Profile For Bud A.

Bud A.'s Info

  • Location:
    IA

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

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  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 2 months ago

Bud A.'s Bio

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Posted:  10 months ago

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Got two tickets

New Hampshire is the only state in the country that does not require insurance.

Live free or die!

Definitely fight the tickets. Btw, did you object to him searching, or ask what his probable cause was? (Hint: tattoos do not make probable cause by themselves.) Although our rights have been stripped in commercial vehicles, we definitely still have some rights left from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments in our personal vehicles, even though the police state has encroached on them a lot since the mid-80s.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Racers, pacers, and pacemakers

You guys didn't care about any of this when you were driving slower trucks, but now that you're in faster trucks you care a lot. When you guys were running 62 mph you weren't here lecturing people about holding up traffic, were you? Now, here you are telling everyone how rude it is to do what you used to do to people every day.

You don't want to back off the gas and neither does anyone else. You don't want to be delayed and neither does anyone else. But it's totally hypocritical that you guys are here lecturing people about this. Seriously, shame on you guys.

First, I did care about it when I was in a governed truck. I learned fairly early on not to attempt to pass unless there was no one in sight behind me, and/or the vehicle I was passing was at least 5 mph slower than me. And I didn't do it. I never talked about it here, I guess, but I certainly cared about it before I got an ungoverned truck.

And as I said above, more than 90% of the time I drive my ungoverned truck on two-lane roads where the speed limit is 60 or 65, so I end up following slower vehicles for some portion of my day every day I work. Because safety.

Apparently my tone was too far off, because I appear to you to be a hypocrite here to lecture everyone. I thought I made it clear in my previous posts that I have done this myself, that I no longer do it, and explained why, but maybe I failed in those attempts. If so, I regret not expressing myself so that what I was trying to say was more understandable.

But I am not ashamed to point out that impeding traffic is dangerous, and that when you decide to execute a pass you also have the responsibility as a professional driver not to create a dangerous difference in speed between yourself and surrounding traffic. Passing when you are 10 or 15 mph slower than other traffic is dangerous. Be careful if you're going to do it. That's my lecture, such as it is.

But,

double-quotes-start.png

So, four and a half minutes of your slow ass hanging out in the left lane going 10 or 15 miles per hour slower than the speed limit ...

double-quotes-end.png

is subjective, meaning that's how you feel (given away by using "slow ass".)

Most drivers stay in the subjective zone, which only has to do with you. A "Full speed" trucker will feel anyone goingc slower, even by 1/2 MPH, is "slow ass", while said "slow ass" driver in the left lane is doing the best they can to get around the even slower ass truck. It still remains subjective.

And to be honest, we are discussing mere minutes in a given day of trucking. I'm stuck with 62 MPH at Swift. And like you, I don't care to be behind anyone going slower. I will continue to make the move as needed to pass them. Yes, I try to make sure no one's coming up when I move to the left lane, but I'm never going to really stress out.

While "slow ass" may not have been the best choice of words, "impeding traffic" is not subjective. It is defined in the laws of several states. (I won't bother to quote them here, since that may be too pedantic for some of you, but you can google it yourself if you don't believe it's a Thing.)

My concern is not so much about saving time. Yes, I brought that up since I believe that is what is going through the minds of people who regularly impede traffic. "I have a right to get past this truck in front of me that is traveling 1 mph slower than I am able to in my governed truck, therefore I am going to do so, even if I impede traffic." The bigger concern is safety.

The reason there are laws against impeding traffic is that it creates dangerous speed differentials between vehicles. Traveling 15 mph slower than the flow of traffic that is traveling at a legal speed limit is dangerous. Yes, drivers should be alert and courteous and should not tailgate. But also yes, drivers should not put themselves in front of traffic that is traveling far faster than their vehicle can travel unless it is safe.

