as I will take my road test for US Express nest week. I have 4 years exp but been out 5 and a half.

Just remembered another trick for you. Idle in each gear seeing what the speed is in that gear. The rpm will stay the same since your idling. Whatever the idling speed is in each separate gear write it down. That will be the speed for the gear you need then do like Road Hog bump to 1400-1500 and change the gear. I used to know them all and have memorized but like I said eventually it just comes natural.

Some body tell me if I'm close. Seems like 2 gear was 10mph, 3 was 15, 4 was 20, 5 was 25, 6 was 30, 7 was 35, 8 was 40, 9 was 45, and 10 was 50. Maybe not exact but I think I'm in the ballpark and every transmission and truck a little different. Also for an example if your coming to a stop and gearing down you hit your bump before you slow to the speed for that gear. Can't wait til you slow to the speed for the correct gear cause then by the time you bump your slowed to the speed for the next gear down.

Hope that helps it sure helping me just talking it out.

I'm Sober-j over

It's all about the rpm's. When down shifting look to shift around 1100 rpm's. Push the clutch in about an inch or two and give a little gas to bring the rpm's up to around 1400. As your shifting the rpm's will fall into the 1200 range and it should slide right in. Don't sweat it too much. The tester knows you are new and they generally give you leeway. Heck, I actually stalled out and still passed

Posted:  4 years ago

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About to take my test and really worried about the driving portion...

Welcome to the forum! Did they teach you to shift by the rpm and speed? When I first started that's how we were taught. Made it much easier for me. Then as you get more experience it just comes natural. Just try to say calm and take one step at a time when you take test. Try not to worry about shifting when your doing the pre trip.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Biggest week so far 3410 miles!

Yeah man just a joke! That's one thing I hate about posts, you can never here the persons tone of voice or see the facial expressions.

Sober-J over

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Hey I just noticed that you are the same Chris L. that survived NYC. Your doing great with that computer log, getting plenty of miles even going to NYC. Most of my driving friends are still with smaller comps running paper and think I'm crazy to go to US Express and be on a comp. log. From what I'm hearing from everyone though it's not going to make that big a difference is it? Another reason this site is so cool!

As far as all the above goes I don't think anyone would ever question you unless there was some kind of incident and you had a DOT actually look at the comp logs. Which from what I understand they have a little trouble doing ha ha! Even then like you say could have been at GP. And... you could always pay some one cash out of your own pocket to tarp, chain, and strap while you took it easy in the sleeper, right? I hear there are out of work x flat bed drivers at most every shipper and receiver across the country willing to do that for cash all the time! You know what I mean! Gives us tired drivers a chance to get a little more rest and that's what the regs for aren't they. You'd just be going the extra mile to make sure you got your rest. Just what I heard though. He he he

I'm Sober-J over

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You would trust something to someone that could possibly mean the life and death of you or someone else? That makes no sense. There is a lot more to securing a load on a flatbed than just tying the load down. A $20th to $30 or $50 paid lacky will not be examining the straps or chains as they are putting them on. You would pay them to secure it and that is what they would do. If the dunnage is defective they will careless.

I know you may have just been joking or maybe not but I still wanted to make the point that all straps and chains needs to be inspected load securment takes places. Been more than a few times I have seen people just get out chains and binders and use them to tie down the load and the minute the binder is placed on and tightened they start running cause the chain snapped and one of the links was broken and the binder stretched it out.

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Biggest week so far 3410 miles!

Hey I just noticed that you are the same Chris L. that survived NYC. Your doing great with that computer log, getting plenty of miles even going to NYC. Most of my driving friends are still with smaller comps running paper and think I'm crazy to go to US Express and be on a comp. log. From what I'm hearing from everyone though it's not going to make that big a difference is it? Another reason this site is so cool!

As far as all the above goes I don't think anyone would ever question you unless there was some kind of incident and you had a DOT actually look at the comp logs. Which from what I understand they have a little trouble doing ha ha! Even then like you say could have been at GP. And... you could always pay some one cash out of your own pocket to tarp, chain, and strap while you took it easy in the sleeper, right? I hear there are out of work x flat bed drivers at most every shipper and receiver across the country willing to do that for cash all the time! You know what I mean! Gives us tired drivers a chance to get a little more rest and that's what the regs for aren't they. You'd just be going the extra mile to make sure you got your rest. Just what I heard though. He he he

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Boneheaded move

Never been charged for anything like that. Just depends on your company I guess. I blew the bead on a covered wagon once turning to sharp. It's a lot easier to blow one with the split tandems especially on a hot day. Company took care of that one for me. But it was small company ran by some "good ole boys".

Good luck maybe they'll cut you a break.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

CDLTraining materials

Exactly right brother. They just keep changing the wording and asking the same questions. They want to see that we actually read it and think about it.

