Profile For Bud A.

Bud A.'s Info

  • Location:
    WY

  • Driving Status:
    Experienced Driver

  • Social Link:
    Bud A. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    7 years, 2 months ago

Bud A.'s Bio

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Posted:  2 weeks, 1 day ago

View Topic:

Collision avoidance in winter

My old truck was terrible for hitting the brakes for bridges and road signs. My new truck is not as bad. I've never had it hit the brakes when I'm on the pedal, only on cruise control. I've been on the same account as PackRat for two years, basically Montana to New Mexico, with most of the loads in Wyoming and Colorado. The worst part of driving in this region is hauling empties back to the DC on slick roads in the wind.

I can't say I drive any different with the stupid radar brakes on this new truck. Maintain distance, don't drive too fast, don't use cruise control when it's slick. Common sense, really. On the old truck, though, every time I came up to the bridge at 136th Ave coming north out of Denver, I turned off the cruise control and made sure I had enough space around me, because otherwise I was going to get a hard brake.

And for everyone who believes that the radar is going to save you from a collision, I've had two events where cars were suddenly directly in front of me and the radar did jack squat. Really, I consider this equipment to be an additional hazard that I have had to learn to deal with on a daily basis.

I don't have dashcam video of when a Tesla hydroplaned and bounced off the guardrail back into my lane where I hit him head on at 55 mph, but he hit me dead on at the radar and the system never engaged the brakes. I do have dashcam video of a Camaro that cut me off. I hit the brakes, not the radar.

Brake check

Posted:  2 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

New blame being named for driver shortage

There's no real shortage of drivers. If there were, the shelves in the grocery stores would be empty, no new houses would get built, new cars wouldn't be delivered to dealerships, and all of us would be getting pay raises to bring us back to 1970s-levels of trucker prosperity. The whole "driver shortage" story has a different purpose than highlighting an actual shortage of drivers.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Should I buy a GPS unit 🤔

I cannot recommend Rand Mcnally electronics as they don't last. Their Atlas is a must have. I use Garmin and am very happy with them, I have two.

You can also write down directions on paper and post where you can see. You could use dry erase markers to write exit numbers on your windshield.

People drove trucks, cars, boats and planes long before there was GPS. With a laminated Atlas, about $30, you can trace your route with dry erase markers.

I agree with the comments about Rand McNally electronics. I've had bad luck with them. Garmin has been much more reliable.

It's good to use the built-in navigator in your head instead of relying on electronics. I find that I am much more alert and attentive doing it this way.

These days I go to the same 150 or so places all the time, so I mainly use the GPS to check travel times, and to verify which store I'm going to if it's been a while since I last took a load there. I have the voice instructions turned off.

Two things about using a GPS that are worth considering: First, even when I keep it updated, sometimes the information is just plain wrong. Garmin has a bad habit of putting weight and height restrictions for side streets onto the main route, so the computer tries to route you to exactly the wrong place. It doesn't happen very often, and it's usually noticeable (like telling you to take Auraria Parkway into downtown Denver instead of staying on I-25 northbound), but it's a real hazard if you're not familiar with the area.

Second, I think drivers tend to ignore signs and follow their GPS instead. If you use a GPS, you still need to pay attention to and prefer the information you get from road signs.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Long time no see

The Jackalope is rarely seen in daylight.

Great to hear from you.

You too! I always look for your name when I see a CFI truck btw.

All, my laundry's about done and then I'm getting in the bunk for a midnight load. I generally don't get out the laptop except on my 34s, so it may be a few days or longer before I get back on, but I'll check back in when I do.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Long time no see

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, that's a beautiful "Jack-a-lope" there in your avatar. I haven't seen one with that coloring in a long time.

Hey Old School! Nice to hear from you!

Yes, that is a rare specimen. I have some other pictures of rare jackalopes that I might share, if I can find them.

Posted:  5 months, 1 week ago

View Topic:

Long time no see

Hey all, just dropping in to say hello. (I can't refuse a personal request from Momcat! I don't know how I even rate that honor, frankly.)

I think the last time I was here, I had a local gig hauling utility poles on step decks. Since then, I spent a year and a half at Quality Carriers pulling chemical tanks OTR, and then when freight dried up for a little too long, I moved over to Crete.

I've been on the dedicated Walmart account out of Cheyenne for about a year and a half. This has been my first experience pulling boxes, mostly reefer but some dry. I think if I had known how easy it was, I would have done it sooner. I'll admit that coming back empty in the wind in Wyoming sucks sometimes, but other than that, it's great. Mountains and snow aren't really that bad once you get some experience, and chaining is pretty easy compared to strapping and tarping a load in bad weather, or putting on a chemical suit in Houston in August. And anyway, I've only had to chain a handful of times in the last two winters. It pays good, I never leave the mountain time zone (by far my favorite time zone), and I can get home at least once a week if I want to. The only large cities I go to are Denver and Albuquerque. In short, I love it.

I'll have to look around a little to find out what everyone is up to. Anyway, hello to everyone, and especially those of you who don't know me and so don't have any bad memories.

smile.gif

Posted:  3 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

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:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

Another Ride Along Story

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

Posted:  3 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

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:  4 years ago

View Topic:

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:  4 years ago

View Topic:

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:  4 years ago

View Topic:

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:  4 years ago

View Topic:

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:  4 years ago

View Topic:

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:  4 years ago

View Topic:

It's official

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

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