Taking a passive aggressive attitude that everyone else should be on the lookout for your 62 mph truck while you're passing a 61 mph truck on an 75 mph highway is not courteous and not helpful to new drivers who will likely be driving a governed truck. So to be fair, as you are not really stressing out about it, then I guess you shouldn't really stress out about some "Bulldozer" trying to "intimidate" you into moving back over to the right when you're traveling 13 mph below the speed limit, since both of you are driving unsafely and are the sort of drivers the rest of us need to stay a reasonable distance from.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Racers, pacers, and pacemakers

Just checking in and saw the replies. I really wasn't trying to be an ass, but was just offering how my perspective has changed from when I had a slower truck.

The only reason for the calculator was that often we don't realize just how long we are hanging out there in the hammer lane while we're trying to pass someone. Sometimes we are unaware of just how long we're hanging put in the left lane trying to pass someone when maybe the better option is to back off the cruise by one mph. I know I've been guilty of not really being considerate of others who are able to drive faster when trying to pass.

My only point was that it's no crime for other drivers to want to drive the speed limit. I'm not angry or upset. Occasionally I'll mutter a couple of choice words and call someone an idiot while I'm driving, but I get paid by the hour now so I'm not stressed out by delays.

I remember one time when I got stuck behind two trucks that were traveling side by side for 30 miles on I-40 in Arizona. There was a very long line of traffic behind them. The guy in the right lane should have slowed down, but the guy in the left lane should have probably given up after a while. I definitely thought they were both wrong. I would have pulled off for a break but didn't have the time right then for whatever reason.

Pianoman, this is why we all notice drivers like this and give them names. I think it becomes some kind of personal contest of wills too often, and giving it a name puts it back into its right perspective.

Posted:  11 months, 1 week ago

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Racers, pacers, and pacemakers

What was the point in him impeding traffic to pass me? None. He just didn't want to let off the cruise.

That's the money quote right there: "He just didn't want to let off the cruise."

Posted:  11 months, 2 weeks ago

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Racers, pacers, and pacemakers

There's one that's not uncommon, I see one almost once a day:

Bulldozer: inhabits the left lane. Usually runs about 65 -70 until he gets behind a slower vehicle. Then he'll move up to 3 feet from the bumper. This intimidates the slower vehicle and forces them to move to the right.

In that situation, I prefer to slow down to a safer speed if the bulldozer insists on tailing me. (But being limited to 62 MPH, I'm usually in the right lane unless I'm passing a Schneider.)

I have driven trucks that were governed at 62, 65, and 66 mph. Now that I'm driving an ungoverned truck, I have a little different perspective on this. If the speed limit is 70 or 75 or 80, and your truck is governed at 62 or 63 or 65, you probably shouldn't be in the left lane to pass someone going one mile per hour slower than you unless there's no one coming up behind you for a mile or more. Otherwise you are impeding traffic with your slow truck and creating unsafe situations. (Please don't misunderstand me to say that it's OK to ride 3 feet off someone's bumper!)

Let's do the math. Say your truck is 75 feet long, and the truck you want to pass is also 75 feet long. And you will probably want to move over to the left to start your pass when you are at least 150 feet behind the first truck, and you won't want to move back to the right until you are at least 100 feet in front of the truck you are passing. That's a total of 400 feet you will need to overtake the other truck.

Oh, that's not so far. Heck, at 65 mph, I'm traveling 95.33 feet per second. I'll cover that 400 feet in just over 4 seconds. No problem!

Ah, but of course it's not how fast you are traveling relative to the highway. It's how fast you are traveling relative to the other truck. Let's say he's driving 64 mph. That's 93.87 feet per second. So your relative speed is 1.47 feet per second. That means to cover the 400 feet you need to pass him, it's going to take 272.67 seconds, or a shade over 4 1/2 minutes. If the traffic a mile behind you is traveling 10 mph faster than you, they will catch up to you in six minutes. If they are traveling 15 mph faster, they will catch up to you in four minutes. So yeah, 4 1/2 minutes to pass is probably OK, but those last 30 seconds might involve having someone who wants to drive 80 behind you after they've had to slow down 15 mph so you could go 1 mph faster.

So, four and a half minutes of your slow ass hanging out in the left lane going 10 or 15 miles per hour slower than the speed limit, and you wonder why someone who is hoping to drive at or close to the speed limit in order to make their delivery deadline might get a little frustrated and tailgate you?