So what is the answer? I'm saying B. My trainers always said they didn't worry to much about what as behind them. Unless they hooked up a chain to slow them down! Let's face it if some four wheeler is tailgating they still 60+ feet behind us! Us big company drivers are like big slow elephants compared to the rest of the traveling world. I usually stay in that right lane and let everyone go around and enjoy the scenery.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

New gig linehaul

Not me but sounds like u have a great opportunity in front of you! What company if you don't mind answering?

Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

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What GPS unit should I used or its the most helpfull?

Only time I used GPS I was running flatbed in South Carolina. Got to talking on the CB to a driver that was going to same shipper and I never been there. He had it I didn't. We ended up on a dirt road for about a mile and he kept saying " can see the yard and the place we going right here on my GPS it's just another half mile." Well it was but the damn road was blocked from that way in and we had to back out!

Yall use them if you want to but my advice is learn to read a map and get your directions from the last exit you get off.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Biggest week so far 3410 miles!

That's right you can't tarp in the sleeper. This is just what I was trying to pull out of you. I ran flatbed and tarped loads and no how long it can take. Show at least 15 but 30 would be better. You should be fine.

Now we get to your miles the 70 hour rule and that you had five stops on that last run. Also now that I know your pulling flatbed makes all the difference in the world. Cause you got to do some type of unstrapping, unchaining, or untarping at each of those five stops and put the final pieces of your equipment away at the last stop. So even at 15 minutes at 5 stops that's over an hour. Then you have to have on duty time for your pretrip and fuel. That's why I was trying to get a little more info out of you.

We just here to watch out for you man. And help sharpen up your skills. These are the reasons I was asking the questions I did because I knew you were getting close. Yeah these guys and gals running teams can do 3800-3900 safe and legal but they mostly load and deliver runs that are over 1500 miles and its a lot of drop and hook. You not in that boat. Just saying big brothers watching.

You doing good man. You showed what your made of and your company sees it. They going to give you some good runs. Find you something fun to do you probably ready for restart after this anyway. Then next week you gone hit 3000 miles again.

Sounds to me like you "putting the butter on the biscuits and being the job"!

I', Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Truck of the future aims to drive itself

No doubt about it. It is coming. Read Glen Beck he's a big time news guy on one of those channels CNN I think or one of the other big ones. Like you say though I hope I can get my 20 to 25 years in and retire before it comes. This technology is going nowhere unless something catastrophic happens. This guy who's very educated and on the front lines of the media and technology thinks the world going to be like the Terminator movies one day . With skynet and machines taking over. And the truth is it's possible.

Going to be tough for our kids.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Making a change!

I agree 100%! That is kind of my outlook on the whole situation. I really do not remember much except always traveling. I grew up traveling. Maybe not in a truck but I just do not feel comfortable sitting in one spot all the time and having the same thing every day. I want a new challenge or at least a new experience every day....My factory and warehouse days of the "same ol' same ol" lifestyle are over. It was the main reason I enjoyed EMS. Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to get into Fire and EMS and the pay rate for those fields is not exactly keeping up with the economy....I have always been the type that does not care what I do as long as I love my job....I love firefighting...but I have to actually start caring about how much money I bring in....Since I love traveling it seems to fit perfectly....we all have to do what we gotta do to put the "butter on the biscuits" as my dad used to say...lol

OK just so you know I'm using that one. "The butter on the biscuits" probably gonna see that one in some of my posts. Traveled quite a bit myself and staying in the same place gets old. Keep in touch.

I start with US Express next week. Bought me a General Lee today so I 'll be talking. Once I'm back on the road I only be able to check in here weekly or bi-weekly. No lap top or notebook or kindle or whatever else all this stuff is just yet. Maybe later.

Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Biggest week so far 3410 miles!

What is this about logging your prepass and tolls? I know about fueling but have never heard or gotten in any trouble for not logging these other two situations.

If I get the green light for prepassing the scales the last thing I want to do is stop so that I can put it in the remark section.

Ok sorry if I confused you. You don't have to stop and log it or flag it. Here's an example, your on the drive line from Christiansburg VA Which is mile marker 118 on I 81 And you left Christiansburg at 1:30PM You cross the scales in Troutville at mile marker 150 ( still in VA) that's roughly 30 minutes. If some one were trying to cheat the logs or "back log" there log book, (again if its not a computer log) they may have been waiting at a shipper or receiver or fuel or traffic earlier in the day. So to show on the log they got to Natural Bridge Va (marker 175) earlier than they actually did they would just say they left Cburg at 10:30AM instead of 1:30PM. And show no waiting at various places. But the prepass shows when you actually crossed. Now if there are no accident or incidents you probably would never hear anything about it.

So you could actually cross the scales at 2 PM but your log shows you crossed scales at 11AM. Again this would be if your not using computer logs. The computer will not let you cheat it that way.