Again, I'm not condoning them tailgating. That's always stupid. But it is at least as stupid to think you are justified when you impede traffic just so you can get to your destination 8.7 minutes faster. (That's literally how much time you will save driving 600 miles at 65 mph instead of 64 mph.)

My point is that if you're in a governed truck, please think long and hard about moving over to that left lane if traffic is passing you 5 or 10 or 15 mph faster than you are traveling.

Is it worth it? Are you really a courteous driver if your default assumption is that since you have the right to pass someone, you ought to pass them? Is saving 15 minutes over the course of a day really more important than the probably dozens of other drivers who are going to have to deal with the dangerous speed differential you are choosing to create by moving over to the hammer lane?

Please note that I will rarely be that truck in the hammer lane that you see. First of all, I won't tailgate, so if you're going that slow, I'll be at least four seconds behind you. (I will be cussing you for driving so damn slow in the hammer lane to pass someone who is going 2 mph slower than you, especially if I have a tight window, so don't expect a friendly wave when I finally get past you.) Second, most of the time I drive on two-lane roads with a speed limit of 60 or 65, roads that most of you will very rarely go down since the vast majority of traffic there is local trucks running rural Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Third, when I am on the interstate, I usually drive 72, since my truck is geared low and that puts my tach at 1700. I will say that at 72 mph, I very rarely pass another truck around here, and I rarely get passed.

Yes, the behavior described is dumb and frustrating. Just be sure that while you're busy condemning them, you aren't the one who is causing someone else to think of you as dumb and frustrating.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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Is this fishy or normal?

I took a local flatbedding job with a company a few months ago. They are a manufacturing company that runs two trucks. They were pretty eager to get me on board since one of the trucks hadn't had a driver for a while and I had the right background.

I wouldn't worry too much that they're eager to get you on board. Drivers with a year of flatbedding experience and a clean record are in demand. Just make sure to ask them about pay, benefits, time off, expectations (home every night? spend the night out sometimes? if so, how often?), etc.

As far as being more work and less driving, that's true. Sometimes I get a run to a job site and then deadhead back, but most days I do four loads. Usually I take one from our plant to a galvanizer about 100 miles away, bring back galvanized product to our plant, then do it again. None of the loads are tarped, so it's just strapping, but I will admit that sometimes I feel a little weary strapping and unstrapping that last load of the day. I'm getting old, though, so don't let that scare you.

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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Another Ride Along Story

I love your ride along threads, Old School! Looking forward to it!

Posted:  11 months, 3 weeks ago

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New Truck

Sweet ride! Thanks for the pics!

Yes it still needs a good cleaning and polish but I’m in Texas, what is this winter ❄️ thing you speak of ? Does the weather actually get cold ?

Lol I'm so looking forward to winter this year -- not! At least it's what I grew up with, though.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Flatbed odd question

As the others have said, don't let backing determine whether you want to be a flatbedder. It's probably more relevant to ask yourself questions like:

* Do I enjoy spending time outdoors in all kinds of weather, from a very dry 115° in the desert in summer to -10° with high winds and snow in the winter?

* Would I enjoy doing an hour or more of light physical work each day? (Yes, tarping is "light physical work." Hard physical work is something entirely different than flatbedding.)

* Am I self-reliant enough to tackle new challenges such as securing a load I've never seen before, or spending the night at a shipper or receiver located in an industrial park or the middle of nowhere New Mexico?

* Do I have the ability to do math well enough to figure out how many straps and/or chains I need to put on a load?

The question about backing applies to any kind of freight you haul. It is not, Do I have the ability right now, with little or no experience? It is, Am I willing to learn how to put the truck anywhere the customer needs it in order to make it possible for them to unload it? On the other hand, it is true that flatbedders are much more likely than other kinds of drivers to do a little bit of off-road driving to get the truck where it needs to be.

BTW, Old School's picture doesn't really show the full horror of that place. In fact, I might have to go back to therapy now that I've seen that photo and remembered what happened there.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Accident Last Evening

Serah, glad you're ok!

I have to agree with Old School on this one. I drove Texas regional for almost a year. Sure, there are some bad drivers there, but overall I think Texas is a great place to drive a truck. I have a long list of places where there is a higher percentage of bad drivers than Texas.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Amazed he got as far as he did without being stopped!

Why are they allowed to "pass go" and collect $200?

Ha ha! G-Town threw in a freebie! Atlantic City is the basis for the game Monopoly, and the boardwalk the guy drove down is the same one that will give you all that rent if you put a hotel on it and another player lands there.

If you look at Google maps, the driver had to go through a parking lot at the end of the highway to get to the boardwalk. The boardwalk is twice as wide in that stretch as the rest of it.

I can't understand 1) why he didn't notice he was driving on boards instead of pavement, and 2) if he did, why he didn't back up a little ways past where he got on to the boardwalk and make a right turn back onto the street he'd come from. It was very early in the morning, and dark, but dang. Just stop and think! And if you can't figure it out yourself, call the cops for some help! Sure it's embarrassing, but the embarrassment is even greater after making the decision to just keep going down the boardwalk three miles.

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Posted:  1 year ago

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What is expected as of 2017 (or within the last 2yrs) from a NEW Hire working at TMC?

Here's a pro for you: they really like to hire veterans. And I've heard from their drivers that they get home every weekend. Honestly, none of their drivers has ever said anything bad about them, and I see a lot of them these days because they haul a lot of loads out of our yard.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Need help beginner tanker here!

I have never worked for them, but I am sure that Schneider will walk you through the process of getting the endorsements and the TWIC card.

The connection between the TWIC and the hazmat endorsement is that both require your fingerprints for an FBI background check to make sure you're not on their list. In some states (I think there are six or seven of them), you can combine the fingerprinting process for both the TWIC and hazmat endorsement, which saves you something like $86 and a little bit of hassle.

Also, you will not be given a hazmat endorsement until you have your CDL in hand. In some states, you can take the written test for hazmat when you are getting your permit. The endorsement will not be added until you actually get through the rest of the steps to get your CDL and the background check is completed, but it saves you the stress of taking tests on two different days. (No need to stress, though -- just use the High Road to prepare and you'll pass, no problem!)

So, again, the folks at Schneider know all this. They'll help you get the medical certificate done, apparently, from what you've said, and they want you to pass the hazmat endorsement test. They probably have people that will walk you through the TWIC process as well. Just take a deep breath, listen to what they want you to do, then do it. And focus on learning to control the truck and especially on how to pull a tanker.

You don't have to become an expert on the paperwork, you just need to make sure you have what you need to do the job. You do need to become an expert at controlling the truck and handling the cargo you'll be hauling, so I would recommend that you spend your energy on that.

Posted:  1 year ago

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It's official

Congratulations! I can't believe you didn't keep that cool paint job, though. It was very 80s.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Wyoming US-20 Between Thermopolis and Shoshoni

Has anyone driven on this road? Would really like to know what your thoughts on this grade are, compared to others. I could post a pic of it but l don't know how.

Here's a screenshot from Google Earth, showing Thermopolis to the lower left. The road travels next to the Bighorn River through the canyon in the middle of the picture and up to the right. Shoshoni is in the upper right corner by Boysen Reservoir.

8cRPSX.jpg

I've taken that route a few times. The Wind River Canyon is incredibly beautiful, one of my Top 5 favorite stretches of road to drive for sheer beauty.

On the other hand, it's a steep, twisty, narrow road, and probably one of my least favorite stretches to drive, especially if I'm pressed for time or if it's snowing. (Yes, I have driven down that road when it was snowing. I don't recommend it.) It's a tough drive that requires your full attention and care, especially in a truck. It's not really a beginner run, so kudos to you for making it through there safely.

Most of the routes out of that part of Wyoming have some tough stretches. This route is one of the easier ways to go south. Although this stretch is difficult, the steep part and sharp curves don't last as long as other ways to get out to either I-25 or I-80. Probably the easiest way out of that area is to go north on US 310 up to I-90 near Laurel, Montana, but that's not always an option for obvious reasons.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Dealing with Harvey

So, I'm still sitting here. Every time I think the wind has slowed, it picks back up. I am hopling to get out of here before dark. There is no way to get this load delivered on time. I just wish I had reliable current wind info.