Are you getting it? Basically if you have the "power of the pencil" or a paper log you can drive 60 miles an hour or 70 miles an hour if your truck runs that fast. If you were to start your day at 6AM and wait some where for whatever reason for 2,3, or even 4 hours that would just be eliminated then whenever you stop your not actually taking the full ten hour break which isn't legal.

Just saying. Big Brother is always watching.

Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

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Fall or late winter when is best to start?

As usual Mountain Girl hits the nail on the head! You going to spend plenty of time waiting once your in your own truck. Waiting in fuel stop lines waiting to load and unload, waiting in traffic back ups. Just about everyday your out there you'll wait on something or someone to get out of the way.

The only reason I can think of for not starting now is if there is a bonus involved. Once you call a recruiter and give your name the sign on bonus clock starts ticking. That can be a big perk even if your a student. What I mean is you call a recruiter and give your name then they say ok we got a 3000 sign on bonus (just an example some are higher or lower depending on the companies) if you can be here next week. So being hind sight is 20/20 it could be better to not call anyone until you know you could leave the next week after you call.

As far as winter driving goes... I would not consider that in my decision. Winter will be there every year so you will eventually get that. If it does really concern you though just make sure you start school in Nov or Dec but there still no guarantee that you would hit a drop of snow. Just depends on were the loads take you.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Making a change!

I'm x military myself Hotshot and sounds like your "good to go." One thing I've found from all the different posts that people write is that sometimes I can tell if you have the right attitude coming into this business just from a few sentences. And it sounds to me like you do.

Not to get all deep but I agree. A man's most important goal should be to provide for his family. Now what I say next might sound a bit cold but I just do not have time to tell my whole philosophy on life, family, and raising children. I am married and have two children who I have been with as a father since day one. They mine and I helped make them. I have always been a guy that feels like if I do the right thing to be the best father I can and provide for them the best that I can they will respect me more in the long run even if I wasn't always around.

Here comes the cold part. I m more concerned about staying a part of their lives when they become adults than I am being there when they are children. Let's face it we don't really remember all that much when we were very young. You and I, we are truck drivers and that's how we provide for the family. My children are 3 and 13. And when I get done trucking in 20 maybe 25 more years they going to be roughly 23 and 33 and may have kids of their own and I will be a granddad. That's when the real spoiling and fun starts for me.

My parents live close by and spoil the crap out of my kids. I look forward to being in that spot. The days when I been trucking for 20 years and got a pretty healthy bank roll, done put my 2 through college and giving their kids anything and everything they want just because I can and I want to. And I believe I can by doing this job right here.

Your exactly right if you are an OTR trucker your job is to be away,and as I like to say My A$$ is gone "Be the job!"

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

No hire

Dale talk to US Express. I been out for 5 and a half years myself and going to work with them next week. Right now they are going back to a 18 months in 10 year period instead of a 1 year in 3.

You can check out some of my posts about it they all have US express in the heading.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Biggest week so far 3410 miles!

Yes driver you are running hard! That's what it's all about though right. You out there to make money. Get loads picked up and delivered. The economy depends on you and you are taking care of business! As I like to say you are "Being the Job."

Nobody should have a problem with that. However..... you just make sure that you are safe and legal. Been out there myself and I will tell you right now that you can run that many miles but you getting close to not being legal... possibly. Not saying your not running it safe and legal I have no idea what your runs have been. But I know and the other experienced drivers from this site know you may be pushing it.

You made a hell of a pay check this week. Do not try to get as much as you can get if it is not safe and legal. This is your career and your living. If you get caught doing something illegal it will be a major set back for weeks or months. Don't let your company push you harder than you want to run.

Once again I am not accusing you of anything just be careful. Because if the sh#$ hits the fan your dispatcher never told you to run that hard. Trust me that's what he or she will say. They will put all the blame on you. And you will be the one getting reprimanded or at worst let go. The dispatcher still going to have there job.

Trucking is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself. It's not worth a couple hundred dollars more a week if you don't get anymore weeks, right.

Let me just ask you a couple questions that could come up. Do your fuel stops match your log book? Especially if you have computer logs. Also, Do all your tolls match your logs? Do you have prepass for the scales? Does your logs match the times that the prepass let you go by the scales?

And again not making accusations just a bit curious. Just trying to let you know what to watch out for because, and this is the first question you asked. Yes your running hard. Like I said though if you are safe and legal.... no problem.

I'm Sober-J over

Posted:  4 years ago

View Topic:

Hello All

Wow, I'm about to start at US Express next week and they were talking to me a little about becoming a trainer in the future. Hope that doesn't happen often for you.

When my first trainer taught us straight line backing we had 1 guy in the passenger seat and 2 sitting in the bunk. Once the truck was rolling backward he got out of the seat, stood up, and turned around to tell us how difficult it was to SLB. Of course he was making it fun because the whole time he talked the truck and trailer kept goin in reverse in a straight line. I say he was talking a good 15 to 20 seconds before he turned and got back in the driver seat. It was hilarious.

I'm Sober-J over

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