Here are a couple of links.

Not sure if you have a tablet or laptop, but VentuSky is really nice, especially with higher resolution.

The Wundermap on Weather Underground has a selection for wind speed as well. It can take some work to interpret it, though.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Dealing with Harvey

Rainy D, good idea. I'm liking the rocking. Brings back boating memories. Hunt me down then we could meet face to face. lol

Bud, this load is going to Ill for Monday delivery. Don't think it will be there then. I picked this up at our Laredo terminal yesterday and this was as far as I could get on my hours. Plan was to get up early today and get through Austin before traffic. Woke up with Harvey on top of me. You know what they say about best laid plans. lol

Ouch, that sucks! I just looked at the radar again. I hope everyone there is OK.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Hurricane UT to Bentonville AR

Actually, I think the shortest / fastest route is down through Gallup NM and take I 40 across. I was just through there , I took a load from Hurricane down to Odessa TX. It starts out looking a little dicey but only for a few miles and then flattens out on top. LOL!

JJ

Yep, I would go that way rather than across Colorado. I would take UT-59/AZ-389 to Fredonia, then take US 89A up to US 89 in Kanab, then US 89 all the way around through Utah and Arizona. I have been on US 89A down through Arizona to US 89, and although it is wildly beautiful, it's not really a truck road. There are some steep grades, the curves are tight and there are lots of people in RVs who like to stop along the shoulders to look at the canyons.

I am not sure whether it would be better from there to go down to US 160 in Arizona, then at Tuba City take AZ-264 to US 491 to I-40 in Gallup, or to take US 89 all the way to Flagstaff to I-40, since I haven't been on 264 before. The terrain doesn't look too bad on 264, but it's kind of curvy and I'm not sure what level of service you can get there if you break down.

Posted:  1 year ago

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The Right Strategy For Earning More Miles And Better Pay

Now you may think I am not a nice person, and while I happen to know that I am, allow me to teach you something about being competitive out here. You don't have to wake up your competition, fix them a nice breakfast and tell them it's time to pull on your boots and get to work. No sir, out here if you snooze you lose! I rolled right on around that guy and got myself inside the gate, and parked behind the Montgomery driver.

After I got inside the building and they were almost finished unloading me, the Melton driver came to consciousness and looked bewildered that I, the third driver in line, was the first one out of that place!

Hahaha! It cracks me up every time I hear a story like this. I have done that more than once, and the look on Mr. Sleepyhead's face is always worth the price of getting up earlier than you really wanted to.

I had my Conestoga cover loosened up and ready to open, and all my straps loose before the Montgomery driver had even finished getting the bungees off his tarps. So, in order to keep things moving I went right over and started helping him get his tarps off and folded. Once we had his tarps folded, I headed back to my truck as he profusely thanked me for my help and I sat down to wait my turn. About ten minutes later the Montgomery driver comes over to my door and asks me, "Sir are you waiting on me to get inside the building?" "Yes sir, I am," I reply. To which he says, "Well you go on ahead of me, I surely do appreciate your helping me, and I still have forty five minutes worth of work to do before I will be ready to go inside, and it looks like you and that fancy roller system of yours are ready to go."

If you have time to get your work done first, it's worth helping another driver even if it doesn't get you unloaded first. It's one of the things that makes flatbedding enjoyable. Generally speaking, we help each other.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Dealing with Harvey

On Thursday, a buddy of mine accepted a load from Charlotte to Louisiana and Houston (two stops) for Saturday. I asked, Have you looked at the weather? Nope, he answered. He's stuck in Louisiana waiting. The broker won't agree to make a decision until Monday. We all know this load is not going to be delivered until late next week at the earliest.

This is exactly why you keep track of the weather all the time. Rain in south Texas? Probably no big deal, unless they've gotten so much that it's flooding there again. Hurricane hitting the gulf coast of Texas? Better to take a load to NYC this week.

This is no criticism of you, Big Scott. My buddy is an owner/operator and can take whatever load he wants.

I don't think you're going to be able to deliver anywhere in the storm area for a few days, if not longer. Where are you headed?

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